December 1, 1945

LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Oh, yes; I cam assure my hon. friend of that.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Would the minister be good enough to make a statement as to why this particular resolution is being introduced?

I do not think the minister has made a statement of that kind so far.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

It is to encourage the opening of mines.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Gold mines?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

No, mines generally; not all mines, but the kind of mines the rapid development of which is possible and desirable now. There would be gold mines, base metal mines and industrial mineral mines. I do not think strategic mineral mines now would be of much importance, comparatively speaking, at least as compared with the period of the war.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. NICHOLSON:

I do not want to go into the argument behind the opening up of base metals, but I wonder whether at this stage it is wise to have a government policy under which quite a large amount of our man-power and our tight materials will be made available for the gold mining industry. If we have customers throughout the world who are anxious to get large quantities of gold, that might be a very good reason; but in view of the fact that we managed so well during the war without worrying very much about the production of gold, I wonder why, just at this particular time, the administration has found it necessary to extend this consideration, particularly to the operation of gold mines.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Well, it increases the wealth and income of the nation. It would have been desirable to do that during the war if we could have affordeid the manpower, but we could not; the man-power was much more necessary in other activities, but I do not think that is the case now.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. NICHOLSON:

Even at this stage I doubt the wisdom of using man-power and materials in this particular field.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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LIB

William Moore Benidickson

Liberal

Mr. BENIDICKSON:

I thought you people said there was unemployment.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. NICHOLSON:

There is, but we need houses desperately; we need hospitals and so many other things much more than we need gold, and I do not see any very good reason for extending this privilege to the operation of gold mines.

Mr. MacN'ICOL: I want to support this resolution. I do not know of anything that will provide as much employment for men of a particular type, many of whom have been unemployed for some time, as gold mining.

I doubt if there is a large factory, such as Canada Foundry in Toronto or John Bertram in Dundas, anywhere in Ontario that is not now engaged in the production of some equipment required in connection with the reopening of the gold mines, resulting from just such legislation as this. So I say all power to the minister, and I hope he will continue to do his best to open as many mines as possible. They wall produce brand new wealth and provide a vast amount of employment in other branches of industry. I am not thinking of houses at the moment, though of course the miners will require houses too. I am thinking about the type of men engaged in mining. They are not the men who build houses; they are miners, and many of them have been unemployed during the war. I -support the minister's programme of getting on with the opening of mines, or anything that can be done to encourage mining. This is brand new money, which goes into circulation, and gives jobs not only to those engaged in the mines but to hundreds of factories in Ontario. I have been through many of those factories myself. It gives jobs to those who supply food to the miners. This applies particularly to the southern part of Ontario, because in the northern part, farm products are not produced extensively. In and around Kirkland Lake and Timmins, where the Pre-camforian shield crosses northern Ontario, they are large consumers but not large producers, of farm products, and so that in opening up mines, not only do you give employment to miners and those who work with them, and not only do you give employment to large numbers of men in Ontario and Quebec where equipment is manufactured for mining companies, but you also give employment to those producing farm products-and at good prices,

2S02

_______________Excess Profits Tax

because they pay good prices up there for everything they use in connection with their mining efforts.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

As one who in past years in the house has taken an interest in the min-* ing of silver may I ask the minister if silver mining is included in this resolution. I ask that because silver is sometimes a by-product of gold mining. Members of the House of Commons, and people generally throughout Canada, have come to look upon silver as a coinage pertaining to the dark ages. It will come as a surprise to many people, therefore, to learn that seventy-five per cent of the world's population still look upon silver as their real money. As a matter of fact in countries where governments take office one day and are expelled from office two hours later, the paper currency issued has no more value than kindling paper. For that reason the people of those countries look to metals, and since the dawn of the ages they have accepted silver as a medium of exchange. People in China or India will sell their gold to purchase silver. Even on the continent of Europe at the present time I understand there are certain countries in which the form of currency is a fine leaf of silver or gold. They cut off a little corner and use it instead of paper currency.

In British Columbia, and I suppose in other provinces as well, we have large areas that have been lying idle. In those areas are ghost towns which used to employ thousands of people in- the mining of silver. If we ever want to raise our standard of living in countries where the standard is so low that one * hesitates even to speak about it, we should give some thought to the use of silver, and have those countries use some of the silver produced here.

May I repeat my question: Does this resolution include silver?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

The intention was to include silver, but after reading the resolution I doubt whether it does. It was to cover precious metal mines, base metal mines and industrial minerals. It would seem, however, from the wording that the only precious metal included is gold. I can see no reason why it should not include silver as well.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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PC

Alan Cockeram

Progressive Conservative

Mr. COCKERAM:

For the information of the hon. member for Mackenzie (Mr. Nicholson) let me say that many thousands of young men who recently returned from overseas are at present finding their way back to employment in the mining industry. We find that we are getting a very fine type of man.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

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

Mr. MacINNIS:

Mr. Chairman, in considering the question of giving encouragement to any kind of production, I should think the purpose would be, first, to determine the need for that particular kind of production. I do not believe it is good policy to say that because any particular kind of mining is going to give employment in the mines and on the farms, this government should encourage it. Digging holes in the ground where there is no gold would give employment; and if the persons were paid it w'ould create some amount of purchasing power, and in that respect would be just as effective as digging a gold mine.

I am not questioning the policy of the Min- ' ister of Finance in this connection, because very likely he has had advice that I have not had. However, as I see things at the present time, the world stands in need of an enormous amount of goods of various kinds- goods that can be used by individual men and women who require houses, clothing, food, and so forth.

During the war we were producing war materials, and that production provided purchasing power and employment. But surely no one would suggest that we should continue producing war materials just because it gives employment. The same is true of gold. If there is a demand for gold in the world to-day, and if there , is some human function or requirement, it can meet, we should encourage its production. But as I see it now, there seems to be no great use for gold. The use it had at one time as a standard for currency was discussed the other night by the minister, when he said it was no longer possible to go back to the gold standard. Surely we should get away from this hit or miss policy of doing something because it gives work to industry in Toronto or somewhere else. We should consider the permanent improvement of the standard of living of the masses of our people in this and in other countries. I do not know; there may be ever so much need for gold-

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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LIB
PC
LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

They need it in other countries to raise the standard of living There is no doubt about that.

Mr. MacINNIS. As I understand it, what they need is more food, and they do not eat silver.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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LIB
CCF

William Irvine

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

Mr. IRVINE:

They need a silver spoon to take it.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

We will give it to them, free.

Excess Profits Tax

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS
Subtopic:   EXCESS PROFITS TAX ACT, 1940
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December 1, 1945