Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance).
With regard to independent audit, there is no need of any legislation respecting that. One of our large banks has now a system of independent audit carried out under the present Banking Act and there is no reason why any other bank may not avail itself of the same privilege if it regards it as important. As to bank inspection, I repeat what I said a few days ago : that it is a question of the utmost importance as to which I am willing to have an cpen mind, although I have rather the impression that it would not accomplish the purposes its advocates have in view. It is a very large and important question which may properly be considered in connection with the general revision of the Bank Act. I do not think there is sufficient information as to the value of bank inspection, as adapted to our Canadian system, to warrant us at this stage of the session introducing special legislation. The conditions in Canada, with its very many branch banks, are so different from the conditions in the United States where bank inspection exists, that even if it were successful in the United States it would not necessarily be successful in Canada, and there is a question as to whether it has been successful in the United States. I do not care to say more than that at present. I realize the importance of the subject and believe it is well worthy of consideration in connection with the general revision of the Bank Act which must be taken up at no distant day.
Subtopic: AUDIT AND INSPECTION OF BANKS.