May 17, 1932 (17th Parliament, 3rd Session)

CON

Hugh Guthrie (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. GUTHRIE:

Mr. Chairman, with a
great deal of the speech of my hon. friend from Quebec East (Mr. Lapointe) I am in hearty accord, but with some of the opinions which he has offered to the house I cannot agree. We all realize that it is not a pleasant nor an agreeable thing either on the one hand to impose taxation or on the other to reduce salaries. Measures of this kind are not brought forward unless there is some urgent necessity for them, and it was felt that at the present time there was an urgent necessity in Canada of decreasing expenditures in every direction. It is for that reason that the reduction of salaries in the civil service and extra taxation in regard to the judiciary are proposed. And the proposal is only for a single year.
My hon. friend has based his objections-upon two grounds. First, that it is illegal or unconstitutional to impose taxation upon the judges; secondly, that we are violating * principle in this measure by imposing taxation without representation. Viewed in regard to our strict legal rights, I think the matter is one upon which there cannot be very much division of opinion. We have in this parliament under the British North America Act authority to tax anything we see fit to tax. The powers of this parliament are practically unlimited in that respect; they are to be found in section 91. We are empowered to raise money by any mode or system of taxation. My hon. friend says that in this measure we do not propose a fair or general tax, but that we discriminate. In my humble opinion, we are entitled, if we see fit, to discriminate. That is our legal right.

Topic:   INCOME WAR TAX ACT AMENDMENT
Subtopic:   SPECIAL TAX ON INCOMES OP JUDGES AND MEMBERS OF MILITARY, NAVAL, AIR AND POLICE FORCES
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