March 11, 1968

NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Would the minister permit a question?

Topic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR SURCHARGE
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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Minister of National Health and Welfare; Minister of Amateur Sport; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

Mr. Speaker, I would be glad to answer a question later. In the same citation Beauchesne says:

[DOT] (4:00 p.m.)

On consideration of the Profiteering Bill as amended, in session 1919, a member asked whether clause three of the bill was in order, as it was substantially a repetition of a bill which had been rejected on second reading; but the Speaker held that the house could revise a decision, provided that it was not asked to disagree with the same question.

That is paragraph 2 of citation 373, Beau-chesne's fourth edition, page 273.

On looking at May's seventeenth edition one finds that Beauchesne used May as a source. At page 518 of the seventeenth edition May repeats the same rule:

There is no rule or custom which restrains the presentation of two or more bills relating to the same subject, and containing similar provisions-

On the following page there is another interesting paragraph. As Your Honour pointed out the other day, May's seventeenth edition is fairly recent, having been published in 1964. On page 519 the following paragraph is found:

Objection has also been taken to a bill on the broader ground that it raised a question which had been previously decided by the house in the course of proceedings on another bill of the same session.

Then May goes on to say:

Such objection has rarely been found capable of being sustained.

Then he lists a number of cases. The last case is very clear. It deals with this subject:

When the latter bill contained a portion only of the earlier rejected bill-

I am arguing that there are differences in substance in the provisions of the two bills. I am also relying on this particular instance which May cites when he says on page 520:

When the later bill contained a portion only of the earlier rejected bill.-The Local Government Provisional Order.. .Bill, 1914, was allowed to proceed, although it contained one of the orders contained in the Local Government Provisional Orders .. .Bill.. .which had been rejected in the session of 1914.

Here we have several new elements. Even if we brought forward the same bill and put in a new part one we would gain some support from this particular paragraph in May to argue that it was in order.

I want to refer to two precedents in the British house which are very much on point. I have not done the research that others have done on this matter but there is a case that May refers to in the British house on August 14, 1919. It is found on page 1718 of the British parliamentary debates. An amendment was proposed and one member of the house, Sir G. Younger, rose on a point of order. He said:

Before this amendment is moved may I ask whether clause 3 as it stands is not really a repetition of the Municipal Authorities Enabling Bill which was rejected in this house on second reading, enabling authorities by order of the Board of Trade to establish businesses and does the clause not put into this bill what was actually refused a second reading by this house at the beginning of the session?

The Speaker ruled as follows:

It is sometimes found that second thoughts are best.

I am sure the Minister of Finance may find food for thought in that comment. Mr. Speaker went on to say:

It is open to the house to revise its decision provided that it is not asked to agree to or disagree with identically-

I emphasize "with identically''.

-the same question. That is not the case here.

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PC

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lambert:

Rewriting a paragraph and inserting new commas does not change something from being identical with something else.

March 11, 1968

Income Tax Act

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Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR SURCHARGE
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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Minister of National Health and Welfare; Minister of Amateur Sport; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

As Mr. Speaker said then, if he were asked to give an opinion on identically the same question the matter would then be out of order. That, clearly, is in his ruling.

There is another case in the British house. I will not read it all but it is to be found on August 3, 1920. At page 2206 of the British proceedings Mr. Palmer, rising on a point of order with regard to an amendment to a motion then before the house, said in part:

My point is this, that this house, having come to the decision early in the year to enact these regulations only until 31st August, or peacetime, whichever came the sooner, this house is not competent to act on that decision, and by a bill of this kind to extend the regulations with regard to shops for another 18 months; that it is a rule of this house that the house having come to a decision, cannot reverse, alter or override that decision within the same session.

That is the point the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre put to the Chair. The Speaker on that occasion said:

I do not think that can be strictly applied in a case of this sort, for, even assuming the house had in its mind that these regulations in the first instance should continue only until 31st December, it was quite open to the house to reconsider the matter, and to extend that period. It might have done it by an amending bill in the same session. There is nothing to prevent that.

Another member who was then present, Major Nall, said:

May I ask whether it is, in that case, competent for this house actually to reverse in the same session, a decision arrived at in the early part of the session?

The Speaker gave his decision and said:

The house must not be asked to consider the proposition in exactly the same terms;-

Those are the words he used, "exactly the same terms."

-that is to say, I ought not, if I observed it, to put identically the same question twice. The house having come to a decision, I ought not to put identically the same question-

Again we see the words "identically the same question".

-again to the House, so that the House could have an opportunity of reversing its decision. In this case, there is no question which I have put from the chair which could be regarded as identically the same as that upon which the house has already pronounced.

