July 16, 1942

NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

You cannot have a contribution unless you have something to contribute.

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LIB

Arthur Graeme Slaght

Liberal

Mr. SLAGHT:

I leave myself in the judgment of the committee whether the attacks made by the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre and the hon. member for Huron-Perth (Mr. Golding), whether that kind of interjection and endeavour to destroy the presentation of a problem, is worth-while at this hour of our country's plight. I suggest that it is not. I leave myself, in the light of the personal abuse I have received to-night, in the judgment of the members of this committee, regardless of whether they agree or disagree with the problem that I have seriously endeavoured to present. The minister, whose problem it was to deal with this matter, showed me all the courtesy of debate, and I would have hoped that the side-liners who either got up or were put up to-night to attempt to destroy me would have found it desirable to keep themselves on a similar plane of decency in public discussion.

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LIB

Ralph Maybank

Liberal

Mr. MAYBANK:

I rise to make only one remark. The hon. member does not do himself justice in being quite so sorry for himself.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

If the civil war has drawn to a close, perhaps I can make a remark or so. I want to get back to the subject which was under discussion, on the question as to wage-earners whose category is under $2,000. These men and women, of course, have to pay unemployment insurance contributions week by week.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Just for accuracy, the limit is not $2,000 now; it is higher than that.

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NAT
LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I do not think you can set it at any particular figure. There is an order in council, however, raising it. It does not make any difference to the hon. gentleman's argument.

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NAT

Gordon Graydon

National Government

Mr. GRAYDON:

It has no material bearing on my argument, in any event. The point I want to raise is this, and it seems to me important. The government proposes to collect from this wage-earning class that comes within the lower brackets of income, first of all an unemployment insurance contribution, and now, in addition, they have the minimum savings requirement. Does the government intend to combine the procedure by which the contributions and these minimum savings

requirements are to be paid? I know there has been some confusion and considerable complaint raised because there are so many different sources and different channels through which tax collections have to be made. Perhaps we are only in the infancy of a developing scale of taxation with respect to many of these classes; but if we are to proceed on this basis we must make it a little less complicated for the man on the street, the average working man, if you like, because he is faced with the necessity of becoming almost a bookkeeper as well as a worker. He has a book for his unemployment insurance; he will now have to have another book, I assume, in connection with these minimum savings requirements; and with the numerous other deductions which the working man has to have taken off his salary and kept in certain specified positions, it seems that the government might very well take into consideration some simplification of the collection of these minimum savings, along with the contributions for unemployment insurance.

There is another angle to this matter. I wonder if we are dealing fairly and without discrimination with the class which comes within the unemployment insurance category. These men, of course, pay into the unemployment insurance fund, and, subject to certain regulations and conditions appearing in the act and the regulations thereunder, no interest is payable on that amount of money, while under the minimum savings requirement plan 2 per cent is actually allowed by the government. I know the question has been raised in one or two quarters as to the propriety of that, as constituting some discrimination so far as that class of worker is concerned.

While I am on my feet, on the question of the-refundable part of the income tax, would the minister care to say whether that is to be assignable or transferable, or can it be lent upon or dealt with by the person who leaves it with the government? That point has been raised on two or three occasions.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

The answer to the last question is no. With regard to the other two, I will take the hon. member's suggestions into account and when we reach resolution 25 they can be discussed.

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury); I had hoped that the lengthy discussion, which has now lasted for over six hours, arising out of the speech of the hon. member for Parry Sound, would have ended some hours ago and that we might have made some progress with this resolution. It is now nearly eleven o'clock, and I would ask the committee on both sides of the chamber if we cannot get

Income War Tax Act

away from this speculative exhibition of monetary theories and get down to business tomorrow so that we may make some real progress in regard to this resolution.

Might I just ask the minister, in view of the flow of eloquence and the multiplicity of words to which we have been listening, not to forget that in the course of my budget speech, in the remarks I made on this resolution, No. 1, I asked certain specific questions which I think are of very great importance and which we would like to have elucidated. I hope he will not forget them to-morrow.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I wholly agree. I was a little diffident about asking the committee to curtail general discussion, because the budget debate was very short, and leaders of all opposition parties made reservations of the right of members of their parties to discuss matters rather generally on the resolutions; but I am wholly in accord with the appeal of the leader of the [DOT]opposition to members of the committee that to-morrow, when we start, we take the resolutions up resolution by resolution and apply the rules strictly to the resolutions, and I shall

be prepared as best I can to deal with the matters raised by the leader of the opposition.

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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. COLDWELL:

May I say just a word? I think possibly I would have liked to have joined in this general discussion on monetary affairs. We hold very definite views; we believe, of course, that not until you have placed the principal means of production, the economic monopolies, and the financial system under the direct control of -the community can you balance purchasing power with production. But we wished to facilitate the business of the committee and refrained from taking part in the discussion. I am sure -that to-morrow we shall be very glad to cooperate with the minister, the leader of the opposition and the house generally in trying to get these resolutions through as quickly as proper consideration will permit. We shall have some other opportunity to place our economic and financial policies again before the house.

Progress reported.

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At eleven o'clock the house adjourned, without question put, pursuant to standing order.


END OF VOLUME IV

July 16, 1942