December 18, 1962

LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to say a word on the point of order. What the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam is saying is that some people should be denied the right to use both of the official languages of this country. That is the gist of his point of order. It seems to me that is a most extraordinary doctrine to be propounded in this house, that we have to investigate the background of someone before we will allow him to speak French. Considering the debate we were having up until this bill came before us, I must say I am absolutely astonished to

Private Bills

hear the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam favour a certain measure of unilingualism in this country.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

Leon David Crestohl

Liberal

Mr. Creslohl:

On the point of order, Mr. Chairman, I should like to point out that we are not now examining whether or not this company should be created by statute. The company has been created. Its powers have already been established. It is an existing company and we cannot go into that phase of the company's existence or history. The company has already been established by parliament. You are perfectly right, Mr. Chairman, that the only question is whether or not the company can use a French version of its name, a name that has already been established by parliament. In my view that is the sole issue that anyone can possibly debate.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton

Liberal

Mr. Macnaughton:

Mr. Chairman-

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
PC

Rémi Paul (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Deputy Chairman:

The hon. member for Drummond-Arthabaska.

(Translation):

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
?

André Ouellet

Mr. Ouellel:

Mr. Chairman-

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
PC

Rémi Paul (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Deputy Chairman:

Do you still address yourself to the point of order?

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
SC

David Ouellet

Social Credit

Mr. Ouellet:

Yes, I may deal with the point of order.

Mr. Chairman, it is agreed that we are faced with a normal situation. Hon. members have discussed in the past a bill to incorporate this company, when it was organized. If at that time, it was not wanted, they should have opposed it then, I think.

Faced with this problem, some may be embarrassed. But we must be realistic about the request submitted by this company. I agree with the point you have raised, Mr. Chairman, that details cannot be debated at this stage, because the point is out of order and is not relevant to this bill.

However I suggest it is most unfortunate that such things should happen. Besides, this is no time to go back because parliament has already decided.

Now, that company asks us permission to use a French name. Why? Because it suits them. It is rather difficult for us to refuse.

On the other hand, I think it would be time for parliament, when new requests are made by foreign companies, to discuss their merit before approving them, so as not to be faced again with the same problem.

When companies want a change, which is consistent with the charter given them by the

Private Bills

federal government, they should not bother parliament with this kind of thing. I understand the hon. member's remarks in that respect, but I agree with the point you raised, Mr. Chairman, and I think the house could hardly turn down the company's request for a French name.

(Text):

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Rodney Berger

New Democratic Party

Mr. Berger:

On the point of order, Mr. Chairman, let me deal very briefly with the proposition advanced by the hon. member for Bonavista-Twillingate. He suggested that the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam had attempted to deny to Merit Insurance Company the right to use one of the official languages. We are considering quite a different thing here. We are considering the right of a corporation to carry on business under a certain firm style or name.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

The same name in both languages.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
NDP

Thomas Rodney Berger

New Democratic Party

Mr. Berger:

This is an entirely different thing. I suggest that it must cause some consternation to hon. members to see the hon. member advocating the indiscriminate use of names, perhaps of historical significance, perhaps of significance of another kind, by anyone who wants to use them. I was surprised to see his willingness to champion the life insurance companies of Canada carry him so far. When parents have a baby christened and give it a name they give serious consideration to what name they will bestow upon it. This name is being bestowed upon this corporation by the parliament of Canada and I suggest that the parliament of Canada should consider whether this name ought in fact to be bestowed upon this company. I would plead that members of the house have a right to know who it is that is seeking to have the right to use this name in Quebec, and in other parts of Canada where the French language is spoken. I suggest that the rules of order, and I have read the rule to which you referred me, Mr. Chairman, do not prevent parliament from investigating that matter.

Let me say I would be very pleased to yield the floor, when we have disposed of the point of order, to the hon. member for Mont-Royal so that he might have an opportunity to enlighten the house on the questions I raised earlier in the debate.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
LIB

Alan Aylesworth Macnaughton

Liberal

Mr. Macnaughton:

Mr. Chairman, I am delighted to have the French version of Mount Royal given by my hon. friend. It is not my purpose to engage in a debate with any hon. member. However, the hon.

member made one or two unsubstantiated allegations. I think it is my duty, indeed my solemn duty, to bring these facts to the attention of the committee.

The allegation is that the Murchisons are interested in this company. First of all, let us start at the beginning. Merit Insurance Company is wholly owned by the Industrial Acceptance Corporation. The information I am going to give to the committee I got on the end of the telephone a week ago and I reconfirmed it this afternoon with the attorney for Industrial Acceptance Corporation. There are 9,331 shareholders of Industrial Acceptance Corporation holding 5,889,039 shares. Of these shareholders, 8,319 are in Canada. The Canadian shareholders hold 77.1 per cent of the company's stock and 813 of the shareholders are citizens of the United States holding 19.1 per cent of the stock of Industrial Acceptance Corporation. In other words, generally speaking, 8 per cent or 9 per cent of the stock of Industrial Acceptance Corporation is scattered throughout the United States and 90 per cent is held in Canada by Canadians. I am told that the Murchisons have no interest whatever in Industrial Acceptance Corporation and do not own any stock, consequently they own no stock in Merit Insurance Company.

