May 30, 1930

LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

All ships carrying passengers have to have wireless.

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CON
LIB
CON

Harry Bernard Short

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHORT:

A great deal of money has

been spent by the department on life saving stations, and I do not think that in all cases you are getting the best returns. There is a life saving station in my constituency, where a body of men is kept the year round, and they do very good work indeed, but they would be able to do very much better had they proper equipment. They have a boat that was obtained in 1911 or 1912, and it was a second hand boat then. The department is spending a lot of money on repairs to that old boat, and she cannot be made seaworthy because she is out of date and obsolete. But if the minister would spend a few thousand dollars in new equipment for the Bayview life saving station at the entrance to Digby harbour, this station could render splendid service. There is a long coast line which this boat patrols, and it is very often called upon to render aid to the fishermen; but owing to the fact that the boat is obsolete and her engine breaks down when she is most needed, she is not able to render the service she should. I understand

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that last year some repairs were made to this boat, but she is still obsolete because you cannot take an old fashioned boat, remove her engine and replace it with another secondhand engine, and make anything out of her. You want an up-to-date life boat that can render service to the hundreds of fishermen along the bay of fundy coast. You have a good crew and a good building, and if you had a proper boat you would then be in a position to render the service that is supposed to be given to the fisherman who take their lives in their hands to go out to sea to fish. The minister would be well advised to have a new boat placed at the life saving station at Bay-view.

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UFA

George Gibson Coote

United Farmers of Alberta

Mr. COOTE:

There are only two wholetime men and two part-time men in the radio engineers' department in Alberta. That is too small a number to cover such a great area. There are many complaints because of leaks from the Calgary Power Company's main line. The engineers cannot possibly cover the ground satisfactorily. The minister has a surplus of 111,000 from the operation of the radio department in Alberta, and I would ask him if he could not give us a couple more engineers to give the people the service to which I think they are entitled in view of the fees that are being received by the department.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

I am informed that that

situation is being attended to.

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Item agreed to.


CON

Harry Bernard Short

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHORT:

If all the marine items have

now been disposed of, Mr. Chairman. I have a word to say in connection with the Fisheries department, particularly in connection with Bill No 26, which was passed last session, and order in council P.C. 2196, dated October 30, 1929. The house, of course, is aware that in 1927 a commission was appointed to investigate the fisheries of the maritime prov-vinces, particularly of Nova Scotia. One of the very live questions then occupying the minds of the fishermen of Nova Scotia was the steam trawler question. This commission sat in all parts of the province of Nova Scotia, heard evidence from fishermen in every section, and then brought in a majority and a minority report. The commission was composed of five members. The chairman was Mr. Justice Maclean, a man who is very familiar with conditions in Nova Scotia because he represented a fishing constituency for a number of years and was in close touch with the fishing industry of the province. Another member of the commission was Professor Cyrus Macmillan, of McGill university. He knew nothing whatever about the fisheries,

but is a very fine man. The other three members were Nova Scotia fish dealers whose minds were made up before they entered on the inquiry-they were very much apposed to the trawler. The result was that Professor Macmillan and these others brought in a majority report advocating the abolition of trawelrs. Mr. Justice Maclean, the chairman, did not agree and recommended that trawlers should not be abolished, that they were an absolute necessity if we were to continue to supply the markets of Canada with regular shipments of fresh fish. Bill No. 26, based on that report was introduced last session and passed. It was satisfactory to all concerned, both the trawler people and I think the shore fishermen, and had its provisions been put into effect there would have been no trouble. But on October 30, 1929, the government passed order in council P.C. 2196. Let me put on Hansard the circular issued by the minister's department with respect to this order in council:

Canada

Department of Marine and Fisheries Fisheries Branch Notice

By order in council of October thirtieth, 1929 P.C. 2196, and under the authority of section 69A of the Fisheries Act, which section was established by 19-20, George V, Chapter 42, it was provided that a licence to any fishing vessel which uses an otter or other trawl of a similar nature, will not be granted except under the following conditions:

1. That such vessel was built in Canada and is now operating under temporary licence or was built in Canada subsequent to November 1, 1929.

Provided, however, that existing fishing vessels, other than Canadian built, which use otter or other trawls of a similar nature, and in respect of which temporary licences are now in force, shall be eligible for licence but only during the period ending April 1, 1932.

