Newfoundland National Convention, 2 December 1947, Debates on Confederation with Canada


December 2, 1947

Mr. Cashin I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask His Excellency the Governor to obtain from the Canadian government the following information:
(1) The annual revenues and expenditures of the Dominion of Canada each year from the year 1931-32 to the year 1946-47, both years inclusive. (2) The total amount of loans raised each year from 1931-32 to 1946-47, showing where such loans were raised and what interest is being paid. (3) The annual revenues and expenditures of the Canadian National Railways and its subsidiaries from 193l-32 to 1946-47. (4) The total advances made each year from 1931-32 to 1946-47 by the Canadian treasury to the Canadian National Railways on account of deficits incurred, or in the way of loans.
(5) The amounts of money paid by the Canadian government for each of the railway systems: the Grand Trunk, the Grand Trunk Pacific, and the Canadian Northern, all three of which are now included in the Canadian National Railway System. What was the total amount in dispute and defaulted on by the Canadian government in respect of the Grand Trunk bonds held by English financial institutions?
(6) Did the Canadian treasury guarantee any loan to the Canadian Pacific Railway prior to 1940, and if so what was the amount?
I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask the 916 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 Honourable the Commissioner for Justice, whether, in the event of Newfoundland becoming a Canadian province, it will void and annul section 45 of the Labrador Mining and Exploration Act of 1938, which states, "Except where it is necessary for the Company to employ technical experts, the Company shall at all times employ Newfoundland workmen, provided same shall be available"?
I also ask the Commissioner for Justice what effect, if any, the entry of Newfoundland into union with Canada will have upon article 11 of the agreement made between Canada and Newfoundland on air transport dated 29 July 1946, which article provides that wherever possible priority shall be given to citizens of Newfoundland in the employment of labour at the airfield at Goose Bay.
Mr. Hollett I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask His Excellency the Governor to seek clarification from the Government of the United Kingdom on the following point: under the Leased Bases Agreement, 1941, it was stipulated that upon the resumption by Newfoundland of the constitutional status held prior to the 16 February 1934, the contracting parties would be the Government of the USA and the Government of Newfoundland. What would be the position should Newfoundland enter into confederation with Canada? Would the contracting parties under said agreement be the Government of the USA and the provincial government of Newfoundland, or otherwise? And if otherwise, to inform this Convention as to the real position which will exist.
Mr. Smallwood In connection with one of the questions of Major Cashin, when he asked how much money was paid for the Grand Trunk Railway etc., that now make up the CNR — I wonder if he meant the purchase price? I think it would make it clearer if he said that.
Mr. Cashin Mr. Chairman, while we are on this point of questions, I think there are many questions which I put on the order paper that the delegation has answers to, and we have not got them. They are not contained in the Grey Book or Black Books, or any other book. I wonder if we are just wasting time in asking them, or if we are going to get copies of meetings, etc. that the delegation had with the Canadian government when they were in Ottawa. It would certainly expedite the business if we had this information, such as the information as to the per capita debt of Canada, the national debt of Canada. I take it that when they were discussing affairs with the Canadian government they talked about what the Canadian debt was, and what the provincial debt was; I have asked questions on that and it does not appear in the books, and I was wondering if that information is not in the possession of the delegates to Ottawa.
Mr. Smallwood Yes, it is.
Mr. Cashin If that is so, why has it not been tabled for the information of this Convention?
Mr. Chairman I quite agree, Mr. Cashin. I have to sustain you on that point.
Mr. Cashin When we came back from England the House went wild because we were told to keep our records confidential, and we passed a motion here asking the British government to release them, and they did release them, and every delegate here was given a copy of the three meetings we had in London, a transcript of the actual discussion, and we have not had anything in that connection from the Ottawa delegation. I hold that we are entitled to it, if there is any such thing in existence. There is nothing secret, so far as this Convention is concerned, regarding the discussion in Ottawa.
Mr. Chairman With one possible qualification, Mr. Cashin, I must sustain you on that point.... Unless and until I am shown some good and sufficient reason as to how and why any information coming into the possession of the Ottawa delegation should be withheld from this Convention, then I am definitely going to sustain Major Cashin by holding that it is the property of the Convention. That is all I can do about it. That is what I propose to do.
Mr. Smallwood I just remarked to Major Cashin that we have a memorandum on the public debt of Canada.... We have that, and certainly there is nothing secret about the public debt of Canada, and there is no reason, now that we remember that we have it, why it should not be mimeographed for all members of the Convention, and in the meanwhile Major Cashin or any member could make use of it for all I can see.
Mr. Cashin Mr. Chairman, in connection with all these documents that might be in the possession of the delegation from Ottawa, I hold that any documents are the property of this Conven December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 917 tion, which sent them to Ottawa to do a certain job, and any information they got up there, or any talks they had with the Canadian government, or representatives of the Canadian government, I say that such records belong to this Convention, and not to those who went to Ottawa, just the same as the talks we had over in London were the property of this Convention... and if there was any secret stuff going on in Ottawa — I don't say there was — then we should have it.
Mr. Chairman As I said before, unless I am satisfied by clear and unmistakable evidence that is the right of the Ottawa delegation to withhold information from this Convention ... I hold that it is the property of the Convention, and it should not be withheld. If there are documents in the possession of the members of the delegation which reached them in a confidential capacity, on the express condition that their contents should not be disclosed, and they gave that undertaking, I will have to go further into the question and find out the circumstances.... I make a direction now that all other documents and memoranda in the possession of any such members should be mimeographed immediately and distributed to the Convention.
Mr. Job May I point out that in the case of the English delegation the same question arose, and it was withheld for some little time, but was finally released by the British government and delivered to each member on condition that it did not go any further. Now surely the same procedure can be followed here. It does not seem to be reasonable. I find it very difficult to understand.
Mr. Chairman ....I will have to be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that any information in the possession of the Ottawa delegation is not the property of this Convention before I am prepared to hold that that is so.
Mr. Higgins I state again, as far as my position is concerned in the matter, everything was to be regarded as secret until our report to the Convention, and then everything was to be released by the delegation. Now apparently some members of the delegation hold a contrary view, and, as it may be a matter of conscience for them, it might be better to ask the question directly to the Government of Canada. As far as I am concerned, I am willing to release it immediately....
Mr. Chairman There are three schools of thought on the question raised by Major Cashin. In the one case, I think you took the position that nothing was to be regarded as secret as far as the Convention was concerned at all. On the other hand some members went to the other extreme, and said they regarded it as all confidential; and then in between, some members thought that it was secret for some purposes and not for others. I said the other day that I did not want to come between any man and his conscience, but I think your suggestion is the proper one. If Major Cashin's point is well taken, and I think it is, then to relieve any members who may feel that I am coming between them and their conscience, I think that you, Mr. Higgins, or someone this afternoon should table another question to the Government of Canada, and let's have it disposed of once and for all: whether all or any of the information in possession of all or any members of the Ottawa delegation is to be treated as secret, in the sense that it can be withheld from the members of this Convention.
Mr. Bailey Mr. Chairman. that is not what I was going to say. If the members of the Ottawa delegation are willing, I believe we could table a motion the same as we did with the London delegation. We had the very same trouble there, and after a while it came through. One man looks at it from one angle, and another from another, but to be fair to the Ottawa delegation, and also to be fair to the Convention and the people, I believe that the Canadian government should be asked to release everything so that we can get down to thejob. If I may liken it to something, it is like coming in with the official log book. You lay it on the owner's table. What does he know about it? But if you bring in a scratch log he can see the whole thing in a nutshell, and it seems to me that is just like it. We havejust got the official log, and the scratch log is something secret. The members of this delegation have something that we are not allowed to have. I believe the right way to get at it is to table a motion and ask the Canadian government if those people are bound by that.
Mr. Smallwood I think perhaps the Convention would like to save a little time. You are going to table a motion to the Government of Canada through the regular channels, asking them if the Ottawa delegation may release certain documents, and by the time that government gets that request and makes its reply to us, the Convention 918 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 might be over. So if there is another way of doing it, possibly that would be the better thing to do. Let's get the thing straight. There is a lot of talk about the mysterious secret documents, and the members of the Convention may have a feeling that we have been living in an atmosphere of conspiracy and plots now for 14 months. A lot of members may feel that there are some dark and mysterious documents closely guarded under lock and key by the members of the Ottawa delegation. There is no such thing. The fact of the matter is these Black Books contain 99.99% of what was given us in Ottawa. There is one document only, to my knowledge, speaking from memory ... which has not been put in the Black Books, and that is the one to which I have just made reference in reply to Major Cashin. One only. All other documents appear in the Black Book in their final, official form.... Please let us have done with any further suggestions of secret, dark, mysterious documents under lock and key, that we are trying to keep back from the Convention. That is a completely wrong impression. All trash and nonsense....
Mr. Cashin I don't know if it is in the Black Book. The point I make is this: it is a very important document, and even if it is the only one that is left out, the point is it should have been tabled here the first day, because it relates to the public debt of Canada, and a comparison has to be made between the public debt of Canada and the public debt of Newfoundland. I tabled a question on this ten days ago, and I find now that my questions have gone off to Ottawa when the actual information is here in the city.
Mr. Chairman The fact that any memorandum or document in the possession of members may overlap the so-called Black Books is no reason for withholding it from the members of the Convention. On the contrary, in certain circles it might be regarded as very foolish, because in a sense it provides independent corroboration for what is in the Black Books. Therefore, there is every reason why it should be made the property of the Convention. But in that respect has any member of the Ottawa delegation anything to say on whether or not the document referred to should not be made the property of the Convention? Is there any reason why it should not be?
Mr. Ashbourne Mr. Chairman, I am very sorry that the chairman of the Ottawa delegation is not here, Mr. Bradley, because I think that he might have some views on this matter, As far as I am concerned myself I want to see my position clear, to satisfy my own conscience, and to know that I am doing right. If I accepted, when I was a member of the delegation to Ottawa, certain documents which, in the compilation of the Black Books and the Grey Book, were used, and these documents came to me marked "Confidential". and in a folder marked "Secret", the question I must ask myself is whether or not I am permitted to divulge that information without permission from the people who supplied it. I might say I accepted that information as it was handed to me, as confidential and secret ... but I understood that these reports which had been prepared by subcommittees, etc., and supplied to the members, were superseded by these Black Books, and that these were to be the final word, so to speak.
Mr. Chairman ... Mr. Smallwood has made the statement that 99.99% of the information contained in the documents, or memoranda to which you refer, is already set forth in the Black Books. Do you agree to that statement?
Mr. Ashbourne Well, I would not like to make any statement, but in the main, I don't know mind, but I am afraid that I could not say whether there is very much left out of these Black Books.... Of course, I don't want to withhold anything from the Convention, and if the Canadian government is satisfied to release it, that's up to them.... I understand Mr. Bradley is still ill, but I am sorry he is not here, because, as I said before, I consider that these things were given to us and marked "Secret", and whether or not I am entitled to read from these documents, that is a point that I want to be satisfied on.
Mr. Chairman Mr. Burry, would you mind, as a member of the Ottawa delegation, addressing yourself on this very important question, because it is the second time that it has come before the Chair in the past four days and I would like to have it disposed of once and for all, if I could.
Mr. Burry Well, Mr. Chairman, I stated my position in this case once. I don't know if I made myself clear or not, but I do not recall giving any undertaking that I would keep any of the documents that I brought back from Ottawa from the Convention. I did not give any undertaking to keep anything secret. While we were there we were given documents that were marked "Con December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 919 fidential" and "Secret", we held them as such, and during our stay in Ottawa I was under secrecy as far as these documents were concerned; but I cannot recollect that the Canadian government asked me to keep anything that I brought back from Ottawa from this National Convention.
Mr. Chairman In your judgement, Mr. Burry, would there be anything unusual or immoral in my directing a request to any members of the delegation who feel that they are not in conscience bound to keep from the Convention any of the information they received?
Mr. Burry As far as I am concerned, I have a folder in my bag with the information in it, and I have no scruples in letting any member see what is in it.
Mr. Chairman Supposing I were to ask you, would you please have mimeographed this document which is in your bag — would you consider that an improper or unconscionable ruling?
Mr. Burry No, because I was not asked to do such.
Mr. Ashbourne I would advise you to ask Mr. Bradley about that; I asked Mr. Bradley myself, and his answer was that it was secret and confidential.
Mr. Chairman With all due respect to Mr. Bradley, this is a matter of conscience.... But the opinion has been expressed by Mr. Higgins, Rev. Burry and Mr. Smallwood that they can see no reason why this information would be withheld from the Convention. Therefore I am now requesting these three gentlemen, if according to their own consciences they are free to do so, would they please be good enough to pass over any document or documents they may have to the Secretary to be mimeographed and distributed to the members. That does not obligate you, Mr. Ashbourne, or Mr. Bradley, or anyone else who thinks he is in conscience bound to withhold it from the Convention. At the same time it allows other members to exercise, or at least to govern their actions by the dictates of their conscience.
Mr. Crummey Does that include minutes of plenary sessions?
