May 29, 1936

LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Of course my right hon. friend understands that they are not a company within the definition of this act.

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Certainly I do.

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

A corporation, within the definition of this act, means any corporation incorporated for the purpose of carrying on the business of insurance.

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That is my whole point.

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

The point is a legal one, and, again speaking with deference as a layman, when I get a report which has run the gauntlet of the department of the Secretary of State and the lawyers who have to do with company law, who suggest that with regard to this practice it is far better to amend the insurance act than to amend the companies act; when, having got that, the superintendent of insurance takes the matter up with the Department of Justice, and all the lawyers who have anything to do with it there suggest this course, what is a poor lay minister of finance to do?

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Do what his advisers tell him.

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

He can do very little else under the circumstances. The advice is legal advice, advice from the Deputy Minister of Justice:

In reply to your letter of the 2nd instant,

I may say that it does not appear that proceedings could be taken successfully under either the Companies Act or the Canadian and British Insurance Companies Act, 1932, in this case, and it may be somewhat doubtful if the letters patent of the above association could be cancelled if proceedings to that effect were taken.

In view of the above circumstances, it is suggested that section 111 of the Canadian and British Insurance Companies Act, 1932, as enacted by section 32 of chapter 27 of the

Canadian arid British Insurance

statutes of 1934, be amended to cover a company which was not incorporated for the purpose of carrying on the business of insurance, and if this amendment is approved, then it would be probably advisable to also amend section 142, as enacted by chapter 27 of 1934, and section 58 of the Foreign Insurance Companies Act, 1932, as enacted by section 28 or chapter 36 of the statutes of 1934. If you approve of these amendments, I would suggest that they be included in two new bills, and for this purpose, I herewith enclose drafts of such bills.

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

These are not the sections referred to; they do not cover those two paragraphs.

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

But they do consist of the drafts sent for the purpose, enclosed with the letter I have just read.

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

They are not so numbered.

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

The numbers have been changed, of course.

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

But section 3, to which the letter referred, is another section. I still think, notwithstanding the opinion of the Department of Justice, that attention has not been directed to the point I am endeavouring to make. In connection with a companies act you will always find a disposition not to amend it along the lines that have been suggested in that communication, for reasons that are fairly obvious. The Department of State has certain obligations in connection with the granting of letters patent and there is always a desire to avoid as far as possible the determination antecedently of questions such as those now raised. I think in any event a writ of scire facias would cancel such letters patent, though I say that with difiidence because I have not looked it up. On the other hand, as far as this is concerned all the minister has to do is look at it. It reads:

Any company, or any other corporation incorporated under the laws of the Dominion of Canada or of the late province of Canada, or any fraternal society so incorporated, which, or any person who, acting on behalf of a company or such a corporation or society, transacts any class of insurance business in respect of which the company or such corporation or society is not registered-

If you charge them with that before a magistrate they may say, "That is nonsense; we are not doing that at all. We have no power to do it. It is ultra vires of our incorporation, and you cannot punish us for that. That is an imaginary offence."

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Would it not be a matter of fact?

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

But the question of fact is this: These people say, "This is not the kind of insurance you are talking about at

all. We have no power to do that, and as we have no power to do it there can be no offence because we are not doing anything we have not power to do." The minister would not need to be a lawyer to raise that defence successfully before a magistrate.

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

But they advertise; they issue policies.

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

But of what?

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

Insurance.

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

If the minister says that-

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
LIB

Charles Avery Dunning (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. DUNNING:

There is no doubt about it.

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink
CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

But the point is not entirely without authority. There are authorities on questions of ultra vires business. I am not going to do other than have the minister make the explanation and say that he is bound by the opinion of those whose duty it is to advise him, but the records of the courts have shown frequently-

Topic:   CANADIAN AND BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES ACT, 1932
Permalink

May 29, 1936