June 1, 1908

LIB

Frank Oliver (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER.

The Bill is in very much the same terms as the Bill of last year. The consideration given by the House to the Bill of last year resulted in the acceptance of certain amendments which have been

adopted in the re-drafting of the Bill. The opportunity has been taken to make a very thorough revision of the Bill in the light of the subsequent operations of the Lands Act. In regard to the provision which was particularly contentious, while the principle of pre-emption and of purchased homesteads remains in the Bill, the area to which this principle applies has been restricted to the .territory, speaking roughly, between Moose-jaw and Calgary on the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and between the international boundary and the latitude of Battleford. It is hoped that, with this restriction, the Bill will be acceptable to all parties in the House.

Topic:   DOMINION LANDS ACT.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS - HALIFAX.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

Before the orders of the day are called, I would like to say to the Minister of the Interior that I have had a letter from the commissioner of immigration, Mr. Scott, asking for particulars with respect to one of the officials in Halifax to whom I referred in the House not long ago The information which I have is in the form of a statutory declaration having the force of an affidavit. As it is from a man who has been dismissed in consequence of an investigation recently held, and as it contains charges against one of the officials of the government, I think for the present it is not best for me to read it in the House until the government shall have an opportunity of making an investigation. Instead of doing so, I shall hand the original to the Minister of the Interior, in order that he may make a copy of it, and return the original to me. I have also a declaration respecting another official, but as to that, I think I shall speak privately to the minister, as there are some circumstances which seem tn make that the wiser course.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS - HALIFAX.
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THE EXERCISE OF CLEMENCY.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

And whereas the crime for which said Agnes Balium Kun was convicted is in the opinion of this honourable council, one that deserved the severest [DOT] punishment, as it affects the moral welfare of the community;

And whereas the police department of Sydney, has within the last few years put forth every effort to rid Sydney of such disreputable houses.

Therefore be it resolved that this council view with regret the release of said Agnes Balium Kun and hereby voices its protest against any persons sentenced for such offences being released on tickets of leave or otherwise, until their full sentence is served.

And further be it resolved that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Minister of Justice at Ottawa.

I would like to inquire whether the attention of the government has been directed to this resolution and also to ask what were the considerations which led the government to release this offender before the full term of her imprisonment had expired?

Topic:   THE EXERCISE OF CLEMENCY.
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?

Rt. H@

So far as I know, no member of the government has received communication of this resolution unless it be the Minister of Justice (Mr. Aylesworth), The resolution. I apprehend, should have been sent to the Minister of Justice, and I do not think he has communicated with any of his colleagues about it.

Topic:   THE EXERCISE OF CLEMENCY.
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LIB

Alexander Johnston

Liberal

Mr. A. JOHNSTON (Cape Breton).

The resolution referred to as having been passed by the city council some time ago was forwarded to the Minister of Justice, and I noticed in the press a reply published, as coming from the Minister of Justice.

Topic:   THE EXERCISE OF CLEMENCY.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

The resolution came to me in a letter dated 21st May. Obviously the writer of it was not aware of any reply having been given up to that time, so far as I can gather from the context of the letter.

Topic:   THE EXERCISE OF CLEMENCY.
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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. L. BORDEN.

What was the reply ?

Topic:   THE EXERCISE OF CLEMENCY.
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LIB

Alexander Johnston

Liberal

Mr. JOHNSTON.

I have not the papers before me, but a reference to newspapers published some considerable time ago will show what the reply was.

Topic:   THE EXERCISE OF CLEMENCY.
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THE BANQUE DE ST. JEAN.

CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. GEO. E. FOSTER (North Toronto).

I desire to call the attention of the Minister of Finance to a statement which appeared in one of the Montreal newspapers in sequence of other statements of a similar character which have appeared from time to time with reference to the failure of the Banque De St. Jean, Quebec. According to this statement

Topic:   THE BANQUE DE ST. JEAN.
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LIB

Robert Franklin Sutherland (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER.

I suppose this is for the purpose of founding a question ?

Topic:   THE BANQUE DE ST. JEAN.
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CON
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Yes. Probably the better way would be to read what is stated.

After calling attention to the fact that in the case of the Banque Ville Marie an investigation was held by the Finance Department and punishment meted out to the guilty parties, it goes on :

In the case of the Banque de St. Jean there are the same kind of harrowing experiences attending the depositors as beset the depositors of the Banque Ville Marie and the Banque du Peuple. Among the depositors of the ill-fated Banque de St. Jean are to be numbered priests, nuns, guardians, widows, orphans, farmers, merchants, artisans, peddlers of farm and other produce and the usual clientele of the modest country bank. The deposits as a rule run from ten and fifteen dollars to a hundred and five hundred, and temporary deposits have sometimes run into the thousands.

Many special cases are detailed, and then it goes on ;

We have shown that in January in the report furnished to the government, the Banque de St. Jean credited itself with $751,859 of current discounts and $17,574 of overdue debts. But in the statement just issued by Mr. Tan-crede Bdenvenu, these current discounts or promissory notes are reduced to $191,396 or by $560,463 or nearly three-quarters. How has this huge proportion of the bank's loans been wiped out with, as it were, a stroke of the pen ?

Several questions follow, and then the query is put whether the Finance Department has as yet undertaken to do its duty in the matter as it did in the case of the Banque Ville Marie ? And that is the question I ask.

Topic:   THE BANQUE DE ST. JEAN.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

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

I think that the machinery of the Bank Act is not the same to-day as at the time when the case of the Banque Ville Marie arose. The present Bank Act provides that the moment a bank gets into trouble, an officer shall be appointed by the Bankers' Association to take possession temporarily until a liquidator is appointed. These two steps have just been taken, as I see by the press of the last day or two that a liquidator has been appointed. What further proceedings shall be taken is a matter for consideration. The machinery of the Bank Act is in motion. If there is a difference of procedure as between the time of the Banque Ville Marie case and the present day, it is because, under the amended Act the Bankers' Association have a duty to perform. That duty they have performed and we have now reached the next stage.

I am afraid the situation is a very grave one for all concerned, but the moment has not arrived for the government to take further action. I expect that we shall receive further communication on the subject at an early day.

Topic:   THE BANQUE DE ST. JEAN.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

No change has been made with reference to penalties for misconduct?

Topic:   THE BANQUE DE ST. JEAN.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

No ; but we have no information that wfll enable us to proceed as respects penalties. Of course, the hon. gentleman will agree that in such a matter newspaper reports are not sufficient. I have no doubt that there will be a fuller investigation. The machinery provided by the law remains the same, and action will have to be taken on the facts coming before us.

Topic:   THE BANQUE DE ST. JEAN.
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June 1, 1908