May 29, 1930

CON

William Garland McQuarrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McQUARRIE:

I submit that that statement should be withdrawn.

. Mr. KING (Kootenay): It will not be withdrawn because I will follow it up with the evidence.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
Subtopic:   TREATY BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Go on with the evidence.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
Subtopic:   TREATY BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

My hon. friends challenged not only the desire of the people engaged in this industry, but they challenged their friends in the government of British Columbia. They challenged the opinion of the officials of that government, and put their opinion before the people as being contrary to the opinion of the officials in British Columbia, with the result that the treaty has been delayed for a year. They have undertaken to-day, by a discussion of the amendments which have been made to the treaty, to justify their consideration of the treaty.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
Subtopic:   TREATY BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
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CON

Leon Johnson Ladner

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LADNER:

I should like to ask the

minister whether he intends to carry on a debate along these lines. I had not intended to participate in the debate nor had other hon. members on this side. We are commending the treaty. We believe it is a good one. I was going to ask the minister whether, on reconsideration, he would not think it wiser under the circumstances to abstain in his remarks from partisanship, because otherwise there will be involved a really warm discussion in which most of us will have to participate.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I am prepared to do that and to discuss the amendments to the treaty. I do not want to prolong the

2S04

Sockeye Salmon Fisheries

discussion. The treaty is, I am sure, acceptable to the members of the house. The first amendment, which is a most important one, is that dealing with the extension of extraterritorial waters. That was brought about by the experience of last summer when it was found the fishermen moved outside of the prohibited limit and fished there.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
Subtopic:   TREATY BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
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CON

William Garland McQuarrie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. McQUARRIE:

Did I not raise that

same point before the committee?

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

That may be.

The effect of the second amendment is to give fuller power to the commission. The previous treaty limited the power of the commission in connection with the removal of an obstruction. It has been thought wise in the interval to amend the treaty so that the commission may have authority in our waters to remove obstructions if they see fit. We have also arranged under the new treaty that the commission may acquire lands for the purpose of developing the fisheries :n our territory.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Just where is that in the treaty? Perhaps the hon. gentleman will read it.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
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John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

It is article VIII of the treaty which reads:

Each high contracting party shall acquire and place al; the disposition of the commission any land within its territory-

_ Mr. BENNETT: Then what does the minister mean by saying that the commission shall buy land? The government buys it, not the commission. Read the agreement.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

The treaty provides that the government-

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Not the commission, but the government.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

There is no difference, because we had an opinion of the Department of Justice last year, that when the commission went out of existence they had no control or ownership.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
Subtopic:   TREATY BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

Does the hon. gentleman know what he is talking about?

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
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?

John Warwick King

Mr. KING (Kootenay):

I do. Let me have the floor.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
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LIB

Lucien Cannon (Solicitor General of Canada)

Liberal

Mr. CANNON:

One assumes he thinks he does.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

That would be somewhat doubtful.

Mr. KING Kootenay): Under the treaty

of last year it required unanimous approval of two commissioners from each party to concur in fishing regulations. That provision has

been extended so that it affects the regulations that may be brought into effect on the upper reaches of the Fraser river. I think those are the important changes in the bill,

I promise my hon. friends I shall not develop the argument I started out to do. I wish merely to say that the treaty is of great importance not only to the people of British Columbia, to those engaged in the industry there, but to the people of Canada on account of the fact that its restoration means an annual wealth of some $30,000,000 to the people of that province and the people of the Dominion as a whole. It is so important that from time to time various governments of 'Canada have undertaken to negotiate such a treaty and this is considered to be the best treaty that as yet has been negotiated or considered by the two governments. The other treaties were never brought into being, the Senate of the United States failing to agree to them and pass them; but it is understood that this treaty will become law, and if so, no doubt much good will come from it.

The hon. member for New Westminster spoke of the hardship that might be placed upon those who are engaged in the fishing industry on the Fraser river through the operations of the treaty. That has been well considered by the fishermen themselves and they realize, as they have realized in the state of Washington, that if they continue their occupation as fishermen each year as they have been doing in the past, it will not be long before that industry will disappear entirely. So it has been considered by them- and I believe they are in agreement on this point-that in the interest of the fishing industry and in their own interest some scheme or plan of this kind should be devised in order to restore the fishery. I have very much pleasure in thoroughly endorsing the treaty, and I believe it will be approved generally throughout Canada.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
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CON

Charles Herbert Dickie

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DICKIE:

Having been a member of

the fisheries committee which considered the treaty as it was submitted last year, and having, perhaps, severely criticized it in some respects, I wish to say that the remarks of the Minister of Health with respect to any anti-Americanism tinging the considerations of that committee or any thought of such a thing, is nonsensical and untrue. There was not one anti-American thought in connection with the consideration of that treaty. I approve unhesitatingly of the treaty this year. The other treaty as submitted to us contained clauses of which we did not approve. We reasoned them out and our hon. friends oppo-

Sockeye Salmon Fisheries

site saw the point in our objections. Now we have a treaty which, I believe, is the best that can be devised and I am wholeheartedly in favour of it. My purpose in rising is simply to impress upon the government that the success or otherwise of the treaty will depend upon the personnel of the commission. The problems that the}' will have to consider will bristle with difficulties. Let there be appointed good strong men without regard to political persuasion, men that can resist the enormous pressure that will be brought to bear upon them, men of sound common sense, and in that case we shall rehabilitate the fisheries of the Fraser river. It will be one of the finest treaties ever entered into by the Dominion of Canada. People who live in the east do not realize what we have lost through the depletion of the salmon fisheries in the Fraser river. As a parting word, I implore the government to select good strong men for the commission and doubtless the people of the United States will do the same.

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Subtopic:   TREATY BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
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LAB

James Shaver Woodsworth

Labour

Mr. WOODSWORTH:

May I say one word in endorsation of what was stated by the hon. member for New Westminster? I am not going to discuss the treaty; I am wholly in favour of its passing. I think the people on the west coast and indeed, all over Canada will endorse it. Several years ago, when I lived on the west coast, I had come in touch with and developed a good deal of sympathy for the fishermen there. Very likely the coming into force of this treaty may work a hardship on some of them as individuals. It may be rather dangerous to establish a precedent that the introduction of new machinery or improved methods should give ground for complaint on the part of those who are injured by such new machinery or improved methods, yet since these things are in the interests of the whole community, I have never been able to see why some little help should not be given during the transition period to the people who are prejudicially affected. The big fishing companies can probably look after themselves, but there are many small fishermen who have through the years invested their all in boats and fishing tackle and it may not be easy for them to accommodate themselves to the new situation. I do not profess to have given sufficient thought to the matter to know how this end might be achieved, but I would urge the government to give some consideration to the case of these men as they may be adversely affected by the treaty.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
Subtopic:   TREATY BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
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LIB

William Lyon Mackenzie King (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council; Secretary of State for External Affairs)

Liberal

Mr. MACKENZIE KING:

The copy of the minute is as follows:

P. Walker,

Deputy Clerk, Executive Council. Certified copy of a Minute of the Honourable

the Executive Council, approved by His

Honour the Lieutenant-Governor on the 4th

day of April, A.D. 1929.

To His Honour

the Lieutenant-Governor in Council:

The undersigned has the honour to recommend:

That His Honour the Lieutenant-Governor be requested to convey to the government of Canada, through the Secretary of State, the strong sense of satisfaction and gratification felt by the government of this province upon learning of the conclusion in Washington of the Fraser River Salmon Treaty.

Dated this 3rd day of April, A.D. 1929.

"S. L. Howe,"

Provincial Secretary.

Approved this 3rd day of April, A.D. 1929.

"R. W. Bruhn,"

Presiding Member of the Executive Council.

