February 22, 1928

LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

I have heard him prophesy from the opposition benches, and I heard him prophesy from the government benches for a matter of a few hours. In both instances his prophecies were wrong so that I would not put too much dependence in any prophecy my hon. friend from Fort William may make concerning what will happen at the next general election. I am not going to indulge in prophecy further than to say it is a pretty safe bet that in all probability after the next election the Liberal party will

come back here with a larger following than they have now. That is as far as I will go in the matter of prophecy.

The chief critic for the opposition, the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan) whom I am sorry not to see in his seat at the present moment, made a speech here the other day that covered a very wide range. I do not know just why the leader of the opposition called on the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George to act in the capacity of chief financial critic. It is none of my business, and it does not concern me very much, but I thought that one reason, perhaps, was that he had an opportunity of exceeding the forty minute limit. At any rate the hon. member pursued a course in that speech which I do not think should go unchallenged in this house. He made what appeared to me to be an attack on the Canadian National Railways, and on Siij Henry Thornton, the general manager of the system. I do not hold any brief for Sir Henry Thornton; he is well able to take care of himself, but if there is one thing in Canada for which the people today should be grateful more than anything else it is the fact that Sir Henry Thornton and his able assistants have pulled the Canadian National railway out of the mire in which the Conservative party left it when they handed it over to the Liberal party.

My good friend the hon. member for Toronto Northwest (Mr. Church) made a speech here last night, and as far as I could follow him his chief grievance was against the tariff advisory board. I wish to say that in my humble opinion the tariff advisory board is functioning in a way which is for the benefit of the people -of Canada. It is doing good, efficient and faithful work, which perhaps will have a tendency to take this vexed question of the tariff out of politics.

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Not if the government keeps on this way.

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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson

Liberal

Mr. SANDERSON:

I am glad that I am drawing fire this afternoon from all quarters of the house. The tariff advisory board is doing a work that will be of benefit to incoming governments whether they happen to be Liberal or Conservative. The hon. member for Toronto Northwest spoke of the tariff advisory board as "a travelling minstrel show." He repeated the statement two or three times. He not only repeated it in this house last night, but he repeats it occasionally in the city of Toronto. I do not khink the advisory tariff board is a travelling minstrel show, but I do think

The Budget-Mr. McGibbon

this: if the government in Ottawa wanted to go into the minstrel show business 1 could recommend them a man from Toronto Northwest who would perhaps fill the bill pretty well and he need not blacken his face either.

I do not agree with my hon. friend the hon. member for Toronto Northwest when he calls the tariff advisory board a travelling minstrel show.

Now, Mr. Speaker, my time is almost up.

I want to say in conclusion, getting back to the budget and to the financial condition of Canada, that under the wise and able leadership of the present Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) the Liberal party

whether they remain in power four years, or eight years, or twelve years-will leave a record behind them of efficient, honest and economical administration that will redound to the credit of this Dominion.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PETER McGIBBON (Muskoka-On-tario):

Mr. Speaker, I really do not know

what the hon. member for South Perth would have done if the hon. member for Fort William had not supplied him with material for his speech. While the hon. gentleman was speaking I could not help recalling a phrase uttered by a former finance minister of Canada in this house upon one occasion when a similar question was raised, when he said, "I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel." When the hon. member made the statement that the Conservative party left the national railways in a mess, he was speaking without a knowledge of the facts. If the hon. member will read the history of the railways of this country he will find that the great Liberal party were responsible for the mess in which the national railways found themselves. I ask him if he remembers when the Liberal party guaranteed the bonds of the old Canadian Northern from Fort William east and when they built the National Transcontinental costing this country some $160,000,000. Those two incidents alone were responsible for creating our railway problem and both of them were attributable to the Liberal party.

As I have only forty minutes at my disposal I cannot spend too much time upon the speakers who have preceded me. This is the first time in my life that I have seen a Minister of Finance, in presenting his budget, take for himself and his government credit for all the blessings of Almighty God and the products of the labours of man. As I listened to him delivering his budget speech on Thursday last, I could not help thinking of the words of Cassius: "Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed that he is grown so great?" The picture that he painted is one that

no other man in Canada can see to-day.

