June 4, 1931

CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

I should not wish the

hon. gentleman bo remain under a misapprehension; I do not want him to think that I am violating any of the rules. The fact is that a motion of want of confidence in the government has been moved by the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth, and I, as a minister of the crown, am entitled to reply at length bo that motion.

Now to continue. There are, I say, two principles which any government or country should take into account when considering the question of income tax. One is the principle of revenue and the other is equity of baxation. Now. a tax that drives capital out of the country is on the face of it a bad tax.

I think we ought seriously to study this phase of the situation. If a tax is so onerous as to drive capital out of the country, it is certainly a bad tax for the country. My second point is this: that a sound tax must result in revenue to the country; otherwise, it is not desirable. What has happened? This is what has happened during recent years. The income tax, scaled up higher and higher, had a tendency to force those with higher incomes

The Budget-Mr. Stevens

to take a portion of their capital out of the country and invest it elsewhere, so that their earmings in Canada would be subject to a lower rate of income tax. Now who will say that anyone paying 25 cents of every dollar of htis income is not paying a fair tax to the country? If we fix it at a maximum of 25 per cent there will be a tendency to draw that capital back to Canada and the exchequer will receive a larger return. As I have pointed out already, in addition there is the increase of 25 per cent in the corporation tax and we get a larger revenue from that source.

I do not think the right hon. the leader of the opposition will deny that other finance ministers-I think this would apply to the late Mr. Robb, and also to Mr. Dunning who was the finance minister in the last session of the last parliament-recognized the equity of this. I think they recognized the unfairness of dual taxation, that is, taking eight or ten per cent in the way of a corporation tax and then taxing those who hold large portions of the stock of such corporation and receive dividends thereon. I think the principle was recognized as being unsound, inequitable, unfair, and what is more, likely to drive capital out of the country and to discourage investment. As we have indicated, this adjustment in the income tax will fall more lightly on the lower rates, to the extent of over 100,000 of those who are at present paying income tax. It will fall more heavily upon the rich owners of corporations but it will be stabilized to a point which will invite the return of capital to Canada.

We heard figures this afternoon in connection with the textile industry. My hon. friend quoted from the Labour Gazette, which publication prepares its figures from those supplied by the bureau of statistics. The bureau compiles its figures from information received from a certain number of firms to whom it writes and from whom it receives monthly reports. I desire to show to the house the effect of the tariff imposition of 1930, and I believe the information I will give to be instructive and enlightening. There are 67 establishments reporting, and 50 of these mainly produce goods which were protected by t'he September, 1930, tariff. These 50 establishments presented reports, not to us but to the secretary of the Canadian Woollen and Knit Goods Manufacturers' Association, Mr. Hallam, and from these reports he has compiled the information which I will present to the house. The average number of employees, not including salaried

employees, in 1930 was 5,516; in 1931, 6,798, an increase of 1,272 or 23 per cent.

The hours of labour for a four week period in 1930 were 843,878; in 1931, 1,136,130, an increase of 292,252 or 34.6 per cent.

The pay roll for a four week period in 1930 amounted to $332,273; in 1931, $420,643, an increase of $88,370 or 26.7 per cent.

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LIB

Vincent Dupuis

Liberal

Mr. DUPUIS:

Can the minister give a specific date for that four week period?

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

For the four weeks ending March 14. The capital expenditure from September, 1930, to March 14, 1931, amounted to $761,605.

This analysis or compilation prepared from information received from 50 woollen mills of Canada shows the effect of the tariff of 1930. In other words, it indicates to this house that in so far as the woollen industry of Canada is concerned we have had an increase in the number of employees of 23 per cent, an increase in the hours of labour for a four week period of 34.6 per cent, and an increase in the pay roll for a four week period of 26.7 per cent.

The hon. gentleman has presented to the house an amendment to the motion to go into committee of ways and means, and I shall refer to this amendment very briefly. My hon. friend deplores that there is nothing in the budget referring to unemployment. I would submit to him and to hon. gentlemen opposite that this is scarcely the time, just in the spring of the year, for us to be making proposals to the house to deal with unemployment which may be anticipated next autumn. For the good of the country at large, would it be wise to do that? However, I say to this house .that the government is thoroughly alive to the situation, is bending every effort to meet it and in good time will make its proposals known to the house.

