June 6, 1929

IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

Mr. Chairman, the member

for Skeena does not tell the house that the hydrographic survey boat has been operating off the Queen Charlotte islands for years and years, to the neglect of the interests lower down the coast, and if the boat has been transferred to Vancouver Island such transfer was long overdue. I am glad to hear that a new hydrographic survey boat is being provided for in the supplementary estimates, and I do hope that it will be in addition to the Lillooet and not to replace it. That perhaps in some way explains why this vote is smaller than it was last year. It was small enough then, and I am sorry to see it reduced. The members from eastern Canada do not appreciate how urgent is the need for this survey work. I recall a year or two ago that Sir Henry Drayton suggested the cutting down of this vote. That is very easy for an eastern man to say, for such survey work has been carried on in eastern waters for a hundred years, but we on the Pacific coast are only now waking up to the absolute necessity of these hydrographic surveys.

This house will perhaps be interested to know that in many places still our seamen are operating by the aid of charts made by Captain Vancouver when the western Pacific was first discovered, so to speak. Vancouver's charts have proved to be very good so far as they go, but he only did his work at wide intervals. Now, there is a peculiarity in the Pacific coast waters that does not obtain elsewhere to the same extent; that is, there are large numbers of what is known as pinnacle rocks. A pinnacle rock is a small narrow rock which may be only a few yards wide, but it has a point on it that will rip the bottom of a boat just like a knife will cut into cheese. Any general survey is totally inadequate to detect those rocks. To establish their location it is necessary to sweep from point to point. This involves a far more expensive survey than any provided by the old charts made by Captain Vancouver.

I agree with a great deal of what my hon. friend from Skeena has said with regard to the growing necessity of this work, but I am talking now more in the interests of my own district. On the west coast of Vancouver island in the last three years there have been established fishery reduction plants costing between $5,000,000 and $6,000,000, and bringing an enormous return to the general public in the shape of fish meal and fish oil.

It has made a new trade of very great and valuable importance. Necessarily these plants are located in new and untried, so to speak, locations, in remote inlets. Now, the fish oil and fish meal must be taken away as soon as available. A small boat is of no use on that exposed coast. These reduction plants need boats fitted up with tank equipment. They go into one of these uncharted channels and sometimes strike an uncharted rock. The underwriting companies will not allow boats to go into these places on account of the waters being uncharted. That is the necessity, the growing necessity of the work in which this steamer Lillooet is now engaged. To give you some idea of the general benefit of that work I might mention a specific instance. Here is a vote for $495,000. This seems a large sum and there is apparently no return. But the return, though indirect is very great. I know of one place where there was a cannery and the owner chartered a boat to come and take a few thousand cases of salmon. The master, a Norwegian, looked at his chart, saw that the place was not properly charted according to the old chart, and he refused to come in. The result was that it cost the canner a thousand dollars to have I he salmon taken by lighter to a spot where it was considered safe for the steamer to load. A few months after that I got the government to send the Lillooet to chart the place, and at the cost of a few hundred dollars a very valuable service was rendered. That one undertaking alone more than justified the expenditures over a period of months in connection with the Lillooet. I have not a list before me showing the actual work done from year to year by this hydrographic survey, but I can give an idea of the development that is taking place along that line on the west coast. I might quote half a dozen figures showing the increase in the aids to navigation which have been provided in the last eight years. In' 19211 there were eight lighted buoys; to-day there are twenty-four. In 1921 there were one hundred and fifty-two unlighted buoys; to-day there are two hundred and three. In 1921 there were eighty-three lighted beacons; to-day there are one hundred and twenty-four. In 1921 there were thirty-three fog alarms, of which twenty were of the diaphone type-very expensive; to-day, instead of thirty-three, there are forty, twenty-four being diaphones. This gives a vague but significant idea of the development that has taken place in these few years. This work naturally requires a good deal of money to provide expert mechanics, and supplies have to be taken by steamer. : This is taken care of

