March 17, 1977

LIB

James Alexander Jerome (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. Speaker:

Such a motion under the terms of Standing Order 43 can be presented only with unanimous consent. Is there unanimous consent?

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR JOB CREATION PROGRAMS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE-MOTION UNDER S.O. 43
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?

Some hon. Members:

No!

Topic:   ROUTINE PROCEEDINGS
Subtopic:   REQUEST FOR JOB CREATION PROGRAMS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE-MOTION UNDER S.O. 43
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ORAL QUESTION PERIOD

FINANCE

PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Sinclair Stevens (York-Simcoe):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Minister of Finance. As interlocked with rising unemployment we have current account trade balance deficits among the highest in the world, including travel deficits which rose sharply over last year amounting to $1.1 billion in the last year for which we have figures, would the minister tell us whether he has received any confirmation from Washington of an exemption or other alteration with respect to the Washington order affecting convention expenses as they pertain to Canadian institutions?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF UNITED STATES LAW CONCERNING CONVENTION EXPENSES-INTEREST AND DIVIDEND IMBALANCE WITH UNITED STATES
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LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Hon. Donald S. Macdonald (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, as I stated in the House last week, I discussed this question with Secretary Blumenthal during my visit to Washington. It was pointed out, of course, that Canada as well, in its tax law, applies restrictive provisions with regard to conventions and it was suggested by me that we might seek some reciprocal provisions so as, on one hand, to protect taxpayers generally, while on the other to make certain that the long standing practice of exchanging conventions across the border will continue. That is a subject which will be actively considered in the treaty negotiations which are now reaching the completion stage.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF UNITED STATES LAW CONCERNING CONVENTION EXPENSES-INTEREST AND DIVIDEND IMBALANCE WITH UNITED STATES
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PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Stevens:

A supplementary, again to the Minister of Finance. Included in the current account deficit figures not only do we find this tourist imbalance but also an interest and

dividend imbalance of $2.5 billion, would the minister indicate whether in the current year he anticipates this deficit will grow even higher?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF UNITED STATES LAW CONCERNING CONVENTION EXPENSES-INTEREST AND DIVIDEND IMBALANCE WITH UNITED STATES
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LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Macdonald (Rosedale):

As I indicated to the hon. member in the standing committee, it is difficult to know exactly what provincial and municipal governments and private borrowers will do with respect to their financing in the current year. There is reason to believe that provincial demands on the money market may be somewhat lower this year than they were last year, but this will depend very much on the difference between United States and Canadian longer-term interest rates. At the moment it is difficult to predict exactly whether there will be a substantial difference in this current year.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   EFFECT OF UNITED STATES LAW CONCERNING CONVENTION EXPENSES-INTEREST AND DIVIDEND IMBALANCE WITH UNITED STATES
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TREND OF DEFICIT ON SERVICE TRANSACTIONS-GOVERNMENT POSITION

PC

Sinclair McKnight Stevens

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Sinclair Stevens (York-Simcoe):

Mr. Speaker, again to the Minister of Finance; not only do we have deficits in the two items that I have referred to but we also have a $2 billion deficit on other service transactions up 11 per cent over the previous year, would the minister also indicate if he anticipates that this deficit will continue to rise in this most unsatisfactory year as far as our economic condition is concerned?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TREND OF DEFICIT ON SERVICE TRANSACTIONS-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Hon. Donald S. Macdonald (Minister of Finance):

It seems to me, Mr. Speaker, that this trend is the least likely to change in the sense that it represents payments for shipping services overseas, insurance and other invisibles of that kind. In that sense I do not anticipate there is any prospect of a very dramatic reduction there.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   TREND OF DEFICIT ON SERVICE TRANSACTIONS-GOVERNMENT POSITION
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THE CANADIAN ECONOMY

PC

James McPhail Gillies

Progressive Conservative

Mr. James Gillies (Don Valley):

