Mr. D. G. Hahn (Broadview):
There are a few reasons why I am opposed to this bill. I am not raising a point of order at this time but it would seem to me that if this amendment were made it would be necessary to withdraw our currency. It would have to be re-issued, and the process would be expensive.
If we are to do this at all, we must be perfectly sure of the reasons for doing it. I think the proof of the pudding is that the present system works. You can take these notes into a store and buy anything you like as long as you have enough of them. I suggest that if we make a change of the kind now proposed, we should do a complete job; we should not make one specific change without bringing in a great many other changes which might result in improvements. I will give a brief indication what some of these things might be.
At present, for instance, our bills come in a series of colours. We might improve them by changing the colour system. Lumi-
nous paint of various colours might end the business of groping in the dark to find the particular unit of currency we are looking for. In the second place we might improve the over-all artistic character of our bills. I happen to have a ten-franc note in my pocket; I have been carrying it around for some time. As a piece of art work it is infinitely superior to our own bills. If we are altering our currency or changing the design we ought surely to try to make it more attractive.
Then we might give serious consideration to changing the denominations. Who can go into a store today and buy anything costing $1 or $2 or $5 or $10? I think we should introduce new denominations of $1.98, $3.98, $4.99, and so on. This would be useful and it would avoid having our pockets full of coppers, which we only lose, anyhow.
There is another suggestion which the House might consider at the same time. Perhaps we could leave blank spaces on parts of the new bills. All of us have had the experience of being in a telephone booth at some time or another. We get a message we need urgently to take down; we scramble for a piece of paper on which to write it. We find nothing. But most people generally have a dollar bill in their pockets. If there were a little blank space left on it, it could serve a dual purpose-not only spending money but a space on which to jot down notes until they can be transferred to a more permanent place.
The hon. Member may have valid reasons to advance in favour of the change he wants to bring about. I think I have valid reasons for mine. So let us hold up passage of this bill until we can bring about a real overhaul of our paper currency.
Topic: BANK OF CANADA ACT
Subtopic: AMENDMENT TO CHANGE FORM OF BANK NOTES