Page 7 - Reflexions of African Bishops and Priests
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               Historical Notes on Social Credit

         The origins of the Movement founded by Louis Even

            It is Louis Even who wrote the following article, in   bear on the study of money and credit. And everyone
        1964. He did not sign it, and he speaks of himself in   set out to find a book on that topic, an existing book or
        the third person.                                    manuscript that would be printed at Garden City Press.
                                        It is in the last                        Research
                                    months of 1934  that
                                    Louis Even read for the      The call for a book was launched in The Instructor,
                                    first time a book on So-  organ of the circle published during the winter months.
                                    cial Credit.             Answers came: books, pamphlets, a few manuscripts.
                                                             Upon  reception,  Mr.  Harpell  looked  them  over,  and
                                        Mr. Even was then    passed them on to Mr. Even to have his opinion.
                                    working at Garden City
                                    Press, printing shops        Among the works thus received there was, for ex-
                                    of the Industrial and    ample, a large manuscript of Gerald Grattan McGeer,
                                    Educational  Publishing   mayor of Vancouver and federal deputy for Vancou-
                                    Company,  at  Ste-Anne   ver-Burrard (since the senator), who wanted to rem-
                                    de Bellevue, near Mont-  edy the Depression that then raged by an abundance
                                    real.  The president of   of public works that the government would finance by
                                    the company, J. J. Har-  creations of money. The theory may have been gen-
                                                             erous, but surely a bit wild, and it placed too much
        Mr. Even at Garden City Press  pell,  was  more  than   importance  on  the  State  enterprises.  Nevertheless,
                                    a   businessman:   he
        wanted to promote the intellectual development, the   the work of G. G. McGeer was printed by Garden City
        general knowledge, of his employees. To this end, he   Press for the author himself who entitled it The Con-
        had established the Study Circle of Gardenvale (by the   quest of Poverty.
        name of the post office located in the same printing
        shop). Each week, during the winter months, the 120
        or so employees  of  the  establishment  met  together
        every Friday night in the hall of the City Hall for a les-
        son of which Louis Even was the teacher.
                  From electricity to money
            For the lessons of the 1934-35 winter, the topic
        studied was electricity: what everyone should know in
        matters of electricity. A proper book written by Dr. W. L.
        Goodwin and translated by Louis Even had been printed     J.J. Harpell and
        the preceeding summer especially for this winter course.  his printing shop in
            Much was being said at that time about the mon-   Ste-Anne de Bellevue
        opoly of electricity and of its relations with the Royal
        Bank of Canada, then the largest bank of the country.    There was also another manuscript, less volumin-
        And the study of the monopoly of electricity soon led   ous, by Mrs. A. I. Caldwell of Bristol, New Brunswick.
        to the discovery of the existence of the powerful mon-  This lady was the sister of the great fish exporter of
        opoly of money and credit.                           St.  John,  N.B.,  Mr. McLean (made senator since), a
            Besides, Mr. Harpell had already been set on the   man well informed on the present monetary system.
                                                             It is the manuscript of Mrs. Caldwell, entitled Money –
        track by the honorable Fielding, minister of Finances   What is it?, that was chosen as the manual for the next
        of the liberal government in Ottawa. Until his entry to   winter course of the Study Circle of Gardenvale. It was
        the ministry, Mr. Fielding had been editor of the Jour-  translated into French by Louis Even.
        nal of Commerce, printed at Garden City Press. Rela-
        tions between Mr. Harpell and Mr. Fielding were close.   A book was received also, written by Sylvio Gesell,
        And one day, Mr. Fielding, then minister of Finances,   whose theory has made a good number of disciples in
        had told Mr. Harpell: “If you want to know where the   many countries. Gesell recommended a taxed money
        financial  power resides in  Canada,  look towards the   to promote its circulation: the bearer of a bill (paper
        banks and the insurance companies.”                  money) would have to stick to the back of it, on the 1st
            It was therefore decided, right from that winter of   and 15th of each month, a stamp equal to 2 per cent
                                                             of the value of the bill. These stamps, of course, would
        1934-35, that the course of the following winter would                                                                                 7
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