I am coming to that. I say that I am not blaming our predecessors in office for the whole expenditure. Of that, $1,670,000,000 was related to the war. But I do blame them for not meeting more of the expenditure out of current revenue. In Great Britain during the same six years the government expended as much money as bad -been expended for over two hundred years before, but they collected 38 per cent of the expenditure while the people were making profits out of war supplies. Had our government of that day the same vision and collected a similar percentage from those who were making huge profits on war contracts, we would not be obliged to-day to retain the duties on this, that and the other commodity in order to meet our obligations. On the contrary, we would have been in a position to reduce the tariff all around. To ask the Acting Minister of Finance to make further tariff re-iuetions at the present time is to put an mpossible burden upon him. Look at those who have preceded him in the Department of Finance, look at the ex-Minister of Finance (Sir Henry Drayton) Who brings in an amendment, which stultifies itself in that in the first part he asks the government to reduce the sales tax, and in the second part he says that the tax cannot be reduced because we have spent so much money. The amendment is self-contradictory. The exMinister of Finance states that the government have increased the national debt this year, but I submit that he is mistaken and that the amount due has been decreased by over $5,000,000.
I was sorry to note that the member for Vancouver Centre (Mr. Stevens)-coming from a city that has perhaps progressed more than any other city in Canada under this administration-cast aspersions on the Acting Minister of Finance by stating that in private life the Acting Minister of Finance would have been guilty of moral obloquy if he had published such a statement as he has submitted to the House. But we regard him as the soul of honour, and I contend that he has submitted a perfectly correct statement to the House, for any hon. member who examines the budget will agree that he has properly accounted for a cash surplus of $1,823,000. In addition there is $4,000,000 interest due from Greece and Roumania, and if he had1 not included that sum in the assets of the Dominion he would not have been doing his duty as a minister. I find that in 1921 a certificate was given by an auditor brought from the United States, and in it these loans to Greece and Roumania are included; and in the public accounts at the present time there is a certificate, which the minister produces, showing that this conforms with the account as given at that time. The question is asked why that $4,000,000 was put there. Well, it was earned on principal; part of the principal had been paid and part of the interest was due. It was adjusted and there was found to be $4,000,000 altogether due. And that is capitalized in the way that any mortgage is dealt with. That $4,000,000 as I understand it is interest-bearing as the $30,000,000 is. The thing is as simple as it can be and there is no attempt at dishonesty or anything of the kind.