Mr. Chairman That includes, as far as I am concerned, everything that came into the possession of the delegation. You were sent down there by the Convention and as far as I am concerned, unless it is a matter of morals or scruples or conscience or something of that sort, I can see no reason in the world why your report back to this Convention should not be completed by passing over any ancillary or supplementary documents you may have in your possession.... My ruling is that Rev. Burry, Mr. Higgins and Mr. Smallwood, who apparently feel they are not in conscience bound to withhold the information, and are willing to make available the information, should pass over to the Secretary to be mimeographed and distributed, any documents in their possession, to be made available to members of the Convention.
Mr. Ballam All these dark secrets which we are talking about are merely reports of committees, talks across the table, minutes. The minutes we were asked to keep confidential. You understand in committees of that kind how embarrassing it would be for these things to get in the press, just at committee stage. We were at the committee stage — these Black Books are the ultimate findings of all committees. Anything not included in the Black Books, I take it, the Canadian government did not want to include. If I understand it correctly, anything we had in our minor reports or minutes, we were actually asked to destroy before we left, except the official report of the delegation; and as Mr. Smallwood has said, the Black Books do contain in the main, I would say, the greater percentage of all the discussions and all talks. There are no secrets as far as I am concerned, but we all agreed that the across the table discussions would be kept to ourselves.
Mr. Chairman If the discussions between the Newfoundland delegation and the Canadian government are literally or substantially contained in the Black Books, does not that of itself put beyond question any suggestion that the Canadian government ever intended them to remain secret? If they were to be secret and withheld from members of the Convention, why would they be incorporated in books which were sent for distribution to members of this Convention?
Mr. Butt If we want any of these documents we ought to ask the appropriate department of government, presumably the Department of External Affairs, whether they can or cannot be released....
Mr. Chairman That was my original suggestion, but Mr. Smallwood thought it was a waste of time, in the sense we have to wait to receive 920 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 information from Ottawa; whilst in his opinion, it was now here to be made available and he saw no reason why we should go to Ottawa to seek information which, according to him, is available and can be made available.
Mr. Smallwood ....You ruled we table it. We have nothing to table except one solitary document; Mr. Crummey has a copy...
Mr. Higgins I believe we all have copies of the public debt. I am prepared right now to give it to the Secretary.
Mr. Chairman In that case, I ask you, Mr. Burry and Mr. Smallwood, to give it to the Secretary and he will see that it is mimeographed, and copies of the document to which you have directed our attention will be distributed.
Mr. Higgins Will that be everything we brought back?
Mr. Smallwood Why not everything and be done with it? We have nothing to hide.
Mr. Chairman I made the point very clear if there is a slight difference between the semi-official and the official; the official is what is in the Black Book. There is only one case of that which Mr. Higgins referred to. The point is, it may be found redundant and unnecessary, in the sense that the Black Book contains information which might overlap. Against that, by making this information available, it eliminates or dissipates any suggestion that the information is being improperly withheld. Therefore I ask the three gentlemen named to make all documents in their possession available to members.
Mr. Bailey Have they got everything in their possession, the same as we got back from London?
Mr. Chairman I have already made my ruling....
Mr. Higgins We have no stenographic report at all.
Mr. Chairman I understand that.
Mr. Job May I just read the reply to a question I asked regarding the rumour that Commission of Government would not be placed on the referendum paper. It was important and we did not want to waste time if there was to be any question about it. "In reply to the question submitted by the Hon. R.B. Job, forwarded November 28, I write to inform you that the Right Honourable the Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations knows of no basis for this rumour." That, I hope finishes that rumour.

Report of the Ottawa Delegation Proposed Arrangements for the Entry of Newfoundland into Confederation Committee of the Whole

Mr. Smallwood The only remaining main clause, sir, of the terms that we have discussed as yet is to be found in clause 5, sub-section 7;
At the union, or as soon as practicable thereafter, the following services will be taken over by Canada and become subject to the jurisdiction of Parliament, Newfoundland to be relieved of the public costs incurred in respect of each service after it is taken over...
(7) Pensions and rehabilitation of war veterans and merchant seamen on the basis set forth in Annex I hereto.
That is the clause. I will confess to you frankly that as I am not a war veteran myself, and although I did attend the meetings of the committee on veterans' affairs of the Ottawa delegation which conferred with the Canadian committee ... I made an honest attempt to understand it, but it is highly complicated — there was the Veterans' Charter all outlined, rehabilitation and pensions scheme, all highly complicated.... The thing I was most interested in was the Veterans' Land Act, that would apply very much here in Newfoundland and might prove very beneficial. I tried to understand that above everything else. Between Mr. Ashbourne, Mr. Ballam and Mr. Higgins, I have the feeling the House will be answered on any particular point it cares to raise in connection with this clause of the terms.
Mr. Northcott In connection with pensions, say you get 100% disability, how much would that be in dollars?
Mr. Smallwood I hope Mr. Northcott is not directing that question at me.
Mr. Northcott I understand 100% disability in Newfoundland is $75 a month. What would it be in Canada?
Mr. Ashbourne I understand it would be $900 a year, same as Newfoundland — $75 a month.
Mr. Ballam The answer will be found in Volume 2, pages 72 to 77. You will see there a comparison of pensions given ex-service person December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 921 nel in Canada and Newfoundland. There is a note which says some of the benefits listed might have expired. I do not know if it is necessary to run over the differences between the Newfoundland and Canadian allowances.
Mr. Hollett On the first note which says, "Some of the Canadian benefits listed might have expired before union and others would require adjustment for Newfoundland ex-servicemen", could your delegation tell me how many have expired up to date? Have you a record of that?
Mr. Ashbourne I have not got listed just what have expired.
Mr. Hollett Very well. We will pass on.
Mr. Ashbourne As to the difference between the Canadian and Newfoundland pension, in several cases they are similar. The point raised by Mr. Northcott as regards pensions of $900 a year for 100% disability, I think it is the same, with the exception that under the Pensions Act of 1935, I do not think an ex-serviceman in Newfoundland can receive anything for children born after the last of May, 1934; whereas, under the Canadian act he is permitted a pension or some allowance, I believe, up to l944. There is that difference.
Mr. Hollett Is there any great difference between the benefits veterans in Canada get and veterans in Newfoundland? We could get at the difference and find out where we would benefit if we went into confederation. Could you tell me that?
Mr. Ashbourne There were veterans' allowances and service benefits under the Veterans Lands Act — they are different. I think members will find these and also the re-establishment credits if they refer to the Black Books.
Mr. Northcott We get some concessions here, and as I see it, a little better.
Mr. Ashbourne As regards re-establishment credits:
Canada: A grant equal to the "basic gratuity" payable to those eligible to receive the gratuity. May be used for specific purposes listed below, any time within ten years of discharge provided the veteran resides in Canada and uses it for his own re-establishment in Canada. Persons not resident in Canada may use the credit to pay the premiums for insurance purchased under a Dominion government plan. The "purposes" as I understand it were available to members who enlisted in the Canadian forces from Newfoundland, but on account of not enlisting in Canada, they could not benefit under them.
Purposes: (a) Purchase of a home — to provide up to two-thirds the required equity. (b) Repair or modernisation of a home already owned by the veteran. (c) To reduce indebtedness upon the home of the veteran. (d) To purchase household furniture and domestic equipment — up to 90% of the cost. (e) For working capital for a business. (f) To purchase tools, instruments or equipment for a trade, business or profession. (g) To purchase a business — up to two thirds of the required equity. (h) To pay premiums for insurance under a Dominion government scheme. (i) To purchase special training equipment. (j) For any other purpose authorised by the Governor-in-Council. This benefit is alternative with land settlement.
Mr. Hollett You will get it on page 76 of the Black Book if you will look for it.
Mr. Ashbourne What is that, Book 1 or Book 2?
Mr. Hollett Book 2.
Mr. Ashbourne Well if you have it there you could give it to us. If you have the amount there.
Mr. Hollett You are telling us. I am asking you a question, and you don't seem to know.
Mr. Ashbourne Well, I am not conversant with everything in this.
Mr. Hollett Well, let's have somebody who is.
Mr. Hickman In connection with those re-establishment credits, they are only available, or would be available, to those who served in the Canadian services. Consequently anyone not in the Canadian forces would not be eligible to the benefits under that act.
Mr. Hollett And as I understand it, according to Page 76, a grant equal to the "basic gratuity" ... is equal to $15 per month outside the western hemisphere. You might check with somebody if that is not correct. I am only trying to let our veterans in this country know the true position in Canada, and the point which Mr. Hickman just raised is, and it is a point very well taken, that that particular section would not apply to any of our 922 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 Newfoundland veterans if we went into confederation tomorrow. That is all I wanted, the truth.
Mr. Ashbourne Mr. Chairman, that is what I am trying to get at, the truth. I am not here to give anything except the truth as I find it here. I see here that Newfoundland veterans who served in World War II will be eligible for these benefits as specified in the terms.
Mr. Hollett What benefits?
Mr. Ashbourne Benefits under the Veterans' Land Act.
Mr. Hollett Read it in full.
Mr. Ashbourne "Under Canadian law Newfoundland veterans who served in His Majesty's Canadian forces in World War II would, by reason of their new standing as Canadian citizens, be eligible for use of re-establishment credits."
Mr. Hollett I was saying, these veterans who served in British or Newfoundland forces, as the case may be. When they were serving with the Canadian forces they were Canadians.
Mr. Hickman They won't come in under it. It is only those who served in the Canadian army or the Canadian navy. Those who served in our two regiments overseas or the Home Defence, are not eligible for the benefits under the re-establishment plan.
Mr. Hollett That is all I want. If the delegation would satisfy us and the country on that.
Mr. Hickman Mr. Chairman, I think in general, I have been talking to some veterans who have gone into this, there does not seem to be, in their opinion, there does not seem to be very much difference between the Canadian act and our own. There might have been a greater discharge or demobilisation pay from Canada, but that has been already availed of, and they would not get any extra or back pay. That is settled and done with. You have a period, I don't know how long it is, 18 months or something, to avail of your transition, or to take any vocational training. In Canada that is somewhat longer. On the other hand where the Canadian taking a course, attending university is allowed, I don't know whether it is $60 or $80 a month while they are there, the Newfoundland act here allows either $10 or $20 a month more, but there is not a great difference in the whole thing. As I understand it it is pretty well identical, and those pensions that Mr. Northcott was asking about, that is the same thing as he quoted for Newfoundland, it is the same thing in Canada.
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Chairman, we have here the public accounts of the Government of Canada for last year, and I have opened at the page which shows the Department of Veterans' Affairs, which shows the expenditures made. The expenditure last year $401,707,964.26 or roughly $402 million. Now there are some sub-headings of that, for example....
Mr. Hollett Mr. Chairman, it is not a point of order, and I don't want to interrupt Mr. Smallwood, but I fail to see how these huge figures of payments in Canada are going to give any benefit to us here. It seems to me it is just a waste of time.
Mr. Smallwood Someone just asked how much was being spent, and I was hoping as I read these that whoever asked it would come across the items for which he asked. And so it goes on for 30 or 40 pages. I would not dream of reading them all. One million for this and three million for that, 30 or 40 million for something else, and the total expenditure is $400 million odd, spent by the Government of Canada for the year.
Mr. Chairman The point is whether or not the re-establishment credits on page 76 are not excluded from Newfoundlanders who served during the war in branches of the services other than the Canadian services under the note or exceptions to section 2. I read section 2 as applying to Newfoundland veterans, but in addition, under Canadian law, Newfoundland veterans who served with them in World War II, will, by reason of their new status as Canadian citizens, be eligible for use of re-establishment credits on the same basis as other Canadian veterans. But the point raised by Mr. Hollett and Mr. Hickman is that these re-establishment credits set forth on page 76, volume 2 of the Black Book, would not apply to Newfoundland veterans who did not serve in the Canadian forces during World War II.
Mr. Smallwood All that would be entitled to that would be Newfoundlanders who served in the Canadian forces.
Mr. Chairman That is the point.
Mr. Higgins These clauses on pages 72 to 94, we don't have to actually read them, you merely say "Do they apply or don't they?" I think it might be clearer then.
Mr. Chairman In order to facilitate the House generally, Mr. Higgins, would you mind assisting?
Mr. Higgins I don't mind, but Mr. Ashbourne is the one to do that.
Mr. Chairman I see. Mr. Higgins requested whether or not the specific allowances set forth on pages 78 — 94, both inclusive, of volume 2 of the Black Book...
Mr. Higgins 72 to 94 sir.
Mr. Chairman Yes, 72 to 94 both inclusive, thank you, as to whether or not, Mr. Ashbourne, you would look at these, and state whether or not, in your opinion, all or any of these allowances would apply to Newfoundland veterans who served in World War II.
