Arthur-Lucien BEAUBIEN

BEAUBIEN, The Hon. Arthur-Lucien

Personal Data

Party
Liberal
Constituency
Provencher (Manitoba)
Birth Date
February 11, 1879
Deceased Date
March 21, 1971
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur-Lucien_Beaubien
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=a638ffca-3e58-4c73-af5b-001d8d62aeda&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
farmer

Parliamentary Career

December 6, 1921 - September 5, 1925
LIB
  Provencher (Manitoba)
October 29, 1925 - July 2, 1926
PRO
  Provencher (Manitoba)
September 14, 1926 - May 30, 1930
LIB-PRO
  Provencher (Manitoba)
July 28, 1930 - August 14, 1935
LIB-PRO
  Provencher (Manitoba)
October 14, 1935 - January 25, 1940
LIB
  Provencher (Manitoba)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 3 of 45)


February 25, 1935

Mr. A. L. BEAUBIEN (Provencher):

Can the Minister of Railways inform me to what members of the committee copies of the supplementary report of Touche and Company have been sent?

Topic:   QUESTIONS PASSED AS ORDERS FOR RETURNS
Subtopic:   REPORT OF GEORGE A. TOUCHE AND COMPANY
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February 25, 1935

Mr. BEAUBIEN:

I thought he was a good authority.

Topic:   CANADIAN FARM LOAN ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO FACILITATE AND INCREASE THE EXTENSION OF CREDIT TO FARMERS
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February 25, 1935

Mr. BEAUBIEN:

Mr. Chairman, a little

while ago, before the flare up the minister intimated that the field for borrowing was practically nil, and I believe he indicated that the reason for the limitation of the field in which the farmer might borrow was found in the moratoria of the different provinces.

Topic:   CANADIAN FARM LOAN ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO FACILITATE AND INCREASE THE EXTENSION OF CREDIT TO FARMERS
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February 25, 1935

Mr. BEAUBIEN:

I am pleased the minister has made the correction. One of the contributing factors of limitation of the farmers' borrowing powers has 'been the debt adjustment acts of the different provinces.

Farm Loan Act

The de'bt adjustment act of the province of Manitoba, with which I am most familiar, does nob go as far as the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act. All the debt adjustment act of that province means is a postponement of the conditions; they have no power to write down. It is simply a postponement, and eveiry person who comes under the act in the province of Manitoba must put his cards on the table aDd give a true statement of his affairs. If he does not do so the debt adjustment board will not protect him. We know however that the farmers in western Canada who are not and never have been operating under a debt adjustment act at certain periods of the year want to borrow small sums of money to buy twine or other articles connected with production, and they find it impossible to borrow the small sums necessary. They cannot borrow it from the banks-and may I say I do not blame the banks. The condition is that a farmer with one hundred or two hundred acres of grain ready for the binder cannot get S30 or $40 to buy twine. But when the resolution was before the house I took the stand that the amendment to the Farm Loan Act should be complementary to the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act. I stated the impression had been created in western Canada that the Farm Loan Act of 1934 was complementary to the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act, and many farmers were under the impression that if they went before a receiver and had their debts adjusted they could, go to the farm loan board and borrow the amount due after the readjustment had been made. They were further of the opinion that if they had to go before a board of review, such board having power to make a compromise despite the views of the creditors or debtors, they could use the farm loan board for purposes of consolidating their debts. The minister rather doubted that that opinion could exist. The minister distinctly said that the Farm Loan Act was going to be run along business lines and he could see no reason why the farmers in any part of the country should get the opinion that these amendments to the Farm Loan Act would be complementary to the debt adjustment act. But I have the Prime Minister with me. It is not very often, but I have him with me this time, for here is what he said in 1934 when he proposed the resolution that it is expedient to amend the Canadian Farm Loan Act:

I endeavoured to indicate to the house this afternoon in a broad and general way that this bill is complementary to the bill dealing with the adjustment of farm indebtedness.

Then further on he makes this statement:

I also indicated that the measure founded upon the resolution contemplates that additional advances to those already provided for in the provisions of the Canadian Farm Loan Act may be made, to enable a scheme of composition or arrangement to be carried into effect.

I know the Minister of Finance is a fair-minded man, except when some hon. member gets under his skin, and I do not think he could get any other impression from the words of the Prime Minister than what the farmers in western Canada got, namely, that immediately the machinery created by this parliament to make a debt compromise was available, together with this other machinery, providing 870,000,000 or $90,000,000, the farmer could go and use this other piece of machinery and consolidate his debts. I am still of opinion-I have not changed my mind at all-that if the Farm Loan Act and the debt adjustment act are going to work the benefits for the farmer that the minister and the government expect, they must work in conjunction. If they do not I doubt very much the success of these two pieces of legislation.