I wondered at the time if he thought he was another John in the island of Patmos viewing a new heaven and a new earth, because the picture that he painted is not to be found in this country to-day. As he proceeded he took credit for his government for the bountiful crops which nature has provided and for the products of our mines and forests, and I wondered if he, like Joshua, could command the sun to stand still, the winds to blow and the rain to fall.

Then I thought of the great mass of the working people who have not a full dinner pail, of the farmers who have little left over after their year's work, of the march of that great army from Canada to the American republic, and I wondered what was the cause of those delusions and hallucinations in the minds of the government. With a courage worthy of a better cause and with a touch of tire dramatic instinct in him the Minister of Finance rose in the house and challenged anyone to say that Canadians were not returning home. I wondered then as I wonder now whether any member of this government or any member of the Liberal party, who talks about Canadians returning home, had ever gone beneath the surface and studied the reasons why a few people are returning across the border from the United States. I would ask them to remember what the hon. member for Fort William (Mr. Manion) said yesterday, namely, that the great bulk of the people coming back are not Canadians at all. I would ask them to investigate that great organization created three years ago in the United States and called the border patrol, an organization that has headquarters in Seattle, Spokane, Grand Forks, Buffalo, Detroit and Montreal, and I would ask him to view the workings and study the returns of that organization. If he does so he will find out that that organization last year kicked back, so to speak, into Canada some nineteen thousand men. Those are the men that are returning to this country. Those are the immigrants that this government is taking credit for.

A few weeks ago I placed on Hansard figures showing that, since this government came into power, more native-born Canadians had gone to the United States republic than the number of immigrants we had received from all quarters of the world. That statement has never been and cannot be disputed. The matter is more serious when it is realized that since 1924 none but a native-born Canadian can migrate to the United States. I ask the Minister of Immigration (Mr. Forke), who to-day is occupying one of the most important

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The Budget-Mr. McGibbon

portfolios in this cabinet: How is he going

to find work in this country for the British-born he is bringing in and to whom he is giving greater favours than Canadian-born citizens can secure? That is a question which he must answer. The Minister of Immigration is to-day sitting upon the government benches; he is drawing the salary and emoluments as a reward of his apostacy to the Progressive party. His policy and that of his party in the past has been one that has closed the factories of this country and to-day he finds that he is being crucified on a cross of his own construction. I ask him and I ask this house: How is he going to get work

here for the people he is bringing in from Great Britain? He cannot, except to a limited extent, place them on the farms, and pursuing, as he is and as this government is, a policy of closing down our factories, I ask them where they are going to place these men. The Minister of Immigration can expect and deserve no consideration from- us on this side of the house. The very policy that he and his party have advocated in this house, and that this government looks upon as its polar star of power, is the one which is making it difficult for people to get work in Canada today. I have however, many subjects to cover and I must not spend too much time on this.

I desire for a moment to speak about what this government has done for the labouring people of this country. Two years ago we saw them muddling up the automobile industry and as a result there are about five thousand -fewer jobs in Canada to-day than there were. A few years ago they did the same thing with agricultural implements and to-day we are importing $30,000,000 worth of agricultural implements from the United States. They did the same thing with the steel industry and to-day there are thousands and tens of thousands fewer jobs down in the maritime -provinces. But the government have not been content with their devastating influence in the past and they have once again put their knife into the great woollen industry, which should be one of our most flourishing industries. Coincidentally they have injured the farmer and the sheep growing industry. Why should there be only about 2,500,000 sheep in Canada while Australia, a similar country, has nearly 90,000,000? The reason is this, that ever since this government -came into power they have been knifing and putting the stiletto into that industry as well as other industries in Ontario, always being careful to protect their friends in Quebec and, in this present budget, taking pains to protect some of their friends in Ontario. I ask why the Prime Minister, the Minister of

