June 3, 1935

CON

Donald Matheson Sutherland (Minister of Pensions and National Health)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SUTHERLAND:

Yes, I intend to ask permission to have this report printed.

Lulu Island Erosion-Mr. Reid

Topic:   HIS MAJESTY THE KING
Subtopic:   REPLY TO LOYAL ADDRESS OF THE SENATE AND ' THE HOUSE OF COMMONS
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LTJLU ISLAND EROSION-STATEMENT OF MR. REID ON MOTION OF PRIME MINISTER


Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister) moved that the house go into committee of supply.


LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. THOMAS REID (New Westminster):

Mr. Speaker, before you leave the chair I should like to air a grievance. Some time ago I appealed to the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Stewart) in connection with a matter which affects many farmers on Lulu island. I have received several telegrams stating that there is grave danger of flooding of their lands and I desire to draw this serious matter to the attention of the government. There is perhaps such a thing as natural erosion of lands which might be termed an act of God, but the erosion to which I now refer, involving some 5,000 acres of cultivated land and over 100 families, has been caused by the action of the Department of Public Works in closing up in 1926 and 1927 certain channels of the Fraser river, thereby throwing the current of the river against the bank of Lulu island. I know that the Minister of Public Works says it is not possible for the department to assume full responsibility in this matter, and I quite realize that no government can be held responsible for all erosion which may take place to river banks, provided of course they are natural. But the matter I am putting before the house is one where the Department of Public Works has interfered with the course of the stream, closing up one channel and so throwing the Fraser river over against the dyke lands in the municipality of Richmond. I claim that responsibility does rest with the dominion government and they should come to the rescue of these farmers. The danger is so serious that if the dyke breaks through not only will over five thousand acres of land under crop be destroyed but the whole dyking system of that district will also be completely ruined. I am again appealing to the minister and to the house to come to the assistance and rescue of the farmers and settlers in that district.

Topic:   LTJLU ISLAND EROSION-STATEMENT OF MR. REID ON MOTION OF PRIME MINISTER
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CON

Hugh Alexander Stewart (Minister of Public Works)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. H. A. STEWART (Minister of Public W'orks):

The hon. member has from time to time corresponded with the Department of Public Works regarding this matter and we have received telegrams from New Westminster and those interested in the situation he has described. Careful consideration has been given to these representations and the

facts, as I recall them from the file, are these. These dykes were built many years ago, and long before the Public Works department made any construction or in any way undertook to control and direct the flow of the Fraser river. They were constructed by the municipalities interested, operating through a dyke commission with, I believe, powers of local assessment against the land's benefit and possibly with provincial assistance. The matter has been referred to the engineering department and they assure me that nothing that has been done by the Department of Public Works in the Fraser river has in any way contributed to the erosion that is now taking place. The responsibility appears to be provincial and municipal, and the Public Works department, while sympathetic. interested and anxious to discharge all obligations that can possibly rest upon the dominion government, feel nevertheless that they are in no way responsible for conditions as they now prevail. This house can well understand that the dominion government cannot undertake to protect private property against erosion, and the only obligation that does rest upon the dominion government is where any works have been undertaken that have been the cause of or that may have contributed to the erosion; and our engineers are very positive that nothing that has been done by the dominion government has in any way aggravated the situation or contributed to the conditions that now exist. Under these circumstances I submit to my hon. friend and to this house that the matter is one for provincial and municipal action and not for action by this government.

Topic:   LTJLU ISLAND EROSION-STATEMENT OF MR. REID ON MOTION OF PRIME MINISTER
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DUTIES ON FISHERMEN'S SUPPLIES AND REPAIR PARTS FOR IMPLEMENTS-STATEMENT OF MR. BROWN

LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. J. L. BROWN (Lisgar):

I might take this opportunity of bringing to the attention of the government certain complaints that have come to me. I had hoped that either the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Matthews) or the Minister of Finance (Mr. Rhodes) would be present when I took this matter up, but since we hope that we are approching the end of the session, and as a fitting opportunity might not arise again, I will discuss it now. The question has reference to certain rulings of the Department of National Revenue in regard to the collection of duties. One complaint comes from Prince Rupert, and it seems to be that the Department of National Revenue is imposing a dumping duty upon certain fishermen's sup-

3228 COMMONS

Fishermen's Supplies-Mr. Brown

plies which under the Customs Act are supposed to come in free. It would seem to be a violation of the intent of the law that a dumping duty should be imposed upon these fishermen's goods which are coming in free.

Topic:   DUTIES ON FISHERMEN'S SUPPLIES AND REPAIR PARTS FOR IMPLEMENTS-STATEMENT OF MR. BROWN
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

What does that refer to- to the goods that came from Japan?

Topic:   DUTIES ON FISHERMEN'S SUPPLIES AND REPAIR PARTS FOR IMPLEMENTS-STATEMENT OF MR. BROWN
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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

The particular complaint is, I think, with respect to goods coming from Norway, judging from the tenor of the letter. They are certain ropes, nets and fishermen's supplies.

Topic:   DUTIES ON FISHERMEN'S SUPPLIES AND REPAIR PARTS FOR IMPLEMENTS-STATEMENT OF MR. BROWN
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Those are from Japan.

