June 4, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)

CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

I disagree with my hon. friend. Therefore I believe that some of the provinces will be quite willing that these liens should be taken and should not be registered. They will not fear that the ordinary creditors will suffer. They believe that the livestock industry is of such importance that the men raising livestock should have the right to hypothecate or pledge their stock in the same way as a manufacturer is to-day empowered to pledge his manufactured product. Let us assume that in New Brunswick it was considered inadvisable that the farmer should have the right to give a secret lien upon his livestock. Then, under this law, the legislature of that province could authorize the officers who now are authorized to receive and file chattel mortgages and bills of sale, to receive and file this assignment, and if that was not done in accordance with that legislation of .the province, then the assignment would be null and void as against creditors or subsequent purchasers for valuable consideration. On the other hand, let us say that in Alberta, the Legislature was content that the farmer should have the right to give this assignment of his live stock to the bank and that such assignment need not be registered, then the province would allow this Act to operate without bringing in such legislation.
The hon. member for St. John (Mr. Pugs-ley) has, however, raised a question which did appeal to me and which I am quite willing to have considered when the matter is before the Banking and Commerce Committee, and that is as to whether or not the Act should immediately become operative. I feel that it would be a mistake, although my mind is open to conviction, to enact that it should not come into effect until after the provinces have passed this legislation to which I have referred, because then the matter would not be advanced very much further than it is at present.
The assignment would then be taken in lieu of chattel mortgage, and would be filed in the ordinary way. I do think, however, that there is a good deal to be said for the view that the Act should go into operation on a date to be named, the legislatures of the several provinces being enabled in the meantime to enact, if they so desire, legislation'to compel the registration of the assignments taken under this 1 measure. I have brought this Bill in, as I did the Bill of last year, to meet the urgent requirements of the farming community, especially of the West, engaged in the raising of live stc ck. I should like the

Banking and Commerce Committee to hear the parties interested; they will then be able to reach a better conclusion than we can reach by discussing the matter here. The live stock industry is a great industry in Canada, and we look forward to a much greater development of it. One of the chief complaints made against our 'banking system by the raisers of live stock throughout Canada is the lack of simple means of getting bank credit readily upon almost the best kind of security. Live stock raisers and manufacturers are engaged in raising or producing something that they require not for their own needs, but for sale in the markets of the world. In order to carry on business of either kind, it is absolutely necessary that there should be facilities for credit, and it is to meet that situation that this Bill is introduced. I should have hesitated to introduce it at this session, in the midst of the war, if I had not believed that it was highly desirable and in the interests of the live stock industry, which especially at this time we are endeavouring to promote and increase. If in the view of the Banking and Commerce Committee a strong case is made against proceeding with the Bill, personally I should be disposed to pay a great deal of regard to that opinion. I should like, however, in the interests of the live stock industry, the matter to go to the Banking and Commerce Committee, and there be considered on its merits.
Mr. iMiQLLOY: The only thing wrong
with the legislation proposed is that it does not go far enough. The banks should be permitted to lend money to the farmer on his live stock without talking either mortgage or assignment. Last year in the district in which I live a sale of eight or nine thousand sheep was advertised. A great many men who had previously been grain farmers only wished to purchase a number of those sheep. Upon going to the bank, they were told that they could have the money, but would have to give a chattel mortgage on whatever stock they bought. As a consequence, they did not buy. Two persons whom I have in mind, however, did purchase the stock, misapprehending what the bank had told them. When they came to make settlement simply by giving a note for the amount borrowed, as they had done that year and many years before, they were told that they 4 p.m. had to give a chattel mortgage.
The result was that the savings which they had put aside in the bank for operations in 1917 were drawn out and used
to pay the amount of the purchase of the live stock. These men will be obliged now to borrow on their note from the bank in order to carry on operations this year. The farmer will not purchase live stock and give the hank a chattel mortgage, paying them, as one farmer said, from $8 to $10 to be advertised. I shall certainly support this legislation, but I repeat that it does not go far enough. Any man who is a bona fide settler and a worthy citizen should be able to borrow from ,a bank $1,000, $1,500, even $5,000, for the purchase of live stock. The banks will not lose, 'because they never lend money to anyone unless they expect to get it back with good interest.
IMr. McOOIG: I believe that the banks
should lend money to the farmers for the purchase of stock, as is proposed, especially in this particular year. The farmers would buy a great deal of the stock that is on the market in the province of Ontario if they could get the money to purchase. But they protest against giving a chattel mortgage and -advertising themselves, when they are endeavouring to do what is in the best interest's of the country and of their own industry. The idea of the Bill, I believe, is to place the bank in the same position as the manufacturer when he disposes of his machines. The manufacturer has a lien on the machines that he sells; the bank has a lien on the stock which is purchased by the money which the farmer borrows. If I understand the Bill rightly, I am heartily in accord with the proposed legislation and should be glad to see it passed. I believe that it would have a very good effect upon the live stock industry of Canada.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   BANK ACT AMENDMENT.
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