not only depleted but eliminated in a few years. I say *hat in all seriousness, because that has been the experience in other areas.
When the area was opened up first, in debating the matter in the house the then acting Minister of Fisheries argued that it was a question of quality. In that area there was a run of a variety known as pinks, which come in every two years. They said it was necessary to allow the seine boats to operate, because the fish deteriorated once they started up the river. Last year it was the late run of sockeye salmon. Nothing was said in 1933 about sockeye salmon, however; it was all quality in that year. As I develop my argument further I intend to show that the opening up of the area was entirely in the interests of the cannerymen and of those who owned the seines. First of all I would call attention to this fact, that away back in 1922 a commission was appointed under the chairmanship of the hon. member for Anti-gonish-Guysborough (Mr. Duff) and I have here a copy of their report. That commission studied the subject thoroughly. It was composed of many members, including some who are still in the house, and one of whom was the hon. member for Nanaimo (Mr. Dickie). Another member was my hon. friend from Comox-Alberni (Mr. Neill). The commission went out to British Columbia to investigate the whole fishing industry, and among other things which they investigated was the question of seine fishing. This is the statement on seine fishing, which we find in the submission of the Duff commisison of 1922. I will quote from it:
We think that an unlimited and widespread use of either purse or drag seines is a sure and quick way of depleting the supplies of salmon. But it was made clear to us that there are places on the coast outside of rivers where gill nets have not as yet been proved to be effective in catching salmon in reasonably large quantities. With this in mind, therefore, we recommend that drag and purse seines be not permitted to be operated for salmon except where their use has been demonstrated to be the only effective and reasonably economic method of catching such fish.
There was the definite statement made by that commission who investigated the matter on the ground. They heard the gill net fishermen, the cannerymen and all other interests, and after due deliberation they recommended that no purse seine fishing be allowed where gill net fishermen can operate. I do not think the acting Minister of Fisheries will take issue with me when I say that the area in which they are now operating could be operated entirely by gill net fishermen, because
for fifty years the gill net fishermen did operate in that area and it was not until 1933 that these others were allowed into the area at all.
That seine fishing is the most destructive form of catching fish, I do not think there can be any doubt whatever; I believe it is even more dangerous than the traps, as someone has said. And as I have pointed out, wherever they have been in operation these areas have been depleted. As regards statements that have been made with respect to the depletion of fish in the Fraser river, I should like to read two reports which I have here, one by the United States department and one by the government of British Columbia. I have a letter from the director of fisheries in the state of Washington, addressed to me in December, 1933, after they had operated that area. He says:
Heavy persecution of the run throughout the season both by American and Canadian fishermen resulted in the pack of about 180,000 cases which was considerably in excess of what should have been packed to guarantee a similar run in 1937.
The other report is supplied by Doctors W. A. and L. S. Clemens, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, British Columbia. I quote:
Fraser River: The prospect for 1935 is very discouraging. In 1931, Mr. J. P. Babcock, after making an inspection of the spawning beds in the Seton, Anderson, Lillooet, Harrison and Shuswap areas and receiving reports of dominion fisheries officers through Major Motherwell for other areas, stated that the total number of sockeye that spawned in the entire river basin was one of the smallest ever recorded. Egg collections at the Pemberton and Pitt lake hatcheries were relatively small.
I quote these two reports to show that intensive fishing by seine, and on the American side by seine and traps, is very detrimental and will have a marked effect on the future of salmon fishing in the Fraser river.
We hear a great deal now about quality and about finding a market for our fish. But let me point out the great catches of salmon which used to be made in the Fraser river and in years when they found no trouble whatever in selling this class of fish. I have not the time to put all the figures on record, but if one cares to go back to the year 1926 he will find that the market value of salmon was then §18,769,605. And as regards the packs of salmon in the Fraser river, in 1913 we had over 2,000,000 cases of salmon packed -fresh fish caught in the Fraser river. To be exact, the figure was 2,409,760. Now it is interesting to watch the drop. In 1933 -I have not before me the figures for 1934-
the catch was 178.204 cases, compared with almost 2,500,000 cases in 1913. It was a wonderful industry employing many thousands in those days, with canneries up and down each side of the Fraser river; and at that time the industry was not bothered with anything about quality and regulations.
I mention these facts in an endeavour to prove that the salmon fishing industry is going down, and this latest move by the government in allowing purse seines to operate in this area right in the mouth of the Fraser river, which practically makes it a trap, and in an area where gill net fishermen did operate for fifty years, will result in depleting the salmon there and in the ruination of over two thousand fishermen at present engaged in the industry.
Some areas have been closed this year. A notice has been sent out from Vancouver that certain areas-5, 6 and 7-will be closed owing to the intensive fishing done with purse seines. I could mention other areas but I have taken these in particular. Ten years ago, when the seines first went into the areas which are now being closed, they caught anything from 10,000 to 20,000 per day. Their catch last year was between 1,500 and 2,000. It is no wonder the department, operating from Vancouver, has taken steps to close the area to purse seine fishing, but it is somewhat late. These people have boats and nets, and the department have said, "We will allow them to go into this last area," so they will do the same damage there as they have done elsewhere if seining is not prohibited.
In 1933 we had the word "quality" thrown at us. I wonder what excuse will be offered in regard to this past season. I have made a thorough investigation as far as I have been able to do so, and have endeavoured in every way to ascertain the facts from the fishermen. From all the figures and all the data I can get I am reliably informed that the sockeye salmon are in better condition when they come up the river than they are before they come up. I know there is some question regarding the pinks, and if I have time I shall deal with that later, but I am speaking now of the late run of sockeye salmon that were caught last season. For the information of hon. members I may say that the salmon when they come out of the salt water and first taste the brackish water, stop there and wait in those areas until all food is gone out of their bodies. Then they go upstream and so get harder and harder as they head upstream, with the result that the fish caught further up the river after they have waited for a period in the
open waters are, so experienced fishermen and experts say, of better quality for canning than the late run of sockeye which is caught out in the open. This might not apply to the pink salmon caughit in clear salt waters, but it does apply to the late run of sockeye.
I have not time to go into the matter as fully as I would like because I see my time is passing and I have many things I would like to draw to the attention of the minister. There is a good deal of concern and complaint regarding the inspection board. I was present when the acting minister received in Vancouver a delegation and I think that question was gone into. But when his officials tell him that the canned fish that are condemned or considered to be second quality are those which have been caught by the gill netters, and that all fish of first quality are those which have been caught by the seines, that is untrue because no man can tell after the fish are canned which have been caught by seines and which have been caught by gill netiters, and the word of the cannery companies is not without bias. Might I point this out to the acting minister: I might mention two canneries, otherwise doubt might be cast upon this statement. The Phoenix cannery this last season bought all seine caught fish, and fifty per cent of their fish I believe were classed as second quality. Another, the Glenrose cannery further up the river, took all their fish from the gill net fishermen and that cannery had practically no cases condemned. I just mention those two instances.
Coming to the question of quality, I have before me something that I should like to show to the minister-I do not know that it has been shown to him-and to the house, with regard to what is taking place in connection with the fish inspection board. Many rackets have been revealed in the price spreads committee, but I will indicate a racket participated in by the dominion government; it is so striking I thought I would mention and exhibit it to the house. I have in my hand an empty one-pound salmon tin. When the salmon is first canned they place on the lid the one word "Canada." When the word "Canada" is on the lid, that is supposed to represent number one quality fish. The inspector comes along, and by the way these inspectors are also buyers, because they are brokers-this is a point on which I should like to speak a little later as these government inspectors are also in the market for fish. When they inspect the cases of salmon they may come on a case which in their opinion should not be so marked, but is second quality. What do they do? They compel