My hon. friend referred to the income tax. but I have just dealt with that. He says that the fiscal measures proposed will intensify the stagnation of trade. I have referred to the woollen industry and have shown what has been done with wheat exports. It is true that we have not been able to control world prices, but we do not pretend to. We have found a larger market this year for Canadian wheat than that of last year; that is clear.

In regard to the export of metals, in the case of zinc we have made a marked increase, and in other cases the decrease has not been very heavy, nothing comparable with what might be expected.

The Budget-Mr. Stevens

In connection with exports generally one can safely say that the falling off is due more to the drop in prices than to the drop in quantity of export. The economists of the world agree that we have pretty well touched bottom in connection with the fall in the price of commodities. We cannot be dogmatic in this statement; I know there are some who think there may be a still further drop, but in connection with wheat I do not think that it is likely. From researches which I have made-I have not been able to complete them as yet but I hope to in a few days-in connection with wheat, which is of such supreme importance to Canada, the indications are that the price will stiffen somewhat during this fall. I could not want ro bo too definite in that regard, but the indications reasonably point in that direction. In any case, the general opinion is that we have pretty well touched bottom in the matter of the reduction in commodity prices, and we can look with hope to the future. Canada having maintained to a larger measure its quantity of export will reap more benefit as the years go by, as prices reassert themselves and as conditions become more stabilized.

The proposals suggested by my hon. friend are quite harmless, so much so that I really am surprised that the great Liberal party should take the trouble to propose them in the way they have. I do not think anyone will be very much alarmed at the suggestion of my hon. friends opposite that nothing is being done to relieve unemployment; the Liberal party was not very anxious about it a year ago. We have taken definite, practical steps to deal with it. We dealt with it in September, 1930, and we shall certainly deal with it to the best of our ability in the months to come.

Their next proposal is:

To restore to a condition of parity the relation between the purchasing powers of all classes.

I shall leave that to the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Woodsworth). It is a good bone upon which he can gnaw.

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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

For the life of me 1 do not know what it means.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

It was my hon. friend's

skill in defining what might be meant by this that prompted me to suggest that he should tackle it. I agree with him. I do not know what it means, and I do not think the mover of the amendment knows what it means. I imagine the leader of the opposition, who is a master of platitudes, will, when he comes to speak, be able to tell us what it is about.

[Mr- Stevens.]

The next is:

To bring about more equitable distribution of the burdens of taxation.

That is so old and hoary' that no one needs to be worried a particle about it. Economists, politicians, statesmen, workers and every other class of people on earth have argued and battered about that idea for as long as I can remember. I think my earliest experience as a public speaker was in debating with some socialists in British Columbia just such topics. It is a good thing to play with when you have nothing else to do, but I notice that the nine years my hon. friends opposite held office did not suffice to solve that question and to distribute the burden.

Next:

To encourage the expansion of the external trade of the country.

We are all with hon. members opposite on that. We are doing it; we did it-and I am going to refer again to agriculture; it is worth while-to the extent of 234,000,000 bushels as against 155,000,000 bushels, so we are not afraid of that.

Lastly, they want:

To restore to parliament its full authority over tariff and taxation.

My right hon. friend opposite during all the years he was in office, in respect to any knotty question which bothered the government, would say: Well, this is a question which we

shall leave to the house. Always he referred it to the house. Never, when it was a question that called for a little courage to face, would he himself decide it. In this regard the suggestion was made that they were referring to the powers taken by the government last September to fix prices on goods. The point in that legislation is this: Canada has been

faced with the grossest type of dumping from the United States during the last five or six years. One of the things we have done in this budget is to bar from now on used cars coming from that country, and we did well; there is no question about that. In that great republic they are almost daily taking scow loads of used motor cars out of such great cities as San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, and so on, and dumping them in the ocean in order to get them out of the way for the sale of new cars. But what they could bring from Detroit, Seattle and other border cities and dump on our market for next to nothing they did. We propose they shall do it no more, and if it is necessary to introduce such legislation as I have mentioned in order to prevent such dumping, we are going to introduce it and we are going to use it after it is put through.

The Budget-Mr. Heaps

Another form of dumping was one which my hon. friends opposite found one of the most perplexing. There was a question of the dumping of furniture. My hon. friend the former Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Euler) will recall it. It was the most unfair kind of competition Canadian workmen could be confronted with-southern United States cheap labour, a certain amount of cheap supplies, furniture constructed there to a standard pattern, sold to a population of 120,000,000 people all over the United States, and the excess, by keeping their mills running day and night, dumped into Canada at next to nothing, so that it was almost an impossibility to find out what the fair market value was in the country to the south of us. It was necessary for us, as it was necessary for the preceeding government, to take steps to protect Canadian workmen and factories against that type of competition. All we have asked is that parliament give to the government power to meet these emergencies and contingencies as they arise, and we have no intention of using it unwisely or unfairly.

My hon. friend referred to potatoes. I thought at the moment the point was pretty small potatoes for a great lawyer like him to use. True enough, in dealing with these early fruits and vegetables which have been a problem for this country for years, there may occasionally be a slip made where the price is fixed a week or two before it ought to be fixed. There might be occasions of that kind, but the house is invited to look at the matter in this light: this is a great industry in Canada, that of the garden vegetable grower and the fruit producer, and we are faced with sudden, unexpected, and very cheap production from Texas, Florida and the southern states. We have a right and we feel it is our duty to protect the Canadian producer against that unfair competition. For that purpose we ask this: We do not ask this authority in order to take from parliament the right to control the tariff, but we ask that the government be clothed with such powers as will enable them to act and not shield themselves behind a statute which gives them no special powers. We rather resent the suggestion that we have taken or usurped from parliament the control of the tariff. Parliament has control. Look at these schedules. My hon. friend says that there is no use going over them, because parliament has not control. When he said that it occurred to me that he was convinced in his heart the schedules were so fair that he could not find anything to criticize in them.

We therefore ask the house to give to the Prime Minister of this country, who presented his budget so ably last Monday, a mandate to enable the government, to face the perplexities, the troubles, the economic difficulties of the time, and to help us in bringing Canada out of this depression along, we hope, with other countries, into a period of prosperity.

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. A. A. HEAPS (North Winnipeg):

Mr. Speaker, my first word will be one of congratulation to the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Stevens) who has just resumed his seat. I am extremely glad to see him back in the house and taking part in our deliberations with his old, accustomed vigour. During the course of his address he made one remark to which I wish to refer. Between the hon. gentleman and myself there is one thing in common: neither of us happens to belong to the legal profession. When he criticized the former Minister of National Defence (Mr. Ralston) who spoke this afternoon, he referred to him as a lawyer making a good argument. I should like him to bear in mind that when the former Minister of National Defence was making his speech this afternoon, it was a case of one lawyer answering another able lawyer in the house. Consequently, I think my hon. friend ought to have at least that much consideration for the argument of the former Minister of National Defence.

After listening to the remarks which the Minister of Trade and Commerce has just made, I have become convinced that since my hon. friend has crossed the floor of the house he has become a very good Liberal.

I am satisfied that since the Liberal party have crossed the floor of the house they are doing exactly the same as the Conservative party did in opposition a year ago. That is about the difference I find at the moment between the two parties. I would dearly have liked if the present leader of the government (Mr. Bennett) could be in opposition just for a, few hours to answer the speech which he made on Monday. I think he could have made a wonderful speech; in fact, I think he could have even eclipsed the speech made this afternoon by the hon. member for Shel-burne-Yarmouth. _

Listening to the speech of the Prime Minister on Monday last, it occurred to me that he dealt a great deal with the past, partly with the present, and very little with the future. I am naturally interested in the past -it is a great thing to be acquainted with the historic happenings of years gone by- but I do .think that the people of this country

pose, if enunciated by myself would be called bolshevistic, but coming from the leader of one of the old parties it was regarded as statesmanlike. But whether it be statesmanlike, high finance, or bolshevistic, I think it would be a very good thing indeed to exercise the unquestioned authority which the Prime Minister declares we have and adopt his suggestion, and so make a huge saving to the people of this country, a saving which would enable the government to establish a sinking fund to pay off part of the national debt.

Reference was made this afternoon to the proposal to aid our farmers by giving them a 5 per cent rebate on their freight rates. As far as I am able to judge it will be an extremely difficult task for the government to carry out this scheme. May I for a moment have the attention of the Minister of Trade and Commerce to a suggestion which I think the government might consider favourably? I presume the purpose of the proposal is to assist the farmer in the present unfortunate circumstances in which he happens to find himself. If such is the case, and there is going to be considerable doubt and hardship in the working out of a proposal of this character, I think it would be far better for the government to give to the farmers a 4 cent bonus for every bushel of wheat that is delivered to the elevator. By that method the farmer will get just as much as he would get by receiving a 5 cent rebate on every bushel of wheat sold for export, and there would not be the difficulties to contend with in the application of the rebate. The moment the farmer delivered his wheat to the elevator he could probably get a statement as to the amount of wheat delivered, and then he would be entitled to a bonus accordingly. I think the farmer would prefer that system to having to wait possibly twelve months to ascertain what portion of his wheat was exported and what portion was consumed in Canada. If any assistance is to be given to the farmers I would prefer it to be given in that simple way rather than under the complicated scheme contained in the budget.

The Prime Minister dealt with our obligations, our assets, and our liabilities. And goodness knows our liabilities are very, very heavy. But throughout the whole of his speech-and the same remark applies to that of the Minister of Trade and Commerce this evening-there was not a word of reference made to what I consider is our greatest asset. It is quite true our wheat is an asset, it is quite true that our banks are an asset, possibly some would say, in a limited sense. It is quite true that our buildings, our factories

and our transportation systems are all assets, but to my way of thinking the greatest asset in Canada is the Canadian people. When we deal with the question of obligations and liabilities, we should remember that' it takes in something more than merely dollars and cents. In listening to the speech this evening of the Minister of Trade and Commerce and to the budget speech of the right hon. Prime Minister I did not hear one word as to the well-being of the great masses of the people in Canada.

What are the proposals of the government to meet the present situation? To the farmer they offer a bonus of 5 cents per bushel on export wheat. To the manufacturer there is an increased tariff. That appears to me very much like trying to lift ourselves by our own boo-t straps.

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LIB

Edward James Young

Liberal

Mr. YOUNG:

Hear, hear.

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

For once I am glad to have the hon. member for Weylbum agree wit/h me. I notice that the manufacturers of this country are very well pleased with the contents of the budget; they seem to think it is a very good budget. I remember the speeches made in this house by the right bon. Prime Minister, when he spoke of Canada becoming a self-contained dominion. I find in the paper to-day that at a meeting of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association held in Victoria the same idea was enunciated. One of the headlines of the article contains these words, referring to the budget delivered in this house a few days ago:

Proposal is seen to make Canada selfsupporting.

A little further on the article states:

They (the manufacturers) realize that Mr. Bennett's policy is definitely aimed at making Canada a self-supporting country as far as that is possible.

I wish to say, Mr. Speaker, that if the effort of this government or of the manufacturers is to make of this country a self-supporting unit economically, it means the economic stagnation of western Canada. If they attempt to make of this country a self-supporting country it means practically the economic ruination of the three prairie provinces.

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UFA

William Irvine

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. IRVINE:

Why?

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

For the very obvious reason that we cannot use all the wheat produced by the farmers of the west. If four-fifths or more of our wheat is exported and only one-fifth used by the people of Canada, to make Canada a self-contained unit would mean that

The Budget-Mr. Heaps

four-fifths of the wheat would not find a market. I have listened very attentively not only to this budget debate but to many other budget debates in this house and I have found in those debates the thought which is referred to in this despatch concerning the Canadian Manufacturers' Association, which goes on to say:

Increased consumption of Canadian made goods can only result in greater employment of Canadian workers and reduction of existing unemployment.

