September 7, 1917

MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.

APPOINTMENT OF THE BOARD OF SELECTION.

?

Right Hon. S@

I move, seconded by the Hon. Mr. Cochrane:

That the following gentlemen compose the board of selection to appoint members of local tribunals under section 6 of the Military Service Act, 1917:

Ontario: A. E. Fripp, M.P., Ottawa; W. A. Boys, M.P., Barrie ; Sir John Gibson, Hamilton; A. B. Lowe, 41 Glenn Street, Ottawa.

Quebec: Joseph H. Rainville, M.P., St. Lambert ; Romeo Langlois, K.C., Quebec; Hon. S. N. Parent, Montreal; Hon. Sydney Fisher, Knowlton.

Nova Scotia: George S. Campbell, Halifax; D. A. Cameron, Sydney, C.B.

New Brunswick: Mariner G. Teed, St. John ; John McCaffery, Fredericton.

Manitoba: Senator W. H. Sharp, Manitou; Sir Donald MacMillan, Winnipeg.

Saskatchewan: Senator H. W. Laird, Regina; Arthur Hitchcock, Moosejaw.

Alberta: R. B. Bennett, M.P., Calgary;

Alfred H. Clarke, K.C., Calgary.

British Columbia: R. F. Green, M.P., Victoria; Hon. James Horace King, Victoria.

Yukon: Lieut.-Col. A. Thompson, M.D., M.P., Ottawa; F. C. Wade, Vancouver.

Prince Edward Island: William L. Cotton, Charlottetown; James J. Johnston, K.C., Charlottetown.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF THE BOARD OF SELECTION.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

If is of course to be understood from the remarks I made on a previous occasion, that we on this side of the House offer no opposition to this motion. Oil the contrary, I intimated that I would consent to concur in the selection of the men who are to appoint the members of the tribunals which are to administer the Act.

I must say, however, once more that I deeply regret that the Government has thought it advisable to apply this law of conscription before the people have had occasion to pronounce upon it. I think, and my opinion is con-

firmed more and more, as time passes, that it would have been more in the interest of the country at large if at least the people had been consulted before the law was applied. I must say frankly that if I had followed my first inclination I would not have given countenance to any participation in the administration of the Act. But, on the whole, I believe that it is always better to minimize the evil effect of a bad law by the wisest administration of it so that effort may be directed to making the application of it fair to all parties and to getting out of it the largest possible measure of justice compatible with its provisions.

I have therefore given consideration to the selection of the members to compose the board of selection, and in so doing I have endeavoured to recommeend men whose standing in the community will be a guarantee that as far as they are concerned the Act will be applied with fairness, and a determination to do justice to all.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF THE BOARD OF SELECTION.
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L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Sir SAM HUGHES:

Might I ask my right hon. friend (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) how he would explain the further delay to be occasioned by his proposition in enforcing this Military Service Act? I doubt very much if, owing to the delay already occasioned there will be a battalion at the front under this Act before the war is over and peace concluded. If the right hon. gentleman were returned to power, how would he provide for meeting this emergency?

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF THE BOARD OF SELECTION.
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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRED LAURIER:

If the soldiers are not to get to the front till the war is over, better consult the people at once.

