Aldéric-Joseph BENOIT

BENOIT, Aldéric-Joseph

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
St. Johns--Iberville (Quebec)
Birth Date
December 26, 1877
Deceased Date
July 16, 1968
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldéric-Joseph_Benoit
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=5d23b71f-ca64-4954-b361-22c058f5662e&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
farmer, hay and grain dealer

Parliamentary Career

August 31, 1922 - September 5, 1925
LIB
  St. Johns--Iberville (Quebec)
October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
LIB
  St. Johns--Iberville (Quebec)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
LIB
  St. Johns--Iberville (Quebec)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 7)


June 12, 1934

Mr. VENOIT:

There will be no drawback?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT
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May 30, 1930

Mr. BENOIT:

With regard to this item, Mr. Chairman, I regret very much to see that it has been reduced by $400,000. I should like to point out to the minister that although this government has been somewhat generous in introducing vast restricted areas for the eradication of bovine tuberculosis, many complaints have been received from cattle owners whose herds have been depleted by the tubercular test without their receiving a substantial indemnity, and they have thereby

Supply-Agriculture

sustained considerable losses. Some of these farmers were not in a position to stand such losses and have had to quit their farms and go to the cities, thus increasing the number of unemployed. I wonder if the Department of Agriculture could not be a little more generous with the farming community and increase the indemnities paid for cattle which prove to be reactors in the tubercular test.

I suggest that the minister increase this indemnity by at least 50 per cent in the case of cross-bred cattle and 25 per cent in the case of pure-bred cattle. The present indemnity is two-thirds of $150 for the pure-breds and of $60 for the cross-breds, and I think every hon. member will agree that this indemnity is not sufficient. During the fiscal year ending March 31, 1930, out of a total vote of $2,450,000 the owners of cattle slaughtered under these regulations received a total of $669,651.05, the average indemnity for pure-breds amounting to $77.10 and to $32.58 for the cross-breds. If we estimate that the pure-breds amount to 20 per cent and the cross-breds to 80 per cent of all the cattle, the increase would be almost $300,000 a year, basing the figures on last year's returns. This eradication of bovine tuberculosis being a question of public interest, it is only fair that the sufferers should not bear more than their fair share of this loss. What is an increase of 8300,000 a year in the estimates of the Department of Agriculture, which has to do with the great basic industry of this country, when you look at the grants made to other departments? Just look at page 4 of the main estimates and it will be seen that my suggestion is not unreasonable.

Referring to agricultural conditions in this country, I believe hon. members will remember that a few years ago at the request of a certain group in the house for the establishment of a rural credit system similar to that which has prevailed in Europe since 1770, this government appointed Doctor Tory in

1923 or 1924 to study the European and United States systems. The results of his survey were submitted to this government in

1924 or 1905, and it was recommended that a rural credit system of long term loans should be established. A bill was introduced in the house in 1926, but because of the tragic ending of that session it did not pass. At the following session we had a bill from the Senate, which .passed this bouse, and the Canadian Farm Loan Board was established under the provisions of chapter 66 of the revised statutes of Canada.

This 'board was a long time organizing, but finally it began its work in the early part of 1929. In the bill the rate of interest was not specified; that matter was left to the board.

These credits having been established to aid the farming community by making loans at a reasonable rate of interest, the prospective borrowers in Quebec were greatly disappointed when the board announced that the rate of interest would be 6i per cent, while the average rate prevailing was only about 5i per cent. Protests were heard everywhere in Quebec, but so far no action has been taken. On March 20, 1930,1 placed a resolution on the order paper recommending that the rate of interest be reduced by one per cent, but unfortunately my resolution was not debated. On April 10 a petition was addressed to the Minister of Finance signed by ninety-five members of the house requesting that the rate of interest charged by the board on loans to farmers should be decreased by one per cent, but this also was without result.

