February 26, 1915

MEMBER INTRODUCED.


Gedeon Rochon, Esq., for the electoral district of Terrebonne, introduced by Hon. C. J. Doherty and Hon. Louis Coderre.


CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENTS.

SELECT COMMITTEE APPOINTED.

CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. J. DOHERTY (Minister of Justice) moved:

That a Select Committee, composed of Messrs. Meighen, Fowler, McCraney, Gauthier, Sinclair, Guthrie, Fripp, Morphy and the mover, he appointed to consider and report upon amendments to the Criminal Code which have been or may be suggested at the present session of Parliament, with power to send for persons, papers and records, to examine wit- ' nesses under oath, and to report from time to time.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENTS.
Subtopic:   SELECT COMMITTEE APPOINTED.
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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

I might point out that it is not necessary to ask for power to examine witnesses, for Select Committees already have that power.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENTS.
Subtopic:   SELECT COMMITTEE APPOINTED.
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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Two Bills have been introduced, one by the hon. member for Guys-borough (Mr. Sinclair) and the other by the hon. member for Saskatoon (Mr. McCraney), seeking to amend the Criminal Code. When these Bills came up for their second reading it was agreed that they should be referred to a Select Committee such as is now proposed, and which would consider these and any other amendments to the Criminal Code that might be suggested. The reason why we take this course is that the Government did not contemplate introducing this session any legislation looking to the amendment of the Criminal Code, it being thought that under the present circumstances legislation should be limited to such as was necessitated by the war, or in some way connected with the present state of war. Having reached this conclusion, I myself, and I think some of my colleagues, pointed out this intention to the persons suggesting amendments to the Criminal Code, who then naturally did not press for legislation. It seemed to us fair that if these suggestions were to be dealt with, an opportunity should be given to others having different suggestions to put forward. The purpose of this committee would be to consider the two Bills I have mentioned, and such other amendments as might be suggested-tnere was a suggested amendment by the hon. member for Rouville (Mr. Lemieux) with regard to copyright-and to embody all the suggestions that are approved in one Bill, which could then be introduced and passed through this House.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENTS.
Subtopic:   SELECT COMMITTEE APPOINTED.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

There can be no objection to the granting of this motion and the organization of this committee; but the hon. gentleman will be opening the door very widely if he goes outsHe the two or

three Bills which have been introduced this session. Not that I have any objection myself; but there are merits in the Bills winch have been introduced, and if the hon. gentleman goes beyond these I am afraid we shall not get a Bill through this session.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENTS.
Subtopic:   SELECT COMMITTEE APPOINTED.
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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

I would expect the committee to take action only on such suggestions as might be shown to be really imperative, and I hope we shall be able to keep within that limit.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENTS.
Subtopic:   SELECT COMMITTEE APPOINTED.
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Motion agreed to.


CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

With tne consent of the House I beg to move~that Public Bills and Orders be taken up so that we may refer the two Bills I have mentioned to the Select Committee, and so avoid delay. I therefore beg to move:

That the order for the House to go into committee on Bill No. 19 (Mr. McCraney) be discharged, and that the said Bill be referred to the Select Committee appointed this day.-

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENTS.
Subtopic:   SELECT COMMITTEE APPOINTED.
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Motion agreed to.


LIB

Charles Murphy

Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

My hon. friend also

mentioned the motion standing in the name of my hon. friend from Rouville (Mr. Lemieux). Is it intended to refer that to the committee as well?

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENTS.
Subtopic:   SELECT COMMITTEE APPOINTED.
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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

The hon. member for

Rouville did not give notice of a Bill, but he made a motion in the course of which he suggested an amendment to the Criminal Code. I shall see that the suggestion is put before the committee. I beg also to move:

That the order for the House to go into committee on Bill No. 40 (Mr. Sinclair) be discharged, and that the said Bill be referred to the Select Committee appointed this day.

Topic:   CRIMINAL CODE AMENDMENTS.
Subtopic:   SELECT COMMITTEE APPOINTED.
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Motion agreed to. .


FINANCE ACT, 1914.

PROCLAMATION CONTINUED.

CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. W. T. WHITE (Minister of Finance) moved:

That it is expedient, in pursuance of the provisions of section 4 of the Act assented to on the twenty-second day of August, 1914, intituled : " An Act to conserve the Commercial and Financial Interests of Canada," to continue in force the proclamation in the form following published on the fifth day of September, 1914j in the Canada Gazette:

Arthur.

Canada.

George the Fifth, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and of the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.

To all to whom these presents shall come, or whom the same may in any wise concern, -Greeting:

A Proclamation.

E. L. Newcombe,

Deputy Minister of Justice, Canada.

