February 28, 1901 (9th Parliament, 1st Session)


Joseph Alexandre Camille Madore



X need not say to the Committee that I am quite prepared to receive any suggestions that may be made from either side of the House, or from a committee to which that Bill may be referred later on. The draft I have just submitted contains the principle of the Bill, and provided that principle is admitted, I am quite willing to go either to a Committee of the whole House or to a special committee, there to consider any suggestions that may be made. For instance, the suggestions made by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries are certainly deserving of discussion and consideration. We did not follow the lines of the English Bill because we considered that the circumstances in this country are not the same as in England, especially those in the province of Quebec. We did not propose to give to the judge the power to reopen the case, to go back to the beginning of the transaction, in order to ascertain whether the rate of interest charged is too high or not, and to leave that question altogether to his discretion. We thought that according to our procedure in the province of Quebec such a provision would be almost impracticable. When the borrower was sued by the lender for the amount claimed to be due, capital and interest, if the rate of interest was too high, and if it was left entirely to the judge to decide what amount should be charged, the defendant, even if he admitted his indebtedness, could not know the exact amount he would have to pay, and he could not make a tender to the plaintiff because in order to do so he must tender the amount that he really owes. If he does not tender the full amount of his debt, even if he succeeded in having the rate of interest claimed from him reduced, the whole cost of the contestation would fall on his shoulders.

Full View