In all fairness to the farming community I make the assertion that our request is only reasonable. The rate of interest is too high; the farmers cannot afford to pay 6J per cent. Profits are too small in agriculture; if it were otherwise you would see the big financiers of St. James street operating farms. Look at our experimental farms; do you think they make any profits? The public accounts for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1929, show that $1,887,037.30 was voted for experimental farms, and in the same volume will be found an item showing that experimental farm produce sold for $171,359.80, leaving a discrepancy of $1,715,677.50. I do not wish to cast any reflection on the management of the experimental farms; I know that work is carried on by the most honest people in this country, but I use this illustration in order to show the force of my argument.

I will go to another source for information with respect to the profits made from agriculture. I hold in my hand bulletin No. 98, published by the Department of Agriculture, relating to a survey made in six counties of Quebec by Mr. F. A. Ste. Marie, B.S.A., of the division of animal husbandry. That survey is for the year ending June 1, 1920, and I see at page 6 of the bulletin a table which shows that the average annual profit on 1,148 farms which were thoroughly surveyed amounted to $463. That represented the total annual wages of the owner of the farm, of his wife-because you know the wives help their husbands on the farms-and of the children under fourteen, who also work in the farming communities. Just compute the capitalization of these farms, where there is no watered stock. It happens that the total actual capital engaged amounts to $22,618,451, including the value of live stock and farm implements. This capital yields the enormous

290S

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amount of $521,524, which works out at 2-3057 per cent of a dividend, much less than the dividends paid by some corporations which are over-capitalized by 300 per cent. It is to noted that one per cent of the actual capital tied up in these farms is equivalent to 45 per cent of the annual wages of the owner and his family. No. hon. member will suggest that the farmer is over paid.

This all means that the rate of interest paid by the farmers is very important. Since this survey was made in 1920 some people may think farming conditions very different to-day, and as a matter of fact they are very different, notwithstanding the fact that during 1919 and 1920 Canadian products were selling at much higher prices. I would refer hon. members to the Labour Gazette of March, 1930, at page 350.

I am inclined to believe that the guarantees offered by the farmers are first-class in character. The loans are made on 50 per cent of the value of the land and 20 per cent of the value of the buildings, which means that when the buildings are valued at the same price as the land the percentage is reduced to 35 per cent of the whole estate. I do not think this is quite fair to the farmer, and the law should be changed in order that loans can be made on 50 per cent to 55 per cent of the whole estate.

It might be said that a reduction of one per cent in the rate of interest would not amount to anything. I have prepared five different tables which show the growth of a small investment made at the end of each year over a period of 33 years.

The value of an investment of one dollar made at the end of the year, bearing interest at four per cent, compounded annually during the period of thirty-three years is equivalent to $66.21. The following statement shows the surplus paid by a borrower during a period of thirty-three years, when a 6J per cent rate has been paid instead of a 5 per cent rate:

On a loan of $1,000.-$10 yearly, equivalent to $662.10 after 33 years.

On a loan of $2.000.-$20 yearly, equivalent to $1,324.19 after 33 years.

On a loan of $3,000.-$30 yearly, equivalent to $1,986.29 after 33 years.

On a loan of $4.000.-$40 yearly, equivalent to $2,648.38 after 33 years.

On a loan of $5.000.-$50 yearly, equivalent to $3,310.48 after 33 years.

On a loan of $6.000.-$60 yearly, equivalent to $3,972.59 after 33 years.

On a loan of $7.000.-$70 yearly, equivalent to $4,634.67 after 33 years.

On a loan of $8.000.-$80 yearly, equivalent to $5,296.76 after 33 years.

On a loan of $9,000.-$90 yearly, equivalent to $5,958.86 after 33 years.

On a loan of $10.000.-$100 yearly, equivalent to $6,620.95 after 33 years.

If the request made to reduce by one per cent the rate of interest actually exacted by the Canadian Farm Loan Board from farmer borrowers was met, the difference between the now prevailing rate of 6i per cent and the proposed rate of 5i per cent on a $10,000 loan, compounding the interest at 4 per cent during a period of thirty-three years, would be the capitalized amount of $6,620.95, the actual present value at 4 per cent being $1,814.75.

