June 17, 1935 (17th Parliament, 6th Session)


Henry Elvins Spencer

United Farmers of Alberta


I understood the Prime Minister to say that the larger banks of Canada had similar foreign obligations when the gold was taken from them to be deposited with the central bank. However, the figures he gave showed that of the larger banks two had $13,000,000 in gold, one had $6,000,000 and the other only $2,000,000. If their foreign obligations were similar why was there so much variation in the amount of gold on hand? Secondly, I should like to know if the forty per cent allowed the banks to permit them to meet their foreign obligations was in proportion to the gold which they had on hand to take care of their foreign obligations?
Mr. BENNETT': I tried to make it clear that the forty per cent was forty per cent of the gold transferred. In the case of the Bank of Montreal it was 40 per cent of $13,043,509 or $5,217,403. In the case of the Bank of Nova Scotia it was 40 per cent of $6,546,338, or $2,618,535. As to the variations in the amounts of gold held in Canada, it is only necessary to say that some of the banks with branches abroad held gold abroad to take care of the sudden fluctuations and our arm reached only to the gold in Canada.
In connection with the point raised by the hon. member for Macleod (Mr. Coote) as to our dollar being valued too high, I think it is only necessary to say that in terms of gold our dollar is worth only about sixty cents, if my memory serves me aright, and I am subject to correction. Does the hon. gentlemer know the figure?

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