April 2, 1918

L LIB

William Frederic Kay

Laurier Liberal

Mr. KAY:

Would the minister tell the committee if he considers such action proper at this time, in view of the very urgent appeal for food production and conservation made by the Tight hon. the Prime Minister no later than last week to the Canadian people when he uttered the following words:

It is the earnest hope of the Government that every citizen will realize his or her personal individual duty to adopt and1 carry out the suggestions made by the Canada Food Board.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMLEUX:

The Minister of Railways is present (Mr. J. D. Reid), and 'I would therefore ask whether any refrigerator cars have been provided for the transportation of fish. It is all very well to keep the fish in cold storage at the various harbours, but it is important to transport that fish in cold storage, on the Government cars, from the

Maritime Provinces to inland points. For some years past accommodation of this nature has been provided, and I would like my hon. friend (Mr. Reid) to tell me what has been done lately in that regard.

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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

We have a number of refrigerator cars on the Government railway system, but the business of transporting fish is increasing and we need more cars. Within the last few days I have awarded a contract for, I think, one hundred and fifty or two hundred and fifty refrigerator cars. The Canadian Northern Railway system have a number of refrigerator cars, and -there are a few belonging to the Canadian Government Railway system, but not a sufficient number. However, it takes some little time to procure new cars, and I sent the superintendent of car service away a few weeks ago to ibuy some second-hand cars so that we might get a few that we could use in the meantime. We are preparing as fast as possible to increase the number of cars for this particular service. Of course, the Amercian lines are taking a lot of these cars to the other side-even a number of those that we have, and when they get over there it is very difficult to secure their return. This applies not only to refrigerator cars, but to box cars and freight cars.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

There will be a debate on this question later on, and at present I am mainly concerned with the consumption of our fish in Canada, and I would ask my hon. friend to see that a number of refrigerator cars are put aside for the Canadian service proper. He is aware that for months to come fish will he more and more in demand. It is an excellent food, and certainly the fish found in Canadian waters are of a very superior quality. It is a thousand pities that more fish is not consumed inland-in Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, Kingston and elsewhere. I represent one of the maritime constituencies and I know the great need for refrigerator cars. However, I have a motion on the Order Paper in regard to this matter, and intend to bring it up again.

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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

It was brought to my attention within the last month that cars should be obtained almost immediately for the carrying of such products as have been mentioned, between the lower provinces and, say, Montreal and Ontario. As I have said, I have arranged to purchase ten or fifteen second-hand cars, which will be available within the next month or six weeks. We have awarded a contract for a large number of new cars, but they will

not be delivered until September.or Octobe" and these second-hand cars will be available in the meantime for the short run between Montreal and the lower provinces.

Mr. BALLANTYNE-. We have a limited refrigerator express service now one day each week from Mulgrave and Halifax to Montreal, the Department of Marine and Fisheries paying for the icing of the ear as well as one-third of the "express charges. In addition, we have a refrigerator fast freight service from Mulgrave and Halifax to Montreal three days each week, the department guaranteeing the earnings of the car on each trip west to be at least $35 plus the cost of icing. I sympathize with the suggestion of the member for Maison-neuve (Mr. Lemieux) that it would be well to have more refrigerator cars; we hope to have an express system instead of the system I have just referred to. Hon. gentlemen will see that the Government are doing a good deal in paying the charges which I have mentioned.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

In the large centres more fish will be consumed in future, and if it can be obtained at reasonable prices certainly the community at large would he much benefited. Some years ago the Department of Agriculture paid bonuses to cold storage establishments in different parts of Canada. Is there not also an arrangement whereby the Department of Marine and Fisheries, with a view to encouraging these establishments amongst the fishermen, grants the latter a bonus on their cold storage operations, subject to plans and regulations adopted by the department?

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L LIB

Joseph Read

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JOSEPH READ:

I take it that the matter of refrigerator cars comes under the Department of Railways?

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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

Yes, the Department of Railways furnishes the cars.

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L LIB

Joseph Read

Laurier Liberal

Mr. J. READ:

When the Minister of Railways brings down his estimates I hope that he will have made provision for a very much larger number of refrigerator cars than appears to be now contemplated. A great number of these cars will be needed in the immediate future for the service between Prince Edward Island and Ontario and Quebec, for the carrying not only of fish, but of potatoes as well.

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UNION

John Dowsley Reid (Minister of Railways and Canals)

Unionist

Mr. J. D. REID:

I do not mean to say that the 150 or 250 cars that we are ordering are entirely for the carrying of fish.

