|1st Governor of the Bank of Canada|
September 8, 1934 – December 31, 1954
|Appointed by||R. B. Bennett|
|Succeeded by||James Coyne|
Graham Ford Towers
September 29, 1897
|Died||December 4, 1975 (aged 78)|
|Alma mater||McGill University|
Born in Montreal, Quebec, educated at St. Andrew's College in Toronto, he graduated from McGill University in 1919. During World War II, he was Chairman of the Foreign Exchange Control Board and Chairman of the National War Finance Committee. From 1944 to 1954, he was President of the Industrial Development Bank and from 1946 until 1954 he was alternate Governor for Canada at the International Monetary Fund. A longtime executive at the Royal Bank of Canada he was a strong proponent of the creation the Bank of Canada, Canada's Central Bank. He led the Bank of Canada for twenty years before he was succeeded by James Coyne. In 1969, he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.
Mr Towers provided evidence for the Canadian Government's Standing Committee on Banking and Commerce, in 1939 and revealed much about the way banking works in Canada. In one exchange with Gerry McGeer he is quoted as saying "If parliament wants to change the form of operating the banking system, then certainly that is within the power of parliament" when asked "Will you tell me why a government with power to create money, should give that power away to a private monopoly, and then borrow that which parliament can create itself, back at interest, to the point of national bankruptcy?".
- Minutes of Evidence Standing Committee on Banking and Commerce May 3 1939 p283 Canada is on a 'fiat money system'; p284 money created by parliament is as powerful as gold for domestic purposes
- http://www.michaeljournal.org/appenE.htm Graham Towers - About the Bank; (Standing Committee on Banking and Commerce, Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence Respecting the Bank of Canada, Ottawa, J.O. Patenaude, I.S.O., Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty, 1939.)