Robert Hardy SMALL

SMALL, Robert Hardy

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Danforth (Ontario)
Birth Date
December 15, 1891
Deceased Date
October 5, 1976
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hardy_Small
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=9ba3cbc0-772b-4a63-8e8e-116b51d77d7c&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
advertising executive

Parliamentary Career

August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
PC
  Danforth (Ontario)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
PC
  Danforth (Ontario)
March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
PC
  Danforth (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 72 of 73)


January 21, 1954

Mr. R. H. Small (Danforfh):

Mr. Speaker, when I first read the outline of the bill I was

under the impression that its purpose was to promote the construction of homes as well as to improve housing and living conditions. I had been led to believe that within its framework we would find the means whereby the government would place the purchase of homes within the reach of low income families, and make it possible for them to grasp this offer of help.

This bill, heralded as a boon to ameliorate the plight of the family in the low income group, that vast host of our population in which the heads of families are receiving incomes less than $3,500 per year, does not measure up to what we had expected. Because of its many financial gyrations, the results of the bill must remain elusive.

After listening to the minister's comprehensive explanation of the proposals contained in the bill, it now becomes obvious that its paramount object and intent is to procure a greater reservoir of money to be made available for loans. It would seem that the chief concern in framing the bill has been to persuade those with funds-in this instance the banks-to enter an arena of financing from which heretofore they had been barred.

It now becomes evident that the banks were reluctant to take this step, and we now see that they are being catapulted into this service. They have been lured into an acceptance cf the situation through a process of making the major proposal attractive to them through the introduction of the new feature of insuring loans on terms of a 2 per cent payment, single premium. This is payable by the purchaser and is to be included in the monthly payments, thus making the attraction more effective.

Let us now pay some attention to the individual for whom the bill was devised. I refer to the purchaser in the low income group. We see at once how he has been manoeuvred into the position where, unless the government can be induced to re-admit him to the benefits involved, he cannot enjoy the provisions planned for him.

Under the present act-and I have been unable to find anything in the new proposals that removes the frustrations that the purchaser, who is in the income group earning below $3,500 a year, has encountered-the situation is this. Take the figure the minister has given, $10,000, as the price of a house, with the down payment of 14 per cent or $1,420, with the balance of $8,580 to be borrowed and the loan processed at 51 per cent, amortized in 25 years. The amortization schedule for this loan is $5.96 a month per thousand, amounting to a monthy payment of

$51. The rate on the same loan amortized at 30 years is $5.49 a month per thousand, or $46.70 a month.

The same figures for a $12,000 loan, which is the lowest price of a home today, works out, with the down payment of 14 per cent, at $1,680, with a balance of $10,320 at 5J per cent to be amortized in 25 years at $5.96 a month per thousand, or a monthly payment of $60.38. When amortized in 30 years at $5.49 a month per thousand, there is a payment of $56.50 a month. To these payments of $51 and $46.70 a month, amortized at 25 and 30 years respectively on a $10,000 home and payments of $60.38 and $56.50 a month amortized at 25 and 30 years respectively on a $12,000 home must be added the insurance charge to secure the lender's loan. There must also be added the taxes, say $180 a year, or $15 a month extra.

The house will note that these payments range from $46.70, $51, $56.50 to $60.38 per month, with $15 for taxes and 60 cents for loan insurance to be added, and are to be paid from an income below $3,500 a year or a maximum of $70 a week. This is where the frustration is brought about.

The lenders will not lend unless the purchaser has an assured income of over $4,200 a year, or $80 a week. Therefore, unless the present impediment is removed and the salary requirements are made favourable to the low income purchaser, this much-heralded bill becomes futile so far as it affects those for whom it was supposed to be designed. I will go one step further and predict that if you put a favourable salary requirement into effect for the low income group the price of the resale house will automatically come down.

