AuthorRobert J. Sharpe/Professor Jim Phillips
I ’  Ontario Bond Scandal of 1924 Re-examined inves-
tigates a famous case from the 1920s. Peter Smith, the former
treasurer of the Province of Ontario, and Aemilius Jarvis, one of
Canada’s most prominent businessmen, were found guilty of crim-
inal conspiracy to defraud the Ontario government in connection
with the repurchase of three series of succession duty free bonds.
At the time, and since, people have disagreed about whether they
were guilty or whether they acted honestly and legitimately but were
caught up in the tangled party politics of the period. Kyer, an his-
torian and a lawyer with extensive experience of corporate f‌inance
and government-business relations, has extensively researched the
case to provide a very well-written and well-informed analysis of the
bond transactions, the police investigation, the trial, and the appeal
decision. He argues cogently that Smith and Irving were wrongly con-
victed, and explains why. This is a f‌irst-rate example of the genre of
legal history usually known as ‘legal archeology’, an excavation of a
case fully informed by the law, politics and personalities involved
which serves to illuminate not just the case but the tenor of the times.
The purpose of the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal Hist-
ory is to encourage research and writing in the history of Canadian
law. The Society, which was incorporated in 1979 and is registered

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