March 27, 1918

PRIVATE BILLS.

FIRST READINGS.


Bill No. 22, respecting the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers and to change its name to " The Engineering Institute of Canada."-Sir Herbert Ames. Bill No 23, to incorporate Merchants Casualty Company.-Mr. Andrews. Bill No. 24, respecting The Montreal, Ottawa and Georgian Bay Canal Company.- Mr. Fripp.


REPORTS.


Report of the Department of Railways and Canals for the year ended March 31, 1917.-Hon. Mr. Reid. Report of the Postmaster General, for the year ended March 31, 1917.-Hon. Mr. Doherty. Report of the Department of Indian Affairs for the year ended March 31, 1917.- Hon. Mr. Calder. Report of the Department of the Interior for the year ended March 31, 1917.-Hon. Mr. Calder. Report of Hon. W. J. Hanna, Food Controller, covering the period in which he discharged the duties of that office.-Sir Robert Borden.


PRINTING OF PARLIAMENT.


Sir Robert Borden moved: That a message he sent to tlhe Senate to acquaint their Honours that this House will unite with them in the formation of a Joint Committee of .both Houses on the subject of the Printing of Parliament, and that the Members of the Select Standing Committee on Printing, viz.:-Messieurs: Bowman, Brouillard, Buchanan, Burnham, Cardin, Charters, Clark (Bruce), Clarke (Wellington), Crowe, Currie, Fontaine, Hocken, Hughes (Sir Sam), Keefer, Maclean (Halifax), Michaud, Murphy, Prevost, Reid (Mackenzie), Richardson, Shaw, Verville, White (Victoria), and Wilson (Wentworth), will act as members, on the part of this House, on the said Joint Committee on the Printing of Parliament. Motion agreed to.


BANKRUPTCY BILL.


Mr. S. W. JACOBS (George-Etienne Cartier), moved for leave to introduce Bill No 25 respecting Bankruptcy.


UNION

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Unionist

Mr. SPEAKER:

When I first saw this notice on the Order Paper, I had some doubt, in view of Rule 50, as to whether it was competent for the. hon. member to introduce such a Bill without its'having previously been passed upon in Committee of the Whole. But, apparently, the uniform practice of this House has been that Bills in respect of bankruptcy have not been deemed to be trade Bills as such, and therefore it may be introduced in the -manner in which the hon. member proposes to introduce it.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY BILL.
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L LIB

Samuel William Jacobs

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JACOBS:

Mr. Speaker, this Bill is a somewhat elaborate and comprehensive document, and if I were to give to it the time which it deserves, my explanation would probably keep the House here over the Easter recess. As hon. members are aware, there is no Bankruptcy Act in Canada. In that respect, Canada differs from practically every other civilized country; and it is proposed by this Bill to put Canada in line with other countries. As the House is aware, bankruptcy is within the purview of the Federal authority. No province can legislate with regard to bankruptcy, because of the fact that that subject is particularly declared in the British North America Act to be-like banking, railways, and so on-within the purview of the Federal authority. Of course, in the absence of any Bankruptcy Act, provided by

the Federal authority, the provincial. authority has done what it could to correct the anomaly which now exists.

The main purpose of a Bankruptcy Act, as I understand it, is to see to. it that a debtor in certain cases obtains a discharge *from his creditors. Now, we have not since 1880 had anything of the kind in this country, and i-t is high time that a .measure of this kind should he passed. It is usual in these days for ho.n, gentlemen, in .introducing Bills to state that they are merely introduced as war measures. That seems to cover a multitude of sins-anything iwhioh you can declare to he a war measure receives the attention of this House. I think I can claim for this Bill that it is essentially a war measure at this particular time. We must be prepared, when the war comes to a close, to be able to' handle the .situation which is bound to arise in this country as a result of the long-continued struggle and of the readjustments that will have to. be made. Our legislation will have [DOT]to be sufficiently elastic to take care of the [DOT]situation. Many people will find at the end of the war that it will be necessary for them to reconsider their position; .'and it is only right, I -submit, that the necessary legislation should be provided for that purpose.

At present no distinction whatever is made as between the honest and the dishonest debtor in the matter of obtaining a discharge; they are all thrown into the discard. By this measure it is proposed that the courts shall carefully scrutinize the business dealings and the business relations of traders, and shall make a distinction- shall separate the sheep from the goats. (When- the court is. of the opinion that a debtor has been obliged to' assign through misfortune, he .should be given, the necessary relief. If, on the other hand, it should .be found, in scrutinizing his .affaire, that he wrecked his own business wilfully, then, of course, he should receive no- relief whatever. That is the crux of every 'bankruptcy law, and it" is for that reason that I have introduced this Bill for the consideration of hon. members.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY BILL.
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Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time.


QUESTIONS.


(Questions answered orally are indicated by asterisks).


HON. MR. SEVIGNY'S STATUS.

L LIB

Mr. CANNON:

Laurier Liberal

1. Is Honourable Albert SCvigny occupying a post or fulfilling a function under the control

of the Crown, or is he a member of any Commission appointed by the Government?

2. If so, what is that post, function or commission, and what is the remuneration thereof?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   HON. MR. SEVIGNY'S STATUS.
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UNION

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Unionist

Sir ROBERT BORDEN (Prime Minister) :

This question, was sufficiently answered by the announcement I made yesterday.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   HON. MR. SEVIGNY'S STATUS.
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EMPLOYEES ON GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS.

L LIB

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Laurier Liberal

1. How many employees of every description were on the pay-rolls of the Government Railways on the 31st day of December last, including -any and all railways in Canada owned or controlled by His Majesty?

2. How many men were employed in Canada on ships owned by His Majesty on same date?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   EMPLOYEES ON GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS.
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?

Hon. J. D. RETD:

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   EMPLOYEES ON GOVERNMENT RAILWAYS.
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March 27, 1918