July 23, 1956

CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. Nicholson:

Who is making this speech, anyway?

Topic:   COMMONS AFTER RECESS
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SC

Frederick George Hahn

Social Credit

Mr. Hahn:

With all this assistance I am sure the house will recognize that we are getting somewhere or nowhere, as the case may be. However, it is interesting to note that with that amount added we have a total amount of $130,870,000. I am not satisfied with the minister's interpretation that the people in the province have that money completely in their hands, because I feel it is in the hands of the banks. I know that where money is in the hands of the banks I have a great deal of difficulty in getting my hands on it.

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LIB
SC

Frederick George Hahn

Social Credit

Mr. Hahn:

Maybe the minister has hopes that I will lean to the C.C.F., but I assure him that will not be the case.

Mr. Speaker, if we add that $130,870,000 to the reported figure given to the province, namely the sum of $270,857,000 which the minister quotes, it will make a grand total of $401,727,000. Against that the minister has said that the government expended $355 million, from which I would take that $36 million, so that we in the province of British Columbia actually are receiving only about $320 million as compared with the total amount we have given to the federal government of some $401 million.

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LIB

John Whitney Pickersgill (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Liberal

Mr. Pickersgill:

You had better send those figures to the Auditor General.

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?

An hon. Member:

We would not send them to you, anyway.

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SC

Frederick George Hahn

Social Credit

Mr. Hahn:

On page 2 of this same report we find this; and I am particularly interested in page 2 because in the past two sessions of this parliament I have tried to arrive at some figure that the government would present me with having to do with the amount that

is expended in the province of British Columbia in the way of defence production. I am pleased to note in section D of this report, "Estimate of major expenditures by government departments or agencies within the province", subsection (d), "Defence production, $221,000." Here are one-tenth of the people of the country and they receive the tremendous sum of $221,000 out of our total defence production expenditures, according to the estimate as set down here. I am pleased that this order for return gives us in British Columbia an idea of what we might expect will be spent in that province.

Topic:   COMMONS AFTER RECESS
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An hon. Member:

I could not get the figures.

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SC

Frederick George Hahn

Social Credit

Mr. Hahn:

You could not, I could not nor could anyone else because it was not desirable to indicate them at that time. We have set down in the same section, or rather in subsection (j), as far as national defence is concerned in British Columbia, $92,222,000. That is a substantial increase. But, Mr. Speaker, I think everyone will recognize the fact that a national defence expenditure is not an expenditure for the province of British Columbia alone. It is an expenditure that is intended for the over-all defence of Canada like any other training that we might feel would be necessary. In all fairness I do not think this expenditure of $92,222,000 should have been included as an estimate of major expenditure by governmental departments within the province. It is expended within the province. But even if we assume the suggestion is correct that we receive the expenditure in the province-that is for troops and so on who get it-it does not help in the building of the province in the same way as, let us say, defence production.

In any event, $92,222,000 out of the $1| billion the minister said we expend on our defence program-he indicated earlier, I am sure, that $lf billion is our over-all expenditure; I think that was the figure for defence expenditure estimates, at least-is only one-twentieth Canada's total defence expenditure. If we are going to carry on and recognize that equalization of taxes is a good thing-and I agree that it is a good thing- certainly we should have some semblance of agreement on it. I would say that it is not being carried out in any reasonable way, especially when one stops to consider the vulnerability of the west coast province to attack from those whom we suppose to be our enemies.

The minister said "Where is the money coming from?" He said, "Are we going to increase federal taxes?" I would say to the minister, "No, there is no need to increase federal taxes". I should like to make a suggestion to him, because he has such an

optimistic Minister of Trade and Commerce who continually tells us that the gross national product is going to expand. I should like to suggest that there is no need to increase taxes because your taxes are bound to increase every year as your gross national product expands. Hence the Minister of Finance will not have any trouble at all in finding this money. He just must keep the gross national product increasing. Then on your tax basis, or on the basis as it is today, you will receive more in taxes.

I see the minister shaking his head. I do not mean the Minister of Finance; I mean the Minister of Fisheries. From the negative shake of his head am I to understand that he does not agree with me when I say that if the gross national product increases, the Minister of Finance will get more revenue?

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LIB

James Sinclair (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. Sinclair:

That is when we cut taxes for the Canadian taxpayer, something that is very popular.

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SC

Frederick George Hahn

Social Credit

Mr. Hahn:

Oh, yes; probably we will have that next year for election purposes. But at the same time I am satisfied that this government could make themselves just as popular if they were to help the municipalities and the provincial governments a little bit more. I am particularly interested in the municipalities in an indirect way, through the provincial governments.

Savings were mentioned. The minister said, "How can we save?" Mr. Speaker, the question was raised as to savings in so far as the department could make them. I think it was suggested earlier that the minister for Moose Jaw-Lake Centre was quite in agreement-

23, 1956 6345

Federal-Provincial Financial Arrangements

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LIB
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?

An hon. Member:

What do you suggest?

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?

An hon. Member:

Ten o'clock.

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SC

Frederick George Hahn

Social Credit

Mr. Hahn:

If you will give me a minute or two longer I will be finished.

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An hon. Member:

Go ahead.

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SC

Frederick George Hahn

Social Credit

Mr. Hahn:

When the estimates of the Department of National Defence were before us we asked that we be privileged to have a special committee set up for the purpose of examining into those estimates. We had certain charges made by highly respected men in Canada, by military men such as General Simonds, who indicated that all was not well in that department.

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LIB
SC

July 23, 1956