May 8, 1928

CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. CAHAN:

Did I not cover that in

my suggestion-"shall be subject to a first charge in respect of any advances thereafter made"? It does not apply to previous advances; it only secures the advances thereafter made to such settler by the board, pursuant to this act.

Mr. RALSTON; Does my hon. friend think that covers the case of an actual sale of lands by the board-not the advance of money, but the sale of lands? That is What is covered also in this section.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Air. CAHAN:

All I am suggesting is this

simple way of expressing it.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Air. RALSTON:

It certainly saves a lot

of words.

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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

And it might save a lot of

circumlocution. I suggest that it might be reconsidered. This committee seems to be unanimous in its intent, and it should be easy to find some form of expression which will cover it clearly.

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

Mr. Chairman, there are two points that we have just been discussing. The first is whether or not the mortgage, under the provisions of the amendment, will be freed from the crown lands acquired after the mortgage was issued, and, secondly-

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CON

William Alves Boys

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYS:

That is not disputed. How

could you possibly free by statute lands upon which the man himself has a mortgage?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

We are not speaking of that at all. Let me try to make it clear. As I gathered from the report of the committee what they are desirous of doing is this. Under section 26 as it is at present any land owned by the settler and even his canary and his cat come under the provision of the mortgage. What the committee want to do is this, that any land acquired from the crown by homesteading or otherwise by the settler after the execution of the loan should not be covered by the mortgage.

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CON
LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

I doubt if

they have done that. Let us endeavour to get the matter clear so that we can amend the act properly. The second thing the committee desires is that it be made statutory, that except in case of fraud, he shall not be proceeded against for the deficiency.

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CON

George Black

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLACK (Yukon):

That being so, does the minister suggest that section 26 covers that? I am directing this question to the Minister of the Interior, he having elucidated the matter better than it has been done so far at this sitting. Is the department under section 26 prevented from suing a soldier for the money he owes?

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LIB

Charles A. Stewart (Superintendent-General of Indian Affairs; Minister of Mines; Minister of the Interior)

Liberal

Mr. STEWART (Edmonton):

He can be

sued. If we could get into our laymen's minds exactly what the committee want, then we had better take some time to redraft the bill properly.

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CON

William Alves Boys

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BOYS:

We all know what we want,

and most of us feel that it is not to be found

Soldier Settlement Act

in the provisions of the bill. We are told that the committee reported on certain things. This is the report of the committee:

Your committee therefore recommends that an act be passed this session as follows:

An act to amend the Soldier Settlement Act.

His Majesty by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons enacts as follows:

1. Subsection 4 of section 22 of the Soldier Settlement Act, being chapter 188 of the revised statutes of 1927, is amended by striking out all words following the word "settler" in the sixth line thereof.

2. Section 26 of the said act is repealed.

I need not read the remainder. The bill that is before us-and I say this with all respect to the hon. member for Parry Sound -was never before that committee. The bill that was before that committee and the bill which it recommended is absolutely different from the bill now before the house. The committee recommended the repeal of section 26, and we find the extraordinary situation that although we have the committee recommending that repeal, a bill that has not been before them is introduced to carry into effect their report, but doing the very opposite. It may be intended to have the same purpose but it certainly has not. In view of the fact that the bill now before this committee was never before the special committee that dealt with the matter, would it not be wise that it should be referred to the committee for consideration so that some provision may be inserted which will protect the soldier in regard to the explanatory note which I read, and which I need not read again? It is not in the bill now, and if the intention is to relieve the soldier from any deficiency there may be, let us have something in the statute; do not let us leave it to the whim or caprice of some future minister or some official of the department. If you intend to give the soldier that right, to discharge him from that obligation, let us put it in the statute.

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LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

My hon. friend is quite

right in what he has just said with regard to the report of the committee. I will go further. The report of the committee recommended that the Soldier Settlement Act be amended in this respect:

Subsection 4 of section 22 of the Soldier Settlement Act, being chapter 188 of the revised statutes of 1927, is amended by striking out all words following the word "settler" in the sixth line thereof.

That covers the deficiency.

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CON
LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

Section 26 we have already-discussed. Section 27 also had references to charges on the land. In order that my hon. friend may not have any doubt as to the bona tides of the Minister of the Interior-

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CON
LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

-or of the minister in

charge of the administration of this act-

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CON
LIB

Charles Gavan Power

Liberal

Mr. POWER:

-may I tell him this, that the report of the committee passed the committee? The suggested amendments were looked over by the officers in charge of the land settlement board and they found that some of the amendments were not workable. With all due respect to all the lawyers on the committee, although we knew what we wanted, we had not arrived at a workable solution. For instance, in regard to the amendment to section 68, while I was discussing the matter with the Minister of National Defence, he pointed out that it was all very well to provide for a revaluation of certain lands, but we had not made any arrangements for a basis on which the revaluation could be made. Therefore we were obliged to consult with the officers of the Soldier Settlement Board in order to find out how we Could arrive at a reasonable basis. That has been done by the new amendment to the act.

The amendments that have reference to deficiencies and to the mortgage were thoroughly discussed by the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre (Mr. Thorson), the hon. member for Melfort (Mr. McLean), the hon. member for Red Deer (Mr. Speakman) and myself. We met the officers of the Soldier Settlement Board and the law officers of the crown and on Friday night after continuous discussion we arrived at the drafting which is now before the committee. We were not in any way influenced, I can assure the committee, by either of the ministers, and our endeavour was to put before the house something which would be comprehensive. Evidently we did not succeed. I would suggest to the minister that he allow this clause to stand and I for one am perfectly willing to agree to this. We cannot ask that the bill be sent back to the committee because the committee is discharged, the report having been brought before the house and concurred in. But I think some of the committee members on the other side of the house and others would be quite willing to volunteer to join in a conference for the purpose of discussing the matter. I knctw members on this side of the house who are interested in land settlement will do like-

Dumping Duly-Mr. Tolmie

wise, and in view of the fact that we all have in mind the same thing; that there is no dispute with regard to the principle, I think by to-morrow or the next day we may arrive at some amendment which will be satisfactory to all parties. Perhaps the minister will accept that suggestion.

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LIB-PRO

Robert Forke (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

I trusted to about half a dozen lawyers to draw up the bill and I now find there is a great deal of difficulty in regard to it. I move that the committee rise and report progress.

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May 8, 1928