Now, while I am on this phase of it I may say that I cannot see why the purchaser should be called upon to pay the single premium to insure and secure the loan advanced by the lender. I think the lending organizations would be willing to pay for the added protection. However, the amount is insignificant when spread over 25 or 30 years. Nevertheless, if you can set up a provision such as this for the lender, then the mechanics of the operation can be set up in favour of the purchaser for the same 2 per cent payment of a single premium, to be paid in the same way by the purchaser as he does for the insurance on the lender's loan. It will give a break to the one who has to carry the burden of the quarter of a century ahead in establishing a home, and it will give peace of mind to his family, keep a roof over their heads, and give added security should misfortune overtake the breadwinner.

National Housing Act

I say this because the burden on the purchaser seems to be given the least consideration in this bill. All the other considerations are given to those who are going to benefit the most from the profit that is to be obtained from it. The man who seems to be forgotten in this bill is the one that I should like to draw to the attention of the minister, to see if something can be done to permit him to purchase a home.

As I say, the bill was originally designed to help the purchaser; but when these restrictions are placed upon him, it means that when a man goes to purchase a home he is confronted with a situation of such magnitude that he cannot possibly get loans from the lending companies. When I asked the minister questions when he first introduced this bill that was the thought that I had in mind. I was thinking of the individual who is in the low income bracket and who I hoped would secure the benefits of this bill, which have been denied to him. I should like the minister to study this matter further to see if he cannot find some way of reducing the salary requirements insisted upon by the lenders and give a prospective purchaser the advantages intended.

Topic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
Subtopic:   SUBSTITUTION OF NEW LEGISLATION TO INSURE APPROVED LENDERS, ETC.
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January 14, 1954

Mr. Small:

Topic:   POST OFFICE ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE POSTAGE ON LETTERS AFTER APRIL 1, 1954
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January 14, 1954

Mr. Small:

Mr. Chairman, as I followed the reasons for the increase in the postal rates advanced by the Postmaster General, they are the five-day week or the forty-hour week at a cost of $5 million; the increase in wages that is involved in the amount of $7 million, and for the rural mail $1,500,000, amounting to approximately $13,500,000. He has endeavoured to assess the approximate cost of the service for the next year. As to the introduction of the five-day week or the forty-hour week, I do not think that matter is as serious a one as he is trying to portray it to this committee. The purpose behind the five-day week or the forty-hour week is to create more employment, to do away with overtime, and to do away with matters that cause excessive cost. By putting on more men you will improve the service and it will not be at too great a cost.

The matter of increased wages of $7 million involves, as has been stated by the Postmaster General, some 50,000 people. If you will scan the record, you will find it is not the first

time that the salaries of the postal service have had to be increased in the period of the last twenty years, and as to any increase that has been made in the past, the revenues have been sufficient to take care of it. Why should there now be such great alarm about an increase in wages? If the revenue in the past has taken care of the increase, why should it not take care of it in the future? That consideration applies likewise to the rural mail in the matter of wages.

In making his presentation to the committee the Postmaster General elaborated on the fact that an investigation was going on with regard to improvement of the services. That is something that remains to be seen. In his plea for an increase in rates he said that there would be very few who would not agree with him. I think it has been well established here that there is a great deal of disagreement with him. I think it is quite evident to everyone present that the inadequacy of the services has been established, particularly with regard to those who live in or who are representing what may be called suburban constituencies. I represent one that is one-third suburban.

The service is far from what is desired as to postal collection boxes, the lack of distribution services and post office substations where people call for their mail and have to line up to get it. Sometimes when they go there the post office is closed. These things have been well established this afternoon and tonight and they indicate that there has been some error in judgment in the introduction of increased postage rates at the present time. I would think it would be sound business practice before asking for an increase in rates to have a well established service that was giving satisfaction, but that is far from the case. In almost any constituency in this great dominion you will find that the same complaints exist.

Before introducing increased rates to pay for a service that we are not getting, I say that we should examine what has been said this afternoon and tonight. In the last ten years there was another increase in rates. It was an increase of practically 33 per cent and now the department comes back with a 25 per cent increase. There has been almost a hundred per cent increase in rates. If people were receiving satisfactory service, probably there would not be so much objection, but the government is adding insult to injury by asking the people to pay for something that they are not getting.

