December 18, 1962

NDP

Thomas Rodney Berger

New Democratic Party

Mr. Berger:

Mr. Chairman, since the debate is now of wider limits than it was intended to be, I wish to conclude my contribution to it by acknowledging what I think will be the thanks of the committee as a whole to the hon. member for Mount Royal. I hope, that, having heard me use one of the official languages of Canada in describing his constituency, there will not be any attempt on the part of any hon. member to question my right to use both official languages, although perhaps it would be understandable if there were such an attempt. At any rate, my wish in speaking to clause 1 was not to impede the progress of commerce in Canada, but rather to make sure that-

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

Robert Jardine McCleave (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCleave:

You should apologize.

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

Thomas Rodney Berger

New Democratic Party

Mr. Berger:

I think there was an interjection by some hon. member to the effect that I had made a lot of fuss, but I think that it is the right of hon. members to make a lot of fuss when they think something is happening which requires clarification, and I make no apologies for speaking under these circumstances.

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

Robert Jardine McCleave (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCleave:

False facts; you must

apologize for them.

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

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

Mr. Chairman, I object. The hon. member should stand up.

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

Robert Jardine McCleave (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCleave:

The hon. member is giving us false facts and should apologize instead of putting a halo over his head.

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

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

Mr. Chairman, the hon. member who interrupts has been sitting muttering into his beard for the last five minutes. If he has anything to say let him get up and say it. There has been no false start. The hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard has a perfect right to contribute to the debate. If the hon. member for Halifax wants to be a trained seal that is, of course, his business, but he need not expect any other hon. member to act the same way.

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

Robert Jardine McCleave (Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McCleave:

I will repeat, the hon. member from the N.D.P. has been giving the committee false facts about the ownership of the company. He was basing his whole argument on that, and at least should have the grace to apologize for wasting our time.

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

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

If that allegation is going to be made I am going to ask that we postpone consideration of this bill until all the facts are brought down, until we know how many shares are held by these various directors,

how many in trust and how many in escrow, so that we will know which of these people are actual directors.

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

Leon David Crestohl

Liberal

Mr. Crestohl:

That will be completely out of order.

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. May I point

out that if an hon. member wants to have the floor he must be recognized by the Chair, and if another hon. member is speaking he is obliged to ask his permission to ask him a question. If all hon. members of the committee try to keep this rule I think we will not have trouble. I now ask the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard to complete his remarks.

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

Thomas Rodney Berger

New Democratic Party

Mr. Berger:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I

was about to acknowledge my thanks, and I think the thanks of the committee, to the hon. member sponsoring the bill for providing the committee with what is really, with all respect to him and I do not think he will take it amiss, a fairly scanty rundown of the company's corporate structure. One hon. member suggests that I did not give the committee the facts, but hon. members will recall that I opened the debate by telling them I had certain information, that I had taken the trouble to study the report of the superintendent of life insurance, that I had checked with the companies branch of the Department of the Secretary of State and I had discovered that there was no public document available to members of parliament which gave them the information I was asking from the sponsor of the bill and which he was good enough, at least in part, to provide the committee.

Under those circumstances I suggest there is no necessity for an apology. I think some hon. members of the committee will regard it as worth while that the committee now has some idea of what and who Merit Insurance Company is. I also believe that because of what has transpired today the committee requires additional information. The hon. member for Mount Royal did his best, but I suggest we really do not have a complete picture regarding the ownership of the company.

He said the majority of the shares were held by Canadians, but how many of those shares are held by Canadians as nominees, how many are held in trust and how many are held in escrow? In other words we certainly do not know who controls this company, and I urge the hon. member to consider asking leave of the committee to have this bill stood down so that upon another occasion he might come before the committee and advise it fully, as I am sure he would wish to do, regarding the ownership and control of the company.

I say, as I attempted to point out a moment ago before an hon. member in the Conservative ranks interrupted me, that I was not

Divorce Bills

seeking to impede the progress of commerce in this country and to prevent a company in the life insurance field carrying on legitimate life insurance business. I simply wanted to know who these people were who have come before parliament asking to use a French version of their name. I now have some idea who they are, but I do not think we have been given a complete picture. I do not think anyone can blame the hon. member who sponsored the bill for that, and I suggest to him he ought to consider asking leave to have the bill stand so that on another occasion he can tell all hon. members of the committee everything they want to know about the ownership of Merit Insurance Company.

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

@Acting Chair(man)? of Committees of the Whole

Shall clause 1 carry? (Translation):

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

Lucien Plourde

Social Credit

Mr. Plourde:

Mr. Chairman, if the propaganda in favour of bilingualism has awakened those corporations, I congratulate them on their reaction, it is marvellous. But if their only intent is to extend their operations and to increase their volume of business, then it is a different story. As a matter of fact we will still be the ones to suffer, because we will have been unfairly dealt with.

Mr. Chairman, if all the English insurance companies want to add a French name to their English one, it would be preferable to amend the act and to generalize its application, so that corporations may have an official name in both the official languages of the country, French and English. I suggest that in a bilingual country such as ours, such a situation should have obtained a long time ago.

(Text):

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

Clause agreed to. Clause 2 agreed to. Preamble agreed to. Title agreed to. Bill reported and read the third time and passed.


SECOND READING


Bill No. S-16, respecting The Imperial Life Assurance Company of Canada-Mr. Hellyer.


BRUCE REID CAMPBELL


The house in committee on Bill No. SD-2, for the relief of Bruce Reid Campbell-Mr. MacEwan (for Mr. Mandziuk)-Mr. Paul in the chair. On clause 1-Marriage dissolved.


PC

Rémi Paul (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Progressive Conservative

The Deputy Chairman:

Shall clause 1 carry?

Topic:   INTERIM SUPPLY
Subtopic:   BRUCE REID CAMPBELL
Permalink

December 18, 1962