Whereas in and by section 4 of an Act of the Parliament of Canada passed in the fifth year of Our Reign and intituled: " An Act to- conserve the Commercial and Financial Interests of Canada," it was provided amongst other things that in case of war, invasion, riot or insurrection, real or apprehended, and in cast ot any real or apprehended financial crisis, our Governor in Council might by proclamation published in the Canada Gazette:

(a) authorize the making of advances to the chartered banks and to the savings banks to which the Quebec Savings Banks Act, 1913, applies, by the issue of Dominion notes upon the pledge of securities, deposited with our said minister, of such kind and amount as may be approved by the Treasury Board; such advances to be repayable at such tmes as the Board may determine with interest at a rate likewise determined by the Board of not less than five per cent per annum;

(b) authorize the chartered banks to make payments in the bank notes issued *>y such banks instead of in gold or Dominion notes, but the total amount of uie notes of any chartered bank in circula-ion nootes, but the total amount of the amount of its notes issuable under the provisions of the Bank Act and of the next clause (c) ;

(c) authorize the several chartered banks to issue excess circulation, from and including the first day of March in any year, to and including the last day of August next ensuing, or during any part of such period, to amounts not exceeding fifteen per cent of the combined unimpaired capital and rest or reserve fund of the respective banks, as stated in their respective statutory monthly returns to our said minister for the month immediately preceding that in which the additional amount is issued;

(d) suspend the redemption in gold of Dominion notes,-

Now know ye that by and with the advice of our Privy Council for Canada we do by these presents proclaim and direct that by and on the date of the publication of this our proclamation in the Canada Gazette, the said orders in council shall be revoked ; and we do further by these presents declare and proclaim as follows, that:

(a) the making of advances to the chartered banks, and to the savings banks to which the Quebec Savings Banks Act, 1913, applies, by the issue of Dominion notes upon the pledge of securities ns provided in the said Act, be authorized;

(b) the chartered banks be authorized, subject to the provisions and limitations set forth in the said Act to make payments in the bank notes issued by such banks instead of in gold or Dominion notes;

(c) the several chartered banks be authorized to issue excess circulation as in the said Act defined from and including the first day of March, 1915, to and including the last day of August, 1915; and

(d) the redemption in gold of Dominion notes by the Receiver General of Canada be suspended subject to the provisions of the said Act from the date of the publication of this our proclamation in the Canada Gazette.

Of all which our loving subjects and all others whom these presents may concern, are hereby required to take notice and to govern themselves accordingly.

In testimony whereof, we have caused these Our Letters to be made Patent, and the Great Seal of Canada to be hereunto affixed. Witness, Our Most Dear and Entirely Beloved Uncle and Most Faithful Counsellor Field Marshal His Royal Highness Prince Arthur William Patrick Albert, Duke of Connaught and of Strath-earn, Earl of Sussex (in the Peerage of the United Kingdom), Prince of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Duke of Saxony, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; Knight of Our Most Noble Order of the Garter; Knight of Our Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle; Knight of Our Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick; one of Our Most Honourable Privy Council; Great Master of Our Most Honourable Order of the Bath; Knight Grand Commander of Our Most Exalted Order of the Star of India; Knight Grand Cross of Our Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George; Knight Grand Commander of Our Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire; Knight Grand Cross of Our Royal Victorian Order; Our Personal Aide-de-Camp; Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Our Dominion of Canada.

At Our Government House, in Our City of Ottawa, this third day of September, in the year of Our Lord one thousand nine hundred and fourteen, and in the fifth year of Our Reign.

By command,

P. Pelletier,

Acting Under-Secretary of State.

He said: Mr. Speaker, under the Finance Act, 1914, which was passed at the August session, authority was given to the Governor in Council, in case of war or any financial crisis, by proclamation published in the Canada Gazette, to authorize the making of advances in Dominion notes to banks upon securities approved by the Treasury Board; to authorize the chartered banks to make payments in bank notes instead of in Dominion notes or gold; to authorize the chartered banks to issue excess circulation during, that period of the year in which previously to the passing of this legislation they had not had that power and to suspend the redemption in gold of Dominion notes. The object of the Act was to give additional volume and flexibility to the currency and to conserve the gold supply of the Dominion. I draw the attention of the House to subsection 5

of section 4 of this Act, which reads as follows :

No proclamation issued under the provisions of this section shall continue in force for more than thirty days after the beginning of the first session of Parlament held after the issue thereof, unless it is approved by resolution passed by both Houses of Parliament.

In September last the Government, in pursuance oiT the authority conferred upon it by the Act, issued a proclamation authorizing the doing-of the several things which I have just mentioned, and it becomes necessary now, if this proclamation is to continue in effect, as the Government thinks it should, that a resolution should be passed by the House of Commons and by the Senate continuing it in force. While no such financial conditions exist as prevailed at the time this legislation was passed in August last, it is deemed prudent by the Government and by the financial and business community that the proclamation should be continued. It is quite impossible to forecast what effect the vicissitudes of the war may have upon international finance or monetary conditions in the great credit centres of the world, such as London and New York. Parliament having met on February 4, it is desirable that this legislation should be passed without further delay, The Budget. debate is proceeding next week and, we should hope, without interruption. I would therefore ask the House to facilitate the adoption of this resolution. I have already brought down, in answer to a question, information as to the amount of advances which have been made to the chartered banks in Dominion notes under he authority of this legislation. To refresh the memory of the House, I may say that the total amount issued to January 31, 1915, was $14,400,000, and the total amount outstanding of indebtedness by the banks to the Dominion Government was $7,900,000, which indicates that there has been repaid to the Government $6,500,000.

