Hon. Donald M. Fleming (Minister of Finance):
If the house will permit, perhaps it would be of interest if I were to make a brief statement indicating the nature of the estimates which have been tabled today.
Four sets of estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1958 have been tabled today. The first three of these are the same main, supplementary and further supplementary estimates as were tabled in the House of Commons during the last session of parliament. Except for the items for the Post 96698-24
Office Department these estimates were not finally dealt with during that session. In fact, only seven-twelfths of most of the items in these estimates, or enough to carry the services through to the end of October, were granted.
Since the programs provided for in these estimates were already well advanced when the new government took office, and to avoid the expenditure of a further $20,000 for revising and reprinting them, retabling the existing estimates is considered to be the most reasonable course of action to take under the circumstances. However, this is not to say that the present government will support all of the detailed programs contemplated when those estimates were originally prepared. Rather, such changes as this government proposes to make in the current year programs will be brought to parliament's attention when the individual items affected are being considered by the committee of supply.
The further supplementary estimates which have been tabled for the first time today provide mainly for the general revision of civil service salaries effective May 1, 1957, $31.2 million; a further grant toward the anticipated operating deficit of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, $8.1 million; and expenses in connection with the maintenance of immigrants in Canada, $8.8 million. The other items in these estimates are less sizeable and are generally of the type which it is usual to include in mid-year supplementary estimates. The total estimates, which for the reasons I have indicated I shall describe as gross estimates, for the current year 1957-58 tabled to date amount to $5,597,316,555, including old age security payments which are made from the old age security fund, and loans, investments and advances.