Mr. T. G. MURPHY (Neepawa):
Mr. Speaker, in common with other members of the House I awaited with some degree of eagerness the presentation of the budget by the Minister of Finance (Mr. Robb). The annual budget of Canada has always held more interest for the people than any other matter dealt with by parliament, and of late years that interest has been accentuated in a marked degree by the enormous additions to our national debt and our ever-increasing burden of taxation. While I am unable to congratulate the minister for the reasons advanced by his supporters I feel that I can congratulate him upon his presentation of a difficult subject.
On this subject I desire to make certain observations which I will endeavour to make as concise as possible. As an outcome of the [M,r. Gervais.]
year's business the minister estimates a decrease of debt of $22,353,000. This is very gratifying, but how has the result been attained? On account of economy practised by the government? I am afraid not, as the following comparison will show.
In the fiscal year ended March 31, 1925, the total expenditure as shown by the Public Accounts was $340,619,936.48, while for the year 1926 it is $356,590,000, or an increase of $15,970,063.52. I am afraid we cannot give any credit to this government for economy in expenditure. Let us on the other hand compare the revenues for the two years 1925 and 1926. For the year 1925 the total revenue was $352,232,552.97 and for the year 1926, $378,943,000, or an increase of revenue for 1926 of $26,710,447.03. An examination of these figures clearly shows that the reason the government has been able to produce a surplus is because the revenue has increased and not because the government has been * economizing.
I have shown that the government expended in round figures $15,970,000 more in
1926 than in 1925, while for the coming year,. 1927, the estimated expenditure, including $30,000,000 to be advanced to the railways, is $381,871,351, or an estimated increase for
1927 of $25,281,351 over 1926. How any man can say that this government has done anything by reason of its policies to reduce the national debt passes my comprehension, when expenditures are increasing every year and the only reason we have any reduction in debt is because this government has taken more money out of the people of Canada.
I have heard it argued in this House that the government has reduced taxation.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OP DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OP THE MINISTER OF FINANCE