I think the Minister of Public Works had no hesitation a year ago in promising that there would be no further extension of time; that this was final and that the man who did not have his land located 'by the 31st of December, 1912, was out of it forever. My hon. friend now asks for an extension to the 31st October. I would like to hear him make the same promise as was made in the past. It seems to me we ought to be consistent. If he made that promise, it would only put him in a position to follow out former preced-
ents and to come here next year in order to ask for a further extension. If he did not make that promise he might be embarrassed when he came next year in order to ask for an extension of the time.
In regard to the question of the extension of time for the location of this scrip, I would like to say that the situation has been rather unfortunate. The time limit for the location of scrip, as the minister said, was the end of December, 1910. At that time, representations were made on the part of those who held -e-ip that there had not been fair and reasonable opportunity, through lapse of time, for them to locate, having regard to precedent in connection with the former issues of scrip. It will be remembered by the minister that when the question of extension of the period for location for a year from the end of 1910 was brought forward in the House, it met with a great deal of opposition, particularly from the members who were then in Opposition. It was urged that such a concession was largely "to the advantage of speculators rather than to the advantage of those who had originally held the scrip. That view was urged very strongly, and I am not sure that my hon. friend the acting Minister of the interior did not assist in pressing it upon the attention of the Government. I know that some of his colleagues did, and particularly the present Minister of Militia (Mr. Hughes). I remember very distinctly that hon. gentleman was, veTy strong on the point that this extension of time was more in the interest of speculators than in the interest of volunteers. But, be that as it may, the Government of that day took the responsibility of extending the time for a year. It was thoroughly well understood at that time that there should be no further extension. The Government changed, however, before the end of 1911, and before the end of that year under the new Government, the rumour was circulated that there would be a further extension of the time for the location of the scrip. The effect of that was, of course, to stiffen the price of scrip-to add to the speculative value. Assuming that the scrip was not obliged to be located at the end of 1911 and still retain its value the continuation of the right of selection was to the advantage of the scrip holder or speculator. Those who felt they were ' in the know ', if I may use the expression, of course were able to hold their scrip and secure any benefit that would be derived from the extension of time, while those who were not ' in the know ' felt com-Mr. CARVELL.
pelled to sell out and .accept whatever loss there might be, or whatever difference there might be between the price they had to take, believing the scrip right was going to end with 1911, as compared with what it was worth by the reason of a further extension. I need not say that is a very, undesirable condition, but it is a condition that existed, and it is a condition that should not exist. After the end of 1911 that is, some time during 1912, after the scrip rights had expired absolutely according to law I forget in what month, but I fancy about the month of March.
Yes, but the Bill was brought in, I think, in March. That is, during January and February at any rate, those who held scrip held it absolutely on the prospect of what the Government was going to do for them. I need not enlarge on the fact that that again was a very undesirable condition and that it tended very greatly to promote scrip speculation which had not prevailed under previous circumstances. In fact, if my recollection is right it was stated in the House by the then Ministerof the Interior that there would not be an extension of time for locating the land but that some arrangement could be made to convert the right in cash. I have not ' Hansard ' under my hand and I cannot show that that statement was made, but I believe it was made; and at any rate,the point is that several months after the right of locating the scrip had lapsed absolutely according to law, those who held scrip or were interested in scrip were kept in a condition of uncertainty as to what was going to be done. At last, some time in March or April, 1912, a Bill was brought in which provided for an extension of time until the end of that year. And the Bill went through the House in the belief on the part of the members then present-I think I am speaking correctly when I say so-that that measure made provision for the extension of time to all holders of scrip until,the end of 1912 with the alternative of taking $500 in cash in commutation of their rights. But, as a matter of fact, that Bill contained a section, No. 7, which particularly debarred from the privilege of locating on land within the year 1912 a certain class of those who held scrip. I cannot understand on what principle that section was introduced. But the effect of that section was to debar from land those holders of scrip who above all others were best entitled to locate it and whose holding of the scrip savoured less of speculation than the holding by any other men connected with the scrip. The section reads as follows:
No substitute made, constituted or appointed before the first of June, 1912, under
the Volunteer Bounty Act, 1908, shall have any right under the said Act or under this Act except such as are provided by sections 5 and 8 of this Act.
That is to say, a man who had in good faith bought the scrip and who under the terms of the Act could only use that scrip by locating it and fulfilling the duties upon the land was specifically debarred from locating it by the terms of section 7.
think it was very wrong. He was debarred [DOT]from locating the land and the best he 'could do was to avail himself of the provisions of section 8 and take five hundred dollars commutation. He could only do that after Parliament had voted the money, and Parliament had not voted any money up to that time. A certain number of scrip holders were absolutely deprived of their rights, and stood to lose in cash anywhere from one hundred dollars to five hundred dollars on the scrip they held.
Neither had anybody else any rights after December 31, 1911. These 'men had no more rights than any of the other scrip holders had, and, again, they had every right that any other scrip holder had. They had no right in law, but an absolute right in equity; this was recognized in the case of other scrip holders, and was not recognized in their case, for no reason that I can see. These men paid for this scrip anywhere from five hundred dollars to one thousand dollars.
would not have any rights after December 31, 1911, unless there was an extension.
Mr. OLIVER. Unless there was an extension. But there was a rumour circulated throughout the country after the change Of government that there would be an extension, and those who had faith or hope or expectation held on to their scrip looking for that extension. I am simply pointing out the facts for the purpose not of finding fault but of ensuring that, so far as possible, whatever disabilities these persons have been subject to in the past may not continue or recur under the new Act. These people paid anywhere from five hundred dollars to one thousand dollars for the scrip they held; they had a right to commute that scrip for five hundred dollars, which caused them -a loss of anywhere from one hundred dollars to five hundred dollars. There were about
one hundred of these scrip holders debarred by section 7 from locating their land, and they suffered an average loss of three hundred dollars, which is a matter of some thirty thousand dollars.
The man who bought the scrip and registered it was not a speculator; he was the man the speculator was making his money out of. He was the man who was entitled to protection rather than that he should be robbed of thirty thousand dollars by an Act of this Parliament. I want to impress upon the Government the fact that by reason of the uncertainty that has surrounded the extension of time of locating this scrip, a very great and undeserved hardship has been inflicted upon a large number of people, and the element of speculation has been introduced, in dealing with the scrip, in a most unfortunate and unwarranted manner. In the present instance the right to locate the scrip terminated on December 31, 1911. Had the Government prior to that^ date brought in legislation granting this extension now proposed, every man who held scrip would have known what his rights were; but the Government did not bring in that legislation before the rights then existing had expired, and has not brought it in yet.
that my hon. friend prior to December 31, asked the Minister of the Interior if he intended to extend the time, and the minister told him that he did. That was not a rumour; it was a statement made to this House, so that those who held scrip, either as original grantees or substitutes, knew prior to December 31 that there was going to be an extension; therefore I fancy they did not sacrifice anything.