September 11, 1950 (21st Parliament, 3rd Session)


Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)


Mr. Abbott:

I did say that in some cases there had been qualified approval but that I had thought that the principle of the bill had been generally acceptable. The hon. member for Cape Breton South pointed out that there was some difference of opinion among the members of the C.C.F. party. I think that some of the points raised by the hon. member for Assiniboia were pretty effectively answered by the hon. member for Kootenay West and I have decided that probably I will not have to answer them.
The hon. member for Acadia asked me to indicate to what extent the bill was going to be implemented. I might say that anticipating that the house would approve a measure of this kind I asked the officials of my department to make a survey of the existing practices in instalment selling and of recent trends in the various retail businesses. When that survey is available the government will be in position to consider to what extent regulations should be introduced for the control of consumer credit.
A good many hon. members will recall that during the war we adopted this measure of control under the War Measures Act which was administered by the wartime prices and trade board. Order 225, which was the final consolidation of the consumer credit orders, is a fairly elaborate order and it is quite likely that at this time it will not be necessary to exercise as extensive control over consumer credit as was necessary during the war. It certainly is the intention of the government to do so selectively. As has been indicated by some speakers, it may be found necessary to apply restrictions to only certain kinds of goods and to vary the requirements as to down payments in terms of total cost. These questions will be settled after we have received the survey to which I have referred.
Incidentally I may say at this time that it would be appropriate for trade associations and others who may be familiar with the technical problems involved to make representations to me or to the officials of my department in order that we may have the advantage of whatever assistance they may be in a position to give in the drafting of these regulations. I do not think that I would be in position to indicate now in detail just how and to what extent the enabling powers under this legislation will be applied, but the broad principles will be those which were applied in the similar control measure which was in effect for four or five years during the last war. tMr. Abbott.]

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