June 14, 1920

L LIB

William Duff

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

It is no use to shout "carried," because gentlemen on this side of the House are prepared to sit here all night if they have any interruptions from members on the other side. In fact, I came back *with my friends determined that the vote for the Naval Service should not go through if it took us all night. And we feel the same in regard to the vote for the Fisheries Service. Therefore I would advise hon. gentlemen who have no interest in these Estimates to keep quiet and let us proceed with the business of the House.

Now, Mr. Chairman, I would be quite satisfied to vote an increase for the Fisheries Patrol Service if I thought it was necessary. I cannot see that it is. Iff there is necessity for more boats on the Pacific coast, why sell the Canada and the Grilse? Why not put them on the Pacific coast? The minister laughs, but let me tell him that I know the Canada from keel to truck, and she is the best boat in his department. She did excellent service, as the hon. member from Halifax can tell us, before the war as a fisheries protection boat, and she is still able to continue that service. She can be overhauled for a few thousand dollars, as against an expenditure of $50,000 or $100,000 for a new boat. If members from the Pacific coast think they should have one or two more patrol boats to protect their fisheries, let us use those we have rather than spend money for new boats. As I say, the Canada is an excellent boat, and the Grilse, although perhaps a little extravagant in regard to fuel, is also a good boat, and they might well be transferred to the Pacific coast. As the hon. member for Guysborough (Mr. Sinclair) has said, we do not want sixteen boats on the Atlantic coast at the present time to protect our fisheries. A few years ago. when the Americans were restricted in their use of our harbours and did not enjoy the privileges which have since been granted to them, it was necessary to maintain a strong fleet of fishery protection boats on the Atlantic coast. I strongly urge the minister before he agrees to the expenditure for new patrol boats for the Pacific coast to get advice from other people who know the local conditions there, and I think he will find that if further boats are required his best course will be to transfer some of our Atlantic boats and thereby save the country several thousand dollars.

[Mr. Duff.l

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UNION

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

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

I am afraid the hon. member for Lunenburg (Mr. Duff) is confusing the fisheries protection service with the patrol service. The fisheries protection service, as the hon. member is aware, is to protect our fisheries outside the three-mile limit. This vote has nothing to do with the service in that regard. I am asking for this amount for small patrol boats for use on the numerous streams to be found in the province of British Columbia with its long coast line of 7,000 miles. In addition to the twenty small boats that we have now, this vote is to enable me to hire about forty more, and also to build two small boats for use out there. With our license system-and I think it is a correct one, open to all British subjects of the white race-for the preservation of the rich fisheries of British Columbia, it is absolutely necessary that the patrol system be very much more rigidly carried out in the future than it has been in the past. The Canada or the Grilse would be absolutely useless for service on these small streams. For service outside the three mile limit I agree with my hon. friend that those two boats would be quite suitable, but these are small Patrol boats that we need to enforce our fisheries regulations.

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L LIB

William Duff

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

I quite appreciate what the minister says, but boats like the Canada and the Grilse can go up any ordinary stream-they do so on the Atlantic coast to-day-and in addition to protecting our fisheries beyond the three-mile limit they look after our inshore fisheries. It is quite true that 100 miles up-river it might be necessary to have other means of protecting the fisheries, but in such cases it seems to me that boats would not be required. We have certain rivers in Nova Scotia where the fishery guardians do not use boats; they patrol the banks of the rivers. It seems to me that unless this is absolutely necessary, and unless the minister has been well advised, money should not be expended in the purchase of new boats. As I said a moment ago, I do not want to say that this money should not be voted if it is absolutely necessary, but my information is that at the present time there are sufficient boats on the Pacific coast. If a few more are needed, let us take them from the Atlantic coast. I have mentioned only the Canada and the Grilse, but the minister knows we have a number of motor boats on the Atlantic coast, and they could be used out on the Pacific coast instead of

spending a large amount of money for new boats.

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UNION

Cyrus Wesley Peck

Unionist

Mr. PECK:

I rise at this time to take advantage of our system of debate to say a few things about the salmon fisheries of British Columbia. I regret that I had not . an opportunity of being present when my hon. friend from "Lunenburg (Mr. Duff) was speaking, because I always listen to him with the keenest interest. He knows a great deal about fisheries, and he speaks always with the utmost authority. I am told that my hon. friend is qualifying, or attempting to qualify for that most unlikely event, the attainment to office of the present Opposition and his own holding of the portfolio of Marine and Fisheries.

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L LIB
UNION

Cyrus Wesley Peck

Unionist

Mr. PECK:

Things often happen that nobody expects to happen, and if my hon. friend should attain to that position every hon. member will have the greatest satisfaction in knowing that at the head of that department is a man who knows what he is talking about, however great mistakes he may make in criticising .the policy of this Government.

Now, Sir, I wish to say a few words upon a matter which interests very much the part of the country that I come from, and a matter which has been the subject of acute controversy. I refer to the salmon fisheries of British Columbia. I know that some of my colleagues from that province do not concur in the view that I take, but I mean to state my case and to set forth what I think to be the right policy in regard to this important matter. Those who do not know the salmon fisheries of British Columbia, those who do not know anything about the habits of salmon, may be interested to know that salmon are a peculiar fish. They spawn in the fresh water, and after hatching they go out to sea. Every four years the sockeye salmon, the greatest family of salmon that keeps up our salmon industry, return and sport around in the outside waters of the great rivers of British Columbia and then commence to make their way back to the spawning grounds. They struggle from boulder to boulder and from crag to crag until they reach the very stream in which they were born, when they finally sink back in the last hours of propagation. The salmon fisheries of British Columbia were once of very great importance. They are still so, indeed, but the Fraser river fisheries have been seriously depleted. The

