June 8, 1922

PRO

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

Could he tell me what is the date of that pamphlet of the Canadian Council of Agriculture? I think it is an old one.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I will tell the hon. member when it was used and where I got it. The hon. member for Medicine Hat (Mr. Gardiner) in hi? election last year had these distributee! all over his riding, and I was extendol the extreme courtesy of having one handed to me.

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PRO

Robert Alexander Hoey

Progressive

Mr. HOEY:

I think it is only fair that the hon. member should state that that is an old pamphlet.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

All I can say is that it has on the face of it: "Issued by the Canadian Council of Agriculture." There is no date on it, so far as 1 am able to see. What I am particularly concerned about, however, is that two references have been made to the matter in this debate, and when I asked my hon. friend where he got his figures he said he got them from the Grain Growers' Guide. Bp that as it may, here are the facts : In 1920 we raised 48 per cent of our revenue by indirect taxation and the balance by direct taxation; in 1921 we raised 374 per cent by indirect taxation and in 1922, for the fiscal year ending March 31, 274 per cent. Let me give some figures of taxation receipts by way of illustration. Last year we received $105,000,000 from customs: $36,000,000 from excise; $73,000,000 from inland revenue-that would be sales tax-$78,000,000 from income tax and $22,000,000 from business profits tax.

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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

The hon. member will recognize that that $78,000,000 from income tax would not be included in that pamphlet.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

All right; my hon. friend wants me to go back to that pamphlet. The pamohlet gives these figures: it says that in 1916-17 the figure for customs was $134,000,000; excise, $24,000,000, business profits tax $12,000,000, and so on; 1917-18, customs, $146,000,000; excise, $27,-

000,000; business profits tax, $21,000,000; others, $4,000,000. Yet they say that $146,000,000 is 94 per cent of $27,000,000 plus $26,000,000, or, $53,000,000. And they did not give the other sources of revenue; they do not give all the revenue. My point is this: my hon. friends base their arguments upon inadequate and unfair figures. The hon. member for Marquette (Mr. Crerar) -I wish he were in his seat-took the time of the House to-day to question the accuracy of figures used. My hon. friend is the leader of a great party.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Hear, hear.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

They are a great party; some of them are over six feet tall. The leader of that party has for some years posed in this House as an economist; he has based all his arguments on economic principles. They may be sound principles, but there are other considerations in the national life besides economic principles; moral, ethical and many other questions have to be considered You cannot by the use of a two-foot rule set out the bounds of a man's activities: he will be, and has a right to be, moved by this, that and the other influence. Now, the hon. member for Marquette said this during the course of the debate:

As I say, we exported goods to the value of $740,000,000 last year. But where did those exports come from? Last year was a year of trade depression, a very trying year throughout the world. Of this total, vegetable products accounted for $318,000,000, and animal products, $135,000,000; in other words, $453,000,000 of the $740,000,000- .

Came from where? He does not say from vegetable products or from animal products, but,

-$453,000,000 of the $740,000,000 of exports last year had their origin in the farms of Canada.

I have in my hand the very document from which my hon. friend must have got his figures. Certainly it gives vegetable products as $317,814,000, and animal products $135,000,000, but surely to goodness a man ought to check up what animal and vegetable products are included there. All vegetable products do not belong to the specific business of agriculture. In this blue book I have in my hand you will find every article that was referred to by my hon. friend set forth-whisky, furs, leather and every other conceivable thing. Boots and shoes are an animal product certainly, because the hide is tanned into leather. He includes all these various processes of manufacture and says of all these things:

The Budget-Mr. Stevens

What we quarrel with is that these are a part of the products of the farm, and we exported this huge amount.

I am going to examine the figures. My right hon. friend the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen) says we shall be having the hon. member for Marquette up again on the Orders of the Day to-morrow. Perhaps so, I wish he were here to listen. You will remember when the hon. member for Marquette was speaking the other evening, that he dilated for some time on this alleged iniquitous rubber business in Canada. What need have we of a rubber business? he asked; it was not indigenous to this country, we need not bother with it. But he took good care to include rubber in his products of the farm-something over $3,000,000 worth of rubber tires manufactured in Canada included as a "vegetable product." Of course, it is a vegetable product, and so are boots and shoes an animal product; so is sugar a vegetable product, most of it was cane sugar, some $11,000,000 worth of sugar was included, as well as canned goods, shredded wheat, rolled oats, and all the rest of the cereals; $59,000,000 worth of flour exported and credited direct to the farm! Where is the Agricultural Committee? Where is the chairman of that committee? Does not he and all the members of the committee remember how the followers of the hon. member for Marquette went after the millers before that committee? Why, you would have thought the millers were a sort |of curse jto the country to hear some of the hon. gentlemen. But the hon. member for'Marquette includes this $50,000,000 odd in his figures. Let us look at the figures. First I will give the figures my 'hon, friend used. He said that $453,000,000 worth of goods out of the $740,000,000 of exports were from the farm. That is not correct. There was some $70,000,000 too much, and there Was about $50,00,000 more of manufactured articles credited to the farm which-should have beeni deducted. But that was not the unfairness of his argument at all. The unfairness of his argument rests in this. Agricultural products were roughly $1,400,000,. 000. Imports of agricultural products, animal and vegetable, aggregating $200,000,000, added to that $1,400,000,000 make a total of $1,600,000,000. Deduct from that even his own figures of exportation, which were exorbitant, and you have left some $1,167,000,000 worth of farm or agricultural products that were Consumed in Canada. The point we have been trying to make clear to my hon. friends is this,

that the great bulk of the products of the farm are consumed in Canada. There is your market. Are these figures not clear? My hon. friends laugh in derision. That is the thing that embarrasses anybody who seeks to get at the facts. You could not penetrate the minds of some hon. gentlemen, no matter what you did. If the Archangel Gabriel himself stood on the table of this House and gave hon. gentlemen these figures they would not believe him.

Here are the percentages for last year. Taking the false figures-the inaccurate figures, I mean; I will use the more moderate term-taking the figures inaccurate by $125,000,000, that my hon. friend from Marquette gave, and you have this result, that 28 per cent of the products of Canada were exported and 72 per cent consumed in Canada. But the correct figures are these: For the year 1919-1920, 79 per cent were consumed in Canada and 21 per cent exported; and in 1920-1921, 80 per cent were consumed in Canada and 20 per cent exported. The figures for last year, if the accurate figures were given, would show approximately the same amount consumed in Canada, if not a little more.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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PRO

Robert Forke

Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Does the hon. member

realize that if the figures were reversed we would soon pay off the national debt?

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

If the figures were reversed we would soon pay off the national debt, the hon. gentleman says. That is what I complain of. What would my hon. friends do? They would take the rubber industry, the boot and shoe industry, the cotton goods industry, the farm implements industry, they would take industry after industry and scrap them because they could not compete with foreign competition. Then where would the local market be?

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PRO

Oliver Robert Gould

Progressive

Mr. GOULD:

No.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

That is always the answer when they are cornered. But turn them loose on the broad prairies, and they never say, No. My hon. friend would not say No before his constituents. What I say is mild compared with what my hon. friend said in the Fredericton constituency a year ago. The raging inaccuracies of my hon. friend there were simply appalling. What I want to say is this: I care not what my hon. friends' conclusions may be if they are based upon a sound premise and are reasoned from that premise; but when the figures they accept are

The Budget-Mr. Stevens

wholly inaccurate, and the conclusions they arrive at are so wide of the mark, it is very difficult for us to give credence to their sincerity at times.

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

May I ask a question?

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

My hon. friend is a

dandy questioner, I notice.

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PRO

Thomas William Bird

Progressive

Mr. BIRD:

Does he attribute that inaccuracy to all the members of the Progressive party?

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I was on the point of saying, when I was interrupted, that I believe the great bulk of the hon. members of the Progressive party in this House have been wholly misled by just such literature as I brought before the House a moment ago and which was placed in their hands by men who knew better.

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

Is the hon. member not

aware that in the figures he has given, there is included a very large amount of agricultural products consumed on the farm, some of it fed to animals to produce beef and dairy products?

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Of course, anybody

would know that.

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IND

William Charles Good

Independent Progressive

Mr. GOOD:

If so, is not the hon. member's reasoning entirely erroneous?

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

It must be erroneous to my hon. friend; there is no other conclusion to be arrived at.

My hon. friends talk about taxation. I have in my hand the statement that was given some months ago to the press of the country. I am not going into details, but I want to say this in regard to it: The statement is frequently made-my hon. friend from Battle River (Mr. Spencer) made it-let us assess capital-why not take more from those who have it? Now, who are paying the taxes to-day? That is a question that ought to be asked and answered in this House. Let me say that I have never been, and am not now, interested in manufacturing or anything of that kind. Why everlastingly picture the manufacturer as some horned rascal who is seeking to take from his fellow-Cana-dians that which does not belong to him? That is the common picture drawn by almost every hon. gentleman who speaks. I have been all over Canada many times and into our cities and towns. I worked when I was a boy in the city of Peterborough, as you know, Mr. Speaker, for a firm that represents three generations. They built up their business by attending

to it, starting with a blacksmith shop and making plough-shares seventy years ago, until to-day they have a moderately large agricultural implement business. How? By working and toiling for seventy years and turning their profits back into the business. Now let me ask my hon. friends, is it wise, is it good economic policy when you see a firm making a profit above 7 per cent to take the excess for the state? Will the state make better use of that money than the individual who has it and puts it back into his business? Go over Ontario and Quebec, go over the older provinces of Canada, and you will find everywhere institutions that have been there for two, three or four generations -they are the very backbone of the industrial life of this country. Do my hon. friends know that the average number of employees in industrial concerns in Canada is only eighteen, and that in the United States the average is fifty? Why, these huge concerns are the exception, just an odd one here and there; the great bulk of the manufacturing industries of Canada are small institutions controlled by some of the best citizens in the country who serve Canada in a very excellent and a very admirable way. Let me give one illustration. In the year 1921, the last year for which we have records and figures, the rural population of Canada, according to the census, was 4,441,000. For villages, towns and cities the urban population was 4,347,000-just about a fifty-fifty break. Now let us take the business profits tax and the income tax. Who paid those taxes? My worthy friends the Agrarians paid $611,736, and the other classes, the urbans, paid $87,222,000. Now, my hon. friends will say, as one of them said last night, that the farmers do not have the income wherewith to pay income tax. True, but the point I am getting ait is simply this: Hon. gentlemen say "We are overtaxed; the people we represent are burdened with taxation." Well, I have given the figures as to one branch of taxation alone. My hon. friends do this: They take the customs revenue and divide it by the population of Canada, and then they say "We are paying so much per capita." My hon. friends are altogether erroneous in that. They must know, if they know anything at all, that the great manufacturing centres of Canada, and the great and the small industries of Canada, certainly pay a higher per capita share of the customs duties than the farmer or the person living in private life does. It is utterly

The Budget-Mr. Stevens

unfair and false to base your economic estimates on simply an average of a general tax collected.

Now let me turn from that feature of the subject. We had a most eloquent speech -I think perhaps the most eloquent of the session from many standpoints,-given in this debate by the hon. member for Springfield (Mr. Hoey), and I want to say I was delighted to hear him address the House in the eloquent wey in which he did. His diction was good, as was his assembly of arguments, and I have no complaint to make of those arguments except one. I will demonstrate what that is. My complaint against his arguments and his purpose is this: The remedy which he mentioned-and the only remedy I could find in reading his speech; I heard his speech as well as read it-was "the complete reversal," I quote his own words, "of the fiscal policy of Canada" and, he said, "increasing the purchasing power of the dollar."

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June 8, 1922