February 3, 1937

LIB

Robert Emmett Finn

Liberal

Mr. R. E. FINN (Halifax):

Mr. Speaker, I regret exceedingly I was not in the house when my colleague from Halifax (Mr. Isnor) addressed the house.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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?

An hon. MEMBER:

Louder.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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LIB

Robert Emmett Finn

Liberal

Mr. FINN:

This is the first time I have ever been asked to talk louder. I was pleased, too, to hear the statements of the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan),

Pacific Coast Shipping-Mr. Finn

who also comes from Nova Scotia. I do not wish to misinterpret his observations, but I believe the effect of his statement was that the company was receiving $2,000 per month for carrying the mail.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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LIB

Robert Emmett Finn

Liberal

Mr. FINN:

I have before me an estimate which shows that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company on the Canada-China and Japan service is receiving $600,000.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

Yes, for the year.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

$50,000 per month.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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LIB

Robert Emmett Finn

Liberal

Mr. FINN:

This reminds me of arguing a case in court. Fifty thousand dollars per month, if one does not consider the total for the year, looks small; but when it is $600,000 a year, over half a million, it looks large. The same company, for its service on the Atlantic, receives $250,000 from the treasury of Canada.

Hon. members have spoken about oriental deck crews and the reluctance of white people to mingle with the orientals in filling positions on board ship. There is a condition in connection with the West Indies service which I believe has been carried a little too far. I refer to the exclusion of the white man to the advantage of the coloured man. I want to be fair to Sir Edward Beatty, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, and to the shareholders of the company, when I repeat my observations of last year to the effect that for its service on the Atlantic the company in question receives a subsidy of $250,000 per year for carrying the mail. Their port is the port of Saint John. I have no objection whatever to that. It is a sister eastern port that was developed largely under the right hon. leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) when he was prime minister of this country; I refer to Courtenay bay. But I would say in reference to the port of Halifax, upon which millions of dollars have been spent, that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company should consider turning at least one or two of their boats at that port each year and not turning them all at Saint John. They now turn there all their Mont boats, all their Duchess boats, and all their Beaver boats of 10,000 tons deadweight capacity which are freight carriers. The hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan) has correctly stated that they come under the British Merchant Shipping Act; they are under the British flag; they are not registered in Canada but in the old land. They are receiving three-quarters of a million dollars a year in Canada and are paying no attention to the desire for development of all ports in connection with their service.

There is no doubt that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company are giving a splendid service. They have excellent ships, and their new boat, the Empress of Britain, is, if not the largest, one of the finest in the world. But I would say, as I said last September to Sir Edward Beatty in conversation with him at Montreal, that the officials of the company should consider this question, because under the former administration, and in the days of the late president of the Canadian National railways and steamships, Halifax being the eastern terminus of the Canadian National system, an agreement was entered into with the Cunard line and the White Star line by which they were provided with something in the nature of a subsidy on condition that a certain amount of freight should be provided, and the subsidy was to be reduced in proportion to the volume of freight over and above that amount. The result was that the White Star line and the Cunard line increased their business in freight tonnage at the port of Halifax by over fifty per cent. To-day they are calling at the port of Halifax and getting as much as they can, but not as much as we would like to go through the port in order that our stevedores, the men who work on the waterfront, and those who are employed at the terminal in casual and temporary labour during the winter season when the St. Lawrence is closed, may receive more adequate returns. If we are to continue to make grants to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company in respect of their Atlantic service, those two ports should be served by their boats; they should not land passengers and mail and run their own trains over the Canadian National, in competition with that system, to Montreal and through to the west, with the result, as was stated in the committee last winter, that most of the mail to Vancouver was carried on Canadian Pacific trains, because it was said, the Canadian National did not have mail cars, though it was shown when the matter was investigated that the Canadian National had plenty of cars. But the Canadian Pacific Railway Company were carrying practically all the mails to the more important points between Montreal and Vancouver.

We hear a great deal about deficits on the Canadian National Railways. Last year the deficit was $41,000,000 on the Canadian National lines, and on what they call the eastern lines it was $5,400,000. That was made up of two lines in the province of Quebec, the line from Halifax to Riviere du Loup, the roads they have taken over in the maritimes, and the road from Riviere du Loup to Diamond

Pacific Coast Shipping-Mr. Finn

junction outside Montreal. If that is held up to the people of Canada as a bugbear, as a reason for the unification of the Canadian Pacific and the Canadian National lines, I would submit this consideration, I am not a mathematician, but if reference is had to the number of years that the Canadian Pacific Railway Company have not been paying dividends to their shareholders, it will be found that the annual amount is almost equal to the deficit on the Canadian National system. That is a complete answer to the many public utterances of outstanding mien who to-day are favourable to the unification of these two roads, or at least to the handing over of the best paying sections of the national system. Our late lamented leader of the Liberal party, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, placed upon the statute books of Canada the Transcontinental Railway Act. That act was a statutory agreement between the Grand Trunk and the government of the day.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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LIB

Frederick George Sanderson (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

Mr. DEPUTY SPEAKER:

Order. I

would point out to the hon. member for Halifax (Mr. Finn) that he should confine his remarks to the resolution before the house.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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LIB

Robert Emmett Finn

Liberal

Mr. FINN:

Well, sir, as I have once before said in this house, I have never taken exception to your ruling, though it seems to me that I am in the unfortunate position that any point of order which is taken by the chair is taken by the hon. gentleman who now occupies it. I will limit my remarks as closely as I can within the four corners of the resolution. The facts therein contained are food for thought for every hon. member.

The hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan) made the statement that Canadians do not desire to accept menial positions and therefore it would not be fair to employ them as deck-hands and in similar occupations on these Canadian Pacific boats running out to China and Japan. He also intimated that conditions in respect of weather were such that orientals were more suitable, that they understood the coast better than Canadians. I take issue with him on that point, because it will be found that when we were operating the Canadian merchant marine, running ten ships to Australia and New Zealand, only once was there an accident in typhoons or any other kind of weather that is encountered south of the equator, and that was due to the fact that the third officer of the ship did not carry out the instructions of the captain, who had gone into the chart room in order to refer to the chart, ascertain his true position and take his bearings in reference to cape Moreton light

as he was going in and up the lovely Brisbane river, to the city of Brisbane in Australia. If our Nova Scotia captains, officers and crew can successfully navigate these ships on the Pacific, surely they can navigate them to China and Japan. Does my hon. friend mean, and is he serious when he says, that they are not capable, that these Chinese or Japanese are more capable? If so, I would ask him this question: How can he justify that statement in view of the fact that the Empress of Britain is to-day on a trip around the world, and that on that ship is the same crew that operated her between the port of Quebec and the port of Southampton? On this trip around the world she will encounter all sorts of weather, and the tour will take six months. The crew is British, but I am sorry to say there are very few Canadians on board. The captain is a Nova Scotian, as I have said.

As the ex-Prime Minister (Mr. Bennett) said, we maritimers take an interest in the development of our young men. To-day, however, we find that young men of twenty-two, twenty-three and twenty-seven, holding masters' foreign-going certificates, cannot set foot on board a ship because there is not a ship for them to go on board, although, as I have said before, it took us so long to establish a great trade route for which we acquired a number of ships. That fleet was a paying concern when it was sold, ten ships for $450000, or $45,000 each. Some of these ships were afterwards sold for $115,000 and there is some explanation due the people of this country in that regard. The people must have that explanation. Why were these ships sold in such haste? In the contract there was a clause providing that the ships were to be operated for two years and that, if the officers and crews were competent, they should be retained. But when these ships got into Montreal and were sold at $45,000 each, the captains and officers simply had to walk ashore without a job. The ships were sold to the Japanese and Chinese and to-day the steamship companies that are operating the line to Australia and New Zealand have not on their ships one Canadian; they have not one maritimer, not one man from British Columbia, nor any Canadian from the inland waters.

The hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George comes from Halifax, having lived there a great many years, and he knows the calibre of men there-and the same is true of the men of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. And yet these men are to-day landlubbers, with nothing to do but to look out and see the waves washing on the shores of Nova Scotia. When things have come to such

52S COMMONS

Pacific Coast Shipping-Mr. Bennett

a pass I submit that before we vote these vast sums of money for any steamship company, whether it be a British or a Canadian, an Australian or a New Zealand company, we should see to it that Canadians are taken care of. Our first duty is to Canada and Canadians, and I hold that the responsibility is with the government and not with hon. gentlemen opposite who relinquished that responsibility in 1935. The responsibility is to see to it, without disrupting any of the great services either on the Atlantic or the Pacific, that our Canadian sailor lads-and I speak more particularly for those of Nova Scotia and especially those lads in the county I have the honour to represent along with my colleague (Mr. Isnor)-shall be fairly represented among those who are engaged on ships operated by companies that receive subsidies. To my knowledge there are on the Canadian Pacific boats two cadets who are Nova Scotians, but apart from these most of the men are from the old land. In order to get a place our men must go to England and serve for a time on some training ship, then enter as cadets and work their way up to the rank of fourth officer, and so on. This was not the way with the hardy men on the coast of Nova Scotia; it was not the training that the commander of the Empress of Britain received, the commodore of his fleet. He was never a cadet; the ships on which he served were schooners, brigantines, barques, full-rigged ships, and he worked his way up to the very high position he now occupies as commodore of the Canadian Pacific fleet, a great honour to Canada and especially to the province from which I come.

Before these subsidies are paid, I submit that there should be taken up seriously with the executive of the various companies who are operating these ships to Australia and New Zealand, under a holding company in Montreal, with the executive of the Canadian Pacific, and with the management of other lines, the question which we have been discussing to-dav affecting our Canadian seamen. Let me say that I am not singling out the Canadian Pacific, because they give splendid service and many millions of dollars are involved. I do submit, however, that there should be at least what might be called a happy compromise to the advantage of those in Canada who make their living on the sea, who have taken up seamanship as a profession, and whose ultimate goal is that which has been attained by the captain of the Empress of Britain. I regret to say, however, that the opportunity for such men is passing rapidly, as rapidly as we are passing generally

from the old school into the new, not only in politics but in every other walk of life. One does not realize that more than when he is at the grave of someone who has passed to the great beyond and hears those words pronounced-"He is no more." The Canadian sailor lad might say, the Nova Scotia sailor lad might say, as the Spanish champion said:

No more, there is no more to lift the sword for now,

My king is false, my hope betrayed, my father; 0! the worth,

The glory and the loveliness are pass'd away from earth.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Right Hon. R. B. BENNETT (Leader of [DOT] the Opposition):

At a convenient time when

the estimates are under discussion I propose to discuss the question of shipping as it affects this country. It is not my purpose to do so now. I rise to direct the attention of the minister responsible for the administration of the department to the language of the resolution. Surely the Minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) will agree that this house cannot adopt a resolution in that language-

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I sought to point that

out.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

I thought the minister

intended to. We cannot adopt this resolution-

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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LIB

Norman McLeod Rogers (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. ROGERS:

I entirely agree.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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CON

Richard Bedford Bennett (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BENNETT:

-in view of the effect it would have upon the whole system of government provided for by the British North America Act. It is unfortunate that the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid), who is so happy in expressing his opinions and so tenacious in holding them, should not have spoken to someone before he placed in his resolution these words:

And whereas the recommendation presented by the committee passed the House of Commons unanimously, and thereby became an order of parliament.

Parliament consists of three estates: the crown, the senate and the commons. Until such time as parliament has acted in, the manner provided for by the British North America Act, any action of this house cannot be said to be an order of parliament.

In the next recital the hon. member unfortunately repeats it:

And whereas the Canadian Pacific Railway Company has ignored the instructions and has not complied with the order given by parliament.

And in the closing paragraph of the resolution he says that they should not receive subsidy-

-until such times as they do obey the order of parliament.

Pacific Coast Shipping-Mr. Mclvor

I have no observations to make about the resolution except that surely the government cannot permit such a resolution to be placed upon the journals of this house without doing such violence to our constitutional practice as will run contra not only to the declared foundation of our constitution, but also to the judgment in the referendum and initiative case, in which the court of last resort expressed the view that there could be no valid legislation of that kind because it was essential that the three estates-in that case two, the lieutenant governor as well as the legislature-should operate together to produce a valid law. It would be beyond my conception of the eternal fitness of things if the Minister of Justice permitted such a resolution as this to be placed upon the journals of the house.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. DANIEL McIVOR (Fort William):

One reason why- I am very much interested in this resolution is its bearing upon our greatest national problem, namely unemployment. If there are not enough efficient white sailors on the Pacific coast, we have at the head of the lakes a large number of unemployed sailors, any one of whom would be as good as any three Chinamen. I do not blame Sir Edward Beatty for what he has done, because I think he is doing just what every hon. member is trying to do, serving his constituency in the best possible way at the least possible cost. The opinion of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company is contained in the report; I wonder whether any further investigation would result in their changing their opinion. If one company has taken notice of the findings of our committee, why not another? To my mind they have shown discourtesy to our committee. Whether the committee was intelligent or not, we sat under a very intelligent chairman; the committee did its best; we had all the facts before us; we arrived at our conclusions and the house honoured them.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. THOMAS REID (New Westminster):

I am sorry that the time remaining this afternoon is too short to reply in detail to many of the statements and opinions expressed by hon, members on this resolution. But there are some that I should like to touch upon briefly before six o'clock. One is the statement made by the acting Minister of Trade and Commerce (Mr. Rogers) regarding the numbers of unemployed seamen. It is true that when the matter was debated in the committee before, there were figures given of some eleven hundred unemployed designated as seamen on the Pacific coast, 31111-34

and that this afternoon I quoted official figures from the Vancouver relief office, showing some three hundred plus eighty-five, given by the shipping master in Vancouver. But that, I claim, is aside from the point. The Canadian Pacific Railway Company did admit under oath that one Canadian employed would replace two if not three Chinamen. There are employed on the decks of these four steamers a total of 330 Chinamen. If the ratio of two to one is taken, it would mean that there would be employed 165 Canadians in place of the Chinamen. I think no one will seriously dispute the statement that there could be found among the present unemployed on the provincial government's register 165 men who could be placed on the decks of these steamers, and who would have been, I maintain, if the request of this house had been carried out. I am well aware that the statement of the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bennett) is correct; it was not exactly an order of parliament. At the outset of my remarks I made it very clear that the wording of the resolution is not quite correct. However, it was a request of the house, and as stated by the minister, that request was conveyed by the department to the Canadian Pacific Railway Company.

Personally I am not against the granting of subsidies to steamship lines; I realize that in these days of subsidized shipping subsidies must be granted to enable these steamship companies to carry on. But I was surprised to hear the statement of the hon. member for St. Lawrence-St. George (Mr. Cahan) that all these ships are registered in London. I was under the impression that they were registered in Canada, although of course they are British ships.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

If the hon. member will

allow me, I have looked into the matter and I am assured by the department that the Empress of Japan, on which I journeyed, is registered in England, and the same is true of the Empress of Canada. The other two ships are registered in Canada.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

Be that as it may, the fact is that they are receiving large sums from the treasury of Canada; they operate as British ships, and we as Canadians are British subjects. I was also interested in his statement that he was of opinion that Canadians would not fulfil properly the duties which the Chinamen are now pei'forming on these vessels in the far east.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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CON

Charles Hazlitt Cahan

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CAHAN:

I did not suggest that.

Topic:   PACIFIC COAST SHIPPING
Subtopic:   PROPOSED CESSATION OF SUBSIDY TO CANADIAN
Sub-subtopic:   PACIFIC PENDING REPLACEMENT OF ORIENTALS BY WHITE SEAMEN
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February 3, 1937