Yes, they have to use these notes to a considerable extent. The Mr. FIELDING.
amount of our circulation has been increasing very much. In 1890, the Dominion notes in circulation were something over $15,000,000; in 1895, $19,000,000 ; in 1900. $26,000.000 ; in 1901, $27,000,000 ; in 1902, $32,000,000 ; in 1903, $39,000,000 ; in 1904, $41,000,000 and on April 30, 1905, $47,900,000. So my hon. friend will see the amount is increasing' very largely.
Up to a certain sum we keep 25 per cent. We changed that sum a year or two ago. Up to a certain sum we keep 25 per cent and after that we keep dollar for dollar, so that for the larger part of our circulation we have gold to correspond.
They are printed entirely by one concern under contract. The work is done in Ottawa, and the printing firm is called the American Bank Note Company. It is a branch of the institution of that name in New York, but under our contract they had to erect a building in Ottawa. The whole business is transacted in sight of the parliament buildings, on Wellington street, and although the company bears an American name and has the authority and backing of the American institution, it is practically Canadian, as at least 95 or 98 per cent of the people employed there are Canadians.
Are these notes printed in the same way as government notes and postage stamps ? Are they printed under government supervision? It is a very dangerous authority to grant to any pi'inting institution any way it is done.
There is all supervision we can usefully employ. The matter has been carefully considered by the chief officers of the department. On one occasion I got the Auditor General to go down and examine the method employed, and in all cases we have been satisfied that all possible precautions are taken.
The government have no officers now at all. Experience has not shown that it is necessary, hut the whole method of printing, every detail from the beginning to the end, has been very carefully worked out, and our government officials have examined it and reported that it is entirely safe and satisfactory.
Well, the only safeguard is the method by which the business is done and the reputation of the great organization which Is doing this for nearly all the governments of the civilized world.
I had the matter carefully examined into by the deputy minister and the Auditor General and they were both satisfied that all the precautions they could possibly take are involved in the present system.
This concern at New York is making notes for banks the wide world over and is making notes for many countries. Some countries have their own printing departments. The United States circulation is printed at a government printing bureau. The English system I think is to have the work done by contractors. I do not think the English bank notes, &c., are, printed at a government institution, but by; private contractors. In the United States; they have a printing, bureau, but this company with headquarters in New York rnakek notes for banks the world over and for a; number of countries. It is an old estabi lished institution of the highest reputation,! and I have no reason to doubt that all safeguards that we could impose are in force now.