According to the evidence given in the committee, the Bank of Commerce has prohibited its managers from engaging in any kind of insurance business. I think that the banks of this country, making the money they do, might very well afford to put their bank managers in such a financial position by the salaries paid to them that it would not be necessary for them to engage in the business of insurance. The principle that underlies this subsection is, in my opinion, a sound one. In addition to what has been mentioned by my hon. friend from North Ontario (Mr. Sharpe), there is the further consideration that, in some districts in the West, the bank manager, as insurance agent, serves a very useful _ purpose to the community, because there is no one else engaged in the business within easy distance. Having regard to the fact that these branches have existed for many years, and that vested rights so to speak, although that is not a particularly happy expression, have been acquired in agencies of insurance by many (bank managers; having regard also to the amount of revenue which such an agency yieHs them, and to the other consequence which, as men-'
Mr. SHARPE (North Ontar-W
tioned by the hon. member for North Ontario, would flow from this legislation, I am of the opinion that this clause should be struck out of the Act. If we were commencing anew, that is to say, if there were no bank managers actually engaged in the business of insurance, I think this would be desirable legislation, but I have had representations made to me that it is going to work hardship. I would therefore suggest that the clause be struck out, and I will take up the matter with the Bankers' Association, and, so far as the future is concerned, see if they cannot adopt the policy, now adopted by some banks, of prohibiting their managers from engaging in fire or other insurance. That conclusion I have reached in view of the representations that have reached me from the outside, and from many hon. members of this House.
Subtopic: BANKS AND BANKING.