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A NATIONAL MINT.
By the Editor.
CANADA has no national mint be
cause, apparently, the people who manage the banks of Canada do not desire to see this country have a gold coinage. These gold coins might become popular, and the people might carry them in their pockets in place of bills. The banks gain the interest on their paper circulation only so long as they can compel people to carry it in their pockets. Hence, if people carried gold instead of paper the banks would lose that much return. Therefore the banks are opposed to Canadian gold coins.
"To people unacquainted with the working of the Canadian Currency Act this entry and exit of Canadian gold must seem curious, not to say phenomenal, and they must naturally ask, if they give it a thought, 'Why does all this Canadian gold go to the United States of America, instead of going to England or staying in Canada?' Well, if you will allow me I will try and explain. If it stayed in Canada it would only be merchandise, not available in its crude state of currency. As we have no mint in Canada to turn our gold into coin, we can neither set it in circulation as coin, or make it available as bank security to issue notes against. But if we had a mint in Canada, we would not be allowed to coin 'American eagles,' which same American eagles' by our patriotic Currency Act, are the sole standard upon which our Canadian currency is based; so the reason our gold goes out of Canada is that we have to send our native gold to a foreign country to be minted into foreign coins, to be reimported for domestic use as currency.
"Of course, this is an astonishing anomaly, but it is only one of the natural workings of our Currency Act."
The Editor of the Vancouver Province has recently being offering decided opinions on the subject. He remarks:
"The Vancouver and Victoria
Boards of Trade have endeavoured in vain to secure the establishment of a Government Assay office at Dawson. For this year, at all events there is no prospect of even so mild a remedy being furnished for the conditions which prevent Canadians repearing the benefits of the gold-producing capabilities of their own territory. We must still
Canada is a gold-producing country. A gold-producing country would, it is reasonable to presume, find gold coins a good advertisement of its gold mines. Canada has no gold coins, and therefore she loses what might be an excellent advertisement in all the countries where such coins might temporarily find circulation.
Writing in THE CANADIAN MAGAZINE for October, 1899, W. Meyers Gray presented this case as follows:
"Sometime about the middle of July, 1899, the big steamship Garronne arrived at Vancouver, B. C., with $3,000,000.00 worth, in round figures, of nuggets and gold dust from Dawson on the Yukon, good British gold, from good Canadian soil.
longed either to Canadian banks or English banks doing business in Ca nada.
"The next day $2,500,000.00 this same gold went by train from Vancouver, in Canada, to Seattle in the United States, to be refined and minted there. Of course the inference to be drawn from this transaction would naturally be that the gold belonged to citizens of the United States of America, and that its passage through this part of Canada was the result of the accident of its owners coming or sending it this way, but such was not the case at all. As a matter of fact, nearly the whole of the $2,500,000.00 be
see the stream of gold from the Yukon and Atlin flow past us to Seattle, carrying with it a large percentage of the trade which should be enjoyed by the cities of British Columbia. Almost daily comes announcements that quantities of the precious metal are on their way, some by Canadian and some by American steamers, to the Assay office at the Sound city. As Mr. Wilkie said, ' an immense volume of trade is being and will be lost to Canada through returning Yukon miners being forced to take their clean-up to a foreign mint.'
"At the general meeting of the Bank of Commerce, General Manager Walker said—
In the Yukon district the output of gold has carried Canada from a position of insignificance as a gold a gold producer to the fifth position among other nations. From 1887 to 1894 inclusive, we produced only about a million dollars' worth of gold annually. For 1899 official records give us credit for $18,000,000, counting the Yukon district as $14,000,000. Our own careful examination of Assay office records, however, gives $16,000,000 for the Yukon, making a total for Canada of $20,000,000. This year the result will be larger. It is of course unfortunate for the Klondike region that the rush to Cape Nome in Alaska may lessen the supply of labour and thus prevent the reduction of wages to a more reasonable figure. But the adverse influence of this can only be temporary.'
"New discoveries, especially those of gold-bearing conglomerate or quartz reefs, are making more sure the permanence of the northern fields as producers of the yellow metal. Quite characteristically, the slow-moving eastern mind refuses to take in the significance of all these facts and leave the rut in which the conditions of former days have placed it. If our people had been half as keen and half as much alive to their own interests as our neighbours to the south they would have long ere this have taken measures to keep their riches for themselves. Instead of listening patiently to a lot
of old-fogey cautions and platitudinous arguments against the establishment of a national mint, they would simply have insisted that a mint is necessary to meet the new conditions presented. The objections offered look extremely childish in the light of the advantages in the matter of trade which a mint would secure to the country. There is no valid objections to Canada having a gold coinage produced in her own mints. Even little Newfoundland finds it advantageous to have its own gold coinage, though it is not a producer of gold to any extent, and its mintage is done in England. Why should Canada hesitate to go a little further and mint its own gold coinage?
