February 22, 1901

FREEZERS UNDER CONSTRUCTION.


Locality. County. Nominal capacity. Estimated cost. Tons. ro 30 25 20 30 $ cts. 2,000 00 1,400 00 1,200 00 1,100 00 1,000 00 Yarmouth, N.S. Halifax, N.S Sambro 6,700 00 Arrangements have been completed to build at:- Petit DeGrat Richmond. N.S 20 1.100 00



Arrangements are under way for construction at the following points : - Locality. County. Nominal capacity. Estimated cost. Tons. $ cts. 50 2,000 00 Cheticamp Inverness, N.S 20 1,100 00Caraquette Gloucester, N.B 30 1,400 00100 4,500 00 The inspector in charge of the work has received communications from other points than those mentioned above, and it is expected that at least twenty bait freezers will he in operation during the season of 1901, and that if the success attending the operation is such as is anticipated from past results, a large number of new applications will be received.


J. F. FRASER.


Ottawa, February 16, 1901. I thought I could not do better than just read to the House the memorandum which the engineer himself wrote, giving this information.


CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

If I understood that correctly, the government pays half the cost of these establishments ?

Topic:   SUPPLY-THE BUDGET-INQUIRY.
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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

Yes, where they are built under inspection, at the completion of the work.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

Some discussion on this subject took place last year. The ground of the objection taken then was that this measure interfered with private enterprise which would supply the want now supplied by the government. That is a very rosy report ; and if everything in it is true, there would seem to be no necessity for the government bearing any share of the cost of this undertaking. Another feature that was discussed-I am not attempting to criticise, but merely to state the objection raised in the former debate-was that this bait was sold to American as well as Canadian fishermen. I would like to ask the hon. gentleman if that is true, and if so, do the government feel bound to take the place of private enterprise in order to furnish bait to American fishermen ?

The MINISTER OF MARINE ANI) FISHERIES. The hon. gentleman will remember my stating last year that the greatest possible care would be taken not to interfere with commercial enterprise. In Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island there are many places where the fishermen congregate in fishing villages, and where there is no great inducement to prompt commercial men to undertake the establishment of freezers. Most of these will be built for the benefit of the fishermen themselves. Few, if any, will enter into Sir LOUIS DAVIES.

competition with the bait freezers established by such men as the Whitman Bros., for commercial purposes ; and I may say that the enterprise which the government have entered into has the warmest encouragement and support from such men as these. It cannot do other than increase largely the supply of fresh fish. I know of nothing which this government have put their hands to on a small scale calculated to produce better results than the assistance we have given to the bait freezers. Everywhere it is appreciated, and everywhere it is doing good. Of course, there are cases in which the licensed American fishermen may purchase bait, where the bait freezers choose voluntarily to sell it to them; but the unlicensed American fishermen cannot buy bait from the bait freezers or from any one else. Therefore, to the extent to which the licensed American fishermen could buy bait, it would be rather harsh, I take it, on our part to intervene and say we ought not to sell it to them.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

I am not putting the objection on that ground, but on the ground of public enterprise supplying what might be supplied by private enterprise.

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

As a rule, I think the bait freezers will supply the bait to the fishermen who are the shareholders in the association itself. Occasionally they may have a surplus to sell to the ships, and in some cases they may sell to licensed American fishermen ; but that will be a very small proportion of the total amount.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPROULE.

Since the hon. gentleman has adopted the principle of supplying cold storage for the benefit of the fishermen, I hope he will press on his colleague, the Minister of Agriculture (Hon. Mr. Fisher), the necessity of granting an equally Urge subsidy for the supply of cold storage to the farmers of the country.

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LIB

Arthur Samuel Kendall

Liberal

Mr. KENDALL.

I take this opportunity of placing before the members of the House, particularly the members from the west, the importance of this industry which the government are endeavouring to foster in this way. The line fishermen of the maritime provinces number about 20,000, and the annual catch of fish known as line-fish

amounts to about $8,000,000. We have altogether about 45,000 fishermen in the maritime provinces, who, it is estimated lose from thirty to sixty days each in the season for want of a constant supply of fresh bait. The aggregate loss of the fishermen of the maritime provinces on this account amounts altogether to 800,000 to 1,000,000 days of fishing in the year. The fishing industry is our second most important industry. Agriculture, poor as it is with us, is still our first industry. We hear a great deal of our lumber and mining industries in the east; but our fishing industry is far in advance of these in importance, I think more than equal to both combined. So that the House can readily understand that to make provision for overcoming so great a loss as 800,000 or 1,000,000 days of fishing is a matter of vital importance to the maritime provinces. We hear it frequently stated that the fishing population along our coasts is becoming depleted, a believe it is a fact that for years past the industry has been unremunerative. At the same time, our fishermen are large consumers, and very heavy contributors to the revenues. They use large quantities of imported goods and manufactured goods from the west, and their return from their catch of fish has to depend not on any benefit which the government can give them. They have to send their fish to the West Indies, to South America, to Brazil, and to the Mediterranean, in competition with the fish of the whole world. For these reasons the government were urged, some eighteen months ago, to take this step. We recognized that a cold storage system had been established for the benefit of the farmers of the western provinces and the province of Quebec, not only on shore but on sea- a cold storage system virtually extending from their farms to the consumers' tables in the old country ; and we urged that something in the same direction should be done for the fishermen. 1 happen to have been the promoter of this scheme, and I am entirely gratified at the success which it has achieved in so short a time. If hon. members will give it their support, we will not require a great appropriation to establish a pretty effective system all around the coast, from the mouth of the St. Lawrence to the mouth of the St. Croix river. Perhaps from 100 to 110 small freezers will meet the requirements. A considerable number of gentlemen in the maritime provinces, who are well acquainted with the fishing industry, feel sure that this measure will enable our fishermen to realize anywhere from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 per annum more than they do at present. We expect also to establish a better class of cold storage cars, so that we may send our fish in good condition from the maritime provinces to the west, even as far as Chicago.

To-day we have not in Canada a cold storage' car equal in construction to many used by the Swift and'Armour firms in carrying their freight from Chicago to Portland and Boston. I may say that the Minister of Railways (Hon. Mr. Blair) has employed the expert who made these cars in the western states, to construct two at Moncton on the same plan. What we want is a car that will carry fish, apples and other perishable products without freezing them, and to-day we have not got in Canada a first-class cold storage car.

We may look forward soon to the time when the western part of our country will be populated to a far greater extent than it now is, and furnish a great market for fish, more particularly as the fish of the great lakes, in all probability, will not hold out. We have in our fishermen a large consuming population who are adding to the wealth of the country and contributing very largely to its revenue, and I ask gentlemen from the west, in particular, to take this matter up and give it their best consideration.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I would ask the hon. gentleman whether there is any probability of these establishments being built as commercial enterprises which will be selfsustaining.

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LIB

Arthur Samuel Kendall

Liberal

Mr. KENDALL.

I know of three that are to be put up by fish merchants and fishermen, who do not want to be hampered by the restrictions imposed by the government, and I have no doubt quite a number will be put up ns commercial enterprises.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

In the larger districts, that is likely to be the case, but in the smaller I suppose government aid will be required for some time to come.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

It is proposed to give government aid every year.

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

We give a small bonus each year for three years, determined on the quantity of bait in the freezers.

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CON

James Clancy

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLANCY.

And after three years the bonus ceases.

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

Yes.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

I notice, under the heading of iighthouse and coast service, appropriations not required for 1901-2. $60,000, and also under the heading of fisheries appropriations not required for 1901-2, $78,790. I would like to have some explanation of these two items amounting to $139,000. Were these voted for election purposes, and then not required ?

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Subtopic:   J. F. FRASER.
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February 22, 1901