The company was incorporated in 1953 and has been writing insurance policies throughout Canada in English or French at the request of the applicant. About 30 per cent of the business is done in Quebec; 25 per cent of the business is in Ontario-I am speaking of the Merit Insurance Company-25 per cent is done in the maritimes and 20 per cent is done in the western part of Canada. There are 67 offices throughout Canada and in the year 1961 the Merit Insurance Company employed 472 persons. The premium volume of insurance written in 1961 amounted to about $12 million. Approximately one third of the company's offices are located in the province of Quebec and perhaps a little bit less than one third of the company's business arises in Quebec province. It seems to me not only normal but right that the company should ask for a French version of the company name. I would be delighted to give any further information that I have.

(Translation):

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
SC

Gilles Grégoire

Social Credit

Mr. Gregoire:

Mr. Chairman, I should like to speak of the name of the company. It is called the Merit Insurance Company, but I would call it myself a finance company. What happens when an insurance company such as this one is directly connected with a finance company, like the Industrial Acceptance Corporation, for instance? When you buy a car,

the finance company puts you on a financing plan and then you have to get insurance from that company.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
PC

Rémi Paul (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Deputy Chairman:

Order. I regret to interrupt the hon. member but I believe his remarks are not relevant to the item now under consideration. The committee is called upon to decide whether the Merit Insurance Company may use in the future, in the transaction of its business, either a French name or an English name. The hon. member for Mount Royal (Mr. Macnaughton) explained to the committee why the company wishes to obtain a French name.

I regret to have interrupted the hon. member but I feel sure that he will comply with paragraph 2 of section 7 of standing orders.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
SC

Gilles Grégoire

Social Credit

Mr. Gregoire:

In compliance with that standing order, I should like to speak about the use of a French name, to which I do not object. On the contrary, I am pleased that this company wants to use a French name. But that name is composed of three words: Merit Insurance Company. I have something to say about the word "Insurance" because I find that it is not appropriate. When a company deals with financing instead of insurance, why should it use the word "insurance" in its name? It is precisely about that word that I wish to speak because, as I was trying to explain, Mr. Chairman, when an insurance company is related to a finance company which requires the purchaser of a car to obtain insurance with that company-

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
PC

Rémi Paul (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Deputy Chairman:

Order. The hon. member will please note that his remarks are irrelevant. He is dealing with possible business connections between the Merit Insurance Company and the Industrial Acceptance Corporation. I respectfully submit that his remarks are out of order.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
SC

Gilles Grégoire

Social Credit

Mr. Gregoire:

Mr. Chairman, I shall then conclude my remarks. I thought that the French words had a certain meaning, according to their use. Since it is out of order to define the meaning of words, I prefer to refrain from speaking.

(Text):

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
NDP

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

New Democratic Party

Mr. Herridge:

I did not intend to say anything in this rather interesting and unusual debate but I have been prompted to do so as a result of the discussion. I trust that you will not rule me out of order, Mr. Chairman, because you will find I am in order when I am finished. I must say that I feel your ruling is rather narrow because, during my 17 years experience in this house, when telephone companies have come to ask for an increase in capital or other changes in their acts of incorporation, there has been a wide

Private Bills

discussion of the affairs of the companies. This applies also to pipe line companies and companies of that sort. These bills have frequently been referred to committees for further study. However, I shall bow to your ruling and not go into the affairs of this company.

I do want to bring something to the attention of the committee which is somewhat related to this bill. We should support the right of the company to have its name printed in both languages according to the terms of the bill, and I suggest the company should have its policies and other literature printed in both languages so that all Canadians, regardless of their descent, will be able to understand them. This bill will not affect my constituents to any great extent and for the following reason-I want to give the reason, and it is based on a telegram I have just received from the mayor of Trail.

I want to point out, Mr. Chairman, that while the government fumbles and goes along a certain way in respect of the necessity for insurance, the people of Kootenay West continue to set records. I wish to bring to the attention of the committee the fact that on Saturday, December 15, the city of Trail completed eight full years without a fatal accident. This is a record for cities of over 10,000 population, not only in Canada-

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
PC

Rémi Paul (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Deputy Chairman:

Order; I think the hon. member has forgotten the remarks he made when he started to speak. When he speaks about some accidents, I think he is straying from the bill.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink
NDP

Herbert Wilfred Herridge

New Democratic Party

Mr. Herridge:

You quite misunderstood my remark, Mr. Chairman, and if you will just let me finish the next sentence or two you will see the point.

This is a record for cities of over 10,000 population, not only in Canada but in the whole of North America; a record indicative of a safety conscious citizenry, particularly in view of the fact that Trail has one of the highest per capita ratios of cars in Canada. This record set by the city of Trail emphasizes the civilized society which prevails in Kootenay West. Now, Mr. Chairman, I want to point out that if the people of the rest of Canada established such records there would be little necessity for bills of this type, either in the English or French language.

My second point is that, regardless of the care my constituents take and the records they establish in this respect, they do not get any particular benefit from that care and for acting in such a civilized manner, under this bill or any other insurance bill. I suggest that this record established by the city of Trail should be studied by the companies concerned, and even by the governments

Private Bills

concerned, to find out why this record is possible. I say it is possible because of good civic government and a very civilized people.

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   PRIVATE BILLS
Sub-subtopic:   MERIT INSURANCE COMPANY
Permalink

December 18, 1962