Topic:   DUTIES ON FISHERMEN'S SUPPLIES AND REPAIR PARTS FOR IMPLEMENTS-STATEMENT OF MR. BROWN
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LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

Another complaint is in regard to repair parts for implements. It will be recalled that some time ago we had a complaint against the Department of National Revenue with respect to the way in which repair parts were being taxed. We did secure from the minister the insertion in the Customs Act of a schedule fixing the duties on repair parts for implements at the same percentage as had formerly been levied before the tariff was revised in 1930. Under item 409q, Nos. (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv), the duties on repair parts are 10, 71, 6, 15, 171 per cent. These were the duties that prevailed not only on repair parts but on the implements themselves before the duty was raised to 25 per cent in the fall of 1930. There is one other implement, however, regarding which it seems that the Department of Customs has given a different ruling, and that is under section 409 -farm tractor parts for repairs. I am given to understand that the department has ruled that these repair parts are subject to various rates of duty. It will be remembered that farm tractors to the value of 81,400 come in free, and under the ruling of bulletin 3383, file 128273, one would expect that the repairs for tractors would also come in free. But according to the statement made these repair parts have been taxed as follows: bolts, nuts, washers, rivets, 25 per cent and 75 cents per hundred; lock washers, 35 per cent; screws, copper or brass, n.o.p., 35 and 30 per cent; tractor gaskets, 20 per cent; cork gaskets, 32 per cent; asbestos, 25 per cent; paper, 35 per cent.

There seems to have been some confusion as to what constitutes a repair part. I do not see why there should have been any misunderstanding on that point. A repair part might be even a bolt or it might be connected with some other part but in either case the article would constitute a complete repair part. File No. 128273, dated November 12, 1927, reads:

Declares that any article which constitutes a part of a part providing it requires no further fabrication and is not adapted for any other use is entitled to entry as a complete part.

I would like the responsible minister to look into this matter and see that these repair parts are admitted under the terms that seem to have been the clear intent as set forth in the law and that the departmental officials will not be allowed to override the clear intent of the law and impose higher duties on these parts.

Topic:   DUTIES ON FISHERMEN'S SUPPLIES AND REPAIR PARTS FOR IMPLEMENTS-STATEMENT OF MR. BROWN
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Prime Minister) :

The very clear statement of the difficulties that the hon. gentleman has in mind will enable the responsible minister to make an adequate reply when the house is again moved into committee of supply. In order that the hon. gentleman's rights may be preserved, whatever may be the case, if an opportunity is desired he may go forward with any amendment he may wish to make or deal with the matter as he pleases when the responsible minister is present. I will bring it to the attention of that minister at once.

Motion agreed to and the house went into committee of supply, Mr. Morand in the chair.

Topic:   DUTIES ON FISHERMEN'S SUPPLIES AND REPAIR PARTS FOR IMPLEMENTS-STATEMENT OF MR. BROWN
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DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR


Annuities Act, $85,000.


LIB

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Is there under consideration any change in annuity rates or the maximum annuity which may be obtained by one person?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. W. A. GORDON (Minister of Labour):

It will be recalled that the maximum annuity was reduced from 85,000 to 81,200 a year or two ago. It is an arguable question whether it was sound ever to have raised it from the original amount to 85,000. However, that was done. The maximum is now 81,200; the rate is four per cent, and I am inclined to the view that the course of wisdom would be to keep the maximum at $1,200 with the present rate of four per cent. The success that has been attained by the government in the sale of annuities in the last year is very remarkable. I do not say this in any way commending the government or our department for their activities, but when you find that people of modest means have subscribed during the last fiscal year more than 813250,000 to annuities that will take care of them in their old age, the plan of government annuities as at present conceived and carried on cannot be too highly commended.

In my judgment there should be no change in the .plan of annuities, although I know government annuities are sold to applicants in a measure cheaper than are annuities sold by a private company. That has been the subject of debate ever since the Annuities Act was introduced in 1908; reasons and very sound ones were given at that time and have been reiterated since, but the idea of the Annuities Act was to present to those who wanted to take care of themselves in their old age something perhaps a little easier to maintain through governmental assistance by way of taking care of administrative charges than what was made available by private corporations for those who are perhaps inspired to buy annuities away and beyond that class of people to which annuities were presented in the first instance.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

I take it from the minister's statement that there is not under consideration any idea of reducing the basis of interest yield on annuities or reducing the interest basis on which annuities are sold below four per cent?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

The question of reducing the interest yield 'has been the subject of very careful consideration, and at the present time the government has not in mind reducing it.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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LIB

James Layton Ralston

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Or increasing the price of annuities, basing that price on a lower interest yield?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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CON

Wesley Ashton Gordon (Minister of Immigration and Colonization; Minister of Labour; Minister of Mines)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GORDON:

It would be difficult indeed to forecast what the future may have in store for us, and I would not like to commit the government or any succeeding administration, if I could, to any hard and fast rule. The question of these annuities must very greatly depend upon the cost of money, the cost of annuities and all the factors that enter into the infinite complexities of insurance against old age. But at the present time the matter cannot be stated other than .that the government does not intend to make any changes.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF LABOUR
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June 3, 1935