February 28, 1902

LIB

Henry Robert Emmerson

Liberal

Mr. EMMERSON.

I fear that the hon. gentleman's memory fails him in respect to the attitude of the local government of that day. I can only say that the opinions which I have expressed here to-day were the opinions expressed by me, not merely in other counties in New Brunswick, but in the county of Charlotte. I know that my hon. friend (Mr. Ganong) feels a little sore with respect to that election, because he failed to carry out the pledge which he gave to the celebrated Moncton convention to send four Conservatives to the New Brunswick Legislature. That pi'obably is a sore spot with him.

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L-C

Gilbert White Ganong

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. GANONG.

I have to say that while the hon. gentleman (Mr. Emmerson) does not mean to misrepresent me, his statement is absolutely untrue. I do not place the responsibility at the doors of my hon. friend, because I do not believe he would make the statement if he knew it to be untrue. Whether the hon. gentleman (Mr. Emmerson) made the statement or not, these men who followed him and did his work certainly said so, for I was at their meeting when they did say it.

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LIB
L-C

Gilbert White Ganong

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. GANONG.

Perhaps the hon. gentleman (Mr. Emmerson) was like the ex-Minister of Marine ; instead of talking to fishermen he went to talk to the farmers. That was usually the way down there.

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LIB
CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir. SPROULE.

Do I understand that Ontario and Quebec issue licenses and refuse to pay the revenue over to the Dominion

Treasury while the other provinces do pay us the revenue.

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The MINISTER OF SIARINE AND FISHERIES.

The hon. gentleman (Mr. Sproule) is practically correct if not technically so. So far as the other provinces are concerned we go on collecting the revenue by arrangement just as in the past. This vote amounts to some $300,000, and even if all the provinces collected the revenue, the House might come to the conclusion that it was desirable to vote money for the protection of the fisheries, the management of fish breeding establishments and so on. The hon. gentleman is quite correct in saying that Ontario and Quebec now collect the license fees, which formerly brought in a revenue of some $40,000 or $45,000 per annum to the Dominion, and we do not now receive any revenue from that source in these two provinces.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

This appropriation is for the purpose of protecting the fisheries, and I wish to draw the attention of the Minister to what is now being done on Lake Erie. Before the province of Ontario took hold of the fishing rights the Dominion government limited the number of licenses ; but 1 am informed that the Ontario government proposes now to increase the number of licenses by some sixty or seventy along the Lake Erie front. If that is done it will be only a matter of a year or two when the valuable fishing grounds there are depleted. If. the Dominion government had any control over the matter I could understand that we should vote money for the protection of the fisheries whose duty it would or ought to be to protect the fisheries and that can be done largely by limiting the number of licenses.

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L-C

Edward Hackett

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HACKETT.

I want to say that this question of the protection of the oyster fishery, and allowing the farmers of Prince Edward Island to take mussel mud in the rivers is a very important question with us. The minister said that in connection with these two lines drawn across the Trout river and the Biddeford river, that the enforcement of that arrangement will be left entirely to the discretion of the local officers. You have quite a sufficient quantity of mussel mud for the use of farmers irrespective and clear altogether of the oyster beds. The first duty of this government is to protect the oyster fisheries and at the same time they can allow the farmer to prosecute his industry by getting this valuable fertilizer from the beds of our rivers. If you allow this matter to rest altogether in the hands of the local officers you may have partisanship. You may have one man digging mussel mud and taking it to his farm, while another man of a different political stripe will be prohibited from doing so. The government should not allow this matter to remain altogether in the hands of the local officers.

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Tlie MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

The authority of the inspector in Prince Edward Island to exercise his discretion in this matter is subject to the approval of the department. I do not think there can be any partisanship because the officer once he decides that they can take mussel mud out of a certain place, cannot interfere with any one from taking it there.

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CON

Edward Guss Porter

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PORTER.

This vote includes the salary of a certain official residing in the county of Hastings, who had the honour of representing East Hastings for one parliament, who at the last general elections was defeated by the electors, and who shortly after that was appointed to the position of Inspector of Fisheries. I refer to Mr. Hurley, the ex-member for East Hastings. I understand that the principle is laid down by the government, that officials of the government should not take an active part in elections, and certain officers have been dismissed because it was alleged they did take an active part in politics. I wish to state that this official to whom I have referred, during the late by-election in the adjoining riding of West Hastings, was found to be active during the whole of that election. I am happy to say that his efforts to defeat the Conservative candidate were not successful. I am, however, unhappy to say that a petition has been lodged protesting the result of that election, and this officer whom I have mentioned, was, I am informed, upon authority on which I can safely rely, the very gentleman who solicited the petitioner to sign the petition against the return of the present member for West Hastings (Mr. Porter). I wish now to ask from the hon. minister (Hon. Mr. Sutherland). I know much of this vote is intended to pay the inspector of fisheries for his duties as inspector, and what proportion of it is intended to remunerate him for the part he took in the late election.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, heai-.

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

There is no part of this vote intended to pay him for work in the elections. It is contrary to the rules of the department that its officers should take an active part in elections. From what I know of my friend and late colleague here (Mr. Hurley) and from what I have seen of him since I have been at the head of the department, I would be surprised to hear that he took any active part in politics. I met Mr. Hurley in Ottawa one day when he was on business with the department, and forgetting for the moment I made some reference to politics to him, and Mr. Hurley at once replied : I do not talk any politics now. It will be seen that he was very guarded in his political utterances even when speaking to me.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Hear, hear.

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

Mr. Hurley when a member of this House won the respect of every one who knew him, and I do not think it can be possible that he would be indiscreet enough to take a prominent part in the election. My hon. friend (Mr. Porter) ought to be pleased to have such a large majority, and probably if he knew the truth this officer of my department may have voted for him.

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Some hon. MEMBERS

Oh.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

Has the department any control over the number of licenses granted by the Ontario government ?

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

No. That opens up the whole question of jurisdiction. I suppose that if we thought the province was issuing too great a number of licenses, or were depleting or injuring these valuable fisheries by any action they took, we might by a regulation indirectly interfere with them. Directly, we would have nothing to say about the number of licenses they could issue.

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L-C

Andrew B. Ingram

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. INGRAM.

I have the best authority for making the statement that it is the intention of the Ontario government to increase the number of licenses by sixty or seventy , and if they do that they will certainly deplete the fisheries along the frontier of Lake Erie. Is it not the duty of the department to communicate with the Ontario government to find out if this report is true, and if so to take action to prevent them issuing these licenses ?

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February 28, 1902