William Foster COCKSHUTT

COCKSHUTT, William Foster

Personal Data

Party
Unionist
Constituency
Brantford (Ontario)
Birth Date
October 17, 1855
Deceased Date
November 22, 1939
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Foster_Cockshutt
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=4377f02c-8021-4cd3-9d64-deaad7b31431&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
businessman, manufacturer

Parliamentary Career

November 3, 1904 - September 17, 1908
CON
  Brantford (Ontario)
September 21, 1911 - October 6, 1917
CON
  Brantford (Ontario)
December 17, 1917 - October 4, 1921
UNION
  Brantford (Ontario)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 1 of 191)


June 2, 1921

Mr. COCKSHUTT:

I think the Bill as

a whole is in the right direction. I cannot agree with my hon. friend who has just sat down that it is desirable we should make up our own bills. I have had a good many dealings with people in the course of my life and I have never yet been called upon to make out my own bill in payment of any purchase. In every municipality the taxes are computed by the assessor or the tax gatherer, and I cannot see why individuals should be compelled to worry about computing their income tax as I know a great many have done. Of course, there may be some who do not worry much and do not want to put in returns, but I know many honourable people have felt it a very great responsibility to be called upon to make up their own bills. They are told that they must not make them up too small or they will be fined heavily; they must make them big enough, and in doing that they may overtax themselves. It is desirable in all matters of taxation that absolute justice and fairness should be sought, and I believe the minister is desirous of . moving in that direction. It seems to me that there should certainly be no penalty if a man or woman fails to make out an absolutely correct return. I doubt if there are ten men in this House who can make up their returns and say absolutely: These are correct returns of my income this year. I certainly could not do it. I spend a great many days on my own return, and finally I referred it to one of the experts of the department in my city. My figures came very close to his, and I accepted the figures given me and paid on them

Topic:   REVISED EDITION. COMMONS
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June 2, 1921

Mr. COCKSHUTT:

My income may

vary, some investments that I thought were good may turn out bad, and some that I thought were bad may turn out good. It is very difficult for a man who has an income from eight, ten, or twenty varieties of stocks, debentures, bonds, and so forth to make these computations. I know the minister is doing all he can in this measure to help those who have struggled in this regard. I have considerable sympathy With the contention made by my hon. friend from Sherbrooke. He is a good business man, and I think the point he has drawn attention to is one worthy of consideration by the minister, namely, that there should not be taxation levied upon taxation. But that is what is being done under the Bill now, as the member for Sherbrooke has pointed out. For instance, a man's municipal tax must not be deducted from the return made for income tax. Now, surely a man who is taxed upon his income $500, $600 or $1,000 by the municipality cannot count that as "income". His income is what is left after he has paid all his just debts and liabilities. On the one hand a man has a right to include all his outgoings, such as repairs, insurance, taxes, and so forth, and on the other hand all his revenule. The reply made to me was that this Government comes (first,, and therefore the municipality and the province must come in their order, so to speak. I think there is a good deal in the point raised by the member for Sherbrooke, and I hope the minister will give it consideration. I am pleased that he has seen fit to relieve the taxpayer to a large extent of the responsibility in connection with these income tax returns. A great many citizens in my own city were fined very heavily last year for faults which I do not think were theirs, although, I must say, the department when I brought the circumstances to their attention, reviewed those cases. But at the same time small fines were collected from many citizens who had sought to do right. In levying these taxes, which are certainly pretty heavy on a great many people, the Government should proceed in a spirit of fairness and justice. Every precaution should be taken against unfairly regarding a person as dishonest whose

return has not been quite accurately made up. I feel that the majority of the citizens of Canada are honestly anxious to make out their returns in accordance with the Act.

Topic:   REVISED EDITION. COMMONS
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June 2, 1921

Mr. COCKSHUTT:

I did not ask the hon. member a question. He rose himself to ask the question. I am pointing out the defect in his argument. As regards the express parcels mentioned by the hon. member for Brant (Mr. Harold), let me point out to him that this does not apply to small invoices. Express parcels rarely exceed $100 in value, and they would not require this certificate, as I understand the matter.

Topic:   REVISED EDITION. COMMONS I
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June 2, 1921

Mr. COCKSHUTT:

Well, there may be a difference of opinion on that point. I prefer to take the opinions of the business men rather than those of the legal men, who seem to think that they understand not only law but every other subject in creation, although they may have had no experience whatever in trade matters.

Topic:   REVISED EDITION. COMMONS I
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June 2, 1921

Mr. COCKSHUTT:

In order that the county of Brant may not be wrong on this question I think that it is necessary that I should say a few words in support of the minister's resolution. I am surprised to find the member for Halifax showing so much heat on a subject in connection with which it may be presumed that he has not had very much experience. He makes the statement that this proposal cannot promote trade, and he attacks violently the principle upon which the (minister is proceeding. I want to tell him that one of

the largest associations of business men in Canada have requested that this mode of procedure be adopted. I presume that the member for Halifax would take the view of the Halifax Bar Association in preference to that of 2,500 or 3,000 of the brightest men in manufacturing and commercial circles in the city of Toronto. Doe's he think that the view of these men should carry no weight?

Topic:   REVISED EDITION. COMMONS I
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