5 MAY 1923, Page 26


The election of Mr. Montagu Collet Norman as Governor of the Bank of England for the fourth year in succession commands approval in the City. Ilis election is, I imagine, a precedent in the history of the Bank of England during times of peace, although during the War period the late Lord Cunliffe served for a similar period. Allowing, however, for the fact that Mr. Norman really began to render valuable assistance in the active management of the bank so far back as 1916, his direct association with the responsibility for the conduct of affairs at the central institution is of something like seven years' duration. It is because of this unique know- ledge of War and post-War financial problems, and the able manner in which Mr. Norman has discharged his duties during these most difficult years, that the City welcomes his re-election for a fourth year of office. It is a matter of real regret that the former Deputy, Mr. Henry Alexander Trotter, should have been unable to accept a further period of office, for during the three years he has filled the position of Deputy his zeal and abilities have been recognized by all who have come in contact with him. His successor, Mr. Cecil Lubbock, brings, however, to his post not only the experience gained by many years of service on the Board but a very wide experience of financial and business affairs, and his appointment as Deputy to Mr. Norman is also approved in the City.

For the sake of Canadian credit in general, I trust that the Canadian Government will make a prompt rejoinder to the case which has recently been made out afresh for the Grand Trunk Pacific Four Per Cent. Debenture stockholders. Briefly, the committee representing the stockholders maintain the following points :— "(1) That the Canadian _people pledged themselves through the mouths of their responsible Ministers to accept liability for the dcbt to us, and that, in reliance on these pledges,. holders of our Deben- tures who were holders also of Grand Trunk stocks supported the

resolution which surrendered the control of the Grand Trunk Railway to the Government ;

(2) That the inequity of paying the full amount of the Grand Trunk Guaranteed shareholders' dividend, while leaving wholly unpaid the interest on the Grand Trunk Pacific Debentures, which tulinittedly rank in priority to the Guaranteed stock, is indisputable."

The committee, however, although representing their case very strongly to the Canadian Government some five months ago, appear at present to have had no notice taken of their representation, and that is why I suggest that matters can scarcely rest where they are. The committee is quite a responsible one, including the well-known railway expert, Sir William Acworth. The Canadian Government will doubtless see the desirability, therefore, either of yielding to the representations made by the Grand Trunk Pacific Bondholders or of demonstrating that they are justified in refusing on the grounds both of legality and equity.

The firmness of Banking and Insurance shares continues to be one of the minor features of the Stock Markets, and while many of the insurance companies have issued good reports, the results by the banks for the current half year have yet to be disclosed, the favourable point in the meantime, however, being the rise in securities of the class so largely held by them. Among the insurance reports which have been issued during the past week that of the Standard Life Assurance shows that the net amount of new life insurances continues to be well main- tained, the amount last year being £2,075,000, giving new net premiums of £84,171. Claims during the year under life policies amounted to £928,000. At the annual meeting the chairman (Mr. A. R. C. Pitman), after reminding his hearers that, thanks to the previous stringent valuation methods, the company had been able to pay a satisfactory bonus to its policyholders in respect of the whole period of the War, stated that it was the intention to adopt equally stringent methods of valuation in the future.

A. W. K.