May 12, 1914

CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

There is an age limit of

sixty-five and while there are men over sixty-five who are quite as good as they were at forty-five, yet a hard and fast rule must be laid down in these matters, even though it should work hardship in individual cases. There are only three of the Quebec pilots in active work who are over sixty-five years of age. The objection taken by the pilots to the report of the commission was submitted to the department and considered by myself and my officials. We are not interfering at present with the pilots pooling their earnings. Their system is to pool all their earnings and divide them into equal shares amongst themselves. There is a misapprehension in some quarters, to the effects that if a pilot is suspended for a certain length of time it is no punishment to him because he gets his share of the earnings just the same as if he were at work. That is not the case. If he is suspended he does not share in the earnings during the period of his suspension. If the pilots are disposed to pool their earnings it is difficult to see how it could be prevented even though we thought it desirable to do so.

If they choose to enter into an agreement that they will pool the earnings and divide them amongst themselves, as is certainly done in other ports in the world, I do not see how you can make legislation that will prevent them from doing so. We do not think that we can do so for the present year at least, and we thought it better to wait for further developments before acting on the report of the commission so far as that feature of it was concerned. We hope that the changes made will have the effect of improving the pilot system on the St. Lawrence below Quebec, and that there will

be fewer wrecks than there have been in the past. There is no doubt that there have been too many wrecks. For two or three years there were very few wrecks, but these things seem to come in a rush. Misfortunes come not singly, but in battalions. For a few years there were so few wrecks on the St. Lawrence that Mr. George Davey, who had a bonus from the Government for conducting a wrecking plant, threw up the contract because he was making practically no money. The only earnings he was getting were the bonus he was receiving from the Government.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

Perhaps my hon. friend may claim the credit for that. The year before last there were a good many wrecks on the St. Lawrence, but last year there were very few, and the damage that resulted was very slight indeed. This year, however, we seem to have started at the very opening of navigation with several disasters, although very little real damage has resulted from them. Yet they are most unfortunate, and, coming at a time when attempts are being made to get lower insurance rates on the St. Lawrence, they naturally fill the underwriters with alarm, and they say there must be something wrong when these disasters occur.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

That is an old maxim, in which there is a good deal of truth. My hon. friend has referred to the accidents to the Saturnia, and the Montfort, the judgment of the wreck commission and also some remarks made by Mr. Meredith, who was counsel for the Marine Association at the inquiries that were held before Captain Lindsay and his associates. In my opinion, while I should not take a newspaper report too literally, I may say that I do not think there is- justification for Mr. Meredith or for any one else uttering such statements as are attributed to him in the Montreal Star in the interview read by my hon. friend from Rouville (Mr. Lemieux). There was not a single witness at either of those inquiries who ventured to express the opinion that the absence of aids to navigation had anything whatever to do with the accident in either case. I would like to read to the House the judgment in the case of the Saturnia, which is comparatively short. I will only read the conclusion to show the House that the very

contrary is the ease, and I fail to see how Mr. Meredith could have made such a statement as attributed to him in the Montreal Star. The finding in the Saturnia case is signed by Captain Lindsay, Captain Francis Nash and Captain J. O. Grey. These two latter gentlemen will be known to my hon. friend from the St. Lawrence division (Mr. Bickerdike). I believe they are old shipmasters familiar with the St. Lawrence river. The finding is as follows:

After carefully considering and reviewing the evidence adduced, the court is of the opinion that the stranding of the steamship Saturnia, in the Lower Traverse, river St. Lawrence, on the morning of the 28th of April, was caused hy the action of Jules Lachance, the pilot, inasmuch as he appears to have no confidence in himself as to the manner of navigating the vessel through this channel, and apparently did not make proper use of the usual day marks for safe navigation, and it is the unanimous opinion of the court that the vessel touched the ground on the south side of the channel, and close to the old Lower Traverse block, and this probably accounts for the pilot not seeing the buoy moored off the block, as the vessel must have passed almost over it just before or after striking the ground.

The court also considers that when in doubt as to his position, and lacking confidence in his ability as a pilot, he should have sent for the master to assist him in the navigation of the vessel. The court therefore considers that the pilot did not show either ordinary skill or good judgment, in attempting to pass through the Lower Traverse channel under the existing conditions, and therefore suspends the license of Jules Lachance, the pilot, for a period of three months from this date.

In view of the master, David Taylor, knowing that the Lower Traverse lightship was not on her station, and the risks attending the naviga-ing of these narrow channels with a strong flood tide, the court is of opinion that the master ought to have been on deck after passing Cape Goose, and censures him for this negligence.

The fact of the Lower Traverse light vessel not being on her station at the time of the casualty, does not appear to the court to have any bearing on the matter, as the Saturnia had passed the position where the light vessel would have been moored, some minutes before the accident, and, had the lignt vessel been considered necessary for safe navigation, both the master and the pilot were taking undue risks in trying to navigate the Lower Traverse with the full knowledge that the light vessel was not there.

That is an absolute finding, which I think is the very reverse of the statement made by Mr. Meredith, as I comprehend it. The same thing occurred in regard to the Mont-fort.

The finding in that case is in part as follows:

The court therefore suspends the license of Francois Gaudreau. the pilot, for a period of three calendar months from this date. No blame in the opinion of the court can be

attached to the master and officers of the ship, as everything appears to have been done by them to assist in the proper navigation of the vessel, and the court considers that the master was perfectly justified in taking the ship out of the pilot's hands, although unfortunately not in time to prevent the stranding, and commends him for his action. The fact that all the aids to navigation were not in place on April 27, in the opinion of the court, has no material bearing on the stranding.

I will not discuss these findings, because it may not be proper that I should do so for the reason that, under the law as it exists there may come an appeal to me, by the captain or the pilot or any one else who has been censured, against the ruling of the court. Under the law a,s it exists at present, while there is a Wreck Commission appointed, whose duty it is to attend to these matters, yet the minister can appoint any one else who is an official of the department or who occupies a judicial position in the country to hold an inquiry, so that if an appeal came to me, I might, subject to the statute, try the matter myself, or I might order a rehearing before the same court under certain conditions laid down in the statute, or I might order a hearing before any one else in the classes I have specified who might be named for the purpose.

My hon. friend also referred to the judgment of the admiralty division of the high court as to the position of the captain. I do not think, as I caught the judgment as read by my hon. Mend, that it in any way changes the law as the law has been known to exist for a great many yeaM past. I think it has always been recognized that, when a pilot is on a ship, he is in command of the vessel, but the captain's duty is to assist the pilot.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
?

Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

I think the hon.

gentleman is in error. The captain is always in command of his ship, and the pilot is only there as an assistant to him.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

I do not.think so.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
?

Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

I know it, or else

the law has been only recently changed. That was the law.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

I think, when a pilot goes on ;a ship, he takes fulll charge of the ship. I know my hon. friend has a good deal of experience in shipping matters and I speak subject to correction, but I think I am correct in my statement. My hon. friend from the St. Lawrence division referred to the fact that a ship has to pay the full pilotage

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
?

Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

Will the hon. minister tell us whether they are going to adopt the 'tour de role' system in Quebec?

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

As I understand the system in Quebec, the big liners that come regularly into the port, the Allan liners, the Canadian Pacific Railway liners and the others, are allowed at the first of the season to make a selection of the men they want to pilot their vessels up and down, and these men are employed by them for that purpose. The others are put on what is called the ' tour de ToleJ and take their turn. The men on the big liners, of course, earn more money, but under the system that is pooled with the others, as thie pilots consider it fair it should be. I think I have mentioned all the matters which it is desirable I should refer to, but il there are any others, I will be obliged to hon, gentlemen if they will let me know.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

There is no provision for reduction. But, so far as I know, there is no complaint about the rates. The ship owners are satisfied with the rates. As a matter of fact, it was thought that the rates at Montreal were not high enough and they were raised. The commission having on it a representative of the Shipping Federation of Canada made a request for this increase for the pilots, in the Montreal division. What the shipowners want is 'to get more efficient pilots-it is not a question of rates but of more efficiency,

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Will they get the same amount when the captain pilots his own ship?

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

On the St. Lawrence it is the same, but there are ports where the full amount is not charged.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

I would suggest that it would be worth while to consider whether half the pilotage rate would not be sufficient to charge when the captain is so well versed in the river that he is able to navigate his own ship. I have heard that pilotage is considered an onerous tax on the coal trade, for instance, where the captains go once a week or once a fortnight up the river, and know the river as well, perhaps better, than many of the pilots. These men do not take pilots, but they have to pay the full pilotage rate. I think it would be fair to make the rates on the St. Law-

ren-ce in such cases half the regular rates, as is done in many other ports.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
?

Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

There was one point to which the hon. minister did not make reference. I asked a question whether the captains of most of the steamers coming here who could pass the examination would have a pilot's certificate the same as the pilot. That is a question we have had before us for a long time, -as the hon. minister knows.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

Under the regulations as

they existed for a long time, and as prepared by the corporation of pilots, they would not.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
?

Robert Bickerdike

Mr. BICKERDIKE:

Would they now?

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink
CON

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

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

That is a question to be

considered.

Topic:   CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.
Permalink

May 12, 1914