The Commonwealth Bank and the Note Issue: 1920–1960
New Responsibilities for Currency Notes
The early 1920s saw control of the note issue move from Treasury to the Commonwealth Bank.
In 1920, responsibility for the note issue passed to the Board of Directors of the (new) Note Issue Department within the Commonwealth Bank, commonly known as the Notes Board. It comprised four members, including Governor Miller.
Although the Notes Board was independent of the Commonwealth Bank, the actual administration of the note issue was undertaken by the Bank's Note Issue Department.
In 1924 the Commonwealth Bank Act was amended with the stated purpose of establishing a central bank. Declared intentions again ran ahead of what was achieved in practice, but full control of the note issue did pass to the Bank.
This was a significant and necessary step on the way to establishing a central bank.
Symbolically, the Note Printing Branch of the Bank was moved. New note printing works at Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, Melbourne replaced the King's Warehouse where Treasury had printed the first series of Australian notes. Administration of the note issue remained in Sydney.