The value of an investment of one dollar made at the end of the year bearing interest at 5 per cent compounded annually during a period of 33 years, is equivalent to $80.64. The following statment shows the surplus paid by a borrower during a period of 33 years, when a 64 per cent rate has been paid instead of 5 per cent:

On a loan of $1.000.-$10 yearly, is equivalent to $800.64 after 33 years.

On a loan of $2,000.-$20 yearly, is equivalent to $1,601.28 after 33 years.

On a loan of $3,000.-$30 yearly, is equivalent to $2,401.91 after 33 years.

On a loan of $4,000.-$40 yearly, is equivalent to $3,202.55 after 33 years.

On a loan of $5,000.-$50 yearly, is equivalent to $4,003.19 after 33 years.

On a loan of $6,000.-$60 yearly, is equivalent to $4,803.83 after 33 years.

On a loan of $7,000,-$70 yearly, is equivalent to $5,604.46 after 33 years.

On a loan of $8,000.- $80 yearly, is equivalent to $6,405.10 after 33 years.

On a loan of $9,000.-$90 yearly, is equivalent to $7,205.10 after 33 years.

On a loan of $10,000.-$100 yearly, is equivalent to $8,006.38 after 33 years.

The above statement shows the difference in a loan made by the Canadian Farm Loan Board to a farmer in Quebec and one made to a farmer in Ontario borrowing from the agricultural development board. The saving of the Ontario farmer during a period of 33 years, placed at 5 per cent compound interest on a $10,000 loan, would represent a capital of $8,006.38, the actual present value being $1,600.17 at 5 per cent.

The value of an investment of one dollar made at the end of the year bearing interest, at 3 per cent compounded annually during a, period of 33 years, is equivalent to $55.08. The following statement shows the surplus paid by a borrower during a period of 33 years when a 64 per cent rate has been paid instead of 5 per cent.

On a loan of $1,000.-$10 a year, is equivalent to $550.78 after 33 years.

On a loan of $2,000.-$20 a year, is equivalent to $1,101.56 after 33 years.

On a loan of $3,000.-$30 a year, is equivalent to $1,652.34 after 33 years.

On a loan of $4,000.-$40 a year, is equivalent to $2,203.12 after 33 years.

On a loan of $5,000.-$50 a year, is equivalent to $2,753.90 after 33 years.

Supply-A griculture

On a loan of $6,000.-$60 a year, is equivalent to $3,304.68 after 33 years.

On a loan of $7,000.-$70 a year, is equivalent to $3,855.46 after 33 years.

On a loan of $8,000.-$80 a year, is equivalent to $4,406.24 after 33 years.

On a loan of $9,000.-$90 a year, is equivalent to $4,958.02 after 33 years.

On a loan of $10,000.-$100 a year, is equivalent to $5,507.78 after 33 years.

The above table shows the advantage which would accrue to the farmer borrower if he were charged 54 per -cent interest instead of 64 per cent. The excess of interest which he is forced to pay on a $10,000 loan if placed in a savings bank would represent after 33 years a capitalized amount of $5,507.78; the actual present value at 3 per cent being $2,076.43.

The value of an investment of $1.50 a year made at the end of the year with compound interest at 5 per cent, would represent a capitalized amount of $120.10. The interest charged by the Canadian Farm Loan Board is 64 per cent, while the rate charged by the American federal Farm Loan Board is 5 per cent. The value of the savings to the American farmer, placed at 5 per cent compound interest for a period of 33 years is shown by the following statement:

On a loan of $1,000 savings are $15 yearly, equivalent to $1,200.96 after 33 years.

On a loan of $2,000 savings are $30 yearly, equivalent to $2,401.92 after 33 years.

On a loan of $3,000 savings are $45 yearly, equivalent to $3,602.87 after 33 years.

On a loan of $4,000 savings are $60 yearly, equivalent to $4,803.82 after 33 years.

On a loan of $5,000 savings are $75 yearly, equivalent to $6,004.78 after 33 years.

