December 14, 1910


Amendment agreed to.


CON

George Halsey Perley (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

This is one of the crucial clauses of the Bill. Originally, this clause was limited distinctly to one electoral district. It is left now to the discretion of the Minister. By changing the word ' may ' to ' shall ' it would be so clear that any Minister of Finance would understand that he was expected to limit the distrifct within which any particular association can act. But it would still be within his power to give a license to one of these associations to cover a whole province. That ought not to be. . I sympathize very much with some of the things which have been said by the hon. member for West Toronto (Mr. Osier), in that particular. The York Loan Company has been instanced. In considering this Bill, one of the main things I would have in view would be to prevent anything like the York Loan happening, and if this Bill was properly drafted, the great losses which occurred on account of the York Loan, could not occur through an association incorporated under this Act. I still do not like that clause exactly as it reads. I think, if possible, there ought to be some way of so wording it, that the minister could not give a license to an association to act throughout a province. I think my hon. friend from Jacques Cartier is quite satisfied with that view of the case, but there is difficulty on account of the wording of it. Personally, I would prefer to see that clause further limited than it is at present.

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

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

There is no difficulty about the point raised by my hon. friend. The problem we had to cope with was how to limit it. It is very easy to say, for instance, that a society of this kind shall limit its operations to a parish or to a

counity, but it was pointed out that there are poor people in cities too, workingmen who might like to organize themselves into a co-operative loan and beneficial society, and it would be difficult to limit such a society by an electoral district, so we thought it best to allow the minister himself to fix the limit. For instance, in a city like Montreal or Toronto, the minister would say: Your operations are limited to the cities of Montreal or Toronto. It would be difficult to set down as a limit in the statute, the electoral district, but if it has to be limited, I have no objection if my hon. friend can suggest something.

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

Edmund Boyd Osler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. OSLEK.

There we come exactly to the danger I have been insisting on. The hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk), has stated that I have been raising simply a shadow of a danger, that the operations of this Bill are going to be confined and are confined to small areas and districts. He now objects to the limitation because, forsooth, this must be made applicable to larger cities like Montreal and Toronto. If the Minister is. applied to for a license, under this Act for the organization of a company in Toronto or Montreal, or Winnipeg, or any large city, it would be almost impossible foT him to refuse a capitalization of two or three or five hundred thousand dollars. Here is an Act of which people are invited to make use. There are a lot of people in Toronto and Montreal who might apply under this Act to incorporate a company on the only scale that would be of any use in that district, and that at once gives the opportunity of perpetrating these frauds that I fear would take place.

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

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

There is no proxy in voting, each shareholder has the one vote.

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

Edmund Boyd Osler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. OSLEK.

For a small concern, that is quite right, but for a laTge concern, that gives the very power they want, they can control it, having seven votes, no matter how many others have. That is absolutely a danger in a large concern.

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

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

It has never been found to produce that effect anywhere in the world.

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

Edmund Boyd Osler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. OSLEK.

It would be found to produce it here very quickly, there is no doubt about that.

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

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

There is no objection to any clause limiting it in any way if any one will suggest the clause. .

_ Mr. KING. In connection with the loans in cities, I think it desirable to make an observation that comes to my mind in connection with the remark of the hon. member for London (Mr. Beattie). He said that in all large cities there were any number of loan societies from which a man could obtain a loan. That is perfectly true, Mr. MONK.

if he has security to give, but what about the man whom this Bill is intended to make provision for, who had no other security to offer than his personal character, or the vouching of some personal friend, it will be seen that this suggestion does not apply. For instance, at the beginning of a building season a man engaged in a building trade may want to get a kit of tools. He may have no money to get the tools with, but he is known to the other members of the society; he goes to them and asks an advance without security, promising to pay back the money at the end of the year, or, perhaps, at the end of the building season. They know him, they have their money in the society and they say: We know you; we will advance this money to you. Then, at the end of the season, he pays back the loan he has had, with interest; but in the meantime he has been able to get his kit of tools and go on with his work. What man thus situated could get that loan from a loan society in a large city? That is -why it is important that this Act should apply to cities as well as to the country. For my part, I think_ it will be taken advantage of in the cities even more than in the country.

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

Edmund Boyd Osler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. OSLER.

One of the great reasons advanced in support of this Bill was that this was to be applicable to country districts where members of the society would know each other, would have confidence in each other and would take each other's word. I have had some experience in city life and know something of mechanics. Mechanics are changing about constantly, and there could be no such combination among mechanics in cities. No good mechanic wants to borrow money to buy tools. The condition to be found in country districts where the members know one another's characters are not at all applicable to city life, to the great body of workmen.

