February 2, 1933 (17th Parliament, 4th Session)


George Reginald Geary

Conservative (1867-1942)


By the depreciated currency on the other side. All countries that are primary producers are naturally in the same position. My hon. friends from the west who grow wheat instance this fact very cogently by stating that for the pound sterling they get so many fewer dollars then they used to, and they cannot buy upon the same basis. I think there is a great deal to be said for that contention, not in trading within the country but rather in the payment of debts. When we come to the resolution sponsored by the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Speakman) we shall have an opportunity of discussing this matter in detail.
To my mind there is no sense in inflation qua inflation, but there is a great deal to be said both for and against the present situation with regard to debts. If there be a sound method of dealing with the question of debts, we should seek it, but we should not seek to remedy that situation by unsound methods.

What I am really getting at in my cursory discussion of these principles of finance and currency is that this question is largely international. From the other side of the house we hear again and again of the interdependence of this country, that we cannot be an economic unit, that we cannot trade within our own borders, that we must seek for greater opportunities for trade, both within the empire and in other directions. Trade must be increased, but if you are going to trade with any country you must be able to conduct that trade on a system of exchange which is somewhat stable. The whole question of the stability of money is wrapped up with the question of the stability of exchange, which in turn is wrapped up with the question of international trade. We are to have a conference to discuss these very matters, and it seems to me that we would be most ill advised to make a drastic change in our currency at the present moment and to go to that economic conference with some system at which we had jumped or guessed.
It is all so easy to say that we can pay our debts by printing so much money, that we can build this work or that by printing so much money, that we can obtain advantages by depreciating our currency-if we can do it so can other countries. If it is so easy I wonder that it has not been done all over the world. Does anyone think that the Prime Minister of this country, the cabinet or the legislators in this house have any desire to do anything but what is best for the country? Surely that must not be suggested; it should not be suggested that proposals are rejected only out of some spirit of stubbornness.

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