September 15, 1917

LIB
CON
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

That is the interestbearing debt. My hon. friend will find on the other side certain assets. The debt of this country, which is concentrated in bonds and debentures, is interest-bear-5 p.m. ing, and that is the statement.

My hon. friend will also remember that we added $650,000,000 of debt to the obligations of this country in assuming the obligation to pay the interest upon that amount of money, including the bonded indebtedness and the existing interest-bearing indebtedness of the Canadian Northern. I put the figures on Hansard about two weeks ago in the presence of the Minister of Finance, and he did not question them.

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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. R. B. BENNETT:

My hon. friend

knows very well that all that this country is liable for is the difference between the net earnings of that system and what may be necessary to pay the interest on its funded debt, which difference has never yet exceeded $15,000,000.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

My hon. friend, in

the first place, forgets that, in regard to that obligation, we have to pay the interest upon the bonded indebtedness. Then there is bank indebtedness which is in the vicinity of $100,000,000. Then there are the equipment bonds and there is other current indebtedness, all of which I put in detail upon Hansard some two weeks ago. In addition to that, if my hon. friend will take the capital expenditure which has been voted this year, he will find that to-day the bonded indebtedness and the current indebtedness of this country, upon which indebtedness we have to pay interest, is in the vicinity of $2,250,000,000.

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CON
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD:

I will ask my hon. friend to read my statement. I will later on give him the page of Hansard on which I made the computation. I say that is so. If we have to raise $140,000,000 or $150,000,000 in this country every year before we can spend a dollar for carrying on the ordinary affairs of the country, while I know this is a splendid public work and while I have nothing to say as to the arguments put forward by the representatives from St. John on its behalf, the time has come in this country when we must cease expending on building breakwaters or other public works of that description, money which is obtained from the people under the guise .of war expenditure. Any one who looks these things squ rely in the face knows that next year the Minister of Finance of the day will have to bring down an Income Tax Bill so as to include incomes of $500, and every one knows we shall have to resort to i. land tax in order to raise, sufficient money to meet all our needs. If that be so, why should we listen to the eloquent member for St. John who telle a beautiful story about the conditions at that port? Other hon. gentlemen representing other constituencies could, although perhaps not as eloquently as my hon. friend from St. John, tell a story that would appeal very strongly to the sympathies of us all. But at the same time, if it be the case that you have tu keep on taxing the people almost beyond bearing in order to get this money, it is 373

time we stopped building breakwaters and such things. If what I have stated is the exact financial condition of the country- and it is so-then we have no business to vote money for such purposes as this.

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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

I understand from the

minister that he has in the main estimates an appropriation of $100,000 for this work.

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LIB
CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

Not this year.

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LIB
CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

I said we had kept that amount in the estimates foi*some years. It is not in this year's main estimates.

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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

I was going to suggest that, on account of the lateness of the season, $100,000 would perhaps be more than could legitimately be expended on the work this year. Even, although that amount is not in the main estimate, I still think what my hon. friend from Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) has said, is correct, namely, that we keep on voting every few days some large amounts of this kind towards the construction of public works that could possibly be done without during the war. These items are like drops of water-each one unimportant, but all combined making a great total. We have already this year reached a very large figure as the total expenditure for public works, some of which could very well have been done without.

It is not necessary that the items should be mentioned again, because we spoke of some of them at the time they went through. I agree with my hon. friend from Pictou (Mr. Macdonald) that this is a public work in favour of which, perhaps, much could be said. The minister told us that agitation had been carried on against it for about twenty years, but that the agitation had been given up. I imagine it was given up because people had become tired. If you constantly propose doing a thing for a certain number of years, everybody gets tired of objecting. However, that may be, when you consider that work had been contemplated for twenty years and it was not found necessary to undertake it, I think it could go for a while longer. The probabilities are that the storms mentioned by the minister will not occur again. In any event very little of this money can, be utilized this year. It is getting late in the season now, and the nights are becoming cold. I think the minister might very well drop this item until another year.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

I was a little puzzled over the minister's statement in regard to this expenditure. He said the bar was dug *in the other channel. I cannot understand how the digging of a ibar in the other channel would bring more water into this channel which we are going to fill. Of course, I do not understand the geography of the district, and consequently I would not venture to make any criticism on that point. The minister led us to believe that a bar had been dredged from some channel in the harbour, and the water came in and destroyed the wharves. Now he proposes to fill a place where no bar was ever dug.

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

*No, my hon. friend is mistaken.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Altogether apart from that, this is a new work. The minister will remember there was a very distinct understanding that no new works would be undertaken at the present time. Many new works throughout Canada have been discontinued on account of the war. It was understood that the works which were cut out of the estimates should have first place after the Government resumed the construction of new works. This improvement means an expenditure of about three-quarters of a million dollars, and I think we should not embark on it at the present time. There is a great deal in what my hon. friend from Pictou has said to the effect that we require all the sinews of war we can get for the purpose of carrying on our part in this great conflict, and that we should not ask people to contribute money to a work of thiis kind which has been advocated for, I think the minister said the other night, forty years. If the people have been able to do without it that long, I do not see any reason why it should be gone on with now. We are asking the people to buy post office bonds amounting to $25 notices are published throughout the country asking the women and children to save their money and invest it in those war bonds, and women in isolated places are saving all the money they get for their eggs and chickens until they can accumulate $25 which they will invest in a war bond. We are now proposing to spend 10,000 of these war bonds in order to give the minister sufficient money to build a breakwater in St. John harbour. He is asking a quarter of a million dollars now', but he will want three-quarters of a million before he gets through with the work. I wish to enter my protest against this item.

Administration of Justice-Yukon Territory -Allowance to John Black for performing:

duties of judge of the Territorial Court for 16J months, $687.50.

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LIB

Frank Oliver

Liberal

Mr. OLIVER:

Perhaps the minister would give a short statement as to the origin of this somewhat peculiar item.

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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

Mr. Black is clerk of the Yukon Territorial Court, and legal adviser to the commission. For two periods during which Mr. Justice Macaulay, who is the only judge in the district, was absent on leave, Mr. Black was appointed acting judge and performed the duties of the judge. These two different periods together covered sixteen and a half months. It is proposed to allow him the difference of $41.66 per month, between his actual salary in the office which he permanently holds, and the judge's salary. It was thought fair and equitable to allow him this for taking on these additional and heavier duties during the absence of the judge.

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LIB

Edward Walter Nesbitt

Liberal

Mr. NESBITT:

Will the minister tel) usihow much Mr. Black has drawing from his own position at the same time.

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CON

Charles Joseph Doherty (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DOHERTY:

The judge's salary is

$5,000 a year. The monthly difference between that and the clerk's salary is $41.66, so that it would be just a matter of calculation to determine his salary.

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September 15, 1917