a company, sometimes a small partnership, and very often it is one man. They are generally operated by a partnership on shares, but some are owned by one or two individuals.
I was saying that a loan of $1,000 is not enough. What is the use of offering a man $1,000 to equip a seine boat that is worth $25,000, and if as I said before, you are going to expect him to offer real estate as security the whole act is useless to him. I am dealing very shortly with these things because I do not want to detain the house.
Under paragraph (c) of section 6 it is provided:
Loans under this act shall be made only to fishermen actually engaged in or shortly to become engaged in fishing.
I may not get the support of my hon. friend from Antigonish-Guysborough in this, but I am very strongly of the opinion that this should be limited to actual fishermen, to men who have been actively engaged in fishing within the last two years. We do not want to start a whole lot of amateur fishermen. There are men who think it is a fine thing to go fishing, that it is a fine, easy, life, just as there are people in the cities and towns who think that raising chickens or ducks, or something of that kind, is an easy life, and they find out very bitterly to their loss later on that it is not. We do not want to encourage that class of people to go into fishing. There are men who like to go fishing in the summer when the weather is good, but we do not want to encourage any more people to engage in fishing for a living. There are too many already. The complaint of the fishermen is in many places that there are too many fishermen for the catch allowed, so much so that the government, recognizing it, sometimes cuts down fishing to four or three days a week because there are too many fishermen. The fishermen are of the same opinion. They complain that they did not make a living out of the last season, and the fisheries officials come forward with ridiculous figures showing that the catch five years ago was so much and that in a later period it was so much more, and therefore they say that the fishermen must be doing very well. But the explanation is that a larger number of men are now fishing. I say that we do not want to increase the number of fishermen. We want to take care of the men who are there now. If a man by accident, wreck, or fire loses his gear, and that often happens, if he is a practical fisherman and fishing is the only thing he knows, he should be encouraged to get a loan so that he can buy
the gear to go on with his business. The young fellow just starting up follows in his father's footsteps and inherits his gear in all probability, so he probably does not very much need a loan for a new start such as is indicated in the bill. I do think it would be a good thing to have this limited to practical fishermen only.
There is this other point. Section 16 says that the board shall have power to provide for:
(b) the charges to be made against borrowers for the expenses of appraisal, determination of title and recording.
Under the farm loan act there is a flat charge of $10 whether the man gets his loan or not. That is too much, especially when the loan is restricted as it as in this case to $1,000 for the fisherman as against $5,000 for the farmer. It should at the most be $5, especially in cases where the applicant gets no loan. It is quite a considerable tax to pay $10 on a small loan. That is the interest at 5 per cent on a loan of $100 for two years, and where the fisherman is refused the loan it is a hardship for a struggling man to have to pay $10 in order to be told that he cannot get a loan.
There is one other point. This act will lose much of its usefulness if it is not made open, so to speak, to any association of fishermen. I have in mind a cooperative company of fishermen organized on the very best progressive lines, and it has been most successful even in these hard times. These fishermen started with practically nothing but their own boats and they have built up on the west coast a trolling industry in a cooperative way which is a standing credit to them. They have a large number of their own boats and run their own stores, but they have not been able to get to the point where they can buy their own packers, which would very much facilitate their operations. They need some place to go to where they can borrow, on the security of the packer, fifty per cent of the cost. That cannot be done under this act because it must be done by the individual, and the individual can borrow only $1,000 anyhow and only on land. I do not suppose that all these men put together, between 150 and 250, have $5,000 worth of real estate, but they have ten times that amount in the shape of gear which they would be very glad to put up. I make that suggestion to the minister. If these corrections are made, then the act will fulfil the purpose designed in the title and will be a good act which one can gladly welcome. But if it is not to be amended in these ways then it is only a gesture. An expression which we
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have so often heard in this house in the last few weeks is, "Well, anyhow, it is a step in the right direction, and we have established a principle." I am tired of being invited to vote for gestures and principles. A legislative enactment is not the place to look for principles and policies. You define those in the planks of your platform or in your speeches outside or in the house; but bills are supposed to enact into practical legislation the results of policy, and I am not a bit satisfied when I am told that though there is not much in a bill there is a principle. We do not want principle alone; we want action. Too much legislation has been passed in this house lately in connection with which we have had dangled before us this or that principle. We are told, "Anyhow, the principle is stated." Yes, the principle is stated but it is not carried out.
