Nathaniel Clarke Wallace
Now, the Minister of Finance stated that there was a decrease of taxation and in order to suit his purpose he quoted the year of greatest prosperity since the Liberals came into power, and compared it with the year of the least prosperity when the Conservatives were in power. He just picked out these two years, but the fair thing for them to do, would have been to take the last four years of Conservative rule, and compare it with the the four years of the present Liberal rule. And adopting that method what do we find ? We find that the incidents of taxation in the Customs Department in 1893, amounted to
$17.38 ; in 1894, to $17.13 ; in 1895, to $16.99 ; in 1896, to $18.28, or an average of $17.44* duty on every one hundred dollars worth of imported goods, dutiable and free. Since the Liberals came into power, according to their own statement, there is an average duty of $10,871, but to that the Minister of Finance told us we must add 43 cents for the corn which was in transit and which was marked as a product of the country. I shall add 57 cents for the same purpose last year, and in that way you get $17.12* for the four years that these gentlemen have been in power, as the average rate of duty, and $17.44* for the last four years of the Conservative government, or a difference of 32 cents on every one hundred dollars worth of goods imported, including dutiable and free, and the only fair test is to take both. There is therefore one-third of a dollar difference on eveiy one hundred dollars worth of imported goods, showing conclusively that this Liberal government has imposed as ffigh taxes upon the people of Canada, though with less protection, than we did. As was pointed out by the leader of the opposition, this Liberal government have put an enormous increase of the duty on sugar which last year amounted to $793,000 in increased duties. I have not estimated it for this year, but with the large increase in the importation of sugar, molasses and syrups, I have no doubt the increased duties will represent one million dollars this year.