Mr. J. M. Macdonnell (Greenwood):
Mr. Speaker, I rise on a question of privilege. Speaking in the budget debate on Monday I said, among other things, as reported at page 2051 of Hansard:
I understand that the taxes on chocolates were reduced two cents a bar, but the price came down only one cent a bar.
It has been brought to my attention by the confectionery industry of Canada that that was a mistake. I wish to read a brief extract from a letter I received:
Before the interim budget was brought down last September, candy bars were selling at seven cents, with popular acceptance, as evidenced by sales.
The reimposition of the excise tax of 30 per cent meant an increase in cost to the manufacturers of 29 cents a box of 24 bars, or 1-21 cents per bar. The candy manufacturers passed on to the consumer 24 cents per box, or one cent a bar, making bars eight cents, thus absorbing five cents per box.
Due to public resistance to this tax increase and subsequent alarming decrease in sales, manufacturers reduced bars to seven cents, thus absorbing the entire tax.
The relief given the industry in the present budget is half a cent a bar, which the manufacturers cannot pass along, having absorbed the tax already.
I wish, Mr. Speaker, to express my regrets to the house and to the confectionery industry for this mistake.
Subtopic: REFERENCE TO REMARKS IN DEBATE ON APRIL 16