April 1, 1957

THE BUDGET

ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE


The house resumed consideration of the motion of Hon. W. E. Harris (Minister of Finance) that Mr. Speaker do now leave [Mr. Howe (Wellington-Huron) .1



the chair for the house to go into committee of ways and means, and the amendment thereto of Mr. Macdonnell.


PC

William Marvin Howe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howe (Wellington-Huron):

Mr. Speaker-

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

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear.

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

William Marvin Howe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howe (Wellington-Huron):

-I do

appreciate the applause-

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

Walter Edward Harris (Minister of Finance and Receiver General; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. Harris:

Party solidarity.

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

William Marvin Howe

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howe (Wellington-Huron):

-from the government benches. Before the house rose at six o'clock I had referred to the request made by the federation of agriculture that amendments be made to the farm products marketing act so that farmers might carry on their own self-help programs through producer marketing boards. Although this legislation has been promised, it has not yet appeared on the order paper. This indifference, this procrastination, this unrealistic approach to agricultural problems cannot continue or the time may come when we in Canada, despite our millions of acres of rich, arable land bequeathed to us, will become dependent on other countries of the world for food.

As I indicated previously, the small businessman and the small industrialist were also looking forward to some assistance from the budget and hoping that the tight money policy might be relaxed so that they could obtain the necessary credit to expand and improve their businesses in competition with the great chain organizations and shopping centres which, by means of give-aways, special discounts and trading stamps, are squeezing the small operator out of business, the man who has always been the backbone of the community, who has given not only service to his customers but has paid a major share of municipal taxes, has taken his place on municipal councils and associated boards and has donated to every worthy cause. The budget offers very little, if any, assistance for him.

Then there is another group I should like to bring to the attention of the house, the average wage earners, the white collar man and the factory employee whose incomes are low and who should have had consideration. I should like to join with all other hon. members who have suggested that the statutory exemptions should have been raised from $1,000 to $1,500 for a single man and from $2,000 to $3,000 for a married man in order to help these people to meet the increased cost of living.

The 20-year old age security residence rule is going to affect many new Canadians who

have become good citizens and are contributing to our increased production and to government revenues. In my opinion it should be changed to ten years. In fact, I know of a case involving a former constituent of mine who died recently and who came to Canada in 1923. In 1939 he returned to the Isle of Man for a visit. Because of the war and transportation difficulties he was not able to return to Canada until 1949 and therefore was not able to get the old age pension. He died last year at the age of 73. However, his widow is still alive and is living in straitened circumstances simply because of the 20-year residence rule applying to old age pensioners.

All these people whom I have mentioned are ordinary folk, but apparently they have been forgotten by the members of the government who appear to hide in their ivory tower. Do not forget that these are the people who decide elections and will be deciding on who shall form the government of Canada after June of this year.

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

Claude Sartoris Richardson

Liberal

Mr. Claude Richardson (St. Lawrence-Sl. George):

Mr. Speaker, from the time of confederation until the year 1957, there have been something like 90 budgets presented to parliament and countless numbers of words have been uttered. It is not the purpose of the member for St. Lawrence-St. George to add to that great flow of words to any great extent. First of all, if the member for St. Lawrence-St. George has not participated in those debates of particular interest to our western farmers it is not because the people of my constituency are lacking in a genuine interest in the problems of those who come from western Canada. In addition, if I as the member for St. Lawrence-St. George have not participated in debates of particular concern to members from the Atlantic provinces, involving particularly the fishermen and the miners, it is not because the citizens of St. Lawrence-St. George or their representative are unmindful of the particular problems of that section of the country.

One does not need to be a great student of economic affairs to say that if the farmers of western Canada, the fishermen on both coasts and in the inland waters of Canada, the trappers, those engaged in lumbering, if all these primary producers do not apply their labour to the natural resources of Canada we shall not long have economic well-being. Those of us who live in the city of Montreal just as those who live in the great city of Toronto or the city of Winnipeg-

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

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. Mclvor:

Fort William.

The Budget-Mr. Richardson

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

Claude Sartoris Richardson

Liberal

Mr. Richardson:

-or Fort William-

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

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fraser (Peterborough):

Or Peterborough.