It appears to me that every time the tariff is raised and something is done for the benefit of the manufacturers, it is generally stated that the real reason for doing it is to help the workingman. If all the legislation passed by this parliament and the provincial legislatures were for the benefit 'of the workers I think they would be living in a paradise at the present time. But what do we really find? With all this beneficial legislation; with all these increased tariffs year after year, the position of the worker to-day is relatively worse than it has been during the last twenty-five years in Canada. I do not care how the figures read which were submitted to-day by the Minister of Trade and Commerce; nobody can gainsay the fact that there is more unemployment to-day than we have ever known at this time of the year.

However, we pass this high tariff legislation in the hope, as it is claimed, of providing more work for the workingman. Mr. Speaker, while the workingman to-day is looking for a job, we will not solve the problem of unemployment by providing a few more factories here and there. It cannot be done in that way. The fact is that to a very large extent we are not suffering from lack of productive capacity but from the fact that we have too much production and are unable, for various reasons, to utilize the commodities which we produce. It is not only that the unemployed cannot get access to the machinery of production; they are denied also the right of access to the means of consumption, and today we have this paradox: People are in want and misery and poverty on the one hand and on the other hand we have too much wealth, which these very same people are not allowed to consume. I have personal knowledge of cases Where, rather than permit people to consume what has been produced in over-abundance, the goods have been allowed to go to rot and waste.

The working people of this country looked forward to the budget. Hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers who perhaps do not know where their next meal is coming from have been awaiting this budget in the hope that it might afford them some relief in their present unfortunate situation. But what do we find? The budget contains something for the manufacturer; it contains something- for the millionaire, but there is nothing for the workingman. This has been termed a rich man's budget, but I would term it a millionaire's and manufacturer's budget. Reference was made by the previous speaker in a very perfunctory way, to the question of unemployment. There is no question, Mr. Speaker, which interests me and my constituents more than this same question. I do not think it is any excuse for the Minister of Trade and Commerce to say that in good time the policy of the government will be made known. It may be that it will not be to the credit of Canada to say that in the month of June we have a vast unemployment problem to face, but this government have claimed on more than one occasion that they are known for their courageous actions. Why are they not as courageous in dealing with the unemployment problem as they are in dealing with the tariff?

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UFA

Edward Joseph Garland

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. GARLAND (Bow River):

They did not hesitate to discuss it last year at this time.

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I told my hon. friend at the outset that since the Conservatives changed seats they have become good Liberals, and that is exactly what is happening. Here we have this unemployment problem, but when early in the month of March I asked the Prime Minister a very simple question, what the government intended to do then in order to deal with the problem of unemployment I think his reply was something to this effect: "The attitude of the government will be manifest by its actions." So far it has been manifest by its inaction, and I think the time has come for action. Our municipalities are not in a position to cope with the situation. In many cases their funds have become exhausted, and to-day many people do not know Where the next meal is coming from. In that respect we should have had some intimation in the budget speech or in the speech delivered this evening by the Minister of Trade and Commerce as to what the intention of the government is with regard to this all important question. I claim that at the present moment there is no question of such paramount importance to the vast majority of the people of Canada as the ques-

The Budget-Mr. Heaps

tion of unemployment. Yet there is not a word about it in the budget which the Prime Minister brought down or in the speech which we have heard to-night from the Minister of Trade and Commerce. Before the election unemployment was an important issue: so important did it become in this house and in the country a year ago that it was thought desirable to call a special session of parliament in September last to deal with the situation. Now it is not of sufficient importance even to be mentioned in the budget. We must bear in mind that when the unemployment issue became a live question in this house and in the country at large hon. gentlemen opposite as a party accepted the challenge, declaring that if returned to power they would deal with the matter. But not only did they say that they would deal with it; they went further and said that they would end unemployment or perish in the attempt. I know, of course, that ten months is not a long time, especially when it comes to putting an end to unemployment. But I venture to say that if the government is in power for the next ten years, with their present policies, they will never solve the unemployment problem. But they accepted the challenge and declared that they would end unemployment.

