George Clyde NOWLAN

NOWLAN, The Hon. George Clyde, P.C., Q.C., B.A., LL.B.

Personal Data

Party
Progressive Conservative
Constituency
Digby--Annapolis--Kings (Nova Scotia)
Birth Date
August 14, 1898
Deceased Date
May 31, 1965
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Nowlan
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=ea30e79d-1feb-461a-bbea-b3e5a570ee30&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
barrister, lawyer

Parliamentary Career

December 13, 1948 - April 30, 1949
PC
  Digby--Annapolis--Kings (Nova Scotia)
June 19, 1950 - June 13, 1953
PC
  Annapolis--Kings (Nova Scotia)
August 10, 1953 - April 12, 1957
PC
  Digby--Annapolis--Kings (Nova Scotia)
June 10, 1957 - February 1, 1958
PC
  Digby--Annapolis--Kings (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of National Revenue (June 21, 1957 - August 8, 1962)
March 31, 1958 - April 19, 1962
PC
  Digby--Annapolis--Kings (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of National Revenue (June 21, 1957 - August 8, 1962)
June 18, 1962 - February 6, 1963
PC
  Digby--Annapolis--Kings (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of National Revenue (June 21, 1957 - August 8, 1962)
  • Minister of Finance and Receiver General (August 9, 1962 - April 21, 1963)
April 8, 1963 - September 8, 1965
PC
  Digby--Annapolis--Kings (Nova Scotia)
  • Minister of Finance and Receiver General (August 9, 1962 - April 21, 1963)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 4 of 836)


April 28, 1965

Mr. Nowlan:

It was 1962, I am told. We are now in 1965 and the grant is still being paid at the rate of $2 per head of population in the Province. The Minister is not responsible for that formula. He inherited it from preceding governments, as we inherited it; and I must say we followed it. I do not like it. There may be some constitutional reason for it. As I said the other day in the debate on the Speech from the Throne, I can see a constitutional fiction in not wanting to break away from provincial populations, in that thereby you can maintain a semblance of provincial control because the grant is based on provincial population. I do not agree with that, but in any event what was there to prevent the Minister, in this great, expanding economy of which he spoke where he is giving everybody money, everything from the package of gum to the lower paid to the trip to Egypt to the higher paid, from increasing the student grant per head of population from the level of $2 set in 1962? The population of a Province increases relatively slowly. The population of every province in Canada is increasing and provincial pride may lead some to say that the population of their Province is increasing fairly rapidly, but on a relative basis the increase is slow, compared with the astronomical and fantastic increase in university population.

I say that the time is long past when this matter should have been dealt with. It should have been dealt with in the budget. If it can be dealt with in no other way, then it should have been dealt with by increasing the grant of $2 per head of population to $3 per head. The Minister would at least have been making an approach to dealing with the overall problem. I am sure the Minister will be the first to agree that the problem is an important one and must be dealt with. If one reads the report of the Economic Council he sees that it emphasizes the necessity for education and training as being fundamental to Canadian development. The Conference of Canadian Universities and other organiza-

April 28, 1965 COMMONS

tions in this country are all unanimous on this point. Something should and must be done about the matter now.

There are other matters to which I should like to refer but, as I said earlier, this is only the beginning of the debate on the budget. In a way, I am presenting a general summary. Many of my associates and, of course, Members of other Parties will take part in the debate, and various facets of the problems will be dealt with by my associates during the next few days of debate. After the budget is ultimately adopted, if it is, we will then be dealing with the resolutions in detail, at which time we can discuss them and perhaps amend them. I think it would be a waste of time and an infringement on the rights of Members generally if I were to deal with the resolutions at length at this time, but I must say I am rather intrigued by one or two of them. I would refer to the Customs Act resolution, to which the Minister made a casual reference the other night, which gives the discretion to the Governor in Council to fix values.

[DOT] (4:00 p.m.)

I was reminded of debates in days gone by.

I was reminded of the frenzied screams of the now Minister of Transport (Mr. Pickersgill), his voice raised to high heaven, and all the rest of them, saying that it was an insult to the Canadian Parliament because there was no appeal. They said, "You did not provide any appeal." How can you provide an appeal from a section which says "When the Governor in Council is satisfied", I ask any lawyer on the other side of the House, how can there be an appeal when His Excellency is satisfied?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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April 28, 1965

Mr. Nowlan:

Not half as much as you are; make no mistake about that.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Full View Permalink

April 28, 1965

Mr. Nowlan:

Mr. Speaker, because I know many hon. Members want to speak in this debate and that time is circumscribed, I wish only to speak to some of the highlights. If I may now deal with the figures in the green book, there are roughly 3,300,000 Canadian taxpayers whose income is $5,000 or less, representing not quite three quarters of all taxpayers in Canada. There are 20,700, odd, income tax payers in Canada whose taxable income is over $25,000, and their savings, of course, will be much larger. They can possibly contribute to the development of the economy, and I realize that the Minister prayed the other night that their savings would be directed toward that end. But these people who have incomes of $20,000, $25,000, or $30,000 and over have already bought their refrigerators and washing machines. They are going to use this money for investment or, probably more to the point-and I do not blame them one bit-they will use it for a trip to Spain, or be able to spend two more weeks in Spain than they otherwise would have spent had these tax deductions not been made. So, as I say, the argument that these tax cuts will increase consumption does not, I think, bear analysis.

As a matter of fact, as far as these tax cuts are concerned this budget gives the least relief to those who need it the most. It gives the most to those who need it the least, and any contribution to an expanding economy is absolutely and completely infinitesimal. I think that is a fair summary, in general. I do not expect the Minister to agree with that wholeheartedly, but I do not think he can help but admit that generally that is the situation with respect to these tax cuts.

There is one specific matter, Mr. Speaker, to which I want to make reference and which was not included in the budget speech. I dealt with it briefly the other night and I want to emphasize it again this afternoon. I am referring to the failure of the Minister to deal in any way whatever with the sales tax on machinery and equipment entering

698 COMMONS

The Budget-Mr. Nowlan into production. Virtually everybody in this country agrees-I am sure some of the Minister's colleagues must have had some heated arguments with him about this, and certainly the financial press editors have urged this in every way possible-that it is necessary to reduce our costs and maintain efficiency. In fact, the report of the Economic Council says just that.

[DOT] (3:40 p.m.)

This statement has been made by every financial writer in Canada. In spite of this fact, Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Finance has failed completely to deal with this matter in any way, shape or form, and one cannot help being driven to the opinion, the judgment or conclusion that he has taken this position because he is sensitive about this matter as a result of the many changes and retreats he has had to make in respect of budgets brought down in the past. He has now taken a firm position and has maintained the sales tax on equipment and machinery for production.

I am not now dealing with the sales tax on building materials, although I intend to say something about that at a later stage. Certainly it is the prerogative of the Minister to adopt the position he has taken in this regard and I would not be too critical of him, although I think he may have been in error. However, in spite of his prerogative regarding the sales tax on building materials and his decision not to remove that tax, irrespective of the substantial number of representations made, there is no reasonable excuse for the Minister's failure to remove the sales tax on equipment and machinery for production.

As I have said, one could quote from many documents and articles in this regard, because numerous arguments have been advanced by many competent authorities in Canada, as well as by some incompetent ones I suspect, which have urged the Minister to make this tax cut. I should like to quote from one of these many articles, and I have in my hand a pamphlet published by the Canadian Manufacturers' Association under the heading "Industry". This is the April publication of this pamphlet.

While I realize that the Minister may not agree with this article and will say, as perhaps will many others, that the Canadian Manufacturers' Association is prejudiced and biased and looking after its own interests, if it is read in conjunction with the many other similar articles that have been published,

DEBATES April 28, 1985

it will be appreciated that the secondary industry-the manufacturing industry must be developed and increased. We have been exporting primary products for a great many years, and we will continue to do so I hope at an accelerated rate; but the Canadian economy and those young people who sit in our galleries from time to time and look down upon us wondering what we are going to do with respect to their future depend to a great extent on the expansion of manufactured goods. For those reasons I make no apology whatever in reading from this pamphlet produced by the Canadian Manufacturers' Association under the heading "Industry".

This pamphlet is the April, 1965 issue and I should like to read two paragraphs as follows:

New manufacturing investment in the Canadian economy in 1965 is forecast to exceed $2.2 billion, a sum never before equalled in a single year. It is 23 per cent greater than the $1.8 billion invested last year and two-thirds as much again as the $1.3 billion of 1963.

That is an expectation, or a forecast, and it is followed later in the article by a qualifying paragraph which reads as follows:

Rightly or wrongly, it is industry's expectation that Mr. Gordon in his forthcoming budget will cut both corporate and personal tax rates, and scrap altogether the absurd, cost-inflating sales tax on production machinery and equipment. Should these expectations not be realized, there could very well be a distinct scaling down in capital investment intentions to the detriment of the economy and government revenues alike.

I am sure most hon. Members have read statements by the President of the Canadian Manufacturers' Association, dealing with this budget, which appeared in several newspapers today. We recognize the fact that Mr. Cumming is speaking from a manufacturer's point of view and no doubt is swayed because of that fact. The Minister can deprecate these statements to any extent he sees fit, but the fact remains that Canadian manufacturers represent one of the keystones of the Canadian economy. Manufacturing in Canada is one of the great foundation stones upon which our economy must be based, and it must be encouraged to grow and grow.

The President of that Association is reported in today's issue of the business and finance section of the Montreal Gazette as having said:

From the manufacturing industry's point of view, it's a damp squib budget-

He also is reported as having said:

The producer, the mainspring of the national economy, remains overtaxed.

April 28, 1985 COMMONS

The article then states:

Mr. Cumming also attacked Mr. Gordon's failure to remove the 11 per cent tax on machinery and equipment.

This failure is "a major let-down and a serious error in judgment"-

The article then refers to corporate tax rates to which I will make a passing reference in a moment.

On the evening before last when I was dealing with this matter I referred to a statement made by the President of Chemcell to its annual meeting on April 20, 1965. The import of that statement was that this tax on production machinery and equipment should be removed. In part it reads as follows:

This tax is a serious brake on national progress. Industry is temporarily encouraged through various tax incentives to embark on capital expenditure programs, while at the same time it is burdened with an 11 per cent tax on production machinery and equipment which cuts down on its ability to compete with foreign producers. These two situations are to say the least not compatible. Only the general level of Canadian prosperity has concealed the innate viciousness of this tax, and when the economy weakens, we in Canada may well have lost our ability to compete.

The next sentence is the one I quoted the evening before last, Mr. Speaker, and is:

Chemcell will pay in 1965 over one million dollars as a surcharge on capital if this tax is not removed.

The tax has not been removed and I suggest -and I will deal with this aspect a little more fully before I conclude-that it would be better for the Minister to deal with a tax such as this than to deal with a general tax reduction across the board. One tax is related to personal income tax while the other is related to industrial and economical development.

In round figures the Minister has suggested that as a result of this general across-the-board tax reduction $170 million will be left in the hands of Canadian consumers. This will happen as a result of the saving to individual taxpayers. The amount will vary depending upon income and I would not want to suggest how much you will save, Mr. Speaker.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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April 28, 1965

Mr. Nowlan:

I certainly did not say the Minister said there are two Walter Gordons. He certainly did not say that. Of all the blunders the Minister has made, I do not think he would ever make that one. I quoted exactly what the Minister of Finance said. He will have an opportunity to reply when my speech is over, and he can then deal with this matter as he sees fit. No tax cuts, in Hamilton; tax cuts, in Ottawa. I am wondering, is this another retreat on the part of the Minister of Finance? This is a very interesting question. The Minister said on Monday night and I am quoting:

We can expect the rate of private expenditure to increase by nearly this amount.

That is, the amount of the reduction of taxation. This is, as I said, entirely different from the statement the Minister made a few months ago when speaking on the very same subject in Hamilton. I am not going to embarrass the Minister by reading statements, which I could, from several papers in Canada. Maurice Western wrote some columns in the Winnipeg Free Press about that which perhaps are scathing and critical, but I am not going to indulge in a reference to the four-leaf clovers and horseshoes with which the Minister has been blessed. It was said that everything was right except the Minister's own policies. When you get such diametrically opposed statements, and a contradiction such as that to which I referred a moment ago, you can quite understand why there might be some question as to the horseshoes and the four-leaf clovers which the Minister had hanging around his neck and which he now has to translate into action.

Dealing generally with the budget speech, Mr. Speaker, I have here an excerpt from a well known, reputable and one of the ablest- there are several of them-financial commentators in Canada, Mr. John Meyer of the Montreal Gazette, who writes a column every day in that newspaper. He wrote an article yesterday, which of course was at short notice, written the morning after the

696 COMMONS

The Budget-Mr. Nowlan Minister had brought in his budget, and he had this to say about the budget:

The budget, judged in all its implications, must be found entirely political. It is not an economic instrument at all.

This, Mr. Speaker, is rather a striking phrase for any responsible journalist to use:

It is an outrageous bid for political favour at the risk of financial instability.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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April 28, 1965

Hon. George C. Nowlan (Digby-Annapolis-Kings):

If the Minister of Finance could have foreseen the gallery we have this afternoon, and had he written a budget speech dealing with agriculture, it would have given me an opportunity to reply thereon and we might have had a more topical subject for discussion.

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
Full View Permalink