Supply-Marine and Fisheries

in part by the vote for lighthouse tenders. I am merely trying to convey to the house some idea of the development that has taken place in the last few years, and there is not the slightest suggestion that the Marine department has been too quick to realize our needs; because getting money out of that department is like getting blood out of a stone. There is not much danger of their indulging in waste and extravagance. If they spend a nickle, you may rest assured that they should have spent a dollar. I wish to give them credit if credit is coming to them in that regard, for no man could be more careful of the public purse than the minister of this department. So that if he has put his hand into the treasury to that extent the committee may be assured that it was more than needed. We did particularly need this extra new boat and I am more than pleased to see an estimate to provide for it. I hope it is the intention of the department to keep the Lillooet on as well as the bigger boat, which can do the heavier outside work, the Lillooet being available for necessary operations in more inland waters. I trust the minister will assure me that the Lillooet will be kept in commission as well.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

Certainly.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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Item agreed to. Radiotelegraph service and to provide for the construction and maintenance of radiotelegraph ship to shore stations and the general administration of the provisions of the Radio Act and regulations throughout the Dominion, $843,505.


LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

This appropriation is to

provide for the maintenance and operation of government radio stations and for the general administration of radio in 'Canada, including the licensing and inspection of ship stations, private and commercial land stations, broadcasting and receiving stations, and the examination and certification of commercial radio operation. The vote does not include the amount necessary for improving reception.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

I presume the minister has

reference to ordinary broadcasting stations. I do not intend to ask any questions in that regard, but I desire some information in reference to government-owned radiotelegraph stations. The government own stations in the east and west and, I believe, on the lake shores as well. I understand that they own radiotelegraph stations which transmit commercial telegrams and also give weather forecasts. In eastern Canada the stations are operated by the Canadian Marconi Company, which I understand is given a subsidy each

year. I wonder why in one case the government deem it necessary to give a subsidy to a private company to operate a system which they own themselves, while in the other case, on the Pacific coast, they operate the government-owned system themselves. Why is it not possible for the government to operate all its systems?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

My hon. friend' is correct;

the government own stations on the Pacific and on the Atlantic coast, the system on the Atlantic being operated by the Marconi Company. We are not making any money in the operation of our stations on the Pacific, and I am informed that the Marconi Company is not making money either in the operation of our station in the east.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

Is the government losing

money in connection with the Pacific service?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

Yes, we are.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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LAB
LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

These stations are used

as aids to navigation and the revenue derived from them is far from being sufficient to meet the expenditures.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

Is there not some way of

separating the costs of the various services, as between commercial service and the service given to ordinary ships sailing info and out of the ports in British Columbia?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

These stations have to be

maintained as aids to navigation and the transmission of commercial messages is only incidental.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

Does that apply to the eastern service as well?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
Permalink
LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

Yes, it does.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

But why cannot the government operate its own system in the east?

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

We have a long term contract with the Marconi people, covering a period of eighteen years, which I am informed will expire in 1931. I suggest that it will be opportune then to take into consideration the suggestion made by my hon. friend.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

The government have no

control over the men who work in the stations in eastern Canada. These men have to work seven days a week, whereas on the Pacific coast employment conditions are much more satisfactory. Is there anything the government can do to have the eastern men given one day off every week? I do not think I am asking anything out of the way for these employees.

Supply-Marine and Fisheries

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
Permalink
LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

I am afraid we are not in a position to impose our views on the Marconi Company at present; we can only make representations to them.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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LAB

Abraham Albert Heaps

Labour

Mr. HEAPS:

In view of the fact that the agreement expires in 1931 and that a new agreement will have to be made, perhaps it might be just as well to take up the question next session, but I have a further matter which comes under this vote. I believe the Department of Marine and Fisheries granted a license to the Marconi Company to operate a beam service from the Pacific coast of this country. I would like to know the terms and conditions of that license.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
Permalink
LIB

Pierre-Joseph-Arthur Cardin (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

I might say to my hon.

friend that the Marconi Company has been given a license to operate a beam service from Drummondville, Quebec, to Australia, and also from Drummondville to England. The ordinary fee of $50 was collected for that license. No station has been established on the Pacific coast; the company asked for a license but no station has been erected.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   MARINE AND FISHERIES
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June 6, 1929