May 26, 1932

QUESTION


(Questions answered orally are indicated by an asterisk)


*KAMOURASKA COUNTY-COLLECTION OF NEW TAXES

LIB

Joseph Georges Bouchard

Liberal

Mr. BOUCHARD:

Was any appointment made in Kamouraska county in connection with the new taxes on telegrams and telephones?

Topic:   *KAMOURASKA COUNTY-COLLECTION OF NEW TAXES
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CON

Edmond Baird Ryckman (Minister of National Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. RYCKMAN:

The answer is no.

Topic:   *KAMOURASKA COUNTY-COLLECTION OF NEW TAXES
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MONTREAL HARBOUR


On the orders of the day.


LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Hon. FERNAND RINFRET (St. James) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, I wish to put a few questions to the hon. Minister of Marine (Mr. Duranleau) in connection with the Montreal harbour. May I first inquire whether the report of Commissioner Gibb on Canadian ports has been printed and translated?

Topic:   MONTREAL HARBOUR
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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. ALFRED DURANLEAU (Minister of Marine) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, the report of Sir Alexander Gibb, I think, has now been printed in the two languages.

Topic:   MONTREAL HARBOUR
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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET (Translation):

I wish to thank the hon. minister. May I further inquire whether the government intends, previous to prorogation, to make known its policy with reference to legislation or measures to implement the report.

Topic:   MONTREAL HARBOUR
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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU (Translation):

It has been impossible owing to the arduous work of this session to discuss the details of Sir Alexander Gibb's report wdiich is voluminous and, as all know, covers all Canadian ports. The governement intends to closely study this report between now and next session and then to state its policy.

Topic:   MONTREAL HARBOUR
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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET (Translation):

I thank

the hon. minister for his information. I have but one other question to ask, I make a request under the form of a question so as to comply with the rules of the House, however, in truth, I wish to persuade the government to grant my request. Is it the intention of the Montreal harbour commission during the summer season to give all the work possible to the working population of Montreal and to restrict as much as possible this assistance to the people of Montreal?

Topic:   MONTREAL HARBOUR
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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Fisheries; Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU (Translation):

The

Montreal Harbour Commission, sir, this season will carry out its usual work. If it is possible to extend such work so as to stem unemployment, we shall do so. I am aware that lately, the commission has started the construction of wharves in the eastern part of Montreal, and I think that before long other works will be undertaken.

Topic:   MONTREAL HARBOUR
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LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET (Translation):

I again wish to thank the hon. Minister of Marine, and to also inform him that I made all these inquiries for the purpose of co-operating.

Topic:   MONTREAL HARBOUR
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REPARATIONS

STATEMENT BY SECRETARY OF STATE AS TO RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS IN COMPENSATION FOR INJURY AND LOSS


On the orders of the day:


CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan (Secretary of State of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. C. H. CAHAN (Secretary of State):

Reparations-Mr. Cahan

dissatisfied with the awards made should apply for a rehearing. In some cases the suggestion has been made that rights of action lie against the crown. I am informed that such representations have been made to some of the soldiers who were prisoners of war in an effort to obtain authority from them to bring aotions for compensation against the crown. I should like to refer those lawyers to a case recently decided by the House of Lords in England.

The case of Civilian War Claimants Association, Limited, and The King was finally deeided by the House of Lords in November, 1931. The decision will be found in 1932 Appeal Cases, page 14.

By a petition of right the suppliants, as assignees of civilian claimants, who had suffered loss and damage by German aggression during the war, claimed on their behalf payment of compensation out of moneys paid or payable by Germany under article 232 of the treaty of Versailles and the provisions of annex I thereto.

The case made by the petition was that the claimants had sent particulars of their claims, first, to the Foreign Claims Office and, afterwards, to the Reparation Claims department in accordance with the instructions of His Majesty's government, that these claims had been duly verified by the government, and were included in the agreed total of claims for reparations which Germany was required to pay under the treaty, and that the crown in inviting the claimants to submit their claims had constituted itself an agent or a trustee for the claimants in respect of any money received by it from Germany on account of reparations, and that any such money was money had and received by the crown to the use of the claimants.

Held, on demurrer by the crown, that the petition afforded no ground for the contention that the money received under the treaty was received by the crown as an agent or a trustee for the claimants, or as money had and received to their use, and was had as disclosing no ground of claim cognizable by the court.

