It may be sakl that this gentleman has every Interest in fighting the report of this commission. But we need to look at the question from our own standpoint. We have fish to sell, and we have no market for them. Until that market develops through the efforts of the government, which are suggested by the commission further ou in the report, I believe the people of Charlotte have a right to sell the product which the Almighty has placed withiu their reach, as they have been doing for the last fifty years -or thirty years, to my own knowledge.
Now, I am aware that a small section of our county-1 want to do justice to all parts of it-has petitioned, as I understand, though the petition was not sent through me, for an export duty. In 1897 we formed a fishery association in Charlotte county, and at that time it was strongly advocated to have an export duty put on large herring -say herring of 10 inches and upwards. I believe some petitions from the island of Grand Manan have been sent in in favour of an export duty on fish. There may be some who hold the opinion that such a duty would be a benefit. But the great majority of the people of Charlotte county are absolutely against such a measure applying to sardine herring. And, had this fishery commission report been published in West Isles and Campobello before the last election, the government would never have known that there was such a thing as a Liberal alive. Now, recommendation No. 3 is as follows :
3. That every legitimate effort should at once be made by the government to secure for Canada the manufacture of raw material from the Mr. GANONG.
sardine fishery, and with a view of the general development of the fisheries of Canada, that a bureau be established in connection with the Department of Marine and Fisheries, and that agents be appointed to such populous foreign centres as may be deemed admissible, the special duties of whom to he the ascertaining and securing of outside markets for the product of the Canadian fisheries and the dissemination of information regarding the trade possibilities of Canada in respect thereto.
I think that is a most excellent recommendation, and I hope that the government will take it up. And when the time comes when we can handle our own product, there is no man in Canada who will rejoice more than I shall. Because if there are protectionists under heaven, I believe that I can claim to be one of them. I have no sympathy with our friends in the United States. I have lived alongside of them for the last thirty or forty years. They are good neighbours in many respects, but they are lookiug after their own interests all the time. Do not let us, by any foolish or inconsiderate action, cause tlie ruin of our own industry. To put an export duty on these fish would be just as sensible a thing as for the United States to put an export duty ou corn coming into Canada. Some people in the United States might argue : You fellows in Canada now buy our corn, but we will make you buy your starch and your glucose from us. They have the corn which -we have not. We have the herring which they have not. It would be just as sensible for them to have put an export duty on corn to force the manufacture of starch and glucose there as for us to put an export duty on fish to force the canning of sardines to be done in Canada.
Recommendation No. 4 declares that the present fee of $5 on weir licenses is too low. Well, I would like to hear the argument by which that statement is supported. If the license fee were imposed for revenue, there might be something in that idea. But it has never been so considered. I do not.think there has ever been sucb a suggestion, except as emanating from the minds of these gentlemen. And what did they say this license should be ? They recommend that the fee should be from $20 to $60. And why $20 to $60 ? Why not $500 to $1,000 ? One would be just as sensible as the other. And how would you regulate it ? A weir this year will yield $5,000 and next year not a dollar according as the fish may run. Would you base the tax on the amount the weir yields ? It is a senseless suggestion, and I am satisfied it is no use discussing, because I am confident that no wise government would think of adopting it, and discussion of it would be a mere waste of time.
Recommendation No. 6 is as follows :
6. That in view of the disputes arising in connection with the measuring of sardine herring when being offered for sale at the w'eirs, it is desirable that a standard measure should he adopted and they would recommend that
(6329 MAY 22. 1905 6330
the Inspector of Fisheries be instructed to furnish the department with such measure. I can very well support that, because in 1897. 1898 and 1899 I advocated the same thing with the Minister of Inland Revenue. and=at one time had him so far convinced that I anticipated that he was going to prescribe a standard measure. The difficulty was that many of our fishermen had their fish measured in baskets. Well, a basket is rather an indefinite thing, it may contain half a - barrel or it may contain a barrel. Lately, I believe, they are measured in tubs, whicli are supposed to contain half a barrel. The fish are so plentiful that the fishermen are not particular. Rut the man buying the fish is looking for the largest measure, because the more fish he gets the better credit he has at the factory for which he obtains his fish. We should have a standard measure. I very strongly support this recommendation. Now, those are the chief recommendations upon which I have touched. But. Sir, I do not want the House to think that I am the only one who seems to be interested in this affair in New Brunswick. It has been brought up in this House, but I wish to show you how much Interest has been taken in it in that province. No less a body than the New Brunswick legislature, composed of 46 members passed a unanimous resolution against these recommendations. I propose to read that resolution as I want it to be on ' Hansard.' It cannot be said that this is a political affair, so far as New Brunswick is concerned, because the government there is in sympathy with this government and besides that the lion, gentleman who moved it is one of our most staunch Liberals, the Hon. Geo. F. Hill, one of the Tepresentatives' of Charlotte, moved the following resolution : Whereas, it has been brought to the attention [DOT]of this legislature that the fisheries commission recently appointed by the government of Canada have submitted to the government the following recommendation : la) That an export duty be placed upon sardine herring. (b) That the customs laws with regard to the entering and clearing of vessels be strictly enforced against the sardine boats. (c) That the present weir license fee of to he increased -to a minimum figure of $„0, with a maximum of $60. -(d) That no new weir licenses be granted. And whereas, this legislature is satisfied that the enactment of these recommendations would practically destroy the sardine herring fishery of Passamaquoddy bay, upon which the fishing and trade population of Charlotte county, it the province, largely depend, that until tu ample market has been secured for the produc' of this fishery to take the place of the market the fishermen of said county now enjoy in the United States, it would he unwise to impose an *exoort duty or take any action to disturb exWins conditions ; chat the only immediate effect of such a duty would be to divert the fishery and the profits of the same from New 3runswick and its people to the state^ of Maine mcl the fishermen of said state ; that in respect o the entering and clearing of boats engaged n the sardine carrying trade, this business ean-lot be successfully carried on if a strict inter-iretation of the customs laws in that regard he nsisted on ; that any increase in the weir icense fee would prove a burden which, owing 0 the erratic movements of the fish, would prevent many of the poorer fishermen from continuing their licenses, and that the non-issu-mce of new weir licenses would shut out many young men from the shore fisheries of the province and compel them to leave the country^ or resort to illegal fishing, and that the condition of the fisheries does not warrant any such restrictions , . Therefore he it resolved, that this legislatuie place on record its disapproval of the recommendation of the fishery commission above set forth, and respectfully urge upon the government of Canada that, under the conditions existing in the sardine fishery, the enactment of the said recommendation is not advisable, end that such enactment would be attended with incalculable injury to a large portion of the population of the county of Charlotte, one of the most important sections of the province of New Brunswick. \nd be it further resolved, that a copy of this resolution, signed by the clerk of this house, be forwarded to the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, and that a copy he likewise sent to the Secretary of State, with a request that the same be submitted to the Governor in Council. On this resolution Hon. Mr. Hill spoke as follows: I would like to add a few words to what is contained in the resolution but I do 1"'e"d to go into details, as my colleagues from Char lotte have a better knowledge of the facts than 1 have. I shall therefore confine myself to a general result of these recommendations 1- irst, as regards the export duty, it is expected that it will amount to three-quarters "£ * " pound, or seven dollars a hogshead. The aver age price of sardines delivered to the factory people at the weirs is four dollars and somo-times when they are plentiful it goes down as low as two dollars. That being fo. !t would destroy the sardine business m OhailO'.,e u this export duty should be 'mP°sed &That would also Injure St. John. All the weirs that have been erected for this fishery would become of To value. Tens of thousands of dollars have been expended on these weirs, and they would become useless, for the Dominion ma is not large enough to justify the erection of large sardine factories in Charlotte county. Then as regards the strict enforcement of customs regulations against sardine boats ine sardine is a fish that is easily injured and which keeps hut a short time so that to requi e these boats to report at the custom-house which might be miles away, ,^°"ldficiaU®?lue much delay as to impair or destroy their value. As these reports are made merely tor stausu cal purposes9 U ought to be sufficient if they renorted once a week. Few people have any idea of the extent of the sardine industry in Charlotte or of the amount of capital invested in it The fisheries of Charlotte have an annual value of about a million and a quarter dollars I,id probably one-half of this comes from the sardine fishery. This large business would be destroyed if either of these recommendations were carried out, and wre wmuld he driving away