May 20, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)


Joseph-√Čloi Fontaine

Laurier Liberal


(Translation.) I think that the suggestion made by the hon. member for Queen's and Shelburne would be the

best. The rate of $9 per gallon which it is proposed to ask of the druggist is out of all proportion to the rate of $2.40 per gallon which is asked from the manufacturer. It seems to me that there should *be an intermediate rate and that the duty of $4.40 which prevailed in the past should be considered as quite sufficient. I realize that the manufacturer has to go to some expense for the putting up of a warehouse and to pay the cost of a government inspector, but even taking such expenditure into account* I think, that there is too great a margin between what he has to pay and the amount of $9 which is required for a druggist. We should adopt a middle term and leave the tax as it is. A druggist is a graduate, an honoured and conscientious man, as well as a physician. We should rely on his good-will and moral sense. Because the manufacturer uses a great deal more of alcohol than the druggist, it is not a reason why the latter should be called upon to pay a heavier tax.
It is not for me to devise the best form of taxation, but the Minister of Finance, who is thoroughly posted on that subject, should be able to settle that difficulty in such a way as to do justice to all parties. This change of rate is certainly a great injustice done to the retailer and as I said a moment ago, it is not the retailer who will pay the tax, but the consumer; it is the public who will be called upon to pay. We pay enough taxes without enacting any for the benefit of a special class. Before this resolution is adopted, I would ask the hon. Minister of Finance to devise some means of doing both parties justice.

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