May 1, 1917

CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

I will explain in a moment. Wheat, wheat flour and semolina are upon the free list in precisely the same sense as any other article is on the free list under the tariff to-day. Any article can be changed from the free list to the dutiable list toy or under the authority of Parliament.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Does the hon. minister mean to say that any article can be changed from the free list to the dutiable list by Order in Council?

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

If my hon. friend asks me that question, which embraces this particular case, I express my opinion that it can. But I will say this, speaking now on behalf of the Government, that the Government regard wheat, wheat flour and semolina as upon the free list in the same way that any other articles on the tariff are on the free list, and that fresh duties will not toe imposed except by Parliament. Why do I eliminate " or under the authority of Parliament?" For this reason: Under the general legislation, apart altogether from the War Measures Act-

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

Why did not the hon. gentleman submit the proposition to Parliament?

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

I have covered

that ground so fully that I thought even a child could understand it. The hon. member (Mr. Macdonald) must have been

asleep, or else he was talking to the hon. member for Bonaventure (Mr. Marcil) who is a charming companion. But I make the statement that the Government understands what has been done in the same sense that its legal adviser understands it, and I say that if these duties are ever reimposed it will toe by Parliament. Why do I say that? Under the general legislation the Governor in Council at any time can place upon the free list any article or commodity that is used in connection with Canadian manufactures. Further than that, the Government can at any time grant remission of the duty under the Audit Act in cases where duty has been paid on articles imported. It is not an unusual thing for a government to reduce a duty, or even to place an article upon the free list. It is not altogether unusual-though power in this respect is more seldom exercised for the Government to grant remission ;of duty on articles that have 'been imported. The right hon. leader of the Opposition (Sir Wilfrid Laurier), when, in power, remitted the duty on coal; and we remitted the duty on cement on one occasion, 'because there was a scarcity of cement in the West. It is not an unusual thing, I say, for the Governor in Council to reduce or remove duties. But it is an unprecedented thing, so far as I know to impose duties by Order in Council; and I have no hesitation in saying that this Government, or any Government that succeeds it, if it desires to impose fresh duties upon these articles, will bring the proposal down to Parliament and have it enacted into law in the usual way. So we need not worry ourselves about these legal disquisitions and arguments about the validity of the Government's action under the War Measures Act-that argument entirely disappears. - [DOT]

Let me summarize what I have said: In the first place, there has been no departure from the traditional fiscal policy of the Conservative party, which has meant so much for the prosperity of this country since 1879; the policy of Sir John Macdonald, the policy of Sir Leonard Tilley, the policy of the present leader of the Opposition down to 1911. In the second place, conclusions as to what should be done in this matter has been reached upon the merits at the time decisions were taken, and having regard tp the national interest. And when I speak of the national interest I repeat what I said in 1916, that no one can think of the national interest of Can-

ada without thinking of the interest of the three great prairie provinces.

Now, the hon. member (Mr. Turriff) put forth a fifth criticism. It is really as unfounded and as little worth as criticisms one, two, three and four. He says: You are actuated by political considerations. One would hardly suspect my hon. friend from Assiniboia of suggesting that anyone could be actuated by political considerations. It would surprise me to learn that such a thought has ever crossed my hon. friend's mind. He says there is a coming election. What coming election?

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

My hon. friend

from South Renfrew (Mr. Graham) merely interjects that. What have the Governments of Alberta and Saskatchewan to do with the question of free wheat?

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Just as much as they

had to do with cement.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

And they had

nothing to do with cement. But my hon. friend from Assiniboia said " election," he did not say " ejections."

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

John Gillanders Turriff

Liberal

Mr. TURRIFF:

Yes, and I meant the

Dominion elections.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

Absolutely. That is what the hon. gentleman .meant. What does my hon. friend from South Renfrew say to that?

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

The hon. member for

Assiniboia makes it stronger than I did, that is all.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

But he puts my hon. friend (Mr. Graham) in error.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Not at all. The Solicitor General (Mr. Meighen) will tell you.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

The hon. member for Assiniboia said that we had acted for political reasons having regard to the "coming election." Now let me say this: the Prime Minister of this country is about to introduce a Bill into this House for the extension of Parliament. We on this side of the House do not believe there should be an election at this time. Should there be an election, who will be responsible for it? Is an election to be apprehended? Did the Government take this action under the War Measures Act by Teason of its expectation that there would be an election when, at the same time, it is about to bring down a Bill to extend the term of Parliament? 60J

What then, is the force, and weight, and validity of the argument of my hon. friend?

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

The ballot boxes were sent to England two years ago.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

Oh, we have heard all about that.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

May I ask my hon. friend a question? My hon. friend has touched upon something that has nothing to do with the free wheat question?

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

My hon. friend touched upon it for two hours last week.

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

My hon. friend says the Government is going to bring down a Bill for the extension of Parliament. I would ask if the Government intend to deal with that as with other Government measures and carry it through by virtue of the majority they have in this House?

Topic:   THE POTATO SUPPLY.
Subtopic:   THE BUDGET.
Sub-subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE.
Permalink

May 1, 1917