Mr. Ashbourne I will do the best I can. I think in answering the question before us I might say that I have here now the data about the rates and scales of Newfoundland and Canadian pensioners, which are the same except that there is no pension payable in respect of a child born in Newfoundland after 30 June 1934, while in Canada this has been extended up to May 30, 1944; and there is one item that I would like to bring to the attention of the House — the matter of war pensioners' allowances in Canada:
Allowances for veterans 60 years of age or, if younger, incapable of self-maintenance. A veteran who served in a theatre of war; or served in two wars, but not necessarily in a theatre of war; and who is over 60 years of age, or if under 60 unemployable due to physical or economic reasons (female age 55 applies), may receive an allowance. This allowance is up to $365 per annum for single person, or $730 per annum for married person, dependent upon financial means. A veteran may have other income up to $125 per annum if single or $250 per annum if married and still receive full allowance; any income in excess of these amounts is deducted. In addition, veterans may have up to $125 casual earnings per year without allowances being reduced and an interest of up to $4,000 in the house in which he resides. Also up to $25 per year unearned income.
Maximum payable to childless widow is $265 per annum or to widow with children $730. Same earnings allowed as for single or married veterans respectively.
Orphans of a veteran may receive $360 for one child, $648 for two children and $730 for more than two children, less the amount of any income of the orphan or orphans.
Mr. Smallwood Is this what they refer to as "burned-out veterans"? Is that the name of it?
Mr. Ashbourne Yes, I think that's the idea. Men that are no longer capable of employment.
Mr. Watton Mr. Chairman, may I make a suggestion? May I ask that Mr. Ashbourne begin at page 72 and go right through to page 94?
Mr. Hollett Let him finish this one now, because he picked out this first.
Mr. Ashbourne There is no known parallel in Newfoundland.
Mr. Hollett You say there is no known parallel in Newfoundland? Who gave the Canadians that information that there is no known parallel?
Mr. Smallwood They got that from the reports that we took up there and delivered to them, and from the reports on our veterans affairs which they had in their possession before we ever saw them.
Mr. Hollett Where did they get them?
Mr. Smallwood From Newfoundland. What do you suppose they have a High Commissioner in Newfoundland for? What does any country have an ambassador in another country for, except to get information?
Mr. Hollett We never got that information.
Mr. Smallwood Right, and so what? I don't intend even to try and get it.
Mr. Hollett Right, I don't want you to.
Mr. Smallwood It is no use wanting me to.
Mr. Watton I suggest, as a war veteran that Mr. Ashbourne begin at page 72 and take each thing as it comes.
Mr. Chairman That request has already been made, Mr. Watton. It is only a request, I can't tell him to. Mr. Ashbourne, would you mind beginning at page 72?
Mr. Hollett Excuse me, Mr. Chairman, may I answer that discrepancy on page 83?
Mr. Chairman Well, all right.
Mr. Hollett Under war veterans' allowances, they have the information that there is no known parallel. The Newfoundland equivalent to that is a special permanent grant under the GWVA and the NPA fund to veterans incapable of self-maintenance. Usually these cases are represented by the Great War Veterans Association, and when 924 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 proof is received grants are allowed by the Department of Public Health and Welfare. That is the parallel. It is surprising that you did not know there was one.
Mr. Ballam We knew that, but it is not an act. If they have a case like this in Newfoundland they go with the sick case to the government and get some allowance from the pensions board for them, but we have no known parallel in this country for that section.
Mr. Chairman Your point, Mr. Ballam, is that they are fixed by statute.
Mr. Ballam They are fixed by some authority when occasion arises.
Mr. Hollett We have no parallel because it is not under an enactment. This is under a particular act. We have that same duty performed by the Great War Veterans' Association, and the NPA, in conjunction with the government and the Department of Public Health and Welfare, and I tell you every man of that age, 60 years or over, if he has some disability and is unable to work, his case is taken up by the Great War Veterans' Association, and handled by that organisation in conjunction with the NPA and the Department of Public Health and Welfare.
Mr. Ballam It is much the same as the Canadian as far as results are concerned.
Mr. Hollett It all depends on the circumstances.
Mr. Smallwood Would Mr. Hollett seriously suggest that if in Canada there is a law that makes it mandatory, not permissive but mandatory, and that in Newfoundland in a similar case what is necessary is that the GWVA or the NPA, or some voluntary body shall take up his case, go to the government and haggle with them, and try to get a grant for that individual, that that makes it parallel in Newfoundland?
Mr. Hollett Yes.
Mr. Smallwood It is not my idea.
Mr. Hollett Yes, because the GWVA and the NPA are not purely voluntary bodies.
Mr. Smallwood Well, what is it?
Mr. Hollett It is not purely a voluntary body, it is incorporated in some way surely.
Mr. Smallwood Well, so are the trade unions.
Mr. Hollett What about the Department of Public Health and Welfare, whose duty it is to look after such cases?
Mr. Smallwood As a matter of relief?
Mr. Hollett No, each case is treated on its merits.
Mr. Smallwood But in Canada it is a matter of statutory law. That's the difference. Yes, in Canada. I suppose we are allowed to mention Canada. That is the very point we are discussing. Is the case in Canada, in such cases as that, paralleled in Newfoundland? Mr. Hollett says it is paralleled in Newfoundland, and has tried to prove that by saying that a burned-out war veteran, if he goes to the GWVA or the NPA and gets them to take up his case and go to the government and fight it out with them, may or may not get him a grant, and that's parallelling the mandatory statutory legislation of Canada. There is no parallel at all.
Mr. Hollett I put it to you, sir, that such a case has not got to fight it out with the GWVA or the NPA: they fight it out for him with the government. They are the agent, like the veterans' association in Canada.
Mr. Chairman Except this, under Canadian law he gets it as a matter of right, and here he gets it as a matter of case.
Mr. Hollett In this country it is a matter of right if it can be proved that his case warrants it. I am not trying to prove that our veterans are getting more than they should. That is the parallel to this war veterans' allowance here.
Mr. Kennedy May I ask Mr. Hollett a question, please?
Mr. Chairman No. This bill is being piloted if you will, this measure, by Mr. Smallwood. If you want to address to Mr. Smallwood, and Mr. Hollett feels like answering the question, that's all right, but you can't do it otherwise.
Mr. Kennedy Mr. Smallwood, have you to be a member of the GWVA to get into a hospital just like the Merchant Navy Hospital here in St. John's?
Mr. Smallwood I don't think so. The GWVA is one of the finest bodies in the whole country, doing a magnificent voluntary work, taking up every case that it can possibly take up amongst veterans, and doing the best it can do in their behalf with the government of the country. They succeed in many cases, and fail in many other cases. They never fail through any fault of their own, it is through the fault of the government, because here is a case in point that we are now discussing, the case of the burned-out veterans. I did not invent that word "burned-out", it seems December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 925 to be current, it seems to be used in Canada, and it means war veterans who, because of their war service, because of what they went through, are just burned out now. You can't put a scientific name on it maybe, but they are burned-out veterans.
Mr. Hollett I rise to a point of order. I thought Mr. Ashbourne was doing this thing.
Mr. Chairman There was a question directed to Mr. Smallwood by the member for Harbour Main, Mr. Kennedy.
Mr. Smallwood Yes, and I was trying to answer it.
Mr. Kennedy A point of order. I don't like that word "burned-out".
Mr. Smallwood Well I don't like it very much either, but it is a word used.
Mr. Chairman The point of order is not well taken at all. You are disagreeing with the terminology. I must say I hear the expression for the first time, and I am beginning to wonder what it is all about.
Mr. Kennedy Worn out, a "woroner".
Mr. Smallwood Well that's one on me. As I understand it a "woroner", or a "burned-out veteran", using both terms, is a man who, because of his service, not because he lost a limb, but in some way it renders a man incapable of doing the work that he would have been able to do, if he had not gone through the hell that he did.
Mr. Butt It is not in the Grey Book or in the Black Book.
Mr. Smallwood Well, it is in the dictionary, Mr. Chairman. Am I only allowed the right to use the words in the Black Book?
Mr. Chairman The phraseology of this House is not going to be confined to the Black Book.
Mr. Smallwood The dictionary has over a million words, and I think I am entitled to use any one.
Mr. Hickman Could we include the members of this Convention in the burned-out veterans?
Mr. Smallwood If we are here much longer some of us will be burned out!
Mr. Chairman You can get ready to include me right away!
Mr. Smallwood Anyway, that sort of relieved the tension, sir. According to the Black Book, in Canada there is a law, a statute which provides for them, and it is theirs by right, by law. In Newfoundland I have no doubt that such cases in some instances have received some kind of compensation, but it is not theirs by right or by law. Some of them get it, and some don't. I know men myself, and I have no doubt that other men know war veterans in this country, of World War I, who are "woroners" or "burned-out".
Mr. Kennedy Worn out.
Mr. Smallwood Well, worn out or burned-out, we all know men like that. You can't put your finger on it, you can only say that man is like he is because of the hell he went through in the war.
Mr. Kennedy He is still a Newfoundlander.
Mr. Smallwood Of course. But that man is not now covered by law. In Canada he is, and if we became a province he would be covered by law. That is all that clause says.
Mr. Chairman Now to get back to where we were. Mr. Ashbourne, would you have any objection, for the proper treatment of the business now before the Chair, to begin at page 72, and go over to page 93? Would you mind taking pages 72 to 93, both inclusive, and just look at the various headings given on these pages, and express the opinion whether or not the allowances set forth in these pages would apply to Newfoundland veterans if and when we went into confederation?
Mr. Higgins If they have been completed, sir?
Mr. Ashbourne What was that last?
Mr. Higgins If they have been completed.
Mr. Ashbourne If members would look at the end, I believe there is a time limit there.
Mr. Chairman Would you mind beginning at page 72?
Mr. Ashbourne Would there be any objection to my reading the Canadian and Newfoundland?
Mr. Chairman You can only treat it as best you can. I don't wish to hamper you in any way, shape or form, but try to do it in the most effective and brief way you possibly can. That's all I can say.
Mr. Ashbourne Well, I will try to do the best I can.
Mr. Chairman That's all you can do. Mr. Ashbourne.
Mr. Hollett Mr. Chairman, I have studied this very carefully, and if I could go through it myself and you can check me I would be satisfied with that.
Mr. Ashbourne It has been suggested that I do it. If you want to do it, I am satisfied.
Mr. Higgins I think Mr. Ashbourne should continue.
Mr. Ashbourne Clothing Allowances:
Canada: For honourably discharged veterans, an allowance of $100. Veteran is allowed to keep one uniform and his personal necessaries.
Newfoundland: For honourably discharged veterans, a clothing outfit from the UK government or, if this is not available, an outfit from the Newfoundland government. In an address on 14 March, 1945, Hon. A.J. Walsh, K.C., mentioned a proposed allowance of $50 to $60 to supplement the UK benefit. This was only applicable if needed to provide a full clothing outfit.
Mr. Higgins We should look at the ones that apply and forget that ones that do not apply.
Mr. Watton That second paragraph — that $50 to $60 clothing allowance. I think — I am not quite sure — but I think that should be $100.
Mr. Smallwood It may be a good idea to make a note as Mr. Ashbourne goes through and come back later and review the notes.
Mr. Watton In my case, I was discharged here in St. John's and I was paid $100 allowance.
Mr. Ballam That was for a suit of clothes in England.
Mr. Chairman To supplement the UK benefit.
Mr. Higgins In any case, that is finished now.
Mr. Chairman It is water over the dam now. There is no point in wasting time.
Mr. Smallwood The unemployment benefits are important.
Unemployment Benefits:
Canada: Except for the period covered by the rehabilitation grant and the first nine days of unemployment, any honourably discharged veteran unemployed though willing and capable of working, may draw an allowance up to 52 weeks, but not longer than the period of service, within 18 months of discharge. Monthly rates are, single $50; married $70.... Veteran may earn up to $20 per month; any earnings in excess of this amount is deductible from the allowance. When a veteran completes 15 weeks of insurable employment the contributions to the National Unemployment Insurance Fund are paid by the government on behalf of the veteran in respect of all time spent in the service subsequent to June 30, 1941.
Newfoundland: Except for eight weeks im mediately past discharge (furlough period) an allowance may be paid to an unemployed veteran who is willing and capable of work but unable to obtain unemployment for a period of one year. Allowance will not cover first nine days of unemployment and may not be paid for a period exceeding length of service. Rates are, monthly: single $50; married $70.... Veterans may earn up to $20 per month — any earnings in excess of this amount are deductible from the allowance. A pensioner with 20% or more disability who becomes eligible for the allowance receives a sum sufficient to bring pension to 100% for self and dependents.
Mr. Higgins Is not that over?
Mr. Hollett It is exactly the same in Canada as in Newfoundland.
Mr. Smallwood All but the last paragraph; that is premium payments.
Mr. Chairman Is not that partly, if not altogether, a thing of the past?
Mr. Smallwood No. They are eligible if they complete 15 weeks in insurable employment.
Mr. Hollett In Canada, yes.
Mr. Smallwood And in Newfoundland. Under clause 2(b) Newfoundland veterans who served in World War II will be eligible for contributions to the National Unemployment Insurance Funds....
Mr. Hollett Eligible for contributions, yes.
Mr. Smallwood That is a distinct advantage which we have not got at all in this country. The contributions made for them by Canada for all the weeks the men were in uniform, throughout the war.... When working 15 weeks, the government pays the premiums into the insurance fund in their name. If they become unemployed, what they have to draw on is the unemployment benefit on the years of payments made for them by the government into the fund and that is an important point.
Mr. Hollett Does that apply if they make application within 15 months or not?
