February 7, 1967

COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE

PUBLIC ACCOUNTS


Tenth and eleventh reports of standing committee on public accounts-Mr. Hales. [Note: Text of the foregoing reports appears in today's Votes and Proceedings.]


IMMIGRATION-CONCURRENCE IN SECOND REPORT OF SPECIAL JOINT COMMITTEE

LIB

John Maxwell Roxburgh

Liberal

Mr. Jack Roxburgh (for Mr. Klein) moved:

That the second report of the special joint committee of the Senate and House of Commons on immigration, presented to the house on Tuesday, January 31, 1967, be concurred in.

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Motion agreed to.


FINANCE

BANK OF WESTERN CANADA-LOANS TO PREFERRED SHAREHOLDERS


On the orders of the day:


PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Right Hon. J. G. Diefenbaker (Leader of fhe Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct a question to the Minister of Finance. It has to do with the statement he made in the house yesterday as recorded at page 12682 cf Hansard, and which reads in part as follows:

-I had indicated to one or two people since Mr. Coyne made his statement that the terms of the order speak for themselves, that I was not going to give approval to transactions of the kind outlined here, and that it would require very exceptional circumstances for me to exercise my discretion. I said that in one case to Mr. Sinclair Stevens and in another to another member of the associated group.

I asked if the minister would tell us who that other person was, and the minister replied that he would have to refresh his memory. Arising out of that statement I ask the minister when, where and under what circumstances the minister made this positive and categorical statement to Mr. Sinclair Stevens. Who was the other person in addition to Mr. Stevens to whom the minister referred, and under what circumstances and where did that discussion take place?

[DOT] (2:40 p.m.)

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Subtopic:   BANK OF WESTERN CANADA-LOANS TO PREFERRED SHAREHOLDERS
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LIB

Mitchell William Sharp (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Hon. Mitchell Sharp (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, similar questions were directed to me yesterday in the committee on finance, trade and economic affairs, but I am quite happy to clarify my answer of yesterday in the House of Commons.

I made these statements to Mr. Sinclair Stevens yesterday, after Mr. Coyne had made his statement, in a telephone conversation I had with Mr. Stevens when he phoned me to state his position in relation to the statements made by Mr. Coyne. I have refreshed my memory, Mr. Speaker, and it is to the effect that I am not certain whether in the conversation I had with the other person yesterday morning immediately following my discussion with Mr. Sinclair Stevens I did in fact repeat what I had said to Mr. Stevens.

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Subtopic:   BANK OF WESTERN CANADA-LOANS TO PREFERRED SHAREHOLDERS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Who was the other person?

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LIB

Mitchell William Sharp (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Sharp:

The other conversation was not in relation to any matters which are before the house. It was a conversation on another subject altogether, and I should not like to say now that I did mention this matter because that might not be accurate and might lead to unnecessary embarrassment on the part of that person.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   BANK OF WESTERN CANADA-LOANS TO PREFERRED SHAREHOLDERS
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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Did the minister have occasion to read Mr. Stevens' statements reported in the Globe and Mail for today, to the effect that:

I advised the directors that at some future date I, in my capacity as president of B.I.F., would seek clarification from the Minister of Finance as to under what circumstances such consent-

That is, borrowing consent.

-would be granted.

I have not approached the Minister of Finance on this matter nor do I intend to.

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please.

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PC

John George Diefenbaker (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Mr. Speaker, I bring that to the minister's attention, and I would ask him how this conversation arose yesterday between him and Mr. Stevens.

Topic:   FINANCE
Subtopic:   BANK OF WESTERN CANADA-LOANS TO PREFERRED SHAREHOLDERS
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LIB

Mitchell William Sharp (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Sharp:

Mr. Speaker, I think it is important that this matter be clarified, and I hope I may have your indulgence to say a few other

February 7, 1967

Inquiries of the Ministry words. I volunteered this statement to Mr. Sinclair Stevens in case there should be any doubt whatever about my attitude in relation to the certificate that has been granted to the Bank of Western Canada to open business. Mr. Stevens did not ask me about this; I volunteered the statement.

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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. T. C. Douglas (Burnaby-Coquillam):

supplementary question to the Minister of Finance with reference to the Treasury Board minute which extended the 10 per cent ownership provision prescribed in the legislation, thereby giving the B.I.F. group the right to own over 50 per cent of the shares for a period up until 1977.

May I ask the minister why this 10 per cent limitation was extended by the minister in the case of the B.I.F. group through the Treasury Board minute.

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Subtopic:   BANK OF WESTERN CANADA-LOANS TO PREFERRED SHAREHOLDERS
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LIB

Mitchell William Sharp (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Sharp:

Mr. Speaker, the reason is that this is a new bank and we do consider it most important that we should encourage new Canadian owned banks to establish in business. This is done under the provisions of the Bank Act and, indeed, under the provisions of the special act that was approved by this house establishing the Bank of Western Canada.

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NDP

Thomas Clement (Tommy) Douglas

New Democratic Party

Mr. Douglas:

A further supplementary

question, Mr. Speaker. May I ask the minister why in this Treasury Board minute respecting the commitments which the B.I.F. group have given to a parliamentary committee with respect to not associating their business with that of the bank the minister is given authority to exempt them from the commitment they have made to the House of Commons, a commitment which the applicants themselves had voluntarily given to a committee of the house.

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February 7, 1967