I might say to the House that the amount of the advances made to the banks is by no means the measure of the advantage which has been conferred by this legislation. It has enabled the banks, among other things, to meet treasury bills of governments, municipalities and corporations maturing in London, it has enabled them to make advances to governments, municipalities, corporations and other customers, and it has assisted them, better than they otherwise would have been in a

*"Mr. W. T. White.]

position to do, to finance the crop movement of last fall. The banks were required to make payments on behalf of their clients of treasury bills maturing due, to make advances to provinces, municipalities and other customers, and they did so the more readily by reason of the fact that they knew-and in many cases they had arranged in advance for it-that if it should become necessary, they could obtain advances of Dominion notes from the Government upon the pledge of the- securities which they had taken, and which would be approved by the treasury board. The principle of the Bill was fully discussed and unanimously concurred in last August. I do not think, therefore, that it is necessary that I should discuss the substance of the legislation at this time. It may be a satisfaction to the House, which, as I have stated, unanimously approved the legislation, to know that it was instantaneously efficacious for the purpose of meeting the object we had in view when it was enacted, namely, to add to the volume of our currency and enable the financial institutions of the country, in the public interest, better to withstand the strain, stress and exigency of the trying conditions which prevailed as a result of the sudden outbreak of war. If at any subsequent stage of the session the House should desire to discuss more fully either the principle of the Act or our action under it, it is unnecessary for me to say that we shall be glad to afford an opportunity for such discussion, but in the meantime, unless this resolution is adopted, the proclamation will lapse, and I, therefore, hope that the House will facilitate its adoption.

Topic:   FINANCE ACT, 1914.
Subtopic:   PROCLAMATION CONTINUED.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

The principle involved in this resolution was approved by Parliament at its August session. In order to make that legislation effective, the Minister of Finance states that after this House has been in session for thirty days, it is necessary to authorize, by resolution, a similar proclamation by order in council, and I do not think there is any objection to Parliament granting this power to the Government. It is quite possible that this power might be of great value to the country in certain' circumstances. While it is quite true the financial condition of the banks of Canada to-day is such that they can,

I think, reasonably meet all demands upon them, still, as the minister has suggested, the situation might change very quickly. I would also point out that there is not any very great danger of the abuse of this privilege by prospective borrowers, which in this

case must be chartered banks, owing to the fact that they must pay 5 per cent interest upon any loans, and" if their own position is strong they are not likely to make application for loans from the Government. I think, however, we should have from the Minister of Finance a statement showing the financial result of these operations to the Treasury Department, whether it has been financially profitable or whether it has covered its cost. I presume that in all loans we have received the statutory interest rate of 5 per cent, and that the transaction has netted some little profit to the treasury. The Minister of Finance objects to giving detailed information as to the amounts advanced to the respective banks, and I will not press for that to-day, knowing that on a future occasion we shall have opportunity to make further inquiry and to discuss the matter fully, if we so desire.

Topic:   FINANCE ACT, 1914.
Subtopic:   PROCLAMATION CONTINUED.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. W. T. WHITE:

I place upon the table the form of application under the Finance Act, which is signed by the banks, and the pledge agreement executed by the banks in connection with advances made. Loans were made to some seven banks, to the total amount of $14,400,000, and of that $6,500,000 has been repaid. I am quite satisfied that any amount outstanding would be repaid tomorrow morning if we desired it. It is unnecessary to say to the House that in addition to the, pledge of particular securities approved by the Treasury Board, under the Bank Act, the Dominion Government has a lien next after the note circulation, upon all assets of banks for any claims it may have against them, so that no question as to security could possibly arise. I have already explained why I consider it undesirable that I should bring down information showing what individual banks had availed themselves of the privilege of the Act. With the object of inducing the banks more readily to make applications for loans, in order to put them in a better position to meet the requirements of their customers throughout the country, I stated in a letter to them that their applications would be regarded as confidential. It did not occur to me then that the information would be asked for in Parliament, because in the fall of 1907, when advances were made in Dominion notes to banks, through the Bank of Montreal, no particulars were obtained, so far as I am aware, even by the department; the Bank of Montreal making the loans as the agent of the Government. I do not know that the matter is of very great importance, but certainly I would be the

last to deny any information to Parliament that it might desire to have. Having promised the banks that I would not make public their applications, I feel reluctant to do so, and I trust this will be satisfactory to the House. I should be pleased to give to my right hon. friend, as leader of the Opposition, details as to the loans to the banks, but I hesitate for the reason I have given, to make the information public.

Topic:   FINANCE ACT, 1914.
Subtopic:   PROCLAMATION CONTINUED.
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February 26, 1915