Yes, but somebody will have to make some observations to get the bill before the house. With respect to Bill No. 98 I am just advised that there is an effort to propose some amendments to that bill that we could not possibly accept as it would be a negation of all the effort we have made, but I cannot speak definitely until I see them.
The house in committee of supply, Mr. Smith (Cumberland) in the chair.
To pay to the estate of the late General Sir Arthur William Currie, G.C.M.G.. K.C.B.,
LL.D., in recognition of the eminent services rendered to his country by the deceased general during the great war, $50,000.
I wonder if I might revert to the item making a grant to the estate of the late Sir Arthur Currie as I was not present when the item was discussed before, and I asked that it stand.
I should like to make it clear that the delay in bringing in this vote was quite anticipated by w'hat was said by the hon. member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Mackenzie) the other evening. It is a vote as we lawyers say, nunc pro tunc, a vote as if given to him in his lifetime, and is therefore payable to his estate, but it was not paid to the estate until such time as the estate was wound up. The complete estate consists of something around $11,000, and this grant is being made as though it were being made to Sir Arthur Currie in his lifetime so far as that is possible.
It is that which I desired to make clear to the committee. I would not otherwise have mentioned it at all. The estate has been wound up and after the payment of all claims there is a small surplus of about $11,000, so no part of this sum will become assessable for any claims of any character against the estate. That is my advice, and I also received a copy of the disposition of the winding up of the estate under the laws of Quebec.
Mr. Chairman, I wish to give the following information to the committee. The total cost of the price spreads committee while it was a committee was $196,783.51, and while it was a royal commission $217,889.15, making a grand total of $414,672.66. There may be some accounts for printing which have not yet come in and not included in this amount. These figures are given by the comptroller of the treasury.
that detailed up to a certain date. Up to March, Clarkson, Gordon, Dilworth, Guilfoyle and Nash had been paid $27,238.21, and there was an account for $5,994.52 outstanding; P. A. Nightingale had been paid $1,655, and expenses of $136.41, or a total of $1,791.41; Fred Page Higgins, $23,520.65, and expenses $2,011.39, or a total of $25,532.04; Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Company, $6,235, and expenses $1,583.80, or a total of $7,818.80, and there was an account for $1,908.40 outstanding. That is all the information I have with respect to the auditors.
When this committee on July 3 was considering this item the Minister of Trade and Commerce was asked how much money had been collected from tax evaders as a result of the price spreads investigation. He said that he did not know exactly, that he had heard only rumours but he understood that a considerable amount hadrbeen collected. I understand that during the past month the Minister of Finance and the Minister of National Revenue have both been asked the same question, and they both told us that no money whatever had been collected.
At page 1655 of Hansard of March 12, 1935, the Minister of National Revenue was asked this question:
Have any sums been collected by the income tax department as a result of revelations before the price spreads and mass buying commission, and if so what is the amount?
And the Minister of National Revenue replied :
I am informed that the answer is no; no amount has been collected.
That was the answer of the minister. Many Conservative members are going about the country telling of the huge sums of money which have been collected, more than sufficient to pay for the cost of the investigation. I think we should know whether or not any sums have been collected. It has been stated that the MacDonald Tobacco Company and the Canada Packers Limited have paid large amounts in income taxes which would not have been paid had this investigation not been held. If the minister has any information in this connection I should like to have it. I should like to know if he has any information about the rumours which have been going about.
We examined the evidence given before the committee and the commission and we went to the trouble of distributing this evidence to the different local inspectors of income tax for further examination and report. So far as I am aware no additional revenue has accrued as a result of the inquiry although up to date all inspector* have not reported.
I am not finding fault with the Minister of National Revenue (Mr. Matthews) but the Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Hanson) has said that he has it on rumour that large sums of money have been paid. I want to know what the rumours are with which the Minister of Trade and Commerce is dealing. I want to know if they are based on fact or if they are just street talk.