Topic:   MILITARY SERVICE ACT, 1917.
Subtopic:   APPOINTMENT OF THE BOARD OF SELECTION.
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Motion agreed to. Sir GEORGE FOSTER moved that a message be sent to the Senate to inform their honours that this House has passed the following resolution : Resolved by the House of Commons of Canada, that the following gentlemen do compose the board of selection to appoint members of local tribunals under section 6 of the Military Service Act 1917 : Ontario: A. E. Fripp, M.P., Ottawa; W. A. Boys, M.P., Barrie, Ont.; Sir John Gibson, Hamilton, Ont.; A. B. Lowe, 41 Glenn St., Ottawa. Quebec: Joseph Rainville, M.P., St. Lambert ; Romeo Langlois, K.C., Quebec; Hon. S. N. Parent, Montreal, Que.; Hon. Sidney Fisher, Knowlton, Quebec. Nova Scotia: Geo. S. Campbell, Halifax, N.S.; D. A. Cameron, Barrister, Sydney, C.B. New Brunswick: Mariner G. Teed, St. John, N.B.; John McCaffrey, Fredericton, N.B. Manitoba : Senator W. H. Sharp, Manitou ; Sir Donald MacMillan, Winnipeg, Man. Saskatchewan: Senator H. W. Laird, Regina; Arthur Hitchcock, Moosejaw, Sask. Alberta: R. B. Bennett, M.P., Calgary; Alfred H. Clarke, K.C., Calgary, Alberta. British Columbia: R. F. Green, M.P., Victoria, B.C.; Hon. James Horace King, Victoria, B.C. Yukon: Lt.-Col. A. Thompson, M.D., M.P., Ottawa; F. C. Wade, Vancouver. Prince Edward Island: Wm. L. Cotton, Charlottetown; James J. Johnston, K.C., Charlottetown, P.E.I. And requesting that their honours will unite with this House in the said resolution by filling up the blank therein with the words "Senate and." . Motion agreed to.


THE WAR TIMES ELECTION ACT.


On the Orders of the Day:


CON

Samuel Francis Glass

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GLASS:

I desire to bring to the attention of the House a misapprehension in reference to a question which I addressed to the hon. Secretary of State (Mr. Meighen) when he was presenting the Franchise Bill yesterday. I asked if provision had been made for the taking of the votes of the wives and female relatives of soldiers who themselves were overseas. I did not mean the wives or relatives of soldiers who- were in Canada but I referred to those who were themselves overseas and I desired to ask if provision had been made for their voting The answer given by my hon. friend the Secretary of State was apparently given under a misapprehension as to the meaning of my question. I would like to put the question now in its proper form and as I intended it.

Topic:   THE WAR TIMES ELECTION ACT.
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CON

Edgar Nelson Rhodes (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

Questions such as this

ought properly to go on the Order Paper because, if they did1 no mistake would arise.

Mr. MEI'GHEN: The question as put

referred to soldier's wives who, themselves, were overseas. It was intended to be a question as to the eligibility to vote of the female relatives who were overseas and in that latter form the answer is " no."

Topic:   THE WAR TIMES ELECTION ACT.
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WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.

CONSIDERATION OF AMENDMENTS MADE BY THE SENATE DEFERRED.


The House proceeded to consider the amendments made by the Senate to Bill No. 117, to authorize the levying of a war tax upon certain incomes.-Sir Thomas White.


CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE (Minister of Finance) :

This order involves the consideration of amendments by the Senate to Bill No. 117, being an Act to authorize the levying of a war tax upon certain incomes. The hon. the Senate has made certain amendments of which I shall now inform the House. In section 3 of the Bill, instead of

the words "annual profit or gain," the Senate has inserted the word "net" before the word "profit," so that, for the purposes of the Act, "income" means the "annual net profit or gain or gratuity." That is the only change made in subsection 1 section .'5 with the exception of striking out the following words:

-with the following exemptions and deductions :

(a) the value of property acquired by gift, bequest, devise or descent;

(b) the proceeds of life insurance policies paid upon the death of the person insured, or payments made or credited to the insured on life insurance endowment or annuity contracts upon the maturity of the term mentioned in the contract or upon the surrender of the contract:

Instead of those words, the Senate has substituted the following:

Including the income from but not the value of property acquired by gift, bequest, devise or descent; and including the income from but not the proceeds of life insurance policies paid upon the death of the person insured or payments made or credited to the insured on life insurance endowment or annuity contracts upon the maturity of the term mentioned in the contract or upon the surrender of the contract; with the following exemptions and deductions.

And then follow the exemptions and deductions included in subsections c, d, e, and f of section 3 of the Bill.

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF AMENDMENTS MADE BY THE SENATE DEFERRED.
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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

Would the minister read the first part again?

