December 15, 1910

BANKING ACT AMENDMENT.

LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

On behalf of Mr. Fielding I beg to introduce Bill (No.

50) respecting banks and banking which appears in his name on the Order Paper. The charters of our banks will expire on the first of July next and it becomes necessary to have a new Banking Act passed this session. In the absence of the Minister of Finance I beg to introduce the Bill now, so that it may be printed and gotten ready for distribution, so that the House and the country may take communication of it, and that we may be ready to consider it when we meet again after the Christmas holidays. The Bill which I am presenting is practically the same as the law now in existence. The changes are not many and with the exception of one or two are not of very great consequence. The most important feature which is introduced into this Bill is that it contains a section which provides that at a general meeting of the shareholders they can appoint auditors of their own to have the affairs of the bank specially audited, and, if the shareholders choose to do so at any time thereafter a proportion of the shareholders representing five per cent of the capital of the bank can ask for the appointment of such auditors. These auditors will have power to inspect the company's books, to have access to them, to ask for information necessary and to compel it to be furnished, and their report is to be included in the annual statement presented to the shareholders.

Topic:   BANKING ACT AMENDMENT.
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CON
LIB
IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York).

That would meet the case which arose at the annual meeting of the Bank of Montreal the other day when certain shareholders asked for information and were denied it. Under this provision in the Bill they would probably get that information.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

They would certainly get it under this clause. The shareholders representing five per cent of the capital can at any time ask the Bankers' Association to have such an audit made, and the report of the audit is to be included in the annual statement presented to the shareholders. I understand that this provision is taken from the existing law in England with regard to joint stock banks. Another feature which is new legislation, is, and it may be of some importance, that the annual statement cannot be signed by the president alone, but must be signed by three directors of the bank also. Another new feature in the Bill is a provision that the annual reports and statement of accounts, and the documents issued by the bank must be issued upon the authority and signature of the proper officers, upon whom if they do not acquaint themselves by actual information of the truth of what

they sign the civil and criminal liability rests. It would not be sufficient for these officials to say that they had signed in good faith as was done in former days, but every official of a bank whatever his rank or standing who under the law is compelled to put his signature to a document must personally acquaint himself as to the truth of the facts therein contained, and he becomes responsible.

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LIB

Morley Currie

Liberal

Mr. CURRIE (Simcoe).

Do I understand that the signature of the president and three directors must be attached to the monthly sworn statement?

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LIB
LIB
LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

Yes. The new feature is that when statements and documents are issued by the bank under the law, the officer signing is liable if he fails to acquaint himself by actual verification of the truth of the statement to which he appended his signature and he is responsible for it civilly and criminally. A new feature of the Bill to which I call attention is in regard to the organization of a bank. In order to remind the shareholders or intending subscribers that they are subject to the double liability it is provided that all the documents which are issued in connection with the formation of a bank shall have printed on them, the section of the law which provides for the double liability of the shareholders. It is not a matter of very great importance, but the object is to remind shareholders at all t'mes that the moment they become shareholders they are liable to the double liability. Another provision of the Bill is that if the promoters fail to organize a bank then the money paid in has to be returned to the subscribers without any deduction for promotion fees or any other expense except what is allowed by the subscribers themselves. Then, some of the old banks have their shares fixed at $50 each instead of $100 and if they want to make their shares $100 each, which is now the usual parity, they cannot do it except by special legislation. There is machinery provided in this Bill that this can be done by resolution of the shareholders. Another new provision in the Bill is as to the products of the forest which may be tendered as security to the banks, and it provides that they shall include saw-logs and railway ties as timber, and deals, boards and staves as other lumber. This we conceived was always the intention, but a decision has recently been given in a court of justice that this covers only the products of the forest as they come from the forest, that they cease to have that character the moment they undergo some process of manufacture. The object of the

amendment is to make this clear and nothing else.

A new feature is that power is given to the receiver of an insolvent bank to borrow money under certain restrictions.

These are the main features of the Bill; the others are so minor that they will not require any explanation on my part.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York).

In submitting the Bill in its present form to the House have the government received any suggestions of proposed amendments from the Bankers' Association, and if so what has been done with them?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

None have been received.

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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


FISHERIES ACT AMENDMENT.


Mr. BARNARD moved for leave to introduce Bill (No. 58) to amend the Fisheries Act. He said: This Bill provides that salmon fishing gill net licenses shall not be issued on the Pacific coast to men who are not able to come up to the physical standard required by the regulations in force with respect to enlistment in the naval militia. Section 54 of the Fisheries Act provides that the minister shall have the right to make regulations for the issue of licenses. One of these regulations is as follows: No license shall be granted to any person, company or firm unless such person is a British subject, resident in the province of British Columbia, or to such company or firm, unless it is a Canadian company or firm, or is licensed to do business in British Columbia. I propose to amend this regulation by requiring that the licensee shall come up to the physical standard required of candidates for enlistment in the naval militia. Four thousand gill-net licenses are issued annually on that coast. Professor Prince, in his report for 1906, stated that 85 per cent of the licensees on the Fraser river were Japanese. It is well known that the Japanese are a small and undersized race, and in the event of this Bill becoming law the greater portion of these Japanese, who have heretofore taken out licenses, will no longer be able to obtain them, thus restoring the industry to our own people. In addition, a fishing population will be created on that coast from whom the government will be able to draw recruits for the naval service, a condition that does not obtain to-day. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


QUESTIONS.


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk.) ' Sir WILFRID LAURIER.


BURNED TIMBER ON INDIAN LANDS.


* Mr. BOYCE: . _ X. When were tenders invited by the Department of Indian Affairs for the burned timber on the following Indian reserves: No. 35 B., known as Obabikong and Nos. 35 H., 32 C. and 35 C., known as Sabiskong bay? 2. What was the date of the advertisement asking for tenders, and what was the date fixed thereby for the receipt of such tenders by the department? 3. Who was the successful tenderer, and what was the amount of the tender? 4. By whom was the successful tender put into the department and on what date was it received ? 5. What are the names of the various tenderers, and the amount they respectively tendered for the timber?


LIB

Mr. OLIVER: (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Liberal

1. Tenders were called for 21st September,

1910. [DOT]

2. 21st September, 1910. Noon, 10th day of October, 1910.

3. Wm. Johnston: Pine, $8 per thousand feet B.M. and dues; spruce, $4 per thousand feet B.M. and dues; tamarack ties, 8 cents each foot B.M. and dues; jack pine, $4 per thousand feet B.M. and dues.

4. Received 10th October, 10 minutes to 12 a.m. Handed in to the secretary's office.

5. Statement of names of various tenderers and prices they tendered set forth in statement attached hereto.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   BURNED TIMBER ON INDIAN LANDS.
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December 15, 1910