2. On and after April 1, 1930. a licence fee at the rate of one cent per pound, shall be payable by the owner or operator of any such fishing vessel that was not built in Canada, and, at the rate of two-thirds of a cent per pound, shall be payable by the owner or operator of any such fishing vessel that was built in Canada. under regulations approved by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, on all cod. haddock and halibut that are caught and landed on the Atlantic coast of Canada by any such fishing vessel. In determining the 'weights of such fish, in the case of cod and haddock, such shall be done with the heads on, but with the entrails removed, and in the case of halibut, with the heads off and the entrails removed: provided that no licence fee shall be payable on fish caught and landed during the months of January, February and March in each year, nor on scrod-that is. fish with the heads on, but with the entrails removed, that weigh less than two and one-half pounds each.

Wm. A. Found.

Deputy Minister of Fisheries. Ottawa, November 2, 1929.

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This means that after 1932 five British trawlers with Canadian registry will be practically confiscated because it is an impossibility to keep those vessels in order so that they can fish only three months in the year and the other nine months pay a tax of one cent a pound on all the fish they land. This, I claim, is the most drastic legislation that has ever been enacted in this country. The idea of a government, a Liberal government especially, that claims it does not want to tax the food of the people, putting a one cent tax on one of the natural food products of our country, is to my mind simply preposterous. We had no fresh fish industry in this country until trawlers started to operate in 1910 or 1911. Prior to that time we had to depend upon our shore boats in the summer time and on our schooners in the winter. We had no regular supply, with the result that we had no fresh fish market in this country. Most of our supplies came in from the United States because our cities could not depend upon Nova Scotia giving them a regular supply during all seasons of the year.

The companies that were in business then decided that if we were to build up a fresh fish market in this country we must have modern methods, that is, trawlers that can fish in all kinds of weather and land regular supplies. As a result a splendid market has been built up by being able to give regular supplies of fish. Now this government comes forward with legislation that is going to prevent these trawlers from operating in our waters during nine months of the year unless they pay a tax of one cent a pound, which is practically prohibitive. Both the minister and his deputy know that.

Now, these trawlers have not interfered with the shore fishermen to the extent the minister thinks they have, for the simple reason that the trawler companies have in the past handled all the fish that have been offered to them by the shore fishermen. This order in council would never have been passed had it not been for the agitation, not by the boat fishermen but by the fish dealers who are operating vessels instead of steam trawlers. They were the people who agitated for the abolition of the steam trawler. But even they did not ask for its abolition altogether; they asked that nothing but Canadian-built trawlers be used. This matter was brought up in the house last session by the junior member for Halifax (Mr. Quinn) when Bill No. 26 was under discussion. He moved an amendment asking that nothing but Canadian trawlers be allowed to operate. The minister's answer to that was that this would mean confiscation of the five British trawlers with Canadian

registry that were already operating in Nova Scotia. Let me quote from page 3483 of Hansard of June 10 last year:

Mr. Cardin: Although I am in sympathy with the policy advocated by my hon. friend from Halifax in regard to encouraging our shipbuilding industry, I cannot accept his amendment. It would have the effect of practically confiscating a certain number of vessels which are now in operation and have been for a period of years.

So the minister's opinion then was that if these boats were not allowed to operate it meant confiscation. That is just what the minister is doing to-day by this order in council. He is prohibiting these vessels from operating, and it practically means that after April, 1932, they will not be able to operate even if they pay a tax of a cent a pound. Therefore those vessels will be confiscated. But there is no mention whatever of compensation to the owners. I believe the companies that own these trawlers if they felt they were going to be compensated would be able to make arrangements to carry on their business. Does the minister think that it is fair to confiscate these five British built trawlers with Canadian registry? They cost from $65,000 to $75,000 each, and they are British built. They have been registered in this country since 1917, some of them since 1915, and yet we say that after 1932 they must go to the junk heap. That is the practical effect of the order in council, because the trawlers were built totally and solely for the fishing industry and are suitable for no other purpose. Surely if it is intended to carry out this order in council and to confiscate those ships after 1932, the companies are entitled to compensation.

This matter of catching fish by steam trawlers is not new; every fishing country in the world is operating steam trawlers, and Canada is the only country which has suggested legislation of this nature.

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LIB

James Layton Ralston (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. RALSTON:

Japan has this legislation.

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CON

Harry Bernard Short

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHORT:

She is the only country in the w'orld, with the exception of Canada which has such legislation. The United States, Great Britain, France, Spain, Norway and other fishing countries have no legislation of this nature. I do not know very much about Japan, but I hope we are further advanced than that country is. The United States have about 170 trawlers which come down and fish in the same grounds we are using. If this government prevents our trawlers from fishing the result will be that in the winter season the markets of the upper provinces will be supplied by fish from the United States. That is the condition which we had previous to the

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use of trawlers. I know the minister will say that the fishing schooners of to-day can supply the market. I say they cannot, because they are affected by weather conditions. The fishing schooners of to-day are the same class of vessels which we had fifteen years ago. We had fishing schooners operating out of Nova Scotia for many years, but they could not supply the market for fresh fish, for the simple reason that they were unable to maintain a steady supply. There would be weeks during the fall and winter months when gales of wind would prevent the landing of any fish, consequently the Canadian market could not depend on a regular supply of this important commodity, and to meet the demand importations were made from the United States. Do we want to revert to that situation? I do not think so. Last winter, it is true, a number of schooners operated out of Halifax, Lunenburg, and Liverpool, but there were times when the demand could not be supplied. There was either a feast or a famine; there was a full supply in fine weather and in stormy weather there was none. If we reverted to this style of fishing we would be confronted with the same difficulty.

What would our friends in the western provinces do if we put on a tax on all the wheat they harvested with the aid of the new combine machine? That machine does away with the necessity for hundreds of labourers. What would happen if this government told the western harvesters that they could not operate by these new methods, but must go back to the methods in vogue many years ago? How would they consider a proposal of that kind? Yet that is practically what this government is doing in connection with the trawlers. When any new invention has been put on the market the use of which would favourably affect the fishing industry, we have been confronted with-the same condition. Years ago we used the hand line, and when we discarded the old method there were objections raised. In 1875 the fishery officer for Nova Scotia reported, as contained in the report of the Commissioner of Fisheries to the minister, as follows:

The short yield of cod may be accounted for as follows: this fishing is pursued around the shores of Nova Scotia entirely in open boats which can only remain on the fishing grounds during comparatively smooth weather, and as winds this year were continuous and heavy during the fishing season, little was done in shore fishing.

I would also beg to call your attention to what overseer Ross says with reference to trawl fishing. I have no personal knowledge of this mode of fishing, but wherever practised it is generally considered injurious to the fisheries for reasons stated by Mr. Ross.

This statement here made has reference to the time we used the hand line. The present system was adopted in 1875, and it was thought that it would ruin the fisheries. To continue reading:

After a very careful investigation of the subject I have come to the conclusion that it is a very great injury to the fisheries of our coast, for the following reasons, namely, trawls are set on Saturday and left so during Sunday; many fish dieengage themselves from. the trawls, and in several instances are so cut and mangled as to die in the water Another evil from the result of trawl fishing is the practice of cleaning the fish taken wherever the trawls are set. Some of the oldest fishermen in this country tell me that the codfish spawn in these bays and along these shores. If this is true, and I have no reason to doubt it, the sooner that mode of fishing be abolished the better for our country because it is not the people of our province that derive the most benefit from trawl fishing, but the Americans. Just imagine a fleet of forty vessels, fitted out with five trawls each, and five or six hundred hooks on each trawl; how quick they will sweep the fishing grounds of all kinds.

That is what the fishermen thought away back in 1875. Then in 1910 the steam trawler was introduced, and it has been used in the fish industries of every country. To-day tve are faced with the same complaint which was lodged in 1875, except that in this instance it is levelled against the steam trawler, and it is suggested that this particular vessel is going to ruin the fishing industry. The fact of the matter is that the industry requires markets. If we had a wider market for our fish, and if the department would give a little more attention to the marketing of our fish rather than passing legislation such as this, our industry would profit to a greater extent than it has in the past. If the department had put forth efforts to find new markets there would have been no difficulties in the province of Nova Scotia regarding the use of the trawler. The reason the contention with regard to trawlers arose is that in 1927 conditions were very bad in the fish markets of the country. Prices were very low, and the fishermen thought they were not getting adequate prices for their catch. That was not because of the trawler, which had nothing to do with it; it was because of the condition of the market, and if you and your department had expended a little more effort in securing markets rather than in passing legislation such as this it would have been very much more in the interests of the fishing industry. The trouble with the department is that you are en-endeavouring to develop the fishing industry by legislation and by bolstering it up with subsidies, when what is required is good, com-

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mon sense business administration along practical and progressive lines. If you would do that rather than pass so much legislation it would be very much better for the industry.

