Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)
Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
Sir WILFRID LAURIER.
9,808,075 35 10,318*200 02 450,190 08
3,205,535 10 3,441,504 93 235,909 77^Railways... 4,774,102 02 5,213,381 24 439,219 22I) o m i n i on Lands 1,388,023 78 1,517,319 52 129,295 74Miscellaneous 3,420,050 07 3,598,945 10 178,895 0951,029,994 02 52,514,70113 1,484,707 11
**Tiiis includes * railways only '-canals revenue is included in ' Miscellaneous.'
These increases are all interesting, but some of them are worthy of special note. The excise duties are always interesting, not only because of the amount of duty involved in them, but becausel they show the consumption of certain articles which enlist
a good deal of attention in the country. Whether or not it will be gratifying to make the statement, the fact must be stated that there has been an increase during the year in the receipts in all branches of the excise duties, as appears from this table :
Excise Duties, 1900-1901.
Quantity. Duty. Increase.1899 1900. 1900-1901. 1899-1900. 1900-1901. Spirits Galls. Malt Lbs. Cigars
[DOT]* Tobacco and snuff
Lbs. Raw leaf, foreign
n 2,059,038 00,284,004 138,041,707 110,061,522 10,810,854 9,352,535 2,803,950 64,723,016 141.090,889 121,383,584 11,330,345 9,848,803 8 4,818,842 904,202 811,012 347,252 2,300,861 971,977 S 5,178,275 970,855 822,738 302,626 2,308,460 1,020,265 $ 359,433 60,59.3 11,120 15,374 1,599 54,288
I give these figures because, as I have stated, the growth of trade in these articles is always a matter of interest, whether or not it meets with general approval. There are one or two other items in the revenue which are worthy of special note. I think my hon. friend the Postmaster General has reason to congratulate himself on the state of the post office revenue. There was an increase of $235,969.77 in the revenue of that department. The post office receipts as shown in the books of the Finance Department amounted to $3,441,504.93. The expenditure, by the same account, was $3,939,446.01, showing a deficit of $489,941.08, according to the books of the Finance Department. My hon. friend the Postmaster General has in his own report drawn attention to the different services performed as compared with the services of former 41
years, and in that light has made out a more favourable statement. But I give the figures as they appear in the books of the Finance Department, and they represent a deficit for the year of $489,941.08. It is of course quite a large sum; but wheu we remember that only a few years ago the deficits of the Post Office Department were $700,000 and $800,000 per annum, if there was nothing else to explain the matter, this reduction down to $489,000 would be a remarkable reduction on which my hon. friend the Postmaster General might well congratulate himself. But when we are able to go further and show that in the meantime my hon. friend has more than cut the English postage in two, and that he has reduced the Canadian postage one-third, that he has practically cut off what somebody else has described as a mil-
lion dollars In the charges upon the people, and still has reduced the deficit from $700,000 and $800,000 to $489,000, I think it will be agreed that this is a very gratifying
statement, and in the highest degree creditable to the government, and especially to the minister in charge of that department.
I am glad to be able to say that the post office returns for the present year indicate that we shall have at the next Budget a still more gratifying statement to make concerning that department. I find that for the eight months of the present fiscal year the sales of stamps, which of course is the chief source of revenue, have amounted to $3,172,931. Last year for the corresponding period they were $2,909,128. In 1898, before the reduction of postage, the receipts for eight months were $2,946,513. So that to-day, with a three cent rate reduced to two cents, and with the English rate reduced from five cents to two cents, we are able to show receipts in the eight mouths of $3,172,000, against $2,946,000 when the higher rate prevailed. Looking at the operations of the present eight months in another form, the increased expenditure ot the Post Office Department during these eight months amounts to $45,000; but the increased revenue for these eight months amounts to $260,000 ; so that in the operations of these eight months the Post Office Department shows a betterment of $215,000. I have every reason to anticipate that when the Postmaster General prepares his next report he will have a very gratifying statement to present indeed.
Then, Sir, I think the receipts from railways are worthy of special notice. We hear very much about the expenditures on railways, because our outlay has been large. We hear very much of a deficit on railways when one occurs; but we are sometimes apt to overlook the large increase which has taken place in the receipts of those roads. I find that in 1896 the receipts for railways were $3,140,678.47; last year, the receipts were $5,213,381.24, an increase in five years of $2,072,702.77. So that if my hon. friend the Minister of Railways and Canals makes large demands upon us, he is at all events able to show that we receive very large returns for them. In connection with the statement of last year, I would invite attention also to the operations of the railways for a period of seven months, as we have only returns to the end of January. I find that for the seven months of last year there was a loss on the operation of the Intercolonial Railway of $537,479.40. But in the corresponding period of seven months in this year the loss orr the Intercolonial Railway operation is only $89,787.17, which would seem to indicate that at the close of the present fiscal year my hon. friend the Minister of Railways and Canals will have a fairly Hon. Mr. FIELDING.
satisfactory statement to present as against the one for the past yeary which showed a deficit of $488,000.
Our expenditure on consolidated fund for the year past was $46,866,367.84, as against, in the previous year, $42,975,279.51, showing an increase in expenditure on consolidated fund for the year of $3,891,088.33.
There have been some increases in many of the departments. In legislation there was an increase of $342,424 an item due to circumstances which are probably generally understood. In arts, agriculture and statistics, which includes the census, there was an increase of $235,645. In militia there was an increase of $215,495 ; in railways and canals, collection-that is the working expenses of the Intercolonial Railway-there was an increase of $1,133,660 but, as I have shown before, that outlay comes back by way of increased receipts. In public works there was a large increase of $1,096, 743 ; in the government of the North-west Territories $150,177 and in the the post office department $173,431, which, however, comes back to us, as I have already shown, very handsomely.
I have prepared a statement of comparison for the two years showing the expenditure on the consolidated fund account and several items which make up what are called capital and special charges. The word ' capital ' is used in the books of the department in a technical sense. It refers to a certain class of works. There are certain others which are nominally not capital charges but which are really special charges, as railway subsidies, for example. They do not appear as capital charges, but special charges. But for the purpose of our discussion these may all be called capital charges inasmuch as they are not charges to income. This comparison shows that on consolidated fund as I have already stated, there was an increase of $3,891,088.33. For railways, on capital account, there was an expenditure in 1901, of $3,914,010.50, an increase of $605,116.19 ; for canals, $2,360,569.89 ; a decrease of $278,995.04 ; public works, $1,006,983.39 ; a decrease of $82,843.90 ; Dominion lands, $269,060.90, an increase of $69,590,81 ; militia, $135,884,79, a decrease of $94,965.72 ; and Canadian Pacific Railway, a small item of $8,978.87, an increase of $8,742.76. The total expenditure for the year 1900-1 was $7,695,488.34, showing an increase of $226,645.10. Then there are the special expenditures that I have described, as follows : Railway subsidies, $2,512,328.86
as against $725,720.35 for 1899-1900, an increase in that item alone of $1,780,608.51. For the South African war and Halifax garrison we spent $908,681.42, which shows a decrease of $638,942.32. If we take the total capital and special expenditures, which, practically we treat as capital in our discussions, we find that the
expenditure was in 1901, $11,116,498.62 against $9,742,187.33, an increase under these heads of $1,374,311.29. If we take the aggregate expenditures, that is consolidated fund, capital, special and all classes, the total expenditure for the year 1900-1 was $57,982,866.46, an increase in the total expenditures of all classes of $5,265,399.62.
