June 2, 1939


Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Finance) moved that the house go into committee to consider Bill No. 132, to incorporate the central mortgage bank.


LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a point of order. When one of your predecessors, the Hon. Mr. Black, was in the chair, on March 16, 1933, the Canadian National-Canadian Pacific bill came before the house and no French copies were available. Our lamented friend, the then hon. member for Lotbiniere, protested, and at page 3091 of Hansard of that date he is reported to have said:

... I requested a copy in French of the bill under discussion and until I have received it, may I ask that the debate be postponed.

The present leader of the opposition (Mr. Manion) who was Minister of Railways at the time, replied:

... I gladly move that the committee rise and report progress.

There is another precedent. When your immediate predecessor, the Hon. Mr. Bowman, was speaker, on January 29, 1935, I objected to the consideration of the estimates because there were no French copies. There was a lengthy discussion in which the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan) and many others took part, and the Minister of Finance of the day, the Hon. Mr. Rhodes, as reported at page 277 of Hansard, moved that the committee rise and report progress and ask leave to sit again. In view of these precedents I would ask the government either to postpone consideration of this bill until we have the French copy or to drop this piece of bad legislation.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE (Quebec East):

I yield

to no one, not even the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot), in my respect for the French language in this house. In this instance, as my hon. friend knows, his

Central Mortgage Bank

objection if valid would have the effect of delaying the work of parliament. But there is something more. If I remember rightly, the objection in this respect must be made before the second reading of the bill. When the bill is read the second time the house has agreed to proceed with the consideration of it, and as a matter of fact the French version of the original bill was distributed. What comes to us to-day is merely a copy for the convenience of hon. members, and is not a copy brought down in the regular way. The amendments made in the committee on banking and commerce were extensive, and the bill has been reprinted embodying those amendments. I really do not think that my hon. friend should insist on his objection. As I say, it would certainly have the effect of prolonging the session unnecessarily.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Not if the bill is dropped. The discussion on the second reading of the Canadian National-Canadian Pacific bill had been going on for three days when it was interrupted by the leader of the opposition.

Motion agreed to and the house went into committee, Mr. Sanderson in the chair.

On section 1-Short title.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

My remarks on this bill

will be brief. What I regret is that we have left the road that was followed by previous ministers of finance until 1930. I wonder if hon. members who were in the house at that time have kept the report of the banking and commerce committee which was brought down when Mr. Robb was Minister of Finance. Of course, high finance must be based upon common sense like anything else, and what I regret very deeply is that during these last years certain professors of economics and political science have been splitting hairs in their use of jargon-for instance, with regard to the flexibility of currency and things of that sort- arid now our financial legislation is in an absolute mess just because political science has been -regarded as objective when it is only subjective, and absolute when it is only relative. With the exception of the Minister of Justice, there is no man for whom, until 1930, I had a greater regard than the Minister of Finance, and for a very good reason. A mutual friend, whose friendship did me honour, and who knew him very well, told me a good deal about the hon. gentleman, and in fact I owed much to the Minister of Finance for all he did as Minister of Railways in helping me in many ways in having certain essential work done along the railway line in Temis-couata county.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

At Riviere du Loup.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Not only Riviere du

Loup, but from Old Lake Road to Trois Pistoles including Riviere du Loup. The fences were dilapidated and in various ways it was necessary to carry out improvements. The hon. gentleman helped me in that regard and until then he always listened to the reasonable requests I made of him. His courtesy was highly appreciated and no one was more pleased than I was when he accepted the office of Minister of Finance in this government.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

What has that to do

with the bill before the committee? I appreciate my hon. friend's compliments, but, I submit, we are all required to obey the rules of the house, and I cannot see any connection between, the hon. gentleman's remarks and the bill under consideration.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Frederick George Sanderson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Order. The point of order raised by the Minister of Finance is, I think, well taken. We are now on Bill No. 132, section 1, short title. I would ask the hon. member who has the floor to confine his remarks to section 1 of the bill.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
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LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Sir, I appreciate what you say, and you know very well-I say that in answer to the Minister of Finance-that I always stay within the rules of the house, because I have read them. And he must know that on the short title any member can discuss the whole bill. And I can do more. I can say just a few words which are far from being offensive, 'because my compliments are scarce, with regard to the one who moves the bill. The Minister of Finance is the sponsor of this bill, and what I want him to understand is that if I have some remarks to make regarding legislation that he brings to the house I have not the least ill-feeling regarding him. It is just to prevent-

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Frederick George Sanderson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. member, but I have made my ruling on the point of order, and the hon. member is not obeying that ruling.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Sir, you know very well that I have the deepest respect for the Chair. And I do not want freedom of speech to be curtailed in this house. It is the last privilege that is left to members of parliament, and if this room is not a Star Chamber we -must express our feelings with regard to legislation, provided we stay within the rules of the house.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB-PRO

Joseph Thorarinn Thorson

Liberal Progressive

Mr. THORSON:

What section are we on?

