April 14, 1926 (15th Parliament, 1st Session)


James Alexander Robb (Minister of Trade and Commerce; Minister of Finance and Receiver General)



I have not the Finance Act
at hand, so I cannot give that information to my hon. friend, but he will understand from the figures just given that there has been no restraint in the banking facilities offered. The banks, we may suppose, had just as good security in 1924 and 1925 as in 1918, and had they required the money they would have got it, and at a lower rate of interest than they got in 1918. I will admit at once that the banking situation in Canada to-day gives less worry, at all events, to the Finance Minister and to the government, than it did in the years 1921, 1922 and 1923. The banks in Canada are in pretty good shape to-day, and we have improved the system to a degree by the introduction of the inspection system.
I am not one who objects at all to securing all the information that we can get brought before us in the Banking and Commerce committee. I admit at once that the information brought before the government and before the members in the last parliament enabled us to improve very considerably upon the inspection system of the banks, to the good, I believe, of all Canada, and for that reason, Mr. Speaker, I am willing to accept the suggestion which I understand the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth) has made, that this question be referred for study to the Banking and Commerce committee. I would like however to make this reservation: I appeal to my hon. friends
who have given study to this matter and who have advanced these ideas, I appeal also to every member of the Banking and Commerce committee, that in bringing -witnesses before that commitee they do not pay heavy travelling expenses to bring some person before them who knows nothing about the matter, or some person outside the country. I do not object to bringing gentlemen before the committee who are able to give us information that will be of any value, but as to our paying heavy travelling expenses for men who have simply theories to advance, and who come possibly from a long distance and have heavy accounts, I submit that the Banking and Commerce committee might very well pass upon that, and help the Finance Minister to keep down expenses. With that reservation, I accept the
suggestion that this question be referred for further study to the Banking and Commerce committee.

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