"If we are not to have a mint, it will surely be possible to convince the overcautious people in the east that Government Assay offices are at least within the country's capacity. It would cost only a few thousands of dollars yearly to carry on two such offices, at Dawson and Vancouver, and the return of profit would be very considerable. Their presence would afford some measure of relief, but to meet the situation fully a mint would be necessary. The country should no longer have to reproach itself for inability to keep its gold and the trade that goes with it. Canadians sleep while their resources go to enrich the foreigner."
Apparently the Government has decided to meet the agitation with an experiment in the nature of a Government Assay office at Dawson, where the gold will be taken at its exact worth, and bank certificates issued for its value. This announcement has appeared in Western papers recently, and has not been denied by the Eastern journals that are likely to have knowledge of the subject. The full Government announcement will no doubt be made by the Premier or the Minister of the Interior at an early date.
An Assay office at Dawson will enable the Government to collect the gold and direct it into such channels that the United States will not be able to fictitiously include Canadian gold in its total mineral production. It will en
GURRENT EVENTS ABROAD by W. Sanford Evans
AST month it was universally accepted that the Legations at Pekin had been overwhelmed and little doubt was entertained that all the foreigners had perished, either during the attack, or afterward, by some refinement of Oriental cruelty. Such a tragedy has been averted by the brilliant march of the relieving force. That the Allies arrived in time was owing partly to the heroic self-defence of the little colony of foreigners, and partly to a change of policy on the part of the Chinese leaders. They hesitated to commit a crime that would have made it impossible for them afterward to deal with other nations on the basis of international law or morals; and they believed also that they could hold the foreigners as hostages to be sacrificed if the allies persisted in an advance. Most of the soldiers were sent out of Pekin to meet the Allies on the road, and those that remained either had not the courage to press home their attack on the Legations despite the policy of the Government, or were kept under a degree of control. Whatever plans there might have been were, however, disconcerted by the splendid dash of the relieving force. Too great credit Too great credit cannot be given to the officers and men of that force; yet it must be admitted that the Chinese made absurdly
poor use of their numbers and opportunities. The advance began about the first of August, and on the fifth a sharp engagement was fought at Pietsang. The Chinese had chosen their position with considerable skill and defended it bravely for a time, but no very formidable resistance was offered at any other point. They were poorly organized and poorly led. It is surprising that the lessons of the South African war with regard to flanking movements had not made some impression upon the Chinese generals. China is yet no match for the powers she challenged. It is a matter of deep thankfulness that she was not able to carry out her darkest designs upon the foreigners within her capital. The whole situation has been rendered less acute by the relief of the Legations.
But the problem is still exceedingly complicated. China is not conquered. If an invading force should land at St. John, N.B., and march upon Fredericton, we would not consider that Canada had been conquered. If the capital had been at Fredericton we would move it to westward, even to Winnipeg or Edmonton if necessary. At the time of writing it is impossible to tell just what has happened or is happening at Pekin. All that is known
The Boxers Annihilating Missionaries.
SUGGESTIONS FOR A CHINESE CARTOON ON ASSIMILATING MOVEMENTS THE WORLD OVER. -The Atlanta Constitution.
is that the Legations have been relieved and that fighting is still going on. We do not even know that the Chinese Court has left Pekin. Under these circumstances it is useless to comment upon the situation of the moment. There are, however, aspects of more permanent interest. Will the native Chinese unite against the Manchus and try to set up a native dynasty? If the allies could keep their selfish ambitions under control and would aid such a movement and regulate it, we would probably have the best solution of the difficulties. How does Japan look upon the situation, and what are her designs? How is Britain meeting the crisis? About Russia there is no uncertainty. She will, if she can, overrun and hold Manchuria. Germany, too, will take all she can get. Neither of these powers will be content without some substantial territorial acquisitions; and France will claim her share.
The United States alone among the allies appears not to be interested in Chinese territory. Most of the powers profess to favour a stable and independent government for China, and an "open door" for commerce; but Russia's seizure of territory, for which the invasion of Siberia has offered a plausible pretext, is certain to lead to a demand on the part of Germany, France, Austria and Italy for compensation in like kind. We must, therefore, dismiss the idea that the powers will withdraw and leave Chinese territory as they found it. Either China will ultimately drive them. out, or they will establish themselves in all her best harbours and exercise sway over as much of the hinterland as they find it convenient and profitable to hold.
What about Japan? For three hundred years, at least, she has had territorial ambitions on the mainland. As long ago as the 16th century she overran Corea, which was in the position of a vassal State to China. Corean and Chinese troops together finally drove her out of every part except the port of Fusan, where she has ever since retained a foothold. In 1876, first of all the powers now interested, she made a commercial treaty with Corea, and in 1884 she made a treaty with China which provided among other things that China would not destroy the independence of Corea. In 1894, contrary to this agreement, China decided to send troops into Corea to quell an insurrection. Japan had been preparing for just such action by China or some other nation and war began, with the result that the Japanese possessed themselves of the Liao-tung peninsula, part of the province of Shan Tung, and took by storm