None of us is infallible, not even the minister. But he must have had some doubts. There are many who have had more experience in business than either the minister or I, who express grave doubts. And I would ask him to consider carefully how we got into this mess. Whjr have we now austerity in the midst of prosperity?
I agree with the Minister of Finance when he says that if you are to have more to send out of the country you must either eat less or produce more. That is axiomatic; we can all agree with that. But I cannot agree that the minister can encourage production by the people if he proceeds to build up a huge surplus in revenue, and increase taxation.
Is there anyone who, by the widest stretch of the imagination, would say that the imposition of a 25 per cent excise tax, at a time when we are boasting about having a half a billion dollars in revenue as a surplus, will help production?
If the minister wishes to increase production in Canada, then I suggest several things that should be done. I would say, first, that, instead of putting on more taxes, he should remove the sales tax. It is a tax which multiplies and pyramids all along the line, until it becomes an enormous tax. Even the hon. member from Montreal would agree with that. No, I see he would not agree. There are none so blind as those who will not see. I know, and you know,
Mr. Chairman, that we are carrying a burden of taxation in Canada which is almost crippling industry, stifling enterprise, killing initiative and dampening genius in our people who would embark upon new ventures in other lines.
Subtopic: EXCISE TAX ACT AMENDMENT