March 27, 1923

LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. JAMES MURDOCK (Minister of Labour):

The right hon. gentleman is entirely right. The letter to Mr. Pacaud dated March 6, which was the date on which the agenda of the next meeting of the governing body was received, is regarded as a communication that it would be inadvisable under the circumstances to lay on the Table. I shall be glad, however, to let my right hon friend read it.

Topic:   INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I do not know why I should have special privileges. It is a letter giving the position of the government in relation to this convention, and, I presume, giving instructions. Surely that should not come under the category of secret diplomacy.

Topic:   INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE
Permalink
LIB

James Murdock (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MURDOCK:

Not at all. It was written by the Minister of Labour expressing the view of the Department of Labour as to

British Columbia Fisheries

what was desired in such representation as might be undertaken by a properly qualified person at the sessions of the governing body. There is nothing improper in that communication. My right hon. friend can read it, though, and judge for himself.

Topic:   INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE
Permalink
CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I do not suggest, I never thought of suggesting, that there was anything improper; but as it is the view of the Department of Labour, I do not know why it should be secret. However, that is the minister's position.

Topic:   INTERNATIONAL LABOUR CONFERENCE
Permalink

BRITISH COLUMBIA FISHING LICENSES


On the Orders of the Day: Mr. J. A. CLARK (Burrard) asked leave, under rule 39, to move the adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance, namely, the giving of a pledge in December last by the Department of Marine and Fisheries to the salmon canners of British Columbia respecting the regulations and conditions under which that industry might be conducted during the season of 1923, and the announcement in March 1923 by the same department that such pledge is not to be honoured, with immediate resultant loss to those engaged in such industry, who relied on the sanctity of the pledge so given.


LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

The hon. member has followed the procedure and the practice with regard to motions of this kind. Under rule 39, subsection 4, the mover hands a written statement of the matter poposed to be discussed to the Speaker, who, if he thinks it in order, reads it out and asks whether the member has the leave of the House to proceed. The motion is certainly drafted as it should be. I must confess that I have a doubt as to the question whether or not the matter is one of urgent public importance. It would certainly be one of importance in the county which I have. the honour to represent, the county of Gaspe, and I know it is a matter of importance in British Columbia. Is it a matter of urgent public importance throughout the whole Dominion? Perhaps so. Indeed, I am inclined to believe it may be a matter of urgent public importance, affecting as it does a large industry, prices, and so on. Therefore I would give the hon. member the benefit of the doubt.

Topic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA FISHING LICENSES
Permalink
LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Marine and Fisheries):

May I say a word? I know this motion is not debatable, but I

[Mr. Murdock.!

wish to point out that my hon. friend advised me at a quarter past two to-day-I met him on the way to the dining-room-that he was going to bring up this matter this afternoon. I immediately asked for all the documents papers and records, but they have not yet arrived. I would ask my hon. friend to postpone this matter at least until to-morrow.

Topic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA FISHING LICENSES
Permalink
CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

It is true I met the minister around noon and spoke to him about the matter, but I had tried during the morning to notify him. I left word at his department and told him what I proposed to do. But the fact is this-

Topic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA FISHING LICENSES
Permalink
LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

I do not wish to interrupt the hon. gentleman but I should like to conclude the remarks I was making to the House in support of the stand I intend to take. The matter must be not only of public importance but also of urgency. On the question of urgency, the hon. gentleman states in his motion that the pledge alleged to have been given by the Department of Marine and Fisheries if not honoured would result in immediate loss to those engaged in this industry. Under the circumstances, therefore, I believe that I should favour the broad principle of freedom of speech and let the hon. gentleman air his grievance, if he has one. before the House.

