June 9, 1931

CON

John Thomas Hackett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HACKETT:

I will read section 160, in the hope that my hon. friend will agree with me.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

The courts have already decided against your view.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
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CON

John Thomas Hackett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HACKETT:

Section 160 provides:

Each province of Canada shall constitute for the purposes of this act, one bankruptcy district, but the governor in council may divide any such bankruptcy district into two or more bankruptcy divisions, and name or number them.

The governor in council has power to do that by order in council. By order in council of August 25, 1923, the province of Quebec was divided into twelve bankruptcy divisions. Now if the governor in council had the power to divide the province into twelve bankruptcy divisions, he certainly has the power to divide it into twenty or twenty-five divisions. All that is necessary to achieve the purpose of the sponsor of this bill, if one concedes that the purpose is a laudable one, is to pass an order in council repealing the order in council which divides the province into twelve bankruptcy divisions, and pass another re-subdividing it into fifteen or twenty or thirty, as the wisdom of the governor in council may dictate. I therefore suggest that the bill itself is unnecessary to achieve the purpose in view, and I doubt very much whether the purpose be a wise or a useful one, because bankruptcy, fortunately, is to a very large extent restricted to the larger industrial centres. I know there are farmers who do go into bankruptcy, but their creditors are generally near home. For these reasons I am very happy to reiterate the suggestion offered

by the Minister of Justice that the bill be dropped.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
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CON

Charles Napoléon Dorion

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CHARLES NAPOLEON DORION (Quebe-c-Montmorency) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, I entirely concur in the statement just made by the hon. member for Stanstead (Mr. Hackett). In my opinion, if the amendment moved by the hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. Brasset) were enacted, it would be the cause of great inconveniences and particularly to Quebec. In fact, we have in the province of Quebec a judicial system which differs from that of other provinces. It happens in certain judiciary districts of Quebec that the judges sit only at intervals of two and three months. Let us suppose that in the county of Gaspe, at New Carlisle or Gaspe, for instance, there is a petition filed under the Bankruptcy Act against a merchant; if the party concerned refused to comply or acknowledge his state of insolvency a judge would have to come to the district. Consequently, in certain districts of our province it might happen that a merchant who is bankrupt, in order to gain time, might find means of delaying action and no further steps could be taken for two, three and perhaps four months. To meet the wishes of creditors the procedure of the judicial administration in Quebec would have to be completely changed. A further inconvenience, sir, is that in wishing to protect, as it seems, the small merchant, the latter would be debarred of all protection. I listened a few moments ago to the hon. member for Richelieu (Mr. Cardin)-like all his colleagues of the Liberal party, especially when it is a question of public interest-appealing once more to prejudice, rebuking us and endeavouring to have our people believe that it is a matter of struggle against large corporations or trusts. There is, at present, no question of protecting large corporations or trusts but it is one of protecting the interests of the people of Quebec. I think that the small merchant will have less protection if wholesale dealers are compelled to undertake the prosecution of bankruptcy cases in certain judicial districts where small dealers reside, because the latter will certainly hurt their credit with wholesale houses. I therefore concur, sir, in the comments which the hon. member for Stanstead made; and as the hon. Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie) stated, if the government intends to amend the Bankruptcy Act, it would be wiser, I believe, to put off this measure until next session. However, should the hon. member for Gaspe persist in bringing his amendment to an issue, I shall deem it my duty to oppose it on the two following grounds: First, in the interests of the small

Bankruptcy Act

rural dealers themselves, and secondly, because of our particular judicial system in Quebec.

Mr. CHARLES E. FERLAND (Joliette) (Translation): Mr. Speaker, I deem it my

duty to give my entire support to the bill which the hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. Brasset) has introduced. We listened a few moments ago to the objections which the hon. member for Stanstead (Mr. Hackett) has against the bill. I am rather amazed at his stand because I would have thought that the hon. member for Stanstead, who, it is true, practises law in Montreal, but who is nevertheless elected by a rural constituency, would first have proved himself the champion of the interests of the people of his rural section, the county of Stanstead, in preference to boosting the interests of large corporations or wholesale dealers of Montreal, who have other means at their disposal to protect themselves.

As to the hon. member for Quebec-Mont-morency (Mr. Dorion), he practises law in the city of Quebec and it is in his habits to sponsor the interests of city folks instead of the ratepayers of rural districts.

