James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)
Hon. J. L. ILSLEY (Minister of Finance):
Mr. Speaker, I should like to make a statement with reference to the forthcoming victory loan. ,
In the budget speech I indicated that the estimated borrowing needs for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1944, would amount to $2,748,000,000.
As a first step in meeting these borrowing needs the national war finance committee will on April 26 launch Canada's fourth victory loan. We Canadians have reason to be proud of the record of our victory loan campaigns, and of our response to them. In October last the third victory loan was an outstanding success, accounting for $991,000,000 from over two million subscribers.
The present situation clearly calls for even more impressive results, and the minimum cash objective for the fourth victory loan will 72537-84
be $1,100,000,000. As I have emphasized in the budget speech we are primarily concerned with selling victory bonds in greater amounts and to a greater number of Canadians. The reason is threefold. First, because we have to raise huge sums of money in order that the war may be effectively prosecuted. Secondly, as I have pointed out many times, the increased spending power in the hands of our citizens, if not directed into savings, will lead inevitably to inflation. Thirdly, our desire is that more and more of our government obligations should find their way into the hands of our ordinary citizens-people of moderate means whose interests now and in the future can best be served by owning what I might describe as "a share in Canada". The fourth victory loan will present another opportunity for every Canadian citizen to acquire a proprietary interest in his own country and I hope that every Canadian will make a serious effort to take advantage of this opportunity.
In all these victory loan operations substantial support arises from the subscriptions of non-banking financial institutions and from industrial corporations. This source of borrowing can only go so far, however, as new corporate funds ordinarily available for investment are now subject to strict limitations such as the excess profits tax. In the third victory loan purchases by this class of investor accounted for the very large sum of $600,000,-
000. I am sure that such investors, as in the past, will do their utmost to provide leadership of the highest quality in the forthcoming victory loan.
It is evident, however, that in any case the balance remaining to be met by individual purchasers will be greatly increased. To succeed in passing the minimum objective of $1,100,000,000 will require purchases by individuals of $500,000,000 or more-an increase over third victory loan results of 33 p.e. or thereabouts for the country .as a whole. To reach this objective for individuals we will need to obtain participation on a much wider scale than in the past, and individual purchases will need to be sharply increased. I am accordingly asking the national war finance committee to make every attempt to increase participation in the loan by Canadians in every walk of life.
I recognize that it will call for a supreme effort on the part of the Canadian people to face this new demand of the war effort. The fourth victory loan will be another challenge to the Canadian people-the greatest financial challenge with which they have ever been faced. While the need for money is greater than ever before it is equally true that the bond buying power of the majority of
Canadians is greater by far than at any previous time. The coverage therefore must be broader; more individuals must subscribe if the bond drive is to play its part in this present emergency. The results of the fourth victory loan campaign will measure our determination and unity of purpose to attain the primary and outstanding goal for which we all live today-the goal of achieving a complete and overwhelming victory. I am confident that we can and will meet this challenge.
Subtopic: ANNOUNCEMENT OF LAUNCHING OF CAMPAIGN ON APRIL 26 WITH MINIMUM CASH OBJECTIVE OF $1,100,000,000