Finance and the Minister of Justice should to-day pursue a different policy in connection with the woollen industry from the policy pursued in the regime of the late Sir Wilfrid Laurier. Those who know the history of this industry know that in 1900 Sir Wilfrid Laurier, through the British preference, reduced the protection from 33 per cent to 22 per cent. They know also the disastrous effect which that had on the woollen industry in this country, and in the following year the tariff was raised to 30 per cent, and that increase was supported by the present Prime Minister, the present Minister of Finance, and the present Minister of Justice. The tariff stood at that point all through the regime of Sir Wilfrid Laurier and up until 1922. When this government came into power, they reduced the rate to 27i per cent. Not content with that, although it closed mills and looms by the . hundred, in the year following this government took a further ten per cent off and reduced the tariff to 24.8 per cent. And now they come back and drive the stiletto into it again. They go at it in an underhand way, and possibly the woollen mills have given them some pretext for doing so because they have laid stress on the number of looms that are standing idle through the policy of this government. Now the looms, of course, have to do with the final product, and no doubt what is in the government's mind is that if they can start these looms they will be able to say that they have cured the ills of the woollen industry in this country. But, Mr. Speaker, I am told on good authority that every loom that starts up will give employment to only one girl, but behind that, it will put out of business some four or five who are doing the preparatory work. There we see again the baneful influence of this government, and how its policy is going to strangle the woollen industry and possibly drive more mills out of business. I ask you, Mr. Speaker, I ask any man of intelligence and common sense, why do we crucify our Canadian industries that are giving work to our own people? For the life of me I cannot understand it. I have studied the matter and I have studied the government, and the only conclusion I can come to is that it is done in order that this government may retain power. I say in all seriousness that the only hope for our people in this country is in one of two things-either that the American republic apply the quota system against Canada, or that this government be turned out of power.

I want to say just a word in reply to the Minister of Finance on the matter of taxa-

The Budget-Mr. McGibbon

tion. In bringing down his budget he boasted, as usual, of the reduction that had been made in the national debt. His followers on the back benches have since been getting up and repeating in a parrot-like way just what the minister said, in spite of the fact that the departments of the government itself furnish figures which belie the minister's statement.

I am not going to put them on Hansard, because they have already been put on a number of times. Suffice it to say that since this government came into power there is $62,000,000 more owed by the people of Canada. After I heard the minister boasting about the reduction in taxation that this government had made I took the trouble to figure it out and I found that when this government came into power we were paying $42 odd per head in taxation. In the few years this government has been in power that taxation has risen by over $4 per head; we are now paying over $46 per head. Compare that with what has been done in the American republic. After the war the American people found they had a national debt of $26,000,000,000, so they inaugurated a definite debt retirement scheme, and to-day their national debt is down to $16,975,000,000. They have reduced their taxation from $50 to $25 per head. [DOT]Compare that with what Canada has done. President Coolidge in his address to congress a few weeks ago stated that his government had taken $212,000,000 of the burden of taxation off the people every year since 1925, and that is reflected in their present taxation. We look in vain in this country to see any reflection in our taxation of the economy of which this government boasts.

Looking a little further into the question of what this government has done for the workingman, I took the trouble to look up the income tax returns, and let me say to my friends of the Progressive group that only 1.02 of the people of this country are paying income tax to-day. I also figured out what the reductions that the Minister of Finance is proposing in the income tax schedules will amount to, and I find that people with an income of $100,000 will get a reduction of over $2,000 per year. Compare what this government is doing for the rich man with what it is doing for the farmers of this country. The man with an income of $100,000 gets a reduction of over $2,000 per year, while so far as the farmer is concerned, his protection is indirectly taken off the wool that he grows. The three per cent sales tax is retained on the Shoes and clothes he and his family wear. The man with an income of $200,000 is given a reduction of $6,000 per annum, and the man

with an income of $300,000 gets a reduction of $9,000. In contrast with that, this government takes out of the pockets of the farmer, through the operation of the Australian treaty, from twelve to fourteen cents on every pound of butter that he makes.

But there is worse than that. While the government makes this enormous reduction in the income tax for the rich man, it places a tax of forty per cent upon some articles of food that everybody in this country uses.

