I do not want to prolong
the discussion on the supplementary estimates. I had hoped they would be finished by six o'clock so that we could get a bill over to the senate and obtain royal assent. But matters have been opened up which are of great importance, and I am sorry that we have not sufficient time to enable the house to give them full discussion. If we did that with all these items we should never get our supple-mentaries through, because we are dealing with practically every department and the committee. is discussing each item as if it were an item in the main estimates and covering a very wide field.
I want to say just a word about some of the suggestions that have been made with regard to the taxation of farmers. The farmers are taxed like everybody else in business. At the present time I do not think there is any difference. I do not think that the farmers receive any favours, nor do I think they are discriminated against' in any respect. There was in the Income War Tax Act last year or the year before the privilege of carrying backward or carrying forward losses, which was more favourable to farmers than to other businesses, but now I think that situation is equalized.
With regard to the allowance to a wife who helps her husband in the store, she is not allowed for that income taxwise, nor is the wife of anybody else who helps her husband in a profession or business. In the early part of the war we made a change in that principle, which we could not very well justify on a basis of principle, in the case of the wife who goes out and gets a job and earns money. But you know how much she gets. You know she is working every day straight along, and we found that if we were to get married women to go into the factories and work-and we needed war production in the worst way
we would have to allow them to be taxed as if they were single persons without asking the husband to sacrifice his married status for income tax purposes. At that time the married women were beginning to flock out of the factories and go home, and1 so we made that change.
In the case of the farmer's wife it would be impossible-though I am willing to consider it again-to extend that rule to a case where no money is paid to the wife who works part of the time on the farm and part of the time in the house, and where no check is
possible as between individuals. So it would have to be universal, I think, and if that- were done, it would have to be extended to women doing housework in towns and cities for their husbands. The result would simply be that the exemptions would be increased by that additional amount. If members can work out some way of administration that does not lead to that result, I should like to hear it.
In the case of the children, the children may be paid for working without losing their status as dependents, if they are not paid more than S400 a year. As I understand the law, and I think I am correct, if they are paid more than S400 a year, or paid beyond a certain amount, they lose their status as dependents, but it can be deducted from the income of the farmer and shown as a deduction.
With regard to averaging income over four or five years, a great deal of thought has been given to that. I do not know of any country where incomes are averaged now. I am not sure about other countries but my recollection is that in the United States losses may be carried back or carried forward two years. In this country they can be carried backwards one year or forward three years.