March 9, 1953

?

An hon. Member:

A perfect answer.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

Those are just words

designed to lull the questioner and the general public into a false sense of security as to what actually happened.

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?

An hon. Member:

Let us have it all.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

I am not going to use up my full 40 minutes in reading all the nonsense the Minister of Finance produced on this particular occasion.

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?

An hon. Member:

Table it.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

If the parliamentary assistant or some of the gentlemen to my immediate right are interested in having this, I will let them have it.

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?

An hon. Member:

We have heard it.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

I will let them have this document which contains a record of the

questions asked of the minister and the answers he gave. All right; we will go on a little further. For quite a long time the minister wobbled along talking about this tax structure, and then Robert McKeown asked another question, as follows:

Well, even though this results in a fair tax rate, as you say, it is so that the man who pays no income tax and the man who pays little income tax in the low income group does get very little out of this beyond cigarettes.

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

I think that is true, Bob, because he got it before. You can't give a fellow something when he's got it already.

I would like to know when did he get it. That is the question the minister did not answer. He never said when this poor fellow got it. In actual fact the poor chap never did get it and he still has not got it.

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?

An hon. Member:

He does not pay any taxes.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

The only time he ever got anything was away back following the war when the rates under the income war tax act were reduced and there was an increased deduction allowed up to $1,000. That is the only time these people about whom the minister was talking ever got anything. He says this man got it before, but he got it so long ago that I do not think you can relate that to the minister's budget. You might just as well relate the minister's present budget to the time before world war I when nobody paid any income tax, when it was looked upon as a completely impossible thing that people would be required to pay income tax, as to relate it back to the period of 1946-47.

In other words, once more the minister did not have an answer so he said, "He got it before". But he does not say when he got it or what he got. Unfortunately whatever he did get was so long ago that it is past history and not related to the present circumstances. In most cases he got nothing.

I come now to another of these excerpts which is really good. I think everybody will appreciate this. Once more it is Robert McKeown asking a question, as follows:

Well, how is it, Mr. Abbott, that these tax cuts always seem to coincide with an election year. Is this a matter of fortuitous circumstances?

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LIB

Douglas Charles Abbott (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. Abbott:

Well I can only say that I think it must be.

That was the only answer the minister gave. I wonder when the Minister of Finance became so naive that he would make an answer of that kind. He must have been completely stumped, that is all there is to it. Particularly, when did the Minister of Finance-

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LIB

Jean Lesage (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

Go on with your reading.

The Budget-Mr. Harkness

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

-become so naive that he would think the general public of Canada were so naive that they would do anything except laugh uproariously at that explanation? There is no question about it that these tax reduction budgets come only when there is an election in the offing, and there is no doubt they have been produced for that reason.

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LIB

Emmett Andrew McCusker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. McCusker:

But you were saying there was no reduction..

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LIB

Jean Lesage (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Lesage:

Keep on reading.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

I did not hear what the hon. member for Regina City (Mr. McCusker) said, and I would be interested in hearing it.

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LIB

Emmett Andrew McCusker (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Mr. McCusker:

You just said there were no reductions, and now you are saying that reductions come in election years.

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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

Mr. Speaker, either the hon. member for Regina City was not in the house or he was not listening. Possibly he should go to his eye, ear, nose and throat clinic and get his ears fixed.

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LIB

Gladstone Mansfield Ferrie

Liberal

Mr. Ferrie:

You get in a hole and you get sarcastic.

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March 9, 1953