On a loan of $6,000 savings are $90 yearly, equivalent to $7,205.74 after 33 years.

On a loan of $7,000 savings are $105 yearly, equivalent to $8,406.70 after 33 years.

On a loan of $S,000 savings are $120 yearly, equivalent to $9,607.65 after 33 years.

On a loan of $9,000 savings are $135 yearly, equivalent to $10,808.61 after 33 years.

On a loan of $10,000 savings are $150 yearly, equivalent to $12,009.57 after 33 years.

At 5 per cent the actual value of $12,009.57 for to-day is 82,397.77.

The value of an investment of $1.50 a year for a period of 33 years, bearing interest at 3 per cent compounded yearly, is represented by a capitalized amount of $8.62. The interest charged by the Canadian Farm Loan Board is 64 per cent, while the rate charged by the American Farm Loan Board is 5 per cent. The value of the savings to the American farmer placed at 5 per cent compound interest for a period of 33 years is shown by the following statement:

On a loan of $1,000, savings $15 yearly, is equivalent to $826.17 after 33 years.

On a loan of $2,000, savings $30 yearly, is equivalent to $1,652.34 after 33 years.

On a loan of $3,000, savings $45 yearly, is equivalent to $2,478.50 after 33 years.

On a loan of $4,000, savings $60 yearly, is equivalent to $3,304.87 after 33 years.

On a loan of $5,000, savings $75 yearly, is equivalent to $4,130.83 after 33 years.

On a loan of $6,000, savings $90 yearly, is equivalent to $4,957 after 33 years.

On a loan of $7,000, savings $105 yearly, is equivalent to $5,783.17 after 33 years.

On a loan of $8,000, savings $120 yearly, is equivalent to $6,609.34 after 33 years.

On a loan of $9,000, savings $135 yearly, is equivalent to $7,435.50 after 33 years.

On a loan of $10,000, savings $150 yearly, is equivalent to $8,261.67 after 33 years.

At 5 per cent the actual value of $8,261.67 for to-day is $1,650.67.

Borrowers are compelled to take shares from the Canadian Farm Loan Board, and thej' are allowed only 5 per cent compound interest. Subsection 4, section 9, chapter 66, revised statutes of Canada, 1927, cover this point. In addition to this, they have to pay 64 per cent for the money used to buy the share. I think something should be done to cure this anomaly. It will probably be said that money cannot be borrowed on our security markets at a rate cheap enough to make loans to farmers at 54 per cent. The following is a report published by the Banque Canadienne Nationale, dated May, 1930, as follows:

Dominion loans are yielding as follows:

54 per cent due 1932 sells for $100.50 yields $4.63.

54 per cent due 1934 sells for $102.25 yields $4.94.

44 per cent due 1940 sells for $97.85 yields $4.76.

5 per cent due 1943 sells for $102.30 yields $4.77.

44 per cent due 1944 sells for $97.75 yields $4.72.

44 per cent due 1946 sells for $97.85 yields $4.69.

All tax exempted

C.N.R. guaranteed by government.

5 per cent due 1954 sells for $102.50 yields $4.82.

5 per cent due 1969 sells for $10.50 yields $4.80.

44 per cent Montreal city 1950 sells for $97, yields $4.73.

44 per cent Montreal city 1970 sells for $96.50, yields $4.69.

5 per cent City of Sorel 1952 sells for $100, yields $5.00.

44 per cent C.P.R. 1954 sells for $103, yields $4.80.

5 per cent Abitibi power 1953 sells for $88, yields $5.95.

5 per cent Bell telephone 1957 sells for $103.50, yields $4.76.

6 per cent Beauharnois 1959 sells for $100,

yields $6.00.

5 per cent Montreal L.H. & P. Co., 1970 sells for $101.50 yields $4.92.

44 per cent Shawinigan 1967 sells for $95.50, yields $4.75.

5 per cent Shawinigan water and power 1970 sells for $102.50 yields $4.86.

