May 30, 1941

NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Is that a sadistic attitude? I should like to give the Minister of Finance what a friend of mine wrote to me regarding this matter. He writes:

Why only the family entertainment of moving pictures? This includes the poorer classes, children and old folks. What about high-priced hockey, baseball, horse racing? Then again opera, "evening-dress" dramatics, festivals? Community bridge affairs, bingo games, circuses, etc.?

Finally, and I hope this is reached by the minister's taxation proposals:

The pernicious small travelling tent shows, with gambling?

Such as you get at the ordinary fairs in this country. Every year in the maritime provinces there comes a troupe or troupes of people from New England who spend nothing here and who take away immense sums, relatively, from our people. I would clamp the tax right on them.

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NAT

William Kemble Esling

National Government

Mr. ESLING:

Would the minister give

thought in this tax to an amusement centre which is wholly municipally owned? Let me cite the case of a city in my district which has issued bonds to the amount of $250,000 for the purpose of establishing a municipal centre. When times were better, it got by. Unfortunately, to-day the city is having to make up the interest. That is a case in which the taxpayers as a whole are taxed further. Unfortunately, conditions there were not so bright as they are in the picture business in this community of Ottawa. In fact, there were two picture houses in that city, and one of

[Mr. Coldwell.l

them had to close for lack of business. I must emphasize that it is a community with more than ordinary patriotic and ambitious spirit because, while it has only about 7,000 people, it has contributed more than a million dollars towards the war loans and war services, and it has given of its men in perhaps a larger percentage than any other community. To place a further burden of taxation, not on excess profits, but on a deficit for each year, makes their burden extremely difficult.

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LIB
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

There are a large number of sections included in section 13. I wish to take just a moment to talk about the operations under the new sections 127 and 129. Under the former, a person authorized by the minister may examine records, books, accounts and vouchers which shall be open to the inspection of officers authorized by the minister, and if it appears to such person that there has been a violation of the provisions, he may without any warrant or legal authority "seize, take away and retain and hold the said records, books, accounts and vouchers until they are produced in any court proceedings." That is a drastic power to give to anybody who is only an auditor. I suggest that at least there should be some written authority from the minister to the man acting under those circumstances. I do not know what the practice is with regard to excise, but this looks to me like a Hitler method in connection with taxes.

Then, under section 129:

If any person liable to maintain records and books of account for the purposes of this part, has, in the opinion of the minister, failed to maintain adequate records and books of account, the minister may assess the tax payable by such person under this part, and the taxes so assessed shall be deemed to be due and payable forthwith.

Who is to judge whether the records are adequate? That is a drastic power to give to the minister without any right of appeal, or even a hearing. If the man comes along and says that my records are not adequate, he is to be constituted to be the judge, I suppose, under this section?

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LIB
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Then the minister, without hearing the other side, may assess the tax; the tax shall be forthwith due and payable, and the other fellow is not permitted to say a word about it. The tax is assessed without a hearing and with no right of appeal. I object to it on principle. I am not going to labour the point.

Special War Revenue Act

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LIB
NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Well, there is no defence? The minister is just going to have the section carried.

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Section agreed to. On section 14-Automobiles.


NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

A portion of this section deals with automobiles. What is the present position with regard to the control of manufacture and importation of automobiles? I raise that question because there seems to be some doubt whether the restrictions as they stand are exactly fair and equitable.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

The hon. gentleman is, I think, asking about the War Exchange Conservation Act.

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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

There is also involved the control of Canadian-produced cars by the controller of motor vehicles.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Perhaps it is relevant. I am doubtful. The only ground for arguing that the matter can be brought up here is that these taxes are imposed as part of the control of automobiles. In the War Exchange Conservation Act, which was passed, if I remember correctly, on December 2, the import of automobiles was prohibited and heavy taxes were placed on domestic automobiles. It was found, of course, that dealers of imported automobiles would be out of business so far as the sale of imported automobiles was concerned, although in most instances they had garages and businesses connected with the actual selling of automobiles, which enabled them to go on. Therefore the matter was reconsidered, and it was decided to allow a small importation, upon a quota basis.

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NAT

Richard Burpee Hanson (Leader of the Official Opposition)

National Government

Mr. HANSON (York-Sunbury):

Twenty per cent.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

For the first three months of 1941, 20 per cent of the number of automobiles imported during the first three months of 1940 were permitted. At the same time a motor vehicle controller was appointed; and since it was not desired that manufacturers of automobiles in this country should be enabled to take advantage of this prohibition of importations to increase their sales, merely taking up the slack created by the prohibition, statistics were obtained and conferences held, and the Canadian manufacturers were placed on quotas. What those quotas are I do not know.

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NAT
LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Roughly, it is 80 per cent of the previous year. There are many refinements of those figure*

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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

Does that include 80 per cent of the cars they were producing for export in 1940?

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I do not think so. That was for domestic consumption, if I remember correctly.

I believe that is the story in its main outlines. There is one question about the cars which might be assembled in Canada if assembly were permitted, if it was decided to put the assembly of cars on the same basis as imported cars.

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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

It is impossible for these firms to set up plants in Canada now, is it not? Was there not some prohibition?

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May 30, 1941