I can only say that the more information the minister gives me about the rumours concerning the Farmers' Bank, it seems to me all the more reasonable why he should have been more careful in granting the certificate. The Act says in effect that the only two parties to be satisfied are the Finance Minister and the Treasury Board. That is not a ques-
lion of law. It is only a question of the satisfaction of the Finance Minister and the Treasury Board that all the details of the Act have, been complied with that would justify him in granting a certificate. He applied to the Minister of Justice for his opinion. As to what did he want his opinion? As to whether or not the evidence was sufficient to justify him in granting the certificate? If he wanted to get his own opinion corroborated by the Minister of Justice, the only way in which he could get an honest corroboration was to submit to the Minister of Justice all the facts that he himself was possessed of. Now, I ask the Minister of Finance if he said to the Minister of Justice: I have a complaint from Mr. McCarthy to the effect that these subscriptions were obtained by fraud, that some men subscribed for $1,000 stock, and when they came to investigate they found that they were down for $10,000; I have information from Mr. McCarthy that a great many of those who are down for subscriptions did not sign the stock book at all, and that a certain member of parliament whose name wras put down as a director had' never consented; we have the judgment of the court at Toronto, which practically confirms all these allegations, because these men got judgment against the Farmers' Bank, and got back their money and their notes; I have the evidence of Mr. William Laidlaw, K.O., in an affidavit in which he swears that all these things are true. If the Minister of Finance had submitted all these facts to the Minister of Justice, together with the single affidavit of Mr. Travers, does he think that the Minister of Justice would have written back saying: You are quite justified on the evidence you have submitted in granting the certificate. I venture to say that he would not. All that the Minister of Justice did say was: If you are
satisfied with the evidence, you are justified in granting the certificate. So that the matter came hack to the judgment of the Minister of Finance himself whether or not he would he justified in granting the certificate. And all this evidence is not what has been discovered since, but is from information which the Finance Minister indisputably had in his possession at the time he granted the certificate, which is not only a certificate that the bank has been properly organized, but is practically a certificate of character to Mr. Travers, because it is a refutation of all the charges made against him, and an intimation to the innocent people of this country that he is all right, that he has complied with the laws of the Dominion of Canada, and that they are perfectly justified in placing their money in the Farmers' Bank of Canada. That is what it amounts to. The Minister of Finance says that because the govern-Mr. MIDDLEBEO.
ment of Ontario happened to have a small deposit of $25,000 in the Farmers' Bank, they were satisfied with Mr. Travers. But the answer to that is this. The Ontario government knew that before a bank could get a charter it had to comply with the Dominion Act, and, therefore, they assumed that the Minister of Finance had carried out the Act.
Subtopic: E. S. CLOUSTON,