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Bank of Canada Review

Winter 2005-2006

Winter 2005-2006 cover

70 Years of Central Banking in Canada
by David Dodge

70 Years of Central Banking: The Bank of Canada in an International Context, 1935–2005
by Michael D. Bordo and Angela Redish

Free Banking and the Bank of Canada
by David Laidler

Towards a Made-in-Canada Monetary Policy: Closing the Circle
by John Chant

From Flapper to Bluestocking: What Happened to the Young Woman of Wellington Street?
by John F. Helliwell

See also: Tables A1, A2, and Notes to the Tables

Full Review (PDF, 500 kb)

Cover: Silver Presentation Salver

On 31 July 1933, Parliament established the Royal Commission on Banking and Currency. Named for its Chairman, The Right Honourable Lord Macmillan P.C., K.C., the Macmillan Commission was charged with reviewing the operations of Canada's banking and monetary systems and examining the provisions and workings of the Bank Act. It would also investigate the possibility of establishing a central bank.

The timing of the Macmillan Commission coincided with the approaching expiry date of the charters of the Canadian banks, which Parliament had reviewed and reissued every decade since 1871, when the Bank Act was passed.With each review, Parliament also had the opportunity to revise the national banking code. By 1933, Parliament felt that it was necessary to survey the existing financial structure and its operation with a view to answering questions created by the Depression and the international economic environment and to providing future economic direction to the country.

Within eight days of its creation, the Commission held its first meeting—all hearings were completed by 11 September 1933. Lord Macmillan submitted the Commission's report to the Government of Canada on 27 September, and on 20 November Prime Minister Bennett announced his intention to proceed with the establishment of the Bank of Canada. The Bank commenced operations on 11 March 1935.

The sterling presentation salver displayed on the cover is encircled by an everted rim, richly chased and engraved with a pierced foliate vine, c-scrolls, scallop shells, and a decorative floral motif. The salver rests on four chased and engraved feet, each in the shape of a beaver. Measuring 64.8 cm in diameter and 8.3 cm in height, the salver is inscribed: Presented to The Right Honourable Lord Macmillan, P.C., K.C., LL.D. by the Government of Canada in grateful appreciation of his services to Canada as Chairman of The Royal Commission on Banking and Currency in Canada, Ottawa 1933.

The salver, which was bequeathed to the Bank of Canada by Lady Macmillan in 1967, is part of the artifact collection of the Bank of Canada Archives.

Photography by Mone Cheng, Innovacom, Ottawa.