June 2, 1939 (18th Parliament, 4th Session)


Jean-François 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

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