Mr. Smallwood Where do you find that?
Mr. Hollett I am asking you.
Mr. Smallwood There is no time limit in clause 2 of the Grey Book.
Mr. Higgins Page 94, book 2, the time limit is stated. "Unemployment benefits: 52 weeks within 18 months of discharge." Does that cover December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 927 the whole unemployment benefit?
Mr. Smallwood That is something entirely different. All war veterans in Newfoundland and Canada were entitled to unemployment benefits, but this clause in the terms refers to unemployment insurance payments, contributions to be made into the Unemployment Insurance Fund. There is no time limit on that.
Mr. Hollett According to the Veterans Insurance Act passed in 1944...
Mr. Smallwood That is another matter; that is life insurance.
Mr. Hollett It is the Veterans Insurance Act. This is not unemployment insurance.
Mr. Smallwood That is what it is — unemployment insurance. Clause 2 of the Grey Book is unemployment insurance, not life insurance.
Mr. Chairman It is "National Unemployment Insurance".
Mr. Hollett I thought it was veterans insurance.
Mr. Ashbourne Vocational Training:
Canada: For honourably discharged veterans who, in the opinion of the Dept., will benefit by training in effecting rehabilitation. Training is carried out in school and on-the- job. Length of training normally does not exceed 52 weeks but may be extended. The trainee may not receive allowances for a period longer than his period of service unless a pensioner. Allowance rates per month are: single $60; married $80....
Mr. Hollett Is there any benefit to be derived by going into confederation? Are the veterans given any benefits from the point of vocational training?
Mr. Ballam It could be extended from year to year; some servicemen are not out of the army.
Mr. Ashbourne Vocational Training:
Newfoundland: For honourably discharged veterans provision has been made for training in certain limited technical subjects. Allowances to be paid at following monthly rates:
At Home Away From Home
Single $70 $ 70
Married 90 100
Mr. Hollett The payments for children, is that better or worse than in Canada?
Mr. Ballam Just about the same.
Mr. Hollett Men "away from home" in Newfoundland receive $100.
Mr. Ballam It is exactly the same: in Canada they get $80 plus $20 allowance if living away from home.
Mr. Hollett The married man living at home, in Canada, gets $80 and in Newfoundland he gets $90.
Mr. Ashbourne The next thing is "Educational (University) Training". That was, they must commence training within 15 months of discharge. I do not think it is necessary to read that. That is over now.
Mr. Hollett Would you say that educational training under the Canadian scheme is better or worse than the Newfoundland scheme?
Mr. Ashbourne I am not in a position to say whether it is better or worse.
Mr. Hollett I put it to you, having studied it, it is equally as good.
Mr. Smallwood Would it be as good in the actual carrying out? Two countries can pass a law, they can be identical, but one country may carry it out generously. I am not saying which carries it out. There is no doubt but that Canada has treated war veterans more generously than any other country on the face of the earth, with one possible exception — Australia. Next to Australia, Canada has treated war veterans more generously than any other country in the world —every one of the war veterans. Ask Mr. Vardy. He is not here. He made a notation of it.
Mr. Hollett Ask someone who is here.
Mr. Chairman Mr. Ashbourne has the floor. Do not turn it into a Donnybrook....
Mr. Ashbourne Disability Pensions:
Canada: Pensions are awarded for disability resulting from injury or disease attributable to or incurred during service (insurance principle).
The rate for 100% disability for all ranks below that of Captain (army) or equivalent is $900 per annum. Disabilities are assessed in multiples of 5% and the amounts vary accordingly. For disabilities less than 5% a final payment not exceeding $100 may be awarded. The rates are higher for Captain and above.
Additional pension for dependents is payable also and varies with the degree of disability. The married 100% pensioner receives $200 per annum for his wife, $180 for the first child, $144 for the second and 928 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 $120 for each subsequent child. For orphan children the amounts may be doubled. Dependent parents are also pensionable.
An additional allowance for helplessness may be paid to a totally disabled disability pensioner, ranging from $250 to $750 per annum. An allowance for wear and tear of clothing is provided for disability pensioners who require to wear an appliance.
Canadian rates are paid to all pensioners of the Canadian forces, and for Canadians domiciled in Canada at the time of enlistment, allied or imperial forces, the pension paid by the country in whose forces the veteran served is supplemented to the Canadian scale.
Newfoundland: Pensions are primarily paid by the British government and are based on British rulings — the disability must have arisen out of or been aggravated by service. Pensions are paid under rates in the Pensions Act 1935, and the scales of payment are equivalent to the Canadian scales. The British government pays an amount equivalent to the British pension and this is supplemented by the Newfoundland government.
Mr. Higgins Bringing it up to the Canadian equivalent?
Mr. Ashbourne Yes, I think it is 50% or a little over 50% the Newfoundland government supplements and brings it up to the Canadian scale.
Mr. Ballam The only thing is the Dependents' Allowance.
Mr. Northcott It says "may be paid" not "will be paid".
Mr. Ashbourne If they apply for them.
Mr. Higgins I think that is why there is an allowance for free legal assistance.
Mr. Ashbourne Widows' War Pension:
Canada: The pension for a widow of all ranks below that of Captain (army) or equivalent is $720 per annum. For Captain and above higher rates are payable.
Additional pension is payable for children, first child $180 per annum, second $144 and third and subsequent $120 per annum. For orphan children these rates may be doubled. Dependent parents may also be pensioned. Where a widow or children are pen sionable the amount cannot exceed $60 per annum for each parent. Where no pensionable widow or children the maximum for two dependent parents may be $900 per annum.
Newfoundland: Pensions are paid on scales similar to Canadian scales. The British pension is supplemented in case of World War II veterans to maintain this scale.
The next is War Veterans' Allowance, and I think we went over that. There is an allowance for veterans 60 years of age or, if younger, incapable of self-maintenance.
Mr. Starkes The point I would like to make is this. In my district we have several returned soldiers. It appears they did not apply for assistance within the alloted time of 18 months. They are down there now with wives and families, without employment and cannot get any assistance — that is, assistance from the government in connection with war benefits. Does that apply here now? In Canada they get benefits up to 60 years of age; in Newfoundland they get nothing?
Mr. Ashbourne This is for men when they become the age of 60; if they are not able to work. it is applicable at the age of 55.
Mr. Starkes If they are unemployable, under 60, for economic reasons?
Mr. Higgins These cases are taken care of by the GWVA and/or the NPA.
Mr. Starkes I was trying to intercede for the men in question and I was told by Mr. Max Chambers of the Civil Re-establishment that the government could do nothing for them.
Mr. Northcott Take it to the GWVA and NPA.
Mr. Butt The word "mandatory" was used a short while ago. Look at the ninth line — "may receive an allowance".
Mr. Northcott Getting back to widows' pensions again. A widow gets $720 a year. in the event she marries again, does she still retain it or does she forfeit it? Supposing her husband was killed overseas.
Mr. Ashbourne As far as Newfoundland is concerned, they are given I believe (I am subject to correction), an allowance of $100 in lieu of any further pension. I cannot say exactly the amount or what the plan is in that regard in Canada. I will see if I can find out. If Mr. Northcott is satisfied, I will take note of it and give him an answer later on.
Mr. Higgins That point of Mr. Butt's is rather important, I think. All the allowances are "may", not compulsory.
Mr. Ashbourne As far as I understand the idea, the allowances are there for men who meet the required conditions.
Mr. Job It does not say so.
Mr. Ashbourne What is the idea of having it there at all if it is not available for the men? If there is no war veterans' allowances, what is the good of putting it there?
Mr. Butt They have tied it up in Canada by writing it down in a nice neat act. Here the net result is practically the same.
Mr. Smallwood What kind of nonsense is that? What kind of trash and nonsense is it in fact? Here is a law in Canada which, as I pointed out before, may be interpreted generously, or in a mean and niggardly spirit. Canada is not noted for treating her veterans in a mean and niggardly spirit, she is noted for treating them generously. Because the act says "may" and not "shall", shall we interpret it as being in a mean and niggardly spirit that that will be carried out?
Mr. Butt Mr. Chairman, I assume no such thing, and I would not dream of doing any such thing. I think Canada is a great nation, and anything I say is not anti-Canada. I admit quite freely that they have done great things for their veterans, and for their citizens for that matter. I admit that, but I do want to find out the truth of it. Here we have a known parallel, but it is not put down in an act.
Mr. Ashbourne Well, that's questioned as to whether or not we have that parallel. Of course the GWVA and the NPA as has been pointed out, has certain provisions for men who apply for them, but in this veterans' charter, sir, which is a book of 300 and some pages, the members can readily see the very same words as has already been read here, or printed here. I will just reiterate them for members to check against them. "In Canada may receive an allowance." Well, then he may receive the allowance. That is for the veterans' allowance, and that is the law in Canada.
Mr. Butt And the word is "may", and that's the right word.
Mr. Chairman The point is that in statutory law "may" is permissible, and "shall" is mandatory. Therefore Mr. Butt takes the position that there is nothing mandatory in there. Therefore the point for which he contends is that the act from which you have quoted is not mandatory at all, and in its operations it is purely discretionary.
Mr. Butt They had to use the word "may" in order to protect themselves against cases which may be an abuse. They have to use the word.
Mr. Ashbourne If that's the word they had to use, and it is there, I presume it is right.
Mr. Chairman Mr. Butt's point is simply this: that it must not be assumed that that action shall be applied. Quite obviously the word "may" is used to permit investigation, and if, upon investigation it is found that there is no fraud employed then the matter I presume will, as a matter of fact. be granted.
Mr. Butt I really don't like to have an opinion I give called trash and nonsense. In this particular case, according to what you just mentioned now. I even knew what I was talking about.
Mr. Hollett Mr. Chairman, before you leave that point may I also point out that in the case of a veteran who has reached the age of 60 years, or a veteran of any age who, because of his disabilities is not...
Mr. Chairman From what are you quoting?
Mr. Hollett From the War Veterans' Allowance Act, 1930, clauses 1 and 2. The point I want to make is that in this country it is not necessary that he must have served in a theatre of war, or that he has been wounded, but if he makes application to the GWVA they must take up his case in conjunction with the NPA with the Department of Public Health and Welfare, which treats the case on its merits. That is why I objected to there being no parallel.
Mr. Chairman Your point is that there are certain conditions precedent in Canada which have to be got over, which do not apply in Newfoundland at all?
Mr. Hollett Yes.
Mr. Chairman For example, you make the point that he must have served 15 months overseas, or must have been wounded, before he could qualify?
Mr. Hollett Yes.
Mr. Chairman But here, without reference to the fact of whether he served overseas or not, whether he lost a limb or not, pensions may and have been granted where his case has been sponsored by the GWVA and the NPA, as the case may be.
Mr. Hollett Yes, I mean over 60 years of age.
Mr. Smallwood I wonder if Mr. Hollett has any statistics from the GWVA or the NPA or the government showing what number have received it and what number have not?
Mr. Chairman I don't see how that would matter.
Mr. Smallwood Well, it makes a great deal of difference if there is no legislation whatever in Newfoundland on the matter, and men get it or do not get it depending on the efforts made in their behalf by the GWVA or the NPA; and if it should be the case that 1% get it and 99% don't, or 99% get it and 1% don't, there would be a good deal of difference in the situation.
Mr. Chairman If you take the stand that the percentage of applications actually sponsored and put through by the government, that might have some bearing upon it, but as far as bringing actual figures into it, the number of people who have received pensions through the good offices of the war veterans or the NPA would mean absolutely nothing at all.
Mr. Starkes Except, Mr. Chairman, in my district there are some who have not received one cent except the dole, $5 a month.
Mr. Hollett Did they make any application?
Mr. Starkes Yes, they made application 18 months after they came back.
Mr. Hollett In this war?
Mr. Starkes Yes.
Mr. Hollett But they would not be 60 years of age, would they?
Mr. Cashin I think I may be permitted, as a burned-out soldier of some standing...
Mr. Chairman I would say that you are anything but burned out, Major!
Mr. Cashin Well, that is what we are termed here this afternoon — a burned-out soldier. We have gone through this Veterans' Act of Canada, and we have tried to make some comparisons between that and Newfoundland, and we are squabbling over it whether Newfoundland is better or Canada is better. It is immaterial to me as far as I am concerned because I am not personally affected, but Mr. Starkes says that there are people down in his district on the dole, and I am telling you they are on the dole in Montreal.
Mr. Starkes And not getting any pension?
Mr. Cashin And not getting any pension in Montreal either, and I know what I am talking about. And when you talk about this thing you are talking to one of these burned-out soldiers who knows something about it, and if you had been a burned-out soldier you might have known as well. We have gone through it this afternoon, and I think we have a fairly good idea what the Canadian act is, and what the Newfoundland act is, and we are wasting a lot of time when we should be getting on to something more constructive. I think we should consider that part of the Veterans' Act as read.
Mr. Chairman Except for the fact that Mr. Higgins proposed, and he was backed by Mr. Watton as a war veteran, and Mr. Watton was particularly anxious to have a comparison made of both situations, and therefore, to facilitate both Mr. Watton and Mr. Higgins I suggested to Mr. Ashbourne that he might go along in the way in which he is going; but if the House feels it is a waste of time it is perfectly all right with me.
