February 2, 1955

INCOME TAX

STATEMENT ON DEDUCTION OF PROVINCIAL TAX BY QUEBEC RESIDENTS

LIB

James Joseph McCann (Minister of National Revenue)

Liberal

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

In view of the statement made by the Prime Minister (Mr. St. Laurent) in this house on January 17 last following the exchange of correspondence which he had with the premier of Quebec, I think that both hon. members and residents of Quebec would appreciate receiving from me a statement regarding the filing of income tax returns in the coming few months.

Approximately eight million income tax forms have been made available in the province of Quebec through post offices and employers. These forms were printed last fall, and therefore indicate that the allowable tax credit in respect of the Quebec provincial income tax will be the amount paid to the province of Quebec or 5 per cent of the net federal tax, whichever is the lesser. As these forms are now in the hands of the public, it is not my intention to print and distribute new income tax forms amending the maximum credit from 5 per cent to 10 per cent. Residents of Quebec should use the forms already provided, but calculate their provincial tax credit as the lesser of the amount paid to Quebec or 10 per cent of the net federal tax.

As the taxation division must commence processing the 1954 income tax returns when they are received, the revised amount of tax credit will be allowed in the expectation that the house will retroactively enact legislation on this basis for the year 1954. Furthermore, with respect to the year 1955 I am recommending an immediate change in the income tax regulations to permit employers to reduce the amount to be deducted from the remuneration paid to employees working in the province of Quebec by 10 per cent.

Topic:   INCOME TAX
Subtopic:   STATEMENT ON DEDUCTION OF PROVINCIAL TAX BY QUEBEC RESIDENTS
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EXTERNAL AFFAIRS

FORMOSA

CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. M. J. Coldwell (Roseiown-Biggar):

beg leave, Mr. Speaker, seconded by the hon. member for Vancouver-Kingsway (Mr. Mac-Innis), to move the adjournment of the house

under standing order 31 for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely, the critical situation in Formosa, and the need for a clear statement by this House of Commons in support of the position taken by the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) on January 25, 1955, when he declared that the final disposition of Formosa should be dealt with by international negotiation, and that pending such a decision consideration should be given to the neutralization of Formosa both in order to prevent any assault upon it by communist forces and also so that it will not be used as a base for invasion of the mainland.

Mr. Speaker, may 1 just add that the occasion for seeking leave to discuss this matter is that news from London today indicates that a position differing from that taken by our government on January 25 is being taken by our representatives at the commonwealth conference in London.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FORMOSA
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Liberal

Hon. Paul Martin (Acting Secretary of Slate for External Affairs):

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if in the absence of the Secretary of State for External Affairs (Mr. Pearson) I might be permitted to make just a brief comment on what my hon. friend has just said.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FORMOSA
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

I have no objections to that -if I am allowed to proceed with the debate.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FORMOSA
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
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?

Some hon. Members:

No, no.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FORMOSA
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
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LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

In order to help me make a proper decision, would the hon. member care to hear just as brief a comment from the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. Martin) as that which was made by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell) when he explained why he was making his motion?

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FORMOSA
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
Permalink
CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

I am not going to object to that. But I do wish to make my own position clear, that if it is going to be debated I want to have the right to speak on my motion.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FORMOSA
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
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?

Murdo William Martin

Mr. Marlin:

I do not think I would be fair to the hon. member if I indicated it was my intention at this time to debate the proposition, but rather to offer a suggestion or two which I believe, upon reflection, he might agree deserve consideration at this time, and that is that in view of the admittedly important current situation, this house would not want to engage at this time in a discussion

760 HOUSE OF

External Affairs-Formosa which, I am sure, would not help the situation. I am not saying this by way of criticizing my hon. friend's initiative in the matter, but just to impress upon him that I believe, from the opportunity I have had and the government has had of perusing dispatches which have come to us, that what I have just said is a fully responsible statement.

The hon. member for Prince Albert (Mr. Diefenbaker) had given me notice of his intention to ask a question dealing with this matter. Perhaps I might anticipate his proposed question simply by saying that, in answer to what he was going to ask me about the situation, I was not going to be able to say very much more than to observe, as the house has already noted, that there have been important developments in the Formosan situation since the Secretary of State for External Affairs made his statement on January 25.

On Saturday last the President of the United States signed the joint resolution which hds been passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate by very large majorities, as the house knows.

The security council of the United Nations met on Monday to consider communications from New Zealand and the Soviet union both relating to the current situation in the Formosa strait. It was decided to take the New Zealand item first, and the security council decided to invite representatives of communist China to take part in the discussion on this item. The government is glad that this invitation has been extended, and hopes that the Chinese communists will agree to participate in security council attempts to arrange a cease-fire.

Since these suggestions were made to me in written form by permanent officers in the Department of External Affairs I have noted that on January 25 my colleague, the Secretary of State for External Affairs, in answer to a question put by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar, said, in part:

I think X can say that any move or proposal within the United Nations or through diplomatic channels which could serve to achieve the purpose as stated in the President's message "to improve the prospects of peace in the area" will be warmly welcomed by the parliament and by the people of this country.

