April 15, 1901

OF THE DEBATES OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS OF THE DOMINION OF CANADA FIRST SESSION-NINTH PARLIAMENT 1 EDWARD VII., 1901 VOL. LV.

COMPRISING THE PERIOD FROM THE FIFTEENTH DAY OF APRIL TO THE TWENTY THIRD DAY OF MAY, INCLUSIVE OTTAWA PRINTED BY S. E. DAWSON, PRINTER TO THE KING'SJMOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY


{ House of Commons Hcbntes



Monday, April 15, 1901.


ROYAL ASSENT.

LIB

Lawrence Geoffrey Power (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I have received the following notice from the Governor General's Secretary, which I propose to read to the House:

Office of the

Governor General's Secretary,

Ottawa, April 15, 1901.

Sir,-I have the honour to inform you that the Chief Justice of Canada, acting as deputy to His Excellency the Governor General, will proceed to the Senate Chamber this afternoon at four o'clock for the purpose of giving assent to certain Bills which have passed the Senate and House of Commons during the present session.

I have the honour to be, Sir,

Your obedient servant,

HARRY GRAHAM, Captain, A.D.C., Acting Gov. General's Secretary. The Honourable

The Speaker of the House of Commons.

Topic:   ROYAL ASSENT.
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CONSIDERED IN COMMITTEE-THIRD READINGS.


Bill (No. 43) to incorporate the St. Lawrence Lloyd's.-Mr. Geoffrion. Bill (No. 53) respecting the Manitoba and North-west Loan Company (Limited).-Mr. Britton.


MANUFACTURERS AND TEMPERANCE AND GENERAL LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY.


House in committee on Bill (No. 97) to incorporate the Manufacturers and Temperance and General Life Assurance Com-,pany.-Mr. Osier. 94a} On section 14,


CON

Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

I gave notice of an amendment to clause 14, to be entitled clause 14 A, and which reads as follows :-

To publish annually in report of said company a statement of the financial accounts of each section of the company's business as it stands at that date.

The Temperance and General Life Assurance Company has two branches ; one for total abstainers and the other for those who may or may not be total abstainers, and the company has always proceeded on these two lines. I believe it to be in the interest of the public, as well as in the interest of those who may have invested in either of these lines of insurance, that they may know what the results are and how the results pan out with regard to the temperance and the general branch of this company.

llie MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR (Hon. Clifford Sifton). Do they keep the accounts separately ?

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CON

Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

I think they are bound to do so. Ostensibly they have kept them separately. I am told that perhaps a shareholder might get the information by going to the company, but the company might or might not be willing to give that information. It is in the interest of those who insure in either of these branches that this amendment should pass. Now that the amalgamation has taken place, conditions that prevailed previously should not be relaxed, because a company joining in with another company must have its obligations and undertakings assumed by this amalgamated company. Clause 14 of the Bill reads very loosely. It says :

The temperance section of the Temperance Company shall hereafter be maintained by the

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company as the temperance section in such manner as the directors think best.

That wipes out these safeguards and conditions which were necessary in the Temperance and General Life Company, and permits the new company to do whatever they may please in regard to the matter. I do not think that is fair. I do not think we should give the amalgamated company such wide privileges, which do not exist in the companies before amalgamation. When a company takes over another company they assume all the liabilities of that other company, and instead of having that wide latitude given them by clause 14 of the proposed Act, I believe this amendment should be adopted.

The MINISTER OF FINANCE (Hon. W.

S. Fielding). This motion was discussed in the committee, and I believe a majority of the members thought that this was a matter for the internal economy of the company, rather than for legislative enactment. Unless some stronger evidence is furnished than that which I have heard, I am disposed to view the matter in that light. My hon. friend (Mr. Wallace) and others probably are anxious to learn something from the experience of this company. One hon. member whom I am sorry is not present, because he was much interested in the question, suggested that the liquor drinkers were being taxed to give the temperance people cheap insurance. That was, in brief, the argument he advanced. It is a very interesting problem, but it is one which I do not think we should investigate through the agency of this particular company.

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CON

Nathaniel Clarke Wallace

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WALLACE.

They have invited it themselves.

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?

The MINISTER OF FINANCE.

We have no information as to the opinion of the policy-holders or shareholders on this amendment. I have no strong opinion on it, but I thought I would mention that the matter was disposed of in committee, and that the view I have referred to was taken by the majority.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

The matter was discussed in committee, and at first I was inclined to think that some such clause should be added, but afterwards I came to the conclusion that probably it would not Mr. WALLACE.

be advisable to do so. If any such legislation is imposed on insurance companies it would be better to have it done by a general Act. It is not imposed on any insurance company, I believe, at the present timt\ 1 may point out to my hon. friend from W est York (Mr. Wallace) that the 4th clause of the agreement which is incorporated in the Bill, makes it necessary that the new company shall carry out the obligations of both the former companies with all classes of jiolicy-holders.

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LIB

James Sutherland (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Hon. Mr. SUTHERLAND.

I agree with the hon. gentleman (Mr. Borden, Halifax) that if it is desirable to impose any such condition as this, it ought to apply to all companies alike. As the Minister of Finance has stated, this is a matter which entirely concerns the internal economy and management of the company. I cannot see that any public interest is to be served by this amendment, and it may very seriously affect the interests of the company. The company, I believe, is in good standing, and doing a large business throughout the whole Dominion, especially in the lower provinces. Under these circumstances, I think it would be a mistake in this hurried way to add legislation which, in itself, does not look as if it would do any good or any harm,, but which nevertheless might seriously affect the interests of that company. I agree with the hon. member who has just spoken that if any such subject is to be dealt with it should be by amendment to the general Act affecting all companies alike.

Amendment negatived.

Bill reported, read the third time, and passed.

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MANITOBA RAILWAYS AGREEMENT.

?

Mr. C. F.@

McISAAC (Antigonish) moved second reading of Bill (No. 102) respecting a lease of certain railways in Manitoba. -

Topic:   MANITOBA RAILWAYS AGREEMENT.
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IND
LIB

James Sutherland (Minister Without Portfolio)

Liberal

Hon. JAMES SUTHERLAND (North Oxford).

This is a very important Bill which differs from most private Bills that come before the House, inasmuch as it involves an agreement between the Manitoba government and a railway company ; and as

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we cannot possibly have all the facts before us at this time, I think the Bill might well be referred to the committee with a distinct understanding that in voting for the second reading no member is committing himself to the principle or to the subject-matter of the Bill. We have to hear parties on both sides with regard to it, and we need to take cognizance of a great many documents which cannot be produced at the present time, before we are able to judge as to the merits of certain provisions in the Bill. I would suggest to the House, therefore, and to hon. members who take an active interest in this matter, that it would be better to refer the Bill to the committee for the purpose of making ourselves acquainted with the facts regarding it, but with the clear understanding, as I said, that in allowing the second reading to take place and referring the Bill to the committee, no member of the House is in any way committed to the principle of the Bill.

Topic:   MANITOBA RAILWAYS AGREEMENT.
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April 15, 1901