The hon. member for Richelieu (Mr. Cardin) and those on this side of the house who expressed their views on the merits of the bill under consideration, proved to us clearly that the present act should be amended, so far as the province of Quebec is concerned, because it is so unfair that it practically takes away the control of all bankruptcy matters from rural creditors and debtors. The debtor and creditors of rural districts have not the means to make numerous trips to the city to protect their interests, either before the Montreal or Quebec courts, or to assignees' offices where the meetings of creditors take place. Any member of the legal profession who has had any practice in rural sections, know how numerous are the abuses committed. I could cite many examples. May I point out an instance of such abuse: a merchant residing in the village of St-Ignace-du-Lac, in the northern part of the county of Maskinonge, 75 miles distant from the town of Joliette-this person was compelled, at the request of a creditor in the city of Quebec, most likely the only creditor in that city, to travel to Quebec in order to file his schedule and make an assignment. Most of the creditors resided in Montreal, in his parish or in Joliette. The facts of the case are that the numerous creditors residing in St-Ignace-du-Lac, who had given this merchant credit were unable to make numerous

trips to Quebec to watch over their interests. The Quebec dealer had full control of this bankruptcy, he directed the proceedings and liquidated the rather large stock of this merchant, and we discovered a year or two after that the debtor had concealed about half of his stock. As to the local creditors, they practically lost everything and they have no further recourse owing to the insolvent state of the debtor. This is one instance in a thousand. The present act has been so interpreted that it allows a creditor to present its petition in bankruptcy before any court in Quebec. I see no reasons why members from other provinces should object to our passing legislation which would apply to Quebec, and more particularly to the rural sections of that province. Other provinces have no interest in preventing us from enacting certain amendments to an act which, in Quebec, has reacted unfavourably on the credit of farmers, even ruining entirely their credit.

It seems to me that members of other provinces have no interest in impeding the enactment of measures which would benefit the province of Quebee. As to members from Quebec, I frankly state that if they reside in the city of Montreal or Quebec, they cannot, if they are lawyers, oppose such a move, because they will have the advantage of pleading in bankruptcy cases in their own city, regardless of the domicile of their debtor. So far as members of rural sections, if they are in earnest in their desire to prevent the administration being centralized in large towns, their duty is to support this measure destined to help the rural district ratepayers.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
Permalink
CON

John Thomas Hackett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HACKETT (Translation):

Would the hon. member allow me to interrupt him.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
Permalink
LIB

Charles-Édouard Ferland

Liberal

Mr. FERLAND (Translation):

Certainly.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
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CON

John Thomas Hackett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HACKETT:

Has not the hon. member in his own district, at Joliette, a bankruptcy court?

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
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LIB

Charles-Édouard Ferland

Liberal

Mr. FERLAND:

I may state for the information of the hon. member for Stanstead that there is a bankruptcy district in Joliette known as No. 8.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
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CON

John Thomas Hackett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HACKETT:

The same as in Montreal and Sherbrooke.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
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LIB

Charles-Édouard Ferland

Liberal

Mr. FERLAND:

There are some bankruptcy districts-

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
Permalink
LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

Which are not taken advantage of.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
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LIB

Charles-Édouard Ferland

Liberal

Mr. FERLAND:

There are some bankruptcy districts in the province of Quebec. May I first point out to the hon. member

Bankruptcy Act

for Stanstead that there are less bankruptcy districts than there are judicial districts in Quebec; secondly, may I mention to him that the bankruptcy districts to which he refers have never been utilized to my knowledge and that, in the general practice of the province of Quebec bar, petitions are filed in Quebec or Montreal, and the debtors are compelled to come to those cities and settle their bankruptcy affairs, with very few exceptions. What happens? Exactly what I was explaining a moment ago. The debtor- no more than the creditors of rural sections- is in no financial position to attend these creditors' meetings or to follow the litigation before the courts, so that bankruptcy affairs remain in the hands of people residing in large cities, and rural creditors can have no further redress and thereby lose all means of control.

I listened a few moments ago to the member for Quebec-Montmorency (Mr. Dorion) complaining of the delays which would result if the amendment was carried. Was there ever an objection so flimsy as that? We are all aware that owing to the congestion of business before the courts of Montreal and Quebec, but especially in Montreal, it is impossible to plead a case even though it be a summary one, without having to wait seven or eight months. When, in ordinary cases in Montreal, it is impossible to get a hearing within twelve to fifteen months. Such is the actual state in the large cities of the province of Quebec. In our own rural districts when a case is filed in the prothonotary's office of the superior court, it may be proceeded with within two or three months. With reference to delays, if a debtor contested a bankruptcy petition, in the Montreal district, I am sure that the creditor could not obtain judgment as quickly as he could in rural districts.

I entirely agree with the remarks made, a few moments ago, by the hon. member for Richelieu (Mr. Cardin). Complaint is made, to-day, in rural sections that too much centralizing is carried on in large cities. We hear complaints as regards judicial centralization which allows judges to reside in large cities, while in rural sections we can only obtain judges for five or ten days per month. The management of the National railways centralizes all in Montreal, notwithstanding that there exists a contract which obliges the Canadian National Railway to have a superintendent and his staff at Joliette, which is a divisional point of the Canadian National Railway.

We hear complaints of the centralization of commercial and industrial corporations which is detrimental to the rural district ratepayers. What purpose is to be gained in centralizing all in Montreal and Quebec if we allow all rural districts and towns like Joliette to go to ruin.

