May 8, 1914

CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

The inspectors will visit

different parts of Canada where fish is put up. For example, if the inspector is advised that at some point in Gaspe, or Bonaventure, or in the Maritime provinces fish are ready for inspection, he will go there and put his mark on the barrel according to the grade of the fish. When the Bill is introduced it is my intention to move that it be referred to the Select Standing Committee on Marine and Fisheries, so that it may have the advantage of its details being discussed by that committee, and the opinion of the officials of the department presented. I have no doubt it will receive careful consideration from the committee, and if any amendments are offered in the public interest they will be considered, because although the Bill is, I think, very carefully thought out at present, there may be improvements made in it.

The pickled fish industry of Canada, which includes the trade in salted herring, mackerel, alewives and salmon, has been for years in a languishing condition. Dealers in many cases refuse absolutely to have anything to do with the cured product. The cause of this is to be found, first, in the poor, leaky packages of varying size, which are in common use and which invariably ruin their contents in the course of transportation; and, second, to the lack of a proper system of grading the fish, together with careless, unsystematic packing.

This Bill, as I have pointed out to the committee, is intended to bring into general use an improved standard barrel for curing and marketing pickled fish, and to raise the standard of curing and packing to such a degree that the cured article shall secure the confidence of dealers at home and abroad.

To carry out the provisions of the Bill, when it becomes law, a small staff of inspectors will be appointed and duly drilled and instructed in their duties. These will

thereafter form a sort of travelling school of instruction in their several districts, for barrel-makers, fishermen and other packers. In addition to this, regulations in the form of a book of detailed instructions will be placed in the hands of packers, etc., for their guidance.

Topic:   INSPECTION OF PICKLED FISH.
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LIB
CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

They will be paid by the Department of Marine and Fisheries out of the general appropriation placed at our command.

Topic:   INSPECTION OF PICKLED FISH.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. MACLEAN:

Will any charge be made to the packers for the inspection ?

Topic:   INSPECTION OF PICKLED FISH.
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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

It is not proposed to do so at present. The inspectors will thoroughly examine all pickled fish presented to them for inspection, while the goods are still in the hands of the original packer. If the barrel is of the standard size and make, and the fish are graded in accordance with the regulations contained in this Bill, they will apply to each barrel so conforming to the requirements, a brand or guarantee of quality, which will show the grade of the fish, the year in which the fish was packed, and the inspecting officer's initials or number.

Topic:   INSPECTION OF PICKLED FISH.
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LIB
CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

We do not think that the cost will be at all large. Some of the officials at present in the department can be utilized for the purpose, and a few other inspectors may have to be appointed who will not only act as inspectors, but go about the country preparing for this work by meeting the fishermen in the different sections; pointing out to them exactly what the provisions of the Bill and the regulations are and educating them on the subject in the same way that lecturers go to the farmers to-day and give them instructions in regard to agriculture. It is not anticipated that any large additional number of inspectors will be required.

Topic:   INSPECTION OF PICKLED FISH.
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LIB

Alexander Kenneth Maclean

Liberal

Mr. A. K. MACLEAN:

Is the Bill the same as the Act in force in this country some years ago?

Topic:   INSPECTION OF PICKLED FISH.
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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

I am unable to answer the question of my hon. friend, because I do not know the provisions of that Act. My attention has not been called to it.

Topic:   INSPECTION OF PICKLED FISH.
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LIB
CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

The Bill and the regulations under the Bill will provide the sort of barrel that will have to be used in order that the inspector will be justified in putting his mark on it, showing that it has been inspected by him and contains a certain quality of fish. It will have to be a barrel of a certain quality and of a certain kind, because I believe the great difficulty in the putting up of pickled fish to-day is that they are put up in barrels that are leaking in many cases, so that the pickle runs out and the fish become rusty. The term 'rusty' is familiar to all of us who live near the sea. Our friends from the interior will hardly know the expression as applied to fish. Unless you get the proper barrel to put up the fish in, you can not be sure that the fish will continue to be of good quality, because when a barrel full of fish with pickle in it is sent about the country by train, etc., the staves work loose; the pickle runs out, and the fish are destroyed. It is largely due to that fact that pickled fish put up in Canada brings such a very small price as compared with the pickled herring cured in Scotland, wnich in very considerable quantities are sold in this country and on this side of the Atlantic for a sum fully three times as large as is obtained for pickled fish put up in Canada at the present time. There is of course also a difference in the method of curing.

Topic:   INSPECTION OF PICKLED FISH.
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LIB
CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

The pickled fish industry

in Scotland was built up under legislation of this character. A good many years ago there was the same trouble with the pickled fish industry in Scotland. Under Acts which are somewhat similar to this Bill, but which I believe .also provided for a bounty, the pickled fish industry in Scotland, from being a comparatively small industry and one that did not give very large returns to those engaged in it, haB become a most important industry. This was largely brought about by the passage of legislation, the object of which was to give assurance to the man buying the products that what he was buying had been properly inspected, and that he was getting an article up to a certain standard of excellence.

Topic:   INSPECTION OF PICKLED FISH.
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LIB
CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

Yes. As a matter of fact, if this Bill 'becomes law, it will foe used

chiefly in connection with herrings. It mentions alewives. 'Hon. gentlemen know that alewives, also known as gaspereaux, are smoked and cured and sent down to the West Indies. There is very little sale for alewives ini this country. There is also a provision in the Bill that any other class of fish may be brought within its scope if it is thought desirable to do so. It will also apply to mackerel .and salmon; and it is possible that in the future, although it is not likely, because the shad is not an important commercial fish in this country, it may also be applied to shad.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

If the Government

stamp is placed on a barrel of fish, I suppose that the Government will be responsible that there is good fish in the barrel; and if there is anything WTong with the fish, that the Government will pay the damages. It is something in the nature of a guarantee-like the Farmers' Bank.

Topic:   INSPECTION OF PICKLED FISH.
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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

If the Government stamp is put on a barrel, and if it turns out that the goods contained in the barrel are not up to the proper standard, it will be perfectly clear that we have appointed somebody as inspector who is not fit to perform his duties, and that he should foe removed -and another inspector appointed in his place. A great deal will depend upon the efficiency of the inspectors and upon the fidelity and care with which they discharge their duties.

Topic:   INSPECTION OF PICKLED FISH.
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LIB
CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

The appointments will be made by the Department of Marine and Fisheries.

Topic:   INSPECTION OF PICKLED FISH.
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LIB

May 8, 1914