May 17, 1909


House proceeded to the consideration of amendments made by the Senate to Bill (No. 63) to incorporate the Royal Canadian Accident Insurance Company.-Mr. Ames.


CON
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

The amendments in this case are as respects the name of the company and the title of the Bill. The Bill as introduced was to incorporate the Royal Canadian Accident Insurance Company and the Senate has amended it to read: British Canadian Accident Insurance Company. It would be well that the attention of the House should be called to the fact that although we have in times past permitted several companies to take the name of ' Royal ' it is regarded especially in the mother country, as an objectionable proceeding. A company would not be permitted to take that name in England, and it is a well established rule that the use of the word ' Royal ' can only be granted by permission of the imperial authorities. Attention has not been drawn in the past to that in Canada and we have incorporated a number of companies with the name ' Royal.' Now that attention is drawn to the matter, in this case by the Senate, it is well promoters of Bills should know they are not permitted to use the name * Royal.'

Amendments concurred in.

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INSURANCE ACT-AMENDMENT.


House again in committee on Bill (No. 97) respecting Insurance.-Mr. Fielding.


LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

This Bill was disposed of in committee except as to two clauses both of which, however, deal with the same point. Section 70 imposes penalties in certain cases for the doing of what is deemed to be improper business. Section 139 provides that these penalties shall not apply in cases where the tax which has been suggested is imposed and where certain simple returns are made. These are the points which remain for the consideration of the committee.

On section 79,

79. Except as provided in section 139 of this Act, every person who-

(c) inspects any risk or adjusts any loss or carries on any business of insurance on be-

half of any individual underwriter or underwriters or any insurance company, without the license provided for hy this Act in that behalf or after such license has been revoked or suspended.

Topic:   INSURANCE ACT-AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

This is the existing law except that subsection ' c ' was inserted as being necessary to make the machinery more effective. It was the insertion of that clause which brought up the question and section 139 is the section which imposes the tax. *[DOT]

Topic:   INSURANCE ACT-AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Has the government decided to adopt the principle of taxing insurance, because that really is the new principle which is introduced into this Bill. We have taxed almost everything but this seems to be 'somewhat a new departure. With reference to the Bill I have received a good many communications. I am bound to say that the strongest and most numerous are with reference to this clause. Some who write and telegraph are very strongly opposed to the new method of taxing insurance. They have been heard by the committee time and time again, but I think I am justified now in voicing their strong protest against this clause.

Topic:   INSURANCE ACT-AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Would my hon. friend read one as a specimen; I have got many myself.

Topic:   INSURANCE ACT-AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Yes, I suppose the Minister of Finance has a sheaf of them as well as many other members in the House. I will read a paragraph or two from one or two of these letters which show the main point. One says:

In the first place the very foundation of the success of every life insurance office is in the hands of the medical practitioners through the country.

Topic:   INSURANCE ACT-AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

That is another question.

Topic:   INSURANCE ACT-AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Yes, but I want to get this off first:

In the first place the very foundation of success of every life insurance office is in the hands of the medical practitioners of the country. It is they who advise on the acceptance and rejection of applicants for insurance, and it is they who must file the papers which justify the payment of claims. The relationship of th,e medical profession is, therefore, a very close and vital one to all insurance companies.

In the second place the members of the medical profession have a deep interest in the insurance companies of the country, because it is through these that most doctors make provision for their families by carrying policies for their own and their families' protection.

For these reasons most members of the medical profession of this country have been watching, with much interest, the progress of insurance legislation during the past two 2154

years, and especially during the present session.

It is with much regret that it has been observed that there is a desire to place on the

statute-book of this country an Act that debars the medical referee of a company from holding a seat on the board of directors.

The latest proposed amendment allows the general manager, the president and one vicepresident to hold seats on the boards of the various companies, and be in receipt of remuneration for their services. These gentlemen may be financiers, business men, lawyers, capitalists, &o. But when one comes to the case of the medical officer of the company, he cannot be trusted to hold a seat on a board because he receives some remuneration for his special services, which saves so much money for all the companies.

This lays down the reasons against the prohibition of medical men from being on the board of directors. This does seem rather against the freedom which the shareholders of an insurance company ought to have in the selection . of their directors. The medical profession is a very wide spreading, respectable, useful and competent profession, and I have no doubt that the experience of a trained medical adviser would be invaluable to a board of directors. It may be argued that that one can be had by appointing a medical referee whom the directors can consult, but I know that many of the medical profession look upon this prohibition as a discrimination against medical men. I was away when this provision passed the House and so could not state my objections to it.

Topic:   INSURANCE ACT-AMENDMENT.
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LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

But my hon. friend the Minister of Finance did and was unable to carry his point. I do not suppose therefore there is any use in my striving to have it carried. I am very glad to know that the Finance Minister was in sympathy with the protest of the medical man whose letter I have read. I join with the Minister of Finance very heartily in his opposition to this clause. The medical fraternity have just as good a right to be on a board of directors as lawyers or business men, or any other profession, if the shareholders see fit to elect them. I understand that my hon. friend was not able to have that exclusion removed.

Topic:   INSURANCE ACT-AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I merely put the facts before the House.

Topic:   INSURANCE ACT-AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

On the second point I have two or three letters. Here is one dated Toronto, May 11:

We have to-day learned that the Insurance Bill has been amended by the sub-committee by inserting provision for a duty to be placed on unlicensed insurance at the rate of 15 per cent, and as soon as we received this information we wired you as follows:-

' We strongly object to proposed provision for duty on unlicensed insurance. Please

persuade government to grant us hearing before passing Bill; which we now wish to con-firw.'

That telegram was received on May 11. Since that time have the insurance people had an opportunity of being heard on this clause?

Topic:   INSURANCE ACT-AMENDMENT.
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LIB
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Or is it the intention that they will before it passes the Senate?

Topic:   INSURANCE ACT-AMENDMENT.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I cannot answer for the Senate. I have no objection if the Senate so desires. That matter was fully considered and discussed in the Committee of Banking and Commerce several weeks ago.

Topic:   INSURANCE ACT-AMENDMENT.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I understand the rule of the Senate is to give a hearing before any committee to which they refer Bills of that kind.

Topic:   INSURANCE ACT-AMENDMENT.
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May 17, 1909