A few minutes ago the minister, speaking of the personnel of trade commissioners in different parts of the world, referred to the fact that the Civil Service Commission in the examinations made a point of the educational qualifications that were necessary. I notice he said nothing as to whether these men should have business training or qualifications. It is very import-
ant that men who go out into the world to negotiate with other countries for the sale of our goods, should have certain business training and know how to talk with business men in other countries.
I also notice that one of the trade commissioners has been appointed to Cuba and lives in Havana. As the hon. member for Hants-Kings said, it is most important especially at the present time that some trade arrangements be made with Cuba not only with regard to potatoes but also with regard to fish. Perhaps the minister can give the committee the figures, but I think I am correct in saying that more Canadian goods, especially fish and potatoes, are sold in Cuba than in any other island in the West Indies. If the minister looks up the returns for the last few months I think he will find that this trade in both potatoes and fish has dropped off considerably, due particularly to the fact that a short time ago the Cuban government, adopting no doubt a policy similar to that of the present government of this country, increased very largely the duties on fish and potatoes. This has crippled business, especially in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, with regard to both the potato trade and the fish trade. It is most important that something be done by the government to better these conditions. It is true, of course, that one of the ministers, the hon. member for Kings, was sent to Cuba a short time ago. Although he made a statement to the house a day or two ago, it was not a very definite statement and perhaps it was not the time that such a statement should be made with regard to what he was able to accomplish on his mission. I notice he said nothing with regard to the trade in Cuba for fish. That is a very important trade in the maritime provinces, and especially in the city of Halifax, the county which I represent and the county in which I live. Would the minister tell the committee if he receives reports from the different trade commissioners every month? I should like especially to know whether he has reports from the trade commissioner in Cuba for the last six months, whether they are monthly, fortnightly or weekly, and whether we can find from those reports what the commissioner says with regard to the falling off in trade in fish and potatoes in Cuba.