Now, Mr. Speaker, the mere voting of ten or fifteen or twenty millions by way of a dole is not something that will satisfy me. I hate to accept a vote of $20,000,000 in the form of a dole, to be handed out to the workers of this country as a means of securing food and clothing and shelter.

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CON

Henry Herbert Stevens (Minister of Trade and Commerce)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. STEVENS:

Surely my hon. friend is not fair in that statement, because the larger portion of that amount was used, together with other contributions up to the sum of $69,000,000, in providing useful employment, which constituted the major part of the relief.

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I wish I had the same time at my disposal as the Minister of Trade and Commerce had when making his speech. Let me tell him what in part that useful work consisted of. In the city of Winnipeg there was a certain piece of work started to assist the unemployed, the digging of a trench. Had that work been done by a trench machine it would have cost approximately $150,009; but it was done by hand with a view to giving the unemployed a chance to go out in 20 below zero weather to earn a meal ticket. And that hand labour on that piece of work was estimated to cost about $1,000000 as against, an estimate approximately of $150,000 by machinery. That is the kind of work that was done. I admit that in a sense it is useful work, but in another sense it is absolutely useless to ask a man to

go out in extreme cold to dig trenches two days a week, working eight hours a day, on a piece of work which could be done by machinery at one-sixth of the cost. I should prefer to see that work done for $150,090 and the rest of the $1,000,000 spent to better purpose.

This past winter about 350,000 people received relief through the money voted by parliament. But almost as many as those who received work received direct relief in the form of groceries and so forth. If almost $4,000,000 was spent in groceries and $16,000,000 for the purpose of providing work, that proportion will indicate the number of persons who received direct relief. Now the fact is that under the present economic structure we cannot provide work for everyone who wants it. That is the first fact for us to recognize; and I do not care if the tariff is as high as Haman's gallows, you will not be able to provide work through that means for all the men and women who need it. As a matter of fact, since the tariff went into force last year, the textile industry, to my knowledge-and what I say is borne out by communications I have under my hand-has engaged in the wholesale slashing of wages and in the speeding-up process whereby men and women have been compelled to look after more looms than they did formerly. They have gone on reduced time since, then, and some of the new factories which opened as a result of the new tariff schedule of September last are themselves amongst the worst offenders in cutting down the wages of the men and women they employ. Yet to-day we are saying to some of the major industries, "We will give you more protection". For whom is this protection intended? For the persons employed in industry, or for the manufacturers and owners? I am safe in saying that every time or almost every time we put on a tariff it represents so much more protection for the manufacturer, without giving anything in return to those employed in industry. I remember the fights put up by the Conservative members, particularly those from the maritime provinces, when the Duncan commission was taking evidence; and when increased tariffs or subsidies were being demanded, it was represented that these demands were being made in the interests of those who were employed in the coal mining and steel industries of Nova Scotia. What has happened? Will anyone inform me to-night how much the workers in those industries have benefited as a result of the. increased protection and the added subsidies we have given those industries in the maritime provinces? Why, during the past few days we of the Labour group have re-

The Budget-Mr. Lacroix

ceived telegrams, letters and communications galore which we could put on Hansard if we so desired, showing the deplorable conditions prevailing in the maritime provinces. These communications tell of starvation and of the desperate situation that exists amongst the workers in those provinces. Yet we are told now that, in order to assist the maritimes, we are going to give further protection to the steel and coal industries.

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?

An hon. MEMBER:

What suggestion has the hon. gentleman to make to relieve the situation?

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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I have not the time to go into the matter now; my allotted time has expired. But it seems to me that we ought to insist that hon. gentlemen opposite should first of all admit that their remedies have utterly failed to meet the situation. Until we have that admission from them, and so long as they continue to cherish the belief that high protection is a cure for unemployment, we must insist upon first getting rid of that erroneous idea. When they admit that their ideas are wrong, then we shall get up and say what we believe is the remedy for the situation.