great run of fish that annually kept up the Fraser river fisheries came down from the northwestern Pacific until they struck the western coast of Vancouver Island. They followed to the inlet along that coast, some of them going in, but most of them going on in great volume until they struck the strait of Juan de Fuca, they proceeded along the American shore, and then crossed to Puget Sound and the eastern shore of that placid waiter. A few of them went into the Skagit and Snohomish and other streams in that district, but the great bulk of the fish were making for that great mother of fisheries, the Fraser. Well, Sir, a peculiar thing happened. Our American friends, whom I sincerely admire, set about to trap these fish on their way to our great fishery grounds. I do not know whether hon. members are familiar with the construction of fish traps,-huge circles of netted wires with great leads going out some hundreds of yards to lead the fish into the traps. Well, our American friends constructed such traps as these and year by year they caught these fish in immense numbers. They persisted in this foolish extravagance until they had practically destroyed our salmon fisheries. When they had a surfeit of catch they sometimes lifted their pots, as they call them

their nets-and allowed the fish to go on, but by that time the fish were too much bruised and exhausted to contend with the strong currents of the Fraser. I tell you that with a great deal of detail, Mr. Chairman, because that was the beginning of the great depletion of the salmon fisheries of the Fraser. When you hear the cannery men of British Columbia tell you about our fisheries being depleted, you will remember that what destroyed the great fisheries of the Fraser was the salmon traps placed in Puget Sound by the American canners.

This diabolical method of fishing finally depleted, as I say, our great salmon fishery. Late in the summer of 1913 contractors working for Mackenzie and Mann work-, ing on the Canadian Northern line along the southern bank of the Fraser put in a great blast and blasted a huge mass of rock into the Fraser River canyon. The fishery officials of the Canadian Government, as well as those of British Columbia, made every effort to erect fish ladders and thus permit the fish to pass, but their efforts were not attended with much success and that is what "put the kibosh" on the great fishery of the Fraser. That marks the final phase of the great run on the Fraser,-a vast run indeed, the fish coming

in wonderful numbers every fourth year. These circumstances provided an excuse on the part of the canners of British Columbia to advocate that a close season be put on in the northern country.

I notice that my hon. friend (Mr. Duff), in the able speech which he made in the House some time ago, quoted Scripture very freely, and I fear that he must have aroused the enmity of my hon. friend from North Cape Breton (Mr. McKenzie) who is always so apt in his Scriptural illustrations. Well, the quoting of Scripture very often indicates repentence and sometimes precedes conversion, so I have no quarrel with those who do it. But I noticed that in all the quotations which my hon. friend made, from Genesis to Revelation, he did not produce any authority to show' that the fisheries of the world were set aside for one particular people. But that is what took place in Northern British Columbia. About 1909 or 1910 the Government of the day made a regulation that no additional companies should enter into the cannery business in Northern British Columbia, and it came to pass that this regulation was concurred in by the British Columbia Government. I cannot pause to tell you of the enormities which resulted from this regulation or of the great amount of wrongdoing that ensued.

I may say right here that I dislike raising a controversy of this kind. I myself -was for a long time in the cannery business in British Columbia; many of the cannery men of that province are close personal friends Of mine. So far as that goes, the cannery men are as good manufacturers as any other class in the community. At the same time, wre are face to face with a certain condition in our part of the country. We have essayed to break the monopoly which exists. I am in a hard fight to-night, and I mean to lay about me with [DOT]hard blows no matter who may be hit.

These regulations have been in force for about ten years in Northern British Columbia. The great bulk oif fish has been caught by gill nets and the rest has been caught by purse and drag seine nets, with a few traps. The whole coast, outside of gill-net fishing, w'as parcelled out amongst the canning interests, and this resulted in an exclusive monopoly. You will be surprised, Sir, when I tell you that this monopoly had grown to such an extent that we were not allow'ed to know even about our ov'n fisheries. A Mr. Nickerson of the town of Prince Rupert, a man who had fought a long and noble fight for the principle of open fisheries, last summer asked

a quite ordinary question about what cannery or company had a certain license, and he was told that he could not be answered until the gentleman who regulated the fisheries in that part of the country would write to the chief commissioner in Vancouver, and then it might be permitted to mention how these fisheries of ours were parcelled out. Moreover, when I asked the chief commissioner of fisheries in Vancouver if I might have a map showing the purse seine and drag seine licenses, the canneries, the gill net areas, and how the fisheries were parcelled out, in my district, what do you think he said? He said: " I will give you that, but keep it under your hat." I have a pretty big hat, but I have not a big enough hat to keep this under. Well, I asked him: "Why * must I keep it under my hat?" His reply was: "If you don't, you will raise a lot of trouble." I said: "Why will I raise a lot of trouble? Do not these fisheries belong to the people of Northern British Columbia? He said: "Yes, but it will make a lot of trouble." I must, however, to be honest, say that he finally gave me a huge map, which I put up in my office in Prince Rupert, and from the highways and byways I invited those interested in fisheries to come in and look at the map and see how these fisheries had been parcelled out. That shows to what arrogance this privileged interest had grown and how it had got into such a state of monopoly that nobody seemed .to have any knowledge about what was taking place except the privileged class. I have not consulted with the present Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Ballantyne), but perhaps he will be able to tell the committee that at one time when only purse seine or drag seine licenses were to be let out in that part of the country, they had to be O.K'd by a politician or member of Parliament. I do not know whether that has been the case during his regime, but I think he is aware that that occurred in times preceding his administration. The whole matter had thus grown into a political intrigue and monopoly, and the privileges had been abused. We have had a long array of commissions in regard to the salmon fisheries of British Columbia, and so far as I know, they have never got anywhere; all the awards have generally ended in favour of the cannery concerns. But a rather unique commission was appointed just before the end of the war-I forget what year it was. One of the gentlemen on this commission was a member of the famous food control; another was a fishmonger