I ask you, Mr. Speaker, is it any wonder we have bolshevists in this country when you have a government managing the people's affairs as this one is doing?

I want to pay a little attention now to another department of this government, to that still-born corpse that has been represented at the council table of this government for the last six or seven years; I refer to the Department of Health. With my good friend from Fort William I acted, so to speak, as the accoucheur at the birth of this institution. We spent days and nights trying to whip the thing into shape so that it might serve some useful purpose, and I remember coming out of the chamber one night after we had put up a strenuous argument for a department of scientific research, and having a cabinet minister say to me, "McGibbon, forget it; you will only be creating positions for friends of the government, which will be a great detriment to the country and to the party." I was young in parliament then, and considerable water has flowed under the bridge since. At that time I held cabinet ministers in a great deal of respect. I thought they were a kind of supermen, and that when they had spoken the judgment of the final court of appeal had been pronounced and there was nothing more to be said. But after ten years, after seeing how the mantle of power has made some little men great-I am not speaking in any personal sense, of course-after seeing how the livery of knighthood has turned men of mediocre standing into men of influence and power, I have changed my mind, and I bear witness in this house to-day to the fact that on that particular occasion the minister was right and I was wrong.

I have looked over the reports of the Department of Health for the last six or seven years, and the only thing I can say about them is that, in the words of the late member for Red Deer to me on one occasion, they are a catalogue. I cannot see one thing the department has ever done to justify its creation or its existence. I have a few things that I want to say to the minister, a few things that we have not been able to say about his de-

The Budget-Mr. McGibbon

partment for a number of years, because generally the estimates have not been brought down until the dying hours of the session, when they have been slipped through with nobody present to scrutinize them. I hope there will be some way in which we can get at the department before the session comes to an end.

I know of no department of government that offers such great possibilities of service to this country as the Department of Health, if properly manned and properly organized. But it has been sterile, it has done nothing that will justify its existence or the expenditures voted on its account. I ask you, Sir, I ask the country, what has the department done to curb the tremendous illicit traffic in narcotics that is destroying tens of thousands of the best men and women of the Dominion. Why, Sir, the department has done nothing; it has been impotent. I hope the Minister of Health will bring down his estimates so that they may be scrutinized in the light of day,-

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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I shall be glad to.

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CON

Peter McGibbon

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McGIBBON:

-and thus let this house know something about him and his department. At the time of the organization of the department, Sir, we pressed for a department of scientific research, and it was promised to us. What has been done to redeem that promise? True, the Department of Health undertook a few routine duties, made a few good positions and increased the salaries, but as a scientific organization the body of men assigned to that work have done nothing; the organization has been futile, it has been dead. I should like to see somebody put some life into those dead bones and make the organization as useful to this country as undoubtedly it could be made.

Now, Mr. Speaker, there are a few things in that connection to which I want to refer. Particularly do I want to refer to one subject that has never been taken up in this house to my knowledge-the enormous economic loss to Canada through premature death and preventable illness and unemployment. I do not think the country has ever grasped the enormous economic loss that is suffered year by year, and to the Minister of Health I would point out this as one of the avenues where he can make himself and his department useful to the nation. I have some figures here. They are taken from a report by Professor Winslow and others of the university of Yale after investigations of conditions in the United States, but I have applied them to Canada in relation to our population. These figures disclose, as applied to this country, that 42 per cent of the deaths are of external origin, and consequently preventable. Cutting that in two and taking the figure of 20 per cent, and [Mr- McGibbon.]