1899-1900. 1900-1. Increase. Decrease.Consolidated Fund Capital - Railways Canals $ cts. 42,975,279 51 $ cts. 46,806,367 84 $ cts. 3,891,088 33 $ cts.3,308,894 31 2,639,564 93 1,089,827 29 199,470 09 230,850 51 236 11 3,914,010 50 2,360,569 89 1,006,983 39 269,060 90 135,884 79 8,978 87 605,116 19 278,995 04 82,843 90 94,965 72Public Works Dominion Lands Militia 69,590 81 Canadian Pacific Railway Total Capital Special- J Railway Subsidies South Africa and Halifax Garrison Total Special Total Capital and Special Total Expenditure of all kinds .... 8,742 76 7,408,843 24 7,695,488 34 22G,645 10 725,720 35 1,547,623 74 2,512,328 86 908,681 42 1,786,608 51 638,942 322,273,344 09 3,421,010 28 1,147,666 19 9,742,187 33 11,116,498 62 1,374,311 29 52,717,4G6 84 57,982,866 46 5,265,399 62 It will be noticed that the largest item of increase in this statement is on account of railway subsidies. As I have pointed out we spent last year $2,512,328.86 on railway subsidies as against $725,720.35 in the previous year. It may be interesting that I should place in the budget a statement of these various railways which received this large amount of money. It is as follows : Atlantic and North-western Railway.? 186,600 00 Massawippi Valley. Railway 5,376 00Great Northern Railway 345,323 11South Shore Railway 88,400 00 Iverness and Richmond Railway_____ 132,800 00 Canadian Northern Railway 537,600 00Grand Trunk Railway 228,371 75Central Ontario Railway 67,200 00Midland Railway 170^264 00Canadian Pacific Railway 92,800 00Ottawa and New York Railway 90,000 00Quebec Bridge 74'570 00St. Mary's River Railway 75,000 00Crows Nest Pass Railway 205,524 00Pontiac and Pacific Junction Railway . and Gatineau Valley Railway 212,500 00
I come now to the question of the public debt. The net debt on the 30th of June, 1901, was $268,480,003.69, while the corresponding debt of the preceding year was $265,493,806.89, making an increase in the net debt of $2,986,196.80. I have here a statement of the increase in the net debt for several years and I find in going over the items of the net debt, the increases for each year and the decrease which occurred in one year, we have this result, that in five years the net increase of the debt has been $9,982,570.92, being an average of $1,996,514.18 as against an average for the previous eighteen years of $6,563,075. The increase in the net debt is accounted for in the following manner : Capital expenditure on railways and canals, public works, including Canadian Pacific Railway, $7,290,542.65 ; Dominion lands, $269,060.90 ; militia, $135,884.79 ; railway subsidies, $2,512,328.86 ; South African contingent and Halifax garrison, $908,681.42, making a total of $11,116,498.62. Deduct from this the surplus of $5,64S,-333.29, sinking fund $2,480,336.90 and a small refund in connection with the Northwest Territory Rebellion of $1,631.63, or a deduction altogether of $8,130,301.82. and there is an increase in the net debt of $2,986,196.80. 41i
Net debt 30th June, 1901... .8208,480,003 69 „ 1900.... 265,493,800 89 Increase in debt in 1900-1... 2.986,196 80 - Net Debt. Increase in Debt. Decrease in Debt.S cts. § cts. $ cts.1897 1898 1S99. ... 261,538,596 46 263,956,398 91 266,273,446 60 265.493,806 89 208,480,003 69 3,041,163 69 2,417,802 45 2.317,047 69 I960 1901 779,639 712,986,196 80 Total fox- five years .... 10,762,210 63 779,639 71 779,639 71Net increase 5 years. ... Average increase 5 years Average of 18 years from 1878 to 1896. t,982,570 92 1,996,514 18 6,563,075 00 The increase in the net debt in 1900-1901 is accounted for as follows :- $ cts. Capital expenditure on Railways and Canals, Public Works, including C. P. Railway 7,290,542 65Dr *m. lands 269,060 90„ Militia ... 135,884 79Railway subsidies 2,512,328 86South African Contingent and Hah- 908,681 42fax garrison 11,116,498 62Less: Surplus 5,648,333 29 Sinking Fund... 2,480,336 90
lion 1,631 63
Increase net debt 2,986,196 80
I have spoken in this statement of the surplus received during the past year amounting to $5,648,333.29. I am sure it will be gratifying to know that we are able from year to year to present these statements of satisfactory surpluses. I am aware that there is some criticism on this subject from year to year as to whether or not we do present a surplus. There was a tendency to represent that there was some change in the methods of keeping the accounts, and that the surplus that we represented was somewhat different from the surpluses of former years. That contention has now been abandoned because we have shown from time to time that there has been no change in the method of keeping the accounts. The methods are the same, the officials who keep the accounts are the same, Hon. Mr. FIELDING.
and when we show a surplus in the public accounts we reach it in precisely the same manner as in former years.
