August 3, 1917

RAILWAY MAIL CLERKS. REQUEST FOR INCREASE OF SALARY.


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

John Patrick Molloy

Liberal

Mr. J. P. MOLLOY (Provencher):

I

would call the attention of the Government to this telegram which I received yesterday:

Winnipeg, Man., 1st Aug., 1917.

J. P. Molloy, M.P.,

Ottawa, Ont.

On behalf of the Manitoba Railway Mail Clerks' Association, we beg to draw to your attention the fact that we are almost the only public or private servants that have not had a salary increase to meet the higher cost of living. Post Office Bill 147 of 1914 was thrown out by the Senate owing to contentious clauses having nothing to do with our increase. Other departments received this increase. A recent deputation to the department begged that this Bill be reintroduced and made retroactive. Your influence would be highly appreciated.

Respectfully,

(Sgd.) R. A. Borland,

President.

Is it the intention of the Government to grant an increase at the present session?

Topic:   RAILWAY MAIL CLERKS. REQUEST FOR INCREASE OF SALARY.
Permalink
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

The hon. gentleman's observations will be commended to the consideration of the Minister of Finance and the acting Postmaster General.

Topic:   RAILWAY MAIL CLERKS. REQUEST FOR INCREASE OF SALARY.
Permalink

WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.

CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE.


The House in committee on Bill No. 117, to authorize the levying of a war tax^ upon certain incomes-Sir Thomas White- Mr. W. H. Bennett in the Chair. On section 4-Income tax:


LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

In regard to paragraph

(a), is any distinction to be made between a married man who has simply his wife and himself to support and a married man who has his wife and three, four, five, six, ten or a dozen children dependent upon him?

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

Richard Smeaton White

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

There is no distinction made having regard to the number of family. So far as I know, there is no legislation in Canada based upon such a distinction. I think in France and in England there is a distinction, but there is this difference between our legislation and theirs, that the amount of exemption with ns is $3,000. In framing the Bill, as I stated when it was introduced, we had regard to the cost of living and to the reasonable requirements of an ordinary family, and we fixed upon $3,000 as a fair exemption. It does not seem to me possible, although it appeals to one's sympathies, to make a distinction based upon the number of members of a family or of dependents. _ .

It would be unfair to base the distinction *solely on the number of the members of a family, because there are many citizens who have not only children to take care of, but other dependents as well. One man, for example, may have a wife and six children to take care of, and another man may have a wife and two children, and four or five others depending upon him. It seems to me it would be impracticable to hold an inquiry, because a question of fact would be involved -as to whether or not a citizen had dependents to take care *of. One can easily see how the tax could be evaded, and how embarrassing questions would arise. The essential feature of this measure, so far as regards my hon. friend s question, is that there is an exemption of $3,000, which is higher than the exemption granted in the United States legislation now before Congress, and very much higher than the exemption at present in England.

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

Charles Marcil

Liberal

Mr. MARCIL:

I have no objection to

the explanation given by the minister. I do not know exactly how conditions are in England, but conditions in Canada are

very different from what they are in France. The French senate not long ago introduced a measure, which I think has become law, granting aid to the parents of a family of three or four children, for the purpose of encouraging the rearing of children. Under this measure the married man who has no children at all is placed on the same footing with the father of seven or eight or a dozen children, and families of that size are very often seen in Quebec. I think it is unjust to treat them both alike, and I hope the minister will see his way clear to granting exemption in the case of unusually large families. My hon. friend has mentioned the ordinary family. Now the ordinary family is a very uncertain quantity. In the province of Quebec three or four children would be considered a very small family. I trust that the minister will find it possible to make an exception in the case of men with, say, half a dozen children to provide for.