putting the value of life per year at $2,500, which is not excessive, we find that annually this country is losing from premature deaths no less than $47,000,000. Those premature deaths could be postponed-at least for a time. Then I come to decreased efficiency due to minor and major ailments. We find that advanced impairment of health affects from 10 to 24 per cent of our people, and minor impairment of health from 18 to 40 per cent. Taking 20 per cent as the average, estimating the working days in relation to our population at 3,510,000, and putting the average earning power at $750 per year, with 20 per cent inefficient to the extent of 25 per cent, we find that the loss to this country from that cause alone is another $63,000,000 odd. Then taking into consideration the loss of wages based on the same schedule, and again dividing the percentage by two, we find that 10,500,000 days are lost in this country every year. At three dollars a day, which is not an excessive estimate, this country loses annually in wages $31,500,000. If we add the cost of nursing, food, medicine and medical care, and so forth, we find that the Dominion is losing yearly through inefficiency, impairment of health and premature death nearly $250,000,000. I give those figures to the house and to the country. As I have said, they are not mine; they come from Yale university; but I have checked them up and applied them to Canada. I present them to the Minister of Health to show him where there is an avenue of usefulness and economic value to this country for him and his department. With a population of eight or nine millions we cannot afford to have a preventable economic loss every year of a quarter of a billion dollars. I would remind the house that I have figured out only the preventable part of this loss. This is the problem that I submit as worthy the attention of the Minister of Health and his department.

I see my time is about up, Mr. Speaker. I make one last appeal to this government. I make it on behalf of the sixty thousand soldiers who are dead in France; I make it on behalf of the forty-six thousand pensioners in this country; I make it on behalf of the mothers and fathers of Canada whose families have been broken up and their sons and daughters compelled to make a living in the United States. I say to the government, with all the vast natural resources of this country to be developed, bring down a policy to have this work done in Canada to keep our people at home. I say to the government, and particularly to the Minister of Immigration, that that is the biggest problem, that until the policy of the administration provides work to keep our people here, he can bring in

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The Budget-Mr. Fan-sher (Lambton)

immigrants from the end of the earth, but m another ten years he will be no further ahead than he is to-day in regard to population. I make that appeal on behalf of the people of Canada. Let it not be said of the government as it was said of the Shulamite maiden. They made me keeper of my father's vineyard, but our own vineyard have we not kept.

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PRO

Burt Wendell Fansher

Progressive

Mr. B. W. FANSHER (East Lambton):

Mr. Speaker, I feel that some words of commendation are due the hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb), for the character of the budget that he has presented to the house. A statement that shows a balance on the right side, a surplus of receipts over expenditures, is always a pleasant one to hear. As the Minister of Finance announced, he is able this year to reduce the public debt some $38,000,000. But while a measure of credit is to be accorded the Minister of Finance, I think a word of congratulation is also due the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Euler). It will be observed, from an examination of the finanical statement, that during the fiscal year ended March 31, 1926, the revenue was, in round numbers, $382,000,000, while in the year ended March 31, 1927 it was $400,000,000, roughly, an increase in revenue collections of some $18,000,000. As I say, words of commendation must be given to the efficient manner in which the Minister of National Revenue has administered his department. I must not stop there, however, in my commendation of those who have contributed to the satisfactory state of our revenues: I must congratulate the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens), who made it possible for the Customs department to be checked up and to be administered as it is at the present time. I believe this country owes a debt of gratitude, which it will never be able to pay, to that hon. gentleman.

As I said before, the increase in revenue is $18,000,000. The expenditures for the financial year ended March 31, 1926 were $335,000,000, and they were practically the same for the year ended March 31, 1927. That is an additional proof that whatever surplus is shown in the financial statement which is submitted to us is due to the increased collection in revenues, because the expenditures were practically the same in the two years.

While I am bound to compliment the Minister of Finance on his financial statement thus far, I am not in sympathy with him as regards the proportion in which the various taxes are levied. Prior to the war our revenue was derived practically from two sources, customs tariff and excise duties. During the war new taxes were levied; new forms and systems of taxation were inaugurated; the income tax was adopted as were also the sales tax and the stamp tax. This became necessary in order to meet the interest on borrowed money on war account and for the re-establishment of returned soldiers, as well as to provide funds for pensions. I have always been of the opinion-and I am not alone in this regard, because the statement has been made before in the house- that there should have been devised and presented to this house a system of war accounting, a statement showing the exact amount of revenues provided by war taxes. Alongside that, we should have a statement setting out precisely the extent of our war expenditures. Only in one year, I believe, did we have from the Minister of Finance a statement of that sort, and that was during the hectic session of 1926. And that statement reveals that in the year ended March 31, 1925, there was collected $147,000,000 on war account, while in the same year there was expended, also on war account, $167,000,000, leaving a deficit of some $20,000,000. For the succeeding years we have no account of the expenditures. We have had, however, an account in each succeeding budget of the a.mount of revenue provided by these war taxes, and I have tried to figure out as best I can what has been expended on war account. I find that in the year 1926 $157,000, 000 was collected and $164,000,000 expended, leaving a deficit of $7,000,000; while in the year 1927 $156,000,000 was collected and $164,000,000 expended, or a deficit of $8,000,000. For the year 1928, as estimated in the budget, the revenues from war taxes will be $146,000,000, while the expenditure on war account will be $164,000,000, leaving again a deficit of $18,000,000. All told, in these four years, war taxes have failed, by the sum of $53,000,000, to provide enough money to pay expenditures on war account.

