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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 19, 1921, Lethbridge, Alberta F MORBGHC THE LETHBR1DCB WEDNESDAY. JANUARY 19, THE CANADIAN _BANK OF COMMERCE At the Fifty-fourth Annual Meeting; of tha Held in Toronto on llth January, ihe Largest Earnings in the History of the Bank Were Reported M the Result of the Bank's Bjiness for the Second Year in Canada's Reconstruction Period. The President, Sir Bdmimd Walker, took the chair and. after Iho usual organization proceedings, Ilio following I'rolit and Loss statement for the year lOth November lust was submitted: Balance at credit of Profit and Loss Account, brought forward from, last year Net profits for tlie year ending 00th November, after providing for all bad and" doubtful debts the .Dominion and Imperial Govern- ments. There has been Increase which have played a oiuliluritbU, Hun. baaed uot on In dint rial enter- part IB it speculation on d V ituck iu of these I but on creating of sevculM exchanges, I wealth from the evidences of debt which has been so prevalent In some Issued by Governments living beyond parts of Canada. Yv'hon the stocks, thf.it jiuaiu. Warnings that coutlnu- speculated In those dealt In on lance meant ruin were not wanting, the New York market, calls for mar-j but they met with lltOe more response gins have to be to instant-, than warnings usually do. There was ly, and the Hiiddon demand thus ere- widespread unrest, as labor did not ited for New York I'mids has on ser-1 remain satlsllttd with any strike ad- caune Them are c-ral occasions been sharp advance iu also at present large at money, belonging corporations .1-773S40 in'Tal'i nnd'fhnri" loans, both in Can-1 transfer of a large part of the.., Ill and elsewhere, tho increase In j connection with thu preparationof tho former case being merely a nom- i financial statements mid other end-of- In n time of uncertainty and This has been appropriated as follows: Dividends Nos. 1-12, 133. I'll, and 135. at twelve per cent, per Sl 979 37 Instability such as the present, It Is v.-ril to strengthen all our lines of il in the case of loans In lion to reflect annum Bonus of one per cent., pa Dominion and Provincial Government taxes note circulation Written, off Rank Premises Transferred to Pension Fnnd Balance carried forward ,00, a York, Ihe principal call money J alone among the 'looWci) market of this continent this has, world in having t ju !tment which Immediately mot high- er prices for commodities. Bankers found It Impossible to grant credits the banks and wealthy I which weru steadily made larger by In the United on two proportions, larger quantities and deposit In the Canadian banks, await-! higher prices, Thus, wltb tho efforts ing a favorable ex I'oan The addition to our.profits has b6en the result, partly of the activity of general business during most of the year and the consequent brisk de-j mand for money which has kept all; which these subscriptions .vallable funds fully employed, we feel proud of the aid af- partly of the.fact that wo have'been by our customers to the Oof- Havana was the first to be opened, and we are well satisfied with the progress so far made and with our prospects for the future. Kingston, follow, and raw silk, rubber, hides, sugar, cotton, manufactured textiles, clothing, boots and field pro- ducts and meat In certain forms, one. by one, have had declines lu price, often sensational beyond anything In recent years. Our Foreign Trade Reviewing as usual our awn for- eign trade, we find tho total of ex- ports and imports for 1S20 to be of the suspension of the system of i as compared with re- Government purchase and sale of the vised figures for 1919 of Australian wool clip. The old machin- ery for handling the wool has not yet been restored, and in tho meantime some difficulty has occurred, in financ- ing Australian Imports--. It Is hoped that the situation will be relieved be- fore long when eiports of Australian wheat, wool and meats go forward. The situation In India, New Zealand and South Africa Is of x somewhat similar character, but not so pro- nounced. Foreign Trade and It In unfortunate that these ex- change difficulties should arise just at the time when strong efforts were bo- Ing made to eitend the foreign trade of Canada. Undoubtedly the situation as regards foreign trade is a most difficult one at the present time, not only because of exchange questions, but also because oC the Instability of the financial situation in many foreign countries. The collapse of sugar prices in Cuba and elsewhere is one instance of this, and in a period of falling prices all over the world it is admittedly a most difficult matter to extend foreign trade. Nor is the prob- lem rendered- any more easy of solu- tion by the high level in Canada of all costs of production, including wa- ges. A3 pointed out recently by a high authority in England, "only the country In which prices are compara- Jamaica, came next in the point of In addition to the regular dividend IIIB of that ot the national welfare, of .twelve per cent, per annum, we Government Balances Keeping pace with the grpwth of the Bank'3 busineSB there been a paid last December a bonus of one On tho other hand, our deposits not lv w, u u u u -11, stcauy increase in 106 stftir, puniy per cent., making a total distribution bearing interest have decreased by tllrough the appointment to the per- ad. and while primarily a war mea- tfl n.IV nt tntvfnnT. n n amnMltf fllmncf armnl .V 1 1 ________ available to the banks under tho pro- visions of the Finance Act of 1914 are amply sufficient for all that Is requlr- to our shareholders of thirteen per an amount almost equal cent, for the year. We have appro- to the increase iu our interest-bearing priated towards the heavy] deposits. This is inoro than account- i taxes we are now called on to pay ed lor by the decrease in Dominion I during the war haye aultable. It thought that on the retllrn of our to the Governments of the Dominion Government balances, whkh a yearjmen from overseas most of on and of tho various Provinces of Can- i ago Included a large part of tho pro-, (he tompormry staff wouia have to give I way to permit their reinstatement, sure, the principles embodied in It may well serve us In times of peace. Government Ownership Tho important experiment lias re- cently been tried by the Dominion Government of placing the manage- ment of the railway ada, including in this the tax on ouriceeds of tbe last Victory Loan. It. wa note circulation imposed under the j must also be remembered that t w d t, t th growth! lines in Canada in the hands of a provisions of the Special War Revenue the demand for money, and be re-; has made it possible corporation, th" ownership and coif- Act of 1915. -vve increased our ap.'strain! on the further nliation of f t sdo t th wehave trol of wh ch reside in th -vve increased our np- straint on outlined. An increase of thirty-four last year to JSOO.OOO this' exercise, tend to decrease the hal year. The high cost of all building; ances carried by business houses operations in this country, and our' large commercial companies In their expenditures on promises for the Jpr- j current accounts. Another cause oign branches recently opened, make which has militated against an in- this a prudent step. Increase to Pension Fund We have transferred to the Officers' Pension Fund, an increase of the farmer does not pay his debts, which has militated against crease in deposits has been the slow marketing of last year's grain. This tends also to keop up loans, for If in the nnmber of branches also ac- counts to some extent for the in- creased slaff. Naw York Exchange Probably at no time In the history of this country have questions con- nected with the foreign exchange oc- cupied so prominent a place in the for the year, partly to provide the retailer is unable to pay the w for the growth of the staff, and partly, saler, and the wholesaler lean uecausc the actuarial on the manufacturer. All along which took place during tbe year, line they will borrow from their made it clear that tuia was neco.sHary. bankers to the fullest extent possible. As you know, it is our custom every! public mind as during the past year. Grain and a Falling Market Tc is regretfcnblo that, the farmer, In ten years to have tho fund examined by an actuary, and we base our con- tributions upon his report. This year it showed that, owing to the Increase: ket which lias fallen In the general level of salaries, thc' of harre'st Tho closeness of our relations with the great English-speaking nation to L of us has made the prevail- ing high premium on New York ex- change a- matter of moment to a very large number of Canadians. It has iconic before them not only as vitally this and oilier countries should he i affecting importers or exporters deal- ------------J to hold his grain on a mar-1 ing with tho United States, but rapidly: among other things, as having a di-jidea that the Govern- ment. The experiment is an interest- ing one, and bids fair to determine the feasibility of successfully carry- Ing on the business of a great cor- poration under Government ownership. 