Maclyn (Mac) Thomas MCCUTCHEON

MCCUTCHEON, Maclyn (Mac) Thomas

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Lambton--Kent (Ontario)
Birth Date
June 17, 1912
Deceased Date
May 19, 1978
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_McCutcheon_(Canadian_politician)
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=afa7e8b7-f58c-4e78-9365-a98d20084c46&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
farmer

Parliamentary Career

April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
PC
  Lambton--Kent (Ontario)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
PC
  Lambton--Kent (Ontario)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
PC
  Lambton--Kent (Ontario)
  • Deputy House Leader of the Official Opposition (January 1, 1972 - September 1, 1973)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 63 of 69)


October 1, 1968

Mr. McCutcheon:

Last evening I thought I had made a reasonable suggestion concerning a formula to arrive at interest rates. Would the minister tell me why this government appears to be unwilling or afraid to allow the light of day to enter into the procedure of establishing rates.

Topic:   PUBLIC SERVICE STAFF RELATIONS ACT
Subtopic:   DESIGNATED EMPLOYEES-EXTENSION OF PROHIBITION OF RIGHT TO STRIKE
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September 30, 1968

Mr. McCutcheon:

We have had weak cabinets in Canada before, and very possibly we shall have them again.

Topic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING ELIGIBLE CLASSES, AMOUNT OF CAPITAL, INTEREST RATES, ETC.
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September 30, 1968

Mr. McCutcheon:

Mr. Chairman, I wish to begin my remarks by complimenting the minister upon his clear explanation of the bill before us. Also, I congratulate him upon his recent elevation. May I also say that I am in complete agreement with the principle 29180-40

Farm Credit Act

involved in this resolution. No one can disagree with the renewing of a plan which, while it was operative, had such a beneficial effect on the farming economy. That the plan has been allowed to sink into limbo for the past few years is something else again.

I wonder if the government, and the Prime Minister in particular, has any idea of the hardship that has been caused by allowing the Farm Improvement Loans Act to wither and die because of an election. In my province alone the sale of farm equipment has declined to such an extent that many dealers have been forced into bankruptcy. One wholesale firm in a three month period reports 18 failures in its list of dealers. This is one result of the inconvenience caused to farmers who were unable to finance replacement equipment, needed especially because of adverse weather experienced during planting, cultivating and harvesting seasons.

I welcome the renewal of the Farm Improvement Loans Act, but I question some of its clauses. It seems to me that the cabinet of this country is taking on a job for itself that is completely unnecessary. I see no point whatever in having interest rates left to the cabinet to decide, in their wisdom. This prerogative is completely unnecessary. In my view it is further evidence that this government wishes to extend its tentacles into every phase of life of the Canadian people. There may be an exception as far as the bedrooms of the nation are concerned, but this unilateral setting of the interest rate is really none of the cabinet's business. Surely the government can negotiate with the financial institutions of this country and come up with a permanent rate. Let it be a fluctuating rate, if you like, but let it be established through a publicized formula.

Experience over the years has shown that the farm improvement loan has not been abused. The loss ratio in relation to the amount lent has been minimal and I suggest that a formula along the lines I have suggested could be worked out. For example, most financial firms and banks know what their overhead is. They know their costs of administration and we know the loss ratio. Why, therefore, can a formula not be worked out based on the prime lending rate of banks and other financial institutions, plus an agreed surcharge. I do not know what the surcharge might amount to; I am sure the banks would tell us. If one bank wanted 1 per cent and another needed only three quarters of one per cent we might even see a little competition entering the business.

September 30, 1968

Farm Credit Act

I cast no reflection on this cabinet in what I am about to say, sir. There might come a time when what I am about to refer to may have an effect. While we have 264 members of parliament, our cabinet has 28 members. I submit that it would be much easier for a powerful financial lobby to influence a weak 28-man cabinet than to influence the entire house.

Topic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING ELIGIBLE CLASSES, AMOUNT OF CAPITAL, INTEREST RATES, ETC.
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September 30, 1968

Mr. McCutcheon:

Why should a matter as important and delicate as this be left to a group that could be vulnerable to extreme lobby pressure? By this one, unnecessary unilateral act the cabinet are leaving themselves open to charges that they have set the rate too high. When this happens, and happen it will, there will be those in this country who will suggest even that someone is getting a kickback. If, on the other hand, the rate is too low, what will happen? We shall see taking place what took place this year and last year. There just will not be any farm improvement loan money available.

I deplore the wording in the resolution because it is all so unnecessary. I suspect that in this resolution we are seeing more of the ideas of those who want the cabinet to be supreme, and the house filled with little rubberstamps.

I am also in agreement with item No. 6 on the order paper, the resolution preceding the bill to amend the Farm Credit Act. I agree particularly with the concept of broadening the classes of persons eligible. Yet, here again, we are running smack into another intrusion by the governor in council, the cabinet, which also in this instance wishes to set interest rates. Probably there is more justification here for the cabinet to set interest rates than there is in the case of farm improvement loans. Under the Farm Credit Act government money goes out; under the Farm Improvement Loans Act, bank money is lent under a minimal government guarantee. I say there is no need to change the interest rate under which moneys will be lent under the Farm Credit Act. The present high interest rates will not always stay in effect.

Some in this youthful cabinet are old enough to remember that we did not always have these high interest rates. Less than 30 years ago people with money to invest were happy to buy government bonds yielding 3 per cent. Who is to say that with farm credit loans running for upwards of 30 years interest rates will not come down drastically long before those loans are paid off. Over the past 100 years the money market has shown a remarkable history of ups and downs. Some economists go so far as to predict when these cycles will take place. For my purpose this evening it is sufficient to mention what has happened in the past 50 years.

From 1919 to 1929 long term Canadian dollar bonds gave an annual average yield of 5.07 per cent. From 1929 to 1939 the average yield was 3.88 per cent. From 1939 to 1949 the average yield was 2.93 per cent, and from 1949 to 1959 that average yield was 3.67 per cent. What the average for this decade will be is anyone's guess. Most decidely the average yield will be up. Certainly the rate will be as high as or higher than any we have seen in this century. Nevertheless, Mr. Chairman, these trends were evident a century ago, and before that. There is nothing new about them.

I therefore urge the government to keep at 5 per cent the lending rate on moneys lent under the Farm Credit Act. If necessary, the government ought to put government money into the corporation administering the act. If it does that it will have a credit mark opposite its record, a mark which will show that the government, in one instance, tried to keep our agricultural industry alive.

[DOT] (9:50 p.m.)

I say again that these high interest rates will not last forever, and the burden on the treasury would be small in relation to the long term good which could be accomplished. Probably before many years have passed, before many of these liabilities are paid off, interest rates will once again be down. The inflationary effect of subsidized interest rates which the minister mentioned will not, in practice, have much of an impact. In my view the cabinet would do well to spend more of its time maintaining a climate in which our farmers could sell their products at a reasonable price. I suggest it would be far more profitable for them to spend their time on this, rather than sit around setting interest rates.

Topic:   FARM CREDIT ACT
Subtopic:   AMENDMENT RESPECTING ELIGIBLE CLASSES, AMOUNT OF CAPITAL, INTEREST RATES, ETC.
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September 20, 1968

Mr. Mac T. McCuicheon (Lambion-Kenl):

wish to address my question to the Postmaster General. I have given him notice of it. In view of the information placed on the record of the Senate yesterday with respect to the distribution of filthy and immoral literature in our universities, will the minister investigate the responsibilities of his department in this matter and take appropriate action?

Topic:   POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT
Subtopic:   DISTRIBUTION TO UNIVERSITIES OF ALLEGED IMMORAL LITERATURE
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