from Toronto, and another was some other man who was supposed to know something about the fishery business. That commission brought in a report recommending that no more licenses be granted for the erection of salmon canneries in Northern British Columbia for a period of five years. But a rather unique feature regarding the matter was that one gentleman on this commission, however much he wished to exclude the rest of his countrymen from the benefits of this industry, provided himself with a good fat license in British Columbia, which license he meant to operate under, but which he did not operate under because he found the tide of public opinion was so strong against him that he did not dare to dc so. That is just an instance of fishery commissions and where they lead one to.

This brings me up to last year and the conference of British Columbia members upon this important question last spring. At those conferences a majority of British Columbia members were for open fisheries, and I can leave that question whether they were or not to the hon. member for Halifax (Mr. Maclean), Mr. Desbarats and Mr. Found, superintendent of Fisheries. But it was then too late to change conditions, and certain stipulations were made to provide for returned soldiers, the stipulations being that a certain percentage of gill nets and boats must be provided for returned soldiers. I wish to call the attention of the committee very especially to that point, because it will have an important bearing upon something I wish to speak of a little later on. Hon. members from British Columbia will bear me out that it was determined that the Department of Fisheries be asked to reserve a number of boats in Northern British Columbia for returned soldiers, and the department complied with this request. I may say that the department was at all times most willing to assist us and the returned soldiers and to help along the rational method of fishing. When, however, this occurred, it was too late to change conditions and we had to go on with the policy upon which we had determined. When Col. Cunningham, Chief Inspector of Fisheries for British Columbia, returned to the coast, and, with that easy familiarity he has with them, told British Columbia canners of the new conditions and stipulations regarding returned soldiers, they " went up in the air," according to his statement, and were going to come to Ottawa and do desperate things to the Government; but they apparently became finally persuaded that a good monopoly in the hand was worth a whole lot of 224

uncertain conditions in the bush, and so they agreed to go on under the conditions that were made as regards returned soldiers. Last fall the minister telegraphed to British Columbia that he was about to declare the fisheries of British Columbia open. The Chief Inspector of Fisheries, Col. Cunningham, was called East, and that is where he enters the scene. I may say that I do not like to criticise the conduct of a public servant, but conditions may arise when one feels that one must do so in the public interest. It is an unfortunate circumstance that as long as I can remember-and I can remember over thirty years of the administration of fisheries in British Columbia-the chief inspector and the principal officers in the Department of Fisheries have been very much in favour of the canneries. I am not going to charge dishonesty, but I will say this, that they have had a cannery mind and their whole attitude has always been in favour of the canners.

When the minister telegraphed to British Columbia that he was about to declare the salmon fisheries of British Columbia open there was great consternation, and people wondered what was going to take place. The salmon canners of British Columbia, however, had been privileged for so long to control the policy of the Department of Fisheries that they seemed to be worrying very little. They began to pour in upon the department and the minister-I am saying this upon my own responsibility-voluminous telegrams asking him to wait until the chief inspector got to Ottawa. Now that was a peculiar thing-this monopoly relying upon the chief inspector of the Fisheries as their great bulwark and mainstay. However, the chief inepector finally came here. I also came here at that time. I was interested in Northern British Columbia, and in our part of the country people take an entirely different view from what they take in Southern British Columbia. I made it my business to come here at my own expense to try and influence the department with my views upon this question. It was one with which I was very familiar, and a business in which I had been engaged for a very long time. I rather think the cannery men were asleep at the switch in regard to that. Well, the chief inspector came here and I can faithfully say that he said everything he could say to urge the Government to pursue the policy that had been pursued in the past; but the Minister of Fisheries stood his ground, he was not going to be shaken from his purpose by the onslaught that had been made upon

him by the great rich cannery companies of British Columbia. So he issued a decree that the cannery enterprise was to be thrown open.

I should like, if I may, to detail, at this point the regulations that were to ensue. It is very difficult to illustrate to the House, especially to those hon. gentlemen who are not familiar with the intricacies of the salmon fishing business, the different modes of fishing that obtain, and the different regulations that have to be made. One of the regulations provided that any British subject should be allowed to procure a gill-net license, but no increase was allowed in the number of gill-net licenses to Oriental fishermen. Of course, those gentlemen who come from the East know that this question of Oriental fishing is a very vital one with us. Well, the minister made a regulation that the number of licenses issued to Orientals for gill-net fishing should not be increased, and I wish the House to follow me very closely on that point.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

Did I understand my

hon. friend to saw that any increase in the number of Oriental fishermen was forbidden so far as gill-net fishing was concerned?

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UNION

Cyrus Wesley Peck

Unionist

Mr. PECK:

Yes. The minister made that regulation, which was in close conformity with public opinion in British Columbia. I would ask my hon. friend, whom I respect very much, just to wait for a few moments when I hope to illustrate in a very vivid way the importance of this regulation. Next, drag-seines were to be abolished wherever possible. That was a very good regulation, because, ordinarily, fishing by drag-seines is a destructive method. However, in some places it is quite impossible to catch fish without drag-seines, and in those places they have to be used. It creates a very unfortunate condition, because it is hard for the inspectors to decide just where those drag-seines may be used.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

What kind of fish do they catch with these drag-seines?

