January 20, 1911

LOAD LINES ON SHIPS.


Mr. LEWIS moved for leave to introduce Bill (No 98) respecting load lines on ships. He said: Mr. Speaker, in 1905 I introduced a Bill in reference to load lines on ships. Last session the Bill was referred to the Committee on (Marine and Fisheries. The committee objected to the Bill on one ground apparently, that it did not conform to the English Act. I have had this Bill drawn to conform exactly with the English Merchant Shipping Act of 1876, called the principal Act. The sections of this Bill are based on sections 25, 26, 27 and 28 of the English Act, and the wording of that Act is followed as closely as is consistent with the conditions. I can perhaps best explain the Bill by reading an editorial from the ' Globe ' of Toronto, which quotes from a paper at Vancouver. The 'Globe' says: The ' Globe/ Toronto, Friday, January 6, 1911.


A LOAD LINE NEEDED.


The wreck of the steamer ' St. Denis ' on the shore of Vancouver Island has called forth many protests against the tendency toward overloading, and many demands for stringent laws such as are associated in Britain with the name of the late Mr. Plimsoll. The Plim-soll line on a British vessel determines her summer load, her winter load, and her winter load in the North Atlantic, and no captain is allowed to clear if the iiae which designates his vessel's carrying capacity is submerged. On the Great Lakes there^ are frequent demands for load-line regulations, and it is notorious that many vessel owners take serious risks by overloading every season. Occasionally there is a disaster, and the matter after a brief discussion is forgotten. But there is a growing reaction against the indifference that risks and sometimes sacrifices lives for the gathering of profits. According to the Victoria ' Times/ the captain of the * St. Denis/ a young and ambitious officer, was eager to take a record cargo from the Vancouver mines to Central America. In spite of protests from experienced officers and seamen more cargo was crammed into the vessel's hold than she sould carry with safety through the storms of the Pacific. In the shelter of the straits of Georgia or Puget Sound such a load could have been taken with comparative safety. But in the storms of the open sea the vessel was helpless. Just how she foundered will never be known. Her twenty-one men are lost, and only the wreckage on shore gives any indication of where the disaster occurred. It is safe to conclude that with a proper load-liue regulation strictly enforced the vessel would have been prepared for all emergencies, and she and her crew would now he safe. It is onlv when disaster occurs that the evil of overloading can effectively be attacked. Scores of instances occur in which risks are taken and by fortunate accidents the trips are finished in safety. The profit and prestige of such achievements are temptations to repeat them. When the inevitable happens there is an outcry. This lamentable experience should not he wasted, hut should he held before the public until more efficient means are devised to prevent the sailing of unseaworthy I take it for granted that these facts are correct, coming from papers of such standing as these. There are many more instances which should cause this House to put on the statute-books _ of this country an Act covering the loading of vessels, especially in the winter. It is now. 35 years since Plimsoll passed his Shipping Act It took him eight years to accomplish that. This Bill has now been before this House for five years. I trust that this parliament will not require eight years to pass a Bill. Motion agreed to, and Bill read the first time. business of the house.


CON

Edward Norman Lewis

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LEWIS.

Might I point out to the Prime Minister that under the rules four days are allowed for public Bills and Orders, the first four Thursdays of the session. The first Thursday was taken up by the opening of the House, the second and third by the Address, and the

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LIB

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

last Thursday by a public holiday, leaving; no day on which public orders would have precedence. There are many Bills important to and in the interest of the people thus held back. Could the minister set -aside a day on which public Bills would have precedence?

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

I would have to look into the matter. Of course if that were the general wish of the House, it would be my duty to comply with that wish.

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INQUIRIES FOR RETURNS.

CON

Uriah Wilson

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILSON (Lennox).

I would call the attention of the Minister of Public Works to the fact that a good many of the letters in a return which was brought down at my request relating to dredging in the Napanee river, are transmitted by Mr. Warburton. I do not see how Mr. Warburton could transmit these letters to the department without writing, and I would like to have his letters produced.

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LIB
CON

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. ARMSTRONG.

I desire to ask when I may expect a return ordered by this House on December 15, 1909, with reference to a government weir at the port of Montreal?

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RECIPROCITY NEGOTIATIONS AT WASHINGTON.

CON

George Halsey Perley

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. PERLEY.

There is a report in the press that a draft of the proposed trade reciprocity treaty that is being negotiated at Washington between representatives of the Canadian and United States governments, has been forwarded to Ottawa for consideration. Will the Prime Minister say if that report is correct?

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

That report is premature.

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SUPPLY-CLOTHING OF DISCHARGED CONVICTS.


Sir WILFRID LAURIER moved that the House go into Committee of Supply.


LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

Before this motion is put I desire -again to call the attention of the government to a matter referred to by the Minister of Justice yesterday, when I did not happen to be present. The Kingston ' Standard ' stated some day last week that more than one prisoner had been released from the Kingston penitentiary without sufficient clothing for this season of the year. With regard to the particular case referred to as having been deported to the United States, I happened to be on the same train with the officer who was taking that ex-convict to Ogdensburg for deportation; and he assured me that the ex-convict 66

was not provided with any overcoat. I want to draw the attention of the Minister of Justice to a statement which he made, referring to this matter yesterday. He said, in laying the facts before the House in regard to this particular case, that he thought the substance of it ought to be made public in justice to the warden. Now one would naturally infer from that language that any prisoner leaving the penitentiary without an overcoat, or leaving in the condition described the other day, was -an isolated case, that in fact the warden would have instructions to provide the prisoners with clothing sufficient for this time of the year; and I take it for granted that in order to have sufficient clothing for this time of the year every man going out now should have an overcoat. I notice that all the members of parliament coming into this House think it necessary to have an overcoat, consequently it seems to be considered a necessary part of clothing at this time. But the particular case I referred to of the prisoner being deported was not an isolated one. A few days later an ex-convict whose home was in the province of Ontario left that institution without any overcoat, and with the thermometer on that day registering ten or twelve degrees below zero. Now I desire to place on the ' Hansard ' a letter I received this morning from a gentleman who is in a position to speak with regard to this matter. The letter is dated Montreal, January 19, and is addressed to myself:

I desire to thank you personally for drawing attention in parliament to the need of more clothing for discharged prisoners from the Dominion penitentiaries in mid-winter. I have been working with released prisoners from the various jails and penitentiaries for sixteen years, and it has been the rule to discharge men in mid-winter without an overcoat during the whole of that time, from the Dominion penitentiaries. The Prisoners' Aid Association of Montreal have written on various occasions to the Minister of Justice, mostly I think when the Hon. Chas. Fitzpatrick was minister, but were generally put off with some excuse from a minor official. Perhaps some time, if needed, I could give you more particulars, but I can state positively that I myself, on different occasions, have purchased twenty or thirty overcoats for men discharged from St. Vincent de Paul penitentiary in winter.

Yours sincerely,

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JAMES ELLIOTT.


Sec'y, Montreal Prisoners' Aid Assn. Now I say this letter, in addition to the facts which have come to the notice of people living in the city of Kingston, very near the penitentiary, should be sufficient to cause this government to take action, and to prevent this sort of thing from occurring in the future. I am informed that the guards at the Kingston penitentiary are during this bitter weather pacing up and


January 20, 1911