Mr. Cashin It is wasting time anyhow, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Higgins It was not my intention that all should be read, but that Mr. Ashbourne might tell us if page 84 applied, and so forth.
Mr. Chairman Yes, that was your proposal. Could we get a compromise between the two? Would it be too much to ask you Mr. Ashbourne if you could perhaps speed things up by not reading all the comments on both sides of the page? Could you perhaps paraphrase a little?
Mr. Ashbourne That is not an easy thing to do, but I will try. I might leave out something that some war veterans were trying to get at. There are a few other items here. Medical care and treatment is next. I don't know if members wish me to go over that or not.
Mr. Hollett It is about the same I think, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Cashin The whole thing is about the same.
Mr. Ashbourne "All veterans may receive treatment for any disability arising within one year of discharge." Now the next is about the same. The next is land settlement. It is rather a little different in the land settlement,
Mr. Hollett Mr. Chairman, I enquired about our land settlement scheme, and I am willing to admit that the Canadian one is a good bit better than ours, because Canada is of course an agricultural country. I am thinking now of the operations going on up on the west coast. I am prepared to December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 931 admit that it looks to me that the land settlement in Canada is slightly better, but to what extent I am not prepared to go. You know the government granted an amount up to $4,500 up on the west coast. They will clear in the first instance ten acres of land, and they will clear that gratis, and by the time the whole scheme is through the veterans will own 50 acres of cleared land and will have a house. The government provides a house and barn partially built and he finishes it, and he will have certain equipment and certain live stock. It is not so bad even for poor little Newfoundland.
Mr. Smallwood I would like to point out that under that Veterans' Land Act it is not only farmers who receive benefits, but fishermen also, on equal terms with farmers. A veteran who is a fisherman may receive under the act grants and loans and assistance for acquiring a home, a boat, an engine, fishery gear, etc.
Mr. Higgins It is a loan?
Mr. Smallwood No, no, that is veterans.
Mr. Higgins It is a loan under the Farm Loan Act. For fishermen it is also a loan isn't it?
Mr. Smallwood No, no. Under the Veterans' Land Act veterans who are fishing and not farming may receive on equal terms with veterans who are farmers, benefits under the act, the only difference being that the equipment and material that they acquire under the act are for fishing purposes and not for farming purposes.
Mr. Higgins But it is a loan is it not?
Mr. Smallwood No, no. There are loans also, but there are outright grants.
Mr. Chairman Your question, Mr. Watton, is whether or not there is something of a comparable nature in Newfoundland?
Mr. Watton I think that a veteran gets ... well, it is up to $700 in Newfoundland for a veteran who wants to go fishing.
Mr. Ashbourne It is $700 in Newfoundland. "A qualified veteran settling on provincial land ... may receive a grant ... for building material ... etc." As he said, the fishermen might figure in under that as well.
Mr. Smallwood Well, I will read the clause. I just found it this minute. It is the Veterans' Land Act. That is in the case of lending war veterans up to $6,000 for fishery purposes.
Mr. Butt Just to keep the records clear, I think that Mr. Hollett said $4,500 a minute ago. I would point out that their estimated figure for the Corner Brook area was $1.8 million for 300 full-time settlers. That means $6,000 that the government is to spend for a person in Newfoundland, as I understand it.
Mr. Hollett That is right, but the government will still clear the other 40 acres for them, and that takes up the balance. In connection with that point of fishing, under the Veterans' Land Act: "Those who have had practical experience in commercial fishing, whose normal occupation is in that industry, and who wish to ... officially certified"; I have the list who applied. I do admit that the Land Settlement Act in Canada is better than we have here.
[Mr. Ashbourne then read the time limits applying to various benefits in Canada and Newfoundland.]
Mr. Chairman In view of the fact that I presume that the debate from this time on will be on the financial aspects of the business before us, and it is pretty well a quarter to six, I propose to rise the committee until 8 o'clock: or if members want to open the debate on the financial aspects, they may do so.
Mr. Job Might I ask one question about the last clause: "General Benefits: Newfoundland merchant seamen, like other Canadian merchant seamen, will be eligible for Unemployment Insurance, and Merchant Seamen's Compensation." That, I understand, is contributory. The unemployment insurance, I know, is contributory. As regards merchant seamen, I am not sure. I was wondering if Mr. Smallwood could give us any information as to whether that is contributory. I know our ships will be taxed for that purpose in dealing with that fund; to what extent, I do not know.
Mr. Smallwood I am afraid Mr. Job has missed the point of that clause with respect to unemployment insurance for merchant seamen. That means this: merchant seamen are defined as men who served in the war zone or the danger zone.
Mr. Ashbourne "Dangerous waters."
Mr. Smallwood Yes, that is the term. Merchant seamen who served in dangerous waters are treated, as far as unemployment insurance is concerned, exactly as though they had been soldiers or sailors or airmen. That is to say, for the period they served since June 30, 1941, they are treated as though they had been working in an insurable 932 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 occupation and the premiums that would have been paid in by them and by their employer and by the government are now all paid by the government; so they have been fully insured against unemployment for that whole period. If they become unemployed, once they had been working 15 weeks after the war is over ... they are entitled to unemployment insurance benefits based ont he length of time the premium payments were made while serving in the war. I think Mr. Job is dealing with a different matter.
Mr. Chairman He is speaking of the merchant seamen's compensation. He has advanced the opinion that these insurance funds are contributory in nature and he asks the respective proportions in which contributions are made, by the government, by the shipowner and by the crew member.
Mr. Smallwood My answer is, none. The whole amount is paid by the government in respect of the period after June 30, 1941, during which the merchant seamen was occupied in dangerous waters.... There is a Merchant Seamen's Act. I have not read it; I do not know what it means; I do not know what is in it.
Mr. Job That is a satisfactory explanation. I did not realize it applied only to war veterans. I thought it was rather misleading. As regards the Merchant Seamen's Act, that will come up in another form.
Mr. Higgins I have the act here. I may be able to tell you when we come back later.
[The committee rose until 8 pm.]
Mr. Smallwood I believe the Convention has now come to the point where we are ready to begin to discuss and debate the financial side of the confederation terms or basis of union — the financial side and taxation, generally. In view of our discussion last night, we might agree to confine ourselves, to start with, to the question of what revenue the Government of Canada would probably collect from Newfoundland if we became a province and also what money the Government of Canada would spend in Newfoundland. So I would ask the members to turn to the Grey Book, page 15, Annex IV. The headline says, "Probable Federal Revenues And Expenditures With Respect To Newfoundland."
Mr. Cashin Before we move on, I would like to ask how these bogus federal revenues were arrived at.
Mr. Smallwood I appreciate the importance of Major Cashin's question; but we could read it and then, if he likes, we could deal with them one by one.
Mr. Cashin These "probable expenditures" are somewhat misleading: but go on and read the expenditures.
Mr. Smallwood Federal Revenue[1]* Probable Expenditures
Estimates have been obtained from federal departments of the cost of extending existing services to Newfoundland in a typical year. The totals of the estimates so obtained are set out below, separate figures being given where fairly firm estimates based on legislative commitments, eg. family allowances, can be made. Attention is drawn to the items December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 933 not included, listed below:*
The forgoing total does not include:
(1) Payment under the transitional grant to the provincial government of Newfoundland of $3,500,000 annually for the first 3 years of union, reducing gradually thereafter according to the terms of the grant;
(2) Costs of servicing that part of the Newfoundland debt assumed by Canada;
(3) Any costs in respect of the Newfoundland Railway or its auxiliary steamship services, taken over by Canada;
(4) Any capital expenditures.
It should be made clear that the expenditures estimate relates to the additional expenditures arising from inclusion of Newfoundland and therefore does not include any of the costs of servicing the present Canadian debt or any other costs now being borne by Canadians.
That is the reading of it. If I could be permitted, perhaps I might be able to make a few remarks. What we have here is an estimate made by the Government of Canada of how much it would collect from the people of Newfoundland in taxes and how much money they would spend in Newfoundland under one heading or another. What we are going to deal with is their estimate of how much money they would collect from Newfoundland. This estimate was made not by government members. It was made by financial authorities, experts, employed by the Government of Canada in the Department of Finance and the Bank of Canada.... We met some of them — Mr. M.W. Sharp, who sat in with us, a man with a mind which you would rarely meet with in this life, with a wealth of information at the tips of his fingers. We met also, from the Bank of Canada, Mr. J. Coyne and Mr. A.D. Skelton; and Mr. Watts, who has visited Newfoundland and who is the author of some of the economic data appearing in the book of Dr. MacKay; also Dr. Weeks. These estimates were made by those men — top-notch economists depended upon by the Government of Canada in its own financial and economic affairs.... They made estimates based on two kinds of information — one, the information which the Ottawa delegation furnished, and two, the information they had gathered throughout the years from the Department of Finance and the Auditor General. They had made a study of Newfoundland conditions and public affairs, and Newfoundland trade and commerce. One of the most important sources of information was the Canadian Department of Trade and Commerce which is represented here by Mr. Britton, Trade Commissioner.... They have a most intimate knowledge of our trade and commerce.... They have an exactitude of knowledge about our trade that I imagine no one in Newfoundland possesses today. Of course, it is their job. They have that same type of information about other countries with whom they do business. On the basis of all this information, the experts have made these estimates of what revenue the government of Canada would get from the people of Newfoundland if we became a province. I want to draw your attention particularly to the first couple of lines of the third paragraph, their calculations of what they would collect from the Newfoundland people.
Revenue calculations for example, are based on a continuation of present levels of economic activity in Newfoundland and of 934 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 present rates of federal taxation. Neither assumption is realistic yet there is no way of allowing for or measuring future changes.
Now, in simple language, that means this: if things continue as they are now in Newfoundland; and if the rates of taxation charged by the Government of Canada stay as they are now; then they estimate they would collect $20,185,000 a year from Newfoundland. But they go on to say that neither assumption is realistic. It is not realistic to go on the assumption that the present level of economic activity in Newfoundland will continue. It is not realistic to take it for granted that the rates of taxation in Canada will stay as they are now. There is a very good reason for that. Three different times since the war came to an end the Government of Canada has reduced its rates of taxation. And it is not realistic to say that their present rates of taxation will stay as high as they are now. The realistic assumption is they will fall, and also our present level of economic activities will fall somewhere below where they are now. If they do not ... they estimate they will collect from Newfoundland $20 million per year in Canadian government taxation. I think that is all I want to say at this moment. I am sure my friend Major Cashin and others will want to make their contribution to this particular part of the debate.
Mr. Cashin I suppose it is all right, after hearing Mr. Smallwood tell us about those famous people who compiled these estimates, to venture an opinion that they are 20% out. The total income taxes, death duties, etc., collected last year was $10.5 million. According to these estimates the federal government is going to get approximately $11 million. Under our income tax laws, a single man is exempt up to $l,000. He does not pay on less than $ 1,000. Under Canadian law he pays if he earns $750. A man with $1,000 income in Newfoundland pays income tax on $250. How many people will be found in Newfoundland not paying income tax today, who will be paying under federal legislation? The same thing applies to married persons. In Newfoundland a married man is exempt up to $2,000. If I may be allowed to express a view — I take it, with so many experts, you have to have permission to express a view — the amount the Canadian government will collect on income tax, corporation tax and death duties will be $14 million. Consequently our experts were out $2 million. I am rather nervous in saying it — we have so many doctors and so forth associated with this thing here — but some of them were guessing. I note that the Ottawa delegation puts it higher than that.
Mr. Smallwood A compliment to us.
Mr. Cashin No compliment to them, and I know something about Newfoundland expenditures and revenues. Customs and import duties; they say $2 million. The delegation says $3 million. They are again higher. With all their information, they do not check properly. I have taken the trouble to get some information on the basis of actual imports l946-47.... On liquor and tobacco alone, the customs duty would be twice the Canadian estimate.... I would say that the federal government customs will go to $9 million. They can send down their experts, and let them go over it with our experts, and see where they fit. I say they guessed it. Then again, sales tax, 8%.
Mr. Smallwood I think Major Cashin has not noticed the sales tax — one is provincial and the other is federal. The federal sales tax is collected by them at the source, from the manufacturer. It is not a retail sales tax. Major Cashin knows why that is.
Mr. Cashin We are importing goods from the United States that cost $20 million. They arrive here and we pay 10% duty. We pay freight 8%. Is it on $20 million in the United States or on the landed cost in Newfoundland?
Mr. Smallwood The figure he is putting is a hypothetical one. If we have free trade with Canada we are not going to pay duty from the United States. If we can get the goods from Canada free of duty we will get them there. If we import $20 million, pay Canadian customs duties on it, the federal sales tax is on the landed cost, landed in Newfoundland.
Mr. Cashin We are paying 10% and the freight. I would not attempt to forecast what the sales tax would be....
Mr. Smallwood You are putting sales tax on everything. You are forgetting the exemptions.
