Hugh John FLEMMING

FLEMMING, The Hon. Hugh John, P.C.

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Carleton--Charlotte (New Brunswick)
Birth Date
January 5, 1899
Deceased Date
October 16, 1982
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_John_Flemming
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=e7d3aa7f-46b2-4d6c-82a4-8a11a0ea4e6e&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
lumberman, merchant

Parliamentary Career

October 31, 1960 - April 19, 1962
PC
  Royal (New Brunswick)
  • Minister of Forestry (October 11, 1960 - March 17, 1963)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
PC
  Victoria--Carleton (New Brunswick)
  • Minister of Forestry (October 11, 1960 - March 17, 1963)
  • Minister of Mines and Technical Surveys (July 18, 1962 - August 8, 1962)
  • Minister of National Revenue (August 9, 1962 - April 21, 1963)
April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
PC
  Victoria--Carleton (New Brunswick)
  • Minister of National Revenue (August 9, 1962 - April 21, 1963)
November 8, 1965 - April 23, 1968
PC
  Victoria--Carleton (New Brunswick)
June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
PC
  Carleton--Charlotte (New Brunswick)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 5 of 166)


November 22, 1971

Mr. Flemming:

I will take only a minute, Mr. Chairman. We have no assurance from the government that the restrictive measures which have been included in this bill will have any beneficial effect. Perhaps the parliamentary secretary would like to convince me that they will. I would be glad to be convinced. So far, however, I remain unconvinced. The government seems to be absolutely unconscious of the effects of high taxation. It is time it woke up and considered what action it ought to take in the interests of all the people of Canada.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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November 22, 1971

Mr. Flemming:

We are discussing a complex phase of a complex portion of the tax reform bill. When I say tax reform I want to say that I do not subscribe to the words whatsoever, because tax reform suggests tax improvement. This is not tax improvement by any stretch of the imagination. If people were honest with themselves they

would not call this monstrosity tax improvement, because it is not.

When the bill is referred to committee of the whole then I suggest it is the business of the minister sponsoring it to be in his place to explain the bill for the illumination of all members. In this case, that responsibility has been delegated to the parliamentary secretary to the minister, the hon. member for Calgary South, and I find no fault with that. But when the parliamentary secretary fails to rise in his place at the beginning of any series of sections of a complex bill to explain to the committee what the government expects to accomplish by these new portions of this bill, then I do find fault.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Full View Permalink

November 22, 1971

Mr. Flemming:

The government's objective may be to allow Canadian businesses operating abroad to remain competitive and viable. Mr. Chairman, you cannot make them competitive and viable if you impose on them provisions like these so that they cannot live. That, to me, does not seem sensible. There has been talk of bilateral tax treaties. These treaties are not easily made. They take a great deal of time. Why, for goodness sake, is it necessary to enter into additional tax treaties when under the present law $513 million in cash flowed into the treasury of this country in 1970? In 1971 it is quite possible that the amount will be much greater. The international aspects of Bill C-259, Mr. Chairman, might be described as a nightmare of overkill, subverting international equity and confronting Canada's international interests with grim prospects.

I think the parliamentary secretary should explain what the government has in mind. Why did 44 top businessmen come to Ottawa today, if not to express concern about the new tax legislation?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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November 22, 1971

Mr. Flemming:

If you will examine the bill you will see that in every case it is written that these are new sections. I submit it was the duty of the parliamentary secretary to rise in his place and explain why the changes are being made and what gain is expected in comparison to the old act. As I said a few moments ago, while I do not agree with the principle of delegation because people are elected for a specific purpose, since it had to be done I am sure it could not be on more capable shoulders-except that he did not do it. He has not given the committee any explanation of why this is done and what the government expects to gain by it.

I shall give a bit of information on what we are gaining under the present act. Let us examine the record, Mr. Chairman, and see what it shows. We find that in 1970 Canada received $513 million in interest and dividends on foreign holdings, a 74 per cent increase over the 1967 revenue of $295 million. In 1967, Canadian direct investment abroad represented a book value of $4 million out of total long-term investments with a book value of a little over $8 million. Canadian direct investment abroad in 1970 was $215 million exclusive of undistributed profits.

With that in mind, Mr. Chairman, it becomes the duty of the parliamentary secretary to tell this House what improvement the government is going to make. I know what has been said by some members. They have raised this particular phase of the new bill and emphasized that portion of it which would interfere with people who are wealthy and move their place of residence to another country. I agree with that. I do not, however, agree with the idea of saying to Canadian corporations which are doing business throughout the world that you are going to make it as hard as you can for them because there are ways in which they could be made to pay taxes.

In my opinion, the people who are contributing to taxation in this country, which last year amounted to something in the area of $6 billion or $7 billion, are a most important class because they contribute to the expense of various social services and the expense of government in general. Why should the government try to make it hard for the taxpayer? It seems to me that what they are doing is discouraging him or the corporation to the extent that he loses his incentive to go ahead and make a profit. I happen to believe in profit because, in the first place, I believe it makes for good times and, in the second place, government gets about 50 per cent of it anyway. I see that you agree, Mr. Chairman, because you smile. Why should the taxpayer be held up almost as a public enemy of

November 22, 1971

Canada when he is almost the greatest benefactor that the country could possibly have?

I think we have to look at all these phases, but it seems to me that the government has not considered them. They seem determined to make change, but unless you can make an improvement you should not make change. The power to tax is surely the power to destroy, and the power to change taxes and make them more onerous surely has the same connotation. I think the parliamentary secretary should have been on his feet a long time ago telling this House what the government had in mind and why they were doing it.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
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November 22, 1971

Mr. Flemming:

This business of trying to point the finger at corporations that have their head office in Canada, as though it were a crime, does not stand up in my opinion and should be frowned upon by every member of this assembly.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   INCOME TAX ACT
Full View Permalink