March 1, 1934 (17th Parliament, 5th Session)


Robert Charles Matthews (Minister of National Revenue)

Conservative (1867-1942)


When my hon. friend
comes to the department, he will receive the same generous treatment that is accorded to anyone who comes.
Mr. GER8HAW: I would like to draw to
the attention of the minister a situation which obtains in southern Alberta and perhaps in other places. Close to the international boundary line there are a number of farmers, small ranchers and so forth in rather poor circumstances. It just happens 14726-701
that there are no stores close to them on the Canadian side and naturally they deal with nearby stores on the United States side. It also happens that the roads are bad and the customs offices are often twelve or fifteen miles apart. That means a long trip for those people in order to report any of their purchases. Occasionally an inspector will come along, march into their homes, inspect their pantries, go down into their cellars and hunt around their premises. Perhaps he may find a tin can or something bearing a United States label, and in that case the unfortunate homesteader is in real trouble and up against a great deal of expense. I understand it is an offence to issue a false invoice, and I have wondered whether the department would in such cases allow a farmer to mail the invoice to the customs office and pay his duty in that way. If he did not have the invoice and smuggled extra goods, of course he would be liable. But is there no regulation by which that man can pay his customs duty by mail by forwarding an invoice, or is there any way by which he can avoid making long trips to report to the customs office?

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