I have read the correspondence in connection with this trawler question and I find many letters from prominent people interested in the fishing industry of Nova Scotia protesting against this order in council. You have had letters from the Halifax Cold Storage Company, which operates one of the largest cold storage plants in the maritime provinces and which is subsidized to the extent of about $700,000 by this government. They are practically out of business so far as the fishing industry is concerned.

I protest most vigorously against this order in council; I think the government would be well advised to pass another order in council now allowing the trawlers to land their fish under certain restrictions. If you carried out the provisions of Bill 26 it would satisfy both the trawler people and the shore fishermen. Something has to be done; you cannot confiscate these vessels without compensating these people for them.

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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:

I do not want to interrupt another address by my hon. friend, but I think I should submit to the committee that there are some 150 items still to be carried, and either we will each have to apply a self-denial ordinance or we must entirely forego the idea of proroguing this evening.

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CON

Harry Bernard Short

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHORT:

I have taken very little time on any of the estimates, and I propose to have something to say in connection with some of these fishery items.

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CON

John Anderson Fraser

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. FRASER:

I should like to ask the

minister a few questions with regard to the fishery branch at Stuart lake. I have a return here with regard to the appointment of fishery guardians at Fort St. James and Takla lake. First there is a memorandum appointing J. P. Myers and George Hamilton to these two positions; then there is a memorandum from the deputy minister to Mr. Motherwell, superintendent in Vancouver, followed by a protest from Mr. Motherwell with regard to the suggested appointment. Mr. Motherwell says:

The information received at this office is to the effect that both the nominees in these cases, that is Messrs. Myers and Hamilton, are entirely unsuitable for the work required of them.

Then he goes on to say, with regard to the two men who are replaced:

Messrs. Kynoch and Forfar served last year and both very satisfactorily. Kynoch has 'had

many years experience in the salmon business and several years in the Stuart lake hatchery. He is a very keen, conscientious man and has a thorough knowledge of his duties. It would be a great mistake to change him.

Then there is a letter from Mr. Casey to Mr. Motherwell asking his objections to these men, in these words:

You do not state in what respects the above mentioned men are unsuitable. . . .

Then there is a protest from John B. Babcock, deputy minister of fisheries of British Columbia, as follows:

^ Trust there is not truth in the report that Kynoch of Stuart lake is to be relieved. In my judgment he is one of the most capable and energetic fishery officers in the Fraser basin. I urge his retention.

Then there is a letter from Mr. Casey to Mr. Babcock under date of May 15 stating:

As you are doubtless aware the position is a seasonal one and while arrangements for the coming season do not contemplate the reemployment of Mr. Kynoch, further inquiry is being made in the premises to assure that the interests concerned are fully safeguarded.

There you have it from your own inspector of fisheries, your own chief man in British Columbia, that these are capable and desirable men who have discharged their duties to the satisfaction of the department, and you also have the commissioner of fisheries of British Columbia asking that these men be retained. What explanation has the minister for the removal of these men and the appointment of two men who are not acceptable to his own officials?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

My hon. friend was good enough to tell me that he intended to bring up this matter on the discussion of the estimates. I have looked into the question, and after discussing it with the deputy minister I have come to the conclusion that the recommendation of Mr. Motherwell should be followed.

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CON
CON

Murray MacLaren

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacLAREN:

Is provision being made in the estimates for the clearing of small salmon streams on the New Brunswick coast of the bay of Fundy?

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

Yes, it is provided for in the general vote.

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CON

Murray MacLaren

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MacLAREN:

Will it continue this year? Mr. CARDIN: Yes.

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CON

Harry Bernard Short

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SHORT:

I have a few words more to say;

I am sorry to detain the committee, but I will not do it unnecessarily. These items should have been brought down weeks ago in order to allow a full discussion of them. I want to call attention to an item of $236,000 to assist in the conservation and development of the deep sea fisheries and the demand for fish. There is an increase here of $106,000, and I should like to ask the minister how that is to be expended.

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LIB

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

Liberal

Mr. CARDIN:

The increase is due to the development of that branch of the department. The amount of $236,000 is required to cover fish collection services, aid in establishing fishermen, aid in expanding the demand for fish, fisheries inspection, educational work leading to the use of better methods in fishing, aid in the organization of fishermen, and scallop investigations.

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May 30, 1930