It is not all right. It is against the sound parliamentary Tule of the British parliament to grant charters right and left of that kind, because such a charter tends to create all kinds of conflicts with individuals and with ether companies.
Under the circumstances the consideration of this Bill should be postponed to enable hon. gentlemen to study it and to come to an opinion about the propriety of giving all these extraordinary powers which are sought for by would-be or so-called farmers.
There is nothing in this Bill that the company could not get by letters patent any day of the week; there is nothing in the Bill that other companies have not got. The powers asked for are simply for the purpose of the undertaking, and in farming nowadays you have not only the growing of the grain and of farm products, but you have to deal with the disposal of these products. I see no reason on earth why my hon. friend (Mr. Gervais) should want to prevent this Bill going through. He got his Bill through a year ago to incorporate the Retailers' Association, and that same association has been dead against anything that sounds like cooperation in any shape or form. Why should not the farmers, if they desire it, have a company for the disposal to the best advantage of the products they themselves raise? The Bill is fair and reasonable, the name of the Bill is all right, and there is no reason why the committee should not pass it. It was submitted to the Private Bills Committee, and there was an amendment distinctly debarring the company from going into the business of banking in any shape or form.
The section that refers to banking only allows them to hold a small amount of stock in a bank, and they have no desire to do a banking business. The association cannot hold more than the minority stock in any bank.
While it is true that possibly all the powers contained in this Bill are granted under the Companies Act in letters patent, in this case the difficulty to my mind arises by reason of the name of the company which is called the Grain Growers' Grain Company, Limited. You will observe that the intention is that the shareholders shall be farmers, or their wives and children, or the lessees of farms, and one might naturally assume that the business of the company was limited to dealing in grain. It seems to me objectionable that a company whose name indicates it was formed for a specific purpose, should be given such general powers as are contained in section 14 of this Bill. If the title were of a general nature so that any one taking stock in the company would suppose it were dealing in various kinds of business, that might be different. As my hon. friend from St. James division (Mr. Gervais) says, this section is very broad. True, the company is limited to dealing in these lines of business for the purpose of carrying out the objects mentioned in section 13, but, as a matter of fact, that section does not limit its operations. One can hardly see any line of business in which this company cannot engage, and one can hardly see how the developing of electricity, purchasing timber lands, acquiring water-powers, dealing in lumber, hardware, bricks, stone, tiles and all kinds of merchandise and supplies can be necessary to carry on the business of farming. Section 14 has to do with a line of business entirely different in character from that provided in section 13. I would think that this is a Bill-following out what we did in the case of the Bill incorporating Revillon Freres-which should be sent to the Banking and Commerce Committee.
Clause D authorizes the company to purchase, or otherwise acquire and sell, bonds, debentures, or other securities of any bank or any printing or publishing company. The company may also acquire ships and electric powers and sell Mr. SPROULE.
electricity without coming under the Railway Act. It may acquire and develop water-powers, and do all these things I have mentioned without being bound by any of the safeguards we usually attach to corporations seeking charters from us. It seems to me plain that this Bill should go to the Banking and Commerce Committee.