Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:
The principle involved in this resolution was approved by Parliament at its August session. In order to make that legislation effective, the Minister of Finance states that after this House has been in session for thirty days, it is necessary to authorize, by resolution, a similar proclamation by order in council, and I do not think there is any objection to Parliament granting this power to the Government. It is quite possible that this power might be of great value to the country in certain' circumstances. While it is quite true the financial condition of the banks of Canada to-day is such that they can,
I think, reasonably meet all demands upon them, still, as the minister has suggested, the situation might change very quickly. I would also point out that there is not any very great danger of the abuse of this privilege by prospective borrowers, which in this
case must be chartered banks, owing to the fact that they must pay 5 per cent interest upon any loans, and" if their own position is strong they are not likely to make application for loans from the Government. I think, however, we should have from the Minister of Finance a statement showing the financial result of these operations to the Treasury Department, whether it has been financially profitable or whether it has covered its cost. I presume that in all loans we have received the statutory interest rate of 5 per cent, and that the transaction has netted some little profit to the treasury. The Minister of Finance objects to giving detailed information as to the amounts advanced to the respective banks, and I will not press for that to-day, knowing that on a future occasion we shall have opportunity to make further inquiry and to discuss the matter fully, if we so desire.
Subtopic: PROCLAMATION CONTINUED.