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF AMENDMENTS MADE BY THE SENATE DEFERRED.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

Perhaps I had better explain it. As the Bill left the House of Commons, "income" meant the annual profit or gain or gratuity derived as stated in the Act, with among other exemptions, those which I have just read, a and b. The idea was to exempt from the income which a person derived during the year the amount of money or value which he might receive on a devise or bequest, or in respect of a life insurance policy. When we were debating the matter in the House, it seems clear to all here that what we were exempting was the principal, and if, by chance, that principal was invested, then the income derived from it would, Oif course be income under the Act. The Senate has endeavoured to make that clear so that while the principal of life insurance policies and of any devise or bequest is exempted, income derived in respect of that principal becomes income for the purposes of the Act.

Then, further, the Senate has inserted, after subsection 1 of section 3, the following:

Provided, however, that in determining the income the personal and living expenses shall not be taken into consideration.

Then, further, they have made an amendment to section 6. That section as it left this House provided that:

All persons in whacever capacity acting, having the control, receipt, disposal or payment of fixed or determinable annual periodical

gains, profits, or income of any taxpayer

shall, on behalf of such taxpayer, deduct and withhold an amount equal to the tax payable on the same under this Act.

The Senate has inserted before the word "tax" the word "normal," so that now those having control of the income of others shall deduct and forward to the minister only the normal tax. I think their reason for doing that was because they apprehended there would be difficulty in determining the amount of tax, normal and super-tax. But, of course, the party himself would be liable in respect of the supertax upon his income as the Bill now reads.

Further, the Senate has inserted a rather important provision in section 19. I may say that section 19 is as follows:

No assessment shall be set aside by a Board or by the court upon the ground that there has been any error or omission in connection with any proceedings required to be taken under this Act or any regulation hereunder, but such Board or Court in any case that may come before it may determine the true and proper amount of the tax to be paid hereunder.

The Senate has added this proviso:

a. All the proceedings of the Board and of the Exchequer Court shall he held in camera if requested by the taxpayer.

I am aware that there is a difference of opinion as to the powers of the Senate under our constitutional usages in respect to a taxation measure; but we are near the end o' this session, there is a great deal of business before both Houses, and this is an important enactment providing for the raising of moneys which we shall require in connection with the prosecution of the war, and in the circumstances I propose to move:

That the House do concur in the amendments made by the Senate.

But I should like to make this statement in connection with my motion, in order that it may appear upon Hansard: That as there are differences of opinion respecting the powers of the Senate in amending a taxation measure, our concurrence in these amendments is not to be regarded as a precedent binding upon this House in any future legislation. It seems to me that that leaves the question fairly as regards the privileges ,f this House, and not unfairly as resped.s the action taken by the Senate.

The amendments are not of great consequence, and neither the legislation nor its administration will, I think, be materially affected thereby.

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF AMENDMENTS MADE BY THE SENATE DEFERRED.
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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

The amendment to subsection (f) is capable of two constructions:

Provided, however, that in determining the income, the personal and living expenses shall not be taken into consideration.

Which construction are we to put on it- that the living expenses will not be deducted before the net income is arrived at, or that they will?

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF AMENDMENTS MADE BY THE SENATE DEFERRED.
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CON

William Thomas White (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir THOMAS WHITE:

I am clear that it will be construed that they are not to be deducted. If we' were not so close to the end of the session I would be disposed either to amend this amendment or to move to strike it out; but in the circumstances, by reason of the importance of the Bill, I think it preferable to move to concur. In administering the Act we shall undoubtedly interpret it that the personal and living expenses are not to be deducted, which is, I think, the meaning the Senate had in view.

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF AMENDMENTS MADE BY THE SENATE DEFERRED.
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LIB

George Perry Graham

Liberal

Mr. GRAHAM:

' The uncertainty still exists.

Topic:   WAR TAX UPON INCOMES.
Subtopic:   CONSIDERATION OF AMENDMENTS MADE BY THE SENATE DEFERRED.
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September 7, 1917