July 28, 1911

LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

With respect to the return which was laid on the table of the House a few moments ago by the. Minister of Labour, I would like to ask him if provision has been made or is being made for the printing of the return?

Topic:   SALARIES AND PROMOTIONS, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.
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LIB

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

The report is being issued as one of the reports of the Department of Labour, and will be paid for out of the appropriation for that purpose or by an order of the House. [DOT]

Topic:   SALARIES AND PROMOTIONS, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.
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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

Might I ask the Minister of Labour what means he used to gather that information or how long it has been gathering?

Topic:   SALARIES AND PROMOTIONS, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.
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LIB

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

In reply to my hon. friend I might say that this work has been in course of preparation for a considerable length of time. It is really a supplement to the volume which was brought down about a year ago, which dealt with wholesale prices, and which the hon. member for Brandon 'said he thought was the most valuable contribution to the economic literature of Canada.

This volume has been prepared by the same persons who had charge of the other volume and is a continuation of that work.

Topic:   SALARIES AND PROMOTIONS, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.
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CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

The Minister of Labour sent out experts similar to the men in Washington to gather information with reference to the prices on both sides of the line?

Topic:   SALARIES AND PROMOTIONS, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.
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LIB

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

Yes, there have been special experts and officers of the department gathering that information.

Topic:   SALARIES AND PROMOTIONS, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.
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CON

Arthur Meighen

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN.

Do I understand the minister to inform the House that this is a continuation of the work that Mr. Coates produced a year ago?

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Topic:   SALARIES AND PROMOTIONS, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.
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LIB

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

Mr. Coates has been continuing that work since, and when the discussion came up in the House on the various articles mentioned in the reciprocity agreement it became evident that members of the House wished to get further information in the way of prices. I instructed Mr. Coates to make his further report more detailed than it otherwise would be and to carry back his investigations five years and get actual market quotations for that period of time.

Topic:   SALARIES AND PROMOTIONS, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.
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CON

Arthur Meighen

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN.

This is a separate and distinct work prepared since the debate took place?

Topic:   SALARIES AND PROMOTIONS, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.
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LIB

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

It has been completed since the debate commenced, but a good deal of the information has been gathered during the last few years.

Topic:   SALARIES AND PROMOTIONS, POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT.
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INQUIRY FOR RETURN.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I would ask that a return moved for on March 20, relating to papers touching the claim of Macdonald & McLellan for the construction of a portion of the Intercolonial railway be expedited.

Topic:   INQUIRY FOR RETURN.
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RULES OF THE HOUSE.

LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

In view of the many references recently made to the expediting of the business of the House and the necessity of some change in the rules, I wish to ask the right hon. the leader of the House whether any steps are being taken or are proposed to be taken with regard to an amendment of the rules tending towards the expedition of public business. I wish to read an extract from a newspaper which may be of some service in consideration of the whole question:

How to Suppress Bores.

A Paris paper describes the method by which a South African tribe deals with bores.

This tribe considers long speeches injurious both to the speaker and his hearers; so, in order to protect both, there is a tribal law that every public orator must stand on one leg only while he is making a speech.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

What if the speaker has not a leg to stand on?

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE.
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LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON. (Reading):

If the^ other leg is brought to the ground the oration must immediately end.

It is suggested that this institution would be of con'o^'wabh value in other countries.-New York ' Times'.

This is an extract from the New York ' Times.' It might not meet the case now before the House as suggested by the Minister of Finance where the speakers have not a leg to stand on, but I am referring generally to the obstruction that has taken place in times past if it is not now in evidence in this House.

Topic:   RULES OF THE HOUSE.
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FARMERS' BANK.

CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I would point out to the Minister of Finance in connection with the affairs of the Farmers' Bank of Canada that we are still without any information upon the table of the House, such as he suggested we might have. The hon. gentleman will no doubt remember that on March 15 a motion was made in this House by the hon. member for Balton (Mr. Henderson) that a royal commission should be appointed for the purpose of investigating and reporting on certain matters in connection with the affairs of that bank. The Minister of Finance, answering for the government upon that motion, referred in the first place to an answer which he had given some time previously and in which he had said that:

The proceedings now engaging the attention of the courts of justice in Toronto, will lead to a full investigation into and disclosure of all the affairs of the bank, and that, therefore, there is no need of the appointment of a royal commission.

