December 1, 1953

BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE

PROCEDURE FOR ANSWERING QUESTIONS ON ORDER PAPER

LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime Minister):

In the event that this debate

should not end today perhaps hon. members would like to have questions and notices of motions for the production of papers dealt with tomorrow, if that were agreeable.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROCEDURE FOR ANSWERING QUESTIONS ON ORDER PAPER
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE
Subtopic:   PROCEDURE FOR ANSWERING QUESTIONS ON ORDER PAPER
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MACHINERY AND APPARATUS

TARIFF BOARD RULING


On the orders of the day:


LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Hon. J. J. McCann (Minister of National Revenue):

Mr. Speaker, on Friday the hon.

member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) asked a question concerning machinery and apparatus. I have not had an opportunity to read the article in the Winnipeg Free Press but I have read the Canadian Press dispatch. I have also read the opinion of the tariff board in this case, and I think it will be appreciated that it is obviously impossible for the minister to define in advance which of the thousands of items of machinery and apparatus used in all sorts of manufacturing or producing might constitute machinery and apparatus "used directly in the process of manufacture or production of goods'' which the act contemplates exempting.

It is apparent, when one considers the tremendous number of items on which rulings have to be given, that parliament could not define such a list, or it would have been defined in the act itself. It was accordingly left to the minister to decide which items were and which were not exempted under the terms of the act.

In the case referred to, I had actually given my opinion on the item in question. There is no intention of curtailing the list of items already exempted.

Topic:   MACHINERY AND APPARATUS
Subtopic:   TARIFF BOARD RULING
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM SALES TAX
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Sianley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

May I ask a supplementary question. Does the minister, then, disagree with the 83276-32

position of the tariff board, that the minister is required by the act to set out such a definition?

Topic:   MACHINERY AND APPARATUS
Subtopic:   TARIFF BOARD RULING
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM SALES TAX
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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

I have already pointed out

that, despite the opinion of the tariff board, if parliament had wished to do that, it could have done it-if it could be done. The minister has just as much difficulty in defining what constitutes machinery and apparatus. In this particular case, on October 28 I gave the following opinion with reference to it, and it was used as evidence. My opinion was:

I hereby certify that I am of the opinion that power plants which are to be used exclusively for supplying electricity, and will not be used in the course of a process of manufacturing or production of goods, are not to be used directly in the process of the manufacturing or production of goods.

Topic:   MACHINERY AND APPARATUS
Subtopic:   TARIFF BOARD RULING
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM SALES TAX
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

Who signed that?

Topic:   MACHINERY AND APPARATUS
Subtopic:   TARIFF BOARD RULING
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM SALES TAX
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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

I did.

Topic:   MACHINERY AND APPARATUS
Subtopic:   TARIFF BOARD RULING
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM SALES TAX
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles (Whip of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation)

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

Mr. Knowles:

May I ask a further supplementary question. May we take it from the minister's statement today that there will be no change as a result of the tariff board's ruling in connection with the exemptions already granted?

Topic:   MACHINERY AND APPARATUS
Subtopic:   TARIFF BOARD RULING
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM SALES TAX
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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

I cannot give an opinion at

the present time.

Topic:   MACHINERY AND APPARATUS
Subtopic:   TARIFF BOARD RULING
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM SALES TAX
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Donald M. Fleming (Eglinlon):

I should like to ask a question of the Minister of National Revenue arising out of his answer. In the case of rulings made in pursuance of the statutory authority conferred upon the minister himself, who in the department is making these rulings now in relation to these exemptions? Is it the minister himself, or the officials?

Topic:   MACHINERY AND APPARATUS
Subtopic:   TARIFF BOARD RULING
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM SALES TAX
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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

They are proposed by the officials and endorsed by the minister.

Topic:   MACHINERY AND APPARATUS
Subtopic:   TARIFF BOARD RULING
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM SALES TAX
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Does the minister sign the document?

Topic:   MACHINERY AND APPARATUS
Subtopic:   TARIFF BOARD RULING
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM SALES TAX
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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

Yes; I read a document which has my signature.

Topic:   MACHINERY AND APPARATUS
Subtopic:   TARIFF BOARD RULING
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM SALES TAX
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

I should like to ask a further question, if I may, of the Minister of National Revenue, arising out of the question raised by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) and followed by the hon. member for Eglinton (Mr. Fleming). The minister said that parliament could not

Inquiries of the Ministry define che extent of the exemptions in the law. That was left to the minister. My question covers the field of ministerial authority. Does the minister, having discretionary power in a statute, delegate that authority to a deputy minister? Did he do so in this case? Mr. McKinnon of the tariff board said otherwise. Would the minister in each case do so in writing and determine the article or the commodity to be exempted before the exemption was in fact granted by the deputy minister?

Topic:   MACHINERY AND APPARATUS
Subtopic:   TARIFF BOARD RULING
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM SALES TAX
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LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

Mr. McCann:

The answer is yes.

Topic:   MACHINERY AND APPARATUS
Subtopic:   TARIFF BOARD RULING
Sub-subtopic:   EXEMPTION FROM SALES TAX
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December 1, 1953