000. and for 191S of Unfortunately the increase over 1919 is almost entirely in imports, so that the Increase in volume, far from being gratifying, Is distinctly the reverse. With a slightly larger total of exports, we imported nearly 150 millions more than in 1919. Thus the excess of ex- ports fell to the lowest point reached in the last fonr years. The fiscal year ends- In March, but the unfortunate tendency of our foreign trade is much more "evident when we compare the six months' period ending in Septem- ber. During that period In our surplus of exports was while in 1920 owe have actually ported more than we have exported, a change for the worse of over 300 millions and a complete re- versal of our trade position. The po- sition of our exports for the fiscal year, taken alone, Is quite satisfactory. During the war our exports were swollen by the Item of explosives, but th's baa now been reduced to small figures. It amounted to 388 millions in 1918, to 251 millions In 1919 and to only 13 millions In 1920, so that to keep our exports from diminishing we had to find new merchandise to export in 1920 amounting to about 240 millions, and we actually did so to tho value of about. 257 millions. The increases under the general head- ings are as follows: grain, flour and all vegetable products (except chemi- cals, wood and fibres) 127 mil- lions, animals and their products (ex- cept chemicals and fibres) 69 millions; fibres and textiles, 6 millions; wood and wood products and paper, 59 millions; ships, 28 millions. Against this we have important declines la copper, nickel, gold, silver and other metals and metallic products of about 25 millions. In the six months' per- iod ending September, we have, how- over, a great change. In grains, flour, etc., we have a loss of 45 millions; in animals and their products, 63 mil- lions; in flbrus, etc., S millions; in various other items, la millions; while In wood, paper, etc., there is a, gain of 63 millions, and In Iron, other metals and non-metallic minerals, there is a gain of 13 millions. The total shows a falling off of 40 at that people coming Io Canada from Ciroat Urltaio art aid profoundly astoulHhed at lavhk expenditure of tanner at a time when the world is so full of rval trouble? The New United States Tariff If we turn to the figures for our foreign Irate we And that our exports consisted In value of 639 .millions In uuuaufauturwl articliu and mil- lions lu These foodstuffs wtro shipped to C.reat Urltaln to the of 34K millions and to the Unit- ed States to the extent of 134 Foodstuffs thui form a most Import- ant put of our power to pay for at 801 millions from tile United States, of which, by the way, 12> millions represent bought by us from them. Trade between countries, howover uuch confused with foreign qxchange and postponed settlements Security. Government Municipal Railway Public service corporation. Miscellaneous............. -a Amount. were made, followed by only durlttc Ibo six montbH ending 30th November, 1910. We may therefore hope that the back of our direct war expenditure is broken, There li still due by Britain and by foreign govern. menu but the amount by Ureat Britain has been deducted In estimating the aet debt As tbe heavy paymeuts caused by the war are now nearly at an end, we can, ing regard to established systems of taxation, begin to estimate our actual IMVRltloa as to dubt and our capacity to deal wltb u, Bale- ft Sscurltlee The sales ot Canadian securities for 1990 have of course fallen to lower figures because of the absence of popular Dominion Government loami in Canada. The. figures are as fol- lows; Canada. United .States. Great Brliailt, Total, 1S20 100% 32.82% 67.18% Comparative figures for 1911 100% 1J.54% .57% lions. Increase In Imports It is in our Imports that we hare exhibited a most unfortunate lack of appreciation of Individual and na- tions! responsibility. Our Imports for fiscal year ending in March were 145 millions larger than in 1919, but jince one item connected with the There have been many obstacles to war, articles imported for tho Army overcome at tho start, and the traffic. 1antl Navy, amounting in 1919 to BO conditions of the year have not facili-j millions, has practically disappeared, tated the task of thoco in charge, but! we llave Eono wrong to the extent of It is only fair that they should be I nearly 200 millions. The excess of given full opportunity to demonstrate 83 millions in vegetable products their ability to carry on the enterprise and to make tho experiment a suc- cess. i Hopeful Outlook The year we have just parsed through boen one of surprises. At its commencement the tide of ris- ing prices seemed unchecked, and the was imminent covers such Items as distilled bever- ages, 7 millions; fruits, 11 millions; by sales of securities, Is a matter ot exchanging merchandise. How could we have imagined, therefore, that the United States, the creditor nation of the world at the moment, while await- ing a revision of their tariff looking to higher protection, would pass in Congress a bill placing an embargo for ten months upon foodstuffs ship- ped by Canada and other countries, all of whom are doubtless depending on these products to pay for the pro- ducts they are buying from tbe United States? These are the days of em- bargoes, tariff revisions, and newly devised schemes to preserve prices, which are doomed to readjustment, but we can only hope that the Senate will not approve