May 26, 1925 (14th Parliament, 4th Session)


James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)



Hon. members will recall that this question was studied last year by a special committee which went into it very carefully and submitted a report. There has been from time to time a difference of opinion expressed. It has been represented to us, for instance, that there should be a revaluation of land as well as of stock. There are two sides to this as to every question. The Ralston commission, who made a very exhaustive study of this question, indicated that while there was some justification for a revaluation of stock and equipment the real value of the land, whether it was a good or a bad purchase, could be determined only at the end of the period. The country advanced the money for twenty-five years. I am prepared to admit at once that there may be some places where the land was not well purchased, but, generally speaking, the land was fairly well bought. There is this to be said of all the land, whether it was well bought or whether they paid too much, the soldier himself saw this land, accepted it and, in some cases I am told, was prepared to pay even more than it was thought he should at the time. The bill which we propose to present based on this resolution will provide that forty per cent reduction shall be allowed on the purchase price of all live stock purchased prior to 1st October, 1920, and twenty per cent on live stock purchased on or after 1st October, 1920, and prior to 1st October,
1921. In the annual report of the Soldier Settlement board dated December, 1924, in dealing with the deflation in values, this is stated1 on page 8:
The greater number of soldier settlers in Canada bought at the peak of war-time prices. Those who sold to them reaped the benefit of the inflated prices and they now find the property to be worth less than the government charged them for it; that is, they have become the victims of a deflation caused by the aftermath of the war they had won.
That referred particularly to live stock. They go on to say:
For instance, soldier settlers bought in Canada before the slump in values livestock to the extent of approximately $13,500,000. To-day that livestock is worth less than half that amount.
I am quoting that as the words of the soldier settler. If We bear in mind the bill that has just been introduced, amending the Animal Contagious Diseases Act, it will be observed that the valuation of stock has been considerably reduced. The committee will, perhaps, be interested to know at this stage that loans were granted to 24,224. The total capital advanced on loan account was $103 -894,073.56. '

Full View