April 30, 1917

CONSCRIPTION.


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

In view of the position taken by the Government through the Premier last year that they were emphatically not in favour of conscription, and of the letter of the Minister of the Interior published in the western United States, and1 of advertisements published by the Interior Department to the effect that conscription was not deemed, either advisable or necessary in Canada, I would like to ask the Minister of Militia and Defence whether it is the intention of the Government to change their policy in. regard to enlistment and provide for a policy of conscription, or whether they intend to put in force .compulsorily the .provisions of the Militia Act.

Topic:   CONSCRIPTION.
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CON

Albert Edward Kemp (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. KEMP:

The question to which my hon. friend refers has not yet had the consideration of the Government.

Topic:   CONSCRIPTION.
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PRIVATE JOSEPH MARCIL.


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Hon. CHARLES MARCIL:

I would like to draw the attention of the Minister of Militia and Defence to a letter that I received from Louis Marcil, 1425 St. Dennis Street, Montreal, stating that his son, Joseph Marcil, who is the only support of an aged father and mother, has enlisted in the Forestry Battalion and gone to the front. He has assigned $25 a month to his parents but they have received nothing since he has gone. Mr. Ross of the Patriotic Fund, Montreal, and Major Hudon have communicated with the department, but no reply has been received. I will send the letter over to the minister and shall be glad if he will look into the matter.

Topic:   PRIVATE JOSEPH MARCIL.
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CON

Albert Edward Kemp (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. KEMP:

I shall be very glad to have the letter. ,

Topic:   PRIVATE JOSEPH MARCIL.
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PRIVATE BILLS.

THIRD READING.


Bill No. 8, to incorporate The Bishop of Mackenzie River.-Mr. R. B. Bennett.


UNITED GRAIN GROWERS.


Further consideration in Committee-Mr. Rainville in the chair-of Bill No. 14, respecting the Grain Growers' Grain Company, Limited, and to authorize it to change its name to " United Grain Growers, Limited."-Mr. Bradbury. On section 6-grouping of shareholders in local societies based on territorial districts.


?

Mr. BEAD BURY@

There does not seem to be anything very unusual about this section, which provides for the abolition, by by-law, of the right to vote by proxy. Under the proposed form of government, the shareholders will be grouped in local societies based on territorial districts, and the societies will be represented at the meetings of the company by delegates. The reason for this change is that in such a large company as the Grain Growers' Grain Company, with something like 18,000 members, there is danger of a few men collecting a large number of proxies, and then it would not be a fair representation at all, so the proposal is to have delegates. I am authorized to say that this form of government is not a new one. It is now applicable and applied in the Aioerta Co-operative Elevator Company, with which the Grain Growers' Grain Company proposes to amalgamate, and has been found to work very satisfactorily. It is also the form of government applicable to the Saskatchewan Co-operative Elevator Company. As this form of government has already been adopted by these two companies with which the Grain Growers' Grain Company proposes to amalgamate, i do not think the committee will make any serious objection to this section. I might quote the following from the last Annual Report of the directors of the Grain Growers' Grain Company, Limited:-

At the present time out of 18,000 shareholders not more than 300 attend the meetings in person; not more than 2,000 of the remaining shareholders are represented by proxy, and a great many of these send their proxies in to the annual meeting to be distributed among the delegates present. The effect of this is that not more than 20 per cent of the shareholders are represented in any way at shareholders' meetings, and this unquestionably leaves the way open for a group of designing shareholders to secure control of an annual meeting. It is a notorious fact that a few years ago one shareholder came to the meeting with over 250 proxies which he was entitled to vote. Half a dozen shareholders coming armed with a similar amount of proxies could at our annual meeting do Just as they pleased. Discussions have frequently taken place in the past at our annual meetings as to the advisability of doing away with proxy voting, and opinions have been expressed of the danger that lay in this system. This was particularly discussed at the annual meeting two years ago when the following resolution was unanimously passed:

"That in connection with By-law No. 51 dealing with the proposed amendments to the Act incorporating the Company, the Board of Directors are hereby instructed to take the necessary steps, and to use their fullest possible powers to have deleted from the charter those sections of the Act permitting proxy voting."

The above resolution was passed at the annual meeting held November 4, 1914.

By the substitution of delegate voting a great many more of the shareholders can be directly represented than is possible at the present time, the idea being that the shareholders, when formed into a local group, will have an organization as a group that would be registered in the head office books of the Company. They will meet once a year, or oftener, and select a delegate or delegates to represent them at the annual meeting. The expenses of the delegates to the meeting will be paid by the Company, and when they return to their locals they will be expected to report to the shareholders composing them the result of the Company's Annual Meeting, and to give them any information they can as to what business has been done in the past year. This is the same principle as that by which delegates are appointed to attend the Annual conventions of the Grain Growers' Associations and the United Farmers of Alberta.

As pointed out this is the form of government in the Alberta Farmers Co-operative and the Saskatchewan Co-operative Elevator Companies. The Directors of the Alberta Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company are firmly convinced that it is a much superior method to that at present in practice in The Grain Growers' Grain Company, and your Directors are in unanimous agreement with them in this respect.

This is pant of the report made at the meeting of the Grain Growers' Association, and I think it covers the point.

Topic:   UNITED GRAIN GROWERS.
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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I do not know whether I am in favour of this Bill or agaurst it, for I do not understand it. If some legal gentleman would tell us the effect of the changes proposed to be made in the by-laws by omitting certain words and inscribing others, we should know better what we are doing.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Solicitor General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I am much in the same state of mind as the hon. member for South Renfrew (Mr. Graham). I observe, for instance, that section 5 may be acted upon without section 6 toeing acted upon. That is, the company would have the power to abolish voting by proxy altogether without adopting any substitute, and if this were done shareholders would have to be present in person if they wished to have a share in the management, of the company. Personally, I should like to hear from the Chairman of the Private Bills Committee, by which the Bill has been considered, as to the effect of these changes and the reasons for them.

Topic:   UNITED GRAIN GROWERS.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

Topic:   UNITED GRAIN GROWERS.
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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

As some words of the

old statute are omitted and others substituted, there should he some person to tell us what the old statute is and what the effects of each change will be. Otherwise, we are working in the dark.

Topic:   UNITED GRAIN GROWERS.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

Personally, I do not see the object of doing away with voting by proxy-the fact that the Company is a large one does not seem to me a sufficient reason, for there are many companies in the world much larger than this that vote by proxy. Under the Bill, power is given to the directors to vary the districts for which representatives shall be chosen. Is not that putting a great deal of power in the hands of the directors? They might not give proper notice of changes, and I think that provision should be made that notice shall be given before the districts are varied. I tried to follow the statement of the promoter of the Bill (Mr. Bradbury), but did not quite catch why this change from proxies to delegates is wanted.

Topic:   UNITED GRAIN GROWERS.
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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY:

The reasons were given by Mr. Orerar, the President of the Association, before the Private Bills Committee the other day. He seemed to convince the committee that everything was all right. He handed me the statement which I have read to this committee. The main reason why they want proxies done away with, I think, is because of the two companies with which they are amalgamating. Neither of these companies allow proxies and the Grain Growers are asking to be amalgamated with these two companies.

Topic:   UNITED GRAIN GROWERS.
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April 30, 1917