April 4, 1910


House went into committee to consider the following proposed resolution: Resolved, that it is expedient to provide for a revision and amendment of the Currency Act, chapter 25, of the Revised Statutes. Further resolved, that the standard for gold coins of the currency of Canada be such that of one thousand parts by weight, nine hundred shall be of fine gold and one hundred of alloy; and the standard for silver coin shall be such that of one thousand parts by weight nine hundred and twenty-five shall be of fine silver and seventy-five of alloy; that the standard weight for gold coins of the denomination of ten dollars in the currency of Canada be two hundred and fifty-eight grains, and the standard weight for a silver coin of the denomination of fifty cents be one hundred and eighty grains, and for other gold coins and silver coins proportionate weights respectively; that the Minister of Finance be authorized to issue out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund such sums as _ may be necessary for the purchase of bullion in order to provide supplies of coin for the public service ; and that the cost, charges and expenses incident to carrying out the provisions of any Act founded upon these resolutions be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.


LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

This resolution is a necessary step towards the introduction of a Bill to revise and amend the Currency Act. The amendments, while necessary, are not very, important, and I have no reason to suppose they will be contentious.

Topic:   CURRENCY ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

What do the proposed amendments amount to?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

The main change is to enable us to carry out the intention of the government to provide a gold currency for Canada. There is a provision in the existing law for a gold currency, but it is found not to be very workable. The currency of Canada is on a gold basis, and as we all know, the British sovereign has the standard value of four dollars eigthy-six and two-thirds cents. We have in reality a second gold standard, the difference being so slight that it has not hitherto been deemed necessary to call attention to it. As a matter of fact the American gold coins are legal tender in Canada, and for ordinary purposes it is the American gold coin and not the British gold coin that is used in Canada.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

How are the American gold coins legal tender in Canada?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

They are, and have been for many years, legal tender under our Currency Act. There being thus

two gold standards it might naturally be assumed that they would be proportionately the same value, but they are not exactly the same. There is a fraction of dif-

ference, not large enough to affect commercial transactions, but large enough to demand consideration in a Currency Act. If we should make the Canadian five dollar. gold piece on the basis of the British sovereign at the value of four dollars eighty-six and two-thirds cents, we would be producing a coin intrinsically of less value than the American $5 piece, and as we have, like the United States, a decimal coinage, it would be manifestly inconvenient if our $5 gold piece should be intrinsically of less value than theirs. The effect of the change is that we shall make our $5 gold piece of just a trifle more value than it would he if we made it on the basis of the British sovereign. Therefore, the American $5 gold piece and ours will be intrinsically of the same value. It would no doubt be found convenient in time that these coins should be interchangeable across the border, although I do not know that our American neighbours would likely make ours a legal tender as we did theirs. Perhaps the time may come when we shall no longer need to make the American gold coins a legal tender; but it is legal tender now, and the trade and commerce of the country has found it advantageous. We propose to make the gold coin of Canada of a quality, weight, fineness, &c., which will correspond exactly with the American gold coin.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

What would he the exact value of the British sovereign upon the same basis?

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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

The difference is very fractional. We shall still recognize the British sovereign as four dollars and eighty-six and two-thirds cents, and I think the actual value is four dollars eighty-six cents and some-small fraction. The difference is so small that it will not affect ordinary transactions, hut in a Currency Act we must take notice of it. Another point is that if we were to make a $5 gold piece on the basis of the British sovereign, four dollars and eighty-six and two-thirds cents, we would have a coin which in weight could only be expressed in most inconvenient decimals. It is advantageous that the weight of the coin should be such that it can be conveniently accounted for in all operations. These are the main changes although some few other changes are made for the improvement of the Act.

Resolution reported, read a second time and agreed to.

Mr. FIELDING moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 195) respecting the Currency.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


CUSTOMS AND FISHERIES PROTECTION ACT.

?

Hon. A. B.@

AYLESWORTH (Minister of Justice) moved second reading of Bill (No.

197i

138) to amend the Customs and Fisheries Protection Act.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Will the hon. gentleman explain. .

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LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. AYLESWORTH.

The object of this Bill is to supply an omission from the present law on the subject. The statute relating to the protection of customs and fisheries, chap. 47, Revised Statutes of Canada, provides that in the case of a seizure of goods, or of a ship, every penalty or forfeiture may be recovered, or enforced in the Exchequer Court, on its admiralty side, or in any Superior Court in the province, within which the cause of prosecution arose. Pursuant to that provision of the statute the Exchequer Court has promulgated its rules of procedure, but some of the provincial courts, and possibly all of them, have net done anything of that nature. The result has been that when proceedings to enforce a penalty or forfeiture of this character have been instituted in provincial courts there has been no practice laid down by any rules which could be followed, and such proceedings have, in consequence, in some instances, proved nugatory, and the advantage of being able to resort to provincial courts has been thus practically taken away. This Bill proposes to remedy that defect by adding as a subsection to the section I have referred to, a provision that in so far as there are no general rules made by the Superior Court of any province, the practice and procedure in cases of this character in the provincial court shall be regulated by the practice and procedure for the time being in force in the Exchequer Court.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the second time, considered in committee, reported, read the third time, and passed.


MILITARY PENSION ACT AMENDMENT.


Sir FREDERICK BORDEN moved the second reading of Bill (No. 194) to amend the Militia Pension Act. He said: This Bill is based upon resolutions which were explained and discussed very fully in Committee of the Whole. Motion agreed to, Bill read the second time, and House went into committee thereon. On section 6B, subsection (e),


LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

This is a new provision, and is the most important provision of the Bill. It is proposed to allow an officer who is transferred from the active militia to the permanent force, to count on retirement one half the time he has served in the active militia up to ten years and not more, though

he is not to count that service at all until he has served ten years in the permanent force. It is often very desirable to utilize in the permanent force the services of officers who have distinguished themselves in the active militia, but such officers have been very slow about entering the permanent force, because no portion of their time of service in the active militia counted for a pension, and very often they would not think of going into the permanent force until they had reached the age of 45 years or over, so that it was impossible for them to secure a pension, the minimum service for a pension being 20 years. But under this provision, an officer of the age of 50 who has distinguished himself in the active militia, say a lieutenant-colonel could come into the permanent force and serve his ten years there before reaching the age of 60; and if he had served 20 years in the active militia, he would be entitled to count ten years of that service, so that at the age of 60 he would have 20 years' service to his credit, and be able to retire with a pension. It is thought to be in the public interest that this should be encouraged, and we believe it will be greatly to the advantage of both services.

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Mr. B. L. BORDEN.

Is there any definition of the word ' force '?

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

Yes, it means the permanent force.

On section 2,

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

Subsection 2 of section 12 of the Militia Pension Act reads as follows:

Time served in His Majesty's regular forces may be counted towards a pension in the case of non-commissioned officers and men transferred to the^ permanent force in connection with the taking over by the government of Canada of the garrisons at Halifax and Esquimalt.

To that we add,

And in the case of such non-commissioned officers and men as have been or may hereafter be transferred from His Majesty's regular forces to the permanent force under arrangements made between His Majesty's government and His Majesty's Canadian government as to the pensioning of such non-commissioned officers and men.

It is simply extending the application of this provision to the non-commissioned officers, and men of the British army who may come into our force, it allows their time to count. At present the men do not contribute towards the pension, neither here nor in England. As a large number of our permanent force come from the British army, it is convenient to draw our men from that force. The object of this provision is to enable us to give due consider-Sir FREDERICK BORDEN

ation to such men, and an opportunity of counting the time which they have served in the British army.

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April 4, 1910