I do not want to hear general platitudes; I do not want to be told that such and such is desirable; I want to see it carried into practical effect. It cannot be denied, and I am not trying to deny it, that this bill is a step in the right direction. But we want to go further. Our fishermen in British Columbia are hardheaded and practical men who know the difference between a gold brick and something valuable. If the bill can be taken advantage of, all right; if not, what is the use of it? They will no doubt endorse any party that brings down something practical, and I beg the government, not so much to put teeth into the bill as to put some practicability into it, so that it can be taken advantage of by the various people interested. Otherwise I do not hold myself compelled to vote for it on the third reading. We have been challenged again and again with regard to some of these bills; a minister will say, "I challenge hon. members opposite to vote against- this bill." Well, I am prepared to accept that challenge and to go back and tell the people I represent just why I vote against any bill. I would go back and say, "I voted against it because I was fed up with gold bricks." I hope that this bill will be amended so as to make it of real benefit to the fishermen, and if it is no one will endorse it more heartily than I or the people I represent.
Mr. T. L. CHURCH (East Toronto); This bill will do a good deal, with the protective clauses in it, to put a withering industry on a better basis. I am glad to see the principle of this legislation also extended to the fishermen to the head, of the lakes, because after all most of the protection given to the fisheries has been largely for the maritimes and the coastal trade. But there is another feature of the industry, and that is the
trade on the great lakes. Unfortunately it has been overlooked for years in the legislation passed by the dominion parliament. This legislation is a necessity; an emergency exists, and this legislation is intended to meet that situation. The price spreads commission revealed, in connection with this industry, a state of affairs which was not creditable either to parliament or to the people of Canada, from the point of view of labour and the consumer.
An examination of the bill will show that it proposes the establishment of a board. The commission recommended a fishermen's board, and in the interpretation clause the principle of a board, namely the Canadian Farm Loan Act is adopted. The board is to be the Canadian Farm Loan Board, established by the Canadian Farm Loan Act in 1927. There is a long list of definitions which are interpreted. The main provision of the bill is section 3, giving the constitution and the powers of the board. The board will have power to issue and sell bonds to be known- as Canadian fisherman's loan bonds and to make long term loans to fishermen on the security of first mortgages on fishermen's lands. The board may also hold real estate which has been mortgaged or otherwise secured to it. It can invest its funds in -debentures, bonds, stocks or other securities; and as to the capital requirements, it is provided that the government may subscribe to an initial capital not exceeding $300,000. Section 5 deals with the limit of outstanding bonds, the rate of interest, time limit, redemption and so on, and in section 6 certain conditions for loans are laid down. Loans are to be made only on the security of first mortgages on lands not exceeding fifty per -cent of their actual value. As to *the use of the proceeds, they may be used1 to purchase boats or vessels, lines, hooks, trawls, nets, anchors, bait, traps and other equipment. Part of the loan may be used to discharge liabilities already accumulated, or for any other purpose which in the judgment of the board is deemed necessary for the operation of the industry as a commercial undertaking. In connection with repayment, the board has wide powers.
The interest is not to exceed eight per cent. It seems to me that is a very high rate of interest to-day, though I admit that so far as this industry is concerned, with the difficulty of getting loans, the overhead charges might be high. But eight per cent is a very high rate of interest.
Section 4 of the bill is the most vital provision ever enacted in this country. I commend the undertaking, speaking as a protec-
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tionist of the protectionists, because we want protection for all the people all the time and not for some of the people some of the time. There is provision here that the board may loan money to the mortgagor or other person -to do what? If the fishermen shall fail or neglect to pay any lawful rates, taxes or assessments under the law of the province concerned, then the board may pay them.
I am glad to see that the fisherman is coming into his day. He has eaten the sour grapes of free trade long enough and his teeth are on edge. He wants protection, something away from free trade. He was led to believe by free .trade leaders in the maritime provinces and on the Pacific coast that the only hope and joy of this industry was in a system of free trade as proposed for many years in this house by Liberals, Liberal Progressives and Progressive Liberals. The time has come when there is an emergency in this industry so that the poor fisherman has, like the grain men, the coal, steel and iron men in the maritimes, to come to parliament for assistance. At last the fishermen are getting away from the principle of free trade to that of advanced protection.
