February 28, 1902

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

That is a matter which would come under the notice of the inspectors, and we have had no report from any inspector with regard to it. We might by arrangement as the hon. gentleman suggests, extend the close season or we might allow them to fish one week out of three or something of that kind.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

I suppose the hon. minister would have no objection to allowing the correspondence respecting the presenting of those medals, to which I referred last night, to be placed at the disposal of the committee V

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

None at all. I found on inquiry there had been some delay-not purposely but through carelessness-and I at once telegraphed and got a reply saying that the matter would be attended to at once.

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CON

Richard Blain

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BLAIN.

I must say that the hon. minister was prompt in the answer he gave, but I explained last night that the department had decided to give to the captain of that life-saving crew a silver watch and to each member of the crew five dollars, and that the watch and the money were sent up to Port Credit. But for some unex-

plained reason the presentation was never made. On whose recommedation was the change made by which each member of their crew, instead of getting five dollars, is to get a medal ?

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

I do not remember the hon. gentleman making any reference to that last night, and did not look into that phase of the matter, but will do so and give him what information I can obtain.

Mr. SI'ROULE. It may be all very well for the hon. and amiable Minister of Marine and Fisheries to dismiss the subject introduced by my hon. friend from West Hastings with a good-natured smile, but when we find a flagrant violation of the principle which the hon. gentleman admits, namely, that officials of the government should not take part in elections, we cannot allow the hon. gentleman to get rid of the matter in that off-hand way. When Conservatives are guilty of the same offence they are summarily dismissed. Is the hon. gentleman not going to apply the same treatment to his own political friends ? Are they to be allowed to interfere in a political campaign without incurring any penalty ? The hon. member for West Hastings has told this House that he was informed on authority which he believed to be absolutely correct, that this man had got up an election petition and solicited signatures, and possibly may have committed other improper acts, in view of the official position he holds, and all the minister has to say in reply is to pass it, off with a wave of the hand and a good-natured smile. But the country will Insist on something more, because otherwise we will have friends of the government in office doing with perfect immunity the very thing for doing which Conservative office-holders have been over and over again dismissed and dismissed without trial.

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I think it was during either the second or the first session that I had the honour of a seat in parliament that the principle was laid down by the leader of the hon. minister, that if any civil servant undertook to devote his attention to politics and interfere in elections, he would be given full liberty to devote his whole time to that purpose. That is a very good principle, if carried out impartially, but not if it be used merely for the purpose of dismissing office holders whose political convictions are opposed to those of the party in power. That doctrine laid down by the leader of the government has been frequently applied in my own constituency. A postmaster in the county of Halifax was very recently dismissed from office solely on the ground that he had taken part in the last election and was dismissed without any trial, although he was prepared to prove that the charge was without foundation.

Unless this declaration of the leader of the government was intended merely to humbug the public, the statement of my hon. friend from West Hastings is deserving of investigation at the hands of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. I do not ask that this official should be dismissed on the mere statement of the hon. member for Hastings that he had interfered in the elections, although that is the kind of justice that has been meted out to many Conservative officeholders-and one of them I might name in my constituency, who was dismissed from office during the past year-but we are certainly entitled to demand that an investigation he held.

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

I understood my hon. friend from West Hastings to have brought this matter up in a good-natured way, and did not understand him to have accused the inspector of taking part in an election, but simply of having spoken as he should not have done to some person in connection with the petition filed. I agreed with the hon. gentleman that that was a very injudicious and improper thing for this official to do, and it is my intention to call his attention to the statement and ask for an explanation. I agree with my hon. friend that men holding positions in the public service cannot be too careful. I have always insisted upon their being careful. But I cannot agree with the hon. gentleman in his sweeping statement regarding dismissals of Conservatives from office, and I think that on reflection he will admit that a very small proportion indeed have been dismissed on account of politics. And those who have been, he will find have been more injudicious than the gentleman referred to, and have taken more active part in the different campaigns. For my part I am inclined to take a broad view with regard to this matter, because after all in many cases it is simply gossip started by somebody who may want the job himself. However, I agree in the principle laid down, and, so far as I am concerned, will see that this matter is investigated and the officer punished if guilty.

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L-C

Gilbert White Ganong

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. GANONG.

Has the hon. minister decided upon any action with regard to the number of licenses for fish weirs issued in the county of Charlotte 1 Last year we had trouble. Many fishermen made their application asi usual, having received no notice, and they were only notified that they would not be allowed to build weirs after they had provided themselves with the necessary material. The matter was then brought to the notice of the minister, and he decided to allow the weirs to be built. Some applications this year, I understand, have been refused, although the parties are distant the required distance, 1,000 feet or more, from the weirs owned by their neighbours. What I wish to call attention to is the fact that while the de-

partment has issued 300 or 400 linceses, these weirs are not all built, but the issue of these licenses prevents others building. Would it not be better to issue 25 per cent of these licenses-that being the proportion not built-to people who will build. We have lost in population simply because the fisheries have not been as well looked after as they should have been, and I am not attributing the blame to the Liberal government alone. I think our people should be allowed to take advantage of all the catch within their reach. We hear a good deal about the depletion of the fisheries, but if any one had ' been in Charlotte county this year and seen the thousands of hogsheads of fish taken out of the sea there, he would not have concluded there was much chance of depletion in the sardine fisheries. There were probably more fish in the inshore waters this year than has been known in the history of the sardine business.

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

This is a matter upon which the Minister would hardly Come to a decision without consulting the officers of the department. Every hon. gentleman who has taken any interest in these matters knows that there are great differences of opinion upon these subjects and knows also that the quantity of fish varies greatly with the different seasons. It may be that the regulation in this case is too strict. I will take the matter up with the officer in charge of this branch and will let the hon. gentleman know the decision of the government.

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CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROCHE (Marquette).

Who is the present inspector of fisheries for Manitoba? Has Mr. Colcleugh, who was inspector, been dismissed, or has he resigned ?

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

Mr. W. S. Young is the present inspector.

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CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROCHE (Marquette).

What is his salary ?

The MINISTER OF MARINE AND

FISHERIES. Twelve hundred dollars.

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CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROCHE (Marquette).

What was his previous business ?

The MINISTER OF MARINE AND

FISHERIES. I understand he was a hardware merchant.

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CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROCHE (Marquette).

He had no previous training, then, in this particular line ?

The MINISTER OF MARINE AND

FISHERIES. I am not aware that any expert knowledge is required of the occupant of this position. I should suppose that any sensible man could discharge the duties of the office.

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CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROCHE (Marquette).

Was Mr. Colcleugh forced to resign or was he dismissed ? If he was dismissed, will the minister say that it was because everything was not in good shape in connection with the fisheries ?

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L-C
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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

My information is that he resigned voluntarily.

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CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROCHE (Marquette).

Can the minister tell us whether everything was found in good shape or not ?

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The MINISTER OF MARINE AND FISHERIES.

I have not the report, but I will look it up.

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CON

William James Roche

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ROCHE (Marquette).

Has a separate officer been appointed for the hatchery or is the management of the hatchery part of the duty of the inspector of fisheries ?

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February 28, 1902