Mr. J. T. THORSON (Winnipeg South Centre):
Mr. Speaker, no one will deny that the budget presented to this house last Thursday was a bold budget. That was to be expected from the present Minister of Finance (Mr. Dunning). When he occupied the important position of Minister of Railways and Canals he showed himself to be a courageous and aggressive minister. This was particularly exemplified when he changed the terminal of the Hudson Bay railway from Port Nelson to Fort Churchill. Western Canada will be grateful to him for that change and will thank him for the aggressive manner in which he has pushed towards completion the great Hudson Bay railway project. Last Thursday, he showed again as Minister of Finance the qualities of courage and aggressiveness that he displayed when he was Minister of Railways and Canals, and again Canada will have reason to be grateful to him for these qualities which he displayed.
No budget that has ever been introduced in the history of Canada has pleased everybody; this budget most certainly did not please hon. members opposite, if one might judge from the expressions which appeared on their faces as the budget speech was delivered. It obviously annoyed the hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett).
I am sure that everyone will be pleased with the record of public debt reduction that was
announced by the Minister of Finance. During the past year our public debt was reduced by almost $80,000,000; that marks the peak of achievement in this respect in the history of this country. No other administration has equalled the record of this one during the past five years in the matter of public debt reduction; the reduction has amounted during the past five years to over $257,000,000. In fact no other country in the world engaged in the great war from its outset has equalled the record of Canada in the matter of public debt reduction.
Subtopic: CONTINUATION OF DEBATE ON THE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE