March 5, 1928

PRIVATE BILLS

FIRST READINGS


Bill No. 56, An Act respecting the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada-Sir Eugene Fiset. Bill No. 57, An Act respecting The Edmonton, Dunvegan and British Columbia Railway Company.-Mr. Kennedy.


INDUSTRIAL AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

LIB

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

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Justice) moved:

That the name of Mr. Chevrier be substituted for that of Mr. Laflamme on the committee on industrial and international relations.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
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Motion agreed to.



Memorandum prepared by Monsieur P. De Vuyst, director-general of the Department of Agriculture in Belgium, for the Belgium committee of propaganda in favour of the International Agriculture Institute of Rome, Italy. -Mr. Speaker.


DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL REVENUE


auditor's report on reorganization


CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of the Opposition) :

Might I inquire if the government will be good enough to have printed the report of the auditors, Messrs. Clarkson, Gordon and Dilworth, with respect to the customs inquiry?

Privilege-Mr. Pouliot

It is rather an important document, its preparation involved an expenditure of some $50,000 or more, and hon. members find it difficult to comprehend it without having copies before them. In the light of the legislation about to be introduced and the estimates, we should like to have copies of the report available, and I trust the government will make the necessary arrangements to have it printed at an early date.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL REVENUE
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LIB

William Daum Euler (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Hon. W. D. EULER (Minister of National Revenue):

The report is voluminous, but

there is no objection whatever to printing it.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL REVENUE
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PRIVILEGE-MR. POULIOT

LIB

Jean-François Pouliot

Liberal

Mr. JEAN FRANCOIS POULIOT:

Mr. Speaker, I rise to a question of privilege. Last night I listened with great interest to the speech of my hon. friend from North Huron (Mr. Spotton) in the course of which he said:

My hon. friend from Temiscouata said that while in his riding the people are equally as prosperous as hon. members opposite would have us believe is the case in the country generally the boys in his riding went to the United States to make money so that they could come back and pay off the mortgage on the old man's house.

One might conclude that what the hon. member refers to happened last week. Well, I may be allowed to inform the house that those boys went to the States while the Tories were in power, and they came back under the present regime.

Topic:   PRIVILEGE-MR. POULIOT
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HUDSON STRAITS AERIAL SURVEY

MISSING AVIATORS

LIB

Albert Frederick Totzke

Liberal

Mr. A. F. TOTZKE (Humboldt):

Mr. Speaker, in the absence of the hon. Minister of Marine and' Fisheries (Mr. Cardin) may I ask the hon. Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning) if word has been received of the missing aviators who have been engaged in an aerial survey of ice conditions in the Hudson straits?

Hon. CHARLES A. DUNNING (Minister of Railways and, Canals): The Minister of Marine 'and Fisheries advised1 me this mom-ing that the missing aviators had been found and are now safely back at their base ait Port Burwell.

Topic:   HUDSON STRAITS AERIAL SURVEY
Subtopic:   MISSING AVIATORS
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THE BUDGET

DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE


The house resumed from Thursday, March 1, consideration of the motion of Hon. J. A. Robb (Minister of Finance), that Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair for the house to go into committee of ways and means, the pro- posed amendment thereto of Mr. Cahan and the amendment to the amendment of Mr. Fansher (East Lambton).


UFA

Donald MacBeth Kennedy

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. D. M. KENNEDY (Peace River):

Mr. Speaker, the budget proposals of the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb) relatng to taxation have not so far met with a great deal of favour from any quarter of this house. The Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm) stated last Tuesday that he was glad to be able to congratulate his colleague on the statement of Canada's business which he had presented for the past year. But apart from such general remarks, there has not been very much favourable comment from either side of the house, especially from hon. members to your right, sir, with regard to the taxation proposals of the budget. In his reference to his colleague's statement of Canada's business, the hon. Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Malcolm) asked:

What percentage of this credit is due to the self-reliance and industry of our people, what percentage to the acts of a benign Providence, and what to the actions of the government seems, however, to be a matter for debate.

Without seeking to fix the percentage of credit, Mr. Speaker, I would say that Providence has been generous to us during the last three years; our people have been very industrious; and I think we will have to admit that the Minister of Finance is a careful administrator. _ _

Now, as far as my time will allow, I wish to deal with the taxation proposals contained in the budget. We have four main sources of taxation revenue: Customs, excise, sales

tax and income tax, and it is as the budget proposals affect the taxation levied that I am particularly interested. I have not heard much comment so far in this debate, especially from the government side, on these taxation proposals. We have discussed many things which in my judgment are not directly related to the budget or connected with budgeting, but there seems to be a tendency to avoid any reference to the actual changes in taxation as proposed. As one of the members of this group I have been very much interested in some of the kindly criticism that has been levelled against us in this corner and against our amendment. I was very much interested in the speech made by the hon. member for South Huron (Mr. McMillan). He stated that he had a hard job to understand just why we were sitting on this side of the house, and he came to the conclusion, after reading our amendment, that there was no reason at all why we should sit on this side and that even he himself

The Budget-Mr. Kennedy

had stronger reasons for differing with the government than those set forth in our amendment.