It is my firm conviction that war taxes should year by year provide for war expenditures and that the details should be set out in the financial statement. There are two reasons for this: this is a special account and should be treated separately; and, further, it is well for the country to realize as the years go by what war, so far as Canada is concerned, costs our taxpayers. Following this line of argument a step further, I wish to give to the house a statement showing the amount of debt reductions accomplished in the last five years. In the year 1924 the national debt was reduced $35,993,593.86; in 1925, $345,589.29; in 1926, $27,706,586; and in 1927, $41,896,729.33. So far as 1928 is concerned,

702 COMMONS

The Budget-Mr. Fanshcr (Lambton)

it i9 estimated that the debt will be reduced $38,815,000. So that the total in these five years will have amounted to $144,700,000. The point I wish to make is that during past years we have failed to provide enough money through war taxes to pay war expenditures; we have fallen short by about $53,000,000, and yet our debt is purely a war debt. In five years we have paid off about $144,700,000, but that has not been provided by war taxes. It has been provided by the older forms of taxation, the customs and excise taxes. I was sorry to hear the hon. member for South Perth (Mr. Sanderson) say that as far as he was concerned he was prepared to see the income tax gradually eliminated together with the sales tax. I hope those sentiments are not held by many hon. members opposite. If this were done we would be placed under the necessity of meeting our war debt from finances collected entirely from customs and excise taxes, and this is where I take exception to this budget. As I have already indicated, we have not raised enough money by war taxes to provide for war expenditures, yet year by year we are proceeding to reduce the income tax. You will note that in the budget speech of the Minister of Finance this year he says:

it is proposed that the Dominion shall continue gradually to lighten the load in the income tax field.

From that we cannot take any other meaning than that the government intends to proceed year by year to reduce the income tax, and I wish to say that I am unalterably opposed to such procedure.

When I first entered this house in 1921, I subscribed to certain principles known at that time as the Farmers' platform. Among other things that platform called for an immediate and substantial all round reduction in the customs tariff; a reduction in customs duty on goods imported from Great Britain to one-half the rates charged under the general tariff; for all foodstuffs, agricultural implements', farm and household machinery, vehicles, fertilizers, coal, lumber, cement, gasoline, illuminating fuel, and lubricating oils to be placed on the free list and for all raw materials and machinery used in their manufacture also to be placed on the free list; for an effort to be made to secure unrestricted reciprocal trade in natural products with the United States along the lines of the reciprocity agreement of 1911. I believe those principles are sound to-day, and I want to assure this house that I still adhere to them.

As many hon. members know, that platform was adopted in 1918; one year later a somewhat similar platform was adopted by the

Liberal party in convention assembled in Ottawa. Perhaps there was a reason for that similarity at the time. I wish to read the part of that platform which deals with the tariff:

That the best interests of Canada demand that substantial reductions of the burdens of customs taxation be made, with a view to the accomplishing of two purposes of the highest importance; first, diminishing the high cost of living which presses so severely on the masses of the people, second, reducing the cost of the instruments of production in the industries based on the natural resources of the Dominion, the vigorous development of which is essential to the progress and prosperity of our country.

