April 12, 1945 (19th Parliament, 6th Session)


Jean-François Pouliot

Independent Liberal


Yes sir, surely. But when some people who are concerned in this do not seem to understand the seriousness of the matter I have to make some comparisons, and the comparison was that with two brothers who were always fighting but who joined together against anyone who came to separate them. I do not suggest any fight to-day, but I want to put before the house and the country what has been stated in editorial comment by the leading press of the country.
Members of parliament have to hire stenographers; they have to pay for offices where they receive their constituents; they have to pay telephone bills; they have to pay for telegrams; they have to travel often outside the session to look after the interests of their constituents. They have to buy stamps costing a large amount of money, and our indemnity is mentioned as $4,000. We have to subtract from that amount $1,200 for income tax, and we have $60 in all for travelling expenses when we live more than four hundred miles from Ottawa. Well, sir, with $2,800 is it possible to run an office, to pay a stenographer, to pay telephone calls and telegrams, to buy stamps, stationery and so forth? Besides that, is it possible for us to go on like that without anything being credited to us by the income tax branch for the expenditures we are making in coming to attend to our duty?
Privilege-Mr. Ross (St. Paul's)

In England it is different. Members of parliament receive approximately $3,000 a year; but as the House of Commons at Westminster is much smaller than ours, there are seats for only one half of the members, and they are paid in advance, and they are not bound to attend the sittings. I wonder if the same thing is practicable here.
But what I will suggest to the government is, that at first, the expenses which are incurred by members of parliament in the carrying out of their parliamentary duties- travelling expenses, living expenses, office expenses-be deducted from the income tax on their indemnity.
Many hon. members who are professional men are sacrificing their practice in doing their duty as members of parliament. Other hon. members suffer the same prejudice. I hope the government will realize that consideration should be given at once to the well-deserving case of members of parliament.
mb. boss (st. Paul's)-befebence to bemabks IN DEBATE ON APBIL 10

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