March 2, 1911

CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

I would call the attention of the Minister of Finance to a return to an order of the House dated February 6, 1911, of curator's reports in the case of banks in which curators have been appointed. The first return relates to the Bank of Yarmouth. There .is a note from the department saying that the curator did not make a report to the Department of Finance as to the condition of the bank, but did report to the Canadian Bankers' Association, with regard to the false and deceptive returns made to the department which advice was communicated to the department. In a letter from the Deputy Minister of Finance, dated March 17, 1905, to the president of the Canadian Bankers' Association, a request was made for a report of the bank's affairs. It says: The attached is a copy of the report made. When I come to that it is from the secretary-treasurer's office, Bank of Montreal, March 21, 1905, to Mr. Courtney. It reads:

^Dear Sir,-Referring to your letter of the 17th inst., I have now received a report from the curator of the bank of Yarmouth, of which the following statement is a synopsis:

I did not ask for a synopsis of the report and the Act does not contemplate that the Department of Finance, or the House shall be put off with synopses. There is attached a page of typewriting giving the synoptical report. If we are to have anything we should have what the law allows, which is a full report.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I am sure if there i3 such a report in the department we have presented it. I cannot answer offhand, but in view of what my hon. friend has said I will have the matter investigated and see where the omission is if there be one.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS.
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CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

If there is no report the minister has a right to one.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

The statute says that the curator shall make all returns and reports and give all information touching the affairs of the bank which the minister requires of him.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS.
Permalink
LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

I shall be very happy to look into the matter.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS.
Permalink
CON

Samuel Simpson Sharpe

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHARPE (Ontario).

I wish to ask about the following returns: Order of December 14, 1910, showing what ministers abroad in 1908, 1909 and 1910 with their business and expenses. Order of December 14, 1910, showing total payments made by the government to the Eclipse Furniture Company, the Office Specialty Company and Ahearn & Soper. Order of January li, of payments made to Dussault & Lemieux. There is also a very belated return dated March 22, 1909, showing the names of villages, towns and cities in the various provinces where public buildings have been erected in certain years.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

Those in my department are being expedited, but a reference to the orders will show how voluminous a number of the returns will be, and, of course, the motions have to take their turn. I cannot promise my hon. friend just how soon the returns will be presented, but there will be no unnecessary delay so far as my department is concerned.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS.
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RECIPROCITY-ATTITUDE OF DAIRYMEN'S ASSOCIATIONS.

CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. J. E. ARMSTRONG (E. Lambton).

I ask the Minister of Customs (Mr. Paterson) to withdraw a statement made on February 16 last in the course of some remarks that I was presenting to the House. I was discussing the position of the cheese and butter market when the hon. gentleman made use of this statement:

Does the hon. gentleman remember that the dairy associations of eastern and western Ontario unanimously desire that this treaty sliould go into effect ?

I have before me a letter from a director of the Western Dairymen's Association, and he distinctly and emphatically states that the Minister of Customs is mistaken in making that statement. He refers to the statement of the minister as published at page 3826 and says:

This statement is absolutely incorrect so far as the Dairymen's Association of Western Ontario is concerned. I am a director of that association, and have been for twenty years. 1 was present in Stratford when this question was introduced. We consulted every director and officer of the association, and unanimously agreed not to permit the question to go on the programme of the afternoon for discussion.

He closes with an emphatic denial of anything of that nature being discussed there that afternoon by the Dairymens' Association. I will ask the minister, in the face of that statement, to withdraw the statement he made in this House on the 16th of February.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   RECIPROCITY-ATTITUDE OF DAIRYMEN'S ASSOCIATIONS.
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LIB

William Paterson (Minister of Customs)

Liberal

Hon. WM. PATERSON (Minister of Customs).

I think I said that I had read in the newspapers, when in Washington, an account of the meeting. I do not see that the hon. gentleman (Mr. Armstrong) himself says that no such discussion took place there. I have no desire to misrepre-

sent the facts or state anything that I do not believe. If I have said anything that is not in accordance with the facts, I can only say that I regret having done so. I did it in good faith. I read in a newspaper a report of proceedings I think at Stratford, in which the subject was discussed and in which reciprocity in dairy products was approved. Whether it was after the association had adjourned or not I do not know. I gave what I understood to be the case and still believe to be the case. If I have stated anything not in accordance with the facts, of course I regret it, as I do not wish to do anything of that kind.

SUPPLY-ATTACHMENT OF CIVIL

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   RECIPROCITY-ATTITUDE OF DAIRYMEN'S ASSOCIATIONS.
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SERVANTS' SALARIES.


Mr. FIELDING moved that the House go into Committee of Supply.


LIB

Aimé Majorique Beauparlant

Liberal

Mr. A. M. BEAUPARLANT (St. Hya-cinthe).

I would .beg to make a few remarks on a matter which hitherto, owing to the rules of the House and other causes, I have not had a chance to place before parliament. The question I wish to discuss is whether the salaries of prominent public officers are to be continued under special privilege conditions or whether they should be placed on the same conditions as the salaries of other people with regard to the payment of debts. From the first occasion on which I introduced this Bill into the House, I never pretended that I was advancing a new idea by attempting to place all debtors on the same footing, by compelling those who earn high salaries to pay their debts just as those earning lower salaries are compelled to pay theirs. This is so evident that no one can to-day claim to have been the first to think of it. Many members in the past have advocated a like measure before this House, among them the Solicitor General, the ex-member for Lisgar, Mr. Richardson, and the ex-member for Laval, I think, now the Hon. Mr. Justice Fortin. Whatever may be the result of the discussion of my proposition, I cannot claim the merit of having introduced by it any new idea before this House. What is now the position of Dominion public officials with regard to debts? Their salary is not liable to attachment, seizure or garnishment, while the salary of any other debtor is. There is no law allowing an attachment of the salary of a Dominion civil servant. Article 599, paragraph 9, of the Code of Civil Procedure of the province of Quebec, and the unwritten but well-known principle of English common law, which prevails in all other provinces and which was affirmed in many cases, notably in the case of Fraser & McArthur, reported at page 165, of the Nova Scotia Mr. PATERSON.

' Digest,' a legal work due to our distinguished friend and colleague the hon. member for the Yukon (Mr. Congdon), who was at that time a lawyer practising in Nova Scotia, join together to make such an exception in the case of a Dominion official. My proposal now is that we should pass a law striking out such an exception. If I may be allowed to make a suggestion to the government it would be that they might take this measure up and enact it into law. For the purposes which I have here outlined, I would propose to add to the Civil Service Act, 1908, the two following subsections, immediately after section 47:

47a. All moneys or salaries due or accruing due to any person employed by the government of Canada shall be liable to attachment in each province of Canada, according to the laws and rules of procedure in force in such province.

47b. The attachment or garnishee summons or order may be served on the minister, deputy minister, chief officer, secretary or assistant secretary of the department in which the debtor is employed, or on the chief officer or clerk of such department or branch thereof if the debtor is employed outside of the city of Ottawa.

It should not be necessary for me to make any argument in support of this proposition. I trust that it will be accepted if it is as good a proposition in principle as I contend it is. I might remind the House that five years ago we had no law to prevent strikes and lock-outs. Since then we have passed a law to deal with that subject, and the people generally are satisfied with it. The people have derived some benefit from it and our example is to be followed by other countries, namely, South Africa and the United States. This goes to prove that a law, although new, may be a good one. Australia passed an indirect, but very effective, law during the session of 1901-2, which will be found at page 339 of the statutes of the Commonwealth of Australia for that year. I quote from that law the following:

1. If an officer is on an indictment or presentment convicted of any offence he shall be deemed to have forfeited his office and shall thereupon cease to perform his duties or receive his salary.

That is a preliminary remark.

2. If the estate of an officer is sequestrated either voluntarily or compulsorily for the benefit of his creditors, such officer shall apply as soon as he may legally do so to a court of insolvency for a certificate of discharge. If it appears to such court that the applicant has been guilty of fraud, dishonourable conduct or extravagance, such court shall direct the clerk of the court thereupon to report the same to the minister or permanent head or chief officer of the department in which such officer is employed. If such officer does not

apply as aforesaid for such certificate of discharge or if he applies and it appears from the report that such officer has been guilty of fraud, dishonourable conduct or extravagance, such officer may be dismissed from the public service or reduced to a lower division class or grade therein or fined, reprimanded or otherwise punished by order of the Governor General.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   SERVANTS' SALARIES.
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PENALTIES.