Mr. Cashin They told us what the exemptions would be, but they did not put in the Black Book what we have to pay the 8% on. Another thing, of particular importance to outport men, we buy beef from the United States. On beef coming into Canada from the United States. there is $6 a December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 935 barrel duty. We consume 100,000 barrels of pork and beef in Newfoundland, on which we would pay $6 a barrel; $600,000 for one item alone in duty. That is to protect the Canadian packers in Canada. They have local industries in Canada and they protect them. They protect them by putting 3 cents a pound on pork and beef.
We are a bit ahead of our job. I feel, and I think we discussed it at a private meeting, that in order to get down to brass tacks we have to have before us an idea of how the Province of Newfoundland would operate — what the revenue and what the expenditure will be. We are not interested so much in how much the federal government is going to collect, as how we are going to run the province when she goes into confederation. Ottawa should prepare a proper report. This report is incomplete. It does not point out the sources of revenue we are going to collect taxes from. It does not point out the expenditures we are going to have as a province. And until such time as we know from a provincial standpoint where we are going, we cannot intelligently discuss the whole situation. We ought to defer discussion on these figures. They had experts in Canada; who are the experts in Newfoundland? Were they consulted to corroborate this? It is out at least 20%. I think before we go any further we should have a conference with the Finance Department and the Assessor and the Customs Department as to whether these figures are accurate. This is from Canada. We have to know from Newfoundland....
Mr. Smallwood Does Mr. Cashin think that the experts employed by the Government of Newfoundland are better equipped, more competent to make a financial report than are the financial experts of Canada? I disagree with him.
Mr. Chairman I do not think that is a fair question.
Mr. Cashin I would be prepared to accept Mr. Allen's word down in the Assessor's Department — if he should make up a report for us, based on the Canadian income tax law, the total revenue based on last year that would accrue to the federal government under the present rates of taxation — I am prepared to accept Mr. Allen's word in preference to the Bank of Canada.
Mr. Smallwood I agree when it comes to the question of income tax and Mr. Allen's ability. I may tell Major Cashin that Mr. Allen has visited Ottawa officially and there has been exchange of information back and forth — ordinary inter-customs departmental procedure. But when it comes to the question of estimating the nature and volume of commercial transactions, I would say that, admirable as are some and many of our officials, they have not got the data. The department is not big enough. We have no economic research. We have no Department of Trade and Commerce. In our Department of Customs and Finance, we have a small staff. It is not fair to expect that they should be as competent to assess these matters and estimate on them as the Economic Research Department of the Bank of Canada and the Department of Finance of the Government of Canada.
If we become a province of Canada, our trade is going to be different from what it is now and from what it has been in the past, as regards the source of our goods. We have imported in the past from the United Kingdom, from Canada, from the United States and roughly speaking, take the years 1900-l938 ... on the average this country imported roughly one-third of its goods from each of them. That is in normal times and under normal conditions, Newfoundland having her own customs tariffs and running her own affairs. Newfoundland as a province becomes an entirely different country from the standpoint of tariffs and consequently from the standpoint of where she buys her goods. With free trade between the mainland and Newfoundland, we will naturally buy from Canada duty free all that we need that she has to spare. If she has not got them to spare, any businessman will import from wherever he can get them. When he does. he will pay taxation at the Canadian rate of duty — if there is a Canadian rate of duty. According to Chadwick and Jones, ....25% is the average rate of duty on everything coming into this island. It is higher if you take only goods paying 40% and 50% average duty. Take the same things in Canada and take all the imports into the Dominion, ... and what does it run to? 10% as against 25% in Newfoundland. Approximately half of all the imports that come into Canada, come in duty free.... If Newfoundland were a province and any importer bought goods from the United Kingdom or the United States, he would pay the current rate of duty on them, if there was a Canadian rate of duty. if there was no duty, they 936 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 would come into Newfoundland free of duty.
Mr. Cashin Point of order. We are not discussing the Canadian tariff; we are trying to discuss this federal estimate of the revenue which the federal government would get. I held, and I think I am in order, that these figures are not correct. They should be corrected by the Assessor of Taxes, and also by the Secretary of Customs who is also a competent gentleman. Let us see if these Canadian officials made a proper survey of our situation.... Maybe they are guessing here. I have just as much right to guess.
Mr. Chairman The only point is this: we would have to go a step further and see the way these figures have to be checked. These figures are predicated on the assumption that the BNA Act is superimposed upon this country. It is an estimate as to the probable revenue which would be collected under section 91. I have to hold that the system of excise and customs duty as presently obtaining in Canada has to be taken into account when determining whether or not these figures are correct....
Mr. Hollett Did I understand you to say that duty on dutiable goods was 10%?
Mr. Smallwood If you take the total value of all imports into Canada, dutiable and non-dutiable, and divide that value by the total amount of customs duty the government collects, it is 10% as against 25% in Newfoundland. It varies — some years 9%, some years 10%, some 11%, depending on the total imports and the proportionate cost in the same year.... We have here an estimate by the Government of Canada — $20 million that they would collect from the people of Newfoundland. Of that $20 million, $2 million consists of customs and import taxes. Mr. Cashin makes the point, if you take our trade last year at $30 million from the United States...
Mr. Chairman $25 million.
Mr. Smallwood ....Before the war, in normal times, we did import a lot of goods from countries other than Canada. As a province of Canada we would import from countries other than Canada only such goods as Canada could not sell us, or which she could sell, but which we could buy in other countries, pay the Canadian duty and still land it cheaper than we could buy in Canada, which we would be free to do.
[Short recess]
Mr. Smallwood Something just occurred to me in connection with this little discussion. In this total $20 million which the Government of Canada estimates it would collect, there is an amount of $2 million, customs duty and import taxes — 10%.... Here are the latest public accounts of Canada. Percentage distribution of the revenue, 4.28% of the total ordinary revenue. In the case of Newfoundland, 10% of the revenue they would raise here.... If our imports as a province were of the general order of the imports into the nine provinces, then they would be collecting 4.28%; and whatever 4.28% is, it is less than $2 million....
Mr. Butt In the case of the 10%. Black Book, volume 1, page 123:
In comparing Canadian duties with those levied by Newfoundland, differences in the composition of imports must also be kept in mind. In 1945, the ratio of import duties collected to total imports into Canada was only 10.6%, and in 1944 it was still lower at l0.l% However, it must be recognised that these figures were greatly affected by heavy imports of duty-free raw materials of little interest to Newfoundland.
I judge from that the figure taken is 10%. It does not make sense to me.
Mr. Smallwood There is absolutely no connection whatsoever between what I am talking about and what Mr. Butt is talking about, except the purely accidental coincidence of 10% in each case....
Mr. Crosbie Where is the $20 million you are talking about?
Mr. Smallwood Grey Book, page 15. I am not putting 10% on anything. They collect $20 million. Of that $2 million is customs and import duties — that is, 10% of the revenue they would collect from the people of Newfoundland in taxes.... But the average of all Canada, for all the revenue they collect from all the people of the nine provinces, they estimate customs duties accounts for 4.28%.
Mr. Crosbie I cannot accept Mr. Smallwood's explanation. I do not know if these experts ever sat down and figured it out; how are they going to collect 10% of the total revenue in customs duties? It does not make sense.... There is no expert born who would figure customs duties 10% of the total revenue. There is income tax, death duties, tobacco tax, sales tax, etc. The thing December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 937 is fantastic.
Mr. Smallwood I do not follow Mr. Crosbie. The one who introduced the 10% happens to be me. The Canadian experts did not say, "We will collect 10% in customs duty". That is based on the estimate of how much goods would be imported into Newfoundland, not from Canada, but from other countries, and collecting the rates of tariff on that, the figure they arrive at is $2 million. I pointed out that two million happens to be 10% of the $20 million. That is much higher than the average rate in Canada. In Canada, from all the revenue they collect from the people of Canada, 4.28% is in customs duty. If they collected 10% of the total revenue, in customs duties, that they collect from the people of Newfoundland, they would be collecting a higher proportion of general revenue from Newfoundlanders in the form of customs duty than they do in fact from the people of Canada. I say it is a reasonable assumption. Instead of collecting more than $2 million in customs duties, if it works out as it does generally in Canada, it will be very much less.
Mr. Crosbie I want to go back to page 123 of the Black Book. We are told this Black Book is official; it is the Canadian government's estimate of what confederation is going to mean to Newfoundland. Now you tell us it is going to be 4.28%.
Mr. Smallwood No. The Government of Canada collects taxes from the people of Canada — the total amount, whatever it is, is made up under the various headings — income tax, corporation tax, sales tax, etc. 4.28% is made up in customs duties.
Mr. Crosbie OK. That is what you say. But page 123 of the Black Book says in comparing Canadian duties with those levied by Newfoundland, differences in the composition of imports must also be kept in mind. In 1945, the ratio of import duties collected "to total imports into Canada was only 10.6 %, and in 1944 it was still lower at 10.1 %". Right here it says 10.6% and Mr. Smallwood says 4.28%. Those Canadian experts are crazy.
Mr. Smallwood There is no connection whatsoever in the wide world or even in the world hereafter between this figure which Mr. Crosbie has just quoted and the figure I quoted from the public accounts of Canada. No connection at all. This 10% here is a figure I quoted to Mr. Hollett. I said that if you take all the imports brought into Canada for a year, the total value, divide that by the total amount, it works out at 9%, 10% and 11%. This figure in the public accounts is referring to something altogether different.
Mr. Crosbie It is referring to duties.
Mr. Smallwood Yes, they both refer to duties. In one case this percentage refers to one thing and in the other case it refers to something altogether different.
Mr. Job I think I understand him perfectly. He says this 10% is equal to 4%. Have you taken the same imports in each case?
Mr. Smallwood No. There is no need to do it.
Mr. Job You have to have the same departments of revenue in every case.
Mr. Smallwood Of course.
Mr. Job Are there no other taxes in Canada?
Mr. Smallwood In Canada the government collects taxes from all of the nine provinces and it collects them in various ways. Regardless of the ways, it collects a certain total amount for a year. Of that total amount, whatever that amount may be, 4.28% they get in the form of customs duty. We come to Newfoundland, apply the same taxation, and you get a total of $20 million....
They estimate $2 million in customs duty, and that would be 10% of all the revenue they would get from Newfoundland. What they get from the people of Canada is only 4.28%. That is the point I make. That is the comparison.
Mr. Job They make it up in other ways.
Mr. Smallwood Who makes it up in other ways?
Mr. Job The officials who make up the accounts. It may be correct what you say, that 4% is in customs duties; but they get taxes in other ways.
Mr. Smallwood They get 96% in other ways....
Mr. Crosbie If you are correct that if 4.28% in customs duty is what they collect in Canada on the average, according to the Black Book they will collect 10.6% off us. I am up in the air.
Mr. Smallwood That is what it happens to work out at, which seems to me to be excessively high.
Mr. Crosbie I agree with you. The Canadian officials agree with you. Instead of $20 million it should be that much less. Who are we going to believe? Your 4.28% or the 10.6%?
Mr. Smallwood You are not believing me. That 938 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 is not my figure. This is the public accounts of Canada; their public accounts.
Mr. Crosbie Then what are these?
Mr. Smallwood These are also provided by the Government of Canada. There is no contradiction between them and the 10%.
Mr. Crosbie I can be just as pigheaded and will labour the point as long as you can. They figured the duty at $2 million. What is the exact amount of goods they expect to be imported into this country outside of Canada?
Mr. Newell On page 123 it says, "However, it must be recognised that these figures were greatly affected by heavy imports of duty-free raw materials of little interest to Newfoundland." Would not that support the contention that the proportion of our revenue would be higher than that raised from Canada in duties?
Mr. Smallwood Yes.
Mr. Ashbourne As I view it, the 10% we are talking about here happens to be 10% of $20 million which the federal government expects to get. Now, if the amount of the ratio of total imports happens to be 10%, then they would expect it to be that, if the average was $20 million. I think it would be a logical basis to figure on. If the average customs duty collected was 10% and they estimated the amount of $2 million which they think they are going to get in customs duty, would it not be a fair assumption to assume the amount would be $20 million? There are two different things. The 4.28% is the percentage of the total revenue as compared with import duties; not the total amount of goods imported at dutiable figures. Two different things altogether....
Mr. Chairman It still does not explain the theoretical conflict between the public accounts from which Mr. Smallwood quoted and the statement on page 123 referred to by Mr. Crosbie; the ratio of import duties collected and the total imports into Newfoundland which was 10.6% and in 1944 still lower, 10.1%. What, if any, connection is there between the 4.28% referred to by Mr. Smallwood and the 10%?
Mr. Smallwood I can put that very shortly. This year, we are told, Newfoundland collected $40 million revenue. Let us say $20 million was gotten in customs duty. That would make it, if it happened, 50% of all the revenue the Newfoundland government got. In Canada 4.28% of the total amount of revenue was collected in customs duties. Mr. Newell put his finger on it.... Newfoundland would not be importing large quantities of raw materials and this goes a long way in accounting for duty-free imports — half the imports into Canada are duty-free, mostly raw materials, steel, iron, coal, oil and so on. Newfoundland would import a smaller proportion of raw materials coming in duty-free than the rest of Canada. A larger share of our imports would be dutiable than is the average throughout Canada; for that reason therefore, instead of the average 10% duty, we might, on all imports, pay l2% or 14% and that accounts for this $2 million in the Grey Book.
