March 21, 1957

LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

I begin to understand what my hon. friend is driving at, and it is very simple, as I believe I might expect from him. He wants me, while I am expressing these opinions, to do like the little girl who says, "See, I am riding my bicycle without my hands", and put the paper aside. If this satisfies my hon. friend, I am quite prepared to do it. But that does not in any-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

William Earl Rowe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Rowe:

Have you memorized it?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

No, I do not have time to do those things.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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?

An hon. Member:

Then, you will make a botch of it.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

This does not in any way, I think, detract from the force of the argument, and it will not detract in any way from my hon. friend's understanding of the argument, because the argument is an exceedingly simple one. It is that when, upon the premises stated by my hon. friend, we are in danger of serious inflation in Canada and it is essential that we take whatever steps we can to retard that inflation or to prevent that inflation, then in such cases, on the facts that were presented in the budget, the action that was taken by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Harris) in paying back to the people of Canada limited social welfare benefits and in tax cuts, was a courageous and proper action for him to take. I suppose, in the minds of some purists, he might have gone even farther in that direction than he did. But in contradistinction to the position which was taken by the Minister of Finance is the position taken by that pillar of orthodoxy, the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Macdonnell), who says that a proper financial policy undersuch circumstances is to give back more money in tax cancellations and pay out more money in social welfare benefits. That is the policy of my hon. friends. It has been called a policy of complete irresponsibility, that puts them and their party on a par, in the opinion of some, with the Social Credit party in matters of finance.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

Will the hon. member permit a question?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

Yes.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

The minister did not answer my previous question. There is the

[The Acting Speaker (Mr. Applewhaite).]

usual begging of the question with regard to the word "irresponsibility".

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

What is my hon. friend's question?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

My question is, does the minister agree that when the Minister of Finance explained that he had paid off some hundreds of millions of dollars of debt, that that money went into the hands of people who could spend it just the same as the money that would have come from a reduction in taxes?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

No, Mr. Speaker, for reasons which will take too long to explain to my hon. friend, and have nothing to do with the proposition I am making to the house which is that if the government has a surplus which has been taken in the form of taxation and revenues of one kind and another from the pockets of taxpayers who might otherwise be in a position to spend it and is retained as a surplus and not spent-it is just the a.b.c.'s of public finance-

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

James MacKerras Macdonnell

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Macdonnell:

But it is not retained; it is used to pay the debt. It goes into the pockets of other people.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

No. I am making this speech. If my hon. friend does not understand this point I will be glad to explain it to him privately at some time.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

Such arrogance, utter arrogance!

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Douglas Scott Harkness

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Harkness:

Read editorials; you are better at that than you are at the a.b.c.'s of finance.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

The proposition is very simple. A budgetary surplus like this one we have been discussing, obtained and maintained in the way in which it has been, corrects inflation. It does not add to inflation.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

May I ask a question? On that theory, is the minister going to go farther and advocate increases in taxes in order that the government can take more money out of the pockets of the people?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

Well, Mr. Speaker, that is not a very sensible question because what we are talking about

at least I have been under the impression that what we are talking about-is the existing budget, whether it is a good budget or a bad budget.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

I am applying your argument.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. Garson:

My remarks are confined to that, and are relevant to that, and there are no implications that are intended as the advocacy of more taxation. We have not imposed more taxation. If we had imposed it,

then my hon. friend's question would have been in order; otherwise it is not.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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March 21, 1957