The next amendment deals with section 12 whereby the burning of chattels was constituted a crime. The penalty is reduced from fourteen to five years' imprisonment, and the value prescribed for the article burned is raised from $25 to $200.
The next amendments consist in striking out articles 14 and 15. These are the clauses dealing with cruelty to animals, the first clause being directed against the docking of tails, and the other against cruelly killing.
The next amendment is of a constructive character and consists in introducing into the Bill section 24A adding what appears to be an omitted offence in the article of the Criminal Code proscribing prosecution for certain crimes and is in this form:
24a. Paragraph (a) of section 1140 of the said Act is amended by adding thereto the following sub-paragraph:
"(iv) Any offence relating to or arising out of the location of land which was paid for in whole or in part by scrip or was granted upon certificates issued to half breeds in connection with the extinguishment of Indian title."
There does not seem to be any good reason why the same proscription which applies to other offences should not apply to this, and I am disposed to accept the amendment.
Then there is one other amendment, which is also of a constructive character. It introduces a provision which was contained in a Bill passed by the Senate this session. It provides for a revision of sentences by the Court of Appeal for the province in which the conviction was had. I would have preferred to have this clause the subject of further examination and consideration before adopting it. The Senate, however, passed the measure. When the Bill came to this House I consulted with the attorneys general of all the provinces, and, with one exception, I think no objection was taken to the clause, and in some instances positive approval was expressed. In view of those circumstances, and recognizing that there is merit in the proposal, I am disposed to ask this House to concur in the amendment.
It provides for a revision by the Court of Appeal for the province in which the conviction was had of sentences in criminal cases. It does not provide an appeal proper from the conviction, but it does make it possible to submit to a Court of Appeal the question whether the sentence is either inadequate or too severe.
On the motion of Sir Henry Drayton (Minister of Finance) Bill No. 221 to amend the Income Tax Act was read the second time and the House went into committee thereon, Mr. Boivin in the Chair.
On section 1-penalty for failure to file returns:
William Lyon Mackenzie King
(Leader of the Official Opposition)
the penalty for failure to file return of income is 25 per cent of the tax payable; that is reduced to a penalty of 5 per cent of tax payable, with a maximum of $500. Every person failing to make a return under the other provisions of the section is subject to a penalty of $10 for each day of default, but it is provided that such penalty shall not exceed $50.
It seems to me that this penalizing principle is not sound. If a man fails to make a return as called for by the Act his offence is the same no matter whether the tax to which he is liable is $10 or $1,000. Why not fix a certain amount which will be applicable to all?
There is no doubt that the offence is the same in each case, though the result of the offence is not the same. We are adhering to the principle which is maintained throughout the whole Act, that of making the ratepayer with the lower income subject to the lower assessments. The man with the larger income and whose default seriously affects the public treasury pays the higher penalty.