June 3, 1935

CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

As I have said, up to the present we have been very successful; in two or three instances we have appointed judges. I think a few months ago we appointed an outstanding judge in marine matters in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, who made a very extensive and useful report. I can tell my hon. friend that it is the opinion of my officials that this policy is better and cheaper, because we have not had very many inquiries to make. I do not think we have held more than five or six inquiries since the wreck commissioner retired two or three years ago, and I think we are saving money.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

I think it was before the minister's time, but the department at one time kept a suibcommissioner or deputy at Vancouver, and I often protested against that expense; I am glad to see that has been done away with. In the west, and I assume also on the Atlantic, there is a judge who devotes himself to admiralty cases; he is known as an admiralty judge. Would a judge of that character be employed in British Columbia, for instance? If I remember correctly it is Mr. Justice McPhillips in that province.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

As a rule we pick out the best man in the locality. If he is a judge he does not cost very much because, as my hon. friend knows, some judges have no right to make any charge except for their expenses. For instance, when superior court judges are appointed commissioners they receive no fees.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

If the minister is appointing men of the calibre of judges I have no complaint at all, 'because we know their standing and their impartiality. But my point was this: I know how he made the appointment in my district in connection with a port warden and I was wondering if it was along the same lines.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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CON
IND
CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

We have to make inquiries. In connection with wrecks it is very important to have a judge or a man conversant with marine law so that we may obtain the whole facts.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

I cannot agree with the stand taken by the Minister of Marine as a result of which no permanent wreck commissioner has been appointed, because I believe that by appointing wreck commissioners for given cases we are not giving justioe to the parties concerned. The men appointed are selected at random in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Quebec or in the city of Montreal, as the case may be, as the hon. member

who has just taken his seat has said. It may be that those appointments are made upon the recommendation of persons friendly to the administration. On the other hand when we had a permanent official such as Captain Demers we had a man who had held office a number of years, one who had wide knowledge and experience and who based his opinions upon precedents and judgments which had been rendered in similar cases. When we went before that commission a certain degree of jurisprudence existed. I would point out further that where investigations were considered necessary such investigations were held, very often at the instance of the wreck commissioner, who, following the practice indicated by law, called for an examination. I do not know whether the law has 'been changed, but I am of the opinion that the marine legislation enacted last year provided for the services and appointment of a wreck commissioner. I know such provision did appear in the old act. I can recall' instances where in my own constituency vessels had gone to the bottom of the river; in those cases the pilots and all concerned appeared before the wreck commissioner and had to stand an investigation. In those days the law was in force and maintained. To-day the government does not follow the law. It does not order an examination or investigation in the event of a wreck or a collision. That action is taken only at the discretion of the minister who may order an investigation when he believes one necessary. Formerly, when there was even the slightest damage, even in the event of a vessel being scraped, an investigation was held. Captain Demers told me on one occasion upon which I was objecting to an investigation that when a vessel strikes anything even slightly, an accident has occurred, according to statute, the law must be enforced and the commissioner must act. I have known in recent years of damage being done and have made application to the minister, but investigations have not been made, although the law still exists. The practice adopted by the department is not giving satisfaction to the public, and I would urge upon the government a reconsideration of its decision. Surely it can find at some point between the Atlantic and the Pacific a man qualified through ability and experience in marine matters to fill the position formerly occupied by Captain Demers.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

Is it the intention of the government to put into effect the Canada Shipping Act which was rushed through at the last session? I have particular reference to the use of tackle inspectors.

Supply-Marine

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

There are certain parts of the act which are international and other parts which deal with coasting trade. By the adoption of our shipping legislation we have taken the lead and at the present time the other dominions have our act under study and are preparing their own legislation. So far as the international parts of the act are concerned, we have to await the adoption of similar laws in other parts of the empire. As to those parts dealing with coastal trade we hope to have them in force very soon. The matter is now under consideration.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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?

William Samuel Reed

Mr. REED:

Does that apply to tackle inspection?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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CON
LIB-PRO

John Livingstone Brown

Liberal Progressive

Mr. BROWN:

Two years ago the government was anxious to pass a bill respecting lake shipping. If the matter was so important two years ago it would seem strange that up to the present time the act has not become effective.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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?

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Mr. OASGRAIN:

Just like the 1930

promises.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

That part affecting our own shipping will be in force very soon.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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LIB

Olof Hanson

Liberal

Mr. HANSON (Skeena):

I should like to ask the minister a question regarding an application sent in from the shipping interests of British Columbia respecting navigation lights at Whey Point. Last year I mentioned the matter to the minister, and this year I have the minister's letter indicating that the light will be installed this summer. The fishing fleets are now operating at the north end of Queen Charlotte islands, and we are wondering when we may expect the lighthouse to be erected. The minister has given his word that the navigation lights will be installed. When may we expect the work to be done?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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CON

Alfred Duranleau (Minister of Marine)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. DURANLEAU:

I cannot say offhand when the hon. member may expect the light to be installed. I assume the work will be done very soon. I shall be pleased to take note of the hon. member's remarks and shall report to him when he may expect the installation.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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LIB

Olof Hanson

Liberal

Mr. HANSON (Skeena):

I have already received a letter indicating the intention of the government to do the work in the present season. The shipping interests out there would like to know when they may expect it and for that reason I should like the minister to look into the matter.

[Mr Reid.]

Mr. CASGiRAIN: Has any part of the Canada Shipping Act passed last year been put into effect by order in council?

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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CON
?

Charles Eusèbe Casgrain

Mr. CASGRAEN:

There is a provision in the act under which the government may by order in council put certain parts into effect. I was wondering if the minister had been approached by interests from Montreal and Quebec asking to have certain parts of the act enforced.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF MARINE
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June 3, 1935