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LIB

Édouard Lacroix

Liberal

Mr. EDOUARD LACROIX (Beauoe) (Translation):

Mr. Speaker, on Monday last,

the right hon. Minister of Finance (Mr. Bennett) brought down the budget for the past. fiscal year, as well as the government's proposed expenditures for the coming year.

In this budget the Minister of Finance admits a deficit of more than $75,000,000 for the past year, but seems to place the responsibility for such a deficit upon the Liberal administration. At the same time he forecasted another deficit for the coming year, notwithstanding bis intention of levying further taxes to an amount of $78,000,000. I wonder if the right hon. minister believes the people of this country will take him seriously, whether he really thinks that the people ascribe to others than himself the present deficit? To what means will he resort in order to place the responsibility of future deficits upon other administrations than his own? I shall take this opportunity, in the short time allotted to me. of expressing my views on the present budget. It is the budget of a man who personally must be immensely wealthy and seeks thereby to protect only the privileged class, namely, those who are rich, forgetting entirely that the majority of the people of this country, not to say 99 per cent, is made up of workers who can barely provide for their families. The present budget may be termed a precious document for -the 22110-X4S

multimillionaires, but a very poor specimen for the most numerous class of the people. In my opinion, the Canadian multimillionaire has no end of protection in this budget. As evidence of this statement let us scrutinize some of the items.

From the Canadian financier's viewpoint, the advantages of the present budget are as follows:

First, take the reductions made in the income tax which, under the Liberal regime, bore heavily on the multimillionaire. There are in Canada about 605 citizens who pay an income tax on a revenue of more than $50,000 per year, 350 pay an income tax on a revenue of more than $100,000, and what is more interesting, there is also a group of about 25 citizens who are taxed on a revenue of $1,000,000 or more, yearly. The latter have been specially favoured, as my statement will show.

Under the Liberal administration, those whose revenue exceeded $1,000,000 per year had to pay $382,928. Under the present budget of high protection they pay only $246,125 per year, that is a decrease of $116,803, which benefits each of these multimillionaires, in other words the country will be deprived of at least $3,000,000 which the people will have to be taxed for instead of our multimillionaires.

The other day the hon. member for Ber-thier-Maskinonge (Mr. Barrette) stated that he was proud of seeing this country governed by a Prime Minister who is worth $20,000,000, instead of a Liberal leader who is not worth five cents, yet the man on the street has a right to point out that the right hon. Prime Minister, according to this hon. member, would come under the group that had to pay a large income tax under the former administration, while he specially benefits under the present reduction.

What are we to think of the legislation enacted by the right hon. Prime Minister who, in September last, gave unbounded protection to oil companies of this country to the detriment of the Canadian consumer? What does the consumer pay owing to the tariff increase on imported gasoline and oils? I state that it is the most unjust tax which could be levied on Canadians.

In 1929 we produced in the oil refineries of Canada 436,260,614 gallons of gasoline. We imported the same year 175,151,570 gallons; we also exported, during the same year 4,669.078 gallons; that is, in 1929, we consumed 607,103,006 gallons of gasoline.

By unduly favouring this industry which already enjoyed sufficient protection, the

The Budget-Mr. Lacroix

gasoline consumer is forced to pay li cents more than in 1929. The duty being based on the United States gallon, it means ^ of a cent more per gallon or on the whole 1^ cents more which the Canadian consumer is called upon to pay. The Canadian people therefore must pay $10,927,855 per year more than in 1929, which is a gift made to the oil companies by the consumers.

We are told that the price of gasoline has not gone up owing to the tariff increase.' This is but a subtle argument to make the people believe that they are not paying any dearer when a higher tax is put on gasoline. Is it not a fact that in the United States gasoline is purchased at present ait the lowest price quoted since 1918? Such legislation reflects unfavourably upon the administration of the right hon. Prime Minister who wishes to protect a company in which he was a director in 1927, an immensely wealthy corporation whose headquarters are in the United States, the Standard Oil company of New York, the Imperial Oil Company being a Canadian branch. That, I suppose, is the motto of the right hon. Minister of Finance who is also the Prime Minister of Canada: "Canada for the Canadians."