Mr. Bailey We are taking all this trouble on this point. I think you will find that income in the Canadian bracket is broken down into two very easily handled taxes — direct and indirect taxes.... The direct taxes are $1,155,000,000 which works out roughly at $96 per capita. But on the other tax, Newfoundland is going to have to pay...
Mr. Smallwood Compare the direct with the indirect.
Mr. Bailey Customs tax, excise tax, sales tax and other taxes — indirect taxes is $1,045,000,000 or $89.26 per capita.... Anyone here can put two and two together. In Newfoundland we collected $40 million. Divide that by 320,000 people and we will get $122.36. That is the tax Newfoundland is paying. If she goes into confederation tomorrow, her indirect taxes will be $89 a head. We are going to eat as Canadians, have as many bath tubs. We must pay the same amount of taxes. I know we are going to pay it; every man, from the cradle to the grave will pay. I imagine every man and boy will be paying the works. Whether it is customs tax, excise tax, sales tax or other tax, I will bet my last dollar I am right — $89 per capita. Your tax under responsible government and Commission government, the highest I think was $122.36. There is the whole thing in a nutshell. Whether it is 4% of the total or 6% or 3% I do not know. But there it is.
Mr. Smallwood I wonder if Mr. Bailey would give us the total amounts.
Mr. Bailey $1,155,000,000 (direct) $1,045,000,000 (indirect) $2,200,000,000
Mr. Smallwood That is the total amount of the revenue of the government of Canada. Mr. Bailey December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 939 has broken that down into per capita taxation at so much a head. Let us deal with that for a moment. The revenue of the Government of Canada — $2,200,000,000 — is from all the people of Canada; but in fact the Province of Ontario alone contributed half the revenue.... It has a population of four million people. It is a very high per capita tax, is it not? But the other billion dollars is to be divided among 8 1/2 million people. From the other 8 1/2 million people, take the 3 1/2 million of Quebec. What have you? The per capita tax for the other provinces is very small. The Government of Canada, the Minister of Finance does not say at the beginning of the year, "We are going to spend that, that and that. A total of $2 billion. We have to get $2 billion. There are nine provinces. Nine divided into $2 billion, therefore we must get that much from each province." Neither does he do this: "Our population is 12.5 million souls; divide that into $2 billion, that is so much per head; every head has to pay that much." He does not do this. He says ... "Let those who can pay it, pay it." There is an exception and that is indirect taxes. Indirect taxation is the most cursed, the most wicked thing ever invented. Direct taxation is fair. You know what you pay. Indirectly, you can be looted and fleeced. You never know how much is looted out of you. They have it in Canada. I wish they did not. In Newfoundland, the bulk of taxes has come from indirect taxation. It is a wicked and cursed burden on our people, a much heavier burden than in the case of Canada. In Canada, the bulk of taxation is raised by direct taxation, falling on the shoulders of those who can best afford to pay it. In Newfoundland, the very diapers on the baby born tomorrow morning will be taxed; the coffin in which you are buried will be taxed — a cursed, wicked imposition on the people of Newfoundland. If we could abolish this wicked imposition; if we could do that; if some genius could do it; I think I would throw confederation and all out the window — if we could find a fair system of taxation, those who could afford to pay, and those who could not afford it would not have to pay.
Mr. Bailey I said I was not interested in direct taxation; all I was interested in was indirect. What is the difference in the indirect taxation of Canada and our taxes? I think you will find it is $43.36. Indirect taxation goes on the diapers; it is on the diapers in Canada and will be on the diapers if we enter confederation. How much tax has Newfoundland paid to Ottawa on the $39 million we imported? If we send $30 million to Ottawa, we help pay their taxes. Not only are we helping to pay their taxes, we are helping the men who worked in the factories. I say this without fear of contradiction: every person in Canada is paying proportionate parts of Ottawa taxes; 82% of all industrial dollars is put in by two provinces and 7% by British Columbia.
Mr. Smallwood What percentage of the total is 89?
Mr. Bailey If for every dollar of industrial money in Canada, 82% is invested in Ontario and Quebec and 7% in British Columbia — 82 and 7 is 89; and 89 from 100 is 11%; 11% of the industrial dollars is invested by the other six provinces. Consequently, Ontario pays and Quebec pays and the other provinces pay.
Mr. Smallwood Of course. I am black in the face from saying it.
Mr. Bailey I would like to know the proportion of taxes we paid into the treasury last year out of this $30 million, into Ottawa. You are cursing the taxation of this country. I was fortunate in getting the figures and working them down. There is the percentage of indirect taxes — sales tax and other excise taxes and they will go on from the cradle to the grave. You are trying to tell us that by going in with Canada we will be getting clear of indirect taxation. Look at the direct taxes — $96 per capita. I know I am not paying as much as Mr. Crosbie or Mr. Hickman or Mr. Job in the long run; but if I catch 50 quintals of fish and sell it to Mr. Crosbie, I paid a couple of dollars of his tax. We have wasted a lot of time on this hyphenated heifer dust.
Mr. Hollett I think we are getting away from the subject — this $2 million import tax and customs duty. I am anxious to know how it is raised. I note on page 7, volume I of the Black Books, a "Subcommittee on Finance composed of Mr. J.E. Coyne, Dr. R.A. MacKay, Mr. M.W. Sharp and Mr. G.S. Watts of the Public Service of Canada, and Rev. Lester Burry, Mr. P.W. Crummey and Mr. J.R. Smallwood of the Newfoundland delegation, to examine the financial implications of union...." We have three delegates — Mr. Burry, Mr. Crummey and Mr. Smallwood who sat in on that. I take it that at these sessions they 940 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 worked out how they arrived at that particular figure of $2 million. I would ask Mr. Smallwood just how they worked it out and how they got it.
Mr. Smallwood The reply is, we did not work it out. The table was worked out by the financial and fiscal and trade experts of the Government of Canada — the very men upon whom the Government of Canada depends for its fiscal and financial policy; it is these very men who advise the Minister of Finance in his budget; the very men who derived this table. It was precious little contribution that Mr. Burry, Mr. Crummey or I made to these financial experts — that is, in compiling that table — precious little. I thank Mr. Hollett for the compliment to our ability; but compared with these financial men, we are just clod hoppers.
Mr. Hollett I know that. We sent you up there as a delegation to go into the implications of union with the Dominion of Canada and to bring us back those so-called terms. You bring us back a table saying the federal government will collect $2 million from us in customs and import duties in the event of confederation and you or Mr. Burry or Mr. Crummey should be able to tell us how you arrive at that figure; if not, some people from the Finance or Customs should know.
Mr. Smallwood We asked the Government of Newfoundland to furnish us, as a delegation going to Ottawa, with men from the Customs Department, from the Assessor's department, from the Railway and Post Office. We did indeed. The reply of the government was, in their opinion we did not need those men; that any information we wanted we could get before we went; after we got up there, if there was still information we needed, or the Government of Canada needed, the Government would be very happy to furnish that. All we had to do was write or cable. In common fairness, I would say that any information we sought before we went was given us. Any information we sought after we went, was given us.
Mr. Hollett You took up there certain facts and figures; you passed them over to the men on these various committees; you had nothing whatever to do in making up these tables, submitted to us, at all. You were up there 100 days and you know nothing whatsoever as to how these figures were arrived at.
Mr. Smallwood That is, approximately, the situation — shameful and disgraceful as it is.
[Short recess]
Mr. Hickman I am not quite sure where we are getting. I have been somewhat confused myself this evening. I do not know if the people listening in feel any better. I think we ought to get down to some basis of clarifying the procedure on a particular question or questions. I think it involves two questions. We have been discussing federal revenue. Now, are we straight on that? As Major Cashin said earlier this evening, these figures here may have been guesses or not. He does not agree with them. I agree with him. He made a suggestion with regard to page 15 of the Grey Book. I think we ought to get those figures straightened out; get as near as possible a more accurate corroboration either from Mr. Allen of the Assessor's Department or from Mr. Howell of the Customs, if it is possible to do so. We have been kind of wandering around from taxes to taxes. That is just the federal end. We have to get into the provincial end. On income tax we seem to have skipped over a lot. I note in Canada in 1945 — I daresay it was higher in 1946 and 1947 — the total income tax collected was $650 million. Out of that, people earning under $1,000 paid $18 million; between $1,000 and $2,000, $139 million and $140 million. That is not the high income tax people. The high income tax for 1945 is on page 232 of the book you have. These things have to be brought out a little better. In addition there is sales tax of 8%. We read the list of goods that are exempt, but the list it is on are not in the Black Book. There is a whole lot of taxes goes on before the sales tax of 8%. I am not going to read them. Mr. Smallwood just mentioned the indirect taxation which he does not like. In Canada they have a lot of that too. For example, on a pair of shoes there are 126 taxes; on a loaf of bread 52 taxes; on a suit of clothes 105 taxes before it gets to the consumer in Canada.
Mr. Smallwood How does that compare with Newfoundland?
Mr. Hickman These taxes would be on if we became a province. I am talking about, if we went into confederation. Referring to federal revenue, I think the members ought to have before us a sort of provincial budget — provincial revenue and expenditure. The Economic Report was brought in by the Finance Committee on the New December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 941 foundland question. They did try to give a picture of how it might be in the foreseeable future. I do think we should show how much money we are going to receive as a province and what the difference will be between that, and what we will need for expenditure. That much has to be raised — the difference between what we get from Canada and what has got to be raised from taxation. I think that ought to be brought in here so that we can discuss that, as we did the Economic Report, and let the people see what has to be raised and from what source it has to come. It is my guess that we are going to be $2 million or $3 million short on provincial revenue after paying 8% of sales tax and all other taxes. We have to get the provincial side of it. I would rather have the people see both sides. I do not want to hide anything — how much have they to pay and who is going to pay? I do not know whether it would be in order to make any motion along those lines. I know Major Cashin introduced the subject earlier in the evening. I would prefer for him to express his opinion.
Mr. Chairman I suggest, if that is going to be done, we might rise the committee; I go back to the Chair and then, if need be, put the motion before the Chair and call for a discussion is, if it meets with the approval of the House.
Mr. Smallwood This is unexpected. It is not at all, as I understand it, in line with our discussion and decision of last night. My understanding of what we decided to do last night was that, pending the time we should have some idea put before the House of the purely provincial taxation, we should go ahead first and discuss federal revenue and expenditure. That is what we are doing. On that, if the House is not satisfied with the estimate of the Government of Canada, of the experts of the Government of Canada. and cares to solicit estimates from anyone locally, there is nothing in the way of doing it. But why not dispose of the question of federal government revenues and expenditures for the Province of Newfoundland, if we became a province, before taking up the question of provincial government revenues and expenditures? Whichever we take first, we must take one of them first. You cannot jumble up federal expenditure and revenue with provincial expenditure and revenue. You have to take one of them at first. It so happens it is more convenient to take federal. That is what we have been doing. After all is said and done, it is perfectly true that we have got to consider what would be the revenue of the Province of Newfoundland; where it would get the revenue; what would be the expenditure of the provincial government. While we have to do that, is it not important also to know what the federal government will spend in Newfoundland, and what it will take from the people of Newfoundland in taxes? Why not go into that for a day or two and spend the rest of the week on the provincial government expenditure?
Mr. Chairman Except for this point, I agree with your contention that we are discussion probable federal revenues and expenditures with respect to Newfoundland. That is quite so. In the course of your own remarks, Mr. Smallwood, you have pointed out that when this is finished, inevitably we must come to the time and place where we have to deal with purely provincial aspect of it. Now, members — at all events Mr. Hickman and Major Cashin — seem to be of opinion that they are not in a position to discuss the provincial aspect of it when we come to it. That raises the question as to whether or not it is necessary to secure supplementary information.
Mr. Smallwood I thought they were addressing themselves to the federal government revenues and expenditures.
Mr. Chairman Would you allow me to finish? Assuming we have to come to the provincial aspect of it, some members feel that they have not sufficient data on the purely provincial side in order to be able to determine with any degree of accuracy, the impact of section 92 of the BNA Act upon the productive economy of this country, if and when we become a province. That being so, at this time, there is an inquiry as to whether that information should not well be secured from some source or sources: if that is so, it is my duty to facilitate members into an intelligent discussion of this thing. If some machinery has to be set up in order to discuss the provincial aspect of it when we leave the federal aspect, the sooner it is set up the better for all concerned. Even if the debate continues for several days, the machinery would be set up to secure the information and could be operating, which would minimize or eliminate a prolonged adjournment....
Mr. Smallwood My understanding was that Mr. Hickman and Major Cashin was questioning this table, this estimate of the federal government 942 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 of what they would collect from the people of Newfoundland, and that they suggested that another estimate be gotten locally from Mr. Allen, Tax Assessor and from possibly Mr. Howell, Secretary of Customs, at least in respect to income tax and customs tax, under confederation — to get the estimate of what the Newfoundland people would give the government of Canada under that heading. That was my understanding.
Mr. Chairman The position in which the Chair finds itself is, if at the time, because necessary information is not available to members at this time in order to pursue the matter, or if, as Mr. Hickman says, we have been going along all evening in a maze because certain other supplementary information has not been forthcoming; then whether it deals with the federal aspect of the thing or the provincial aspect of the thing, it is my duty to sympathetically consider and give every attention to the unenviable position in which members might find themselves.
