April 1, 1919

UNION

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Unionist

Sir THOMAS WHITE (Acting Prime Minister):

I have not seen the article, and I have no official information on the subject referred to.

Topic:   SOLDIERS SENTENCED TO PENAL SERVITUDE.
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THIRD READINGS.


Bill No. 10, to amend the Dominion Lands Surveys Act.-Hon. Mr. Meighen. Bill No. 29, to amend the Railway Act (Aid for Railway Crossings).-Hon. Mr. Reid. Bill No. 30, to amend an Act to provide compensation where employees of His Majesty are killed or suffer injuries while performing their duties.-Hon. Mr. Reid.


ADVANCES FOR THE PURCHASE OF SEED GRAIN.


On motion of Hon. Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior), Bill No. 24, respecting advances for the purchase of seed grain, was read the second time, and the House went into Committee thereon.-Mr. Boivin in the Chair. On section 3-minister may guarantee repayment of advances.


L LIB

Charles Murphy

Laurier Liberal

Mr. MURPHY:

Are these agreements

uniform or may they vary in certain cases, and, if so, in what respect?

Topic:   ADVANCES FOR THE PURCHASE OF SEED GRAIN.
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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

So far just one agreement has been made by me with the Bankers' Association on behalf of all the banks. It would never in my opinion be justifiable to make an agreement with one bank more favourable than with another.

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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

Does the section mean that there will be a discrepancy of 2 per cent between the interest paid by the Government and the interest paid by the entrant.

Topic:   ADVANCES FOR THE PURCHASE OF SEED GRAIN.
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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

No. The bank in making a loan to a farmer cannot charge over 7 per cent. If the bank fails to collect and calls upon the Government to pay, the Government is only bound to pay 5 per cent.

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Section agreed to. On section 4-commission op collections.


L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

A commission of 1 per cent on the amount lent and 7 per cent interest would make 8 per cent.

Topic:   ADVANCES FOR THE PURCHASE OF SEED GRAIN.
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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

No, it would mean on all moneys that the bank collects it would get 8 per cent, but the farmer would pay only 7 per cent. The Government pays one per cent for the trouble of collection. That is by way of inducement to the bank to collect the money and keep the Government out of the matter as far as possible.

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L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

The one per cent is paid by the Government at all events. Supposing a farmer borrows money from a bank and gives his note, when the farmer pays back the money, the bank gets one per cent over and above the interest charged to the farmer, and that one per cent is paid by the Government.

Topic:   ADVANCES FOR THE PURCHASE OF SEED GRAIN.
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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

That is right.

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L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL:

The last time this Bill was before the House, I understood the minister to state that he would take into consideration the advisability of limiting the amount to be appropriated.

Topic:   ADVANCES FOR THE PURCHASE OF SEED GRAIN.
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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

When the Bill was previously before the House, I stated, in response to a suggestion by the hon. member (Mr. Fielding), that a limit should be placed on the amount which the Government could in any way advance or guarantee for seed grain purchases, which suggestion I said at the time I did not think was practicable, that I would look into the matter further and see if it were practicable. The Controller of the Finance Department, whom I consulted, said that no practicable limit could be fixed because the amount varies from almost nothing in some years to half a million dollars in others. In 1916, following the big crop of 1915, no money whatever was advanced to unpatented homesteaders. In 1917 the amount advanced was $72,757. In 1918 the amount advanced was $370,000. Then back in the year 1915,

I do not know what the amount advanced on unpatented homesteads was, but at all events it was up in the millions, so that one would necessarily have to fix the maximum amount, and that would be of no value at all. I do not see that any purpose could be served in fixing the amount, for the reason that there is no guiding principle to follow, and if for any reason the demand for the year exceeded the maximum fixed by Parliament, there could be no justification for not meeting the demand even by Governor General's warrant.

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L LIB

Frank S. Cahill

Laurier Liberal

Mr. CAHILL:

Under this measure the department has the privilege of spending all of the moneys of the Dominion of Canada, and as Parliament sits usually

between the crop seasons, it is surely not too much to expect the department to make an approximate estimate of what they expect to require during the coming season. This provision is for next season's crop, and conditions in the districts that are liable to be benefited under this measure are pretty well known. The department can surely say to-day that it will require $1,000,000 or $10,000,000. If there had been a crop failure last year, the department would require more money. There could be inserted in the Bill a section stating that as Parliament sits between the crop seasons, the estimated amount required should be fixed each year.

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UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I would have very little difficulty in fixing a maximum amount for this year. I do not think the maximum amount required this year will reach $500,-

000. But the hon. member asks for a maximum applicable for every year.

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L LIB
UNION

Arthur Meighen (Minister of the Interior; Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs)

Unionist

Mr. METGHEN:

That is what anything inserted in the Bill would mean, because the Bill is a continuing authority to the Government. No doubt if the hon. member brings up the question at some time in each session an estimate can then be given of what will be required for that year, but you could not fix that in the Bill, because the Bill would have to be amended every year.

Topic:   ADVANCES FOR THE PURCHASE OF SEED GRAIN.
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April 1, 1919