One wishes to have the people believe that this budget looks after the interests of the farming class. I doubt whether the farmers of my county are so credulous. I refer to the rebate on freight of 5 cents per bushel on all wheat exports. If one really wishes to help the Canadian people, why not grant this rebate for both wheat and flour consumed in this country? Is the Canadian consumer not entitled to pay for his flour less or at least the same price that it is sold in England and in foreign countries, when we export our wheat to those countries? Are people aware that 5 cents per bushel of wheat means 12 cents per hundredweight of flour? Was the calculation ever made that with this rebate in force flour would sell dearer in Canada than in England? Will the western farmer really benefit by it? I have my doubts. I think that the exporter will be the only one to benefit by this rebate which will cost the country between $19,000,000 and $20,000,000 per year, basing my calculations on the average exports of the last five years. The following are the figures to be found on pages 640 and 641 of a book bearing the title "The Trade of Canada," issue of 1930: In the year 1926 we exported 418,094,401 bushels of wheat; in 1927, 394,423,836 bushels; in 1928, 391,695.566

bushels; in 1929, 476,186,733 bushels; in 1930, 232,763,740 bushels. The total amount in five years is 1,913,164,276 bushels or an average of 382,632.855 bushels per year. If you multiply

these figures by 5 cents per bushel, you will find that the tax levied on Canadians in order to help the western farmer, amounts to $19,131,642.76 per year.

Now, sir, if the western farmer is to benefit by this rebate, it necessarily follows that in order to raise these 19 or 20 million dollars, the whole country must contribute? If the right hon. Minister of Finance has thought if proper to burden his budget with these 19 or 20 million dollars per year in order to pay this rebate, why can he not do as much for the farmers of eastern Canada? The farmers of Ontario or Quebec are not in a better position than those of the west. They are entitled to their share of the pledges made by the Prime Minister and his lieutenants throughout the various provinces during the election of 1930.

I must claim for the farmer of my district and province, as a whole, a rebate equal to that granted to the farmers of the west, which would be equivalent to a contribution of 2i cents for each pound of butter exported and of li cents for each pound of cheese that may be exported in the future. For the same reason, I claim for the farmers, the settler who exports pulpwood to the U.S. a rebate of i of the value of that pulpwood, namely $1.00 per cord which is equivalent to the rebate granted to the western farmer. If means are found to grant 5 cents per bushel to the western farmer, which is equivalent to i of the value of wheat per bushel, because when the freight rates, elevator charges and agents' commission are deducted, western wheat, at present, is worth but 40 cents a bushel on the farm. Therefore, I state that 5 cents is equivalent to of the wheat price, and I must claim for the farmers of my district and province,-those farmers that my hon. friends on the government side represent in this house-I claim as I said, i of the value of their products. They are equally entitled to this rebate, as I shall further prove.

I wonder how my hon. friends from Quebec will justify their stand on the budget when, during the 1930 election, on all the platforms of their respective counties they made the following pledges-which have not been forgotten: 1-The pledge that butter would sell at 50 cents per pound.

2- The immediate relief of unemployment and fixing a minimum wage for labour at $3 per day.

3- The immediate discontinuance of all financial assistance to the western provinces so as to first protect the interests of Quebec and Ontario.

The Budget-Mr. Lacroix

4- The pledge to do away with all objections to Canadians entering the U.S., during the winter months.

5- The pledge to immediately cut down all taxes which are a burden to farmers.

6- An immediate additional grant by the dominion government to old age pensions.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

Would the hon. member allow me to ask him a question?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Édouard Lacroix

Liberal

Mr. LACROIX:

The hon. minister will

have ample time to speak next month.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

Could the hon. member inform us who made the pledges he has just mentioned?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL
Sub-subtopic:   FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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June 4, 1931