April 6, 1957

CURRENCY. MINT AND EXCHANGE FUND ACT AMENDMENT TO INCREASE REMEDY ALLOWANCE FOR TEN-CENT PIECES

LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Hon. J. W. Pickersgill (for the Minister of Finance) moved

the second reading of Bill No. 240, to amend the Currency, Mint and Exchange Fund Act.

Topic:   CURRENCY. MINT AND EXCHANGE FUND ACT AMENDMENT TO INCREASE REMEDY ALLOWANCE FOR TEN-CENT PIECES
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. M. Macdonnell (Greenwood):

Mr. Speaker, on the face of it this is a very simple measure, and I think it is essentially a very simple measure. I took a little trouble to inform myself about some of the background of the mint and its activities and I should like to put on the record two or three facts which interested me and which

I think are not wholly irrelevant. I will reassure members of the house by saying that I shall not take more than three or four minutes with the information that I wish to put on the record.

First of all, I should like to recall that apparently we find the first known coins about 700 B.C., and the first British coin is tentatively placed in the second century B.C. We come then to the history of the royal mint in London which began in Anglo-Saxon times, but the thing that interested me was that coinage was not then confined to one place nor did the sovereign insist too strongly on the right of coining which, according to the civil law maxim, "is inherent in the bones of princes."

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PC

George Clyde Nowlan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

Pardon?

Topic:   CURRENCY. MINT AND EXCHANGE FUND ACT AMENDMENT TO INCREASE REMEDY ALLOWANCE FOR TEN-CENT PIECES
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

"Inherent in the bones of princes". Nevertheless, the ecclesiastics did a bit of coining in those days too. I am referring to an article on the royal mint and its branches found in the Canadian Georgrahic Journal, volume 3, 1931, at page 57. In part it has this to say:

. . . nor did the sovereign insist too strongly on the right of coining which, according to the Civil Law maxim, is "inherent in the bones of princes", for we find the Archbishop of Canterbury and other ecclesiastical dignitaries issuing their own coins alongside those of the King. Indeed, for many years after coinage became fully recognized as a prerogative of the crown we find the management of the mints, as of other departments of government, largely controlled by ecclesiastics, perhaps because they alone, as a class, had the necessary education.

There is one further passage I should like to put on the record.

As late as 1548, according to Ruding, Bishop Latimer, in a sermon at St. Paul's inveighed against bishops and other churchmen occupying stations in the mint. "They are," he said of them, "otherwise occupied . . . some comptrollers of

myntes. Well, well, ... I would fayne knowe who comptrolleth the devill at home at his parishe, while he comptrolleth the mynte?" . . . The saying is that since priests have been mynters money hath been worse than it was before."

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PC

George Clyde Nowlan

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Nowlan:

They must be minters now because it is a lot worse.

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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

I continue:

"And they say that the evilnesse of money hath made all things dearer." It may he fitting at this point to offer the assurance that the present high cost of living is not due to church interference in matters of coinage.

I apologize for this interlude, and I now come to the bill, which is very simple. The explanatory note indicates that its purpose is to increase the allowance for error in the manufacture of the 10 cent piece. The note is in these words:

The purpose of this bill is to increase the remedy allowance for 10 cent pieces. The new high speed rolling mills, which were installed in the mint

early in 1956, cannot give as precise a thickness as former mills. The proposed new remedy allowance is the same as that in the United States.

It is a substantial increase in the remedial allowance. But if my arithmetic is good, it is still only about one quarter of one per cent. Inquiry from the mint shows that so far as loss is concerned, there is no reason to expect loss because the error is just as likely to be one way as the other. I therefore think the machine can be regarded neither as moral nor immoral but as being quite amoral and that we have no reason to think it is discriminating either for or against.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, when the acting minister of finance or whatever his title is,-

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

-or the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, acting for the Minister of Finance, closes the debate on this bill, there is one question I wish he would answer.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

The parliamentary assistant will close the debate.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

He cannot close the debate.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

Perhaps the hon. gentlemen should wait to see what the question is so as to see who knows the answer.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

I say that the parliamentary assistant will close the debate.

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PC

Edmund Davie Fulton

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fulton:

He cannot close the debate.

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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

Mr. Speaker, it is noted that the machines referred to were installed in the mint early in 1956. It is also noted that it is intended to have this bill made retroactive for about 15 to 16 months. What I should like to know is this: Are the dimes that have been minted in the last 15 months or 16 months illegal? If so, is there any penalty attached to those who have been circulating and spending these dimes?

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L L

William Moore Benidickson (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal Labour

Mr. W. M. Benidickson (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance):

The hon.

member's question is well taken. It is possible that in the number of coins that have been produced since 1956 there may have been some that were slightly under the required accuracy and some that were over. But I can assure my hon. friend that the committee which reviews this matter have only on one occasion had need to draw it to the attention of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Harris), and this bill has come forward.

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Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and the house went into committee thereon, Mr. Applewhaite in the chair. 6, 1957 3227 Currency, Mint and Exchange Fund Act On clause 1-Schedule amended,


CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. Knowles:

May I ask the parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Finance whether -by his answer to my question a moment ago he meant that only one dime has been found to be beyond the degree of tolerance?

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L L

William Moore Benidickson (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal Labour

Mr. Benidickson:

The machine that was referred to was with respect to the manufacturing of the dimes for this country.

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April 6, 1957