I have dealt already with the principle of the bill. I am not objecting to advanced protection for agriculture, for the farmer, for the fisherman. A farm board has been set up for the protection of the farmer, the same board that is set up under this fisherman's loan act to do something for the fishing industry. Now in connection with fishing we have the same element of protection. I want to speak a word to-day about the cities on the great lakes and the people engaged in industry there in Ontario and Quebec. Forty-six per cent of our people are industrial workers, and the principle of this legislation should apply to them also. The time is not far distant in this country when we shall have to set up for the industrial workers a board similar to those set up under this fisherman's loan act and the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act so that the retail storekeeper, the individual worker, and those engaged in industries will have some means of protection. A retail grocer who fails and whose little shop is gone or an industrial worker who gets out of work or is only on part time should be dealt with in the same manner as the poor fisherman or farmer; he should be able to secure similar protection. There is no reason why forty-six per cent of the people who are engaged in industry should not have the same form of protection as is given under the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act, the fisherman's loan act and so on. There should be created
for these people a similar board to establish Jong term mortgage credits even up to twenty-five years for the small retail grocer or the small industrial worker who is out of work or may be on part time as many of them are. Sooner or later we shall have to extend this very wise and 'Commendable feature of this legislation. I would like bo see some kind of board set up for the industries to which I have referred and some credit established either through banks, insurance companies, loan companies, mortgage companies or through parliament or partly through one and partly the other, for the protection and relief of the small industrial worker and the small storekeeper on the same basis as these other acts I have mentioned. We should have protection not only for the fishermen and for the farmers but for everyone; we want a system of protection that will take care of all the people. Those small industrial people who have lost their all by foreclosure or unemployment or high taxes are in the same plight as are the fishermen and the farmers, and the principle of this bill should be extended to them.
Speaking for an industrial province, I say that the industrial workers of this country are no longer going to stand for handing out protection to some and not to others. Under the provisions of this bill we are paying through the new fisheries board, taxes, mortgages, lien notes, security to the bank, hypothecation of the plant and equipment of the fishermen. The same principle of protection should be extended either through parliament or the banks or a board similar to the farm loan board to the industrial workers so that they will have a fair show under protection as we have it to-day to hold and retain their properties and their equities and their small business ventures.
I commend the government for bringing down this legislation. It is too bad that there was not an inquiry by the price spreads commission into industry, along those lines for the industrial worker in the way I have indicated. I wrote one of the members of the price spreads commission, but the commission was too busy to take up the matter. Ontario and Quebec pay eighty-two per cent of the cash taxes of the dominion and forty-six per cent of Canada are industrial workers, but the latter have no protection at all along the lines of saving their business, their homes or properties by long term loans. When such a man in the city cannot pay his taxes, he cannot go to a board. The fisherman can; the agricultural worker can; the farmer can, but the poor industrial worker has nobody to go to. In the city from
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which I come some of these men are paying forty per cent interest on second mortgages to shark loan companies incorporated by this parliament and the same thing is true of the high charges on chattel mortgages. In view of the case made for the fishermen before the price spreads commission, the day is soon coming in Canada when we shall have to set up a board for the industrial workers who have been driven to the wall, who are losing their property, who are being foreclosed on the first mortgage and then the second mortgage or foreclosed for nonpayment of taxes. I may say to the government that the principle underlying this bill will have to be extended to those who pay the taxes in the industrial provinces of Ontario and Quebec, and a board under the regulation of trade and commerce with wide federal powers established for their needs and protection. With protection as a principle for all instead of as a privilege for some, I commend this wise bill.
I do not wish to engage the time of the house for more than a moment, but I should like to call to the attention of the minister that probably we have heard less of the fishing industry in Ontario in the great lakes district simply because the fishing industry in this province is under the jurisdiction of the Ontario government. The hon. member for Antigonish-Guysborough (Mr. Duff) and the hon. member for Comox-Albemi (Mr. Neill) have suggested some amendments to the bill as it applies to the Atlantic and Pacific coast fisheries. If aid is to be given by the state to the fishermen on the great lakes, I should like to suggest to the minister that his bill does not really cover the present needs of the situation. Most of the fishermen on the great lakes do not own any great quantity of commercial land, they are in much the same position as that indicated by the hon. member for Comox-Alberni. Their shanties may be on government land or they may have leased property. In many cases their commercial buildings are on government docks, so that the value of commercial property which they could offer by way of security to the minister for an advance is negligible. Most of the commercial fishermen on the great lakes sell their fish fresh; their commodity is delivered to the market probably more rapidly than- is the fish of the maritime provinces or of the Pacific coast. The greatest need of the fishermen on the great lakes is when disaster overtakes them, when by an act of God several gangs of nets are lost in one of the storms which are so frequent on the great lakes.