Officials of the Canadian Northern and Government railways met and decided that we should order the number of cars that I have mentioned, for the carrying of apples, fish, potatoes and other articles which should be transported in refrigerator cars. When my estimates are brought down I will have full information on this subject.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I am glad that in this item the minister is making provisions for assisting the establishment, maintenance and inspection of cold storage for bait. The fish used for bait in Nova Scotia is a small kind of herring which comes in large quantities around the coast in the spring and is to he obtained only during a' short period of time, possibly a month or so. Unless he catches sufficient quantities of that small herring at that particular season, the ordinary fisherman cannot get it at any other time and is not in a position to furnish himself with all the bait that he will require during June, July, August, September, and late in the season. It is all very well to say that the fishermen should themselves provide a place for the storage of bait, tout the experience of the last fifty years is that they will not do it, and fortunes are lost, one might say, because the fish come in large quantities around the coast and the fishermen cannot get them unless he has the bait. For many-years I have urged that some such provision should be made as is effective in the colony of Newfoundland, where the Government obtains and sells bait to the fishermen. I suggest not that the Government give the bait away, but that facilities be provided for the storing of bait at suitable places and that it toe available for sale to the fisher-ment at all times while fishing is on. I hope that provision made toy the minister under this item is a beginning in that regard. We are too niggardly about the spending Off a few thousand dollars, even a million dollars, on the fishermen. We have no conception of the immense wealth that is at our doors, particularly in Nova Scotia, in connection with the fisheries-wealth of which we are getting only the fringe. Thousands of tons of the finest fish come along the shores, and we take only one of every million of them, simply because we are not properly equipped. I can assure the minister and the Government that any money they spend in providing bait facilities to encourage the fishermen in the catching of fish will be money well spent, and the people of Canada will appreciate and praise what they are doing in that direction.

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L LIB

William Duff

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

I am glad to hear my hon. friend speak of the necessity for cold storage facilities in Nova Scotia. I think I am correct in saying that there are at present mechanical bait freezers at Halifax, Canso, Port Hawkesbury and Lunenburg. These mechanical bait freezers are doing excellent work, much better than the smaller freezers. The small bait freezer has not been a great success, but the large bait freezer has been doing excellent work. I should like to call the attention of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries and of the Government to the absolute necessity, in view of the fact that we are asked to produce more, of providing further bait .facilities. As far as my own county is concerned, at present we have about 125 vessels engaged in deep sea fishing, and these vessels have to send as far as Providence in the United States, for their bait. About three weeks ago about 25 cars of bait were imported from there to Lunenburg, to partly supply the fishermen with the bait they require for their first fishing. I would suggest to the minister that if any place in the province of Nova Scotia deserves to have a bait freezer it is the countv of Lunenburg. If a bait freezer were established there, the fishermen would be so encouraged that they would go into the steam trawling business, and inside of two years there would be a considerable number of steam trawlers fishing out of Lunenburg and other parts of the province. This would mean that the production of fish in Nova Scotia would be increased two-fold. I trust the minister will take this suggestion into consideration, and agree to have at least one bait freezer at Lunenburg, and another at North Sydney, where the vessels call in the fall of the year. v

To provide for fisheries Exhibit at Canadian Exhibition at Toronto, $5, (MM).

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L LIB

Joseph Read

Laurier Liberal

Mr. JOSEPH READ:

I understood that all the exhibitions were going to be cut out this year. Is there any real reason for this exhibit at Toronto?

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UNION
L LIB
UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

No.

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L LIB

William Frederic Kay

Laurier Liberal

Mr. KAY:

A few moments ago the minister stated that economy was the watchword of this Government. Now it does not seem to me that an expenditure of even the small amount of $5,000 is necessary for a fisheries exhibit at the Toronto exhibition. I have at the present time a resolution on the Order Paper urging the Government to prohibit all exhibitions this year, and to be consistent with the view which I very strongly hold, I beg to move, seconded by Mr. MeMaster, that this item he struck out.

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L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

It is not necessary for me to make any lengthy remarks on this motion at this advanced hour of the evening. The Government has very properly been making an appeal to 'the Canadian people for thrift and economy. With the price of bacon .and other meats as high as it is 'in Toronto, is it necessary to encourage the Toronto folk to eat more fish by supplying them with these dinners?

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L LIB
L LIB

Andrew Ross McMaster

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McMASTER:

I 'think it would be only fitting if the .Government set an example of economy and thrift to the people by cutting out this item, and therefore I have much pleasure in iseconding the motion.

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April 2, 1918