April 25, 1904 (9th Parliament, 4th Session)


Louis Philippe Demers


Mr. L. P. DEMERS (St. John find Iberville).

(Translation.) I move :
That the government take immediate steps to put ail end to unlawful transactions carried on by firms known as ' Compagnies de Credit ' and other such concerns.
Mr. Speaker, I wish to draw the attention of the House to the business done by a number of firms known under the name of ' Compagnies de Credit.' and which have been incorporated by the government of Canada. The avowed object of those companies is to facilitate for their clients the purchase of diamonds, watches, jewels, furs, furniture and other wares, in accordance with a scale of prices and terms laid down by them.
They call themselves ' Compagnies de Credit.' possibly,-as suggested by * Le Frix Count lit.'-for the very reason that tbe.i do not grant credit to any one. As a matter of fact, they are so-called capitalizing institutions. To the person who deposits vuth them two dollars a week for fifteen Meeks. Hint is $30 altogether, they *wct to pay Deposits may be continued for n iterm of 150 weeks, or three consecutive yeai e if desired After having thus deposited 8300 the depositor, under the agreement, will be , ..titled to $750. The same rule applies to a!/subserHlers : there is no drawing of lots . evorv depositor lias the promise that he vul! receive 150 per cent on his investment.
10The business carried on by these firms ,n;iy seem wonderful, and they are avail of

it Here, for instance, is the circular issued by one of these companies called * La Soci6t6 de Credit Hebdomadaire, limitSe,' which guarantees not more than 100 per cent profit. The manager of that company gives the following answer fo question No. 4 :
4th question :-What means have ' La soeiete de Credit Hebdomadaire limitSe,' of paying such large dividends to their subscribers ?
Answer : La Soeiete de Credit Hebdomadaire, limitee," is to small capitalists what railway companies, steamship, street car, insurance companies and banks, etc., etc., are to people of wealth. As a matter of fact, every one of these last named companies spends hundreds of thousands, and even millions, of dollars in expenses each year, and notwithstanding this enormous expenditure, provides for its shareholders a high rate of interest on every share they own. But only people of large means, semi-millionaires, hold stock in such companies while small capitalists are in a position to secure only a low rate of interest on their investments. ' La Socifitg de Credit Hebdomadaire, limitde," incorporated by the Dominion government, and supported by reliable as well as shrewd business men, financiers, in a word, enables all persons of good will, through its various kinds of agreements, to reap large profits on their investments. That company puts large rates of interest within the reach of small capitalists ; but, we repeat it once more, we do not promise fabulous returns ; we secure from investments only what business men can secure from them, as stated on the back of each agreement.
As will be noticed, the manager is very careful not to state through the use of what business methods it is possible to obtain such large returns. That answer given by ' La SociStS de Credit Hebdomadaire, limi-tee,' by that sedate company, made up of reliable and shrewd business men, reminds me of that given by William T. Miller, who won universal notoriety in connection with the Franklin syndicate : 1 The way to wealth is as plain as the road to market/
However, he did not promise such large returns ; he was content with 100 per cent a year, while some of the firms we have to deal with promise 700 per cent a year. That same Miller stated elsewhere :
This may look impossible to you, but you know there must be a way where one can double their money in a short time, or else there would be no Jay Gould, Vanderbilt, or Flower Syndicate and other millionaires.
That was the only explanation offered ; that is to say, uo explanation was given. The effects of these schemes are being felt just now in Montreal and vicinity. Workingmen and others who have taken an interest in these concerns and deposited with them part of their earnings are facing a sure loss. Some of them deposit as much as twenty or even twenty-five dollars a week. If, as I believe, the companies are being operated on a wrong principle, it will mean ruin for a number of these poor people of Montreal and other districts of the province.

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