January 19, 1911

LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir ALLEN AYLESWORTH.

Before the orders of the day are called, I would like to say a word with reference to a matter that was brought to the attention of the House yesterday by the hon. member for Frontenac (Mr. Edwards). It was stated that some articles had appeared in local newspapers complaining of the hardship a prisoner had suffered in being discharged fiom the penitentiary at Kingston at a time when the thermometer was below zero, with insufficient clothing. On seeing the article in the newspaper, I instructed a report on the subject to be asked at once from the warden of the penitentiary. That report has reached me this morning, and I think the substance of it ought to be made public in justice to the warden. This particular prisoner was released under direction of His Excellency as an exercise of clemency a few months before the expiration of his sentence by effluxion of time. He was a man liable to be deported to the United States, a citizen of the United States. All necessary inquiries and arrangements for his deportation as soon as

he should be released from the penitentiary had been previously made, and an officer cf the Immigration Department -was in readiness to escort him across the boundary. The warden says that upon receiving the order for the release of the prisoner he stated that fact to the prisoner, and told him that if he wished he might remain longer in the penitentiary until he could communicate with his friends in the United States or elsewhere if he had any hope that he would receive money from them. It was the prisoner's own wish that he should not wait for any such communication, but should be released at the earliest moment possible. He was accordingly allowed to go. But before leaving the penitentiary he was furnished with the clothing which he had when he came into the institution, end also with a complete new suit, boots, cap and underwear, and he was also furnished with five dollars in money. Instructions were given to the immigration officer who was to accompany him to Ogdensburg that no part of this five dollars was to be expended within Canada. The prisoner was, therefore, when he arrived at Ogdensburg, not penniless, or in the condition which has been represented, and the regulations of the penitentiary, as well as the interests of ordinary humanity, have, in this case, I think, been fully complied with.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS
Permalink

COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT.

L-C

James William Maddin

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. MADDIN.

I would like to ask the Minister of Labour when he will have ready for the House the report under the Combines Investigation Act, also whether regulations have been passed pursuant to the provisions of section 45 of the Act, and when we may expect the report of all such investigations as may have taken place under that statute, or whether any investigations at all have taken place.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT.
Permalink
LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. KING.

Such report as there is to present has been presented to the House already in connection with the report of the Department of Labour. The hon. member will find in the annual report of the department the information he has asked for.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT.
Permalink
L-C

James William Maddin

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. MADDIN.

Section 46 of the Act says that the minister shall lay before parliament within the first 15 days of the next session the annual report of proceedings under this Act, I submit that a mere reference to it in the report of the Department of Labour is not a report such as was contemplated by this section of the Act. One would look in vain for a report of the proceedings under this Act if he were to search for it in the annual report of the Department of Labour. I submit that the minister should lay before this parliament the report required under section 46 of the Act.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT.
Permalink
LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir ALLEN AYLESWORTH.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   COMBINES INVESTIGATION ACT.
Permalink

THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL-FISHERIES REGULATIONS.

LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir ALLEN AYLESWORTH.

Mr. Speaker, I desire to take this opportunity to refer to the negotiations which took place last week in Washington with reference to the differences still at that time existing between the government of the United States and this country in regard to the regulations and laws1 governing the operation of Canadian fisheries in Atlantic waters. It will be remembered that one of the principal questions in dispute referred to the arbitrament of the tribunal at The Hague was the question whether the legislation of Canada or of Newfoundland could be considered binding upon citizens i of the United States while exercising their treaty privileges within British waters; so long as such legislation had not been assented to by the government or Congress of the United States. If the decision of that question had upheld the contention of the United States that such legislation was not binding upon fishermen coming from that country into Canadian or Newfoundland waters it is plain, of course, that there would have been no further question in relation to any of our future or existing legislation. Such legislation would have been the enactment of regulations with which the inhabitants of the United States would have no concern, and it would have been indifferent to them what regulations we or Newfoundland might see fit to pass. The decision of that question, however, was in favour of the British contention, maintaining the sovereign right of Britain and her colonies to legislate with regard to these territorial waters, and maintaining equally that such legislation, so long as it did not transgress the provisions of the treaty under which the United States fishermen claim their right of access to our waters, would be equally binding upon such fishermen as upon our own people. That decision having been pronounced, it at once became a practical question what disposition should be made of the existing legislation and regulations on the part of Canada and Newfoundland.

The United States had taken formal objection before the tribunal to practically the whole of both Canadian and Newfoundland fisheries legislation, taking the position that, for one reason or another, all of this legislation contravened the true intent and meaning of the Treaty of 1818 and therefore, ought to be pronounced as of no effect so far as the fishermen from the United States was concerned. The disposition of that question, which had been agreed to by the parties in coming to their arrangement for arbitration, was that it should be pronounced upon by the tribunal itself. It was for that we had stipulated, it was that which we expected; but

when the award was pronounced in September last, the tribunal, instead of proceeding to deal with these objections, made by the United States to existing Canadian and Newfoundland legislation, referred the whole of such legislation to a subordinate tribunal which the main tribunal then directed should be constituted, such subordinate tribunal to consist of one representative from the United States, one from Great Britain and one appointed by the tribunal. The government of the United States appointed as its representative, Dr. Smith, the leading official, I -think, of their fisheries department ; the government of Great Britain appointed Mr. Morison, the Attorney General of Newfoundland ; and the tribunal itself appointed as -the third member, Dr. Hoek, professional adviser on the subject of fisheries of the government of the Netherlands. We were thus left in a position with regard to our existing Canadian legislation which was, to say the least, not a very satisfactory one. We had no representative from Canada upon this subordinate board which was to consider all of the Canadian legislation and regulations, and report to the main tribunal, leaving -the parties, if dissatisfied with the conclusions of the subordinate board, to be heard before the main tribunal upon tha-t tribunal reconvening at the Hague at some future time. For the reason that this disposition of the matter was not the one we had expected and which we thought we were entitled to by the stipulations of our agreement to arbitrate and not one which was in itself, satisfactory, it was thought that probably more could be accomplished by _ personal negotiation with representatives of the United States than by prolonging the litigation-more than could be hoped from any legal argument and examination in detail of the provisions before the subordinate board with a further appeal, if it should be necessary, to the principal tribunal; and because of the delay and the great expense which such a continuation of the litigation would necessarily involve, the course of amicable negotiation was very much preferred. Efforts were accordingly begun immediately after the announcing of the award in September last ; and by correspondence through the foreign office of Great Britain, an arrangement was made for a conference at Washington on the 9th of January last, at which representatives of the parties interested might meet and discuss the whole subject. Accordingly that conference was held on Monday of last week, at which there were present on the part of the United States government its Secretary of State, Mr. Knox, with his counsellor or assistant, Mr. Chandler Anderson, who had been the agent for the United States in the proceedings before the Hague tribunal, and Dr. Smith, the professional head or adviser of the Fisheries Department, along with Mr. Robert Lansing, one of the counsel for the United States during the proceedings at the Hague last summer. On the part of Great Britain, Mr. Ambassador Bryce and his -secretary, Mr. Young, attended, accompanied by Sir Edward Morris, the Prime Minister of Newfoundland and Captain O'Reilly, a fisheries officer of Newfoundland, and on the part of Canada, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Brodeur), and myself, with Dr. Wakeham, the fisheries officer in charge of operations in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Meetings were had -twice each day during the week and as a result of these ten or a dozen meetings, I am very glad to be able t-o say, that I think all our existing difficulties with regard to the fisheries, up to the present known, have been satisfactorily -cleared up.

We had not -only -to consider the legislation and regulations of Canada, but those of Newfoundland as well. And after going through in detail, section by section and clause by clause, the whole of these regulations, the difference between the views entertained on the part of the United States and those entertained in this -country and in Newfoundland seemed pretty well to classify themselves under general heads. It -became reasonably evident, in the course of discussion, that at present at any rate it would not be possible for Newfoundland and the United States to agree. All parties were agreed in disliking the disposition of the matter which had been made by the award of last September. Every person present was convinced that a great deal could be done by conference, by explanation, by possible modification of any objectionable provisions of the regulations and by reasonable effort to come to a friendly understanding. And it was thought that if such effort should fail a much better practical means of settling the difficulty than the one which the -tribunal had directed, could be found in the constitution of an independent board or mixed commission, -one for Newfoundland and one for Canada, on which boards the United States should in each instance have its representative, and Canada and Newfoundland respectively, have -theirs, with the intervention of -a third man, who should not be a native of either country, in the event of the presence of such a third man being necessary. Accordingly, after going over all of the positions which were in question and discussing the whole situation generally, an agreement was reached on Wednesday of last week and that agreement was incorporated into a Minute of these Conferences, by which Minute it is agreed that this disposition of the matter which I have described, should be substituted for that which is directed by the award of last

September. This Minute of Conference is a short memorandum on the subject signed by all of the gentlemen who were engaged in the negotiations, and it reads as follows :-

Minutes of conferences lield at Washington the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12tK of January, 1911, as to the application of the award delivered on the 7th September, 1910, in the North Atlantic coast fisheries arbitration to existing regulations of Canada and Newfoundland.

The undersigned having considered in detail and with expert assistance the steps to be taken in consequence of the award in connection with the objections of the United States government to existing regulations of the fisheries in Canadian and Newfoundland treaty waters, as recorded in protocol XXX. of the proceedings before the tribunal of arbitration, and having conferred as to the best means of dealing with these objections, have arrived at the following conclusion:-

It is unnecessary to refer any existing regulations to the commission of experts mentioned in the award in application of article ITT. of the special agreement of January 27, 1909, or to reconvene the tribunal of arbitration; but any difference in regard to the regulations specified in protocol XXX., which shall not have been disposed of by diplomatic methods, shall be referred to the Permanent Mixed Fishery Commissions to be constituted as recommended by the Hague award, under article IV. of the special agreement in the same manner as a difference in regard to future regulations would be so referred under the recommendations in the award, unless by mutual consent some other rules and method of procedure are adopted.

It will be observed that this minute recognizes as the most desirable method of getting rid of the existing difficulties, diplomatic negotiations, and provides that failing diplomatic negotiations, the next best way in the opinion of those who signed the minute was the constitution of the special mixed fisheries commissions which the tribunal had recommended for settling future differences, if future differences ever arose, and that disposition of the matter by reference to these permanent mixed commissions was the one which the minute recommends to be adopted, unless by mutual consent, some other rule or method of procedure should be devised and agreed to. On the part of Newfoundland, it was thought when this minute was signed on Thursday evening last, that no further progress could at present be made, and in that view Sir Edward Morris and Captain O'Keilly left Washington on Thursday night. On the part of my colleague the Minister of Marine and Fisheries and myself the hope was entertained in view of the discussions which had then occupied four days of the week, that so far as Canadian legislation and regulations went, further conferences might not prove ineffective. Accordingly, before Sir Edward Morris left Washington, we discussed with Sir ALLEN AYLESWORTH.

him the whole situation, and our belief that an accommodation of all difficulties so far as Canada was concerned might be reached by further discussion, and with his full acquiescence and assent, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries and myself remained at Washington with the object of renewing our conferences on the part of Canada alone during Friday and Saturday of last week. We had four meetings on those two days, morning and afternoon of each day, and as the result of these meetings we have reached such an agreement which, of course, applies to Canada and to Canada only. We found that the objections which were taken on the part of the United States to Canadian legislation with regard to the fisheries practically ranged themselves under four heads. They objected to our prohibition of purse seining, they objected to our prohibition of Sunday fishing, they objected to our system of issuing licenses to the individual fishermen, and they objected finally to the provision of our regulations authorizing the going on board of a United States vessel and searching her if she was suspected of any infraction of our regulations.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL-FISHERIES REGULATIONS.
Permalink
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

Would these infractions include customs regulations, or only fishery regulations, in the case of boarding and searching?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL-FISHERIES REGULATIONS.
Permalink
LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir ALLEN AYLESWORTH.

Customs regulations were not made the subject of discussion last week at all and no difficulty, I think, can arise in the future so far as customs regulations go, because the award of the tribunal has been quite clear in directing .how far and just how far we have a right to impose customs regulations upon United States fishing vessels. However, probably some changes will require to be made in our customs regulations in consequence of the award. To mention one, I might point out that under the terms of the modus vivendi of 1888 a fishing vessel coming by reason of distress or for wood, water or repairs into a Canadian harbour was not required to report at customs unless she remained more than 24 hours. The tribunal at The Hague in its award last September changed that period to 48 hours so that under tire award a United States fishing vessel so coming into a Canadian harbour has a right to remain without reporting for two days instead of one. No doubt that regulation will require to be changed and there will be some other details with respect to our customs regulations which will need to be made to conform to the directions of the award. Customs regulations, therefore, were not under discussion last week in any shape, but we limited ourselves to the fishery regulla-1 tions applicable to the treaty waters on the shores of the Magdalen Islands, and on

the Labrador north coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

To summarize-and I need not do more than, summarize because the details of the discussion hack and forward are not of interest-we have succeeded in persuading, in convincing the representatives of the United States that there is nothing wrong, that there is nothing unduly burdensome or discriminating against them in either our provision for boarding and searching a United States suspected vessel or in our prohibition of Sunday fishing or of purse seining. We, of course, called the attention of the representatives of the United States government to the fact that the provision for boarding or searching a vessel was a necessary regulation of police ; that it applied to any suspected vessel ; that the control and policing of these waters was necessarily with the 'Canadian government as they were Canadian territorial waters ; and that no one ought to object to reasonable investigation if the circumstances seemed to justify suspicion; and, at all events, in the result, their objection to that provision of our law has been withdrawn.

In regard to the fishing during prohibited hours on Sunday, we, of course, pointed out that it was in the interests of the fisheries themselves that a season of rest weekly should be given to the fish; that the water where they are should not be daily and hourly threshed and disturbed by the setting and hauling of nets, and the fish harried from place to place, so that, perhaps, they might ultimately be so. disturbed as to induce them permanently to leave. We pointed out that these regulations applied equally to Canadian fishermen. The objection made to these regulations was that they bore more hardly upon the fishermen coming from the United States; that these men, coming long distances and desiring to obtain their cargo and return as speedily as possible, were prohibited from exercising their calling on Sunday, even though they might be alongside the largest school of mackerel or herring, but the Canadian fisherman might set his net on the Saturday night and leave it catching fish for him over Sunday against the time, on Monday morning, when he might go to get his haul, and that, in that respect, the fishermen from the United States were placed at a very substantial disadvantage if this prohibition of Sunday fishing were to be enforced. Our regulations, however, were in such a shape that they were not open to this objection, because it was provided in our regulations that no net which is set should be allowed to remain out over Sunday or during prohibited hours unless a sufficient means of escape for the fish was provided by some apparatus in the net; and, on pointing out these regulations which, up to that time,

apparently, had not been appreciated on the part of the United States, it was practically conceded that the prohibition of Sunday fishing was a regulation in the in terest of the preservation of the fisheries- in the common interest therefore,-and one to which reasonable objection ought not further to be pressed.

And so in regard to the purse seining. Although that was a subject of considerable difficulty and in regard to which the professional advisers of the Fisheries Department in the United States seemed to entertain the view that it is not unduly destructive as a means of fishing, ultimately at all events objections in that regard were not pressed. No change is made or agreed to be made in our regulations under either of these three heads.

Now, with regard to our system of licensing individual fishermen, peculiar difficulties presented themselves. Under the treaty of 1818 liberty is given forever to the inhabitants of the United States to take fish of every kind upon these defined portions of our coast, and it was urged: That liberty having been freely conceded by Great Britain ninety years ago, how can you now seek to impede its exercise by a regulation which requires the issuing of a license, and the payment of a fee to obtain that license? No matter though the fee charged may be small, the principle of the thing, it was urged upon us, is against that system, and it ought not to be required of inhabitants of the United States who already possess under the treaty the unrestricted liberty to exercise their calling at pleasure in these waters. And additional difficulty was occasioned by the circumstance that when, five years ago, Newfoundland was proposing to adopt a system of licenses, that proposition had been vigorously objected to by Mr. Root, then Secretary of State for the United States, in diplomatic correspondence with the Foreign Office of Great Britain; and, in answer to Mr. Root's objection, a letter was written by the British Foreign Office in 1906 in which it is categorically stated that licenses could not be supported. And, in view of that holding and that distinct expression of opinion on the part of Sir Edward Grey as Foreign Secretary, Newfoundland has n Y attempted to put into force the licensing system. Still, it has been in force in Canada, and the Department of Marine ana Fisheries regard it as a most valuable system, as one which gives great advantages in the way of control over the individual fishermen and in the way of securing compliance with the regulations which may be made. Mr. Brodeur set himself to the task of convincing the representatives of the United States that it was in the interest of the fisheries-that it was in the interest of their own individual fishermen-

that a system of licenses should exist, and to the effort to prevail upon them to withdraw opposition to it and agree that it might be maintained. I am very glad, indeed, to be able to say that in that effort my hon. colleague has fully succeeded, and that by making concessions which he thinks are not of consequence practically, and which cannot do any injury to our own fishermen, to the fisheries, or to our system of maintaining licenses, he has been able to remove the objections which at the outset were very strongly entertained by the United States government to the continuation of these matters. In the result, we have agreed to recommend to council an alteration in three respects in our existing licensing regulations; and upon these alterations being made, the United States withdraws the continuation of its objections, not only to these features of our laws and regulations, but to the whole body of our existing fisheries legislation and regulations.