Topic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA FISHING LICENSES
Permalink
CON

John Arthur Clark

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CLARK:

Last summer a Fisheries Commission was appointed to investigate the fisheries of British Columbia. During the time of its investigations the Department of Marine and Fisheries carried on negotiatons with the salmon canners of British Columbia, and in June last the department assured the canners that irrespective of the decision arrived at by the commission no change would be made in the number of licenses issued, other than white and Indian licenses, beyond the 10 per cent reduction laid down by the department. In December last the Fisheries Commission filed its preliminary report, which recommended a 40 per cent reduction of these licenses. The canners thereupon made an inquiry of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Lapointe) who sent this telegram to the Salmon Canners' Association:

No action will be taken on commission's report that will affect next season. Therefore existing regulations and policy including reduction in Oriental licenses decided upon last June will govern industry next year.

That reply was dated December, 22, 1922.

Topic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA FISHING LICENSES
Permalink
PRO
CON
CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. L. J. LADNER (Vancouver South):

I rise as the seconder of the motion. There is no doubt that this matter is one of great importance to British Columbia. I also have had some communications with the hon. Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Lapointe) regarding this matter. The salmon industry is one of the largest in Canada. It is one in which the co-operation of the proper department of the government is most necessary owing to the serious competition which the industry has to face from the United States, particularly the state of Washington across the line, and as the hon. member for Burrard (Mr. Clark) has mentioned, from Siberia also.

It seems to me, in a word, that the report of this commission, on the merits or demerits of which I do not propose to make any remarks at the present time, is not the question involved here, but the simple question of abiding by the undertaking of responsible members of the government so that business men, laying out their plans for the year-as cannery men must do-and making their expenditures and their arrangements, will be able to do so knowing that the governmental regulations under which they work will be of a kind consistent with the plans which they have formed. There may be some explanation which the minister has to offer; and I would urge upon the government, and upon hon. members, that this matter be dealt with

British Columbia Fisheries

dispassionately and fairly, and that the great industries of the country be not hampered or handicapped by action of this kind. There is no reason why they should be; there is nothing to be gained by changing an arrangement or undertaking such as that. Even the political aspect of the question is not one that would commend itself to a minister of the Crown under such circumstances. I trust that the government will see its way clear to make such adjustments, conforming to their own original declarations, as will give justice and fair treatment to those interested in the business.

Topic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA FISHING LICENSES
Permalink
LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. WILLIAM DUFF (Lunenburg):

I am very glad indeed that both the hon. member for Burrard (Mr. Clark) and the hon. member for Vancouver South (Mr. Ladner) have made such short speeches on such an important question as the fisheries of British Columbia. I will, therefore, endeavour to make my own remarks brief although I have been so loaded up with material on this very important matter during the past six months that I am afraid I shall continue talking all the afternoon and all the evening unless somebody pulls my coat tails as a signal for me to sit down. Now, Sir, if I understand the remarks of the hon. member for Burrard he finds no fault with the decision arrived at by the British Columbia Fisheries Commission, which was composed of members representing all the groups in this House.

Topic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA FISHING LICENSES
Permalink
CON
LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

We will be very glad if the hon. member at some time in the future, will discuss the report of that commission; speaking for my fellow commissioners and myself we would be very glad indeed to see that report discussed. However, if I followed my hon. friend's remarks correctly, and also those of the hon. member for Vancouver South, there seems to be some difference of opinion as to whether a reduction of 10 per cent, or a reduction of 40 per cent, should be put into force in the case of Japanese licenses-

Topic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA FISHING LICENSES
Permalink
CON
LIB

William Duff

Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

Just let me finish my sentence- and because the department finally decided to. put the 40 per cent reduction into effect, my hon. friends argue that thereby the industry would suffer very seriously. Personally I do not think there is going to be any serious handicap placed on the canneries of British Columbia by reason of the fact that the government has put a 40 per cent reduction into effect.

Topic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA FISHING LICENSES
Permalink
CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

If my hon. friend seriously intends to discuss the merits of the question he is not doing so. May I direct his attention to the fact that we make no argument with respect to the reduction of the licenses. The point we are emphasizing is the undertaking given by the government, which has nothing whatever to do with the report in question.

Topic:   BRITISH COLUMBIA FISHING LICENSES
Permalink

March 27, 1923