67. On receiving notice of any pecuniary penalty imposed upon any officer under the authority of this Act the officer who pays the salary of the officer so punished shall deduct the amount thereof from such salary. With the permission of the House, I will quote.a resolution which was passed on the 25th May, 1910, at the meeting of Federation of the Chambers of Commerce of Quebec, held in Montreal, and which reads as follows:


EXEMPTION FROM DISTRAINMENT OF THE SALARIES OF FEDERAL OFFICERS.

?

Mr. BOUCHARD@

I shall be short, for I am convinced that every one here believes, as I do, that civil servants who generally earn a good salary should be, like all others, obliged to pay their debts.

The hon. member for St. Hyacinthe, Mr. Beauparlant, has devoted his attention to this question in the House of Commons where he introduced a Bill to that effect. That Bill will be again submitted at the next session and our representative expects that it will carry. Therefore, it is expedient, I think that the Federation of Boards of Trade should pass a resolution in favour of the Bill and advising the local boards of trade to meet their respective representatives and to endeavour to have them vote in favour of the Bill.

I beg to move that it be resolved that the Federation of Boards of Trade of the province of Quebec emphatically endorse the principle of the Bill presented by the member for St. Hyacinthe to render the salaries of federal officers liable to seizure and that they prompt parliament to pass the necessary legislation to that end the very next session.

Mr. AQUILA JASMIN, from Lachine. 1 second the motion.

Everybody: Carried.

I will also read the following communication from the secretary of the Montreal Board of Trade:

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM DISTRAINMENT OF THE SALARIES OF FEDERAL OFFICERS.
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?

Mr. A.@

Beauparlant, Esq., M.P.,

House of Commons, Ottawa.

Dear Sir, Reply to yours of 8th ult., has been delayed by reason of the adjournment of the council meetings over the Christmas holidays, but I now beg to inform you, as follows:

First, that the council objects to the system of garnishment for debt.

Second, that as the system of garnishment for debt exists it heartily approves of your Bill, which places Dominion civil servants in this respect, on the same level as other citizens.

I am dear Sir,

Yours truly,

GEO. HA DRILL, Secretary.

I have received this statement from the secretary of La Chambre du Commerce of Quebec:

Quebec, February 1st., 1911.

A. M. Beauparlant, Esq., M.P.,

Ottawa, Ont.

Sir,-I have been directed to inform you that the Quebec Board of Trade are entirely favourable to the idea of that excellent Bill which you have introduced in the House of Commons, providing for the garnishment of part of the salaries of civil servants under the control of the federal authorities. The immunity enjoyed by these officers in respect to the seizure of the salaries coming to them gives rise to grievous abuses, to shameful impositions on the good nature of business men and other creditors, on the part of debtors in bad faith, and it is certainly high time that the unfairness of such a procedure should he recognized and that means should he taken to safeguard to a certain extent the interests of bona fide and deceived creditors. You may rest assured that you have the sympathy and moral support of all business men and particularly of the members of the Board of Trade.

Your obedient servant,

T. LEVASSEUR, Secretary.

The ' Mail and Empire ' of the 3rd December last published the following editorial note:

Civil servants have in the past been debtor-proof. Owe what they might their salaries could not be garnisheed. Mr. Beauparlant, one of the Quebec members, has introduced a Bill to change all this, tinder his measure salaries of civil servants can be attached precisely as those of private individuals may be. Officials who pay their way will not object to a Bill of this kind. The only possible objectors would he non-payers, and their opposition is an argument in favour of the change. Why the public officers have been exempt from the law for so long is a mystery.

The Kingston ' Standard ' of the same date contained the following:

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-RECIPROCAL TRADE WITH THE UNITED STATES.
Subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM DISTRAINMENT OF THE SALARIES OF FEDERAL OFFICERS.
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SALARIES OF CIVIL SERVANTS.


A Bill has been introduced into the Ottawa House to amend the Civil Service Act so that the salaries of the gentlemanly, but often impecunious employees of the government shall be subject to garnishment. It may or may not become law; but there is no doubt of this fact-that the prayers of every retail m.ti chant in the country will go up nightly i n favour of it; for of all the dead beats that ever swindled a tradesman the civil servant dead heat, as he is seen in certain outside cities


March 2, 1911