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UNION

Cyrus Wesley Peck

Unionist

Mr. PECK:

Salmon. I presume my hon. friend from North Cape Breton knows the method of fishing with a drag-seine. They take out a seine several hundred fathoms long and sweep it along the beach. Then the end is brought in to the beach, bringing in the fish. That method of fishing obtains only in certain places.

Next, a drastic change was made in the purse-seine regulations. Here is one of the very important points I want to bring out, and I would direct the very earnest attention of the House

[Mr. Peck. 1

to it. Instead of certain cannery men being granted the exclusive privilege of fishing in large areas the coast was divided into districts, and any white British subject who paid a license fee could obtain a purse-seine license in those areas. That was a very wide departure from the former policy. Not only that, but a future policy was contemplated to remove every vestige of monopoly and restore the fisheries to our own people. I had the pleasure of meeting Col. Cunningham, Chief Inspector of Fisheries, after his return to British Columbia, and he informed me that he thought the new regulations were going to work all right. I told him I was not conceited enough to think that the cannery men had played their trump card, and that proved to be true. I think things would have gone better if the chief inspector had made a more loyal and energetic attempt to support the regulations then in force. That was his proper course. He came here quite properly, ter present his views and argue his point, but when he found that his minister had decided upon different regulations and upon a different policy, then it was his business, if he was in loyal support of his minister and department to go back to British Columbia and try and put his minister's views into operation. That is where the whole thing fell down in my opinion. Instead of that, he seemed to me to do everything to interpret the regulations in the most awkward way and in a way that would disgust every one he could. I hope the minister will see fit at some time to call for the correspondence between the chief inspector and the cannery men. He will find some remarkable corespondence there, if it is all sent to him, which I very much doubt. I am not going into that, but I could entertain the House in a lively manner with some of the correspondence I had the advantage of reviewing.

Up in my part of the country the attitude is entirely different from what it is in Southern British Columbia. I represent what is known as No. 2, of the fishery districts of British Columbia. There are three districts altogether, and all of No. 2 district is in my own riding of Skeena. By a return that was brought down by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries this session I see that the value of the fish caught in British Columbia in 1919-I shall not detain the House by giving the quantities, and I shall give the figures only for salmon, although No. 2 district has the same preponderance in other fisheries that the figures prove it to have in salmon-was as follows: In the Southern district the value of the

salmon amounted to $2,483,897; in Vancouver Island, which is known as No. 3 district, $3,691,123; in my own district, the Northern district, No. 2, the value amounted to $4,744,939. This shows the great preponderance the district I have the honour to represent has In the salmon fisheries of British Columbia. Although we possess these in our own districts they are parcelled out down in Vancouver by the Chief Inspector of Fisheries and we know nothing whatever about what takes place until the gentleman who represents the Fishery Department in our part of the country-and I cannot trust myself to speak any more specifically about him- comes up and informs us as to how these fisheries have been parcelled out. For fear that I may be charged with sectionalism, I shall not pursue the subject any further.

We should have a permanent resident inspector, a man who is all the time on the ground looking after this great fishery-one of the greatest fisheries in the world, really the greatest fishery in the world-in Northern British Columbia. We should have a responsible inspector from whom we could at all times obtain information. I do not mean to criticise the department on that account because we all feel a great deal of gratitude to the minister for the strong stand he has taken in regard to open fishing.

The cannery interests got very busy and manipulated a lot of organizations in Southern British Columbia to petition the minister to cancel any regulations made or to allow those of 1919 to stand for this year, and then have a board appointed to manage the British Columbia fisheries in the future. I regret very much to say that this movement extended to some of the organizations of returned soldiers. In the year 1919 some quite valuable privileges were allotted to different people in British Columbia, some of these people being returned soldiers and therefore these few men became a privileged class and they wanted to keep the thing on. So these associations sent voluminous telegrams-most of them "collect"-to the minister about the fisheries and urging a continuation of the regulations of 1919. All they wanted was one more year, just one more year-anything might happen in one more year; the Government might be defeated-

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Hear, hear.

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UNION

Cyrus Wesley Peck

Unionist

Mr. PECK:

-.and hon. gentlemen opposite might come in, and that is what they really wished to happen, because these opposite canners were the gentlemen who 224*

established this monopoly under the Laurier Government. The cannerymen in British Columbia were very glad to take a chance for another year. However the Minister of Fisheries stood his ground against all these influences, and was determined that these regulations that he had made should stand. That is the end of my narrative in regard to the history of these fishery regulations, how they have come about from time to time and how they have passed from Administration to Administration and Government to Government.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I wish to help my hon. friend to emphasize the case he is making out. Does he mean to tell this committee that the minister had made certain regulations that were satisfactory to him but that the Government official refuses or fails to carry them out?

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UNION

Cyrus Wesley Peck

Unionist

Mr. PECK:

The minister did make

regulations which were satisfactory to my part of the country and which I think were very strong and statesmanlike regulations. I am criticising the policy of the chief inspector. I have not asked the minister as to his opinion but I am criticising the chief inspector and I attribute to the policy that was pursued by the chief inspector the fact that there is so much discontent now in regard to these regulations.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

My understanding is that the officer has not carried out the regulations. Is that correct?

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UNION

Cyrus Wesley Peck

Unionist

Mr. PECK:

I can only say what I have said already, that his interpretation of the regulations provided the reason for the discontent. One great stock argument is the depletion of the fisheries, and the Fraser river is pointed to. I think I have proved that it was the avarice of the American cannery men on Puget sound that destroyed the Fraser river fisheries and not the gill netter. I have not seen anybody who maintains that the fisheries were destroyed by any other method than trap fishing of the Americans on Puget sound. Yet they will come forward with the most extraordinary arguments, which I shall expose in a few minutes. It has been argued that the Alaskan fisheries are being depleted. That may be true, and it is due to the same unscrupulous use of traps by the Alaskan cannery men. One thing that is most peculiar with our friends to the south of us is their remarkable indifference to their natural resources. They seem to wish to go ahead and manufacture everything they can regardless of the future supply. The same

condition obtains on the Naas river. The mouth of the Naas river is contiguous to the Portland canal and one side of the Portland canal is in American territory. Our American .friends are constructing traps along the northern part of the Portland canal and catching a lot of our Naas fish. No doubt they will injure or destroy that great fishery. If everybody fishes at every place and fishes as hard as he can, it will destroy any fishery, but if you make regulations' [DOT] that there shall be certain close seasons and that nets cannot be cast in certain areas you will allow the fish to pass up to the great spawning grounds.

Now we come to some of the criticisms which have been made with regard to these fishery regulations of the minister. Let us take the arguments which are made by those who are opposing the new regulations. We listen to what is said by Mr. Peter Wallace, the pioneers in the northern portion of British Columbia, a man whom I know very well and of whom I think very highly in his private character. But he has always taken a very peculiar view of the fishery situation. He claims that these new regulations will destroy the fisheries of British Columbia, and is thus quoted in the Vancouver World:

I venture to say that hardly a cannery will operate this side of the line. The owners will strip their plants to get out of them what they can.

That is the dictum of Mr. Peter Wallace, one of the pioneer fishermen of British Columbia. In the first place, I direct the minister's attention to the fact that any argument that is put up by a canner man should be discounted by seventy-five per cent because it is argument in which he is personally interested. But I should discount the .argument of Mr. Peter Wallace by more than that. I have known him for * a long time, and the underlying point of the . argument he has always put up has invariably been this: God put the fish

into the sea for the sole benefit and emolument of the Wallace people. That has always been the nature of his argument. Now he, and some otheT gentlemen who are associated with him, talk about the fishing out of the fisheries of British Columbia. I want to ask one question-and in this connection I appeal to my colleagues from British Columbia: Who fished out

-or very nearly did- Smith's inlet? My hon. friend from Comox (Mr. Clements) will know something about that. Who fished out Barclay sound and Naden harbour? Who but this gentleman and

liis associates. Who, twenty years ago, fished out the sturgeon fisheries-in cold blood-of Pitt lake? Who but this gentleman and his associates. He talks about the Americans, but in the nineties he was over helping *o fish out the poor old Columbia river. But the Columbia river fisheries recovered, just as surely as ours will recover with a proper system of conservation. However, that is the class of argument that we encounter with some of the canners of British Columbia.

Now, I shall cause Mr. Wallace to leave the stage and we shall have another entry up it-I will not say the entry of a hero, neither will I say of a villain-I refer to Hon. William Sloan, Minister of Fisheries of British Columbia. He is always there with the corporations, ready to raise a voice in the interests of privilege. When these new regulations were made by the minister -I will let you into a Calrnet secret, I do not. think I am acting wrongly in so doing -the Minister of .Fisheries of British Columbia tried to induce the British Columbia Cabinet to condemn those regulations. But " Honest John " and some of his friends did not see it that way, so he had to decide upon another policy. He brought out a very elaborate treatise which was very well printed. Its cover, if I remember rightly, was ornamented with gold lettering. iThis treatise stated that the fisheries of British Columbia were about to be entirely depleted, and he advocated that the Government of Canada should take them over. What a pity it is that these views about the cannery monopoly did not once cross Mr. Sloan's mind when he was a member of the Dominion Parliament and a supporter of the Laurier 'Government. What a pity it was that it did not cross his mind in view of the fact that he, more than any other living man, was responsible for the introduction of this canning monopoly in Northern British Columbia. I remember very well-I was in the cannery business myself at that time-his telling me about how they were going to prevent any other canneries being started on the Skeena and on the northern rivers. I said to him, " Bill, it's too raw, the people won't stand for it." However, I was wrong and he was right. The people did stand for it all these years, and a lot of them stand for it yet; so I was wrong in that regard.

Now, Sir, I have nothing against that argument, if it can be proven that private enterprise cannot handle these fisheries. I belong to that school of economists who think that these are natural resources of

the country which by their nature may be very well and to advantage administered by the Government; but if any one can prove to me that the fisheries of British Columbia may be better operated by the Government I would be very glad to support that argument and that plan. However, I do not believe, Sir, that that is the case. Take our Atlantic fisheries. I might appeal to my hon. friend from Lunenburg (Mr. Duff) and my hon. friend from Inverness (Mr. Chisholm) who know those fisheries well, and I think they will admit that they are carried out entirely by private enterprise. Furthermore those fisheries are very successful, they are a great resource of this country, and there is no reason why they should be carried on and operated by the Government.

I would like to read a quotation from a speech that was made by Hon. Mr. Sloan at the Fisheries Convention that was recently held in Vancouver, and I am sorry that 1 have not got time to read it in extenso, he said in part:

I view with alarm existing conditions. There is the gravest danger of one of our leading assets being wholly destroyed. It is time the Dominion Government viewed the situation in this province as it is. Commission after commission appointed by the Dominion, after investigation, have set forth the distressing facts.

The reports and recommendations of those commissions have been and are being ignored in Ottawa.

Of course Mr. Sloan does not say how long this ignoring has taken place, but it is some time. He goes on:

It is high time that the conditions be realized. The fish of the province belong primarily to its people and the people of Canada.

