March 14, 1911

LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

Very likely.

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LIB

Morley Currie

Liberal

Mr. CURRIE (Simcoe).

The Red River expedition is unique in the history of British expeditionary forces. It is doubtful if history affords an example of a more difficult expedition into an unknown country. The transportation of the expedition was handled by Canadian voyageurs. Possibly 30 or 40 of these men are still living. They went through with the Canadian militia; thev not only took the volunteers from Ontario, hut they also took the British army through. They never lost a man, and they carried the_ provisions with them for hundreds of miles as any one knows who has studied the history of that expedition. Had the same rule applied then as that which applies now these men would all have been enlisted as Army Service Corps men. The minister knows that that unit was added previous to the South African war to the British army and was adopted in Canada. These men would have been forced to bear arms and they were supposed to bear arms all through the expedition. They handled the column which had in charge the transport of the force and their supplies and they did the work well. A great many of them were white men and many of them were residents of the province from which I have the honour to come. I think that if there is any class in a community who have added lustre to Canadian arms it was Mr. BOYCE.

these men, and in view of the fact that the volunteers of a later day who served in a similar capacity in a foreign country have been rewarded with grants of land these members of the force in charge of transportation, and who carried their work on so successfully under the military law should receive the same consideration as their fellow Canadians. I think it is not too late yet for the department to take this question up. Very many of these men have passed away. A few of them are still living and some in such circumstances that a grant of this kind would be of very great value to them. I have one or two in my riding and I know of a few others. Possibly there would not now be more than 50 or 60 survivors of that force. I think the minister will see the strength of the argument I make. These men went from Canada to do exactly what these others did in South Africa-to serve with the transport column, for which the latter received grants of land from the Canadian government. These men, although the regulations with regard to the Army Service Corps were not in force in those days under that name, placed themselves under the military law, and they should be entitled now at this late date to some consideration. I hope the minister will consider it at a very early opportunity and do something for them.

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LIB

Frederick William Borden (Minister of Militia and Defence)

Liberal

Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.

I do not think, Mr. Speaker, that the cases are quite analagous, although I admit there is a similarity. It seems to me that the work done by the voyageurs was more like work that would be done by transportation lines, and there were absolutely no transportation lines at that time in that part of the country. Had the voyageurs been enlisted, of course, they would have been paid and would have received the grant of land. Evidently they did not wish to be enlisted, and so they probably received verv high pay and did so from preference. Besides that, while it is true that the Army Service Corps, so called, has been organized of late years, nevertheless there are always, or very often, men hired by the corps to do work who are not soldiers and so, to a certain extent, a considerable number of these men might have been, even had there been an Army Service Corps in existence at that time, engaged as ordinary employees. However, I think the suggestion that mv hon. friend makes is worth looking into, and I shall be very glad to look up the history in connection with that expedition.

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ANNEXATION OF BERMUDA.

L-C

Samuel Hughes

Liberal-Conservative

Mr. HUGHES.

Mr. Speaker, I desire to ask the right hon. the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) if he has received any intimation that the legislature of Bermuda has passed a resolution in favour of annex-

ation with Canada, and if so what is his intention in regard to the matter?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER.

No communication has been received by us on the subject and therefore no conclusion has been formed upon it.

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FISHERIES ON THE GREAT LAKES.

CON

Oliver James Wilcox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILCOX.

Mr. Speaker, I desire to bring to the attention of the government and more especially to the attention of my right hon. friend the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) and my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Bro-deur) a matter which I think is of considerable importance, a matter which at the present time is agitating the minds of a large portion of the population in that part of the province of Ontario from which I come. I had arranged with my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries to bring this matter before the House yesterday, but to suit my hon. friend's convenience; I postponed it until to-day. It was my intention to deal with this subject at much greater length than I intend to today, for I intended to speak upon the administration of the fisheries on the Great Lakes. But for the reason that a number of my friends who wish to take part in the discussion this afternoon, have kindly consented to my preceding them, I have decided to speak upon the subject as it affects the riding which I have the honour to represent in this House. The question arisen out of what is known as ' a system of uniform and common international regulations for the protection and preservation of food fishes in the international boundary waters of Canada and the United States,' and on the 11th of April, 1908 a treaty was signed in Washington a copy of which is found in the fisheries report of 1910. The title of that treaty as given here is:

A treaty between Great Britain and the United States concerning the fisheries in the waters contiguous to the Dominion of Canada and the United States, signed at Washington on the Uth April, 1908.