My final observation is this. The hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar did make reference to the press reports of meetings that are now current in London. Those meetings are private. But I can say to my hon. friend that I am quite satisfied, as I am sure he would be, that in view of the discussions that are taking place in London, and also in view of the fact that the security council is currently in session on this very matter, I do not think

anything I could say, or, if I may say so with great respect, anything anyone else could say at this time, would help in the matter.

The subject as I said is now before the security council. Discussions are in progress there, and an attempt is being made to try to bring the parties together; I would therefore urge that this House of Commons cannot really and profitably add or do anything useful at this time.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FORMOSA
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
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CCF

Major James William Coldwell

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

Mr. Coldwell:

May I just say that I wish to thank the minister for what he has said. But all these considerations were carefully thought of before I introduced this proposal. What I am afraid of is that we are doing exactly what we did in the years between the two wars, in not demanding that this House of Commons express its opinion on grave matters which may involve us in catastrophe later on.

My request is based entirely upon what was said by the Secretary of State for External Affairs in the house on January 25 and the fact that authoritative statements from London today indicate that there has been a change of attitude by our representatives there.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FORMOSA
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
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PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. G. Diefenbaker (Prince Albert):

As the

minister has indicated, I had intended to ask a question. In view of what he has stated, we in this party do not want to do anything that will aggravate the tense situation.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FORMOSA
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
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?

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FORMOSA
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
Permalink
PC

John George Diefenbaker

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Diefenbaker:

While usually I assert the supremacy of parliament, in this case, in the interests of all of us, I adhere absolutely to what my hon. friend the minister has said, that at this time it might be dangerous to discuss the matters that are being considered both before the United Nations and also at the commonwealth prime ministers' meeting.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FORMOSA
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
Permalink
SC

Ernest George Hansell

Social Credit

Mr. E. G. Hansell (Macleod):

Mr. Speaker, may I interject a word or two which may be more in the nature of a point of order. I appreciate what has been said, and also appreciate the attitude of the Acting Secretary of State for External Affairs, when he suggests that the situation might be aggravated by discussion. But my point of order is that the matter is not now being debated.

As I listened to the minister it appeared to me that he was debating the issue. I would urge you, Mr. Speaker, to consider this matter, not on the basis of whether it will aggravate or alleviate the situation but purely on the basis of whether or not it is of urgent public importance.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FORMOSA
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
Permalink
LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

I am grateful to hon. members who have taken part in the debate-one which obviously has taken place with unanimous

consent. In what they have said they have helped me to make up my mind.

Hon. members realize of course that this is a delicate duty for me to perform, when I am asked to decide whether a matter submitted in this way, by virtue of standing order 31, is of urgent public importance.

There is no question that the matter is one of importance, but as hon. members know- and several decisions have been rendered in the past by my predecessors and I have had the occasion to decide likewise myself in the course of the last session-what must be examined when we decide whether a matter is of urgent public importance is to see whether there is urgency of debate. Hon. members will agree with me that whenever a motion of this type is moved, when the debate on the speech from the throne is currently taking place, in the course of which they may talk about anything they wish-they have done so and perhaps will continue to do so today and tomorrow-full opportunity might be given to all hon. members to discuss the very matter that is mentioned in this motion.

I do not want to deliberate too long. Hon. members can very well see that my decision is against the motion being debated at the moment. I do not think there is urgency of debate such as that which is contemplated by standing order 31 and our practice with respect to it. I just want to add this comment to which I do not want hon. members to attach too much meaning, but perhaps give some thought to. In this instance the matter which is being brought forward is one which consists of asking a clear statement by the house on a certain problem. It strikes me when I read this that the definite matter of urgent public importance is said to be the critical situation in Formosa. Well, the papers inform us about the circumstances relating to that and we have had statements on that in this house. The second part of the motion strikes me as being unusual in motions of this kind. It refers to the need for a clear statement by this house in support of the position taken on a previous day by a minister in this house. I do not know really what could be achieved. Usually it is a matter which is defined. A certain set of circumstances are outlined and the order of reference is spelled out in a more detailed way. As it stands now, what is being asked for is another debate on external affairs. That is what we would have today, because there would be no way in which I could restrict the debate to the situation in Formosa. Hon. members may decide that whatever has taken place recently in respect to NATO has relation to the Pacific and the conditions under

Questions

which we live being what they are, the world being just one, we would have a general debate on external affairs.

Anyway, as I said, the question is certainly one of importance; but in view of the fact that a debate on the speech from the throne is currently taking place, hon. members will have ample opportunity to debate not only this question but any one that they feel is related to it. Therefore, with much regret, I must reject the request of the hon. member to move the adjournment of the house at this time.

Topic:   EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
Subtopic:   FORMOSA
Sub-subtopic:   MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT UNDER STANDING ORDER 31
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QUESTIONS

G. M. FERRIE

February 2, 1955