June 19, 1934 (17th Parliament, 5th Session)


George Gibson Coote

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. G. G. COOTE (Macleod):

Mr. Speaker, I have no objection to anything contained in the report of the banking and commerce committee. I believe the committee did its work most diligently on the two bills which formed the greater part of their activities, namely Bill No. 18 respecting banks and banking and Bill No. 19, to incorporate the Bank of Canada.
There were two matters dealt with by the committee which I believe were not considered as fully as they should have been. The first is the preamble to Bill No. 19. That preamble states the purpose for which the bank is set up, and I believe greater consideration should be given to it. When I make this statement I am not criticizing the committee in any way. The time at the disposal of the committee was limited, and I know there was a feeling that these bills should be put through the committee stage in good time so as to enable consideration by the house and by the Senate.
As is stated in the report in which concurrence is now moved certain other matters were considered by the committee, namely, the resolution by Major Power asking for an investigation into certain specified items. The last one, particularly, was not given the consideration which I am sure it deserved. This item asked for an investigation into the relationship between the banks, or any of them, and the pulp and paper industry and the extent to which the uncontrolled extension of credit brought about over-capitalization and over-expansion and the subsequent disorganization and near bankruptcy of an industry dealing in some of the most valuable of our natural resources. Then it goes on to ask that certain witnesses be called, and asks that counsel learned in the law should be secured by the committee to assist in the investigation into this particular matter. If I remember correctly the house authorized the committee to employ counsel, but the committee did not see fit to do so when the matter was further considered.
I feel that this matter is a very important one and deserving of further investigation. I should like to urge upon the house that the committee be instructed to give further consideration to it. I know there is a disposition on the part of some hon. members to say that we should not attempt even to suggest to a committee which might sit next year anything as to the nature of tl*e work in

which it should engage, but if the committee of this session feel it has not thoroughly investigated the matter, and that it is worthy of further investigation. I believe we would be failing in our duty if we did not state our opinion to the house for the benefit of the committee next year. Without taking up further time of the house I wish to move:
That the eighth report of the select standing committee on banking and commerce be not now concurred in but that it be recommitted to the said standing committee with instructions that they have power to amend the same so as to recommend:
That at the next session of parliament the said committee be empowered to consider the degree to which the extension of credit by the Canadian chartered banks brought about overcapitalization and over-expansion in major Canadian industries involving the most valuable of Canada's natural resources; to investigate the role played in that disorganization by the overzealous salesmanship of self-styled investment bankers; to investigate any other matters relating to the capitalization or financing of these major industries; to consider the regulation of credit and currency, the control and protection of the external value of the national monetary unit and' the basis, if any, which should underlie that unit, the influences which cause fluctuations in the general level of production, trade, prices and employment and the proper monetary action necessary to mitigate those fluctuations and, generally, the promotion of the economic and financial welfare of the people of the Dominion of Canada; with power to send for persons, papers and records and with instructions to report from time to time to the House of Commons any recommendations which, if parliament should so decide, should be referred to the executive committee and/or the board of the Bank of Canada for consideration and such action, as in the premises, might be deemed necessary to attain the objects set out in the preamble of the act to incorporate the Bank of Canada; and with instructions that counsel learned in the law and such other persons as the said committee may designate be appointed to assist the committee in the above inquiries.
. Mr. SPEAKER: In my opinion, the amendment moved by the hon. member for Macleod (Mr. Coote) is not in order as this house cannot direct what shall be done by the house at the next or any future session of parliament. The question is on the main motion.

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