I doubt very much if the reason why the farmers have not taken advantage of the legislation of last year is that they do not desire to have a chattel
mortgage filed. I am inclined to think that they have not required to take advantage of it; the farmers have not needed to borrow so much money from the bank as they did previously; they are better off than they were. The Minister of Finance must see that when he gives the banks preferential trade over ordinary creditors, without notice, he is going a long way to protect a class of people who, I think, do not need protection, at any rate not by legislation. What expense can there be attached to the giving of a chattel mortgage? The chattel mortgage is a very simple thing, equally as simple as any sort of an assignment which a man could contract. A chattel mortgage is simply an agreement on the part of one party to pay to another party a certain sum of money at a certain time and (agreeing that certain chattel property which the borrower has is liable to he sold in default of payment. In any sort of assignment that could be devised the same conditions would be included as are included in a chattel mortgage. That assignment would necessarily have to be filed. There would be no authority on the part of this Government to' enact that the assignment should he registered in any of the county offices throughout, at all events, the province of Ontario. That would have to be done by legislation on the part of the provinces. It would have to be registered. It would be absolutely unfair to other creditors to .allow a fanner to pledge all his livestock to a bank without notice to any other person who might he inclined, or induced, to loan him money. That could not he the law. In so far as Ontario is concerned- I do not know what the law is in other provinces-it would he too unfair to either party to put such a law as that on the statute-book. The assignment would have to be registered as a notice to the world. Why should not a chattel mortgage he used just as well as an assignment? Every condition that is in the chattel .mortgage would necessarily be in the assignment. All the stock, and everything that was covered by the security, would have to be recited in the assignment and that assignment would [DOT]have to be registered, It would cost just as much as a chattel mortgage. The banks could have their forms of chattel mortgages so that when a farmer went to the bank to borrow money on the security of his live stock, the solicitors who are employed in every town and village where there is a branch bank and paid so .much a year by the (bank, could fill up the chattel mortgage and it could be executed without any
expense. I think the Minister of Finance should hesitate before putting on the statute-book legislation which will allow any man to mortgage his property to a bank without putting the transaction in a position where the public generally will have notice of the encumbrance because he is giving a preference to the bank that does not need a preference, that is not asking for it and I doubt very much if the farmers, when they thoroughly understand it, will he particularly interested in the matter. I doubt the wisdom of such legislation.
Subtopic: BANK ACT AMENDMENT.