Mr. LaVERGN'E: Tell this to Mr. Lanetot.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
Permalink
LIB

Charles-Édouard Ferland

Liberal

Mr. FERLAND (Translation):

I was

delighted to hear the Minister of Justice (Mr. Guthrie) state a few moments ago, that there would probably be a . general revision of the Bankruptcy Act, next year. I am aware that amendments have been suggested last winter by the council of the Montreal bar, but these amendments have not yet been presented to the House. I am also aware that other amendments have been considered and suggested by the Canadian Bar Association which is to meet this summer in Calgary, but even then, very few rural district lawyers will be called upon to study these amendments, and what will probably happen is that the delegates will be chosen from lawyers residing in large centres, so that it is unnecessary to await a general revision of the Bankruptcy Act to dispose of the amendment passed by the senate and at present being considered by the house.

I hope that in the general revision, it will *be suggested to leave the farmers out of the Bankruptcy Act, because I contend that pursuant to the B.NA. Act the Bankruptcy Act, so far as people not in commerce is concerned, is ultra vires and unconstitutional. In fact, in 1867, bankruptcy affairs were placed under federal control, while the province of Quebec Act with reference to the assignment of property included those in trade but not the farmers. For this reason, among others the Bankruptcy Act so far as farmers are concerned is ultra vires.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
Permalink
CON

Pierre Édouard Blondin (Speaker of the Senate)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hour for private and public bills having expired, the house will revert to the consideration of the motion to go into committee of ways and means and the amendment thereto.

Topic:   BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   PRESENTATION OF PETITION IN LOCALITY OF DEBTOR
Permalink

THE BUDGET

CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE


The house resumed consideration of the motion of Right Hon. R. B. Bennett (Minister of Finance) that Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair for the house to go into committee 2452 The Budget-Mr. MacNicol



of ways and means, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Ralston. . Mr. MacNICOL: When the house rose I was just coming to the question of the value of our home market. Since the commencement of the session I have heard so much afoout the value of the overseas market that I had begun to wonder concerning the value of our. home .market. For the information of hon, members may I say that there are 700,000 employees in Canadian industry, and when we add to that number the families of those employees we account for about three and one-half million souls. On June 1, when the budget was brought down the right hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Bennett) gave a list of some seventy-four United States manufacturing concerns which had established branches in Canada, as a result of the increases made last fall in the tariff schedules. To that number have been added some additional American branch factories until to-day we have eighty-one American factories comprising new branches, branches which have increased in size and Canadian companies manufacturing for American concerns-all as a result of the September tariff increases. From the days when the Laurier administration assumed office, when the American manufacturers learned that the incoming Liberal administration did not intend to give freer trade, and during the time of the Borden administration, over one thousand American branch plants were established in Canada, In all there are to-day over 1,400 branches of American firms in Canada, and about seventy branches of British firms. A large number of employees are engaged1 in the manufacturing activities of those plants and that number is being added to owing to the fact that new factories are now being built. I have here some figures in connection with several new branch plants which are being erected as a result of the tariff changes made last fall. First I shall direct the attention of hon. members to the erection of a plant at Tecumseh by a company named "Fine Foods of Canada Limited" with offices at Windsor. In the construction of that plant there have already been used 220 carloads of material principally manufactured in Canada. At the present time 150 men are engaged in the erection of the plant and it is expected that business operations will be commenced within the next month. In the coming season 200 operators will be employed in the plant; it is expected they will use during the year 175 carloads of tin cans, sugar and other materials entering into the manufacture of their product and their output will be 3,000 tons. (Mr. Speaker.] Estimating the length of a car to be 40 feet, those 220 cars would form a train one and three-quarter miles in length. Had only one plant been erected surely this result alone would be worth while. However there are others. Let us now consider the Canadian Ceianese Company Limited at Drummond-ville, Quebec. During the past winter a large addition was made to their plant, which became necessary through trade conditions brought about by the changes in the tariff of last fall. In the construction of that addition 375 carloads of material were used, including sand, gravel, cement, crushed stone, brick, reinforcing steel, roofing material, plumbing and heating material, and sprinkler equipment. The major portion of these materials was manufactured in other Canadian plants by Canadian workmen. If we were to estimate the length of those 375 cars we would have a train about two and three-quarter miles long. In the transportation of the materials, railroad employees and equipment would be engaged, so that not only the men engaged in the erection and operation of the plant but also those engaged in the transportation of material to the plant receive substantial benefit. In the erection of that plant 450 men were employed during the past winter. At this time I wish to draw the attention of hon. members to some facts concerning the erection of the Campbell Soup Company Limited, factory at New Toronto. The other day after listening to one of the blue ruiu speeches in the house, and feeling that surely if we were to believe what we heard in the house there could not be any industry in Canada, I went home and drove out to view the Campbell Soup plant. May I say to my hon. friends that there is a great deal of business in Canada. This country is to-day more prosperous than any other country in the world. However had it not been for the tariff changes made last fall we would find ourselves in the unfortunate position in which other countries are now finding themselves. Now, 680 carloads of material went into that plant and 350 men were engaged in its erection. It will give employment to 180 employees.


LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

Will the hon. member -permit a question?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CON

John Ritchie MacNicol

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacNICOL:

All right, if His Honour

allows me the extra time.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink

June 9, 1931