The member for North Simcoe was taking up the point I brought forward a few minutes ago. We want to relieve the man of any deficiency which might exist, but I believe this should be statutory, and not at the whim of this or any other government. This land settlement scheme was for the purpose of placing soldiers on the land as settlers; we all agree on that. We are anxious to keep as many men as we possibly can on the land of the various provinces of Canada. If a man is sold out under this act and still believes that he can go on and make a success, either by the purchase of another farm, with the assistance of his friends or otherwise, or by locating land under the
homesteads acts of the various western provinces, or the provinces in the east, that man should not have the threat held over him all the time that an action for the deficiency between the amount he agreed to pay and the amount his land brought under a forced sale 'will be brought by the soldier settlement board. That is the only point I am trying to 'make, and I think the minister would be well advised to make it statutory instead of following the practice which we believe is followed. It would be a great relief to many of these men to know they could not be proceeded against except in the ease of fraud.
May I ask the minister a Question with respect to the future operation 'of this act? Are there any advances being made now, or is there any provision for advances to returned men toward the purchase either of land or of equipment?
Why talk about the future? 'Is there going to be any provision made for this year? I have two or three applications from returned men who desire assistance, either in the purchase of land or in the purchase of equipment. Is it the intention of the government to make any provision for the returned men by way of advances?
I have listened to the discussion, and it seems to me that the clause might be simplified and carry out the intent of the committee-an intent which has been expressed by the hon. member for Quebec South and by members on each side of the house-if it were made to read something like this:
When a settler obtains Dominion lands, whether by soldier grant or otherwise, such lands shall be subject to a first charge in respect of any advance thereafter made to him by the board, pursuant to this act-
Then follow the closing words:
-and no patent shall be issued to such settler for such lands until the amount of such advance, with accrued interest, has been fully repaid.
Soldier Settlement Act
If you bear in mind the fact that you wish to secure future advances, and future advances only, upon these Dominion lands so acquired, it seems to me that you might express it in a more simple and concise form, and prevent any possibility of such misunderstandings as have arisen in this discussion. It seems to me that the clause might be redrafted and made so simple and so clear as to obviate the criticisms which have been made during the course of the discussion this evening.
When a settler obtains Dominion lands, whether by soldier grant or otherwise, such lands shall be subject to a first charge in respect of any advance thereafter made to him by the beard, pursuant to this act, and no patent shall be issued to such settler for such lands until the amount of such advance, with accrued interest, has been fully repaid.
That seems to me to carry out the intent of the hon. member for Quebec South.
While I was not a member of the committee I have discussed the matter at some length with members of the committee. Am I wrong in coming to this conclusion that what the committee really intended to do was to free Dominion lands, or crown lands, from the mortgage issued on the freehold, if at the date of the issuing of the mortgage, or subsequent to that date, the settler acquired those lands? That is what I think the committee had in mind-that the mortgage should apply only to the lands upon which it was issued, and not on the Dominion lands acquired after the issuing of the mortgage. I do not think you have done that.