Mr. FRASER (Peterborough West):
The heading is:
In accordance with memorandum series D No. 50 TD & R 18 second revision, the publications listed by titles hereunder are ruled to be exempt from the payment of the war exchange tax. . . .
These are issued every day or so; I will send one over to the minister. We have a war on at the present time, and I feel that it would be a great deal better to make these magazines pay that tax and use the money collected to reduce the national defence tax on our workmen. Thousands of magazines are coming in absolutely free.
I would suggest also that exemptions be allowed on income tax for children twenty-one years of age and over, at present attending school. As soon as children become twenty-one years old, the $400 exemption is removed. Many people have girls who are away at school or college, and their expenses amount to a great deal more than $400. I
The Budget-Mr. Fraser (Peterborough)
know; I have one myself, and many others? have spoken to me about this matter. I would suggest that the exemption be allowed for girls only while they are at school, because a boy can get out during the summer holidays and make a few dollars for himself. I am sure many hon. members had to do that, as I did when I went to school, and I believe we were a great deal the better for it.
The hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid) mentioned the matter of railway passes. I should like to quote from an editorial in this regard:
Word from Ottawa indicates that holders of passes will not have to pay the new dominion taxes on railway fares and theatre tickets. The, explanation is that the new order says the tax must be paid "by every purchaser of transportation," and the individual with a pass does not purchase transportation.
In theatres the tax is collected on the receipts, and those who have passes are not contributing anything to those receipts. And yet after having read the explanation one is inclined to ask that plain question: "Why are any exceptions made?" We are all in this thing together; we are all paying together, and we doubt if those who possess passes for transportation or anything else would ask to be excused while others are putting up their assessment.
The only exception I would make is to exempt the soldiers from paying a tax on their fares. A soldier coming home to Peterborough from Halifax must pay $23, whereas excursions have been run for $20 and some odd cents, giving the civilian a preference over the soldier.
The hon. member for New Westminster referred to the use of short-wave radio by the Germans as a weapon of war. This is perfectly true, and I mentioned this fact some months ago in this house. I would advise hon. members to read the speech made in the British House of Commons by Captain Leonard Plugge who is considered to be one of the best radio experts in the British empire.
I have made a few suggestions and I am going to make a few more. The Minister of Finance is looking for more money, and as much as possible we should try to pay our way as we go along. I suggest that a tax be put on meals served in restaurants or hotels and costing one dollar or more. If anyone can pay a dollar for a meal he can certainly afford an extra five or ten cents. This would bring in considerable revenue to the dominion. I think the suggestion put forward this afternoon by my leader (Mr. Hanson) was very good. At the present time the Minister of Agriculture (Mr. Gardiner) is bonusing the growing of rye and other coarse grains in the west. I think the Minister of Finance should tax rye, only the wet kind, and all other hard liquors. I am sure that this would be a popular tax.
Subtopic: DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE