HAZEN (Minister of Marine and Fisheries), moved that the House go into committee to consider the following resolution;
Resolved, that it is expedient to amend the Canada Shipping Act by providing (a) that certificates shall not be required for masters and mates upon sailing ships of not more than one hundred tons, registered tonnage, propelled by auxiliary power other than steam, employed partly in fishing and partly in the carriage of freight; and (b) that the Minister of Marine and Fisheries may fix the fee for replacing lost certificates.
He said; The principal necessity for this change in the shipping act arises out of the very great change which has taken place of late years with regard to the way in which the fishing industry is conducted. To-day nearly all the fishing vessels on the Atlantic coast and, to some extent, on the lakes and the Pacific coast as well, are propelled, not alone by sail, as was the case in days gone by, but by auxiliary power furnished by gasolene engines and nearly all of these vessels are being operated in violation of the present law because the law requires that vessels of over ten tons shall have properly certificated engineers. As the law stands it would be a very great hardship upon the fishermen, who find that the auxiliary power afforded to them by the gasolene engine, is of very great assistance enabling them to make their runs to and from the fishing grounds with a great deal more certainty and with a great deal, less labour than was the case when they depended upon sails and upon the wind alone. In addition to that there is no such number of certificated engineers, even if the fishermen were able to pay them for their services, to be obtained as would be necessary for the purpose of serving as engineers on board these boats. The proposed amendment to sec. 100 of the Canada Shipping Act consists of the addition of the following words to the law as it exists to-day:
Or to sailing ships of not more than one hundred tons, registered tonnage, propelled by auxiliary power, other than steam, employed partly in fishing and partly in the carriage of freight. 1
The reason for the amendment is that many of these auxiliary propelled ships are not employed solely in fishing. If they were, they would be exempt under the present law from having to have a certificated master in charge. They engage in fishing for three, six, or nine months only, and after that they carry cargo between the small ports in the maritime provinces.
Without the installation, of the gasolene engine, sailing boats are also exempt from the provisions requiring a certificated master to be in charge, if they are under 150 tons registered tonnage. (See section 5 of Chap. 65, Statutes 1903, raising such tonnage limit from 100 to 150 tons). But the usual custom to-day is to install a small gasolene engine in boats which are to all intents and purposes sailing boats so as to aid their movements in calm weather. As soon as a gasolene engine is put in they become steamships under the provisions of section 743 of the Imperial Merchant Shipping Act, which reads as follows:
743. Any previsions of this Aat applying to steamers or steamships shall apply to ships 164
propelled hy electricity or other mechanical power with such modifications as the Board of Trade may (prescribe for the purpose of adaptation.
The board of trade have advised the Department of Marine and Fisheries that it is their practice to classify gasolene propelled vessels as steamers, The reason why reference is made in this matter to the Imperial Merchant Shipping Act instead of to the Canada Shipping Act, is that the Canadian Act is silent in part 1, which relates to registration of shipping, as regards such ships. The department is advised that, in these circumstances, the provisions of the Imperial Act would govern. Unless, therefore, some provision is made to exempt these sailing Vessels with their small gasolene engines on board from the operation of Part II of the Canada Shipping Act, every one of them will require, under section 96 of the Canada Shipping Act to have a certified master in charge. There were 4,588 boats with gasolene engines engaged in the fisheries of Canada in 191011, (See answer in ' Hansard,' February 8, 1912, page 2722).
Unless some relief such as is proposed is given, these boats must either lay up when not employed in fishing, or if they engage in the cargo carrying business they must obtain a certified master. It is unnecessary to say that there is no such number of certified masters in the maritime provinces waiting employment. It is bad in principle to keep a provision in the law which it is out of the power of the people to comply with. The owners of these auxiliary sailing vessels could, of course, take out the gasolene engines and so bring themselves under the provisions of section 96 of the Canada Shipping Act which entitles sailing ships up to 150 tons registered tonnage to ply in Canadian waters or to 80 tons on a coasting voyage, (which voyage is defined in section 72 of the Act-and extends south as far as five degrees north latitude), without a certified master. But to remove these gasolene engines would be a retrograde movement, and the shipowners would naturally be opposed to any such step. '
The department has been asked to amend the law so as to meet the present day conditions. There is on file in the department a petition for such legislation. It is very numerously signed. It reads as follows:
To the Honourable the (Minister of Marine and Fisheries:
The petition of the undersigned owners of sailing vessels equipped with gasolene auxiliary power respectfully represents-
(1) The tonnage of the vessels in which we are interested, and tile horse-power of the engines and speed developed by same is set opposite our respective names signed hereto.
(2) Said vessels are equipped with auxiliary power for the following reasons: (a) To enable
those operating them to hare them under better control when entering harbours during light airs; (b) To expedite movements from dock to dock when in harbour, and save cost of towing; (c) To keep vessels in motion, and under steerage way in calm weather when on voyage from port to port, and thereby shorten the duration of voyage when fares carried consist of perishable commodities such as fresh fish; and (d) to supply in some measure a port to port service to aid in marketing commodities largely owned hy the operators of said vessels, rendered necessary owing to lack of other available means of transportation, thus enabling those engaged in the fresh fishing or carrying trade to market their fares in as prime condition as possible.
The regulations of the Department of Marine and Fisheries requiring the employment upon said auxiliary crafts of passed masters and engineers are burdensome and oppressive for the following reasons:-
(1) It would add seriously to the expense of operating, as they would have to be paid much higher wages than the ordinary men employed. (2) There are no such men available at present; and if there were any we would he unable to hire them, as we can make our vessels pay only by running them with ordinary men. (3) Men who have passed for steam engineers are not thereby qualified to run gasolene engines as they are so different. (4) Seventy-five per cent of the goods carried is owned by the parties operating said vessels, on which no insurance is carried, on either vessel or cargo. (5) The agents of insurance companies inform us that they will insure gasolene vessels for seven per cent, where without gasolene they charge thirteen per cent.
Therefore, your petitioners humbly pray that the Honourable Minister of Marine and Fisheries will favourably consider our request. And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.
Those members of the House who last year were members of the Committee on Marine and Fisheries will recollect that when the Bill to amend the Canada Shipping Act was before that committee that this question of gasolene propelled sailing vessels came up for discussion. The members from the maritime provinces took very strong ground that something should be done at once to meet the requirements of the case. So firmly convinced was the committee of the justice of this claim that section 100 of the Act was recommended for amendment as follows:
100. The foregoing provisions as to masters and mates shall not apply to sailing ships of not more than one hundred tons gross tonnage having motive power of not more than eight nominal horse-power and employed solely in the carriage of freight; or ito any ship of less than fifty tons gross tonnage propelled by motive power and employed as a tug-boat or in the carriage of freight; or to pleasure yachts not carrying passengers or goods for hire; or to steamships carrying passengers not having a whole or fixed deck and of not more than twenty-nine feet in length at the light Mr. HA ZEN.
water line; or to ships employed solely in fishing; or to barges or other vessels having neither masts, sails or rigging and not being steamships.
Explanatory Note.-Sailing vessels with auxiliary engines and certain ships under 55 tons gross tonnage, are added to the list of exempted vessels.
Owing to the dissolution of parliament the Bill was never reported back to the House. It may be asked why not adhere to the amendment of last session? The reason is that many changes were to be made in the Act last session and this section was amended in line with others in other parts of the Act. As it is not now proposed to deal with the Act generally^ it is thought better to amend this section with the main view of affording relief during the present season to the class of shipowners referred to. Any elaborate amendment of the Act would make its consideration and enactment this session practically impossible. The proposed exemption appears to cover the case fully, and if after it has been in operation for a season or two it is found to be faulty in any respect the matter can be gone into again.
Clause 2 of the Bill is designed_ to remove what is felt to be a just grievance of the holders of certificates issued by the department. If a man loses his certificate he is cahed upon to pay one-half the fee that the original certificate cost. No matter how meritorious his claim to exemption from the payment of such fee may he, there is no power to grant it. Besides, the payment of six or seven dollars is often a serious tax on a master or mate who have, as a class, no reserve fund out of which to pay these extra expenses. The government does not want the money, and the certain knowledge that if a certificate is lost the owner of it will have to pay for a duplicate will not prevent its loss nor tend to make the holder more careful. Section 93 of the Act lays down the scale of fees as follows:-Master, competency, $15; mate, competency, seagoing, $8; mate, competency, inland, etc., $6; master, service, $8; mate, service, seagoing, $5; mate, service, inland, etc., $4.