Mr. Chairman. This is a resolution of which some announcement was made and upon which some explanations were given at an earlier stage of the session. I am glad to know that so far as my information goes the change proposed is one which has met with the general approval of financial men. The resolution proposes to increase the amount of Dominion notes which we are at liberty to issue with a twenty-five per cent reserve from 2024 . ,
$20,000,000 to $30,000,000. Our currency is to a large extent a paper currency as a matter of convenience, but it rests upon a safe gold basis. It is understood that we shall have a reasonable proportion of gold at all times in reserve to meet demands that may be made for the redemption of notes. Just what amount of notes we may properly issue in this way would have some reasonable regard to the general growth, development and progress of the country. We have not made any change in the limit since 1880, twenty-three years ago, when the amount was fixed at $20,000,000. By the legislation of that time we were authorized to issue $20,000,000 having as a reserve twenty-five per cent, either in gold or imperial guaranteed debentures, being the equivalent of gold. For all sums over that amount we have been obliged to hold dollar for dollar. As the country grows and we have larger wealth and larger resources, it is only reasonable to assume that that limit may be increased.
I think we would be justified at present in making the limit larger, but in matters of this kind it is always well to proceed slowly and cautiously.
Subtopic: SECURITY FOR DOMINION NOTES.