April 23, 1952 (21st Parliament, 6th Session)

LIB

James Sinclair (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance)

Liberal

Mr. Sinclair:

I was interested in his quotations. Ten times he quoted from the Winnipeg Free Press. For 50 years the Winnipeg Free Press has been the scourge of the Tory party in the prairies and still is and when they run their next stinging editorials about the Tory party and the party leader, I hope he will again favour us with ten quotations from the Free Press.
The other opinion he quoted was of a magazine. There were eight references to the Atlantic Monthly. I know the Atlantic Monthly, slightly; it is a magazine devoted to literature, poetry and the arts. I have never heard the Atlantic Monthly regarded as a journal of standing in the economic, financial and business worlds. I went and read the article. It is not even a signed article. Right in the same reading room, however, are many other American papers and business and financial journals such as the New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the Daily Mirror, the Wall Street Journal, the Journal of Commerce, right across the country to the Seattle Post Intelligencer. All of them were carrying laudatory editorials and comments in their issues after presentation of the budget. The financial critic of the opposition has reason to smile. He remembers the hard work it was for him to find just one lone literary magazine which criticized the Canadian budget. Perhaps he read the interesting proposal in an editorial of the New York Daily Mirror which, after the presentation of the budget, vividly contrasted the Canadian position and the American position to the great advantage of Canada. Then they finished up by saying that if nations operated like a baseball league, they thought they should do what baseball teams do when they are weak and want to improve their team. They said they should offer three of their American cabinet ministers for Doug. Abbott in a swap. They might actually be doing that now because the minister is now down in the United States as guest speaker at the annual meeting of the American chamber of commerce.
I will not weary the house with American praise and analysis, however objective and impartial. In conclusion I will just come to the home town of the hon. member for Greenwood (Mr. Macdonnell) and quote from a paper which is the leading financial paper not only of that city but of Canada. It is a paper that I am sure he has read every week for the last forty years of his life. I refer to the Toronto Financial Post. In the issue of April 12, 1952,

The Budget-Mr. Sinclair the leading editorial-right after the budget- is headed "It Hurts, but it's Sound" and it reads as follows:
Under the circumstances most must agree that Mr. Abbott is following sound fiscal policy for a period when the country is enjoying a very high degree of real prosperity and when government revenues were never more buoyant. We are paying our heavy defence bills out of current income and not out of loans.
Or out of deficits. That is my own comment.
We are using surpluses to reduce the national debt. It is down a very creditable $2-3 billions since the end of the war. There are people in other countries who only wish that their own governments would or could follow our example. Painful as it may seem to be, this tough fiscal policy makes Canada the envy of the world.
No one likes paying taxes, and our taxes, judged by any standard, are certainly high. But if we are honest, we must admit that our capacity to pay is also high.
As all taxes, federal, provincial and municipal have risen so has national production, savings, wages, salaries and profits. The proportion of all taxes paid (federal, provincial, municipal) to gross national product is almost exactly the same as it was in 1939-about 15 per cent.
If I may interject something there, I should like to point out that the financial critic in his speech mentioned a quite well-known paper by an Australian economist Clarke, saying the danger point would come for a nation when its total tax collections came close to 25 per cent. The Financial Post estimated all Canadian taxes at 15 per cent, so we still have an ample margin, through good management.
Our country was never more prosperous than it is today. After making all allowances for the rise in prices, there has been very real expansion in real output of goods and services.
The development of new resources is proceeding at a pace never before approached. Capital investment has reached new levels in the past year and notwithstanding a record inflow from other countries, the remarkable fact is that nine-tenths of that new investment has been by Canadians. These are vital factors to be considered along with any national budget this year and in the years ahead. No budget is likeable: none is perfect. In the days and weeks ahead, before the amendments are enacted, it is to be hoped responsible citizens will present their views to the legislators. There are some administrative amendments which could well be made.
With that last sentence members may agree.
In conclusion my last word is to the financial critic of the opposition whom I should like to ask this one question. We have listened to his Cassandra-like prophecies, which may be found at pages 1494 and 1496 of Hansard, such as that we were living in a fool's paradise, that the boom would burst and that trade was going to fall off. We have had that sort of thing from him for five years. Let me ask him this one question. Where, in the world today, is there any country whatsoever with a sounder

economic position, a better fiscal policy, better development, or a higher level of employment than this country of Canada under the present Liberal administration?

Topic:   THE BUDGET
Subtopic:   ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE MINISTER OF FINANCE
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