There are other bond securities which do not earn 5 per cent for the investor, but I believe

Supply-Agriculture

I have proven that the Canadian Farm Loan Board could sell its bonds at a rate of interest not exceeding 5 per cent. If there was any hesitancy on the part of the public to buy these bonds-they are considered to be a first class security-it should be possible for the government to endorse them, as is done with the Canadian National bond. I contend that the cost of administration of the board at Ottawa should be borne by the government, as is the case with other commissions. Where there is an agency of the board in the different provinces, the provincial government should bear that cost.

The twelfth report of the federal Farm Loan Board of the United States shows that loans are made from east to west in that country at the rate of 5 per cent. One exception is a small area where the rate is 51 per cent. The Canadian farmer should receive the same treatment as does the American farmer. The province of Ontario is making loans to farmers at 51 per cent without requiring that any shares be purchased. I am informed that in Denmark loans to farmers bear a rate of 4j per cent, and in France from 4i per cent to Si per cent.

I believe I have demonstrated that the conditions prevailing in this country do not warrant the rate of 61 per cent charged by the Canadian Farm Loan Board, and that the bonds could be sold on the market for a rate not exceeding 5 per cent. I trust that in the near future this government will grant the request made by the farmer borrower, and thus keep the farmers on the land and away from the cities where they might increase the number of unemployed. Might I add, in closing my remarks that, notwithstanding the present agricultural conditions prevailing in this country, farmers, when all is considered, are better off than most workers in cities, where life is so intricate. Many factors contribute to lowering the cost of rural life. Beside being free from monthly rent, a great number of farmers draw from the soil part of the subsistence for their families as well as their fuel. What must we think of the numerous occasions which city people have of spending their savings, these opportunities do not exist in rural dis-;ric-ts.

For these reasons and many others which would take too much time to enumerate, I cannot too strongly urge upon the farmer to cling more closely to the soil which, it is true, will not always bring him wealth, but, in return, will assure him a frugal, peaceful and happy life.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
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May 28, 1930

1. How many cattle reacted to the tuberculin test in the Dominion of Canada during the fiscal year terminating March 31, 1930?

2. How many in each province, respectively?

3. From the amount of $2,450,000 voted in the estimates of 1929, Health of Animals, etc. (Vote No. 45, estimates 1929-30), what indemnity was paid in each province, respectively, to the owners of cattle slaughtered?

4. What was the average amount of indemnity paid for each animal slaughtered: (a) in connection with thoroughbred and registered cattle; (b) in connection with cross cattle?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   TEST FOR BOVINE TUBERCULOSIS
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May 27, 1930

Mr. A. J. BENOIT (St. Johns-Iberville):

Mr. Speaker, may I be permitted to ask the government whether it is its intention at this session to reduce the rate of interest exacted by the Canadian Farm Loan Board on loans made to farmers. I had a resolution on the order paper of March 20th, but on April 29, 1930, at the request of the Clerk of the House, who stated that private members' days were exhausted and that the resolution would involve useless expenditure, I agreed to withdraw it.

In the meantime a petition signed by ninety-five members of this house, who are in earnest, asking that the rate of interest be reduced by one per cent, has been addressed to the Minister of Finance-I was one of the members to sign that petition-and I now ask the government to grant the request on behalf of the farming community.

Trade with Russia

Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Finance): Mr. Speaker, I received the

petition to which my hon. friend, has referred. Of course, the government is bound by the existing legislation, and it is not planned to introduce an amendment this session. The principle of the legislation is that the money should be loaned at cost, and it is intended to carry out that principle. At the present time I do not see how the rate of interest could be reduced to the borrowers and comply at the same time with the principle of the law, which is the loaning of money at cost. The matter is being studied but it must be remembered that the Farm Loan Board has been operating for less than one year, and it is rather difficult to say just what the situation in the future will be.

Topic:   FARM LOAN BOARD
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May 21, 1930

Mr. BENOIT:

Whereto?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   CUSTOMS TARIFF AMENDMENT
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