February 27, 1905

SOVEREIGN FIRE ASSURANCE CO. OF CANADA.


House in committee on Bill (No. 26) to incorporate the Sovereign Fire Assurance Co. of Canada-Mr. E. F. Clarke.


IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN.

Mr. Chairman, before you report the Bill as the hon. Minister of Finance is in his place-and I am very glad to see him here looking so well-I wish to call his attention to the general insurance question, and particularly to the question which has arisen over in the United States.

I am only going to take a moment because I would like to discuss this matter with him later on in the session, but I wish to give him notice to-day that a very serious question has arisen in the United States in regard to life insurance as controlled by private companies. He must know, as every one, I imagine, knows, that it came out the other day in the city of New York that the great Equitable Life Insurance Company of that city, that now controls five hundred millions of money in trust for its policyholders, is absolutely under the control of one man, who, with his family, owns $75,000 of the paid up stock of $100,000 which gives him the control of that company.

Topic:   SOVEREIGN FIRE ASSURANCE CO. OF CANADA.
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CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART.

It has been pointed out by very important men in the United States and by the great newspapers of the United States that an effort was being made in New York by great capitalists represented by Harriman Gould and the great bond house represented by Mr. Schiff, of New York, to control this company and that they were willing to give $5,000,000 of ready money for the controlling interest in the shares of the Equitable Life. This has proved to be a matter of supreme interest to the people of the United States, that a few men with a very small capital could control the immense reserve fund for the benefit of the policy holders. It is proposed there now-and we will have to do the same thing, we will have to change our insurance laws-to enact that the policy holders shall have a great deal to say in the disposition of these immense trust funds, and I take this opportunity of calling the attention of the minister to it. I trust that, if not this session at a very early date, we will be able to cope with this great question, because if there is one thing of importance in connection with an insurance company it is that the trust moneys which are there for the security of the policy holders ought to have the best possible administration. I do not think the best administration of these funds can be secured when it is possible for their management to fall into the hands of two or three men who by controlling the shares of the proprietary company are free to do what they like with great funds of this kind. It is openly charged by the leading newspapers iB the United States to-day that Harriman and Gould are anxious to get control of the Equitable Insurance Company in order that they may play ducks and drakes with the $500,000,000 of trust money which is the absolute property of the policy holders, in order that they may use it for their great railway propositions, and we are in danger of reaching the same condition in this country. I trust that later on some proper provision will be introduced into our General Insurance Act for the protection of the policy holders.

Topic:   SOVEREIGN FIRE ASSURANCE CO. OF CANADA.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. W. S. FIELDING (Minister of Finance).

The proper protection-snail 1 say the adequate protection-of the moneys which are invested in the hands of the various insurance companies of our country, must always be a question of the utmost importance, and if at any time there may be doubt as to whether our legislation is sufficient on that point I am sure that my hon. friend (Mr. W. F. Maclean) or any other member would be only doing his duty in bringing the matter before the attention of the House. I hope it will be found, on an examination of the general Insurance law and of the charters of the various companies, that our legislation in Canada is not open to , the objections which might be taken in the case of United States companies. However, if there are some companies as to which * that criticism might be offered, I quite admit

that it is a proper subject for consideration.

I think that, in the main, our insurance legislation, both with regard to the General Insurance Act and to the charters of the various companies, is in a very sound position. If, however, anything can be done to improve it, I am sure as Minister of Finance that I shall be glad to accept suggestions from any part of the House so that so good a purpose may be carried out.

Bill reported, read the third time and passed.

Topic:   SOVEREIGN FIRE ASSURANCE CO. OF CANADA.
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CANADIAN CANALS CORPORATION.

?

Right Hon. S@

CALVERT moved the second reading of Bill (No. 72), to incorporate the Canadian Canals Corporation.

Topic:   CANADIAN CANALS CORPORATION.
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN.

I would like to have a little information in regard to this Bill. I presented a petition from the county council of the county of York protesting against it, and I would like the hon. gentleman to make a little explanation so that the municipalities, if they are interested, can attend the meeting of the Railway Committee.

Topic:   CANADIAN CANALS CORPORATION.
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LIB

William Samuel Calvert (Chief Government Whip; Whip of the Liberal Party)

Liberal

Mr. CALVERT.

xMr. Speaker, the promoters of this Bill are asking for an Act permitting them to build a canal and railway combined. It is to commence on the Georgian bay and to cross over to Lake Simcoe, about 1(5 miles. Lake Simcoe is 131 feet higher than Lake Huron, and they intend to build a ship railway to raise the ships that 131 feet. Lake Simcoe is about 25 miles in length and they propose to build a canal about 99 miles in length and then another ship railway, which will be about li miles in length. Lake Simcoe is 466 feet higher than Lake Ontario and by these proportions of railways, together with the canal, they expect to be able to connect the Georgian bay with Lake Ontario, a distance of 72 miles. It is anticipated that it will save about 618 miles in a round trip. The cost is estimated to be about $45,000,000. I would like the Bill to go to the Railway Committee to be discussed there.

Topic:   CANADIAN CANALS CORPORATION.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the second time.


RED DEER VALLEY RAILWAY AND COAL COMPANY.

?

Mr. ARCH@

CAMPBELL moved second reading of Bill (No. 76), respecting the Red Deer Valley Railway and Coal Company.

Topic:   RED DEER VALLEY RAILWAY AND COAL COMPANY.
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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. W. F. MACLEAN.

I would like to ask the hon. gentleman if this is our old friend?

Topic:   RED DEER VALLEY RAILWAY AND COAL COMPANY.
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LIB

Archibald Campbell

Liberal

Mr. CAMPBELL.

Yes, it is a very old friend, a very dear friend.

Topic:   RED DEER VALLEY RAILWAY AND COAL COMPANY.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the second time.


SECOND READINGS.


Bill (No. 73), to incorporate La Compagnie du Chemin de fer Montreal, Quebec et du Sud.-Mr. Gervais. Bill (No. 74), respecting the Medicine Hat and Northern Alberta Railway Company.- Mr. Talbot. Bill (No. 75), respecting the Battleford and Lake Lenore Railway Company.-Mr. Lament. Bill (No. 77), respecting the Canadian Agency. Mr. Bickerdike. Bill (No. 78), respecting the Macleod, Card-ston and Montana Railway Company.-Mr. Turriff. Bill (No. 79), respecting the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway Company.-Mr. Zimmerman. Bill (No. 80), to incorporate the Woodstock and Lake Huron Railway Company.-Mr. A. H. Clarke. Bill (81), respecting the Ottawa River Railway Company, and to change its name to the Central Trunk Railway Company.-Mr. Piche.


QUESTIONS.

CIVIL SERVANTS' GUARANTEES.

CON

Mr. CHISHOLM asked :

Conservative (1867-1942)

1. When did the Post Office Department begin to guarantee the bonds of the postmasters and mail carriers of the Dominion ?

2. Are the civil servants in the outside departments, other than the postmasters, dealt with in the same way ?

3. On what principle is the levy made on the postmasters ?

4. What amount of money has been collected from the postmasters each year, and what is the total amount up to date 1

5. What amount' of losses has been sustained by the Post Office Department ; and what has been the total net gain or loss to the Post Office Department ?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CIVIL SERVANTS' GUARANTEES.
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February 27, 1905