May I say this to the minister before taking my seat? The echoes of the Farm Loan Act and the debt adjustment act were heard throughout the country last year. In fact, politicians were going around saying that the farmers could borrow from the farm loan board at no more than five per cent interest. Now in 1935, with an election on the horizon, the minister can readily imagine what the supporters of the present government will be spreading around in the country to the farmers. They will point out that the legislation that was brought down last year was amended this year, increasing the amount available, and the minister who is a fair-minded man generally, can imagine what will be broadcast to the farmer, giving the impression much more strongly even than last year that both acts are designed to work together.

Topic:   CANADIAN FARM LOAN ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT TO FACILITATE AND INCREASE THE EXTENSION OF CREDIT TO FARMERS
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February 1, 1935

Mr. A. L. BEAUBIEN (Provencher):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to offer a few suggestions to the minister and the house based on the conditions that I have found prevailing in the riding that I have the honour to represent. During the last three or four years I have had occasion to come in contact with farmers' indebtedness to a very large degree, and the conditions I have found are these-and incidentally may I say that I do not think anybody can discuss this resolution without linking it up with the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act.

In my riding the average farm consists of 240 to 320 acres. We will take, for the sake of argument, a farm of 320 acres. Say that a man owes $8,000 on a half section of land. If he is able to take advantage of the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act and get his indebtedness reduced, say, fifty per cent, that still leaves him with an indebtedness of $4,000. Now if this resolution and the bill to be founded upon it will take care of such a case and allow a man who has had his indebtedness reduced say forty or fifty per cent to consolidate his remaining indebtedness in one loan spread over a period of years, twenty or twenty-two years I think the act says, and only very small annual payments are provided for, he might be able to get out from under. But unless the Farm Loan Act and the regulations that will govern its administration are able to take care of that situation I doubt very much if we are going to make much headway in the readjustment of farmers' indebtedness. In the last few years I have found that many creditors were willing to make readjustments, but they all asked the farmer: What consideration will the loan company get if I reduce your indebtedness? The farmer finds himself in a position where he is unable to say to the loan company or to any of his creditors: I will give you your cash if you will reduce my indebtedness.

I do not think there is any great demand in the country for new loans. Of course there might be in certain districts where people want to get a start, but in my opinion the great demand is to relieve the farmer of the indebtedness which he incurred during the period of high commodity prices, and unless this act takes care of that situation so that the farmer after he has had his debt readjusted will be able to consolidate his remaining indebtedness in one loan, I doubt very much whether this legislation is going to be a success.

May I make these few observations to the Minister of Finance (Mr. Rhodes)-and I do not do it at all in any way of criticism

Farm Loan Act-Mr. Beaubien

[DOT]of the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act which was passed last summer. Probably it took a little time to get the act under way. As far as I can find out, in the province of Manitoba the board of review has not as yet given any decisions to speak of; if so, it must have been very recently. I find this fear existing, that the farmer was not sure whether the board of review had the right to force a secured creditor to readjust the farmer's indebtedness. In fact I took this matter up with several legal minds in the city of Winnipeg, and I have not yet been able to get a clear and definite understanding whether the board of review has or has not the right to say to the secured creditor who has, say, a first mortgage on the farm: You will have to take so much, and the readjustment will be based on the value that you voluntarily put on the productivity of the farm, or that the board of review puts on it.

When the provincial boards are abolished I assume a provincial representative will have to be appointed for each province. I trust that these representatives and the board here in Ottawa will make every effort to relieve the farmer who is indebted to such an extent that he will never get out from under unless he is able to readjust his debt under the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act, and I would urge that the board be not too critical of the loans after the man's whole indebtedness has been reviewed by the receivers and the board of review under the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act. If this legislation, with the increased credit facilities that are to be placed at the disposal of the board, is administered as it should be, and if due consideration is given to the ability of the farmer under present conditions to pay and to the capacity of his land to produce enough to pay at present prices, some good might be accomplished. But even when you have reduced your debt by say fifty per cent, calculate on the basis, not of 18,500 but of $4,000, at 51 per cent, and you have $220; and then you have to figure on your municipal and school taxes, at least fifty cents an acre. You must also take into consideration repairs and upkeep of buildings, which would not be less than $100 a year. Then there are other incidental expenses which would add to your overhead, to say nothing of the cost of seeding and of harvesting your crops, and many other costs which enter into farming. So that when you take all these things into consideration the farmer will still find it very

difficult to make both ends meet. It is therefore only by amortizing his indebtedness, consolidating it under one head and making small annual payments, the rate of interest being reasonably low, that he can clear his home from indebtedness.

I offer these suggestions in the hope that they will be considered. Very often we feel that the officials are not administering the act as we should like them to, but the difficulties are numerous and they do the best they can. At the same time I think the government should instruct the boards which will administer the act to carry out its provisions having in mind present commodity prices and the conditions that exist in Canada at the present time.

Topic:   CANADIAN FARM LOAN ACT
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