July 10, 1917 (12th Parliament, 7th Session)


Hon. S@

I desire to make a statement upon a matter of public importance. It has been officially drawn to the attention of the Government that the use of the expression "conscription of wealth" in the debates ini Parliament and by public and other bodies outside of Parliament and by the press in its news reports has caused a certain uneasiness among those whose savings constitute a vital factor in the business and industrial life of the Dominion and are so essential to the credit and prosperity upon which our efforts in the continued prosecution of the war must largely depend. I desire to say on behalf of the Government that there need exist no apprehension on the part of the public that any action of a detrimental character will at any time be taken with respect to the savings of the Canadian public. On the contrary it will be the policy of the Government in the future as in the past to encourage in every way possible the exercise of the thrift and economy resulting in national savings which have enabled Canada to maintain her credit and improve her economic position during the war. Any taxation to which it may be necessary for the Government to resort from time to time will be in accordance with legitimate and established forms of taxation sanctioned by the tradition and experience of British self-governing communities. This statement, therefore, must not be understood as precluding legislation providing for income taxation upon those whose incomes are such as to make it just and equitable that they should contribute a share of the war expenditure of the Dominion.

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