The hon. member for Provencher (Mr. Beaubien) delivered a remarkable speech. He said in his closing words:

I intend to vote for honest and practical legislation-for the budget.

But what was his analysis of that budget which led him to that sublime conclusion? First:

The tariff resolutions which the Minister of Finance has presented to the house are confusing. I do not believe that all the lawyers in Philadelphia could understand them, and I am not going to discuss them because they are too confusing. I would point out, however, that there seems to be a joker in the proposals submitted by the Minister of Finance, and that joker is in the changing of the numbers of the schedule. Let me cite just one example in order to make my point clear.

Then he cites items 526 and 575. He goes on:

In the new schedules which the minister has brought down that is changed to item No. 545, and in changing the item they have inserted the words, ' for use exclusively in the manufacture of",-

He asks that the words: "For use exclusively in the manufacture of," be struck out.

So that the general public of Canada will get the same advantages as the manufacturers when it comes to importing material. He objects to the reduction in the income tax:

The reduction in the income tax, I am frank to say, does not please me.

These are his references to the direct proposals of the budget. Then he goes on to discuss the amendments. He says that some of us over here are anxious to rock the boat as it is safe. I would remind him that some of us rocked the boat when it was not safe, and if the matter is urgent enough and important enough we are prepared to do it again. The only reference which the hon. member for Provencher makes to the proposals of the budget he makes in condemnation of or in opposition to them. But he sums up his remarks by stating that he is prepared to vote "for honest, practical legislation-for the budget." I would point out that the hon. gentleman is the only member of the group known as Liberal-Progressives in this house who has so far spoken on this budget. I should like to know whether we are to take his attitude on the budget as representing that of the Liberal-Progressives. I am interested in this because I have a great deal of respect for the Liberal-Progressives and I should be glad to hear more of them tell the house what they actually think of

these budget proposals before the division is called on the amendments and on the budget itself. We are not infallible. We have been criticizing the budget and we are anxious to hear from some of those gentlemen, who have very much the same point of view as ourselves with regard to matters of taxation, as to the ground on which they will justify voting for the budget and against our amendment.

We heard also from -the Minister of Railways (Mr. Dunning). That hon. gentleman in his speech on Wednesday did not come any nearer discussing the actual taxation proposals or the change in them than to refer to the income tax and to the increase in the British preference. On the latter point he had this to say:

As to the criticism which has been uttered with respect to the intimation by the Minister of Finance that in future it was proposed to ask that all goods coming in, taking advantage of the British preference, should have a 50 per cent British or empire content, I desire to say just this: the Minister of Finance gave that intimation in no sense intending thereby to limit the British preference in the slightest degree.

Whatever the Minister of Finance's intention may have been, the change is bound to limit the goods that will come in, when we increase the rate from 25 to 50 per cent. It is just as sure as if you raised the standard of wheat. You will have less of that grade than if the standard were lower. I cannot understand why the Minister of Railways should have pursued that line of reasoning. Of course he took .a slap at the group system. This has nothing at all to do with the budget as a matter of fact, but as regards the statement made by the Minister of Railways on the floor of this house and in some parts of the country as well, if we are to believe the newspaper reports, that we in this comer of the house wanted and did attempt to bludgeon the government, I have this to say: If our efforts can be properly described as bludgeoning-I do not think they can be, but if so-then I declare, and I invite anyone to challenge the assertion, that the only attempt we have made in this house in that direction have been attempts to keep the Liberal (party true to the pledges which they made to the people of this Dominion. If bludgeoning is justified at all it is justified in a case of that kind. The minister said the other night that the hon. member for Southeast Grey had called that method democracy. Well, a betrayal of promises such as we have witnessed for a number of years in this country by the Liberal party is certainly something that is not in the best in-

The Budget-Mr. Kennedy

terests of democracy; and if we who have claimed to believe in the same principles that have been thus repudiated did not take every opportunity to keep the Liberal party true to its promises, we should also be untrue to democracy and to the people who sent us here.

I am not going to quote this time the Liberal or the Progressive platforms. When I was a youth I was once taken out to some evangelistic meetings in the north of Scotland and I remember an old evangelist stating there were some parts of Scotland he did not like to visit because the people were gospel-hardened. I wondered whether it is worth while quoting these, platforms any more. Are the people across the floor gospel-hardened so far as these promises are concerned? I hope that is not so.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   DEBATE ON ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF MINISTER OF FINANCE
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March 5, 1928