March 27, 1924

CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Well, the life

line is already thrown out, and it is grabbed enthusiastically by hon. gentlemen opposite. I am anxious that this House, Mr. Speaker, shall have its hands untrammelled in doting what it thinks ought to be done and doing it now, and not in some other day within the future, and I am just trying to trace exactly how this thing works out. Is it intended to help the depositors? One would hardly think so. If it was to help the depositors there would be a plain straight declaration on the face of the very order in council itself showing that the government was not committed in the slightest degree to help out a depositor to the extent of one single sou. Oh, no, that was not the intention. What was it done for?

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LIB
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

The hon. gentleman is seeking very anxiously to get information just at the time he wants it. I do not think he really wants it. Let us see. We have that order in council, and it is an order in council not for the purpose of ascertaining what is wrong with banks, banking and bank laws; not really what was the matter with the Home Bank but what was the matter with Sir Thomas White, and that is just about the last thing that any depositor is really interested in, unless the gov-fMr. Mackenzie King.]

emment had said to the depositors "Make a case out against Sir Thomas White and we will undertake to pay you." If that had been done we could at least understand the order.

Now, what is the next thing? The next thing we have is an amplification of this order in council, an amplification of the order to this extent: That the business of the Home Bank-mind you the business of the Home Bank

this time is to be inquired into from the time it gets its charter until it winds up. Why one of the matters is known to my hon. friend. I have myself drawn it to the attention of the Prime Minister. I tried to-day to get an answer and did not succeed. One of the matters that ought to be inquired into is the question as to whether or not this institution ever should have been allowed to function. We have the application one year, then we have the delays and the trouble, and we have the removal of the hand of the person whoever it was, who in the first instance said "This is an institution that ought not to function as a bank". That is something we do not get under this order in council, amended and extended as it is to-day. That is something I would have thought the standing committee on Banking and Commerce would have the right at any time to look into.

There is another question about this bank which is really not touched at all. After all the chief crime about the Home Bank is that it was allowed to smash. Oh yes, there ha,ve been representations -made to other ministers besides Sir Thomas White. Does anyone doubt it? Does not everyone know it? Why should we not know what representations were made in matters having to do not only with the bank business but having to do with the stand of the country towards keeping banks going? Why should we not get some information upon that point? That is another matter which is entirely outside of this order in council. That is some information as to facts and allegations placed before the government by the bank directors on their visit to Ottawa. That is entirely outside of this order in council. Oh, no; there may have been tremendous governmental mistakes that allowed a bank to crash, but nothing in the world is to be said about it, it is not to be inquired into.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The order in

council was amended to include everything from the time at which the bank was created to the day of its failure. What does my hon. friend mean by saying that anything has been left outside of the scope of the inquiry?

Home Bank Investigation

I venture to say that if anything that touches this bank is outside the scope of the order in council it will be included.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I do not know

what the trouble is with my right hon. friend, but I think I put him a pretty plain question not so very many days ago. I thought I repeated it here only to-day. He says everything is included. Why he knows the very question as to the incorporation of the bank is kept out and is not included.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

May I say to my hon. friend right here that his remarks to-night have been directed along the line that this inquiry is going to take too long. The government, when it instituted the inquiry, took what the depositors were most interested in and desired to have looked into, and referred that to the commission, hoping they would get through with it as quickly as possible. It was thought that by confining it in that way it would not take so long.

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CON
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I am trying to answer my hon. friend.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I will let the right hon. Prime Minister answer any question he likes, but I have been waiting to get from this government some notion as to what their ideas were, but have not heard a single word, and now when I try to say something the hon. Prime Minister tries to make a speech.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I tried to answer the question as to whether or not the very points he speaks of should be included, and I have given him the reason why the order in council was framed as it was at the time. It was enlarged to bring the matter up to the time the bank failed. With regard to what happened before the bank was created, the circumstances that brought it into existence, I do not hesitate for one minute to say that the government will ask the commission to inquire into that point as well, if that will satisfy my hon. friend.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

We have made a little progress. We have got something else from the government. Let us see if we can make some more progress.

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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

It is all going to take time.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

Will the hon. Prime Minister give us now, if he has them, the representations made by the directors who were here begging government assistance? He has got them.

Topic:   EDITION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I do not know what representations my hon. friend has reference to, but any representations made to the government will be placed before the commission, whatever they are and wherever they are.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

What I am referring to I think my hon. friend understands.

Topic:   EDITION
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

I do not.

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CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

I refer to the representations made by the directors who came to Ottawa for the purpose of acquainting the government with the situation, and the statements made by them, the action taken by the government in allowing the bank to go, and their reasons for it. Now, none of these questions, Mr. Speaker, is covered by that order in council, and if there is anything that is vital for us to know, it is just exactly what happened at the windt-up, to see if anything could be done, for it is possible that something could be done. It has been done. My hon. friend knows it has been done. It is something that is possible. After all, the function of a government is to uphold banks, rather than to let them go in the discard.

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LIB
CON

Henry Lumley Drayton

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir HENRY DRAYTON:

My hon. friend says "Even if they are rotten to the core". Banks have been saved which have been pretty rotten, and my hon. friend can find that out very, very quickly and very, very closely, and if there is anything that I am certainly not ashamed of, it was the action I took in saving that institution.

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LIB

March 27, 1924