Mr. JOHN HUBBS (Prince Edward):
Mr. Speaker, I see very little in the budget proposals that will be of much interest or advantage to the people; on the contrary, I think in the main they will be detrimental to the best interests of the nation. It is true
The Budget-Mr. Hubbs
the elimination of the sales tax on farm implements and its reduction on boots and shoes will be of some benefit to the people. But if the exorbitant sales tax has been found detrimental to business-and I do not think this will be denied-why did not the government take it off altogether? The sales tax is a nuisance. It is hard to handle, and is evaded in certain quarters.
Why should the sales tax be taken off farm implements and retained on canning machinery? A canning factory is certainly associated with the activities of farmers. Yet the man who equips such a factory has to pay 35 per cent duty plus 5 per cent sales tax on his machinery. Is it fair that this tax should be taken off farm implements and the duties lowered on those implements, while canning and other machinery are not given similar relief? Is it fair that the sales tax should be taken off mining machinery, and yet left on canned goods, boots and shoes and clothing that the miner has to buy? I might ask the same question with respect to logging machinery. It is purchased by large companies, yet the retail buyer of lumber has to pay the sales tax, and lumber is an absolute necessity in the building of our homes. To my mind a reduction of the duty on farm implements and on mining and logging machinery is where the trouble will arise. It will be remembered that two years ago when the British preference on woollen goods was increased by 2J per cent no one thought it of much importance. A year ago the British preference was further increased by 10 per cent. It was strenuously opposed from this corner of the House, but. no one expected that it would be so disastrous to our woollen industry, yet it has resulted in half of our woollen factories closing their doors or going into liquidation. I am afraid that a lot of our implement manufacturers will be in a similar position within the next two years. Recently I saw a letter addressed by a manufacturing firm in Toronto to their agent in my home town, instructing him to dispose of his samples and return his sample cases because the budget proposals had forced them to close their doors.
Topic: THE BUDGET
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE ACTING MINISTER OF FINANCE