Mr. J. A. CURRIE.
I may say that a corporation has no right to divide its profits with its policy-holders or the public unless there is a special clause in its charter allowing it to do so. That is the law in England and every other country. This clause is placed in the charters of insurance companies to enable them to divide their profits and the charters of insurance companies give them the right to secure business not only in Canada, but in foreign countries. Have we the right to impose a limit in insurance contracts restricting the division of profits? Why should not the division of profits be a matter of simple contract between the company and the party insured. If you give a company the power to divide its profits with the policy-holders, why not let the percentage of profits be a matter of contract and written on the policy. Instead of doing this you frame this general clause, which is so worded that it enables an insurance company to avoid putting a clause in their contracts stating the amount of division. Thus a man may be induced to insure with the idea that he is going to receive a much larger percentage, and then, after he has paid in his premiums for many years, he finds, on looking at his policy, that there is no clause telling him what he is going to get,
and he has to refer to an Act of Parliament passed some twenty years before to find out that his profits are limited to a very small percentage. But if this question is going to receive consideration, if the Minister of Finance states that there will be a clause in the Insurance Bill which will deal generally with all companies, I am quite ready to waive my objection.
Subtopic: WESTERN CANADIAN LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY.