August 5, 1940

LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

A similar item has

appeared in the estimates of almost every department from time to time in the past, and I am told that it is to supplement the $3,600 where a person taken out of the civil service to act as private secretary is receiving a salary less than $3,600. The $600 would bring such person's salary up to an amount which would be considered fair for a private secretary, notwithstanding the fact that he might receive a stated salary in respect of his duties in the civil service. I might point out that since 1935 this expenditure has never been used in the Department of Fisheries.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

In the present instance the

gentleman who is private secretary is receiving $3,600.

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LIB
IND
LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

No; but if during the

year, for some reason the private secretary should drop out, and it became necessary to enlist the services of a person in the employ of the civil service whose present salary is less than $3,600, we should need this amount to bring his remuneration up to the amount we believe a private secretary should receive.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

I suggest that argument is

unsound. If we are going to adopt that principle we shall have to duplicate the salaries of all in the civil service, for fear they may die or change. This is war time, and we are supposed to cut down expenditure. Indeed we do know that expenditures are being cut down. It seems to me there is no reason for this item of $600. It is an item which has appeared for five years, and it will appear again. I would feel inclined to move to reduce the amount to be voted by this amount of $600. However, for the moment I shall leave that subject.

Topic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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R1VI8ED EDITION COMMONS


Supply-Fisheries-Administration I wish to direct the attention of the minister to the item for director of publicity. This matter was discussed a few days ago by the leader of the opposition, but it may be that he did not have full information on the subject. I understood from what the minister said on the previous occasion that the gentleman in question is a Mr. Paisley, who was appointed in 1929. It was pointed out that before his appointment he was a well known newspaper writer. As would appear from the item, his duty would seem to be that of publishing, once a month, the fishing news bulletin, a four-page pamphlet with three columns to the page. It is a small publication, and I do not think much complaint could be made about it. As a matter of fact it contains useful information, and I like to read it. I understand, too, that this gentleman is charged with the duty of regulating the advertising done by the department. No doubt that would be a considerable item. I have no objection to his salary, which, in fact, is a substantial one. But when we go farther down the page we find an item for a publicity agent. When was this gentleman appointed ?


LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

This is not a new

appointment, but rather a reclassification of a position which has existed in the department since 1931. Formerly there was the position of assistant director of publicity. A gentleman was appointed to that post in 1931, and in 1938 he was retired on pension. We then asked the civil service commission to reclassify the position so that we might lower the salary, which then stood at $3,780. In order that the salary of the new appointee might be lowered, we asked permission to reclassify the position, and it has been reclassified as that of publicity agent.

_ Mr. NEILL: It is a new appointment,

inasmuch as it is another person who has been appointed?

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LIB
IND
LIB
IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

That might be held to

be desirable, or a step in the right direction. But I should like the minister to tell us what he does to earn his salary, I do not care whether it is $2,000 or $200,000. What does he do? The director of publicity is a highly paid and good man. Why does he need an assistant? It does not matter whether he is called assistant director of publicity or publicity agent; that is only a play on words. What does this man do?

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LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

He is assistant to the director of publicity. That branch of the department was organized in 1931, on the recommendation of the Maclean commission, which in 1927 investigated the fisheries of the maritime provinces and the Magdalen islands, and in 1928 made its report. At page 83 of that report we find this recommendation:

(b) Departmental organization: We were not asked to make any general survey of the departmental organization, but we wish to point out in what respects the departmental staff should m our judgment be increased and strengthened for the performing, ot. addi tional services.

(1) FisheriqgjTntoTS|gence Branch: There is need for a fisTreriRs"intelligence branch under the direction of a highly qualified officer. We were much impressed with the widespread demand for reliable and regular information, particularly regarding the production and market conditions of other countries; the stocks on hand from tinre to time; market prices and forms of marketing; recent developments in the industry in Canada and elsewhere; statistical information of all kinds; and, in general, information of any nature which might be helpful in the intelligent direction of the industry. Information of this nature accurately collected, and properly edited and circulated by a regularly issued fisheries intelligence publication, would prove of great interest and of much value. This is not a light undertaking if it is to be properly and effectively performed. We recommend the creation of a fisheries intelligence branch in which such work may be carried on.

The_ next paragraph goes on to deal with statistics and to show that they are of great importance to any industry, and it gives reasons why they are specially important to the fishing industry. My information is that it was consequent upon this report that the director of publicity was appointed in 1929. As his work increased, an assistant was appointed and then the position of the assistant was changed to that of publicity agent in 1938.

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IND
LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

1929. The director of publicity and his assistant, the publicity agent, gather all the information we require, prepare the annual report and the statistical statements that are issued from time to time, and generally keep the minister and the departmental officers properly informed on statistics relating to the fishing industry of the world.

