Mr. P. J. ROWE (Athabaska):
Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning), when presenting his budget last week, estimated the total national income of Canada as $4,460,000,000. Assuming that there are 2,500,000 families in Canada; if this total income were divided equally, it would mean an income of $1,785 a family. The Loeb survey of the potential productive capacity of the United States in 1934, after making a survey of the machinery on farms and in the factories of that country, came to the conclusion that the American people, without altering their industrial equipment, could produce the equivalent of $4,400 for every family in the United States. It has been stated in this house-the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) is one of those who have made the statement-that Canada is a very rich country, more blessed by providence than any other country on the face of the globe. If that is correct, and I believe it is, I am sure that if a commission were appointed to make a similar investigation in Canada it would find that our potential productive capacity was even greater than that of the United States, that is, if scientific methods of production were applied.
Our present income, as I said a moment ago, is $4,460,000,000, but on the basis of $4,400 a family our national income would be $11,000,000,000. Of course the national income is not evenly divided and I am not suggesting that it could or should be, but it is clear that we are losing the difference between our present national income of $4,460,000,000 and what it would be if we operated our economic system on a cooperative basis and applied engineering principles to the production and distribution of wealth.
How is the national income of Canada divided? I want to spend a minute or two on that. I gave this analysis once before to the house, but in order to bring out my argument at this time I shall review the figures again. According to the brief submitted to
The Budget-Mr. Rowe (Athabaska)
the Rowell commission by the Manitoba government, our income for 1934 was $3,580,000,000, slightly lower than the 1939 income but not very much. The 1931 census is the latest official record that we have available. Applying the 1934 income to the distribution of population shown in that census we find that 23,600 families, or six-tenths of one per cent of the population received $940,000,000, or $39,000 per family. We find that 4,000 families, or one-tenth of one per cent of the population, received $600,000,000, or $150,000 a family. At the other end of the scale we find that 36 per cent of our population, or 895,000 families, received $181,000,000 or $202 per family. We find that 1,617,000 families, or 65 per cent of the population, received $582,000,000, or $360 a family. We thus see that the 4.000 families at the top of the scale representing one-tenth of one per cent of the population received $600,000,000, or $150,000 a family per year, or $18,000,000 more than the 1,617,000 families at the bottom of the scale representing 65 per cent of the working population.
Subtopic: DEBATE OX THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE