The discussion came up on the question of what were the claims made by the different provinces to a share of the Halifax award. I did not mention the province 'of Nova Scotia at all, but the discussion was more regarding what had been said by Mr. Peters, the premier of Prince Edward Island, than anything else.
It is very astonishing that some gentlemen seem to be startled by an announcement of this kind. The hon. member for Cape Breton (Mr. Alex. Johnston) did not know that any one of the provinces had made a claim for any portion of the award.
All we can conclude is that the hon. gentleman does not seem to know anything about his own province. We are not surprised that he should resume his seat without being able to give some intelligible information.
Let me say emphatically that Nova Scotia has not asked the government to make any change in the regulations which have existed since the fishery bounties were given to the fishermen in Nova Sc'otia. That province is rather opposed to any change in the existing conditions and does not participate in the agitation from Prince Edward Island ip any manner or form.
and no trade could be done in shipping live lobsters from that part of the coast. The only thing to be done is to continue the hatcheries. While the fish have not yet increased in size, they are increasing in numbers. I would be rather inclined to see the government continue the present system; than divert a portion of the bounty to the lobster fishermen. There is some irregularity about the payment of the bounty. la the county of Pictou, I am Informed that some of those who have received a bounty in some years do not get it in other years. Their application is sometimes refused, and men who have had, the bounty for a number of years find themselves left without it. I have several cases of this kind in mind, which I intend to bring more particularly to the attention of the department. But in the meantime I would be glad if the minister could give me any general explanation how it is that men who have received the bounty for years find themselves excluded for no apparent reas'on. They tell me that their practice is the same and they fish the same number of days, and yet no bounty cheques are sent.
I am glad to learn that, as we were led to believe that all the provinces were urging for some participation in the award. I would like t'o ask the Minister of Marine if the government has consented to re-open the question.
I can only repeat what I have said. There may have been negotiations-that is to say the government could not refuse to hear what those gentlemen had to state-but no conclusion whatever either to open the question or not has been come to ?
Prom what the hon. minister has said I suppose there is no intention on the part of the department to make any change in the regulations as regards the, bounties. He is disposed to abide by the present regulations and assist the lobster fishermen by providing a better supply of bait and greater conveniences for the assembling of the fish ft the factories and, 1 suppose, continuing the lobster hatcheries which we have at present. I know that the subject is exceedingly difficult and complicated. On the south shore it is claimed that the reduction in the number of certain lobsters leads to a l'oss of sea vegetation and the consequent scarcity of other fish, so that the maintenance of the lobster industry is important to other fishing industries on the coast. There is one improvement which it would be very desirable to make, and that is to have some method by which the size of the lobsters on the Nova Scotia coast could be increased. In the western part of the province they catch fairly large fish, which are shipped to the United States alive and bring remunerative prices, but on our coast the large fish are becoming scarce
If my hon. friend will give me particulars of the cases to which he refers I will gladly investigate.. From information I have received from my officials I am led to believe that very few complaints have been made lately. Of course, where there are so many cases to be dealt with there must be some who express dissatisfaction.
No, I do not recall any cases of that kind. Sometimes there may be two parties claim. Sometimes the regulations are not fulfilled. All the cases are personally investigated. I repeat, if the hon. gentleman (Mr. Bell) has any special cases, it will be sufficient for him to leave them to the special officer in charge of this business, Mr. Kent, and that officer-will try to do justice in the matter.
I would remind the minister that I brought to the notice of the department a ease which seemed to be a very important one. The master of the vessel had omitted to take the license, and, having taken his departure from the port he requested that the managing owner should make the application and get the license. The request was made only through the clerk in the fishing office of the manag-
iug owner, and the managing owner in consequence, did not know of the omission until a month or so had elapsed from the time the vessel took her departure from port. I recommended that to the department-I do not know that I had an interview with the minister himself-but nevertheless the bounty was not paid, and, in consequence the whole crew were deprived of their portion of the bounty. I hope the minister will carefully reconsider this matter and grant these people the bounty to which, I think, they are fairly entitled. They did not ignore their duty of making application ; it was purely an omissiom When such occurs accidently, I think the minister should treat it as an exceptional case and meet the request of the parties.
I think we have had a very good day's work, and a very fruitful one. We are not likely to make much further progress. If this item is passed we can rise. But, if hon. gentlemen wish to debate it further we can do so.