October 21st, 1925

October 21st, 1925

Halifax Currency

An article entitled "Canada’s Dollar System Accidental," Which appeared in The Register of September 30, is, in some respects, decidedly misleading.

In the first place, the name of the Canadian dollar is not accidental. The word "dollar" is derived from the German "thaler" the name of coin first issued in Bohemia some 400 years ago.

Neither is the system accidental. It is, rather, a natural result of conditions prevailing throughout North America during pioneer years. Without mines and producing little, if anything, for export, there was nothing to make coins of at home and nothing to pay for them abroad. The Spanish settlements were more favorably situated and the peso or Mexican dollar was, for many years, the only coinage circulating to any extent, in the northern parts of the continent. That the dollar, under these conditions, became the name of the unit of currency can scarcely be called an accident.

In Volume XX of the "Collections of the Nova Scotia Historical Society" there appears a most instructive paper entitled "Halifax Currency." This paper was read before the Society at its meetings in May, 1915, by Mr. Horace A. Fleming, of Halifax. In the first paragraph of this paper Mr. Fleming quotes from a paper read before the Royal Society of Canada in 1892, the writer of which says that "No Colonial Government has given the currency questions such careful attention or made such good provision for the monetary wants of the people as that of Nova Scotia." A knowledge of this fact might have prevented the sneering reference to Nova Scotia not adopting "the same standard as one of the colonies," which appears in the article copied by The Register. The nearest other colony at the time referred to was Massachusetts and the monetary system of that colony was in such shape that, in 1748, it required 1100 New England currency to retire a British draft for 100 sterling. This was the result of issuing paper money without making provision for its redemption.

New England conditions were remedied in 1750, the British Government advancing money to enable the colony to stabilize its currency. The "old Halifax currency" system was probably adopted in Nova Scotia at the same time, but who was its author is unknown. The statement in the article referred to that its ratio to the pound sterling was $4.44-9 is misleading. That ratio was a matter of exchange rather than of intrinsic value. The silver dollars then in circulation were valued at five shillings each and four of them equaled a pound, Halifax currency and five of them a pound sterling. This system was in use in Nova Scotia until 1861, though long before that date the Mexican dollar had been superseded by British coins of silver and gold and Nova Scotian pennies and half-pennies of copper.

The earliest reference to Halifax currency that Mr. Fleming is able to give is dated 1756. It is a bill from the Captain of a vessel employed in deporting the Acadians from Nova Scotia. He had carried 56 "at 9s, per two, Halifax Currency, 12-12s." which, he says "is lawful money 15-2-5." This bill is made out to a Boston firm which appears to have had a contract for deporting the Acadians. It would seem to show that a Halifax pound was worth one-fifth more than a Boston pound.

When the decimal system of currency was enacted into a law in Nova Scotia, shortly aft the General Election of 1859, Halifax currency still remained the basis. One pound, Halifax, became four dollars, and one pound sterling, five dollars. The British shilling, colloquially known as "one-and-threepence" or "fifteen pence" was a quarter dollar, the sixpence, ("seven pence ha’penny") twelve-and-a-half cents. This though what are now known as the Upper Provinces of Canada had already adopted the United States system of currency: - $4.86 2 3 to the pound sterling. Four years after Confederation, - in 1871 – this system was made uniform throughout Canada and "Halifax Currency" became a memory.


October 21, 1925

To The Women Voters Of Hants-Kings, Nova Scotia

In years gone by a few women in advance of their time advocated the enfranchisement of their sex. That has now become a reality – the common property of Canadian Womanhood.

Ever alone the time in the dim and distant past of which it was written, "male and female created H them, " the male has managed to predominate in the management and manipulation of political affairs. The female has borne the blame of the exile from Eden and all the hard knocks which that exile has entailed. Now that she has been given the right of the franchise, so long denied her, though that right has been exercised but a few years, she has been censured for not purifying what the "Lords of Creation" are wont to call "the dirty game of politics."

It must be frankly admitted that to a comparatively large number of women the vote is still regarded somewhat in the nature of a foundling laid on their doorsteps. They have not even yet taken kindly to it. It is equally clear that it will take years of education and training in this field, so new to womanhood, before they will learn to use their franchise and the power that accompanies it for the betterment of their country and the common good. That is not to be set down as a thing peculiar to women, for everyone knows, who thinks at all, on the disadvantages of the universal franchise, that the vote of the "moron" who scarce knows his right hand from his left, can nullify the vote of the most cultured conscientious and high minded citizen. It is not that the unfortunate "moron" desires to do his country an injury, but that he frequently becomes a tool in the hands of some unscrupulous party boss, and as a reward for his assistance to the party, he not infrequently returns from the polls illuminated with the newest brand of moonshine.

More than that, the votes of the most worthy citizens are often nullified by otherwise decent people, who when the battle is on, and the party slogan is sounded, fall in with the doctrine, "my party right or wrong," and with the equally vicious principle, "Victory at any price." The result is that our federal elections are in grave danger of becoming nothing more nor less than a national auction.

Here is seems to me is woman’s big opportunity – the opportunity of political house-cleaning. She has learned well the domestic art of house-cleaning and she should be ready for her part in the cleaning of the national house. Unfortunately we have not organized here in Nova Scotia a League of Women voters, which no doubt will be organized later. Therefore it is, we are unprepared for a clean-up movement that is province-wide.

But there is something the women of Kings-Hants can do, and can do now, in the coming federal election. My suggestion is that the organized women of each party apply to their county executives of kings-Hants met and draw up a mutual agreement, eliminating the auction element and the rum element from the campaign.

Their suggestion will, I know well, provoke laughter in certain quarters, as all high-minded and patriotic movements have created in the hands of short-sighted and sordid politicians from time immemorial. To some of them an election without rum and money is like a sawmill without water, or a military campaign without ammunition. But such men do not constitute the solid strength of either party in Kings-Hants, and the opportunity of such men should not prevent the women of both parties from doing their duty. The very fact that women are criticized in the few short years they are in the game for their failure to purify politics, is proof positive that the rank and file of men voters are even now looking to women to exert a purifying influence. So let the Eves of Kings-Hants invite the Adams of the same constituency to partake of the fruit of political purity, the eating of which will bring bloom rather than blight and which will go far toward making the part of the Dominion in which our lot is cast a veritable "Garden of the Lord."


Berwick Register,

October 21, 1925

"Chilled Cod Oil"

Carload of Liquor, So Labelled, and Valued at $15,000 Seized on South Shore

One of the largest and most valuable seizures of liquor ever made on the South Shore was carried out at the Public Wharf, near Allandale Station, October 10th, by Custom Officers from Liverpool, who found a Canadian National Express refrigerator car loaded with choice brands of the best quality and marked "Chilled Cod Oil." The car was immediately taken charge of by the Customs men, who had it shipped to Liverpool to await shipment to the Customs at Halifax.

Customs officials declined to divulge the names of the shippers, or to whom the goods were cosigned, and beyond stating that the seizure was a valuable one, were very non-committal. The car is said to have contained three hundred cases, with an estimated value of $15,000.