Right Hon. W. L. MACKENZIE KING (Leader of the Opposition):
Mr. Speaker, this bill is very brief; its purport is to give the governor in council power to suspend that section of the Dominion Notes Act which sets forth that dominion notes shall be redeemable in gold on presentation at branch offices established or at banks with which arrangements may be made for the redemption thereof.
I believe it is a fact that already the government has been exercising the power for which it is now asking. If that is the case the government must have had some authority for so doing, and if it had such authority presumably that authority was sufficient and is still sufficient. So under the circumstances I do not see why this measure need be introduced at all. I might add that the introduction of a measure of this kind, unless it is absolutely necessary, would seem to injure rather than aid the credit of the country. Perhaps the Minister of Finance (Mr. Rhodes) who has the matter in hand has good and sufficient reasons for further taking away from parliament its control over this allimportant matter, together with the other matters that we have been considering of late. It would seem that the parliament that laid down the special conditions under which this power should be exercised took a safer and sounder view of the authority and wisdom of parliament in the matter than the minister is taking at the moment. However, the minister may have special reasons for asking that this authority should be given at this time, and if so the minister might give us the reasons before we are asked to vote on the second reading of the bill.
Subtopic: POWER TO SUSPEND PROVISION FOR REDEMPTION IN GOLD-DISCUSSION OF GOLD STANDARD