June 7, 1904 (9th Parliament, 4th Session)

LIB

William Stevens Fielding (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. FIELDING.

Well, certain portions of the expenditure in connection with Dominion lands arising out of the opening up of the Northwest and the development of the country are charged to capital account. That practice has been continued, although the receipts from the Dominion lands go into the general fund. There is possibly room for fair criticism as to the method employed in former years and at the present time :n respect to that account, but it does not materially alter the general result which I am presenting.
I am glad to find that the revenue for the current year, of which the greater part has now expired, has continued very buoyant. The following table will show the revenue for the eleven months of this current year as compared with the eleven months of last year.

Statement of Revenue to Mat 31, 1904, Compared with Revenue to Same Date, 1903.
- 1902-3. 1903-4. Increase. Decrease.$ cts. $ cts. 8 cts. $ cts.Customs 33,062,156 75 36,807,063 74 3,744,906 99 Excise.. 10,945,061 82 11,915,964 77 970,902 95 Post Office 3,833,269 28 4,167,398 20 334,128 92 Railways 6,009,990 67 6.030,787 26 20,796 59 3,874,904 88 3,796,903 42 78,001 46
Total 57,725,383 40 62,718,117 39 5,070,735 45 78,001 46
78,001 46
Net increase 4,992,733 99
It will be noticed that there has been a gratifying increase in customs, excise, and post office ; while there is a small decrease in miscellaneous revenues. There is on the whole a net increase of $4,992,733.99 in the general revenues up to date. There is a small increase of something over $20,000,000 from railways, but I am afraid when the time comes to present the statement of expenditure, it will be found that the showing is not so favourable, because the severity of the winter made all railway operation expensive, and in connection with the Intercolonial Railway there has been a very large increase of pay to the working men all over the line which will of course affect the statement for the current year. While the railway revenue shows some increase there will not be as gratifying a statement as we might desire bn for the operation of the year. Our total revenue up to the 31st of May is as follows :
Revenue.
Total revenue received to 31st May, 1904 $62,718,117 39
Estimate for balance of year.. .. 8,311,685 53

Or, say in round numbers.. ..$71,000,000 00
In reaching this estimate of $71,000,000, I am taking the receipts to date and for the balance of the year I am not allowing for any increase. There has been perhaps some little check in business owing to the causes I have mentioned, and I am not going to assume that for the balance of the year we will have an increase of revenue, although I am hopeful we may. I am assuming we will hold our own, and therefore on the basis of the receipts to May 31. and the continuance of the revenue for the remainder of the year to correspond with that for the Mr. FIELDING.
same period of last year, I estimate that we shall have a revenue of $71,000,000. The total expenditure chargeable to consolidated fund to May 31, 1904, was $41,623,560.67. My estimate for the balance of the year is that in closing up the accounts we shall probably expend about as much as we did a year ago, namely, $12,731,931.12. This will bring the total expenditure chargeable to consolidated fund to $54,355,491.79 ; or say in round numbers $54,500,000.
I anticipate, then, that for the current year we shall have a revenue of $71,000,000 and an expenditure chargeable to consolidated fund of $54,500,000, leaving us the magnificent surplus of $16,500,000.
On capital account I estimate that we shall spend during the current year $11,-
500,000. If, then, we take into account the expenditure on consolidated fund, the expenditure on capital account, the surplus, the sums which we shall set aside as sinking funds, and which merely pass from one hand to the other and go to swell our assets, the result will be, I anticipate, that at the close of the current year we shall have reduced the net debt of Canada to the extent of $7,500,000.
It has been my happy privilege to present from time to time statements of prosperous years in which we have had many surpluses ; and I have thought that it would be well to summarize the surplus account during the eight years that this government has administered the public affairs of the country. In the year 1896-7, the first year that this government was in power-a year during which we had not full control of affairs, because we had taken largely the estimates of our predecessors-there was a deficit of $519,981.44. That was the last deficit, the end of deficits so far as we had anything to do with them. We find, then, the statement for the eight years to be as follows :

Surpluses for the Eight Years, 1896-7 to

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-THE BUDGET.
Subtopic:   EXPENDITURE OF 1902-3 COMPARED WITH 1901-2.
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