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124   DAYS OF PREPARATION

trous result upon an income derived almost wholly from taxes on imports; so that, as we have already seen, in November the Minister of Finance found himself compelled to spend ten million dollars which he could only obtain by the desperate expedient of working the printing-press overtime. The taxation measures adopted at the emergency session of Parliament in the autumn of 1914 proved to be almost ludicrously inadequate, which was not surprising in view of the impossibility of forming at that time any correct idea of the nature of the European struggle. Borrowing upon any public market did not become possible until the spring of 1915. The expenditure on account of the Canadian Expeditionary Force was at this time being entirely advanced by the British Government, but the reduced national income was not equal even to the task of meeting ordinary current expenditures. This condition of affairs was gradually rectified as economies became possible in various Government undertakings, and as the revenues began to come in from the far-reaching taxation measures of 1915 and subsequent sessions; and when in 1915 there was revealed the astonishing ability of the Dominion Government to borrow in the United States on terms far more advantageous than Great Britain could secure, Canada began to pay her own way not only in peace expenditures but also in the support of her armed forces abroad,—a change which was carried to its logical conclusion when her banks began actually to finance the British Government for some portion of its munition orders placed in the Dominion.

After the first two or three months of war, as the monies expended by the Government on the upkeep and equipment of the Expeditionary Force began to percolate through the country, there began a process of accumulation of funds in the banks which astonished the most optimistic; and when to this supply of funds there were added in 1915 the proceeds of the most gigantic crop on record, at prices above normal, and also those of


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