The unqualified1 success attending the Victory Loan of last year, as well of previous domestic loans, is of such notalble importance and significance that it calls for more than a passing reference. The large investment made by our citizens in the securities issued by the -Government from time to time- since the beginning of the war is a matter of natural pride to all Canadians. Since December 1, 1915, d'-omestio war loan issues aggregating $746,000,000 have been made, and of which over $700,000,000 was subscribed for by Canadians-, a very tangible evidence of the productive powers of our people, their determination to sustain our army and our commerce by loans- to the State, and their faith 'in the -ability of Canada to honour in the future the financial obligations now so honourably incurred. That Canada possessed such a purchasing power it is needless for m-e to say was hardly entertained by -any person, even the most optimistic.
Last November the fourth war loan was placed upon the market in -Canada. In the case of the three previous loans, for the-ir successful flotation, the Government of the time relied upon newspaper advertising methods alone to secure the required subscriptions, and no extensively organized campaign was- deemed necessary. In .the case of the last loan, ho-w-ever, it was felt that more- vigorous methods should be adopted in order that a -wider response to the appeal should be received from all classes of o-ur population, so that the alb-sorption of the loan would be rapid and that -by spreading the holdings over as -many people as possible, the -subscribers- would be more strongly protected so far as the market price w:a-s concerned.
The Minister of Finance, with the cooperation of some of the most active of the business men of the Dominion, organized a central committee called the Dominion Executive of the Victory Loan Campaign, which in turn organized associated committees in every province. These again created committees in various counties, cities and towns. By addresses, advertisement and canvass, ;by the united efforts of all these countrywide organizations, the results far exceeded -the expectations even o-f those best qualified to anticipate the result of an appeal of this -character. The -bonds were of five, ten and twenty year maturities. The prospectus called- for -an amount of $150,-000,000, but the loan was an open one and the right was reserved to- exceed -subscriptions- above this amount. In response to- the appeal, subscriptions to the amount of $408,000,000 from -approximately 600,000 subscribers, a subscription from about one in every nine of our population, a -subscription of over $58 per capita, -was received. This was slightly better than the results of the Liberty Loan of 1917 in the United States, where some 9,400,000 subscriptions were received, or about one in more than eleven. The subscriptions in -the four western provinces were particularly gratifying, and indicate in these new provinces remarkable accumulation of wealth, which fact is- pleasing to the older sections of the Dominion. The Victory Loan Committee state the subscriptions of A'llberta amounted to $16,515,150; British Columbia, $18,814,700; Saskatchewan., $21,777,050; and Manitoba," $32,326,600. Opportunity was given to the overseas forces to subscribe, and we received over $1,500,000 from soldiers who cashed in their faith in their fight and country.
The total subscription was cut down to an allotment of $398,000,000 of now money, not counting holdings of previous war loans which were convertible and were converted into Victory Loan Bonds to the amount of over $150,000,000. When all the charges are computed and paid, the cost of the loan will approximate II per cent, which is comparatively small in such a large operation and extending over so wide an area. The banks received 1 of 1 per cent as remuneration for their services and to compensate them for the labour entailed in all their branches in taking the subscriptions; issuing temporary receipts'; delivery of the scrip; receiving the five instalments from January to May; transmitting the cash to the Department of Finance; in delivering the bonds to subscribers in exchange for scrip; in paying at par all over Canada the coupons and interest cheques during the whole period covered by the loan.
The probable subscribers of the larger amounts were 'solicited by the agency of a special committee and upon these subscriptions no commission was paid. The local canvassers received i of one per cent on all subscriptions received by them to, compensate them for their time and labour; and finally, the bond dealers and brokers who co-operated most heartily and energetically in the work and who placed the services of themselves and their several staffs at the disposal of the committee were tio be allowed such remuneration as was deemed reasonable by the Minister of Finance. It is estimated that the total charges will amount approximately to $5,000,000, or about II per cent. When the issuing charges for all our other previous loans are considered, it will be found that this may be regarded as exceedingly reasonable.
I wish to acknowledge on behalf of the Minister of Finance and the Government his and their thanks and 'appreciation of the splendid and patriotic services of all the committees and workers whose efforts in a noble cause proved so successful; to the press, also, and to the public spirited citizens who, in an honorary capacity, gave valuable assistance in this great campaign, I desire to publicly and gratefully acknowledge their valuable services. Preparations for the next Victory Loan have already commenced, and the Government have also under advisement the matter of the sale of War Savings Stamps, a borrowing scheme very successfully employed in the United States.