That is the particular phrase I wish to call attention to. Mr. Sion did not' have those views when he induced the Laurier Government to introduce the cannery monopoly. Oh, no, he did not have those views at all. He then thought that those fisheries should be left to the canners of northern British Columbia. He suddenly experienced a change, but we are very happy to see that illustrious statesman arrive at such a state of mind. He continues:

They constitute one of their greatest natural resources. The fisheries, if properly administered, will last for all time. They can be so administered as to outlast our mines and our forests. The depleted runs can be restored. The interior lake waters can be stocked with desirable forms of food fishes without danger '.a existing species.

He was very hopeful so long as we kept the great fishery in the hands of a private monopoly. He goes on:

The salmon fisheries of this province should be taken over bodily by the Dominion Government and operated to their betterment.

As I said before, what a shame it is that Mr. Sloan did not have those views when he got the cannery monopoly established. However, he has changed his mind and when the cannery monopoly came under the firm hand of a strong federal minister he comes out and says: "Let us hand the thing over to the Government". I have a very strong suspicion, Mr. Chairman, that there are some very bad old cannery plants on the Fraser that the owners wish sold at a good price. I think there is a whole lot to be said from that point of view.

I would like to put this question to the committee, whether or not they think that I or the other residents of northern British Columbia are going to advocate a policy which will destroy those great fisheries. I do not think that any hon. gentleman will accuse us of anything like that. We want to open those fisheries to the enterprise of our countrymen.

I wish to quote from a letter written to me by a man whose name is very honourably associated with the salmon fisheries of British Columbia, a man who has passed the best part of his life in the industry, and who wished to get a cannery license. In his letter he quotes what a cannery man,-not a fishery official remember,-said to him:

I will give you $5,000-

This is in regard to a cannery license which a cannery company wished to secure in certain waters of northern British Columbia.

I will give you $5,000 in cash or stock if you get that license. I will have no dealing with anyone else in the matter. If you do not accept this you will not get the license.

This, of course, was some years ago. I could quote a whole lot more, Mr. Chairman, but I think I should not detain the House at this hour. I say that this monopoly not only debauches the people who regulate it, but it debauches the people who enjoy it, for it leads to all sorts of intrigue and machinations, and ultimately it can lead only to corruption.

Let us come to the chief argument that has been advanced by the cannery interests against the purse-seine regulations of the minister. Of cpurse they did not say fhat what they feared was the destruction of the cannery monopoly. No! what they feared was that this purse seining would get in the hands of the Japanese! It is very edifying to find the cannery men so

anxious for the benefit of the white men. I appeal to anyone and to all my hon. friends from British Columbia as to how the Oriental prestige in our salmon fishing grew up, how but under the fostering care of the salmon canners of British Columbia. Can any man deny that? I think not. That is how they grew up, but all of a sudden those gentlemen become exceedingly patriotic and they do not want to see purse seining get into the hands of the Japanese ! They claim that by opening up the purse-seine areas- instead of keping them for their own exclusive monopoly-they, the cannery men, will be able to get all kinds of purse-seine licenses in the name of white British subjects and then employ Japanese to run them. However, Sir, they have been playing upon the fears of several organizations, and they have induced those organizations to take action, at least, we have all received long "collect" telegrams- (all hon. members from British Columbia who remain here for the magnificent sum of $2,500)-costing $4 or $5 each, asking us to preserve the regulations of 1919. I wish to say that the policy of the minister in making those regulations was to destroy this monopoly and to restore our fisheries to our own people.

Now I wish to come to what I think is a very important point. As long as I have been in British Columbia, and that is oveT 30 years, I have heard politicians year in and year out seeking to represent the people in municipal, provincial and federal affairs, and their one line of talk has been to make the province a "white British Columbia." But I notice that the province is getting more yellow all the time. At last comes along a minister who, I venture to say, proposes to pursue a definite policy which will restore these fisheries to our own people. What happens? The interests who enjoy the privileges of this monopoly turn against him. Not that the Minister of Marine and Fisheries wishes to discriminate against the Japanes people. I do not think that is in his mind; I am sure he has the same admiration for the Japanese nation as I have myself. I adimire the prompt way in wdiich they entered into the war; I admire their punctilious observance of treaties; and I admire the honourable way in which they discharged their obligations in the war. But at the same time I think it is ridiculous to say that Japan would ever tolerate a state of affairs such as we have in British Columbia where a foreign population controls the fisheries.

Let me make a comparison of how our fishery licenses are allotted between the

Japanese and our native-born Canadians In 1919 out of 4,596 gill net licenses, only 417 were held by native-born Canadians; and out of 2,203 trolling licenses only 412 were held by native-born Canadians. Now these methods of fishing are peculiarly th< poor man's, and I am quoting these figure! to show how the fisheries are controlled by the Japanese.

Shortly after the war regulations were published, Mr. Ukita, the Japanese Consul in Vancouver, got- into 'the press, and he condemned the regulations. But I would like to put it to. Mr. Ukita, with the utmost respect for him or any other representative of the Imperial Japanese Government, if he thinks his government would tolerate a state of affairs such as obtains in our fisheries in British Columbia. I do net think so for a moment. We might cite their mercantile policy. When they started their mercantile marine they had their ships built in Great Britain, but they employed British officers to manage them. As time went along-and no one could criticise their action; it was quite right-they officered those ships with their own nationals, and it is well known now that the ambition of Japan is to control the mercantile marine of the Pacific. No one criticises that ambition. It shows that Japan is a wide-awake nation. It also shows that she would not for a moment tolerate the state of affairs in her fisheries such as we permit in British Columbia by allowing the Japanese to control our salmon fisheries.