Mr. Speaker, my question is directed to the Prime Minister. I would like to ask the right hon. gentleman, in relationship to the current economic situation, the high levels of unemployment, rising inflation, balance of payments deficit and more particularly to the fact that over the past few years there has been a fair degree of discrepancy between the forecast and the realities of economic performance, whether or not the Prime Minister is satisfied with the way in which we are organized in this country for the development of economic policy? I have in mind specifically whether or not he would consider the possibilities of changing the budget procedures so there might be debate on major economic trends before the budget comes down, and a new role for the Economic Council of Canada, the possibility of a council of economic advisers or some new arrangement whereby we might feel that we are getting perhaps a broader and better interpretation of economic forces and economic outlook that is ahead of us?

March 17, 1977

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   POSSIBILITY OF CHANGES IN METHOD OF ECONOMIC FORECASTING AND DEBATE ON CONDITIONS PRIOR TO BUDGET
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, there is an indication in the question of very legitimate concern by the hon. member and some suggestions for improving our institutions. I will consider them. The hon. member himself might want to consider elaborating on them in a speech in the budget debate and certainly the Minister of Finance, myself and other members would be interested in improving in any way our procedures.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   THE CANADIAN ECONOMY
Sub-subtopic:   POSSIBILITY OF CHANGES IN METHOD OF ECONOMIC FORECASTING AND DEBATE ON CONDITIONS PRIOR TO BUDGET
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SUGGESTED COMMITTEE STUDY OF INSTITUTIONS CONCERNED WITH ECONOMIC POLICY

PC

James McPhail Gillies

Progressive Conservative

Mr. James Gillies (Don Valley):

Mr. Speaker, I wonder if the right hon. Prime Minister would give serious consideration to the appointment of a select committee of this House to examine the institutional framework for economic policymaking in this country with the terms of reference requiring a report by the end of this year so that some of the recommendations might be taken into account, if accepted by the House, in the preparation of the budget for the next fiscal year?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   SUGGESTED COMMITTEE STUDY OF INSTITUTIONS CONCERNED WITH ECONOMIC POLICY
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LIB

Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Prime Minister)

Liberal

Right Hon. P. E. Trudeau (Prime Minister):

Mr. Speaker, this calls for the same type of answer. I will consider the various suggestions. However, if the hon. member could find some moment to elaborate on them, either inside or outside the House, I would be very interested.

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   SUGGESTED COMMITTEE STUDY OF INSTITUTIONS CONCERNED WITH ECONOMIC POLICY
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FINANCE

NDP

John Edward Broadbent

New Democratic Party

Mr. Edward Broadbent (Oshawa-Whitby):

Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Finance. Given the need for government initiative to create jobs for the more than one million Canadians who need them, will the minister confirm the figures I have that the deficit in automotive parts trade with the United States increased a further $200 million in 1976 for a total of $2.7 billion in deficit for that year and if so, could he tell us what he said about this when he went to Washington recently, because such an imbalance obviously means a profound loss of jobs to Canadians and completely goes against the spirit of the auto pact?

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   DEFICIT AS RESULT OF CANADA-UNITED STATES AUTO PACT-DISCUSSIONS WITH UNITED STATES
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LIB

Donald Stovel Macdonald (Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Hon. Donald S. Macdonald (Minister of Finance):

Mr. Speaker, the first part of the hon. gentleman's question requires a statistical answer and I would be prepared to seek that. I do not have it to hand at this time.

On the second and broader aspect of the question, indeed the question of the auto pact was referred to. As the hon. gentleman knows, there have been parallel considerations within both Canada and the United States with respect to the trade in automobiles and auto parts, a parallel preparation of positions of the two countries in this regard. We would anticipate that in this area we would have opportunity of comparing those respective positions of the two countries as a step toward a further examination of the auto pact.

Oral Questions

Topic:   ORAL QUESTION PERIOD
Subtopic:   FINANCE
Sub-subtopic:   DEFICIT AS RESULT OF CANADA-UNITED STATES AUTO PACT-DISCUSSIONS WITH UNITED STATES
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March 17, 1977