There are one or two observations I should like to make with respect to the report of the

Post Office Act

department. At the bottom of page V there is a reference to the employment of J. D, Woods and Gordon Limited, management consultants. I suppose they were called in. to improve the efficiency of the department, but if cutting deliveries in half and trying to find other ways to get more work out of the staff of the postal department, instead of hiring more men, is any criterion of the new methods to be introduced, I think they had better re-examine the situation. Certainly people are not satisfied with the delivery service either in cities or in rural sections. Mind you, there are one or two improvements that might be made, and I do not say that they will not be able to do a good job; but if they are attempting to try to improve the service by curtailing employment, then they are on the wrong track.

Later I will present evidence of a postmaster general who did not look at the situation in that way. On page 1 of the report you will find that they set out a new method of creating decreases. There is reference to a credit balance of $6,471,000 as against $6,648,000 last year. Suppose there was a decrease of $177,891: that decrease is only apparent; for the fact remains that there was a surplus and not a deficit. It is a new method of establishing a decrease which I have not noticed in any other report.

In going over the whole report there is one thing that stands out, the post office savings bank, which is referred to on page 10 in these words:

This is a service which the Post Office Department maintains without receiving any financial recompense.

A wonderful service is being provided for the citizens of this great dominion, but it likewise comes within the same category as second-class mail covering newspapers and magazines. The cost should not be charged against the postal department but should come out of the consolidated revenue fund. The gentlemen who have been retained to introduce improvements might look at these matters. They may be small and insignificant but when they are added together they will reduce the expenses of the Post Office Department.

I cannot see why civil defence training should be a burden of the department. Apparently the idea is to establish a nucleus or committee, or whatever you like to call it, within the department, and I do not think that should be charged against it. The cost of any matter involving defence or civil defence should be transferred to the Department of National Defence. All these things are piled

Post Office Act

up against the Post Office Department and they should be removed and put in their proper perspective.

There is one matter that is rather amusing. The report contains illustrations of the postage stamps that are in vogue at the present time with explanations about the premiers and so on. The report states that on July 26, 1952, a seven-cent postage stamp was issued depicting the Canada goose in flight. I suppose it is symbolic. The Canada goose represents Canada and the citizens of Canada. I suppose it signifies to the people of Canada that this is the goose that lays the golden egg and they should take care not to kill it.

Topic:   POST OFFICE ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO INCREASE POSTAGE ON LETTERS AFTER APRIL 1, 1954
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December 16, 1953

Mr. Small:

Mr. Speaker, with relation to what took place earlier and your explanation with respect to the representative of Her Majesty the Queen in the person of His Excellency the Governor General, may I say that I accept your explanation with respect to the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod presenting himself to this house.

As far as I am concerned that is all right, but having regard to the supremacy of this house, which has been contested most strenuously in days gone by, I want to place myself on record as agreeing with the hon. member for Temiscouata (Mr. Pouliot) that hereafter when such person presents himself to this house he should have the consent of the Speaker before entering.

A member on this side of the house was interrupted. We should preserve the ancient rights of this assembly and remember that when an individual presented himself to the English house long ago and asked for Mr. Pym, he did not receive the recognition of the Speaker. I think in future that should be our guide, and that before anyone enters you must give your consent.

Topic:   ADJOURNMENT UNTIL TUESDAY, JANUARY 12, 1954
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December 16, 1953

Mr. Small:

I should like to ask the minister a question. When the minister introduced the resolution he quoted figures showing that on a $10,000 home the down payment would be $1,420, or that there would be practically a 14 per cent down payment. I listened attentively and I do not know whether I understood him aright, but I did not hear him tell what the monthly payment was going to be, having regard to the carrying charges for a house of that nature. I should like to ask the minister if he has worked out what would be the carrying charges on a $10,000 house with a $1,420 down payment.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   NATIONAL HOUSING ACT
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