certain specified revenues of the Greek government for the purpose of meeting charges in connection with their external indebtedness. These governments have, since 1922, been paying their interest charges regularly and promptly, and in the case of Greece part of the principal in addition.
This amount of $4,000,162, now classified in our books as an active asset, although resulting from previous years' operations pertaining to our own public business, must be added to our surplus of $1,823,000 previously referred to, thereby making a total of $5,823,162 as the surplus of the results of the past year from government services.
Canadian National Railways-1924-25
If here I may digress for a moment, I would like to point out that in all budget speeches, as well as in the Public Accounts, the results of the country's own business transactions have always been dealt with separately and apart from other transactions, such as loans to the railways and merchant marine which, previous to 1918, were not provided for in our annual budget of estimates but were authorized by special acts of parliament. This year we presented our estimates for such services separately, in order to have them conform to the method followed in the submission of budget speeches and in the making up of our public accounts.
Parliament at its last session authorized $56,527,000 for loans to the Canadian National Railway Company. A further supplementary estimate has lately been placed on the table of the House amounting to $7,500,000, which will bring the total provision for 1924-25 up to $64,027,000.
As in previous years, provision has been made that the loans might be by way of cash or by way of guarantee of railway securities for any or ail of the requirements. Cash loans, provided that the full amount will be required, will total $18,027,000. The difference between the $18,027,000 and the total amount asked for has been covered by way of bond issues, carrying the guarantee of the Minister of Finance:-$20,000,000 three-year, four per cent. (4%) notes; and $26,000,000 thirty-year, four and a half per cent. (4i%) bonds, issued on the New York market under conditions distinctly favourable to the railways.
Apart from the annual vote, the railways were required this year to raise additional funds for special purposes. An issue of $9,-
375,000 four and a half per cent serial equipment trust bonds was sold. The money is being applied to the purchase of new equipment, which, following the usual' plan of
financing such issues, was pledged as security for the bonds. The government's guarantee was not required.
During the year securities of the Canadian Northern Railway Company, guaranteed by the Minister of Finance under the provisions of the acts of 1917 and 1918, respecting the acquisition of the Canadian Northern Railway system, fell due, as follows: $6,000,000 at five and one-half per cent; $11,000,000 at five per cent. These maturities were refinanced by a consolidated issue of $17,000,000 four and one-half per cent ten-year bonds guaranteed by the Minister of Finance under the same statutory authority. A further flotation of $18,000,000 four and one-half percent five-year guaranteed bonds was made under the provisions of the acts of 1924 respecting branch lines and Toronto Terminals construction, the proceeds of which are to be paid out as expenditures thereon are incurred.
I now come to the public debt. On March 31, 1924, our net public debt stood at $2,417,-7S3,274.88.
We will deal first with the business transactions pertaining to government services proper. Our ordinary revenues for the current fiscal year will be $344,000,000. Our estimated ordinary, capital, special and other expenditures will amount to $342,177,000, leaving a favourable balance in the year's operations of $1,823,000. To this must be added the sum of $4,000,162 previously referred to, making a total of $5,823,162 as a reduction in dealing with our net debt, on account of government services proper. This amount is available to be applied on account of our loans to the Canadian National Railways of $18,027,000; to Canadian Government Merchant Marine of $900,000; and to the Quebec Harbour Commission of $600,000, all of which, while being assets, but for the present considered as nonactive, are to be added, thereby making an increase of debt during the year of about $13,703,838.
During the fiscal year obligations amounting to $199,270,650 matured. In addition provision had to be made for the meeting of obligations to the value of £5,000,000 falling due in London on the first day of May, 1925. In consequence the total sum of $223,603,983.33 had to be provided for. As a result of the successful financing of the government the maturing obligations were met by new issues totalling $223,333,333.33, a saving of $270,650 and foy re-financing at better rates of interest a saving of $2,643,264.92 has been made in the annual interest charges.
The Budget-Mr. Robb
The securities which matured for which refunding loans were issued consisted of $91,-
315,000 five and a quarter per cent treasury bills held by the Canadian banks and $107,955,650 five and a half per cent bonds of the victory loan of 1919 due November 1st, 1924.
To meet these obligations, on September 15th, 1924, one-year four per cent notes amounting to $90,0GC,00O were sold to a New York syndicate at par. Later $35,000,000 four per cent two-year notes dated October 1st, 1924, and $50,000,000 four and a half per cent twenty-year bonds dated October 15th, 1924, were sold to a Canadian syndicate, realizing 99 for the two-year notes and 95 for the bonds. The syndicate made a public offering of the $50,000,000 twenty-year bonds, with conversion privileges to holders of maturing victory loan bonds.
On November 15, 1924, an issue was made of $24,000,000 one-, two- and three-year four per cent notes, $8,000,000 maturing in each year. This issue was sold to a Canadian syndicate at 99f.
Advantage was taken of the low interest rates prevailing on short-term borrowings to sell in London £5,000,000 six months four per cent Dominion of Canada treasury bills, dated February 1st, 1925, and maturing August 1st, 1925, for the purpose of retiring our £5,000,000 four and a half per cent bond loan falling due in London May 1st, 1925, upon which we exercised an option to redeem in advance -of the maturity date.
To sum up: The total of maturing obligations, including the sterling bonds, amounted
to $223,603,983.33, while the new securities issued represent a par value of $223,333,333.33, being a reduction of $270,650 in our outstanding public debt. There will also be an annual reduction in the interest rate of the refunding issues under the interest rates of the matured loans which will result in an annual saving of $2,643,264.92.
I desire, Mr. Speaker, to place on record a statement showing our trade with the Rritish Empire and with foreign countries. This statement shows that in our trade with the British Empire during the fiscal year ended 31st March, 1924, the balance of exports over imports was nearly $243,000,000, and in our trade with foreign countries the balance of imports over exports was nearly $78,000,000, making a net balance of exports over imports with all countries of $165,186,430. During the period of ten months ended the 31st January, 1925, the balance of exports over imports in our trade with all countries has increased to $263,414,526. During the first period there was a favourable balance with all countries excepting the United States of nearly $325,000,000 and an unfavourable balance with the United States of nearly $160,000,000; during the second period there was a favourable balance with these countries of nearly $328,000,000 and an unfavourable balance with the United States of nearly $65,000,000. With the permission of the House I shall place this statement or. Hansard.
DURING THE CANADIAN TRADE FISCAL YEAR ENDED 31ST MARCH, 1924 British Empire- United Kingdom
Other British Countries Imports
41,772,629 Exports Domestic & Foreign $361,197,041 77,132,395 Balance of Exports over Imports $207,584,038 35,359,766Total, British Empire
$195,385,632 $438,329,436 $242,943,804Foreign Countries- United States Imports $601,295,121 Exports Domestic & Foreign $441,650,861 Balance of Imports over Exports $159,644,260Other foreign countries
96,686,114 178,573,000 Balance of Exports over Imports 81,886,886Total, foreign countries
$697,981,235 $620,223,861 Balance of Imports over Exports $ 77,757,374All countries- Total, all countries Imports Exports Domestic & Foreign $1,058,553,297 Balance of Exports over Imports $165,186,430
The Budget-Mr. Robb