There is a great deal of difference of opinion about matters of naval policy. Well, if we ever have a navy or a great mercantile marine, where are we going to draw our sailors from? Are we going to draw them from a foreign population? I put that question to my hon. friend (Mr. Duff). Shall we draw them from Japanese engaged in the fisheries? I do not think so. But, somebody may say, these Japanese who engage in this business-are they not all British subjects? Some of them are and some are not. As I pointed out the other day to a committee of the House, a good many of these naturalization papers are juggled back and forth so that we have no reason to know that it is a bona fide British subject who is securing a particular license.

It is suggested that an embargo be placed upon the export of salmon from British Columbia to the United States, The cannery men want an embargo on certain grades of fish in order to prevent them going to the United States. Personally I see no reason why an embargo should be put on

this product any more than, it should be put on grain or any other similar product. If such an embargo is put on, an exclusive market will be 'Created and the fishermen will not obtain as good a price for their fish as they otherwise would.

The hon. member for Lunenburg (Mr. Duff) made a very able and very instructive speech a short time ago upon the general question of the fisheries, during the course of which he erticised the policy bf articficial propagation of fish. We have no better authority than my hon. friend in the matter of the eastern fisheries, but when he gets into British Columbia he gets beyond Ihjis depth;-the water there is a little deeper than he is accusomed to. I am fair to say that the hon. member would not have made the criticisms that he did had he not been misinformed from certain quarters,-and I really think I know from what quarters he received his information. However, he mentioned the depletion of the sockeye fisheries and the expansion of -production of pinks and chums, the cheaper grades of fish, which have not been propagated artificially. He endeavoured to show a continuous decline in sockeye production and a continuous climb in chum and pink salmon production, with the object of proving that notwithstanding the hatching of sockeye the fishery has been going down and that without artificial hatching the other species have been coming up; in other words, that the hatcheries have been depleting rather than building up the sockeye fisheries. He points out a serious downward trend in the sockeye fishery of the Naas river, but he fails to .state that there never has been a hatchery on the Naas, or that that river system has never been stocked from any hatchery. On the Skeena, where we have two hatcheries, the sockeye fishery is being rapidly brought back to the maximum of productivity. The hon. gentleman's figures stopped at 1917, up to which point there was for many years a general downward trend. But while the pack in 1917 was 65,760 cases of sockeyes, in 1918 it rose to 123,322 cases, and last year to 184,945 cases, (or only about 2,000 -cases less than the biggest pack ever put up in any one year since fishing started there), which was in 1910, when 187,246 cases were packed. Another fact which shows what the hatcheries are doing on this -system is that when the Babine hatchery at -the head of the Skeena river was established, it was placed on a stream which while suitable for a hatchery, was not frequented by salmon to any considerable

extent. After -stocking this stream for a number of years we find that salmon are now coming to it every year in such numbers that the hatchery is usually practically filled from this stream alone. I, cite these facts for the information of my hon. friend. As a matter o-f -fact,, the salmon of British Columbia have been almost entirely controlled by the sockeye pack. The sockeye are the red fish; they are sold in the Old Country market, and that market controls salmon prices just as it controls the prices of many other products. -Such fi-sh as pinks and chums have never been sold in the Old Country market. In fact, they were not manufactured to any great extent in British Columbia until the war conditions came upon us and there was a great demand for cheap food. The -salmon canners of British Columbia then found it profitable to manufacture the cheap grades of salmon, and the trade in these grades has grown to a considerable extent. But artificial propagation had -nothing to do with the growth of production of these grades; I think my hon. friend will find that I am correct if he looks carefully into the matter.

With regard to the policy of the department, I hope that returned soldiers will be given an opportunity of entering into fishery enterprises. I -shall not go into this matter in detail, because it is now before a committee of the House and it is not proper that I should speak upon it now at any great -length. But I hope that -some such policy will be adopted.

T-o sum up: I make bold to -say that the discontent in British Columbia over regulations-outside of the manipulations of -those who were personally interested-was caused by the interpretation that wa-s put upon them by the Chief Inspector of Fisheries. Had he interpreted them according to the spirit of the minister's policy he would have had little trouble. But what has been the result? The cannery men say that if you throw these fisheries open so that everybody has -the right to come in, there will be a lot of canneries and the fisheries will be depleted. Well, since the minister broke this monopoly one canner has started business in my -di-strict. I want to tell you, Mr. Chairman, that before this monopoly was broken three different canners came -to me and asked me to assist them to secure licenses in No. 2 district. So you can see that these men were willing to -start so long as they had a monopoly, but once the monopoly was broken they were not willing to take a chance with the outside world.

35.34

The result is that recently fewer canneries have been started than would have been started had these gentlemen achieved their desire. I think, therefore, it is proved that in such competition as obtains in Nova Scotia and the Maritime Provinces, where people enter the business without any favours, competing openly with the world, there is a natural safety valve which regulates the enterprise; and that under such conditions the fisheries will not be destroyed. .

What we want in this country is a great white fishing population, men of our own brawn and breed, men who will develop this great enterprise so that it will be our mainstay in the hours of national peril. I appeal to this Government and to any Government, and to this Parliament and to any Parliament to stand by the regulations of the minister. I do not claim that those regulations are perfect, but if they are wrong they can be changed. If it can be proved that this industry cannot be operated by private enterprise, I would be prepared to see the Government take it over, [DOT] but it must be proved to me first. Whatever happens, I wish to appeal to the committee not to put us again under the heel of this monopoly. Leave this enterprise open to the enterprise of all our citizens and do not exclude us from this great natural resource which has been bestowed upon us by a Divine hand for our sustenance, prosperity and happiness.