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

We are on the short title. What I want to say is that this piece of legis-

Central Mortgage Bank

lation cannot be agreed with, for several reasons. The main one is that it is unsound. And why is it unsound? It is both state socialism and Toryism.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB-PRO

Joseph Thorarinn Thorson

Liberal Progressive

Mr. THORSON:

I rise to a point of order. The principles of the bill have been accepted by the house and we are now dealing with the short title.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

I always took the hon. member for a Liberal who knew that freedom of speech is the essence of Liberalism. I do not interrupt him when he speaks. I call upon your spirit of justice and fairness, Mr. Chairman, to stop everyone who interrupts me when I am in order, as I am now.

I find this bill all wrong. In the first place it is a Tory policy because it will help only the insurance and loan companies or a class of individuals who lend money. The other day I said to the house that the debtor would have no advantage under this bill, that it was only for the insurance, and loan companies; therefore I am bitterly and strongly opposed to it. That is the first point. In the old times money was lent by neighbour to neighbour in farming communities, until we had that bankruptcy legislation which was brought in shortly after the war, or during the war, containing a provision to the effect that the Bankruptcy Act, the purpose of which in the first place was to apply only to those who were in trade, should apply to farmers. Then, according to the knowledge that I have secured by living amongst farmers, by listening to their complaints and grievances, I know very well that since that legislation was enacted farmers have been handicapped in securing money on mortgages, because those who lend money were afraid that the farmer might take advantage of the legislation to go into bankruptcy and then they might lose their money. Therefore the credit of farmers for getting money on mortgage was greatly handicapped by that legislation.

In the second place there was the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act which was passed by the last government-a second handica-to the farmers. If we suppose that A meets B to secure some money on a loan on promissory note or mortgage, if he took advantage of the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act the one who lent the money was exposed to the risk of loss, therefore the credit of the farmers was handicapped again.

Furthermore, we had a dominion loan organization which was not working properly. Whatever may be said about the farm loan policy of the government of Quebec, it did a lot of good in that it provided farmers with money which they needed and which they

could not secure either on mortgage or on notes. Many hon. members have either lived all their lives in the country or spent sufficient time in the country to enable them to know that it was a tradition in the old times for farmers who had smaller families and had the advantage of securing more profits to lend to their neighbour just across the fence, or two or three lots further away, the amount of money that he needed to repair his buildings or purchase something that was necessary on his farm. But at the present time farmers are most suspicious about lending money to their neighbours, and it is a social wrong. It was from the moment that the Bankruptcy Act was made to apply to farmers that they themselves started to make wrong investments, either in city lots, in glass coffins or other enterprises of the kind, and now we see what it is we have-a piece of legislation that does not remedy that evil, does not help the farmers who have borrowed money on mortgage from their neighbours or someone in the community; it helps only the insurance and loan companies.

When the Minister of Finance was sworn in there was a letter for him in the hands of the clerk of the privy council, in order that it should be delivered to him without anyone else seeing it; it was from the member for Temiscouata, who was congratulating him and warning him against his deputy, who was called in that letter a crank. Now as a representative elected by the people of Temiscouata, who has always defended the principles of Liberalism in this house, whoever was in power, I feel greatly humiliated to think that the very same crank is more listened to by the Minister of Finance than the whole House of Commons together. When I start to say what my venerable colleague the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George discreetly mentioned the other day, in speaking of a brain trust

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Frederick George Sanderson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The CHAIRMAN:

Order. I desire to point out to the hon. member that in his remarks he has been definitely out of order. I quote Beauchesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms, page 157, standing order 58, paragraph (2):

Speeches in committee of the whole house must be strictly relevant to the item or clause under consideration.

The hon. member is an old parliamentarian; he must know that his remarks have been out of order. I would ask him to confine himself to the section of the bill under consideration. We are now on section 1.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

Yes, sir. Now I may put everything I have to say in a nutshell, in a sentence that will take only two or three lines

Central Mortgage Bank

of type. In the first place I cannot understand why freedom of speech should be curtailed to any degree. In the second place I cannot understand how it is that the big boss of dominion finance should be the very one who has wrecked an old reputable concern by unsound investments. That is all I have to say.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Mr. Chairman, on behalf of a civil servant who cannot speak for himself I must object to a statement which, if made outside this house, would be distinctly libellous and which to my personal knowledge and the knowledge of every member of this government is wholly untrue. I can only say that this bill is introduced by this government on its cabinet responsibility. The government is unanimously behind it, and I speak as the cabinet officer responsible for these matters and acting for the whole government. This is not my personal measure; it is the measure of the government, and with respect to the deputy minister who has just been so vilely slandered by the hon. member for Temiscouata, I can say furthermore that the deputy minister of finance, in the discharge of his important duties, has the confidence of every member of the government from the Prime Minister down. We have full knowledge of his record and complete confidence in him.

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
Permalink
LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. POULIOT:

In the first place, sir, I would say-

Topic:   CENTRAL MORTGAGE BANK
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR INCORPORATION, PURCHASE OF SHARES, GUARANTEE OF DEBENTURES, ETC.
Permalink

June 2, 1939