April 12, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)


George Gerald King



While we have had this growth of mergers and trusts in the United States, we have had a somewhat similar growth, though not on so large a scale, in this country. Before 1909, there was not a large number of these corporations in Canada, although the Montreal Light, Heat and Power Company, the Dominion Textile Company, the Canadian Breweries Company, and the Canadian Consolidated Rubber Company, are large aggregations of capital that will be present in the minds of all here. I have here a statement showing the different mergers that have been effected since 1901, but will pass over that for a moment. Last year, 1909, was a year in which so many mergers and consolidations took place that no less a financial authority than the ' Monetary Times ' refers to the circumstance as constituting the year 1909 ' merger year.' There can be little doubt these consolidations were an outstanding feature of the industrial and financial situation of Canada during the last year. There were formed in that year the Amalgamated Asbestos Corporation, Limited, the Black Lake Consolidated Asbestos Company, Limited, the National Breweries Company,Limited, the Canada Cement Company,Limited, the Carriage Factories Company,Limited, the Canadian Car and Foundry
Company, Limited, the Quebec Railway Light, Heat and Power Company, Limited, the Siemon Company, Limited, the Canadian Consolidated Felts Company, Limited, and we are told of a contemplated merger in the maritime provinces of the Dominion Iron and Steel Company and the Dominion Coal Company. These figures would, I think, bear some careful study, not necessarily as reflecting in any way upon the organizations concerned in these particular mergers, but rather as helping to illustrate an industrial, development in our country, a development which is likely to increase during the years to come; and unless the mergers and trusts are to be wrongly judged by the public, they must in some way be made subject to a larger measure of state control than they are at present. If one will . look over the press since the beginning of the present year, he will find that there is hardly a day when mention is not made of some new consolidation or merger. And these announcements come out simultaneously with the experience every one is having of the increased cost of living. The fact that these two things have come together has brought about an association between them in the minds of the public in the nature of cause and effect. My reason for dwelling at some length on both these points is that a truer discernment may be arrived at of the nature of the phenomena into which we are examining and the results to the community.

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