The minister also added that if anything should arise later to indicate that the investigation was insufficient the question would be further considered. He also said that the machinery of the courts had been involved, and the case had been occupying a great deal of attention in the courts of Ontario, and that he saw no reason to doubt that the investigation would be thorough. He, therefore, concluded that there was no need of a royal commission to investigate matters which were already being fully investigated in the courts.

The difficulty of the situation is this: If we had a royal commission, if evidence had been taken and a report laid on the table of the House, the House would be seized of the evidence and of the report itself and would be enabled to form conclusions thereon. We have not that, and further, we have not anything of the kind at all because the government has not, up to the present, laid on the table of the House the result of any investigation by the curator or by the liquidator or copies of any evidence taken in the courts. I would therefore, suggest that inasmuch as a royal commission has been denied, upon the ground that there would be an investigation toy the liquidator and in the courts, it would be a proper and reasonable thing for the government to procure certified copies of all evidence taken by the curator or liquidator, if any such evidence has been taken, and of all reports made by the curator and liquidator and copies of all proceedings in the courts, which, in the judgment of the Minister of Finance, would serve the purpose that would otherwise have been served so far as the information of this House is concerned, by the appointment of a royal com-Mr. EMMERSON.

mission and by the investigation and report of that commission.

I would, therefore, ask whether any steps have been taken to lay that information on the table of the House. If no such steps have been taken I would ask whether the government propose to assist the House in respect to this matter by procuring official copies of all such proceedings and evidence and having them laid on the table of the House. This seems to me a reasonable request.

Topic:   FARMERS' BANK.
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LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

If there are any public documents whatever in relation to the Farmers' Bank which have come to the government since the last discussion-I cannot for the moment say whether there are or not-I have no objection to their being brought down in response to a request of the House. Of the general investigation I can only take the ground I did before that these matters are being investigated toy the courts. We have no reason to doubt that the investigation will be in every respect thorough, and I can see no reason why there should be any departure from the usual practice in this respect. If there are any public documents in the matter which have come to the government I have no objection to bringing them down.

Topic:   FARMERS' BANK.
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CON

Edmund Boyd Osler

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. OSLER.

My attention was called, since I returned, to a debate in parliament on the 15th of March. Before I left this country on January, I was present when we were discussing the question of the Farmers' Bank.

I then made the statement that I had spoken to the Minister of Finance in reference to the issue of a certificate to this bank. The Minister of Finance said that if I was in the House he was sure I would not make that statement. After^ the deposit had been made with the Receiver General and before the certificate had been issued, I met the Minister of Finance and had a talk with him about the Farmers' Bank. I told him that it was a fraud, that the people connected with it were not worthy, and that the method taken for obtaining the necessary deposit was absolutely illegal. I knew that of my own personal knowledge, because I knew where application had been made to borrow the money on these endorsed notes; I did not know at the time from whom. I saw that the Finance Minister was under a good deal of anxiety about the condition of affairs. The matter ended there so far as I was concerned until some time afterwards, when I learned that a certificate had been issued, and I again spoke to the minister, and said I was exceedingly sorry that the government had issued the certificate. The Finance Minister said that so far as he saw, the law had been complied with, and that if the government had not issued the cer-

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tificate they would have been open to the charge of protecting the larger banks. Of course there is a good deal of reason in that, but I think it was a case where the closest scrutiny ought to have been observed. It was notorious that the men at the head of the bank were not worthy. The information I think was given fairly, and without any prejudice against the establishment of new banks. Further than that, I may say that I had .a conversation with my hon. friend from Halton (Mr. Henderson), and he told me he had made the same representation to the Finance Minister. I only make this statement because I do not want to put in the mouth of the leader of the opposition statements which I cannot confirm.

Topic:   FARMERS' BANK.
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July 28, 1911