June 7, 1948

LIB

Leslie Alexander Mutch

Liberal

The ACTING CHAIRMAN (Mr. Mutch):

The rule respecting speeches in committee is clear. Throughout this session a serious attempt has been made by the committee of the whole to get back to something more closely resembling the rules than the practice which prevailed during the difficult war years, when general discussion was permitted to a greater extent. As hon. members are aware, I do not ordinarily preside over the committee, and for that reason I hesitated at the beginning to rise or to interrupt, or to have my first words a reference to the rules. The rule, however, is specific in this matter, and if I am required to do so I shall have to rule to enforce it.

Topic:   EXCISE TAX ACT
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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

Mr. Chairman, I am usually pretty fair in these matters. In my earlier remarks I appealed to the committee to stick as closely as possible to the rules. I would ask hon. members not to renew the budget debate. It would be completely out of order. We have set up a committee to revise the rules of the house. We have a clear cut rule already established, the infringement of which is one of the greatest time-wasters in the carrying on of business of the house.

Topic:   EXCISE TAX ACT
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. DIEFENBAKER:

That committee is getting on about as fast as we are.

Topic:   EXCISE TAX ACT
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LIB

Section agreed to. Section 2 agreed to. On section 3-Tax on matches.


CCF

John Oliver Probe

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

Mr. PROBE:

The revision of the excise tax structure on matches brings up the question whether matches are bearing an undue proportion of the revenue load the government derives from various sources. Matches are not a luxury item in most homes. Those of us who smoke might be considered as contributing an extra quota because of the number of matches we burn when smoking our pipes.

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LIB
CCF

John Oliver Probe

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

Mr. PROBE:

The fact is that it is a necessary commodity and should not be subject to so high a tax. Will the minister tell the committee what revenue was derived in the past year from the excise tax on matches, and what is the administrative set-up by which the tax is collected? Most match packages do not bear a revenue stamp which is affixed, but have a stamp printed, on them. There must be some process of checking up.

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

The revenue in the last year from the match tax was 13,499,661. The tax is collected on domestically produced matches by means of an imprint on the container. This is placed on by a machine, to which is attached a tabulator which keeps count of how many times the printing operation is repeated. On imported matches an adhesive stamp is attached to the box. I suggest therefore that the process of collecting the tax accurately is an efficient one.

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SC
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I do not know that we do at the present time, but in the past we have imported them from Sweden. On these, stamps were affixed.

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Section agreed to. On section 4-When tax not payable.


IND

John Lambert Gibson

Independent Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Comox-Alberni):

This is an instance in which a tax is being reduced. Will this saving be passed along to the consumer, or is it something the provincial governments will absorb in their liquor stores, with prices kept, the same?

Excise Tax Act

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I am told that in fact this is a tax which has not been collected. It has been, remitted. This section i3 to make the law conform to what has been happening for some time.

Topic:   EXCISE TAX ACT
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Section agreed to. Section 5 agreed to. On section 6-Certificate before distribution of assets.


PC
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

I am told it is more in the nature of a drafting change. As my hon. friend will see from the explanatory note, part XV of the act is to be repealed, and it was considered that the section should be brought up to date and other parts brought under its provisions.

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PC
LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ABBOTT:

They thought it advisable to provide that parts could be added to or taken from this act without having to change this section each time such a change was made. It is more in the nature of a drafting change than a change in substance.

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Section agreed to. On section 7-Prosecutions.


June 7, 1948