oi.such unfriendly and destructive legislation. It is evl- We have again been given by a most competent authority an estimate of the amount of our securities held abroad. These are now estimated at held In Oreat Britain and European countries, and held in the United States. If we calculate the interest on the for- mer, which were financed before the war, 4% per cent., and on the latter at per cent, the total of our inter- est payments would be about annually. Doubtless there are securities held abroad which are not included in this calculation, and the high rates lately paid for loans may increase the average beyond the rate of 5% per cent., so that tbe actual amount we have to pay Is doubtless midway between 183 millions and the dent, In view of tne present relations sum of 190 millions suggested year of the American and Canadian dollar, that our rejoinder must be to put an end to an equal amount of purchases from the United States. The Cattle Embargo ago. Shrinkage of Credit A year ago the cry in every direc- tion waa for more production and more efficiency in labor, better and Rejection on the markets for our less costly conditions in exports brings up the question as to how long the British embargo on Can- adian cattle Is to last. For about thirty years, during which time Great tlon, andva cessation of Government borrowings and of credit inflation. The enormous quantities of unsold commodities at the present time seem Britain has been supposed to be a, Inconsistent with the cry for greater free-trade country, our live cattle have been excluded from the British mar- ket, unless Immediately slaughtered, on the pretext of tho necessity of keeping British herds free from dis- ease. No proof of any danger from production at that time, but it is doubtful If there is any real Incon- sistency. Except for stocks of certain. t commodities held, by Governments who continued -to exercise control over trade and did not liquidate these our cattle has been shown, and It is stocks at the close of the war, it is generally admitted that the embargo Is simply a case of extreme protec- tion for British cattle breeders against the Interests of the meat consumers of Great Britain, and particularly questionable if there are more com- modities than the world needs for its ordinary comfort. The trouble does not arise from over-production, except aa to luxuries, but from a sudden against the business Interests' of about i shrinkage of credit operations, a vast British butchers who wish It psychological change in tha middle- removed. May we not hope that In this day when the problem of feeding the people of Oreat Britain is so diffi- cult, such an irritating obstacle may be removed? If the British meat con- sumer understands that there In noth- ing whatever the matter with Canad- ian live stock as such, and still de- sires this protection for cattle breed- ers at home, we of course have noth- ing to but we should like to feel sure that he does understand. Our Field Craps The value of tho Hold crops of Can- ada for 1920 is estimated by the Do- minion Bureau of Statistics at men who buy and sell between the producer and the consumer, and' fol- lowing these factors, and to some ex- tent because of them, from a sudden falling away of the buying power, and a distinct change in the desire to buy, of the people generally! Fiom a per. iod of expansion marked by the most extravagant buying ever known, wo have entered upon a period of liquida- tion. We are just as bent now on finding a sure bottom as wo were on finding 'the dizzy top a year ago. Decline in Prices The Monthly Review of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York at 638.fiS4.000. as against revised figures i close of November quotes the decline for 1919 of An Import-! In commodity prices-from the peak as ant change has been made in the pre- i about' 10 to 14 per cent, in Great naration of this report. Hitherto it has been prepared by the Bureau, for Canada as a whole. Now it has tha benefit of consultation with each of the nine provincial departments of agriculture. The prices also are tak- en from those current in the respec- tive localities, and in view of the failing tendency at present, the total estimate may therefore turn out to be too high. The increase in the esti- mate ot about is derived Britain, 11 per cent, in Canada, in the United States various estimates from 14 to 33 per ceot., in France It per cent., and in Japan 2S per cent. Tlie decline of the past six months in the United States is said to be. more abrupt than anything since the same period at the close of the Civil While there must have boeu countless perplexing and grave problems, often involving totals in money which were enormous relatively to past experi- ence, it is greatly to the credit ot modern banking in most countries has i rect bearing on many investments i was altogether preportor-l millions, of which the large items rubber, 5 millions; stmar, 34 millions; from Increases In wheat of tea, coffee etc., 12 millions. Tbe In potatoes of In hay, moueru UUIII.IHB m cumunus cess m animals and their products and clover of in rootsl that we have been able to meet these 63 millions, of which the large items j0f with decreases In oats'! situations as they have arisen. Em- arc: furs, hides, leather, etc., 30 Of f in barley of i bargoes and moratoriums are still millions and meat lli millions. The land In other grains of We I necessary, and the foreign exchange in fibres, textiles, etc., is 53 1 have about 100 million burials more difficulties are not always' subject to wheat than in 1M9, so that the ac- settlement by a mere premium or dig- of continuins to do i which they hold or desire to buy xactly what has hap-j arn: cottons, 14 millions; curacy of the estimate depends much Profit and Loss Account After making these appropriation.-? we have been ablo to carry forward; Bigns around him. Them is noth- more than inB in tho other items of our liablll conditions the business ......jrlunata some of tho underlying elementary mult aim to work hard and avoid i and metals and otlior minerals, we tarmer feels constrained to hold his, principles. These attracted wide- extravagant if the damage caused to I actually imported 152 millions worth grain, unconscious of thn meaning of spread attention and were aubso-jboth property and credit by thc late' if a war is to im repaired. n.uently reprinted la the form small brochure for general distribu- _ sru- In vlow o[ the unsettled: ties which calls for comment, save! tlon. The subject has, of course many at present prevailing in that we may say. In passing, that the! bearings and can bo discussed from world, and Aa an Instance The Pr.-MdoiH then said: President's Address The year has Iran as full ot Wshly as other recent liilo much that has hap- I Important events years, but whilo under letters many points o! view. of credit no doubt reflects to some wo may point out that the premium ly place. Deposits Increase Ttte Increase in onr note circulation Is all Indication of a large Velnnie of current business, but a very proportion of the total, which iiands at As Imsi- slackens and prices fall we may look for some reduction In Our ilepoBiti iind, a Almost tlie samclevel as a Increase being only a a quarter of a mil- tat deposits bearing in- stable part of deposit by tbi under tiio heading either of gold f-oiu or of legal tender note. Total cash- on hand has increased ?4, and stands in. 14 jier cent, of onr lia- bilities to tho nubile, with so-called quick assftts at 44.50 per i-niit. of these liabtMUes. There- been a reduc- as you are doubtlesa aware, the rate of exchange on New York rose very high, reaching per cent, on De- cember 21st, tho highest point on record. and Csutes sf High Rates In addition to tho causes usually in-1 assigned for thin condition, which tion in our investments crease in our loans. the former in last excessive buying report Dominion.and Provincial Government securities and of in British, foreign and colonial public securitli'.fl and Canadian municipal securities, tn both cauca th from the United States, especially of luxuries, and the payment of interest on our Indebtedness to country, tho burden of which Increases with both caaoa the reductions are due tolovory sale of Car.artlaii' securities, the IMU'maut of war au or and In tho efficiency of workers gen- erally. It must also be a source of genuine satisfaction to all fair-minded people that we are now fully entered upon that adjustment of prices, both for commodities and labor, upon the reasonable settlement of which all hope for nur future happiness ami prosperity rests. The Strain on Credit A year ago we wore etlll IsFlhe full tide of high prices, high wages, sup- plies unecnial to the ismand, Ineffi- cient labor, inefficient transportation, recklesn spending and all the other it ma.. of merchandise in excess of our ex- ports. Except in the one item' of animals and their products, there are increases of from nearly 50 to over 100 per cent, under all general head- Ings. Exports to Great Britain Tiio excess of exports to Great Britain, which in 191S was as high as 77S millions, was In the fiscal year 1980. :I70 millions, still a very satis- factory figure. For tho six months' period, however, It fell from 236 mil- lions in 1919 to 28 millions in 1820. The excess of imports from the Unit- ed States for tha fiscal year was 300 millions, against 272 millions In 1919. For tho nix months' period it was 210 millions, agalni't 136 millions. In 1919. When we look at the third set of 'figures now supplied by the Govern- ment, that Is, from September, 1919, to September, 1920, the full force of our extravagance- In evident. In that imrlod we exported less by 23 mil- lions than in the previous twelve months,