Mr. Hollett Might I suggest that it be brought before the Steering Committee?
Mr. Cashin In connection with this whole federal revenue set-up here, let me point out again that personal income tax, corporation tax and succession tax amounts to only $11 million; and as I pointed out earlier this evening, it should be much more if we go into confederation. The people who computed this could not have been particularly well informed on the Newfoundland situation. Our own Assessor of Taxes or his assistant, or some of his chiefs, would know more about it than anyone in Ottawa. They could give us only an estimate, a fairly conservative estimate of what would be collected by the federal government of Canada if we went into confederation. With regard to customs duty, I cannot agree with the figure, because if they based their estimates of liquor taxes and which they put down at $400,000; last year $1,674,000 was collected. That is $1 million out. In the case of tobacco taxes which they put down as $500,000, last year it was $2.5 million. If the customs are out in proportion to tobacco and liquor taxes, you can see my point, what I am trying to drive at. They are just guessed at by those people in Ottawa from whatever information was given them. Then turn over the other page of the book and look at the federal expenditure. The point I am getting at, the federal expenditures, for instance, tax agreement is what goes to the province; old age pensions, that goes to the province. Family allowances, that is from the federal government and has nothing to do with the province. "Other departmental expenditures $9,400,000" — we certainly ought to know under what departmental heads it is going to be spent. I have had a little experience in this financial business. I should know what I am talking about in connection with this. I want to get it over quickly; I was never particularly agreeable to having this Convention at all, as everyone knows. I feel the suggestion by Mr. Hollett is right; it should come before the Steering Committee and should get down to closer grips and see if we can work out places to get the proper information for the Convention as a whole. I suggest the committee rise.
Mr. Smallwood I am agreeable to have the committee rise. I would say this; my motion will be made as plainly as words can make it. I am personally anxious that this Convention finish before Christmas. I am sick and tired of it.
Mr. Higgins I thought you loved every minute of it.
Mr. Smallwood Now, I want to get out at something else. I am fed up with it. I want to finish before Christmas. We will never do it if we do not use up every hour and every minute. I am prepared to go ahead. I am satisfied with the estimates of the Canadian government as to what revenue they will collect. I am equally satisfied with what they will spend. I do not think anyone in Newfoundland will tell us one word better than they estimate what they will spend. I estimate around $35 million or $36 million a year. Their own estimate of what they will collect is $20 million. I am satisfied with that. I am prepared to go on.
Mr. Chairman I can say what I expect to spend; but what I expect to collect over the next year might be something entirely different. I know what I can do with the money I have in hand. I can see what I have in hand. But as to what can be collected over a given period, that might be something entirely different.
Mr. Smallwood I am prepared to go ahead. The less delay, the better I will be pleased.
Mr. Hollett Could Mr. Smallwood or any member of the Convention tell me how much personal income tax was collected in this country last December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 943 year?
Mr. Smallwood Not last year; even the Assessor's department does not know that. I can tell you for the year before. It is in Volume 2, I believe.
Mr. Chairman While Mr. Smallwood is looking up that — arising out of your suggestion, and you contemplate a meeting be held by the Steering Committee — suppose for argument sake the Steering Committee decided on a certain course of conduct which ought to be pursued in order to acquire the necessary information for members, would it be your intention to continue debate on this thing?
Mr. Hollett Yes, there is plenty here to debate and still get the facts.
Mr. Smallwood There is a book known as "Comparative Statistics of Public Finance"; it covers it in detail.
Mr. Chairman You are off the point.
Mr. Smallwood My point was, I would like to have it.
Mr. Chairman Mr. Hollett has directed a question to you.
Mr. Smallwood Page 73, Volume 1; personal income tax as distinct from corporation tax.
Mr. Hollett That does not give the amount collected.
Mr. Cashin That is the number of people who paid.
Mr. Smallwood That is not here.
Mr. Hollett I am entirely in agreement with the statements by Major Cashin and Mr. Hickman when I look at this particular item which they will collect in personal income tax from the people of Newfoundland — $3.2 million. I am prepared to say they collected in personal income tax that much last year, on our rates. In other words, a single man earning $1,000 before he pays any income tax whatsoever in Newfoundland. After he passes $1,000, he pays 9%. A married man with no dependents but his wife can earn $2,000 before he pays income tax. In connection with that, I would refer you to page 153, volume 2 of the Black Book, to show you how ridiculous that amount of $3.2 million might be. A single man pays income tax if he earns $750. Also he has to pay 8% sales tax on practically everything he buys in Canada. More than that, if he has to buy a present for his girl friend, he has to pay luxury tax. Mr. Smallwood You are quoting figures on the single men; what about the married men?
Mr. Hollett I said I would take the single men first. I am thinking mostly at the moment of our fishermen who fish out of Harbour Breton, English Harbour and Burin; the loggers who cut down the trees; the miners who dig out the ore; our paperworkers in paper mills. We have a lot of young men who came back from overseas who are in these income tax brackets. For instance this $1500; we had fishermen who earned as high as $2,200 in Fortune Harbour. Those fishermen in Harbour Breton or Burin will pay $264 in Canada, whereas here in Newfoundland he will pay $110. On top of that also, he pays 8% sales tax on practically everything he buys and 25% luxury tax. $2100 or $2200 or $2400 — we have a lot of people in this country earning $2400; a surprising number. In the industrial towns of Grand Falls and Corner Brook, a great many Banking fishermen, over on Bell Island there is an average of $1,600 or $1,800. That was worked out by the Mining Committee. We can go back to $2,200; on that he pays $264 in Canada if we become a province; whereas at the moment he pays $110. A single man should pay; he has no dependents; I grant you that. I also grant you this; if he is paying that much more, that is all the more reason why this $3.2 million is wrong. Take a married man with two dependents; he earns $1,980 before he pays any tax, then he pays $20.
Mr. Smallwood Take a married man with three children under 16 years of age, of course he collects $72 a year average on each child — $216; he is better off by $196.
Mr. Hollett When?
Mr. Smallwood You were careful to point out what the single men would pay with confederation and without. Now I am talking about how they will be better off.
Mr. Hollett If you continue interrupting — how, when, where and why would they be better off?
Mr. Smallwood Because of confederation.
Mr. Hollett No. He has to buy food, boots and shoes and clothing for his wife and three children. He has to pay 8% sales tax on all that.
Mr. Smallwood He pays more now in duty.
Mr. Hollett A married man with three children, in this country, has to earn $2,900 before he pays income tax. In Canada, a man earning $3,000, 944 NATIONAL CONVENTION December 1947 with three children, pays $210 income tax; in this country, a man with a wife and three children pays $9. A man earning $3,500 pays $310 income tax in Canada. The point I want to make is this; if you take the amount of income tax which will be collected under confederation, the amount of income tax which will go to the federal government, it will be much more than $3.2 million. That is why I think the suggestion made by Major Cashin in having Mr. Allen and to get him to help us is right. Mr. Allen in collaboration with the census people, who have the number of people earning, and who know practically in what income groups they are, could help us.
Mr. Job I was going to say, Major Cashin has pointed out some definite, concrete things; particularly that liquor tax which is down here as $400,000; Major Cashin has shown very clearly that that should be $1.6 million. That, in itself, is an item that shakes your faith, absolutely shakes your faith, in this thing. Another thing is, if the federal government have made mistakes in this, their offer is all wrong, as it is upon this federal revenue that they based their offer. It is very important then to get this into the hands of experts and have it looked into carefully.
Mr. Ashbourne I would like to know if Major Cashin would give me what the amount of liquor imported from Canada was last year. He gave us the duty collected on liquor and tobacco.
Mr. Cashin These figures were excepting Canada. Liquor of all kinds imported, $12 million; yielded $1,674,800.00. This thing here says $400,000. In the case of imported cigarettes from the United States, 529,412 pounds; approximately $2 million in duty. Here you have $500,000. It is quote evident that my friends in St. John's West are not going to get their liquor cheap if we go into confederation.
Mr. Chairman In view of the opinions expressed here this evening, I think I should meet the Steering Committee for the purpose of discussing future procedure. I would therefore like the members of the Steering Committee to meet me tomorrow. I would prefer it to be 2 pm rather than the morning. Will members of the Steering Committee please note that there will be a meeting in my room at 2 pm.
[The committee rose and reported progress]
Mr. Hollett Might I ask if the publications which we were to get from Ottawa have arrived?
Mr. Chairman No.
Mr. Higgins I move that items 3 and 4 be deferred.
Mr. Higgins On the motion to adjourn, I do not think the Steering Committee can do much between 2 pm and 3 pm; it is a question of going into the whole business, the full picture has to be considered.
Mr. Chairman What do you suggest?
Mr. Smallwood Not another holiday tomorrow afternoon? Is there anything mysterious about it? Is it not merely to ask the Assessors Department and the Customs Department to work out an estimate for us? From 2 pm to 3 pm, a whole hour to decide that? Let us decide it right now.
Mr. Ballam Bring in a motion to ask the Customs Department and Assessor's Department to prepare such an estimate.
Mr. Chairman Mr. Higgins thinks that not much can be accomplished if the meeting is held at 2 pm and we have to go into session at 3 pm.
Mr. Job We could adjourn if we are not finished.
Mr. Higgins What will we go on with then?
Mr. Chairman That is why I want the Steering Committee meeting held. I must take note of the fact that there are difficulties confronting members here. I have a Steering Committee and it is my duty to call it together in an effort to resolve any difficulties which may confront members. My object in calling a Steering Committee meeting is to try and resolve difficulties which presently exist and which are likely to exist unless something is done about it: to have them perhaps decide what modus operandi can be employed in order to eliminate the difficulties which now confront the Chair.
Mr. Smallwood I am opposed to the Steering Committee making any decisions. Let the Convention decide. Let it be done in public.
Mr. Chairman Suppose I decide to appoint a special committee, which I have the right to do, in order to facilitate members to eliminate difficulties which must otherwise come before the Chair; there are difficulties and they must continue if they are not anticipated. My object is merely to secure advice.
Mr. Smallwood Not to make decisions.
Mr. Chairman If the occasion so arrives, a decision will be made by the Convention. Sup December 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 945 pose a certain course of conduct is carried out; to carry that into effect, I will avail myself of my rights to appoint a special committee for that purpose. I might be put in a position where I would have to appoint a committee when members could accomplish the very same thing. If I am forced to do it, I certainly will appoint a Special committee to deal with future procedure of the matter now before the Chair.
Mr. Smallwood I am agreeable to the Steering Committee, but I would say that any suggestion or any decision should be a decision by the Convention, and not the Steering Committee. That is turning it into something it was never intended to be.
Mr. Higgins The Convention has to make the decision.
Mr. Chairman You are anticipating too much. I am asking the Steering Committee to meet me for the purpose of discussing matters which have arisen this evening and which are not going to be resolved unless and until some course of proce dure is adopted. To that end, therefore, the members of the Steering Committee, not as a Steering Committee at all, but rather in the status of an advisory committee are asked to meet me in the endeavour to try and find some means whereby the Convention members may be facilitated in the discharging of the duties assigned to them, in particular in regard to the business now before the Chair. Surely there is nothing wrong about that. We will meet to consider and recommend. I have not attempted to force anything on this Convention. Recommendations will be made; if the Convention sees fit to adopt them, all right; if they see fit to throw them out, well and good.
Mr. Higgins I move the adjournment until 3 pm Thursday.
Mr. Job I second it.
Mr. Smallwood I give notice I will not be at the Steering Committee. I am absolutely opposed to it.
[The motion carried 25-7, and the Convention adjourned]


Newfoundland. The Newfoundland National Convention, 1946-1948 Vol 1: Debates. Edited by J.K. Hiller and M.F. Harrington Montreal: Memorial University of Newfoundland by McGill-Queen's University Press, 1995).



Selection of input documents and completion of metadata: Gordon Lyall.

Notes de bas de page:

  • *
    Personal income tax $ 3,200,000
    Corporate income tax (including withholding tax) 7,500,000
    Succession duties 320,000
    Customs duties and import taxes 2,000,000
    Liquor taxes 400,000
    Tobacco taxes 500,000
    General sales tax 4,000,000
    Miscellaneous excise taxes and sources of revenue 1,500,000
    Post Office 750,000
    Bullion and coinage and other such revenue 15,000
    Total $20,185,000
  • [1] Volume II:521. [Volume II is not in The Confederation Debates Collection]
  • *
    Tax agreement payment (1947 estimate) $ 6,820,000 [1]
    Old age pensions 2,200,000
    to 2,600,000 [2]
    Family allowances 8,350,000
    Other departmental expenditures 9,400,000
    to $27,150,000
    Note (1) $15, per capita, plus population grant, the grant for government and legislation as contained in the BNA Act, and the special subsidy of $1,100,000 adjusted for population and GNP changes. Note (2) The estimate of old age pension payments by the federal government assumes a $30 per month basic pension of which the federal share is 75%. A range is indicated because of lack of information as to the income status of those in the over-70 category.

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