June 24, 1935

LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I should like the minister

to give some idea of those conversations, because the impression has been given the house, and I am under that impression, that the ordinary lending companies will not be prepared to lend money under the bill unless the government gives some assistance. I would therefore ask the minister to give whatever information he can in that regard.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
CON

George Halsey Perley (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

That is all the

information I have; no record was taken of the conversations.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

Under a section which we

shall reach later, and which is the crux of the bill so far as the government is concerned, it is suggested that the government will lend twenty per cent of the value of houses. Will the minister give us an idea as to the terms under which that twenty per cent will be lent?

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
CON

George Halsey Perley (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

Does the hon. member mean the rate of interest?

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I mean the whole question; there is more than the rate of interest to be considered. What losses is the government prepared to accept, and what will be the rate of interest?

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
CON

George Halsey Perley (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

This matter is left with the Minister of Finance to make an arrangement afterwards with respect to agreements with- the -loan companies or trust companies and the method by which the whole plan will be carried out. We have no definite suggestions to -make at the present time, but every care will be taken by the government and the Minister of Finance to see that the conditions are made as favourable as possible and the rate of interest will be kept as low as it can be.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

That is not an illuminating answer; it is not satisfactory. However, I will discuss the question when we come to the appropriate section. We are now discussing section 1, which declares this to foe the Dominion Housing Act. There are certain features which I would- ask the minister to explain: first, the relationship between the bill itself and the recommendations made by the committee that considered thd3 question of housing. In the report submitted by the committee certain recommendations were made with respect to rehabilitation in both rural and urban centres. In this bill1 I believe there is no provision for the problem of rehabilitation in rural or urban centres. That question has been totally eliminated.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
CON

George Halsey Perley (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

The committee

made many recommendations, and we have been told by several speakers to-day that we have not enough information on which to base a bill. We have been told that we should wait. My hon. friends opposite-several of them-though they did not go so far as to say that they would not vote for the bill, practically said that it ought to 'be withdrawn pending further information. This bill goes -as far as the government feels it can go at the present time in carrying out the recommendations of the committee. If the hon. gentleman will read section 3 he will see that the economic council is to be asked to go into all these problems further and make a report as soon as possible. But there is nothing in the 'bill with respect to rehabilitation, though the question will be given consideration by the economic council when they are going into the various problems connected with housing.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

That is, of course, one way of partially shelving -the problem. In this house we have a faculty which is known as Sjpeak-ing in a political sense, and when members of a political party requested that this matter be shelved or that further consideration be given it, I do not know whether they were serious, because in the same breath they asked for a more comprehensive measure than is -contained in this bill. I have not suggested that this problem should be shelved; I have asked that the government proceed with a comprehensive scheme of housing wherever -practicable. I have in mind my own city of Winnipeg where for quite a long time the -city -council has had a committee working on a- scheme of housing, and they are ready to proceed with it if it -can be financed on a basis of low interest. Under the terms of the bill as it is now before the

Housing Act

committee, I am afraid the city of Winnipeg could not proceed with a housing scheme copies of which have at different times been submitted to the present government. I am very anxious, for two reasons, to see Winnipeg proceed with a housing scheme: first of afl, because of the necessity of a certain number of low rental houses or cheaper houses, and second, for the purpose of in some way providing employment for members of the building trades who for years have 'been out of employment. In spite of what the right hon. gentleman stated to the house a few moments ago, Winnipeg will not be able to proceed with a housing scheme, because, according to the terms of the bill, that city, even though it is a municipal body, could obtain only twenty per cent from the federal government and the balance of the money would have to be obtained from other sources. If that city went to a loan company, we are informed that those loan companies cannot lend funds at less than five and a half or six per cent. I think the right hon. gentleman must know as well as other members of the committee do, that there can be no successful scheme of housing in Canada at the present time on a six per cent basis; it cannot be done..

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
CON

George Halsey Perley (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

We are hoping that it will be possible to arrange that the average rate for a loan of this kind wild be as low as five per cent.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

Will the minister state how he arrives at that basis of five per cent?

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
CON

George Halsey Perley (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

I .must ask the committee to bear with me; I am not making any definite statement as to what is to be done, because it will have to be worked out first by the Minister of Finance. But I would say this to the hon. gentleman: What we are hoping is that if we can manage to get money from the insurance or loan companies at five and a half per cent or perhaps less, the money advanced by the dominion will be at a rate that will make the average rate about five per cent; that is what we are hoping to do. I am of course unable to go into these figures definitely this evening.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

As has been pointed out

to-night, any housing scheme in order to be successful must be based upon a low interest rate, and unless we can get the rates down to as low as even three per cent, there is no possibility of any housing scheme being a success. According to what the right hon. gentleman has stated, the loan companies will lend money at five and a half per cent and the government will lend 92582-250

money at four per cent, so that sixty per cent of the funds will be provided on a basis of five and a half per cent and twenty per cent on a basis of four per cent.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
CON

George Halsey Perley (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

The hon. gentleman is working out a plan on a basis which he does not understand and on which I am unable to give him definite figures. The companies may be able to lend money at a lower rate. I must ask him not to expect me to put on record this evening definite figures with regard to this matter. I am piloting this bill through for the Minister of Finance and I am trying to give the hon. gentleman all the information I can. I can assure him that if the city of Winnipeg wishes to proceed with a scheme such as he has outlined!, the Minister of Finance will be very glad to talk the matter over and see if some arrangements cannot be made regarding it.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I do not see why Winnipeg as a municipal body should have t)o go to a private loan company to obtain its funds. If it is good business for a private loan company to lend the city of Winnipeg money at five per cent, there is no reason in the world why the same security should not be equally good to the government so that the city could get its money at cost from the government. That is where my objection comes in.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
CON

George Halsey Perley (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PERLEY:

The hon. gentleman must remember that this government has advanced a great deal of money to the Manitoba government for the city of Winnipeg. We have a plan under contemplation now in regard to the sewage of Winnipeg whereby we would advance further sums of money through the Manitoba government to that city. The resources of the dominion government are not unlimited', and the idea that we have an mind is to get as large a number of houses built in this country as we can without 'leaning too 'heavily on the federal exchequer.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

A couple of years ago the

government undertook a system of federal works across the dominion and issued $40,000,000 worth of neiw currency to finance them. I think at that time it was stated from some source-if I am wrong I am subject to correction-the government were entitled to issue neiw currency to the extent of $100,000,000, of which an amount of $40,000,000 has been issued. If that is so and if the government are still in a position where they can issue $60,000,000 in new cur-

Housing Act

rency against the present gold' coverage, is there any reason why that extra money could not be issued and a proper scheme of bousing financed from such a new issue?

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
CON

George Halsey Perley (Minister Without Portfolio)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir GEORGE PEBLEY:

If the hon.

gentleman will excuse me, I think I would prefer not to get into a discussion about currency or matters of that kind this evening.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink
LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

It is very vital to this bill. I do not like to press the question too hard; I claim to know very little about the currency question, and it is only because this statement was made in the house, I believe by one of the responsible ministers, that the government were entitled to issue all this new currency and only a small proportion of it had been issued, that I ask the question. If it were entitled to issue the balance, then the municipal and provincial authorities would not have to lean very heavily on the resources of the federal government because the resources are there. The government might as well use the resources they have at hand, and they could use them for no better purpose than to finance a federal housing scheme.

Topic:   PROVISION FOR LOANS BY GOVERNMENT AND LENDING INSTITUTIONS UP TO EIGHTY PER CENT OF COST OF CONSTRUCTION
Permalink

Section agreed to. On section 2-Interpretation.


June 24, 1935