April 5, 1932

AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE

CON

Mark Cecil Senn

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. M. C. SENN (Haldimand):

I beg to move that the third report of the select standing committee on agriculture and colonization, presented to the house on April 1, 1932, be now concurred in. I also wish to present the evidence on which that report was based.

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Motion agreed to.


PRIVILEGE-MR. McINTOSH


On the orders of the day: Mr. CAMERON R. McINTOSH (North Battleford): I rise to a question of privilege in connection with a report in this morning s Ottawa Citizen and Journal, dealing with my speech yesterday on the amendment of Mr. Heenan to the motion of Mr. Guthrie, to go into committee of supply. There was much confusion in the house at the time and it was almost impossible to catch the words that were exchanged between members participating in the debate. To prove this the report as found in Hansard is different from the report in the papers mentioned. The statement I wish to deal with is "an exhibition of ignorance." May I say, Mr. Speaker, these words are not found in Hansard and are therefore not officially correct.


FLOTATION OF INTERNAL LOAN


On the orders of the day:


LIB

Robert McKenzie

Liberal

Mr. ROBERT McKENZIE (Assiniboia):

I wish to direct a question to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Rhodes) or to the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett), based upon a news item which appears in the Regina Leader-Post of Tuesday, March 29, in which the hon. member for Regina is reported to have announced to the Regina Conservative Association that the Dominion of Canada will shortly be floating another internal loan to meet increasing demands made on the treasury.

Bankruptcy Act

Is that statement based on fact, and, if so, when will an announcement foe made to the house? Further, what is the amount of the loan and the rate of interest?

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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. E. N. RHODES (Minister of Finance) :

The matter in question has not been considered. If and when it is the house will be communicated with in due course, in accordance with prescribed form.

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LIB
?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Ask him.

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BANKRUPTCY ACT AMENDMENT


Hon. HUGH GUTHRIE (Minister of Justice) moved that the house go into committee to consider the following proposed resolution. Resolved, that it is expedient to bring in a measure to amend the Bankruptcy Act, and to provide for the administration of the act by the Minister of Finance, and for the appointment of a superintendent of bankruptcy and the payment of his expenses from a percentage of the gross receipts out of the sale of any property of the debtor; and to provide for such assistants as may be required, and for the licensing of trustees and payment of fees therefor. Motion agreed to and the house went into committee, Mr. Hanson (York-Sunbury) in the chair.


CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

The Bankruptcy Act, as it appears on the statute books of Canada today, was originally passed in this house in the session of 1921, and we have now had ten or eleven years' experience of the operation of that legislation. As the years have passed, many suggestions have been made in regard to amendments to the act in very many respects, and from time to time certain amendments have been made with the idea of improving the machinery which is available under the Bankruptcy Act in respect to the estates of insolvent persons. Recently the whole subject of our bankruptcy legislation was considered at a meeting of the Canadian Bar Association, and a committee of the members of that association, who are considered to be experts on the subject of our bankruptcy law, was appointed for the purpose of considering whether certain further amendments should not be made to render the act more workable and less expensive in its operation. I have had submitted to me a recommendation of the committee which was appointed by the Canadian Bar Association, and that association also submitted a draft bill on the subject. That report and the bill then submitted have been very fully investigated by

the law officers of the Department of Justice, and it was decided that it would be in the interests of the whole community if certain of the proposals contained in that report were adopted as amendments to the present Bankruptcy Act. The whole draft bill as submitted has not been adopted, but in addition to that various suggestions have come to the department from every province in Canada in regard to amendments to very many of the clauses of the present act. These suggestions have come from very responsible bodies: from wholesale dealers' associations, from retail dealers' associations, from some farmers' organizations, from chartered accountants, from lawyers, from judges, and, in fact, from almost all classes of our community. I shall have placed at the disposal of a committee which I will propose shortly a very large number of these suggestions in order that they may be fully considered, because a great many of them have not been included in the measure which has been drafted pursuant to the resolution now under discussion.

Briefly, may I state that the most important provision in connection with the present resolution is the one for the appointment of a superintendent in bankruptcy. It is by reason of that proposed amendment that the matter is now brought before the house by way of resolution. It will involve some charge on the public fund, and for that reason it has to be introduced into this parliament by means of resolution.

The proposal to appoint a superintendent in bankruptcy is a new departure. It has been considered by many associations, including the Canadian Bar Association's committee, and has been very seriously recommended. It is thought that we should have some controlling power attached to the Department of Finance, as proposed in the bill, in order that all the machinery involved in the Bankruptcy Act may come within the purview of a superintendent who will have full power to deal with the trustees who are appointed in various parts of the Dominion of Canada in regard to the winding up of insolvent estates. The chief complaint which is made against the present law is the expense attendant upon its operation. Complaints come in from time to time that in many cases there is nothing left for the creditors because of the expenses of winding up, that the fees paid to trustees, to lawyers and to inspectors eat up the whole available estate so there is nothing left for the creditors.

That is a situation, of course, which we should remedy if it is possible to do so, and

Bankruptcy Act

it has been considered that if someone had a commanding position in control of the whole machinery, having jurisdiction throughout the whole of Canada, much of the expense now involved in the winding up of estates might be done away with. I believe that proposal has been very well received in all the trading communities of Canada. This resolution mentions the appointment of a superintendent, and the bill will provide for the appointment of a superintendent with very wide powers.

It is my intention, if this resolution passes and the bill is introduced, to submit the bill to a special committee of this house-I would suggest a fairly large committee-in order that not only the proposals contained in the bill may be considered but that other proposals from responsible bodies, corporations and individuals in every part of Canada who have submitted proposed amendments, may be considered as well. I think the time has come when we should have a very full discussion of the question of amending the Bankruptcy Act, and if the bill is given second reading I will ask that it be referred to a special committee in order that these proposals may receive the fullest study and consideration and that an effective amending bill may be submitted to the house as a result. I submit the present bill more as a basis for discussion. The government is not wedded to all the proposals it contains, though we have gone over the bill very carefully and we think the proposals contained in it will considerably improve the present measure. It may be, however, that there are other amendments just as necessary as those we have suggested in the bill, and we will welcome those suggestions from any quarter whatever.

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IND

Joseph Henri Napoléon Bourassa

Independent

Mr. BOURASSA:

Would the minister

state if it is his intention also to submit to that committee Bill No. 36?

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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

No, I had not thought

of doing that, but the proposal contained in Bill No. 36, which is a private bill and which has been on the order paper for some time, certainly can be submitted to the committee. That is one question that is almost sure to be brought up.

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IND
CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

Yes, it will have a free

hand.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Would my hon. friend

indicate some of the reasons which operate in favour of the transfer of the administration

of the act from the Department of Justice to the Department of Finance?

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CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

That was the question that struck me in the first instance. This is really a financial matter; it has to do with the winding up of estates and the distribution of assets. It is not strictly a legal matter at all, and it was thought that if a superintendent were appointed he would occupy somewhat the same position as that occupied by the superintendent of insurance, for instance, who has charge of all the insurance over which the Dominion government has control, and who is an official of the Department of Finance. I believe this matter was thoroughly considered by the Canadian Bar Association committee, and they thought it would be appropriate to attach such an official, if one were appointed, to the Department of Finance rather than to the Department of Justice.

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April 5, 1932