Mr. Chairman, I am delighted to have the French version of Mount Royal given by my hon. friend. It is not my purpose to engage in a debate with any hon. member. However, the hon.
member made one or two unsubstantiated allegations. I think it is my duty, indeed my solemn duty, to bring these facts to the attention of the committee.
The allegation is that the Murchisons are interested in this company. First of all, let us start at the beginning. Merit Insurance Company is wholly owned by the Industrial Acceptance Corporation. The information I am going to give to the committee I got on the end of the telephone a week ago and I reconfirmed it this afternoon with the attorney for Industrial Acceptance Corporation. There are 9,331 shareholders of Industrial Acceptance Corporation holding 5,889,039 shares. Of these shareholders, 8,319 are in Canada. The Canadian shareholders hold 77.1 per cent of the company's stock and 813 of the shareholders are citizens of the United States holding 19.1 per cent of the stock of Industrial Acceptance Corporation. In other words, generally speaking, 8 per cent or 9 per cent of the stock of Industrial Acceptance Corporation is scattered throughout the United States and 90 per cent is held in Canada by Canadians. I am told that the Murchisons have no interest whatever in Industrial Acceptance Corporation and do not own any stock, consequently they own no stock in Merit Insurance Company.
The company was incorporated in 1953 and has been writing insurance policies throughout Canada in English or French at the request of the applicant. About 30 per cent of the business is done in Quebec; 25 per cent of the business is in Ontario-I am speaking of the Merit Insurance Company-25 per cent is done in the maritimes and 20 per cent is done in the western part of Canada. There are 67 offices throughout Canada and in the year 1961 the Merit Insurance Company employed 472 persons. The premium volume of insurance written in 1961 amounted to about $12 million. Approximately one third of the company's offices are located in the province of Quebec and perhaps a little bit less than one third of the company's business arises in Quebec province. It seems to me not only normal but right that the company should ask for a French version of the company name. I would be delighted to give any further information that I have.
Subtopic: PRIVATE BILLS