Jacques FLYNN

FLYNN, The Hon. Jacques, P.C., O.C., Q.C., LL.L., B.A.

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Quebec South (Quebec)
Birth Date
August 22, 1915
Deceased Date
September 21, 2000
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Flynn
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=5d3c1532-cf51-4d48-828a-dcfff9a1545b&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lawyer

Parliamentary Career

March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
PC
  Quebec South (Quebec)
  • Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons (January 14, 1960 - December 27, 1961)
  • Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (December 28, 1961 - July 12, 1962)
November 9, 1962 - April 19, 1962
PC
  Quebec South (Quebec)
  • Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (December 28, 1961 - July 12, 1962)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 516 of 517)


July 14, 1958

Mr. Flynn:

You don't give us a chance;

you take up all the time.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   FRIDAY EVENING AND SATURDAY SITTINGS ON AND AFTER JULY 18
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June 5, 1958

Mr. Flynn:

I understand the remarks of the hon. member. He mentioned the rate of interest of 235 per cent. But as I said, it seems to me that, under the existing laws the highest rate of interest than can be charged on a loan of less than $500 is 12 per cent unless it comes under the Small Loans Act, in which case the rate can be 24 per cent per annum. If I am correct, if the case did not come under the Small Loans Act, it came under the Money-Lenders Act, chapter 181 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, which act provides a ceiling of 12 per cent on loans below $500.

As I say, there are many cases in which the trouble is not the rate of interest but fraud; and the civil laws or the common law applicable in each province would, to my mind, cover those cases and recourse can be had to the ordinary civil remedies for such situations.

As far as the best known institutions of lending are concerned, credit is well regulated, as all hon. members know. For instance, the banks have regulations applying to the interest they can charge. There are also other lending institutions like the companies coming under the Small Loans Act, which companies are regulated by the act pertaining to them and which provides a maximum rate of interest of 24 per cent on very small loans, that is to say loans under $350.

In our statutes there are also other acts which regulate interest. An example is the Farm Improvement Loans Act which provides a ceiling of 5 J per cent interest. Similar

provisions are also to be found in the Fisheries Improvement Loans Act. In the National Housing Act the rate of interest is fixed by order in council and is not to exceed an interest rate of more than a certain percentage above the rate on government long-term bonds. Generally speaking, I would say that the recognized institutions of credit are regulated by the present provisions of the law. I would say that the effect of the bill which is now before the house would be to regulate loans of more than $500 by professional lenders or loans of more than $1,500 by small loan companies. Of course this is a field which is to my mind, extremely restricted, if we look at it from the viewpoint of the average citizen or if we want to look at it from the viewpoint of our friends of the C.C.F. with regard to the low wage earner.

It is difficult to find many cases in which a low wage earner would have to borrow sums greater than $1,500 or $500. If these people who must borrow have not been able to secure a loan from the bank, from any cooperative of the kind which was mentioned this afternoon in the debate; in fact, from the recognized credit institutions, it seems to me that they have a difficult case. If we were to put on a ceiling-I mean as long as the Small Loans Act is not amended-which would provide a lower rate of interest than the one provided in the Small Loans Act, these people would not be able to find a lender. What I mean is this. It seems to me that there would be the chance of creating a black market there. Of course, in our society of free enterprise it seems to me that there are some cases in which what would appear to be a usurious rate would not be a usurious rate because of the special circumstances applying to it.

Possibly the problem which the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Argue) has in mind could be solved in this way. Maybe there could be a rule of equity which could apply to credit in some cases where definitely there has been exaggeration by the lender or where a lender may have taken advantage of a particular situation. I am quite confident that even the sponsor of the bill does not believe that this bill would obtain the result he is seeking to obtain, even if it were adopted. I am quite sure that his intention was to have a debate, and up to this point-excluding the one at present speaking-I think the contributions have been very good and helpful to the situation.

However, it seems to me that you cannot solve that problem simply by saying that there will be a ceiling of 12 per cent on all loans.

I am thinking in particular of business transactions where somebody, for instance,

will make an arrangement with someone who is willing to lend some money but where the lender would want to participate in the profit resulting from the operations of the company or of the organization and would be justified, according to the circumstances, in asking as high as 50 per cent interest. In some cases I think 50 per cent would not be a usurious rate. Of course, I know that in some cases there are abuses. But here again I think the cases which we have to complain about and which everybody-especially those who have had cases like the ones we have in our law offices-wants to correct are really cases of fraud and are really cases in which we must have recourse to the courts.

For the reasons which I have mentioned I do not think that the bill would have the desired result. Much as I sympathize with the purposes of the sponsor of the bill in desiring to correct a situation which we all want to correct, I do not think the present bill would have this result. Therefore I cannot support it.

Topic:   INTEREST ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PLACE CEILING ON INTEREST RATES
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June 5, 1958

Mr. Jacques Flynn (Quebec South):

Mr. Speaker, since I took my seat in this house I have been wondering whether, without a prepared text, I could successfully discuss any problem in English. I have decided to make the experiment tonight.

I believe that the aim of this bill is good, inasmuch as it seeks to suppress usurious rates of interest. I think the hon. member for Assiniboia (Mr. Argue) has good intentions and good motives, but I am not sure that the bill as presented would have the results he expects. I doubt that placing a ceiling of 12 per cent or any other arbitrary figure on the permissible rate of interest would achieve the end which he has in mind.

Credit, as we know it today, has not been long in existence. If we were to go back only some 50 years I think we should find that in those days only the wealthier people or the merchants were able to secure credit. Nobody could borrow to buy consumer goods. Nobody could borrow to buy automobiles, a house or ordinary things necessary for the ordinary life. When we think of the Bankruptcy Act, which is the law that was devised because of the progress of credit, we find that that act was applicable only to merchants for the very good reason that the average citizen could not find any credit. However, over the last 25 years credit has become an important business. Whereas, I would say, 50 years ago there were only a few people who could borrow and there were only a few institutions that were lending money, we now have several institutions that offer credit to the people in general.

If I take the figures given by the sponsor of the bill, we now have about $2 billion in circulation in this business of credit. As I think he mentioned in the debate which took place in 1956 on his proposed bill to amend the Small Loans Act, this figure of $2 billion had doubled in four years, something which shows that we are in a new field of economic activity with respect to credit as we know it today. The question which arises is this. Would the bill as drafted correct the situation which he has outlined? As I said before, I am not sure because many of the cases to which hon. members have referred-especially those who are in favour of this bill- are not cases of usurious rates of interest but rather cases of fraud. I was thinking of the

Interest Act

case cited by the hon. member for Burnaby-Coquitlam (Mr. Regier). He mentioned the case of a person who purchased an automobile and who was obliged to pay several hundred dollars interest on a loan of $350. I think this is a case where the law was violated. If I understand the situation rightly, according to the law as it stands now loans under $500 cannot be made at a rate of interest higher than 12 per cent.

Topic:   INTEREST ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PLACE CEILING ON INTEREST RATES
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June 5, 1958

Mr. Flynn:

Yes. The hon. member mentioned 235 per cent.

Topic:   INTEREST ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO PLACE CEILING ON INTEREST RATES
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June 2, 1958

Mr. Flynn:

Has the hon. member read the statement of the Prime Minister on this matter? It is recorded on page 611 of the official report of the debates.

Topic:   DOMINION-PROVINCIAL FISCAL RELATIONS
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