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

PC

Donald Methuen Fleming

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Fleming:

I followed his speech with great interest. In his new role of moderation it perhaps did not have quite the same interest as usual for the house. I noticed that the Liberal supporters in this house were just waiting for one of those customary slashing attacks on the opposition but somehow or another it did not come, and those disappointed colleagues of his had to sit back until the conclusion of the speech in order to have their long-awaited opportunity to contribute their cheering.
I have a simple belief that all things should be in season. This budget is out of season. This budget was introduced in April, but it should have been brought down at Hallowe'en, for it is a budget with a false face. One would have supposed that those who have listened to the hon. gentleman this afternoon would have been struck with astonishment that the people of Canada do not entertain the opinion of the budget with which he closed his speech this afternoon. That public opinion is one of the finest examples to be found anywhere of the application of intelligent thought in a democratic country to the errors of a government in its budget.
When the hon. gentleman calls for cheers for our opportunity to live in Canada I join with him in expressing appreciation to Providence that my lot is cast in Canada because here, among other blessings that we enjoy, the Canadian people still have the opportunity, as they have the intelligence, to see

through this budget and to see it for what it is. This budget has not succeeded in fooling the Canadian people. Hon, gentlemen opposite ought to get that fact clearly in their heads right now. Public interest which had been fanned to a high degree by public impatience over the intolerable load of taxation under which the Canadian public has been suffering under the present government, has had the effect of fixing the glare of public attention- yes, and I think parliamentary attention- on the essence of this budget. And the verdict of the Canadian people, which has received wide expression, is that this budget, if possible, sir, is even worse than last year's. There is no principle in this budget; there is no guiding aim in it. It is a budget of expediency, and nothing better. The public indeed has lost all confidence in the present government's budgeting.

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