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L LIB

William Duff

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

I am sure we have all been greatly interested in listening to the remarks made by my hon. friend (Mr. Peck), whose address will be a valuable contribution to Hansard. With his knowledge of Pacific fisheries, especially the salmon fisheries, we are all pleased to listen to his observations. I am glad to hear that the salmon fishery monopoly in British Columbia has been, done away with, and I might say to my hon. friend that some hon. members on this side of the House who, if they only had the power, would, perhaps, long ago have broken this monopoly, appealed to the minister that it was time this monopoly was broken. If hy hon. friend will refer to Hansard of March, 1919, he will find that when the Fisheries Act, 1914 was being amended in regard to licenses for .salmon canneries in British Columbia, the hon. member for Cape Breton North and Victoria (Mr. McKenzie), the hon. member for Antigonish and Guysborough (Mr. Sinclair) and your humble servant, the hon. member for Lunenburg (Mr. Duff), strongly advised the then Acting Minister of Fisheries (Mr. A.

K. Maclean), who was in charge of that Bill that the monopoly at that time existing in British Columbia was not in the best interests of the fisheries. In the Montreal Star I noticed a report of an address made by the Hon. Mr. Sloan, Minister of Fisheries of British Columbia at the annual convention of Fisheries in Vancouver. That gentleman strongly criticised the Minister of Fisheries regarding the Fisheries of British Columbia; he held that the officials on the coast were not men wn* should be in charge of the fisheries. I also note from what my hon. friend (Mr. Peck) says, that he is evidently not quite satisfied with the fishery officials on the British Columbia coast. The hon. gentleman will remember that when I made my few remarks in March, 1920, regarding the fisheries, I strongly represented to the minister and to Parliament that some change should be made in regard to the officials who had charge of the fisheries on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. I am very glad my hon. friend has backed me up in that view. The time has come when we should have practical men in charge of the fisheries of this country. If we ever expect our fisheries to progress and increase, and people to engage in this great industry, we must have, in charge of the fisheries on either the Pacific or the Atlantic coast, men who have practical knowledge, so that when the public come before them those officials will be able to give them practical advice. We appreciate what my hon. friend has told us regarding the fisheries. He has made a very illuminating address, and I am sure the committee has listened with pleasure to his observations.

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?

William Melville Martin

Mr. MAKTIN:

If there is one member more than another for whom I have a kind regard, it is the hon. member for Lunenburg (Mr. Duff), but when he tells this committee that the Canada and the Grilse should be maintained for fishery purposes in streams and rivers, then he and I disagree. I have not taken up much of the time of this House, and I do not intend to do so now, for two reasons: First, on account of my disability, I could not stand up to express myself as I would wish to do; second, I can tell a story perhaps that will illustrate my position. I had an old friend in Nova Scotia whom I had assisted in placing in a council. He had served there for three years without saying a word, and about the expiration of his time I said to him: "Old man, say something so as to let the people know that you are there." He

said: "It is necessary to be here for three years to know what to say without making a fool of yourself."

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UNION

Peter Francis Martin

Unionist

Mr. MARTIN:

Louder. I would ask my hon. friend (Mr. Duff) if we really have a fishing industry in Nova Scotia. I am sure he will answer "yes," and so will I, and we have a good one, one profitable for him as well as for others. But last year, returning from Ottawa, while I was at Montreal waiting for my train, I dropped into a theatre. About that time the Victory Loan was on and pictures were being thrown on the screen showing why we should purchase bonds, the reason, of course, being that we might assist our Allies, and so on. The pictures started from the West, showing the wheat fields with the magnificent crops of wheat and all the rest of it. Then pictures were shown of the shipping of the wheat to the elevators and the work of loading, and it was said that this was what we were spending the money for in order to assist our Allies. We came, however, from the West to Ontario and Quebec, and very nice things were said about those provinces. But we arrived .at New Brunswick, and on the screen this was said: "New Brunswick is noted for its coal and steel industries." I do not know of any such industries in New Brunswick. Then, we came further East, and we were told: "Prince Edward Island is noted for its immense fisheries. What a joke! I do not know where Nova Scotia was all this time, but that w.as no fault of New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island, for the reason that the then Minister of Finance had a stupid bunch at Ottawa. I inquired where this information was obtained, and I was told: "Oh, the Publicity Committee at Ottawa." That accounts for how that happened. The hon. member for Lunenburg (Mr. Duff) said many things in his speech, and he really quoted Scripture. I think he must have been tutored by the hon. member for Cape Breton North and Victoria (Mr. McKenzie) because he quoted to the extent that our Lord had sent Simon to cast the net in which he caught multitudes of fishes. But, perhaps, the net was a little larger at this time, and our Lord went somewhat further and said to Simon: "Go forth; fear nothing; you will catch men later on." I think we have caught the hon. member for Lunenburg not treating this Government fairly for what they have done.

He read and gave us fine, grand advice, but I would ask him: WTas the fishing industry in Nova Scotia worth while in 1910? I think echo answers, yes. What did his friends, the then Minister of Finance, now the hon. member for Shelburne and Queen's (Mr. Fielding) and the leader of the Opposition in this House to-day (Mr. Mackenzie King) and the hon. member for North Cape Breton (Mr. McKenzie), and the hon. member for Antigon-ish (Mr. Sinclair) do for the fishing industry in Nova Scotia in those days? Nothing that we know of. Then why blame? Why not give credit where credit is due? From 1911 up to to-day many and many good things have been done by this Government for the fishing industry of Canada, and particularly of Nova Scotia. I do not wish to waste the time of this House, as it has been wasted by other hon. members, by putting on Hansard all that has been done by this Governmet for the fishing industry of Canada and Nova Scotia particularly.

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June 14, 1920