December 14, 1910

CON

John Graham Haggart

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAGGART (Lanark).

What provision would the hon. member (Mr. Osier) make in regard to the objection he raises? The trouble is this: The object of the society is to secure co-operative action among different parties intending to borrow money among themselves from some particular members of the community. You may make provisions such that you cannot carry on the work of the society. There must always be some risks and the question is, are the risks greater than they ought to be? If they are greater than they ought to be those who oppose the Bill should be in a position to say how they would guard against undue risk, what provisions they would make and still carry out the provisions of the Bill.

What is the primary object of the Bill? It is a co-operative society to get money cheaper for neighbours amongst themselves. You make all the provisions possible for the purpose of guarding against frauds of any kind, but you may make so many provisions that you cannot loan the money. The trouble is that you cannot make it perfect, you cannot accomplish your object without running some risks. Are the risks greater than they ought to be? If they are greater than they ought to be, some one who is objecting to the Bill ought to give a practical illustration of how he intends to guard against them.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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LIB
CON

Edmund Boyd Osler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. OSLER.

I think the risks are infinitely greater than any benefit that could possibly accrue, assuming that all the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk) says is right. I think there is only one way of checking this. It was discussed last year, and I thought the Finance Minister (Mr. Fielding) had agreed to it. That is to strictly limit the amount of capital. It was stated by the promoters of the Bill last year that probably in any district where they proposed to organize such a society, for a year, or, perhaps, two years, the deposits, all told, would not be more than $80,000.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I never could have made such a statement. It would take them ten years to get a capital of $4,000.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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CON

Edmund Boyd Osler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. OSLER.

Then I am not over the mark. What I gathered last year from the promoters of the Bill was that it was intended to operate in a small way among poor people with an absolutely proper object, and that it was a very good way of promoting savings. It was suggested that the Finance Minister, or whoever issued a certificate, should in the first place make some inquiry as to the district, and that the outside capital which would be obtained by borrowing should be limited to some amount, say $20,000. I think one of the men promoting the Bill gave as an outside possibility a deposit of $80,000

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

That is a very large exaggeration.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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CON

Edmund Boyd Osler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. OSLER.

If that is the case, while there is, of course, a certain risk, as in all things, you absolutely prevent that Bill being applied to other parts of the country for the purpose of fraud. As the promoter of the Bill says now, $20,000 would be an outside estimate for the first capitalization. If the operations grew from year to year, application would be made to the Finance Minister and to Council and a certificate given to increase the capital, tout if we should limit what is really in the mind of the promoters of the Bill, to say $20,000 to begin with, we would have a maximum amount of money which would absolutely prevent any temptation to people elsewhere to take advantage of the Bill. That is a simple solution and if that was accepted most of the other clauses would be quite safe, and we could thoroughly trust the people who organize and go into such a society to guard themselves.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Let clause 6 stand?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I -was going to suggest that it would be an advantage if members of the committee had time to read over the Bill. The Minister of Labour is familiar with this Bill tout many of the members I of this committee have not read it and I

think time would be gained if we could postpone its consideration altogether. I am in the hands of the committee. I am not seeking this legislation for myself -but for a large class of people and I would say to my right hon. friend and to the committee that similar legislation exists in almost every country. This Act is copied practically from the English Friendly Societies Act and there is similar legislation in France, Belgium, Austria, Germany and Italy ; in fact I do not know of any country in Europe where they have not such legislation. They have it now in the United States. They are passing a Bill absolutely similar to this in Massachusetts at the present time. If I mention that it is because it seems to me that if such legislation has been found useful and necessary in other countries, we can afford to consider it here. What co-operation has done in European countries is known, I suppose, to some members of this House. It has worked miracles, it has enabled poor people to get rid of shavers and others who loan money at very high rates of interest. It has completely altered the population where it has been established and helped to build up local wealth. The trouble is when one comes to consider this legislation one is apt to think that this is a society established with a view of making money. The hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Osier) speaks of a limit of deposits of $80,000 or $20,000, These societies start in a small community with a capital of $200 or $300. No one would be foolish enough to deposit a large amount with a society having a capital of $200 or $300. We started one in Levis. It is twelve or fifteen years old, and it has to-day a financial movement of about $75,000 ; but that represents fifteen years of patient work in a population that is rather well-to-do and in a society that has been encouraged. In addition to the checks mentioned by the Minister of Labour, there are the returns to the minister. This legislation has for its object to permit poor people to do what big people are doing every day-organizing banks and financial associations. It establishes a link between these institutions and poor people. If hon. members of the committee will take time to read the Bill and analyze its clauses, the discussion will be shorter.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

If the members of the committee who have not read the Bill are waiting for an opportunity to do so, this is the time. If they do not read it now, they will not read it at all. If you proceed with the Bill clause by clause, perhaps the objections will be dispelled, when we see the precautions taken to prevent aJbuse of the legislation.

On section 20,

Every officer of a society who receives or has charge of money, shall, before taking upon himself the duties of his office, become bound, either with or without a surety, as the committee may require, in a bond according to one of the forms set forth in Schedule C to this Act, or such other form as the committee approves, or shall give the security of a guarantee society, m such sum as the committee directs, conditioned for his rendering a just and true account of all moneys

received and paid by him on ^^Lunint society, at such times as its rules appoint or as the society or the committee thereot requires him to do, and for Tie Payment bj him of all sums due from him to the society.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Take the words ' either with or without a surety as the committee may require ' does that make the requiring of sureties optional?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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?

Mr PERLEY.

As I understand it, there must be a bond, but the committee may say whether that bond shall be with or without surety.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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?

Mr STRATTON.

I suppose that the real object is that in a locality there might be an individual acceptable to and they might allow him to take the office without giving a surety.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

But a bond is obligatory.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Yes, he gives a bond. In the beginning of the society the amount received is so small, that a surety may not be required.

On section 24,

The capital of the society may, subject to the rules, he increased by subscriptions for new shares or the admission of new members, and it may he diminished by withdrawals.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Can withdrawals be made without reference to the minister?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
Permalink
?

Mr MONK.

It is absolutely necessary to allow members to withdraw or you might as well give up the whole Bill. When a man puts in his small amount, it must be understood that he is able to withdraw it when he sees fit, otherwise it would be impossible to get these societies started. That is the experience of co-operative societies throughout the world. Why should he not withdraw the amount he has put in? When he enters he pays something as a right of entry, and an amount is retained on the profits which he loses if he withdraws. All he gets back is the amount he puts in.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT.

That is where the trouble

arose in the committee last year. It is perfectly right to allow a member to withdraw his deposit, but absolutely unfair to allow him to withdraw his membership. All the members might withdraw, and no notice is required. The hon. gentleman will not find that in the English Act.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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CON

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

I assure my hon. friend there is such a provision in the English Act.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT.

I cannot find it, and I looked for it. If a man wants to leave the society, let him sell his membership, there will be no difficulty in his doing so especially if there are any profits coming to him.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
Permalink

December 14, 1910