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THE BANK OF ENGLAND.
The Bank of England has to pay interest on all its issued currency over £14,000,000, but for this privilege it pays the Government all the net profit from any excess circulation and which is said to amount to nearly a million dollars per annum. It also pays annually $300,000 in stamp taxes, gives the public clean bills, and loans the Government of England permanently nearly three hundred million dollars at two and a half per cent. interest. For the past forty years no new Bank of England has been granted the right to issue currency.
The laws governing Bank taxation and refunds in nearly all the important countries in the world have been quoted, briefly, it is true, but sufficient to arrest the attention of Parliament to the justice of amendments to the Canadian Bank Act in the direction of limiting the powers of Banks and a refund of a share of the profits to the people from whom they are being taken; so, also, as a matter of protection to the entire community, a thorough and independent system of Bank inspection should be established and rigor. ously enforced. The Government of Canada should also have a director on every Bank Board, but paid by the Bank, but no owner of Bank shares should be qualified to hold such office.
Is UNLAWFUL AND EXTORTIONATE INTEREST CHARGED 2
The Canadian Bank Act limits the rate of discount and interest chargeable to seron per cent. per annum.
Is this law observed? If not, any excess charged is theft. If seven per cent. is not enough change the law.
Why not test the Banks by demanding an affidavit with every Bank return to the Finance Minister showing the marimum rate of interest charged in their entire branch system from month to month. So also there should be published a statement shewing the amount, if any, received by Banks or Bank officials by way of commission or otherwise on insurance policies taken out to protect Banks and charged to Bank borrowers.
This commission graft on insurance policies is rankly dishonest, whether the profit goes into the coffers of the Bank or into the pockets of the Bank officer. Every Bank agent should send an affidavit on this feature of Canadian banking practice with every monthly report.
The maximum rate of interest Canadian Banks were allowed to charge was formerly six per cent. A former indulgent (or worse) Parliament made the maximum rate seven per cent. Coupled with untaxed currency and the combine rate of interest to depositors, it is altogether too high; but whether or not, the law should not be violated except under severe penalties.
Is the Parliament of Canada held in bondage by less than a dozen High Priests of Finance? Its independence and sense of justice will be tested when the Bank Act comes before it. Watch how the Bank directors in the Commons and Senate will work together in harmony.
LEGALIZED BANK ROBBERY.
The Banks of Canada, under section 88 of the Banking Act, are empowered to take mortgages against all the goods and chattels of manufacturers and others, which need not be registered. Such mortgages are held by the Banks unknown to the confiding creditors, and when trouble comes the Bank swoops down on the bankrupt estate, and usually claims all there is and leaves the ordinary creditor out in the cold. The Banks are now going to permit parliament to extend this law to farm produce and live stock when they wish, which won't be often. If such mortgages between man and man must be registered to protect the mortgagee, why does the Bank have the special privilege of keeping their mortgages in full force without registering? This was given to enable Banks to rob confiding people selling their goods and produce to Bankrupt manufacturers and wholesale dealers, which, as soon as delivered into the sheds or factories or stores of the Banks' debtors, become forthwith the property of the Bank as the secret mortgagee. Will the Parliament of Canada wipe it out or extend it? It depends on the power and influence of the moneyed corporations over the Parliament and Government of Canada. “We will see what we shall see.”
The process of amalgamation by the Canadian Banks must in a short time complete the power of the moneyed corporations over the Parliaments and Governments of Canada.
The fewer the number of Banks the greater the power centred in a small number of men and the sure and certain curtailment of popular freedom. We have now one-third less Banks than we had twenty years ago.
Bank amalgamations should not be lawful except by a two-thirds vote of both the Senate and Commons, accompanied by affidavits of both General-Managers and Presidents setting forth the amount of commissions or profits paid to the promoter and to whom, together with all other considerations given to the directors and officials of the absobed Bank.
A Parliamentary enquiry into the recent Bank amalgamation might shew something of interest to the public.
Every Bank merger makes for a fewer number of men controlling the capital of Canada. The reign of the “man on horseback o’ is preferable to the rule of the financial High Priests, and who are able in most cases to enrich or impovorish at will.
THE TRUST COMPANY MACHINE.
Trust Companies, which are adjuncts to the large Canadian Banks, should be enquired into. They are a recent discovery how to grow rich by using the Bank depositors' money. The directors of the Bank and its Trust Company are the same, and the machinery operated to enable Bank directors to make money for themselves by methods not in keeping with high morality.
There should be a complete divorce of the Trust Company and Banking business, and no Bank director, or Bank officer or agent should be eligible to act as Trust Company director.
The existing order of things tends to graft on the part of Bank directors who are running Trust Companies for their own profit.
THE MARRIAGE REGULATION CONTRARY To MoRALS AND THE
The pious and unctuous Directors of most Canadian Banks don't allow their clerks to marry except they are in receipt of at least three times the average wages paid mechanics—a sure method of discouraging the command of the Almighty, though most of Bank directors are much in evidence in church gatherings. But by way of excuse for this monstrous regulation against marriage it may be urged that most of the Bank directors are at a time of life when they have impressed on them that “all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” Let the Banks pay their juniors fair living salaries and encourage marriage. The earnings of the Banks can afford reasonable wages to all their employees instead of the existing skimpy remuneration.
The Banks are now importing clerks from Britain, owing to the meagre salaries paid by the Banks of Canada. The ordinary Trade Unions would not meekly submit to this method of keeping wages down.
THE WALUE OF CANADIAN UNTAXED CURRENCY.
Over one hundred million dollars are permanently loaned by the State to the Canadian Banks by the operation of the currency law, with the increasing wealth and population, and the increasing Bank capital it will soon reach three hundred millions, in illustration of which it may be stated that the amount of Bank Currency in circulation in 1891 was $35,000,000 To-day it is about three times this amount.
Sir Francis Hincks claimed “ that as the State created the credit, the State should share in the profit.” This is equally true to-day, but will the Canadian Parliament act on this advice or respond as heretofore to the crack of the party whips or mânifest sufficient personal and party independence to guard the interests of the common people?
The untared currency issued by the Canadian Banks represents one-sixth the value of the entire agricultural productions of Canada, and the labour and sweat of one former out of every six, together with their wives, families and hired help.
The untared currency in circulation by the Banks of Canada represents an amount in excess of the entire Drink Bill of the Dominion. The untaired currency in circulation by the Canadian Banks represents the value of every gallon of milk, and every pound of butter and cheese, produced in the Dominion, from ocean to Ocean. Just think what it means to give a few rich and influential men the manipulation of the money represented here and for the use of which rot one cent is paid to the State. The unfaired currency in circulation by the Canadian Banks represents the annual value of all the minerals produced in Canada, including gold, silver, nickel, corundum, copper, lead, iron, coal, clay, cement, petroleum, asbestos, mica and stone. The untaired currency of the Banks of Canada represents more than the stumpage value of all the timber cut in the Province of Ontario for the last twenty years. The unfaired currency of the Banks of Canada represents the value of the entire shipments to Great Britain of wheat, oats, barley, rye, flour and grain products of all kinds for four years. The umlared currency of the Banks of Canada represents the entire value of five years' catch of all the fisheries of Canada, deep sea, river, gulf and lakes combined. The unfaired currency of the Banks of Canada represents the entire value of everything produced by every farmer in the Province of Quebec. More than the value of everything produced by every farmer in Manitoba, and much more than the value of the entire product of every farmer in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Alberta combined. Shall this enormous and valuable privilege continue in order that the rich may become richer? And is the Parliament of Canada to continue as the consenting party to all the demands of the moneyed guilds and their deals with governments, where the power of wealth is so manifest as to astonish reflecting minds? - PETER TRY AN.