Shortly after this order in council had been passed by the government of British Columbia, the premier of British Columbia gave an interview which appeared in the Vancouver Daily Province of May 23, 1929. It is headed, "Premier Tolmie Issues Statement," and reads:

In a statement issued to-day, Premier Tolmie said:

"According to our views and legal advice received after careful reading of the treaty, there is no provision there which either impliedly, or directly, contains any interference either territorially or in an administrative sense with, or surrender of, Canadian rights. The province was at all times completely represented and fully informed during the negotiations leading to the signing of the treaty with a view to safeguarding provincial rights.

"The Dominion conducted the negotiations, but conferred at all times with the province, which fully approved of, and has repeatedly endorsed the treaty.

"The restoration of the sockeye salmon fisheries of the Fraser river system is one of the greatest reclamation projects in which Canada and the United States can jointly engage, and cannot be consummated except under the terms of such a treaty as the present. The government of British Columbia and, I believe, the whole people of British Columbia desire that parliament ratify this treaty."

That is the treaty as it was when introduced in this house last year and referred to a committee; but it was afterwards withdrawn because of the discussion which took place, and because of the implication-I will put it mildly-which was spread abroad that in some way or another-to make use of words used by Premier Tolmie in referring to the matter -there was an implied surrender of some Canadian interest to the United States. Premier Tolmie made it quite clear that in his

opinion neither impliedly nor directly was this' the case; that his opinion given under legal advice was that it could not be found that the treaty contained any interference either territorially, or in an administrative sense with, or surrender of, Canadian rights.

Changes that have since been made in the treaty have been of relatively minor significance. The treaty itself was for the purpose of appointing an international commission with certain powers which would enable them to make regulations for the protection, preservation and extension of the sockeye salmon industry. There have been some modifications, and I am free to confess that it is a satisfaction to the government that it has been possible to make modifications even if they serve no other purpose, so far as Canada is concerned, than that of bringing all parties into accord on a great international engagement such as the treaty is.

Possibly for purposes of record I should give to the house what the government understands to be the modifications that have been made. They have been set forth fairly accurately by the hon. member for North Vancouver in his remarks this afternoon, though with an emphasis, perhaps, that accords more with my hon. friend's desires in the matter than with the facts. The significance which he has attached to some of the modifications is, perhaps, greater in his own mind than it is in the minds of others, in the house, who have also given the matter careful study. Be that as it may, I will give the various modifications and leave it to the house and the country to judge for themselves as to the extent to which they are really significant.

The previous treaty did not cover any extraterritorial waters, as up to the time it was entered into no sockeye salmon fishing had taken place in such waters. Last year a number of United States and a few Canadian purse-seiners tried to meet the approaching salmon beyond the three mile limit off the entrance to Juan de Fuca Strait. They were successful. Hence it became obvious that if such waters were not placed under the control of the commission to be appointed under the treaty, their efforts could be nullified by the capture of the fish before they entered the treaty waters. The United States government proposed that these waters should be included, and this was agreed to. Article I has been redrafted accordingly. That, it will be observed, is a change due to representations made by the government of the United States, not a change to be credited to last year's committee or action on the part of any of

Sockeye Salmon Fisheries

its members. The feature dealt with had not presented itself for consideration to the committee when it met.

I should perhaps inform the house that while the treaty was withdrawn for the time being in this country, it was also withdrawn by the government of the United States when before the Senate as a result of representations which had been made to Washington on the part of certain interests in the United States; more than one of the modifications that have been made in the treaty have been made at the instance of representations made ito Washington by citizens of that country. The one to which I have just referred is the first.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
Subtopic:   TREATY BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

May I correct the right hon. gentleman? When the treaty was withdrawn in Congress, Senator Borah stated that the reason for its being withdrawn was that they had agreed on a reconsideration of the treaty. That was in December.

Topic:   SOCKEYE SALMON FISHERIES
Subtopic:   TREATY BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES
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May 29, 1930