Mr. Chairman, I want to
thank the minister for his statement, and to assure him that in anything I have to say on this question I have no desire to carry on any kind of vendetta against the minister himself, but I still question the wisdom of the decision that was made. I think that on the basis of the very facts as recited by the minister himself.
What the minister did not include in his statement was the basis on which the exchequer court handed down its decision. He did say that the views of the exchequer court and of the income tax appeal board were diametrically opposed, that is to say that the decisions were opposed. That, of course, is the natural outcome of the fact that the decision of the income tax appeal board was reversed by the higher court. It was the only conclusion you could reach.
It is interesting to note that on the arguments that were presented to the income tax appeal board, which the minister has already mentioned, Mr. Justice Cameron of the exchequer court had some very definite views to express in handing down his judgment. I think it is a matter of public interest that we should have that on record, and that the members of this house should be in a position to judge whether the final decision arrived at by the government was a wise one.
The minister has already pointed out that there were two particular matters that the income tax appeal board took into consideration. One was whether the tax imposed by the Quebec legislature, in passing what is referred to as the education act, was actually a corporation tax. The other was whether the governor in council, in passing the order in council which defined what a corporation tax is within the meaning of paragraph (o) of subsection 1 of section 6 of the Income War Tax Act exceeded its powers by defining that as a corporation tax. We know the decision reached by the income tax appeal board. But when we come to the exchequer
court, I would judge offhand that the opinions expressed by the judges of the higher court should carry considerable weight not only in the minds of the members of this house but of the government itself.