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The Canadian agency and British investment in western Canadian land 1905-1915.

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posted on 2015-11-19, 09:13 authored by John F (John Frederick) Gilpin
The Canadian Agency was established in 1906 by Arthur Morton Grenfell for the purpose of organizing British capital for investment in Canada. The role of this agency was to promote Canadian interests in London, create a market for Canadian shares and bring quality Canadian stocks to this market to ensure its proper operation. The creation of the Canadian Agency took place at an opportune moment to reap the potential benefits of handling the increased capital flow from Britain to Canada since British interest in investing in Canada and the capital needs of the Canadian economy were starting to rise dramatically because of railway construction, immigration, urbanization, consolidation within various industries and the anxieties of the British aristocracy over the economic policies of Lloyd George. The timing of the creation of the Canadian Agency does not, however, indicate that Arthur Grenfell recognized this trend and acted upon this knowledge accordingly. The Canadian Agency's creation derived from more personal reasons which included the Fourth Earl Grey's appointment to the office of Governor-General of Canada which served as the catalyst for Arthur Grenfell to create this family and class based investment group. In the context of the relationship between Britain and Canada, the collapse of the Canadian Agency represents a lost opportunity to establish a stronger economic relationship between the two countries and provides a perfect example for the critics of Canadian investment which had predicted a disastrous end to the Canadian boom.


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Historical Studies

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University of Leicester

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