That to these ends, wheat, wheat flour all products of wheat; the principal articles of rood, farm implements, and machinery farm tractors, mining, flour and saw-mill machinery and repair parts thereof, roughly and partly dressed lumber, gasoline, illuminating, lubricating and fuel oils, nets, net twines, fishermen's equipments, cements and fertilizers should be free from customs duties as well as the raw material entering into the same.

That a revision downward of the tariff should be made whereby substantial reductions should be effected in the duties on wearing apparel and footwear, and on other articles of general consumption other than luxuries, as well as the raw material entering into the manufacture of the same.

And listen to this.

That the British preference be increased to 50 per cent of the general tariff.

That is the Liberal platform as adopted in 1919.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Is that information

to you?

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PRO

Burt Wendell Fansher

Progressive

Mr. FANSHER (East Lambton):

I am sure the hon. member likes to hear that platform read and re-read. I believe in the tariff principles laid down in that platform; I could not believe in the former if I did not believe in the latter, but now I ask what progress has been made in implementing that platform since 1919? It is true that in some years small reductions have been made. I well remember the budget which was brought down in 1922; there were practically no reductions, and the Progressives on this side of the house voted against it. That year the majority in favour of the budget was sixteen. The next year the budget was again brought down with practically no tariff reductions; the Progressives again voted against it, and the majority of the government was only eight. The third year of that parliament the budget was brought down embodying substantial reductions on farm machinery and other lines and that budget received the support of the Progressives.

The Budget-Mr. Fansher (Lambton)

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

Had the

government a majority in the house that year?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PRO

Burt Wendell Fansher

Progressive

Mr. FANSHER (East Lambton):

They

had an overwhelming majority; the Progressives supported the budget.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB-PRO

Robert Forke (Minister of Immigration and Colonization)

Liberal Progressive

Mr. FORKE:

Half of the Progressives

Boots and shoes other than rubber

Imports for the year ending

March 31, 1927

Amount of duty collected (less

sales tax)

Percentage of duty [DOT] [DOT]

Manufactured in Canada in the

year 1926

Exported [DOT] [DOT] [DOT]

Balance for home consumption..

voted against it.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

No.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PRO

Burt Wendell Fansher

Progressive

Mr. FANSHER (East Lambton):

For the

information of my hon. friend I will tell him that I voted for that budget, as he may possibly remember. The final budget of that parliament contained practically no tariff reductions. Then came the election, and the Liberal party did not have a clear majority in the house. What was the result? We had the most genuine reductions in the tariff that have ever been made in the history of this country. It seems to me that extraordinary conditions must prevail before we can get a tariff reduction in any substantial form. Of course in the election that followed, and in the campaign which preceded it, the budget played a large part.

Before I proceed further into that line of argument, I wish to take up just a few items that are enumerated in the Liberal platform. You will notice that it calls for a revision of the tariff downward in the matter of footwear. Cement and fertilizer are also enumerated in the list of articles to be free from customs duties. Fertilizer was the last one mentioned, and cement was the next one to it. As far as I am able to learn the last mentioned article in the list, fertilizer, is the only one which has been placed on the free list. Now I wish to suggest to the government and to the Liberal party that proceeding upwards from the bottom of this list they take the next article cement and place it on the free list on their next budget. I will give some arguments to show why I think that should be done, and I will place upon Hansard a few figures with respect to certain industries. I will take first the boot and shoe industry. This is one of the industries enjoying a high protective tariff, and we were promised in the Liberal platform that the customs duty should be reduced. Yet during all the intervening years since the Liberals were returned to power this particular tariff item has remained practically untouched. I applied to the Bureau of Statistics in Ottawa for a few figures showing the imports of boots and shoes, the duty collected thereon, and the value of the output manufactured in Canada, and I am going to give them to the house:

It is obvious that when $100 worth of goods is imported the sum of $24.05 is collected in duty. Therefore every $100 worth of goods manufactured in Canada for home consumption means that an amount of $24.05 is provided in protection to that industry. We only have to base our calculations on the amount manufactured in Canada to find that there is a protection of $11,011,312.70 provided for the boot and shoe industry.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Is my hon. friend taking the British preferential rate or the general tariff?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PRO

Burt Wendell Fansher

Progressive

Mr. FANSHER (East Lambton):

I wish

to inform the hon. Minister of Justice that I am not quoting the rates under either of these tariffs. I am taking the actual importations, and the duty collected thereon, and getting my percentage in that way.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

But the rate is not 25 per cent under the British preference

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PRO

Burt Wendell Fansher

Progressive

Mr. FANSHER (East Lambton):

What I am taking is the average percentage of duty. I will read the figures again for the benefit of the hon. minister. The amount of duty collected on all boots and shoes, whether they came in under the British preference or the general tariff, is $640,299.81. That amount is collected on imports to the value of $2,662,754. It is a simple matter of computation to get the percentage of 24.05.

Now we turn to rubber footwear and I have the following figures:

Imports for 1927 [DOT] [DOT]

Duty collected (less sales tax)..

Percentage of duty

Manufactured in Canada

Exported

Consumption in Canada

1 116,264 00

29,016 08 24.97 24,541,324 00 6,569,885 00 17,971,439 00

By the same process of reasoning we find that when $100 worth of rubber footwear is imported $24.97 is collected in duty. So that in the case of every $100 worth of goods manufactured in Canada a protection of $24.97 was afforded and the total protection granted to that industry was $4,474,888.06. The other day the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm), in the course of a speech, gave some statistics showing the importance of the rubber industry of this

The Budget-Mr. Fansher (Lambton)

country, and said that it held fourth place among our industries. In view of the figures that I have given I do not wonder at it.

In the case of the cement industry I wish to place on record the following figures: Imports for year ended March 31,

,, I 77,886 00

Duty collected 5,018 00

Percentage of duty 16.20

Manufactured in Canada

13,013,283 00Exported

358,231 00Home consumption

12,655,052 00

By the same process of reasoning protection in the sum of 82,050,118.42 was provided for the cement industry. For all three industries the total duty collected was $674,333.89, and for the same industries the total amount provided in the form of protection was $17,536,319.18, a ratio of 1 to 26. Which means that for every dollar that goes to the treasury $26 is provided for the manufacturers in question. Is it any wonder that we are opposed to this budget, to a reduction in the income tax, and to the maintenance of the customs tariff at the level where it has been for years past? It is my belief that facts such as I have cited here, viewed in relation to the advantage which accrues to the various industries, has a great deal to do with what is known as our emigration problem in this country. If our system of taaxtion were such as to give to the primarv producer larger earnings than he now makes, he would not be so eager to seek other fields.

I have a few words to say upon the position of the government as regards this budget. During the campaign of 1926 an appeal was made to the public on the Robb budget which to my mind was really a Progressive budget, what the Progressive party had been advocating for years. The Conservative party on the other hand warned the country that if the Robb budget came into effect or if the King government was returned, this would mean the ruination of the country. Fair warning was given by the Conservative party. The Liberal party appealed as the low tariff party and they said: Why divide the low tariff element?

They were returned to power and this is the second budget that has been brought down. After being pledged, in their platform and in the election, to a low tariff, they selected an advisory tariff board to assist them in better fulfilling their policy of low tariff. One budget has come down with no tariff reductions. A second budget is now down which is nothing more or less than a reclassification of the textile schedules, and which amounts to scarcely anything beyond a few classifications. The great majority of the benefits go to the large industries and the consumers get but little.

As I say, the government appealed to the country saying: Why divide the low tariff

element? But in this budget they have simply tinkered up the old tariff wall, taking off a stone here and replacing it somewhere else, and taking one from there and putting it in the place of the one they took away. They have given the old tariff wall a coat of whitewash and they have still kept the old barbed wire entanglement known as the dumping clause on top of the tariff wall. I thought when I came to this house that the hon. member for Weyburn (Mr. Young), was intent, with the aid of the Consumers League, upon removing that barbed wire entanglement; but somehow or another somebody advised him that if he attempted it, he might get his hands torn and he has not as yet proceeded in that direction.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

They stole his wire nippers.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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February 22, 1928