- Macphail, Agnes, Author
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- Letter to constituent Ed. Purdy enclosed with a copy of the Official report on Agnes Macphail's speech on the Budget of 1928; the letter discusses Agnes' opinion on some specifics of the Budget itself and on the event of delivering the speech.
- Dear Friend :-
I am enclosing a copy of my speech on the Budget. It was unusually well received. So well indeed, that my greatest difficulty now is in living up to the speech. Never until this session did I feel at home in speaking in the House of Commons.
We have had a very long debate on the Budget, which has served to make more clear the fact that this Budget, by a 10% reduction in income tax, the slight reduction in sales tax, and the apparent but not real reduction in the tariff, displays a disposition on the part of the Government to take the burden of the taxation off the backs of those most able to bear it, and put it on those least able. They claim that there will be a $19 ,000.000 reduction in taxation. If there is the reduction will go to the wealthy people in Canada. The income and sales tax was started to pay the war debt. The war debt is still unpaid, yet these taxes are gradually being reduced, nothing is clearer than that the war debt is to be paid by the tariff tax, a most iniquitous and expensive form of taxation. For these reasons I voted against the Budget.
Mr. Bennett, in his very able speech, stated that in the six years previous to 1923 the Government took out of the pockets of the Canadian people by taxation, the sum of $1,567,489.00 In the six years since 1922 this Government has taken $2,200,380,690. an increase of $400,000,000. Mr. Bennett claimed that such an increase in taxation should have resulted in a far greater reduction in the debt. He failed to point out the failure of the Conservative Government, in power in the six years previous to 1923, to increase taxes in war time to pay the war debt. Instead they borrowed, and with the slump in prices it now takes half as much again to pay for the debt then contracted.
The Prime Minister devoted the last of his lengthy and eloquent address to an attack on the idea of independent groups. He claimed that we have reached the best form of Government, that we would gain more by joining with his party- that the ideas advanced in my speech on Government are unsound, and that a member of Parliament must represent all classes. Does he not give us credit for any sense? The Liberal-Progressives sit and consult with the Government and get nothing. They have lost their independence and identity. See them vote for measures, which when they were in our corner of the House, they would have vigorously opposed.
The application of the new rule of 11 o'clock closing caused the House to rise before the Budget vote was finished. Mr. Bourassa, Independent, used the opportunity of the opening of the Debate on Wednesday, to chide the Prime Minister for his narrow view regarding people sending representatives under any name they wish. He said in conclusion, "I venture to predict that the first of the leaders of the great parties, who will not go counter to these groups and classes, but will be prepared to receive expressions of opinion of all and give them a sympathetic hearing without asking them to pass under the yoke of party allegiance, will be the leader of tomorrow.["]
Agnes C. Macphail
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- Macphail, Agnes Campbell (1890-1954)
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