-and not to enter into any sort of arrangement or not to use political pressure in order to have the public treasury assume a part of their obligations which they are able to pay. And when the treasury assumes such obligations it necessarily assumes them on behalf of every taxpayer within dominion jurisdiction. That is the main objection I have to the bill.
The other objection I have pointed out in committee, and the records of the committee will stand as a statement of my position. I do not wish to enter into details before the house, nor is it necessary to do so. If the bill is intended as a means of political propaganda in the approaching election, although I cannot speak for the west, I am confident that in the east it will not be a vote getter to any considerable extent. Some of the leading members in the committee, representing eastern constituencies, were as strong as I am in opposition to certain phases of the bill which I have mentioned. I regret they are not in their seats to-day to re-express before the house the objections they made at that time.
Central Mortgage Bank
Apart from this, my main objection, I regret very much that the minister, as the representative of the government, has decided to make the central mortgage bank a branch of the Bank of Canada, and to function under the officers of the Bank of Canada. That, I assure the minister from personal knowledge, goes beyond the intention of those who framed the original Bank of Canada Act, and it was not then contemplated that its function would be so extended. If it is so extended as to mean that a branch of the bank, or practically the Bank of Canada, may undertake the liabilities which mortgagees throughout Canada, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, are able to assume and pay, then there will be political pressure-and political pressure that a weak government never can withstand-to make the Bank of Canada assume and pay other liabilities of other citizens of Canada, and other liabilities of other companies which are engaged in the multifarious classes of business throughout Canada. If political pressure is so great as to compel the government to assume the mortgage indebtedness of those who are able to pay, then we are fast approaching that political state in which pressure will compel the government to take over the liabilities of other large classes of our people who are able to pay.
I still contend that a debtor should pay his honest debts to the extent of his ability to pay, and the assumption of any part of a debtor's debts by the dominion treasury, when he is able to pay, is a gross injustice to other honest debtors who are paying their way. I suppose one might go on and speak for the half hour with regard to this bill, but I have stated the special objections which I have to this legislation. These objections will be found in the statement which I made on the second reading and in the various statements I have made at the hearings before the committee on banking and commerce, of which I was a member.
Subtopic: PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.