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

LIB

James Alexander Robb (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal

Mr. ROBB:

When any land was resold we had to pay arrears of taxes on the property. As against this loss there was a surplus on land of $592,735, leaving a net deficit of .$618,571 on that transaction. Another concession to the soldiers was the opportunity-given them to settle on a cash-down payment of only ten per cent of the land value. This meant financial assistance without a business margin of security, and the assuming of a risk which no other agency would have undertaken. Reference was made a moment ago to the value of the land as resold. Let me quote from the Ralston report:
The position, however, as it appears to the commission, is that the handicap is more contingent than actual. The value of the farm is not to be taken as of this or any arbitrary date for the purpose of measuring the loss or profit of the soldier farmer. The farm is bought to be worked and paid for gradually. The only definite date for testing the improvidence or otherwise of the bargain is the date on which the purchase was made. At that time the settler himself, who was assumed to have some knowledge of the value of farm lands, decided that the farm was worth the price and in this the best available judgment of the settlement board officials concurred. If the subsequent fluctuations in value are to be looked at to see whether the bargain was a good one, then the date which is at least as important as any other is the date when the farm is to be actually and finally paid for, twenty-five years hence.
The commission then dea's with the concessions granted in 1922, providing for interest exemption, and states on page 57:
This exemption was not an inconsequential concession. It represented in many cases a complete cancellation of interest amounting to about 16 per cent of the principal sum, or in other words by spreading it over the twenty-five years, it meant that the interest-bearing principal was reduced by 16 per cent.
They go on to say:
It is only fair to remember that the effect of the proposed revaluation is to ask the country to agree to forego its claim under the terms of a solemn contract admittedly much more liberal than would be entered into by any private interest, and that the settler was himself satisfied as to the value of the land which was the basis of the contract and the security for the loan.
In concluding, the commission declined to make any definite recommendation and merely
Soldier Settlement Act

Topic:   SOLDIER SETTLEMENT ACT, 1919, AMENDMENT
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