Rustomjee v. The Queen (1876) 1 Q.BX). 487 ; 2 Q.B.D. 69, was approved and followed.

Lord Buckmaster, in delivering the opinion of the Lords, said:

First, in article 231 there was an affirmation by the allied and associated governments, accepted by Germany, that Germany was responsible for causing all the loss and damage to which the allied governments and their nationals had been subjected, and by article 232 it was provided that compensation should be made in the following words: "The allied and associated governments recognize that the

resources of Germany are not adequate after taking into account permanent diminutions of such resources which will result from other provisions of the present treaty to make complete reparation for all such loss and damage. The allied and associated governments however require and Germany undertakes that she will make compensation for all damage done to the civilian population of the allied and associated powers and to their property during the period of the belligerency of each as an allied or associated power against Germany by such aggression by land, by sea and from the air and in general all damage as defined in annex I hereto."

It is known that associated with the specific damage caused on the sea and by aircraft and bombardment to our people at home during the war there were included in the claims for damages against Germany large sums representing the damage that was suffered in payment of pensions to soldiers' widows and similar matters, which were in a different category from the damage of the nature I have already mentioned; but the whole was collected into one group claim, and there was no separated and specific claim under one head or another, so that one whole claim was put forward and approved by the reparations commission to represent the total claim against Germany under that head. Moneys have undoubtedly been received in respect of that claim, and it is in respect of those moneys that the present proceedings are brought.

In the first place, to establish that any one was a trustee of that fund under the circumstances I have mentioned is, to my mind, to attempt an impossible task. I can see no evidence whatever of an acceptance of trusteeship on the part of the government, or assertion of trusteeship on the part of the people who suffered damage, nor anything up to the time when the money was received to show that the conception of trusteeship was in the minds of anyone in any form whatever. Indeed, the original statements that were made were made of the readiness to compensate out of the national funds at home, and nobody suggests that the government were trustees of those funds for this purpose.

Finally, when the moneys were received, it is said that from and after that moment the crown became a trustee. I have pointed out in the course of the argument, and I repeat, that if that were the case, unless you are going to limit the rights which the beneficiaries enjoy, those rights must include, among other things, a claim for an account of the moneys that were received, of the expenses incurred, and the way in which the moneys have been distributed. Such a claim presented against the crown in circumstances such as these would certainly have no precedent, and would, as it appears to me, invade an area which is properly that belonging to the House of Commons.

That the money was received by the crown as agent seems to me can no more be established than that the money was received by it as trustee. In fact, the trusteeship is the agency stated in other words. If the crown was not a trustee, neither was it an agent; nor can I see that in any sense the crown received these moneys as money had and received to the use of the people whose claims were made. The people whose claims were made were not considered by Germany on making the payment at all. The terms of the treaty were that Germany should pay the sum necessary to

Prorogation

satisfy the claims of various people who had suffered, and it was left to the governments themselves, as between them and their nationals, to determine how that money was to be distributed. Therefore, my Lords, on general principle, I should have thought that the petition must fail but the general principle is immensely strengthened by the case of Rustomjee v. The Queen (1 Q.B.D. 487; 2 Q.B.D. 69),, for there a case similar in many respects to this, although of course not exactly identical, arose for consideration in the Queen's Bench Division.

Lord Atkin followed with a short opinion entirely in line1 with that which I have just read, so I may assure hon. members that the assumption by some of the younger members of the legal fraternity that soldiers have a right of legal action against the crown in the right of the Dominion of Canada for such compensation, when it has been refused both by the pensions' board and by the reparations tribunal, is not a sound opinion, and that soldiers who contribute their funds for the purpose of paying the expenses of bringing such action are doing so without any possible hope of securing a return.

Topic:   REPARATIONS
Subtopic:   STATEMENT BY SECRETARY OF STATE AS TO RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS IN COMPENSATION FOR INJURY AND LOSS
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PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT


A message was delivered by Major A. R. Thompson, Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, as follows: Mr. Speaker, the deputy of His Excellency the Governor General desires the immediate attendance of this honourable house in the chamber of the honourable the Senate. Accordingly, Mr. Speaker with the house went up to the Senate chamber. In the Senate chamber the deputy of His Excellency the Governor General was pleased to give, in His Majesty's name, the royal assent to the following bills:


May 26, 1932