I should like to point out to the minister that the fisherman who has some security can secure from the bank a loan to pay cash for his gear, and in that case he is really not in need of much governmental assistance. Those who are not so favourably situated could be greatly assisted by a government loan, but that loan would really be for the purchase of new gear, new gangs of nets, new engines for boats and repairs to existing vessels. I think the bill should be so worded in so far as the great lakes are concerned that the loans should be made on gear and equipment for the reason that while the fisherman may own residential property for his home, he does not as a rule own much commercial property.
The second point in connection with these loans is the matter of the amount. I think the limiting of the amount to SI,000 rather destroys the effectiveness of the legislation. One does not gather together very much gear for seine fishing for 81,000. Four or five gangs of nets cost much more than 81,000; it is not much of a hull to weather the storms of the great lakes that you can buy for that amount. I suggest to the minister that if he has good inspection, and loans be made only to the amount of fifty per cent on gear, he could well afford to increase the amount to some much higher figure.
Then I am against long term loans on fishing equipment. The rate of depreciation on it is probably more rapid than on any other sort of industrial equipment. Boats wear out very quickly, nets rot very, quickly. Practically all the gear used by fishermen has to be replaced every few years. If a loan is made to a fisherman I would suggest that it be for a short term or even repayable in instalments over the period in which he would normally redeem his securities were they given to a bank or loan company. I think I voice the opinion of all members who are familiar with the fishing industry in Georgian bay and lake Huron and lake Superior when I say that we could be of great assistance to those fishermen by providing cash advances to restore gear or to purchase new gear. But I do not think they want such loans for twenty-five years, or even five years. All they would ask would be loans repayable in instalments every three or six months out of their earnings from the gear purchased with the proceeds of the loan. Another point, raised by the hon. member for Comox-Albemi, I think is deserving of consideration, namely, that it is not the course of wisdom to encourage too many young men to go into the fishing business. Those now fishing the great lakes I think are producing the quantity
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of fish that can reasonably be sold in the Canadian and American markets. To make long term loans for which the security might quickly disappear and for which the borrower would hold no great feeling of responsibility would only induce much severer competition with those already in the industry. So in framing the act, so far as the great lakes are concerned, I think loans should be restricted to restoring gear and equipment for those already engaged in the industry and helping those who have been in the industry recently but who have been forced out by economic circumstances or storms-I know of several cases-to reestablish themselves in the industry; and that loans on gear should be for short terms, within the time in which the security may be worn out and be of no value.
Those are the only observations I wish to make. I agree with the principle of assisting this great basic industry. I am not familiar with the situation on the Atlantic or the Pacific coast but I am familiar with it in Ontario on the great lakes, which produce many million dollars' worth of fresh fish.
To the principle of the bill, that is, assistance to fishermen by providing them with credit loans, I do not think any hon. member would take exception. But there are sections in the bill with which I cannot agree. Much has been said by speakers preceding me as to long term loans, especially on land. I doubt if one per cent of the smaller fishermen, that is those having gill net boats, own their houses outright. When one considers that fishermen of that class are in the majority in British Columbia, one must conclude that this bill will not provide much assistance for them. In British Columbia there were 196 boats of ten tons and over with a valuation of $2,120,000, but when we come to the smaller boats, the gill net boats, there were 5,461 valued at over $3,000,000. Then there are numbers of men who still use sail or rowboats. I was a little surprised to learn the number using sail boats, not having enough money to put engines in them. There were still 2,393 using that type of small boat. So in all we have close to 8,000 small boat fishermen, and I say that out of that total perhaps not over one per cent own outright the houses they live in. By this bill the man who does own his home may be provided with a loan up to one thousand dollars spread over twenty-five years. During that time his engine or boat will have passed away, but still the mortgage will run on his home. I support the contention of the hon. member for Comox-
Alberni (Mr. Neill) that the benefits of the act should be confined to fishermen. Reading some sections of the bill one would think it is confined to those entirely occupied in fishing, that is those who go out on the river or sea and catch fish. Section 6 (b) says:
The proceeds of such loan shall be used* for the following purposes and no other:
(1) To purchase boats or vessels, or shares or part interests in boats' or vessels for use in the fisheries.