Article 2 of that treaty reads:

And it shall be the duty of the International Fisheries Commission within six months after being named to prepare a system of uniform and common international regulations for the protection and preservation of food fishes in each of the waters described.

Article 4 describes particular waters over which the commission shall have jurisdiction, and I take particular exception to the regulations which forbid the carrying on of commercial fishing in the Detroit river. Article 4 of the treaty does not mention the Detroit river itself, although it does describe a number of lakes and rivers and

streams that constitute the international boundary line between the United States and Canada, but it does say:

And such other contiguous waters as may be recommended by the International Fisheries Commission.

By an OTder in council of date 29th May, 1909, Professor Prince, of the Fisheries Department was appointed a commissioner, with full power and jurisdiction on the part of Canada, to make these regulations, and clause 44 of the regulations provides that no nets of any sort shall, for commercial fishing, be used in the Detroit river. So, Mr. Speaker, when these regulations are brought into force, the fishermen on the Detroit river will be deprived of that right which they and their forefathers have enjoyed for 200 years. It does seem to me, unless there is some very good reason to the contrary, that such a course should not be pursued by this government. I. may say for the benefit of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries that the policy which his government is pursuing in respect to the fishermen on the Detroit river, is very different from that laid down by the supporters of his political party when the Liberals were in opposition. In 1895 there were regulations agreed to by the then Minister of Marine and Fisheries in the Conservative government, which regulations provided that for five weeks in the year there should be a close season on the Detroit river, and Mr. William Macgregor, who then represented North Essex spoke in this House, on the 5th of July, 1895, and used these words:

We feel that our people having invested a very large amount of money in the purchase of plant for fishing purposes and then being deprived of the fish are obliged to suffer a great loss. They have not only invested in the land but they have cleared the rivers for the purposes of fishing, and the fact that they have not been able to utilize their means of livelihood has left many of them in debt. They have lost their boats and their docks and many other investments they have made all on account of the extraordinary and ruinous policy of the government of Sir Charles Tapper. Sir Charles Tupper said, 'Canada for the Canadians'; but, Sir, the Hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries has said, 'Canada for the Americans.' It is against the laws of Canada for a Canadian to have white sh in his possession during the close season, ut the government come along and take large quantities of the white fish for the ova, and the fish being killed in the process are sold to the Americans. The Canadians who lived there so long and who enjoyed the fishing formerly, are not nermitted to buy their fish even from our Canadian government; the Americans have that privilege, and we feel that to be a great grievance. Talk about the Czar of Russia and his severity to the Russian Tews. Sir, no Czar of Russia ever treated the Russian .Tews as the neopie of Essex have been tieated by these fishery laws.

That is a citation from a speech delivered by Mr. Macgregor who represented North Essex when a regulation was being put in force only asking the fishermen to cease their operations during the month of November, and for a week or two in October, but to-day by these regulations of which I complain, for twelve months in the year the fishermen will be deprived of carrying on their operations in that river. What is meant by ' a system of uniform and common international regulations '? It is not reciprocal in trade, but it certainly is reciprocal in regulations. Two nations have agreed to a condition that is supposed to work out to the equal advantage of the fishermen on both sides of that river, a term in economics applied to international relationship where two nations mutually agree to a condition that works with equality. Now, what are the conditions which exist in applying these regulations to the fishermen on the Detroit river? There is on the American side, a great city, with a population of half a million people last census, and land has become so dear, that the fishermen cannot buy land to carry on their .operations on the American side, and they are not to-day fishing on the American side.

But this compels 20 fish stations, with 150 fishermen engaged and some $20,000 invested by them, to give up rights which they and their forefathers have enjoyed for the last 150 or 200 years on

the Canadian side of that river. Let me say to the Prime Minister that that is not fair to those fishermen. They have rights there that ought to be protected. As far as I have been able to ascertain there is no excuse whatever for adopting a regulation which will deprive those people of their rights to carry on their operations on the river. To the mind of some expert in the department, there might be some reason; but I want to say to the Prime Minister, that Professor Prince, who is at the head of the Fisheries Department, does not understand the conditions that exist in the Detroit river. I have here one of his reports, and I am going to read it to my right hon. friend. It is a report made in 1904, when Professor Prince was sent to investigate the conditions among the fishermen on the Detroit river. It is contained in volume 9 of the Sessional Papers of 1904, and is headed, ' Whitefish Close Season on the Detroit River,' and says:

Detroit, it may be mentioned, has one of the greatest fish markets on the continent.

Allow me to interject here that under the trade arrangement which my right hon. friend has entered into with the United States, fish will be free. At the same time, under these fishing regulations our fisher-Mr. WILCOX.

men will be deprived of the right to fish in the Detroit river; therefore the benefits, if any, that would accrue from that free market, will not be for our fishermen who have carried on their operations in the Detroit river for so many years. Professor Prince goes on to say:

And the view that prevails there is entirely in favour of the Canadian policy.

The Canadian policy was five weeks of close season. He continues:

The Canadian side is and always has been the chief resort for the whitefish. . . . Parent fish in rivers and lacustrine waters when ascending to the spawning grounds always take the most direct course and are not easily turned aside, as experienced fishermen are well aware. No more erroneous idea could be entertained than the supposition that white-fish wander aimlessly hither and thither from one side of a river or lake to the other. In these waters, as in other waters, it is certainly not the case that the schools of breeding fish deviate from their usual course and cross from side to side so that fish caught by American fishermen during our close season would be caught by Canadians were they permitted to fish at that time.

The position taken by Professor Prince is that the whitefish in the Detroit river came up from Lake St. Clair, that they keep on the Canadian side of the river, which is 3,000 or 4,000 feet wide, and not more * than a mile at any point, and the whitefish will not cross the international boundary line and go to the other side. Upon this mistaken idea my right hon. friend's officer and his department have bpen making regulations and with this idea Professor Prince goes to Washington; and for some reason that I am unable to ascertain-for the Detroit river was not mentioned in the treaty-he agreed that

from the day my right hon. friend

stamps his approval upon these regulations, henceforth and forever, while-they are in force, the fishermen of thg Detroit river must stand back with their arms folded and not any more carry on commercial fishing in that river. This-treaty was signed in Washington on the 11th of April, 1908, and these regulations were signed on the 29th of May, 1909.

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Subtopic:   FISHERIES ON THE GREAT LAKES.
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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of the Naval Service; Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

Do I understand my hon. friend to say that the Detroit river was not included in the treaty?

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CON

Oliver James Wilcox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILCOX.

I understand that the name of the Detroit river is not included in the treaty; but there is a clause which, after mentioning a number of rivers and streams that the treaty does cover, goes on to say: 'and such other contiguous waters as may be recommended.' The Detroit river might be included under the conditions of the treaty; but I take it that the United States government and the gov-

eminent of Great Britain thought that the Detroit river was so insignificant, not as a navigable stream, not for its lack of beauty, but on account of the few fish that were caught in it, that it was not worthy of mention. Professor Prince or the commissioner who might be appointed, was simply given poweT to take in any stream that he might consider advisable; and the Detroit river is one that Professor Prince jumped on as a foxhound would jump on a rabbit.

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of the Naval Service; Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

I think my hon. friend is mistaken. Subsection 9 of the article he has read states that the waters connecting Lake Erie and Lake Huron, including Lake St. Clair, are embodied in the treaty.

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CON

Oliver James Wilcox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILCOX.

My hon. friend would ;ake it that those waters mean the Detroit river.

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of the Naval Service; Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

Certainly.

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CON

Oliver James Wilcox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILCOX.

Well, probably they do; but it would be reasonable to .assume that the commissioners did not consider the Detroit river as important as Lake Ontario or the Niagara river, or they would have distinctly mentioned ' it. Now, the treaty has been negotiated and the regulations have been signed, but they are awaiting the stamp _ of my right hon. friend the Prime Minister before they can be brought into operation. After the regulations were signed there were nine months or more, before I came to represent the riding of North Essex in this House. I brought this matter to the attention of the government on the 4th of May last year. But at that time my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Brodeur) .was not able, on account of illness, to be in the House. However the Bill was passed and clause 15 provides:

The Governor in Council may, by proclamation, bring into force the international regulations prepared by the International Fishery Commission appointed under the treaty signed at Washington on the 11th April, 1908, between Great Britain and the United States concerning the fisheries in waters contiguous to Canada and the United States.

The second section of clause 15 provides:

The Governor in Council may make regulations to secure the due enforcement of the international regulations, may prescribe penalties for the violation of such regulations or of the international regulations, but no such penalty shall exceed the sum of $1,000 and costs or in default of payment imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months, or in the case of a continued offence, the sum of $20 and costs for each day the offence continues.

So that, under these regulations, my right hon. friend the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) may cause to be issued a proclamation which will have this effect, that

my French Canadian friends, who are the chief fishermen in the riding of North Essex, who have been permitted that liberty so many years, should they violate the provisions of those regulations, one or two or half a dozen of those forty men appointed recently will be looking after them, they will be summoned to coiirt, and the penalty prescribed by those regulations will be meted out. Therefore, I would ask the government to give this matter their most serious consideration before they bring down any such regulations.

There is another matter I desire to speak upon, and it is this. I refer to the necessity of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Brodeur) taking the eggs of those white fish and using them for propagation. It is shown in the reports that whitefish in those lakes and streams are decreasing greatly. In fact, the commissioners, who agreed upon those regulations, have agreed that it is of the utmost importance that the eggs of the whitefish should be taken and placed in hatcheries and the fry deposited in the lakes. I have here the bulletin promoting whitefish product in the Great Lakes, published by the American commissioners. On page 681, I find it deals with this as follows:

In studying the relation of the plant of whitefish fry to the catch, it is found that in those lakes or parts of lakes where there has been a large and extensive plant of whitefish fry (30,000 per square mile), there has been a correlated increase in the catch of whitefish (72 per cent); in those lakes or parts of lakes in which there has been a moderate plant of whitefish fry (10,000 per square mile), there has been a slight increase in the catch of whitefish, or the catch has remained nearly constant; and in those lakes or parts of lakes in which there has been a small plant of whitefish fry (2,000 per square mile) or no plant, there has been a reduction in the catch of whitefish (26 per cent).

The collecting of eggs from the whitefish and placing them in the hatcheries would not be such a difficult task. Then we could have the young fry thrown into the lakes. From every authority I have been able to secure, that would be the proper course for the government to pursue. The whitefish caught, according to the Teport of 1910, amounted to:

Lbs.

Lake St. Clair 29,575

Detroit river 24,325

Lake Erie 826,189

Lake Ontario 773,397

In light waters 6,880

Total production, as shown by the report 1909-10, was.. .. 1,660,366

From that report I gathered the information that a whitefish will weigh on an average 3 lbs. This would represent simply, by dividing three into the total number of

pounds, 553,451 fish taken out of those lakes in 1910. An authority upon the point informed me that one-half of the fish taken [DOT]would be shiners and would be capable of depositing the usual number of eggs. 553,445 fish taken out of those waters would leave 276,727 fish, capable of depositing their usual number of eggs. I find from the reports of my hon. friend's department that a fish weighing three pounds has a capacity of depositing 30,000 eggs; one weighing three and one-half pounds,

30.000 to 35,000 eggs; and one weighing four pounds can deposit 30,000 to 40,000 eggs. We will suppose that the average fish weighed three pounds capable of depositing

30.000 eggs in those waters. Multiplying

30.000 by the number of fish which we consider capable of depositing that number of eggs, and we have 8,301,814,000 eggs taken from those waters that year. What has the minister of marine done to replenish those waters and make good that loss? I find that 79,000,000 fry were placed in those waters, according to the reports of last year. 8,120,200,000 eggs were taken from those waters which were not replaced. My hon. friend cannot farm the waters in that way. He should collect the eggs and build hatcheries. I understand that we have only one or two hatcheries in Ontario today, vet it is of the utmost importance that the government should add to the number.

There is one at Sandwich. There should be one on Lake Erie; there should be one on Lake Ontario; there should be one at Owen Sound. Consult the reports and you will find that the catch of whitefish in Georgian bay has decreased by hundreds of thousands of pounds in the last few years, but in Lake Erie, where the young white-fish fry have been released from the hatchery at Sandwich, the catch has increased within a few years by four hundred per cent. These facts seem to establish beyond a shadow of doubt the necessity and importance of these hatcheries.

Now, in conclusion-and I have spoken longer than I intended-let me say that if my right hon. friend would establish a hatchery on Lake Erie, would allow the fishermen of Lake Erie to collect the eggs and release the young fish into the lakes; and if he would send his officers to collect the eggs from the fish as they are caught by the fishermen and place these eggs in the Sandwich hatchery, and so set the fishermen of North Essex free from this notorious regulation, he would have much better results. He would not be depriving the fishermen of the rights they have enjoyed for so many years. So, I submit, from the evidence I get from the fishermen-and I am very well acquainted with a number of them-they were given to understand, when the original regulations to which I have referred were brought in, that they were only supposed to give up the right for five weeks Mr. WILCOX.

in the year, and even this was considered by my right hon. friend's supporters, Hon. Mr. McGregor and Hon. Mr. Sutherland, as. a most notorious thing. What can we expect they will say when they are deprived for the whole twelve months of the year of the right of carrying on their operations?

I submit these facts to my right hon. friend-, and ask the government to give the matter their best consideration. And I want to say to the Prime Minister (Sir Wilfrid Laurier) that I am not actuated by any political motive in bringing this matter to his attention. I have a real interest in my constituents. I feel that I am the medium through which they speak in this House, and that I should be derelict in my duty if I allowed him to secure approval of these regulations without telling him he was doing wrong. I can remember the occasions when the right hon. gentleman came to North Essex. And I can tell him that he never did come to North Essex but I did him the honour to come out and hear what he said. I can remember the beautiful sentences he uttered-no doubt he can remember them, too. ' There is nothing so dear or sweet to the heart of a man as the land of his birth.' That is a beautiful sentence- that inspired us Canadians in North Essex, and it was one of those with which he appealed to his fellow-countrymen in Tilbury in 1908, to give him one more turn to finish his work. I was sitting only four seats away from him at the time. Little did I think that one of the works that he expected to finish was to deprive my fellow-countrymen and hi3 compatriots of the right, which to them is sacred, of carrying on their fishing operations in that great Detroit river.

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Subtopic:   FISHERIES ON THE GREAT LAKES.
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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of the Naval Service; Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. L. P. BRODEUR (Minister of Marine and Fisheries).

My hon. friend from North Essex (Mr. Wilcox) was kind enough to advise me that he was going to introduce this question yesterday. He said there had been some arrangement made by us previous to yesterday. That is right to some extent, but yesterday we made an arrangement that the matter should be discussed to-day. So, my first word should be a grateful acknowledgment of the kindness of my hon. friend in advising me that he was going to discuss this question of the international regulations concerning the Detroit river. My hon. friend finds fault with one part of the regulations made under the treaty. But he forgets, I think, the great importance to Canada of having a treaty on this subject with the United States. Before this treaty was made-and, unfortunately, it is not yet in force, but I expect it will be in force very soon-while our regulations were passed and carried out by the Dominion government, so that we had one policy applying to the fisheries whether in the maritime provinces or in the great lakes, unfortunately this system did not

exist on the United States side. On the contrary, the regulations on the United States side were under the control of the several states interested. On the Pacific coast, where our fisheries are extensive and valuable, we had to deal with the state of Washington; on the great lakes we had to reckon with regulations made by Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York; in the province of Quebec, in regard to the fisheries of Lake Memphremagog and Lake Champlain, we were affected by the regulations of the states of New York, Vermont and New Hampshire; and as to the fisheries by the sea, regulations were made by the state of Maine. Each state has its own policy and its own ways of dealing with the fisheries. In some states the regulations passed were enforced, and in others they were not. The result was that any efforts we made on the Canadian side to enforce our regulations or protect the fisheries were handicapped. For years and years the question was discussed and agitation carried on on both sides of the line in favour of an agreement by which all the fisheries regulations should be controlled by the same authority. After a long agitation and negotiation, in which we had the co-operation not only of the Canadian people as a whole but of many on the United States side, we succeeded at last in arranging a treaty which has been called the Boundary Waters Fisheries treaty, which was signed on the 11th April, 1908, by Mr. Bryce and Mr. Root.

This treaty provided for the appointment of two commissioners, one by the British authorities and the other by the United States authorities. The British authorities were kind enough to leave the nomination in our hands and we nominated Professor Prince. The Americans appointed Dr. Starr Jordan of the State of California. I do not think it is necessary for me to say anything with regard to the reputation or to maintain the standing of Professor Prince. He has enjoyed a high reputation in the administration of our Canadian fisheries. He is certainly one of the ablest men we have had in Canada and one who knows most concerning our fisheries, and we thought we could not appoint a better man to frame those regulations than the man who had been connected with the administration of the fisheries for a great number of years, who knew exactly the situation in all parts of the country, and who, at the same time, had had an opportunity on different occasions to acquire not only a general knowledge with regard to the fisheries, but also particular knowledge by the fact that he was appointed a commissioner in several instances. I would be sorry to hear that there is any member of this House who fears that in Professor Prince we have not one of the best men we

- [DOT] * -

could secure to fill the position of commissioner under that treaty.

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CON

Oliver James Wilcox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILCOX.

I do not want to be understood as disputing the ability of Professor Prince, but I do think he does not understand the conditions that exist in the Detroit river.

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of the Naval Service; Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

I am sorry to differ from my hon. friend in that respect. Professor Prince knew exactly the conditions in the Detroit river. In the years just preceding his appointment he had been investigating the Georgian Bay fisheries, the North Channel fisheries, and also, at the request, if I remember aright, of a great number of fishermen, some of whom may have come from Essex he was appointed to investigate the fisheries in Lake Erie. Consequently I think he was very well informed as to the nature of the fisheries in that locality, and was as competent as any one else to give a good sound judgment upon the fisheries and their extent in those different waters. Outside of that I may perhaps recall to my hon. friend who I know does not wish to throw any party politics into this question, the fact that some years ago an investigation was made by the Canadian authorities on that question of the Detroit river. In 1892 or 1893, under the Conservative government,

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Subtopic:   FISHERIES ON THE GREAT LAKES.
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CON

Oliver James Wilcox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILCOX.

Is it not a fact that the Hon. Mr. Sutherland, who represented North Essex, and Mr. Wolfe came here in 1908 and asked that the fishermen be released from this regulation, and the department promised to release them and did not do it?

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LIB

Louis-Philippe Brodeur (Minister of the Naval Service; Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRODEUR.

I do not remember exactly to what my hon. friend refers. I shall come later to discuss that phase of the question. I was referring to what had been done by the previous government and trying to show to my hon. friend that in the selection of Professor Prince we have not only appointed a man well versed with respect t-o the question of fisheries generally, but a man acquainted with the particular situation of the fisheries in the Detroit river, who had at his disposal information which was in the department with respect to these fisheries.

In 1893 efforts were made to investigate the Detroit river. A commission was appointed consisting of Dr. Wakeham apd Mr. Rathbun. I do not know Mr. Rathbun, but I know Dr. Wakeham very well. Dr. Wakeham has been connected with the administration of the fisheries for a great many years, he has had a great deal of experience, a great deal of knowledge, and no better man could be appointed for the purpose of making an inquiry into the fisheries. After visiting the Detroit river Commander Wakeham said, when dealing with the question of Canadians not being al-

lowed to fish when commercial operations were being conducted on the opposite side of the line:

At first thought, this may seem to some unreasonable; but when it is known that in most places where our waters join those of the United States, the fisheries on thfe Canadian side are not depleted to anything like the same extent as on the United States side, it is well to consider why this is so, and if we do we must admit that the reason is that the wise restrictions imposed by the department have prevented our fisheries from being exhausted to the same extent that they are on the other side. No thoughtful fisherman considers the absence of regulations on the United States side as wise and prudent. In view of this, I think it behooves us to look sharply after our Fishery Regulations, and the chief of these must be the close season during the spawning period.

We had at that time a situation as follows: On one side of the Detroit river, on the American side, there were no fisheries, the fisheries had been exhausted. Why? Because there was no close season. In this part of the Detroit river the fish of Lake Erie and Lake Huron come and spawn, that is the spawning ground of this lake and the authorities of the State of Michigan were in the habit of letting their fishermen go and fish there during the spawning season. Is there anything more contrary to the interests of the fishermen than that during the spawning period we should allow netting operations? My hon. friend after giving the matter more serious thought and consideration will agree with me that if the fisheries have been destroyed on the American side it is certainly due to the fact that there was no close season under their regulations. How was it on our side? My hon. friend has referred to the fact that, on the Detroit side there is a city of

500,000 and people could not fish there. That is true as far as the city of Detroit is concerned, but as my hon. friend knows the Detroit river is many miles in length. Below the city of Detroit on the American side there were good fishing grounds at one time. Why were they depleted? Because the state authorities of Michigan allowed their fishermen to fish there during the spawning season. The former government in issuing regulations provided for a strict close season which amounted practically to prohibition, although, it was not total prohibition.

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   FISHERIES ON THE GREAT LAKES.
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CON

Oliver James Wilcox

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. WILCOX.

During what portion of the year was the restriction in force?

Topic:   WAYS AND MEANS-GRANTS TO VETERANS.
Subtopic:   FISHERIES ON THE GREAT LAKES.
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March 14, 1911