What about the iron bounties which are now charged to capital ?
That cannot affect the question of the debt in
any way at all.
You are talking about a surplus 7
The iron bounties have hitherto amounted each year to a comparatively small sum. I presented to the House last year, the reasons why we are now proposing to charge the iron bounties to capital. Let me tell my hon. friend (Mr. Sproule) that as respects the operations of the past year which I am speaking of, we had not begun to charge these bounties to capital, but the old method continued. I think, however, that this old method was a very mistaken one. I impute nothing but the best of motives to the gentlemen who preceded me in charge of the department. What they did was to treat these iron bounties as a drawback, and to be paid as such by the Customs Department. I do not see how you can pay a drawback when no money has been paid into the revenue, and I think the idea of treating this as a drawback and simply deducting it from the customs duty, and making the customs duty appear a good deal less than it really was, was a mistake. From the 1st of July last, we have changed that method. But up to that date and covering the period of which I am now speaking, as regards the surpluses, we continued the old method, and therefore the suggestion of my hon. friend is not important.
As I have said, some hon. gentlemen have made the criticism that these surpluses were brought about by some peculiar method of bookkeeping, but more recently1 I have noticed in some of the papers, a tendency to argue that even if the method was an old one, it was a bad one, and we had better get rid of it altogether. I entirely dissent from that. I think, in a country like Canada, we shall always, certainly for a long time, require for the construction of public works and things of that kind, special sums of money which cannot be obtained from the ordinary revenue, and there is every reason in the world why these should be charged to capital account. There is just the same reason that would obtain with a man in his private affairs. If a man were paying rent he would charge the rent against the income for the year, but if he bought a house he would not expect to charge it against iu-come, but would open a special account | and make some provision for paying for
My hon. friends say ' Hear, hear.' Well, we are lucky people when we can make the two go hand in hand. We have received for the current year to the 10th of March, this present month as revenue $38,047,685.82. Having regard to the receipts of the corresponding period a year ago ; to the amount which was received from this date to the end of that fiscal year, and to the anticipation in which I indulge that there will be some increase ; I am of opinion that we shall have at the close of this current year a revenue of $56,800,000 (in round numbers) as against an actual revenue last year of $52,514,701. There will thus be a probable increase in our revenue this year to the amount of $4,285,298.
Now with regard to the expenditure. We have expended this year up to the 10th of March, $30,133,502.76; and taking into account the amount which we expended last year from this date to the 30th of June, and making allowances for a probable increase during the present year-because there will be some increase-I am of opinion that at the close of the year we shall have an expenditure in all, probably of nearly $51,000,000 in round numbers. I make it a shade below that, but for convenience we may call it $51,000,000. That will be an increase in the expenditure, over the expenditure on consolidated account for the past year, of $4,133,632. It will be observed that I estimate an increase of revenue of $4,285,298, and an increase of expenditure of $4,133,632. The two sums would nearly balance one another. If they exactly balanced one another they would leave us with the same surplus as last year, namely, $5,648,333; but as the increase of revenue is a little more than the increase of expenditure, I think I am warranted in saying that the surplus for the current year will be a little larger than that of last year and will amount to $5,800,000.
As to the capital expenditure of the present year, it is exceptionally large; the largest we have had for some years. I anticipate that at the close of the year, we shall have a charge for capital and special expenditure of $14,250,000, as against $11,116,000 last year.
Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).
I got the estimated expenditure as $51,000,000 in round numbers; is that right ?
That is correct. We have this year very special charges to swell the capital account. Our railway subsidies will be considerable, as they were last year. The House is aware that railway operations have been going on throughout the Dominion pretty largely. We shall have to pay for bounties this year,
chargeable for the first time to capital account, about $700,000. There are large sums chargeable to capital for the equipment of the Intercolonial Railway with rolling stock and with new rails. There are large sums for transportation in the Public Works Department. There is a very considerable sum amounting to $950,000, representing the awards to two provinces on certain questions which were dealt with last session. For these and other expenditures we shall have, as I have already stated, a total of about $14,000,000 on capital account; and the result will be that we shall be obliged to make this year a larger addition to our public debt than we have done in any previous year in the history of this government.
Notwithstanding the surpluses.