I suggest to Your Honour that this question, if it is put, will not be identically the same as the previous question. I have indicated that there is a difference in the scheme of taxation and in the incidence of taxation. The burden of taxation is being shifted in part

from the individual taxpayer to the corporation. There are differences in ceilings, in floors and in rates as well as in other aspects. My argument, based on the precedents I have just cited, is that in proposing this particular bill the government is, of course, proposing a bill which is related to the same subject and which contains similar provisions. Of course that is so, because both bills relate to taxes and surtax. But there is no rule against that. I have cited the authorities. A bar would be raised against the government in proceeding with this bill if the house, when the Chair put the question, were asked to decide on exactly the same question or on identically the same proposition. That is what British Speakers have held.

Topic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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PC

Gerald William Baldwin

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Baldwin:

How do you regard a surtax of 4.99 per cent?

Topic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR SURCHARGE
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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (Minister of National Health and Welfare; Minister of Amateur Sport; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

I have put forward my points after considering the authorities. I am not resting the case on the nature of the question which was defeated. I am resting my case on the simple argument that the house, when the Chair puts this question, will not be asked to deal with identically the same question that was contained in Bill C-193.

[DOT] (4:10 p.m.)

Topic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR SURCHARGE
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Would the minister permit a question or two? First, may I ask him if he will address himself to the fact to which I drew the attention of the house, namely, that there are four clauses in the new bill which are identical with four clauses in the previous bill? He knows that I admitted there are differences in the surtax, and I outlined them as well as he did, but will he deal with the fact that there are four clauses in the new bill which are identical with four clauses in the old bill? Will he also address himself to this fact? He gives citations and says it is possible to bring forward part of a former bill that has been defeated, but would he recognize that this new bill does not leave out anything that was in the former bill?

Topic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR SURCHARGE
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?

An hon. Member:

Address the Speaker.

Topic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR SURCHARGE
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

I am addressing the Speaker but I am putting a question to the Minister of National Health and Welfare and I would like his undivided attention. I enjoy it better that way.

Topic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR SURCHARGE
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?

Some hon. Members:

Oh, oh.

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Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR SURCHARGE
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NDP

Stanley Howard Knowles (N.D.P. House Leader; Whip of the N.D.P.)

New Democratic Party

Mr. Knowles:

Will he face the fact that what is proposed in this bill is not to bring forward parts of what was in the former bill?

March XI. 1968

Income Tax Act

It is all here, everything that was in the former bill. There is not a clause that is missing. Some of it has been changed, but this is not just partially the old bill. It is all of it, and a couple of new things have been added.

Just one other question, Mr. Speaker. When the minister cites Speakers' rulings from Westminster will he face the fact that our Speaker on January 26, 1967, ruled it was not only identity that mattered but also similarity and the necessity not to infringe on the rule that the house must not be asked to do something that is inconsistent with a former decision?

I submit that what we are being asked for in this bill is to re-enact the whole of Bill C-193, with a couple of changes and additions, and we are being asked to make a decision which clearly in four cases, and almost so in other cases, is inconsistent with the decision we took on February 19.

Topic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR SURCHARGE
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PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. J. H. Horner (Acadia):

Mr. Speaker, I will be brief. The question has been dealt with at length by members more learned in the rules of the house than I but I would like to point out the difficult position that you are in and I would like to refresh your memory on a ruling that you made on January 26, 1967.

Topic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR SURCHARGE
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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please. I would advise the hon. member of the rule against repetition. This has already been brought to my attention.

Topic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR SURCHARGE
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PC

John (Jack) Henry Horner

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Horner (Acadia):

I will endeavour not to be as repetitious as perhaps you think I may be. The Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. MacEachen) has stated that he thinks this bill is not identical with the previous one and therefore should be accepted, but I would like to point out what Your Honour said on January 26 last year, as recorded on page 12270 of Hansard:

The minister this afternoon showed that in the one case there is a mandatory review, and in the other case what he calls a facultative review. In the one case there is a one-shot review; in the other a continuing review. These, I admit, are substantial changes-

Those are your words.

-and I might even be prepared to admit that the objectives of the original clause and of this amendment may differ. But from my limited understanding it seems that the adoption of the amendment would reinstate in part-

This is the important point.

-a clause which has already been rejected in its entirety by the committee.

You then went on to reject the amendment offered by the minister of transport of that day, saying that it proposed to reinstate a clause which had already been rejected. In that case you referred to substantial changes and to differences between the objectives of the original clause and the amendment. In this case we have not got a substantial difference. We have not got an objective that is different. Some four clauses are going to be reinstated and in fact the entire old bill is included in new Bill C-207. I cannot see Your Honour ruling in any other way than you did on that occasion and saying anything else but that this bill is out of order.

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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gilles Gregoire (Lapointe):

Mr. Speaker, I listened with interest to the remarks of the Minister of National Health and Welfare (Mr. MacEachen) about the point of order now being discussed.

At the outset of his remarks, the minister seemed to suggest that the motion before the house on Monday, February 19 last was that the bill be now read for the third time. But he forgot to add that when the Speaker calls for the question, he also asks us that the bill be now read the third time and passed. The minister did not add the words: "Agreed to and passed".

Now, what was the answer of the house? It was of the opinion that the bill be not now agreed to. It was not merely a matter of saying "now". The opposition did not introduce any amendment to say in six or eight months. The opposition simply voted against the bill, and rejected it.

In addition, the Minister of National Health and Welfare feels that there are some differences between Bill No. C-207 and the former Bill No. C-193. He says: Bill No. C-207 does not only apply to individuals, like the former bill, but also to corporations. Now, that part concerning individuals, namely the surtax on personal income tax was defeated with Bill No. C-193.

If the Minister of National Health and Welfare maintained that the new bill only applied to corporation income tax, then it would be different. But he adds corporations only to be in a position to include the 3 per cent on personal income tax. It only means that he adds, in the same sentence, part of what has already been rejected in Bill No. C-193, and other things, so that what has already been rejected can be agreed to.

March 11, 19G8

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Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR SURCHARGE
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PC

Georges-J. Valade

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Valade:

It is arsenic.

Topic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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IND

Gilles Grégoire

Independent

Mr. Gregoire:

For those reasons, Mr. Speaker, I contend that the bill is the same as the one which has already been presented.

Those are the remarks which I wanted to make, Mr. Speaker.

March 11, 1968

Income Tax Act

Topic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Subtopic:   MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR SURCHARGE
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LIB

Ian Grant Wahn

Liberal

Mr. Ian Wahn (St. Paul's):

Mr. Speaker, I shall not prolong this discussion unduly because I think we all agree that the basic principle involved is simple although its application may be difficult. The basic principle surely is this: Is the question raised by the new bill essentially the same as that raised by the old bill? I doubt very much that an exact precedent can be found. I think this is a question which has to be decided upon the basis of common sense. One of the questions raised is whether a 5 per cent surcharge on personal income tax is essentially the same as a 3 per cent surcharge on personal income tax. If my recollection is correct, the 5 per cent surtax would have raised approximately $185 million and the 3 per cent surtax will raise about $105 million, a difference of $80 million. How can hon. members opposite say that $80 million represent a meaningless difference unless they are prepared to say "what is $80 million"? I do not think they would wish to take that attitude.

To get down to figures which we can perhaps understand more easily, suppose I am offered $50,000 for my home. This raises a question, should I sell? But if someone else offers me $30,000 for the same home, it seems to me it becomes a very different question. It is clear to me that on common sense grounds, apart from other circumstances, a 5 per cent surtax on personal income tax is very different from a 3 per cent surtax on personal income tax.

Other differences have been referred to. There is the fact that to make up in part for the revenue lost by the reduction in the surtax on personal income tax the surtax is now to apply to corporations. There is the fact that no limitation is now placed on the maximum tax-

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LIB

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Order. I wonder whether we are making much progress by having these figures quoted. They were quoted in detail by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre and I have heard them a few times now.

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RA

David Réal Caouette

Ralliement Créditiste

Mr. Real Caoueiie (Villeneuve):

Just a few words, Mr. Speaker, because I think as you do that we have been discussing for several minutes whether or not Bill No. C-207 is a repetition of Bill No. C-193.

Now, I believe that citation 148 of Beau-chesne's Parliamentary Rules and Forms,

4th edition, quoted earlier, can be applied here:

It is a wholesome restraint upon members that they cannot revive a debate already concluded; and it would be little use in preventing the same question from being offered twice in the same session-

Government members maintain that Bill No. C-207 is different from Bill No. C-193 but the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre (Mr. Knowles) maintains the opposite. The fact is that the principle of Bill No. C-207 remains the same as that of Bill No. C-193. What we discussed on February 19 and on preceding days concerned a surtax proposed in Bill No. C-193, and we will again be discussing a surtax. Whether that tax is 2, 3, 5, or 10 per cent, the basic principle remains the same.

Now, we are asked to discuss again the surtax that I regard as poison because, in the present circumstances, this is really a poison, and whether it is administered in small or in large doses, it still remains a poison.

I believe we are going to repeat the speeches we had the opportunity to deliver while considering Bill No. C-193. We will resort to the same arguments and maintain the same positions, because we are definitely against a surtax at this time. I say the government is acting hypocritically in introducing Bill No. C-207, because it had promised that Bill No. C-193 would be dead and gone and would not be reintroduced in this house. Now, they are introducing just about the same bill, with a few changes in the details of Bill No. C-193. The surtax rate is 3 per cent and the corporations are also taxed, but the principle of the bill is exactly the same from beginning to end, from A to Z, and we shall oppose it. Mr. Speaker, we humbly submit to you that this bill is but a repetition of the other one.

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March 11, 1968