Of these three changes the first respects fishing for cod or herring by trap nets. Our existing regulation in that regard provided that such a thing should not be permitted in the Gulf' of St. Lawrence without a license from the Minister of Marine and Fisheries. The modification to which we have assented is that this requirement of a license shall not extend, either as to Canadian or United States fishermen, to the case of a trap net set for either cod or herring, at a distance of a thousand yards or more from shore, or from any similar net which is set from the shore. In others words, we modify our regulation in that respect, so that whenever a United States fisherman finds a position enabling him to set his cod or herring trap net a thousand yards or more away from the shore, and also the same distance away from any other herring or cod trap net which is set from the shore, he may take that unoccupied position a thousand yards distant without requiring first to get a license. We exempt him in those circumstances, and we exempt the Canadian in those circumstances, from the requirement to take a license.

The second modification was one that we assented to at once on the practical effect of the present regulation being pointed out. The present regulation requires the leader of any herring or trap net to extend in every case from the shore; and it was pointed out on the part of the United States that we at any rate questioned their right to land for the purpose of taking fish. They did not concede that our position in that regard was correct. But they pointed out to us that we took the position that they had no right to land on the shores, for instance, of the Magdalen islands, and they said: Sir ALLEN AYLESWORTH.

If your regulation as to trap nets, both for cod and for herring, requires that the leader shall in every case extend from tlie shore, how is our fisherman to plant his leader, his anchor? He cannot do it from the water, and your regulation therefore practically prohibits him from participating in that manner of fishing. We conceded the position without hesitation, and agreed to substitute for our present regulation in that regard a provision by which, if the leader of a cod trap or herring trap net extends from the shore, the fishery officer may determine, in writing or orally, the length of the leader that shall be used, leaving the regulation silent on the subject of trap nets set for cod or herring where the leader starts from a location below low water line, leaving, by implication, the right, to either a Canadian or a United States fisherman, to set a cod or herring trap net with a leader starting from a location, not on the shore, but below low water mark. With that modification the regulation in question was not further objected to.

Then the final change is the addition of a regulation applying equally to herring and cod trap nets, which the representatives of the United States asked for, and which seemed to us no more than their right. It will be remembered that under the terms of the treaty of 1818 the inhabitants of the United States are given liberty forever to take fish of every sort in these waters in common with British subjects. The use of the phrase ' in common with British subjects ' seems to imply equality of right on the part of such inhabitants of the United States as may choose to come to those fishing waters, to ply their avocation there under the like conditions in every respect as might apply to British subjects. In that view, it was said on the part of the United States last week that if we were intending to maintain our licensing system, and they were tacitly acquiescing in it, there ought to be a recognition on the face of our regulations that an inhabitant of the United States applying for a license from our government should receive it under the ordinary rules and regulations, and in the like circumstances, as would govern if a British subject applied for such a license. I think the likely effect of such a regulation being accepted by the United States, or of their fishermen taking our licenses, would be the clearest possible recognition on their part of our system and of its propriety; and in that view, there being no objection to this proposal frqm the standpoint of our fishermen, it seemed to me, looking at it from a lawyer's point of view, that it would be rather an advantage to Canada that it should be present in our regulations than that it should not. Accordingly, we have

assented, and add to our existing regulations this third provision in regard to cod and herring trap nets:

Upon any inhabitant of the United States fishing with trap nets in Canadian waters in the exercise of his liberties under the treaty of 1818, applying for a berth site under the licensing provisions, such a license shall be issued in the usual course for any unoccupied berth site selected by the applicant upon the payment of the regular fee, in consideration of the exclusive use of such site, subject to the usual rules and regulations. *

On our agreeing to make these three alterations in our existing regulations, a Minute was drawn up of the conferences of Friday and Saturday last by which Minute the understanding is recorded that in view of Canada s willingness to make these alterations, and in view of the present method of administering the Canadian laws and fishing regulations, the United States does noTat present press its objections as recorded before the tribunal in the protocol I have already referred to. The United States representatives stipulated, however, that they could not at the present time close finally with Canada in view of the fact that the regulations of Newfoundland were still under consideration and that if they now concluded any final agreement in regard to the Canadian prohibition of purse seining or Sunday fishing it might prejudice their position in further discussion of like regulations which obtained in Newfoundland. In view of that difficulty it was agreed that this settlement with Canada, while it was confidently expected on both sides that it will he permanent and final, should not prejudice the United States, if, in future, conditions should so change that it became necessary for them to renew any of these objections. The Minute accordingly reads:

The undersigned, having considered the best means of dealing with the objections referfed to, subject to the Minute of previous conferences signed January 12, have arrived at the following conclusion:-[DOT]

Having regard to the present method of administering the Canadian laws and fishery regulations and to certain amendments which Canada is willing to make therein and to the present state of the fisheries and conditions under which they are carried on and places of fishing, the United States does not press at present any of the objections referred to in protocol XXX. which relate to Canadian laws and fishery regulations, it being understood that the right of the United States to renew such objections is not thereby in any way prejudiced should conditions change.

The amendments which were agreed to are set out in the Minute and the parties present signed this memorandum. The result of the whole matter then is that upon these changes which I have described being made in our regulations the United States agrees to drop, for the present, at all events,

the litigation in which we were previously engaged. We have, by the arrangement agreed to with Newfoundland as well as with Canada, substituted a different means of disposing of these objections for the somewhat complicated and certainly expensive one which had been directed by the tribunal in September last, and we have, in so far as Canada is concerned, reached an agreement which will be final and permanent unless conditions change in the manner which I have tried to point out. It may be that conditions will so change and that some of these objections may at some future time be renewed. If that should be so we shall then be, at all events, no worse off than we are at present, or than we would be at present if this agreement had not been entered into. The probability that such a thing will take place is, I am sanguine to think, very remote. At the present time, at all events, those m charge of the administration of affairs in the United States express themselves as entirely satisfied. Misunderstandings with regard to the meaning and application of many of our regulations have been wholly removed by the thoroughly friendly and amicable discussion which took place last week, and I have to say with regard to the whole of the discussion that from beginning to end it was carried on in a manner which one would expect on the part of the representatives of a great and thoroughly friendly nation. The attitude of the representatives of the United States throughout was of a most reasonable character. I am satisfied that they most earnestly desired to reach, if it could be possible, a final settlement of these prolonged difficulties and on each side there was in every manner the desire manifested to put an end to these century-long troubles, to make concessions where concessions were necessary and to settle by friendly conference, if such a thing could be done, matters which otherwise would have to be litigated at great expense and at great length of time before the international tribunal which had been agreed upon. It is only due, it is only justice tc the representatives of the United States that I should pay to their sincerity, in the effort which they made to meet us in our unwillingness to modify onr regulations to any greater extent than possible, the tribute which I have sought to pay to-day and to found upon that belief my confidence in stating to this House that I think this arrangement has brought to a final end and determination all the difficulties which up to this time, at any rate, have presented themselves arising out of the fisheries treaty of ninety years ago.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL-FISHERIES REGULATIONS.
Permalink
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. GEO. E. FOSTER (North Toronto).

Mr. Speaker, I do not rise with the idea of debating the question, but there are two

or three remarks which I will make if I am permitted. One blot upon the award at the Hague, in my mind and indeed, I think, in the minds of Canadians generally was the extremely unsatisfactory position in which the matter of the fishery regulations of Canada and Newfoundland was left and the extremely costly and far-away tribunal, or double tribunal, which was arranged for the final disposition of these disputes if disputes should occur. I, for my part, after listening to my hon. friend the Minister of Justice (Sir Allen Aylesworth) in his very clear exposition of the matter this afternoon, am very glad indeed that at the present time it seems we are likely to escape from both of these great inconveniences. There is no reason in the wide world why two countries lying side by side with similar interests in a great many respects and similar ideals should not get very close together and arrange on business methods and on a business basis such details of a great question as arise out of the reasonableness of the regulations framed by Canada and Newfoundland.

The result of such a meeting seems to prove that there was nothing inherently difficult in having it brought about. To take into consideration whatever might have occurred in the future in the making of fishery regulations by Canada and Newfoundland, and to feel that to every one of these regulations the United States had a right to object, and that in order to get a final determination of it there must be an appeal to a mixed tribunal and afterwards to the main tribunal itself, opened up a vista of confusion, trouble, and vexation. If by this method of agreement that has been avoided for the present, that is so much gained. As the minister pointed out, the United States retains for itself the right to object even with reference to present regulations, and, of course, retains the right to object as to future regulations. But, if once we have come together and reached an understanding upon what exists, I think a very large part of the difficulty is removed. What can be done in one case and which is shown to be both convenient and inexpensive will very likely be followed in all cases which may come thereafter. I do not think there was anything inherently wrong in the position taken on these four points by Canada. I could not help but admire, however, the perspicacity of our representatives in Washington on one of these points, namely, with reference to the Sunday fishing. Now, a bluff, common man, you know, would have said to these people down there: The Lord's day must be held in honour and your fishermen ought to be at their prayers on Sunday instead of fishing. But, perspicacious and far-seeing gentlemen such as we had there Mr. FOSTER.

preferred to put the argument on different ground; a broad humanitarian principle applied to fisheries, a sort of piscatorial humanitarian basis. Instead of asking a day of rest, and often much needed, I think, for consideration and contemplation by those who pursue the fisheries, on the means of grace and of making their lives better, it was thought best in this case to base the appeal on the ground of humanity to the fishes. It may be that in the long course of evolution the cod and herring which abound on these coasts will come to understand what the seventh day means, and maybe they will show an appreciation of it which sometimes their more highly developed pursuers lack. However, the main thing is that, however, the argument was approached the result was obtained, and the fishes will have the advantage of that one day in seven of rest, in which they can recreate themselves and get up more vigour for the six days' fight with the nets which are their common and deadly menace. As far as the purse seine fishing is concerned, that, I think, has been properly settled, and I do not see how objection could be taken to a regulation of that kind. Boarding and searching has been also settled, which, I think, was perfectly proper, for I do not see how the law could have been carried out without that power. With reference to licenses, I am afraid I did not altogether catch the meaning of it. Do I understand that licenses are not required for either Canadians or Americans with reference to (a) and (b). Distances seem to have been set within which these nets should not come, and do I understand that regulation does away with the license in regard to the first and second of the three changes that were made? Under the third agreement the United States fisherman asks for a license and receives it on the same ground, other things being equal, as the Canadians. That leads me to think that in the other two cases the license is done away with entirely.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL-FISHERIES REGULATIONS.
Permalink
LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir ALLEN AYLESWORTH.

I am afraid I do not understand the question which the hon. gentleman has propounded well enough to answer it categorically, but possibly I can strike the difficulty by explaining exactly the position of the existing regulations. In our unamended regulation, as it stood last week, it was provided that fishing by means of herring trap nets without a license from the Minister of Marine and Fisheries is prohibited in the waters of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The same regulation exactly existed in regard to cod trap nets. The effect, therefore, was that no one could fish in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for either herring or cod by trap nets unless he had obtained a license from the minister. Now, the change that has been

agreed to with regard to such fishing is simply to make the regulation read: That such fishing by means of cod trap nets or herring trap nets without a license from the minister is prohibited in the waters of the gulf except at a distance of 1,000 yards-from shore or 1,000 yards from any similar nets set from the shore.

So that, if any Canadian or United States citizen can find a location where he can set such a trap net which would be both 1,000 yards from shore and 1,000 yards from any similar trap net he can do it without a license. That is the modification. Then, upon the other point, the unamended rule prior to last week was:-

That the leader of each herring or cod trap net shall in every case extend from the shore, and any fishery officer may determine in writing or orally the length of leader which shall be used.

The fee for license at so much per fathom depended on the length of the leader. Now the change made is to repeal that rule and substitute this one. If the leader of a cod or herring trap net extends from the shore, any fishery officer may determine, in writing or orally, the length of the leader which shall be used, implying that if it does not extend from the shore no such power is given the officer to determine the length and implying, also, that trap nets may now be set with a leader not extending from the 'shore, but from a point below low water mark.

As to the requirements for a license for such trap net, nothing special is provided. It will fall within the rule I have first read, namely that a license is always required except in the case of nets set 1,000 yards from the shore.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL-FISHERIES REGULATIONS.
Permalink
CON

George Eulas Foster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FOSTER.

That clears up that point, and it seems that with reference to trap nets at this distance and under those conditions, a license is not required, but I am not sufficiently expert to know whether that will interfere very much with the primary idea in licensing, to keep those vessels under proper regulation and control. I should imagine, however, that up to a certain point it would do so, but may not to a very large extent. There is one point upon which I could not get a very clear idea. The minister spoke of a commission board for Newfoundland and one for Canada, or a board made up of one appointee from each-I am not sure which -and that before this board, if diplomatic methods did not avail in bringing the parties to an agreement, the disputed points could be taken before being taken to the Fishery Commission. Is that view correct?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL-FISHERIES REGULATIONS.
Permalink
LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir ALLEN AYLESWORTH.

Confusion no doubt has arisen from the manner in which I stated the situation under the 64

award and the situation under the agreement of last week. The award directed that existing legislation be referred to a board of experts subject to an appeal to the full tribunal when that tribunal should be reconvened. The award also recommended, but it did not direct, that to dispose of any difficulties which might arise in the future at any time, the parties should agree to constitute two fixed, permanent commissions, each to be composed of one representative from the United States, one from Canada or Newfoundland, as the case might be, and a third neutral, and that such board should deal with future cases if any should arise, as a permanent and final board, without resort to the existing tribunal at all. That recommendation has not as yet been adopted. It has not as yet been considered probably by either country ; and so far as Canada is concerned, unless future difficulties should arise, or some of these past difficulties should be renewed, there never will be any necessity for constituting such a board at all. But if one ever should be constituted, its decisions will be final.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL-FISHERIES REGULATIONS.
Permalink
CON

John Waterhouse Daniel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DANIEL.

Am I correct in understanding that the advantage which the American fisherman would get from the amended regulations is that whereas formerly he was not given a license at all to fish with a trap net attached to the shore, now he is entitled to a license to engage in this form of fishing.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL-FISHERIES REGULATIONS.
Permalink
LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir ALLEN AYLESWORTH.

The provision with regard to the obtaining of a license by United States fishermen is quite distinct, that upon any American citizen applying for a berth site under the licensing provisions, such license shall be issued in the usual course for any unoccupied berth site selected by the applicant, subject to the usual rules and regulations. That is, he must go a certain distance away from an occupied berth. In a word, he must be put in exactly the same position as a British subject who applies for a license.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL-FISHERIES REGULATIONS.
Permalink
CON

John Waterhouse Daniel

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DANIEL.

Did he have that privilege formerly?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL-FISHERIES REGULATIONS.
Permalink
LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir ALLEN AYLESWORTH.

I scarcely know 'how to answer that question. I do not think there is any instance in which such a license has been given to any inhabitant of the United .States. I am not aware that any application for such a license was ever made; but as a matter of legal opinion, I would not hesitate to express my view that he was always entitled to it from the day the treaty was made just as much as a British subject.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL-FISHERIES REGULATIONS.
Permalink
CON

Adam Brown Crosby

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROSBY.

Is it the intention of the government to divide the interests of Canadian fishermen and those of Newfoundland

fishermen, and let each make the best arrangement they can, independent the one of the other?

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL-FISHERIES REGULATIONS.
Permalink
LIB

Allen Bristol Aylesworth (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Sir ALLEN AYLESWORTH.

There certainly was no intention on the part of either my colleague, Mr. Brodeur, or myself to desert Newfoundlandjn any way. On Thursday night last, when we had signed the agreement, to which, of course, Newfoundland is equally a party, substituting this new method, of dealing with existing objections for the method directed by the award, I thought and Mr. Brodeur thought, that it would be quite possible for Canada to settle, and we equally thought that there-was no likelihood of any present settlement so far as Newfoundland was concerned, and before doing anything further we sat down and discussed the situation fully with Sir Edward Morris and it was with his full concurrence and assent that Mr. Brodeur and I remained behind, he leaving for Newfoundland on Thursday evening, and we remaining in the hope that by resuming our conferences on Friday or Saturday we might be able to arrange matters so far as Canada was concerned. In that hope we have been successful. I do not think we have prejudiced Newfoundland in the least degree by what we have done, but hope we have rather helped Newfoundland to a similar settlement of its own difficulties. There has been no idea on our part of in any way deserting our sister colony should further difficulties arise in regard to which there is any necessity for joint action.

Topic:   QUESTIONS.
Subtopic:   THE HAGUE TRIBUNAL-FISHERIES REGULATIONS.
Permalink

January 19, 1911