July 28, 1911 (11th Parliament, 3rd Session)


Edmund Boyd Osler

Conservative (1867-1942)


My attention was called, since I returned, to a debate in parliament on the 15th of March. Before I left this country on January, I was present when we were discussing the question of the Farmers' Bank.
I then made the statement that I had spoken to the Minister of Finance in reference to the issue of a certificate to this bank. The Minister of Finance said that if I was in the House he was sure I would not make that statement. After^ the deposit had been made with the Receiver General and before the certificate had been issued, I met the Minister of Finance and had a talk with him about the Farmers' Bank. I told him that it was a fraud, that the people connected with it were not worthy, and that the method taken for obtaining the necessary deposit was absolutely illegal. I knew that of my own personal knowledge, because I knew where application had been made to borrow the money on these endorsed notes; I did not know at the time from whom. I saw that the Finance Minister was under a good deal of anxiety about the condition of affairs. The matter ended there so far as I was concerned until some time afterwards, when I learned that a certificate had been issued, and I again spoke to the minister, and said I was exceedingly sorry that the government had issued the certificate. The Finance Minister said that so far as he saw, the law had been complied with, and that if the government had not issued the cer-

tificate they would have been open to the charge of protecting the larger banks. Of course there is a good deal of reason in that, but I think it was a case where the closest scrutiny ought to have been observed. It was notorious that the men at the head of the bank were not worthy. The information I think was given fairly, and without any prejudice against the establishment of new banks. Further than that, I may say that I had .a conversation with my hon. friend from Halton (Mr. Henderson), and he told me he had made the same representation to the Finance Minister. I only make this statement because I do not want to put in the mouth of the leader of the opposition statements which I cannot confirm.

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