this commission that was to decide on questions involving the interest of 40,000 or more fishermen, a business yielding $23,000,000 yearly. Now, as I say, I do not question the fitness of these gentlemen for. some other business. But I do question., aud question very greatly, the fitness o£ any one of these gentlemen for the position to which he was appointed ; and I thinld their report, if carefully read, will satisfy any one that the recommendations they made show that they were wholly unfitted for the duties they were appointed to perform. Why, Mr. Speaker, fishermen along the shores have considered it one of the greatest farces on record that these gen-, tlemen should come down there to carry on this investigation. And I can give evidence from their own report, a little further on, to show how farcical it has been.
They looked upon it as what it was ; the appointments Were made simply to help out a gentleman or two in connection with the coming elections which were anticipated after the session of 1903. If we look in ' Hansard ' of 1903 at page 13653, we will find that Colonel Kaulbach pressed very strongly for this commission and gave good reasons why it should be appointed, but at that time we had the member for Digby making some statements-some mis-statements I should say-statements that were not borne out in fact and statements that he has not had the grace or decency to retract since, statements maligning the fishermen of the county of Charlotte, which I have the honour to represent, and to which 1 propose to refer categorically a little later on. What were the conditions that led to the outburst of my bon. friend from Digby (Mr. Copp) ? The fishermen of the county of Digby have been in the habit of coming to Charlotte county harbours for bait; they have endeavoured to do just as they pleased in Charlotte county waters, and if a Charlotte county fisherman had fish in his weir they would offer any price they chose for the fish. They would go around the mouths of the rivers as I have seen them at the mouth of the IMagaguadavic and with dip-nets take little fish two or four inches long and carry them away in millions to Nova Scotia to use them for bait. They did more ; they came over to Charlotte county waters and ploughed up the beaches in every way, robbed the beaches of the clams, robbed them to such an extent that in one of the islands in Passamaquoddy bay, you can at a distance see what looks like chalk cliffs, almost as large as the cliffs of Dover, simply from the clam shells that these gentlemen have left there. To such an extent was this done that the people of Charlotte had to petition the local government of New Brunswick, and that government had to pass a law to prevent them stealing all the clams there were in Charlotte, and to-day they cannot