Hon. C. D. HOWE (Minister of Transport):
I received notice of the hon. member's question and telephoned our port manager to-day. The facts are not exactly as stated by the hon. member. It is true that the steamship Bellingham arrived at Vancouver yesterday with a cargo of 250,000 pound? frozen fish
consigned to the Canadian Fishing Company Limited, but the contract for the carrying of this cargo calls for the running of the cargo at the dock of the Canadian Fishing Company Limited, Vancouver. After unloading about twenty-five per cent of the cargo the ship's crew discontinued servicing the winches,' thereby causing a stoppage of work on the part of the longshoremen. The reason given for this action by the ship's crew is that the longshoremen working the ship are not members of the International Longshoremen's Association. On the other hand, the Canadian Fishing Company Limited refuses to permit I.L.A. men to discharge cargo at its dock. It is to be noted that the Canadian Fishing Company Limited is not a member of the local shipping federation. Representatives of the local International Longshoremen's Association called upon Mr. Burns stating that the reason for the action of the ship's crew was that before leaving Ketchikan for Vancouver the crew had been assured that the cargo would be unloaded by I.L.A. men. They then wished to ascertain whether Burns would permit the unloading of this cargo at the harbour board's fish dock. Mr. Burns pointed out that this was quite impossible for the reason that the water depth of the fish dock would be insufficient, it being about ten feet only, to accommodate the steamship Bellingham. Moreover, the landing of the cargo elsewhere than on the Canadian Fishing Company's dock would create a breach of the contract between the vessel owner and the company under which the latter could refuse delivery of the cargo; in other words, before any arrangement could be made to unload the cargo at any dock, arrangements would have to be made for the disposal of the cargo. It is perishable cargo, and if it is unloaded at our docks and thrown out ihere it would belong to no one. We should like to know before it is unloaded what the disposition of it is to be, and who is to pay the charges.
The house in committee of supply, Mr. Sanderson in the chair.
Subtopic: GOVERNMENT DOCK FACILITIES AT VANCOUVER AND UNLOADING OF MOTORSHIP BELLINGHAM