(2) To purchase equipment for such fishing boats or vessels including therein the purchase of gasoline, crude oil or other engines.
(3) To purchase lines, hooks1, trawls, nets, anchors, bait, traps, and any other equipment or apparatus for use in fishing.
(4) To discharge liabilities already accumulated.
I interpret that to mean that the loans will be made only to those solely engaged in fishing, that is to those who go down to the sea or river in ships. But if you turn to the interpretation section you find that:
"Fisherman" means a person whose principal occupation consists in fishing.
"Fishing" means the taking and processing of fish___
I take strong exception to making loans to firms for the processing of fish. This bill, I understand, is designed to help those who go down to the sea in ships, real fishermen. Certainly in my opinion clause (c) of section 2 is contrary to section 6.
Another point is that under the Canadian Farm Loan Act men have been appointed, by reason, I presume, not only of their business knowledge but their knowledge of farms as well. Under this bill, while it is true that the Minister of Fisheries will be in charge, the bill, after it passes the house, will be under the jurisdiction of the Canadian farm loan board. With all deference to the men who have been appointed I do not think they are fully competent to handle the affairs of the fishermen. I suppose the farm loan board will consider that they only have to value the land and that if a fisherman comes within the provisions of the act he will be granted a loan, but there is more to it than that. I would suggest to the minister that some official of the fisheries department should have some say in regard to these loans. I for one would deprecate it very much indeed if loans were made under this act in order to further the large interests or to enable men to combine and go into seine fishing. I know a loan is limited to $1,000, but in the matter of seines, twelve men or more could get together and obtain loans of $1,000 each, thereby entering into competition with the smaller fishermen.
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I agree also with other hon. members who have stated that this bill comes a little late in the session. I do not see how the fishermen can take advantage of it this year, even if loans are expedited, because fishing is pretty well under way on the Pacific coast at present.
I am not going to take up much more of the time of the house at the moment; I shall withhold further remarks until we are in committee, but I believe many of us will have to differ with some of the provisions of the bill in its present form.
few words in connection with this bill, which purports to 'establish in Canada in system of long term mortgage credits for fishermen. With the principle of the bill I entirely agree but, as the .last speaker stated, this is very late in the session to bring down a measure of this kind. Knowing the plight of the fishermen, as the government have known it for a good many years, and in view of the resolution I introduced a few years ago in this connection, if the government had been sincere they should have brought before parliament legislation much more comprehensive and much easier of application than the present bill. The aim of the measure is good; it is designed to relieve and help the fishermen. With that I am quite in accord and I would not oppose the bill, but there are many features of the measure which I think will result in it not becoming operative this year. In the part of the country from which I come the fishermen are very poor; they are perhaps next to the poorest fishermen in the country, and I am afraid they will not be in a position to take advantage of this legislation, with their little plots of ground, their small properties, their small boats and the gear at their disposal.
There is another feature to which I should like to refer. The interest rate to be charged is not mentioned in this bill. I think in one paragraph it is stated that the interest rate will be that which it is found necessary to charge in accordance with the bonds issued by the board. I doubt very much if any man would undertake to make an agreement with the government or with a private individual without knowing in advance the rate of interest that would be charged.
encouraging. In another paragraph the bill states that in default of payment of interest or taxes the board has the right to make such 92582-256
payment and to impose interest of eight peT cent. I think that interest is too high. We are to give the government power to go into the loan shaving business, because a rate of eight per cent is not exacted even by the banks. So we are not giving the fishermen much more relief than they have already. I should like to refer also to section 11, which provides:
In the event of legislation being passed by the legislature of any province after loans have been made available in that province which, in the opinion of the board, would prejudicially affect the security of existing or future loans, the board, by notice to be published in the Canada Gazette, may cease to make further loans in that province.
