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56   DAYS OF PREPARATION

of a radical kind had been made outside Parliament; for instance, the imposition of an income tax or a tax on land. No such departure was taken by the Minister of Finance at this time. He depended mainly upon Customs. An increase of seven and a half per cent. was made upon the general tariff and five per cent. on the preferential tariff. From these increased tariff taxes he expected to receive $20,000,000 to $25,000,000. In addition to this several special taxes were imposed, including a tax on the note circulation of the banks, upon the incomes of trust and loan companies, and upon the premiums received by insurance companies, also upon telegrams, railway and steam-boat tickets, cheques and money orders. The postage upon letters was increased by one cent. From these special taxes the Minister of Finance announced that he expected from $8,000,000 to $10,000,000.

The Opposition, while supporting the money grant criticized the new taxation upon the ground that it was largely for the purpose of increasing the protection accorded to Canadian manufacturers. "This House," said the amendment moved by Sir Wilfrid Laurier, "is ready to provide for the exigencies of the present situation and to vote all necessary ways and means to that end, but it regrets that in the measure under consideration, duties are imposed which must be oppressive upon the people whilst yielding little or no revenue, and that the said measure is particularly objectionable in the fact that instead of favouring, it is placing extra barriers against Great Britain's trade with Canada, at a moment when the mother-country is under a war strain unparalleled in history."

The people did not seem, on the whole, to be keenly interested in the question of the mode of taxation, and the controversy rather declined than increased. The Canadian people have always been inclined to encourage free spending by their governments, and to bear taxation cheerfully—even to condone extravagance,—short of actual dishonesty. The war taxation was borne with


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