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

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

My hon. friend certainly does not know anything about it, because there is nothing truer than what the minister has stated. It is in cities where cooperation exists that it does the chief good, and when I heard the member for London (Mr. Beattie) saying a moment _ ago that there -were plenty of loan companies in Ontario which could fulfil this mission it seemed to me that my hon. friend from London did not know very much about it, because down in Montreal, or in any other city, a workman who wants to purchase a set of tools, or to finish his house, or to buy a little lumber to commence the erection of a house, does jiot get that money from a loan company; the loan company would not give it to him; every one knows that. He will get it in these credit societies, where he is known, and the loan is made, not upon any security, because he has none to offer,

but on the guarantee of his moral character. So there is great need, indeed, of societies of this kind among the workingmen, or else why should they have asked yearly for the last ten years for the enactment of this legislation? Is it because they have loan companies in abundance prepared to furnish them with accommodation at a low rate? Evidently not. It is useful in the country parts and in the cities for the reason indicated by the minister, but I say again there is no objection to the Minister of Finance limiting the scope of each society. I think we ought to have some confidence in the party who is charged with the administration of the law. He can perform no end of fraud, but we have confidence in him; we manifest that confidence in statutes which we pass every day. Why should we not leave to the Secretary of State, who has charge of the administration of this law, the defining of the limits? Is he also dishonest? Is he necessarily going to perpetrate or lend himself to a fraud? It seems to me we may leave it to him, but if any one can suggest a way by which the scope of the society can be restricted there is no objection at all to such a restriction.

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

Alphonse Verville

Labour

Mr. VERVILLE.

We have one of these societies in Montreal, and I know that it is doing a great deal of good, especially among the working people. Before it was established, any man who wanted to borrow a little money hatd to go to a money shark, and in order to get it he would sign almost anything. It was to prevent abuses of that kind that these societies were authorized under the provincial Act. The society lends money to poor men to buy homes or to furnish their houses, and the only guarantee it asks is the good-will of the borrower. This has worked so satisfactorily among the working people of Montreal that we have not found a single dishonest man borrowing money from the institution. This is due to the caution exercised by the committee or the board. This thing is demanded, not only by the working classes, but by the farmers. A number of men in Montreal have homes of their own which they would not have had but for this society. It has a charter under the provincial Act, but that is liable to be withdrawn at any moment, and we believe it would be more safe guarded under a federal Act. I know that all the hon. members of this House want to protect the workingmen, but some of them only look at one side of this measure, ignoring the good side of it. I do not think you will find, in Montreal or anywhere else in Canada, any workingmen who will be likely to act dishonestly in connection with one of these societies formed under this Act.

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

George Halsey Perley (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

I propose that the following be added at the end of this section: ' But no society shall be allowed to do business over a greater area than that comprised in one electoral district.'

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

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT.

We had that proposition in the committee, and we could not agree to it there, because the head office of a company might be on the border of an electoral district, and there is no reason why its area of business should not extend across the border.

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

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

The argument of the hon. member for Jacques Cartier that we can surely trust the Secretary of State to carry out the Act, does not appeal to me with great force. It seems to me there ought to be something in the Act itself which would indicate the principle on which the rule should be applied. While the present Secretary of State may be quite familiar with what is intended by this law, after hearing the arguments here, there might be another Secretary of State at some future time who had not heard these arguments would be guided solely by what he found in the Act.

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

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

As pointed out by the hon. member^ for North Oxford (Mr. Nesbitt! there might be a group of men living side by side, divided only by a line defining an electoral district. In these cases some officers of the department would examine the application and report upon it to the minister. The minister is not likely to give his sanction without a careful examination of the situation, and it seems to me it would be safe enough to leave that measure of discretion with him.

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

George Halsey Perley (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

There is nothing in the Bill to show that it was the intention of parliament that an association should be limited in its operations to a small section of the country, instead of being allowed to do business say over the whole province of Ontario.

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

Frederick Debartzch Monk

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MONK.

Suppose the area were limited to a radius of ten miles from the office.

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

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

The words of the section indicate that it is the intention of parliament that the area should be restricted.

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

George Halsey Perley (Whip of the Conservative Party (1867-1942))

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

Suppose the Secretary of State decided to limit the area to the province of British Columbia. That would not be the intention of the Act.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CO-OPERATIVE CREDIT SOCIETIES.
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December 14, 1910