Hon. R. D. MORAND (East Essex):
speaking to the budget I wish first of all to express my deep appreciation of the magnificent effort of the Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) acting in his capacity of Minister of Finance in bringing to the attention of the house an account of the numerous ramifications of the country's services, revenues, expenditures and debt, in such an able way that young members like myself and others outside the house, who take an interest in national affairs, may get a comprehensive viewpoint of our finances. When one considers the colossal labour, the amount of intense study, and the time involved that might have been spent more pleasantly by the Prime Minister, one realizes how fortunate the country is to have at its head a man of such business ability who has the desire and willingness to give his ability and time in the service of the dominion.
We have already to-day heard a good deal about the increase in taxation. To me the question of taxes has always been simple, inasmuch as the total amount of taxes that the people pay is the total amount of revenue that the government receives, less the revenue from the services of the country. With the exception of the revenue from those services, there is no other way that I know whereby a country can get money than by taxation. It is rather interesting, after having listened for a number of years to hon. members opposite, both in the house and throughout the country, telling about the way in which they have reduced taxes, to read some of the figures which have been placed on Hansard
and which show how the amount of taxation has been increased. The figures are as follows:
Year from taxation
Showing an almost continuous increase until 1930-31 when we find we have received in taxation from the country only the sum of $296,276,000. I have heard hon. members opposite time and again tell us that the customs duty is a form of taxation. If that be true, then the people this year have been taxed more lightly by that form than they were in previous years, because we find that the receipts from customs tariff are as follows:
We have already begun to hear from the other side-and we shall hear it frequently -about the tremendous increase in taxation with which this country will have to contend in the next year. We have already been told that it is almost a crime that the sales tax should be raised to 4 per cent. When the Liberal party came into power, finding a situation very much similar to the one now prevailing, they did not hesitate or consider it a crime to increase the sales tax to 6 per cent, and it took them eight years to bring it back to one per cent. I am not a prophet, but I venture to say that long before nine years have expired, the present government will have reduced the sales tax below one per cent.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL