March 8, 1915

REPORT.


Report of the Department of the Interior for the year ended March 31, 1914, volume I.-Mr. Roche.


FRANCO-CANADIAN STEAMSHIP SERVICE.


On the Orders of the Day being called:


LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

I have seen

a statement in the press to the effect that a steamship service has been inaugurated between France and Canada. Can the Minister of Trade and Commerce give us any information on that subject?

Sir GEO. FOSTER (Minister of Trade and Commerce): We have been informed that arrangements have been perfected by the British Admiralty by which eighteen vessels will be placed upon the service between our ports and Havre, France. The purpose of these vessels is to transport Government supplies, solely and entirely. It is calculated -and so far as I have seen the calculations, I think they bear out the basis on which they are made-that Government supplies

and requirements will tax the total capacity of these vessels. There will be a tri-weekly service. That is the general plan, but all the details have not yet been worked out. If it happens that any one of these vessels is not filled to capacity by the supplies being sent to the British or French Governments, then other Government supplies furnished by private or company contractors may be transported. The service, however, is not meant for general trade.

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LIB

Wilfrid Laurier (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Liberal

Sir WILFRID LAURIER:

Do I understand that there is no correspondence on this subject?

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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

There is some

correspondence, but we are expecting further correspondence on the subject. As soon as the correspondence is complete, it will be brought down. In the latter part of January the Government sent a representative to Great Britain for the purpose of conferring with the War Office and with the Admiralty, in order that some provision might be made for the transport across the Atlantic of supplies purchased in Canada by the British or the French Government. It was observed at that time that tonnage was becoming extremely scarce, and rates abnormally high. Mr. A. H. Harris, of the Canadian Pacific Railway, who went to England for this purpose, has just returned; and we are informed by him that, as stated by my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce, eighteen vessels have been assigned by the British Admiralty to this service, and withdrawn from other service. We are informed that the vessels will be available for this purpose from now until the end of the war.

I understand that one or more vessels have already arrived on this side, and that one has been loaded and is now on her way back to Great Britain or France. Another advantage which will be of general interest is that, by this arrangement, the tonnage which has been used in carrying coal from Great Britain to Halifax for the use of the Admiralty at that port, and which has been heretofore used to a very considerable extent for the transport of these supplies, will, it is hoped, be available for general purposes, and in that way assist in supplying the general demands for tonnage to transport goods from Canada to the Mother Country.

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LIB
CON

Robert Laird Borden (Prime Minister; Secretary of State for External Affairs; President of the Privy Council)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Sir ROBERT BORDEN:

No definite sailing port has been fixed. I presume that the boats will sail from St. John or Halifax in

the winter, and, when navigation opens on the St. Lawrence, that all or the greater part oi the tonnage will go by the St. Lawrence route. If it should appear that the necessities of transportation might be more advantageously met by the vessels sailing from ports in the maritime provinces, those ports would be available, and I have no doubt that suitable arrangements might be made to that effect with the British Admiralty. '

UNITED STATES POTATO EMBARGO. On the Orders of the Day being called:

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LIB

Bowman Brown Law

Liberal

Mr. B. B. LAW (Yarmouth):

I should

like to call the attention of the Acting Minister of Agriculture to a report I saw in the press a few days ago. It is headed " Canadian Potato is Under the Ban-United States Inspector's Report-Powder Scab Found," and reads as follows:

Hon. Martin Burrell, Minister of Agriculture, in December last made an arrangement with the Department of Agriculture at Washington, by which permits were to be issued to shippers of Canadian potatoes allowing potatoes to enter the United States. This arrangement was to continue so long as there was no powdery scab found in any of the shipments. Unfortunately the United States inspectors have reported that they have found powdery scab in a shipment of potatoes from New Brunswick to Boston and have given notice to the Department of Agriculture that no Canadian potatoes will be permitted to enter the United States from Canada after the 5th of March, instant. The potatoes complained of in Boston were immediately purchased for export from Boston and there was no difficulty, in so far as the quality was concerned, with the country to which they were to be exported. The Department of Agriculture is investigating to ascertain if the statements made by the United States inspectors have any foundation.

I should like to ask whether these are the facts; whether the department has made.an investigation, and whether potatoes can be shipped from Canada to the United States at the present time.

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Hon. J. D. REID (Minister of Customs):

The statement is correct. The Department of Agriculture has been notified by the United States authorities, as intimated in that despatch. A carload of potatoes shipped to Boston was condemned by the United States inspectors. Some hon. gentleman considered the potatoes all right, and purchased and shipped them to Cuba. The Department of Agriculture, feeling that the American inspectors were not justified in condemning the potatoes, sent an inspector to Boston for the purpose of thoroughly looking into the matter. The inspector has not reported yet, but I shall be very glad

to let the hon. gentleman see his report when it is received.

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LIB

Bowman Brown Law

Liberal

Mr. LAW:

Then it is a fact that potatoes cannot be exported from Canada to the United States at the present time?

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

That is the position.

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LIB
CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

They were shipped from New Brunswick, and I have no doubt they were New Brunswick potatoes.

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?

George di Madeiros Loy

Mr. PUGS LEY:

Since this difficulty

occurred, has the Department of Agriculture taken steps to supervise each shipment, in order that none of our potatoes so affected shall be exported?

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CON

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Customs)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. REID:

I understand that the Department of Agriculture has inspectors at all the ports, watching shipments very closely. If there is anything wrong with the potatoes, the inspectors do not allow them , to go out of the country. Our inspectors think that the American authorities were not justified in condemning that shipment of potatoes to Boston. Every precaution is taken by the department to see that nothing is shipped unless in first-class condition.

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LIB
CON
LIB

Frank Broadstreet Carvell

Liberal

Mr. F. B. CARVELL:

After the minister received notice about this carload of potatoes shipped to Boston or New York- I understood that it was at New York that the difficulty occurred-did he take any steps to have the car examined by an intelligent inspector, or was nothing done in the matter? The reason I ask is that the potatoes in question were shipped, not only from my own constituency, but from my own home. On Saturday afternoon I had the privilege of interviewing an inspector of the Department of Agriculture, a very capable man indeed, who had received his training at Macdonald College, and he assured me in the most positive manner that the cars were personally inspected by him. He said that he had inspected practically every potato, and could not think it possible that there should be a diseased potato among them. I mention that because I think the Government should know it, and I would like to know if any further inspection was made in Boston or New York.

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March 8, 1915