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

Richard Smeaton White

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

I do not think my hon. friend need be unduly anxious because it is not probable, although there are no doubt exceptions, that the father of a large family will have an income of $3,000 or more. Usually the large family and the comparatively small income go together. I had the case that my hon. friend has mentioned in mind when framing this measure, and I am quite satisfied that 90 per cent, if not more, of the families he has in mind will not be affected by this taxation at all. It seemed to me impracticable to distinguish between families having regard solely to the number of children, because it is within my own personal knowledge, as I think it is within that of every member of this House, that there are many citizens who have not only their own family to take care of, but also the family of a brother or a sister, or perhaps they have to look after an aged father or mother. I have received many letters since this legislation has been introduced from unmarried men protesting against the discrimination against them on the ground that they had to take oare of many dependents, and they gave particulars in their letters. In one case a man had to look afte'- his sister and two or three children. In another, a young man had not married because he had to look after an aged mother and some invalid sisters, and a brother or two who were not doing very well. I think if we adopt the principle of a fair exemption of $3,000, we need not be anxious about the size of the family or the number of dependents. I do not see how it would be possible for the department to make the necessary inquiries to ascertain how many dependents a man had.

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LAB

Alphonse Verville

Labour

Mr. VERVILLE:

I think an exception

should be made in the case of large fam-lies. The minister is exempting single men up to $2,000. Personally, I think that is too high an exemption for a great many single young men in this country. I have always thought that half that amount would be plenty for a single young man. As the minister says, in some oases these men have many dependents, but it is obviously unfair to place a married man with no children on the same footing with the father of six, seven or a dozen children. I know it is not the minister's intention to penalize the parents of large families, and I think this measure affords the best possible opportunity for recognizing the importance of large families. No doubt there are some single young men who have as many depending on them as the father of a family, but I think the minister would find it a pretty big contract to find out the exact number of dependents a man had. I suppose sworn statements would -be required. If I remember right, if a man makes a false statement about his income, his whole estate goes to the Crown when he dies.

Under the law of Wisconsin-there is no federal law in the United States on this subject-the parents are not allowed to send a boy to work until he is 14, or a girl until she is 16 years old. In view of the fact that the importance of children is thus recognized by the different states, I do not see why we should not make some recognition of them here. I am not speaking for myself, because I have no children, and whatever I have to pay I shall pay cheerfully. But I think it is absolutely unfair to put the man with no children on the same footing as the father of a big family, with the children to feed and clothe and send to school, and so forth. I hope the minister will see his way clear to allowing a certain exemption for each child under the age of 14. It may be said that married men with an income of $3,000 are pretty well off and will be sending their children to college, but that is not always the case. Another man may have to send his children to work. I again appeal to the minister to do justice to the parents of large families, and I claim that now is the time for the state to recognize the importance of rearing children.

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I am somewhat inclined to support the suggestions of the two hon.

gentlemen who have just spoken. The Minister of Finance has been preaching production all through the country. Now here is a chance for him to crystalize this encouragement into legislation in a businesslike way. The object of the exemption is to enable a man to support his family in comfort, before he is taxed. I regret that we cannot find many examples of large families in the province of Ontario. In Ontario, when you find a large family, it is extraordinary, whereas in the province of Quebec, when they have a small family it is extraordinary. It does not seem reasonable that a man without any children dependent upon him should be exempt to the extent of $3,000 income, and that another man in similar circumstances but with perhaps ten children to support should only have the same exemption. As a matter of fact, the man with the large family will probably not have anything left for taxation. The minister says all these details will involve an enormous amount of work.

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

Richard Smeaton White

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

I was speaking of dependents.

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

Would it be an extremely difficult thing to keep this record? As the hon. member (Mr. Verville) has said, the returns will be made under oath, and the individual will have to swear that he is married, or unmarried, and in one more line he could add -whether he has one child, or five children. This could be done if it were considered that it would complicate matters too much to have the children designated individually. Take an Ontario .family as a fair example. I think if they average three children they are doing fairly well, and let us say that in any family where the number of children exceeds three there shall be a certain amount of exemption per child over and above that number. I believe I could work out a scheme for the minister by which this could be arranged without any difficulty.

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

Richard Smeaton White

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

What about dependents?

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

I have convinced the minister so far as the children are concerned. As to the dependents, I suppose my hon. friend refers particularly to single men?

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
CON

Richard Smeaton White

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

To married men as well.

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink
LIB
CON

Richard Smeaton White

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

Take a case where there are three children and seven dependents.

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF THE BILL IN COMMITTEE.
Permalink

August 3, 1917