I doubt very much if the fishermen of the province from which I come will derive any benefit from this bill if that clause remains. Recently a move has been made by the provincial government of Quebec, which administers the fisheries of that province, by which the government advances money to the fishermen on the basis of the number of feet of keel in a vessel, in order to help the fishermen secure new vessels, and also in connection with new gear to be used in their work. If the provincial government provides for reimbursement by the fishermen in a way that does not commend itself to the board, this measure will not be operative in our province. In that case it will be sectional in its nature, and that might be one ground for opposing it.
When the bill is in committee I may have some further remarks to make, but I repeat that this is tardy legislation. If the government think they are going to place a feather in their cap and say they have done something for the fishermen I am afraid they are greatly mistaken. The public generally and especially the fishermen know that for the last four years I. as a member of this house, have advocated that the government should do something to improve the condition of the fishermen in the province of Quebec, on the Atlantic seaboard and particularly on the north shore of the St. Lawrence river, but the government have done nothing. This is what might be called a deathbed repentance. This bill appears to give something but in reality it gives nothing; it offers something but it will not give anything, at least for some considerable time. So I think the fishermen will know what to do when the election comes along. They will vote for the people who have always advocated assistance to the fisheries; they will support those who have always given them assistance, as it has been given by the provincial government of Quebec.
I am going to appeal to the minister again with regard to subsection (e) of section 2, which states:
(e) "Fishing" means the taking and processing of fish of all kinds for commercial purposes.
Section 6 sets out the purposes for which loans may be made; it provides that loans may be made only to fishermen, but here we have the word "processing." I should like the minister to make a statement in this regard.
If the suggestion of the hon. member were adopted quite a number of fishermen in eastern Canada would be excluded from the operations of the act. They not only catch or take the fish; they also process them. You could not say their major occupation was fishing unless you include processing.
I notice that the definition of "board" is as follows:
"Board" is, includes, and means the Canadian farm loan board, established by the Canadian Farm Loan Act, chapter sixty-six of the revised statutes of Canada, 1927, and amendments thereto;
It has been stated that the Canadian farm loan board have many requisitions before them at the present time and there is also the matter of loans and arrangements to be made under the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act. In view of the work before this board, will they be in position to deal with this legislation? Are we not placing another burden upon the shoulders of the board and will this board as it is at present constituted be in position to understand the problems facing the fishermen in various parts of the country? There might be different conditions facing the fishermen in that part of the country from which the minister who is piloting this bill comes; other conditions may face the fishermen in the district from which the hon. member from Lunenburg (Mr. Ernst) comes, while other conditions are faced by the fishermen in Quebec. The members of this board may be fully conversant with
questions concerning farms and lands but I doubt if they have full knowledge of fishing problems.
I do not think the hon. member has taken section 10 into account. That section provides for the appointment of a local loan advisory board and the chief executive officer of the province who would be appointed by the farm loan board would be assisted by the advisory board. In all probability the members of that board would have particular knowledge of fisheries. In connection with the work before the Canadian farm loan board, I believe the hon. member is confused between the Farmers' Creditors Arrangement Act and the Canadian Farm Loan Act. I am not aware that the Canadian farm loan board has so much work before it that it cannot take on the administration of this bill.
Oh, yes, the loan would be made against the land. We must remember that the board which will administer this bill will use reasonable common sense such as we ourselves would use if we were to administer this legislation.
The minister referred to section 10 which deals with the local loan advisory boards. Section 10 reads:
The board' may appoint for any province or for any two or more provinces in which the board is authorized to make loans, a local loan advisory board of not more than three members. The chief executive officer appointed by the board for such province or provinces shall, ex officio, be a member of such local loan advisory board and the chairman thereof.
How are the members of these boards to be appointed? Who is going to recommend their appointment? Will they be political appointees? [DOT] We have a peculiar condition in Quebec where the Magdalen islands are under the jurisdiction of the Atlantic coast; the Gaspe coast is under the jurisdiction of the fisheries department at Quebec, and there is also the north shore of the St. Lawrence river. I should like to know if one official
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will be appointed for the north shore and another for the Gaspe coast? Most of the fishing is done in these two districts where the conditions are somewhat similar although not exactly the same. What qualifications must this man have? Will there be one man for each district or will there be a man appointed in Quebec city or Montreal? Will this man be connected with a cooperative selling agency or will he be a man conversant with the real situation facing the fishermen?