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

Claude Sartoris Richardson

Liberal

Mr. Richardson:

-are particularly concerned and genuinely interested in those problems which are of immediate concern to miners, fishermen and all others throughout Canada whom we regard as primary producers.

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

An hon. Member:

And then you vote against them.

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

Claude Sartoris Richardson

Liberal

Mr. Richardson:

It also does not take a very profound student of economics to realize that in this era we have now come into what might be described as the stream of production. We find that our younger people, those in their late teens and early twenties, are out of the immediate stream of production because they are preparing themselves for their professions or occupations so that they may earn a livelihood. Then you find people all over the country who are immersed completely in the stream of production. They are active people who are applying their efforts and talents to the natural resources of Canada. Essentially it is they who create the economic wealth of the country.

Then there are those who are in their middle or late sixties or the seventies and have stepped out of the stream of production and are more or less sitting on the banks. They are retired, as is their right, while those in the middle part of the stream, in the active part of the stream of production, are producing the economic wealth from which and only from which this or any other parliament can find the ways and means, the revenue with which to provide for the estimates and pay for the measures of supply upon which we vote. We have encouraged our young people, and rightly so, to get more and more education and to prepare themselves better for the active part of the stream of production. Because of medical science and research people are living longer and can enjoy a greater portion of their lives in complete or semi-retirement.

But my only point here is that those of us who are charged as trustees in this principal legislative forum of Canada must not lose sight of the fact that the only place where we can obtain the taxes, the ways and means by which we can grant the estimates of supply and discharge what we regard as our social obligations, is from those people engaged in the active part of the great stream of production of the country, whether they be manual workers, entrepreneurs or people in the professions. Therefore when we are asked by the government of this country at this time to adjust the old age pensions and other

The Budget-Mr. Richardson pensions of the people who are in that third part of the stream, almost on the banks, certainly anybody who is at all sensitive to human needs is glad that these pensions or retirement benefits can be adjusted. As for myself, I do not know whether it should be $6 or whether it should be $10.

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

Mr. Castle den:@

What is the cost of living increase?

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

Claude Sartoris Richardson

Liberal

Mr. Richardson:

Mr. Speaker, I will give you my answer; just be patient for a moment. I put a figure before the Minister of Finance (Mr. Harris) announced it the other night and my hon. friend who sat beside me saw the figure. That figure, so far as I can mathematically adjust it, would be approximately $8.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Permalink
CCF

George Hugh Castleden

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

Mr. Castleden:

Is that the cost of living increase?

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

Claude Sartoris Richardson

Liberal

Mr. Richardson:

Approximately; that is right. That is my answer in any event and I give it for myself. Certainly I should like to see many older people get many dollars. There is no doubt about that, and there is no great difficulty about discussing it. However we must remember that it is only from those people who are actively engaged in the production of the economic wealth of the country that we can raise the taxes, the revenue, whereby the educational grants to help the younger people and whereby to help the older people who have served their day, -let us not argue about that matter at this time-and who deserve first our compassion and second, all that we can pull from the stream of production to help them. There is no difficulty in arriving at that conclusion.

While Montreal is not a great land of waving corn, while it does not have many mines under the streets, and while the fish that are there are certainly not ones that you would want to eat, we are interested in all the problems of those who are in the field of primary production and in the extent to which we can make our contribution in the field of transportation, whereby we unload the grain that comes from western Canada; and whereby we unload the coal that comes from the mines of Nova Scotia; whereby we take the newsprint or the pulp and send it on its way to all parts of the world; in the fields of trade and commerce, distribution, transportation, finance and insurance. To the extent that we can grow with the rest of Canada, we are glad; and also to the extent that Canada grows even faster than Montreal, I am sure that man for man most of the constituents which I have the honour to represent would be glad in every way.

I want to deal at this juncture with one point raised by the hon. member for Nanaimo

(Mr. Cameron) who has just retired from the chamber, and this shows one of the difficulties of dealing with matters of finance. I do not pose as an expert in the field of banking or finance but the hon. member who was the first speaker for his party on this budget debate at page 2471 of Hansard referred to the question of what he calls the inequities in the 20 per cent rebate on income derived from Canadian corporation dividends. He went on to say this, if I may quote him for just a minute; and I do not want, Mr. Speaker, to be unkind to him. He can take care of himself.

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

April 1, 1957