May 30, 1921

CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

The reduction became

necessary on the consolidation of the two

departments. For instance, in Montreal the Customs offices and Inland Revenue offices were carrying on the work of these different departments in different places and with separate staffs. Now that the amalgamation has taken place the work of both is done in the same building and necessarily the staff can be materially reduced. I believe the result will he of advantage to the general public as well as economy in administration.

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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Guysborough) :

I would like to get the basis for the figures of 31 per cent given as the cost of collecting the customs revenue. What was the total amount received from customs last year and the total cost of administering the department?

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE :

I have the figures before me from 1894-95 to the present; perhaps I had better put them all on record. The statement follows:

Statement showing the Percentage Cost of Collection of Customs Revenue since 1894-95

Fiscal Year Revenue Expenditure Percentage Cost of Collection1894-95 ... $ 17,890,516 94 $ 917,607 81 5.131895-96 . . . 20,219,037 32 896,332 50 4.431896-97 . . . 19,891,996 77 945,245 33 4.751897-98 . . . 22,157,788 49 968,100 42 4.371898-99 . . .. 25,734,228 75 1,037,633 61 3.461899-00 . . . 28,889,110 13 1,271,222 17 3.301900-01 . . . 29,106,979 89 1,123,817 06 3.861901-02 . . . 32,425,532 31 1,176,024 24 3.621902-03 . . . 37,110,315 17 1,229,028 71 3.311903-04 . . . 40,954,349 69 1,357,184 29 3.311904-05 . . . 42,024,339 92 1,467,160 09 3.491905-06 . . . 46,671,101 20 1,548,384 08 3.311906-07* . . . 40,290,171 70 1,224,981 74 3.041907-08 . . . 58,331,074 04 1,923,854 17 3.301908-09 . . . 48,059,791 93 1,994,951 46 4.151909-10 . . . 61,024,239 21 2,024,533 51 3.321910-11 . . . 73,312,367 59 2,187,174 76 2.981911-12 . . . 87,596,426 40 2,443,846 23 2.791912-13 . . . 115.063,196 97 3,150,776 75 2.741913-14 . . . 107,179,360 33 3,849,083 86 3.591914-15 . . . 79,205,286 51 3,775,364 31 4.761915-16 . . . 103,941,714 81 3,685,399 40 3.551916-17 , . . 147,631,941 38 3,745,790 90 2.541917-18 . . . 161,587,979 41 4,059,861 12 2.511918-19 4,274,792 89 3.131919-20 4,669,132 78 2.481920-21 (9 months) . . . 145,757,022 S4 3,699,972 31 2.53

* 9 months.

The following is a statement showing the percentage cost of collection of Inland Revenue for four years from 1917-18:

Inland Revenue Service Statement Showing the Cost of Collection

Fiscal Year Revenue Expenditure1917- 18

$ 29,709,772 56 $1,791,612 171918- 19

42,287,741 45 1,386,942 351919- 20

58,527,035 34 1,513,927 861920- 21

115,469,042 79 1,937,679 94

Percentage cost of Collection 6.03 3.21 2.59 1.68

I think that is the information the hon. gentleman asked for in reference to average costs.

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UNION
CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

I understand that nine years and six months counts as ten years in calculating the retiring allowance, but the Minister of Immigration is more familiar with this Act, which, in fact, has been called the "Calder Act."

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UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

That Act will be before the House very shortly, and I shall be very glad then to get the views of the committee on that very point. In the Bill that

was passed last year there was an arbitrary line drawn. It was considered that unless a man had been ten years in the service, and was over forty-five years of age, if I remember rightly, he was not entitled to an annuity. You must draw the line somewhere. If a man has had over nine years and six months in the service that counts as ten years, but are you going to provide that every person who is in the service shall be entitled to an annuity upon retirement, regardless of his length of service? While there may apparently be an injustice at the present time as between the man who has been nine years in the service and the man who has had ten years' service, if you drew the line further down, this same apparent injustice would exist as between the man who had had seven years' and the man who had had eight years' service, and between the man with six years' and the man with five years' service. If you are going to carry out the principle of equity all the way dtown, eventually you would have to give an annuity to a man who had been in the service only one year. We must draw the line somewhere.

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UNION
UNION

James Alexander Calder (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister presiding over the Department of Health; President of the Privy Council)

Unionist

Mr. CALDER:

What call is there upon the state to provide an annuity for the rest of his life for the man who has been three, or say four, years in the public service? I doubt if there is very much. We considered that a man should be at least ten full years in the service and be of a certain age before he was entitled to an annuity. I do not think we should delay these Estimates, because we will have a Bill before the House that amends the section in the Act relating to the annuity, and there will then be full opportunity to discuss the point raised by my hon. friend.

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie) :

The minister has given the committee a great array of figures as to the cost of collecting customs revenue and inland revenue, but he did not say how he arrived at the percentage of cost. Has he taken into consideration, for example, rentals, depreciation of buildings, office furniture, and so on? In other words, has he computed his costs as they would be computed in the annual statement of a commercial company at the end of the year?

I notice also that the cost of collecting the inland revenue was reduced from 6.3 in one year to 3.21 the next, and to 1.68 in the following year. How does the minister

account for this reduction? If the cost keeps on coming down, he will soon be able to collect his inland revenue without any expenditure at all.

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

The department at

one time was responsible for Weights and Measures, Gas and Electricity, and Food Inspection, but these have been turned over to other departments, and that accounts for the reduction in our cost of collection. We have arrived at our percentage cost by taking the gross revenue and the gross expenditure, just as an ordinary company would.

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie) :

Can the minister give details of his expenditure?

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

It includes salaries,

rentals, travelling and all other expenses in connection with the running of a department.

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UNI L

John Flaws Reid

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. REID (Mackenzie) :

Have you regular fixed charges to meet, and has depreciation on office furniture, adding machines, and so on, been taken into account?

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

We have simply taken

the total expenditure and the total revenue, and have not gone into details of depreciation. The Customs Department, of course, rents a number of buildings. Particularly in the smaller ports we do not own the buildings.

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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Guysborough) :

A large number of the buildings in which the customs business is conducted not only in Ottawa but throughout Canada, belong to the Government, having been built by the Government for that purpose. Did the minister allow in his calculations anything for interest on the capital expenditure for these buildings?

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

I am informed that no allowance has been made for that. As the hon. member knows, we rent a number of buildings, particularly in the smaller ports. We have not, however, taken into consideration any rentals to the Public Works Department.

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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS:

Is not the minister

following in that respect exactly the same course which has been followed since 1867?

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

Yes.

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L LIB

John Ewen Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Queen's):

In the amalgamation of the two branches of the department, what system has been followed in recognizing the seniority of the clerks in the two different branches, and who is responsible for that-the commission or the department?

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CON

Rupert Wilson Wigmore (Minister of Customs and Inland Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WIGMORE:

The seniority is not affected by the amalgamation. We take into consideration length of service, merit, and efficiency.

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May 30, 1921