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

This report by the Maclean commission was made eleven years ago, and the minister has simply quoted the portion which backs up his justification for the appointment of this officer. But the report does not say that two men should be appointed to do one man's job. The work indicated is valuable and no doubt necessary. But all that

Suppl y-Fuhe ries-A d min istration

comes entirely within the jurisdiction of the director of publicity. We have one already at a salary of $3,780 a year, who presumably is doing this work, and doing it well. The Maclean commission never recommended that we appoint another man to assist him. A good deal of this statistical information can be obtained now from the Department of Trade and Commerce, whose business it is to collect the statistics.

Here is a chance that does not occur in every department to save money. There is pressure put on all departments to reduce expenditures, and it has to be done willy-nilly. Here was a man who was superannuated, but the department, instead of taking the opportunity to leave the position vacant-and it was an absolutely unnecessary one-appointed another man to the position. He is now on probation, and when he has served his probation he will automatically go into the permanent service. I make that distinct criticsm of the department. They are carrying a man whose services are entirely unnecessary, and at considerable expense to the department, when they have already a thoroughly competent and fairly well paid man to do the work. I do not think that can be gainsaid. Talking about the Maclean report has nothing to do with it. That report indicated the need of a director of publicity. We have got him, and we pay him well. That is the proper way to do it. But we do not need this other man. Here was an opportunity to save that amount of salary.

I want to draw the attention of the committee to the difference between economy as it is spelled in one department and as it is spelled in another. The dictum went out by the finance minister and the government, and quite properly, that we had to cut down the running expenses, so to speak, of the country in order to conserve our funds to meet the war. Expenditures in the Public Works department, for example, were cut down to an extent that if it were peace time, I would say was disgraceful. No new work at all is being undertaken, and even the most essential repairs are looked at with a jaundiced eye. Only if you can make a very strong and a very urgent case can you get anything for repairs. If it was peace time I would say that that policy was penny wise and pound foolish, because it will cost more money ultimately to make the repairs. The Minister of Public Works, if he were here, would bear me out that I have complained to him that I cannot get these expenditures, especially for new work, but he has explained the situation and I have acquiesced cheerfully because I appreciated the circumstances. I can explain the situation to my people and they will have 95826-155J

to accept it, and they will do it willingly if the same treatment is applied to all. That is the essential feature. _

Now look at what economy means in the Department of Fisheries. Page 13 of the estimates shows a reduction of roughly $150,000. But look at the analysis and see where the reductions are made. At pages 88 and 89 you will find the details of services for departmental administration at Ottawa, and a few outside places like Vancouver, Halifax and Saint John. At Ottawa there has been an increase of two employees and of approximately $6,000 in salaries. It is true that page 88 shows an increase of only one employee but there is a sort of-I will not say trick- but manoeuvre there. The publicity agent is shown as non-existent and the staff appears to be reduced by one, but actually the publicity agent exists and he is shown as on probation. Therefore he is paid from the temporary vote, which has been increased by a little more than the publicity agent's salary comes to. So there has really been an increase of two employees and an increase in salaries of about $6,000.

The minister has told us that he has saved $8,000. How? He did it by appointing an unnecessary man at S8,000 to a position that was not needed, and then he appointed the same man at the same salary to another position which was really needed, and by amalgamating the two positions he says that he has saved $8,000. He did not save anything at all. Actually there was a net increase of two employees and a net increase of $6,000 in salaries. We have seen this sort of thing so often that I would hardly have bothered rising to protest against it to-day if it were not for the special circumstances. Perhaps this is the price of democracy, I do not know; but there are special features about this thing which compel me to protest.

Lest it be thought that I am making some political attack let me say that I used almost the same language on a similar occasion when the Bennett government was in power and when there was a demand for economy on account of the depression. In this case the demand for economy is on account of the war. In both cases cuts had to be made, and in this case you will find by page 13 that there have been reductions in five items. In some the reduction is as low as $105, and in others the reduction goes up to $1,300. There is one outstanding item on which practically the whole cut is made, a reduction of $235,340. There is another reduction of $7,000, and another item of $18,000 has been cut out altogether. The votes that have been reduced or eliminated are votes that serve a really vital

Supply-Fisheries-Administration

purpose, essential for the conservation and preservation of the fishing industry. For many years we have spent from $2,000,000 to $3,500,000 to protect the fishing industry, and that is good business. The money has been spent mostly to prevent poaching, to enforce the closed season at certain times of the year or week, and more particularly the closed or prohibited areas where people cannot fish, and in propagating the young fish, making it possible for them to be produced and protected. But now there is a demand for economy and how are we going to get it? Not by reducing but by increasing the official staff, and by reducing the votes essential to the life of the industry.

I have already shown that the officers' salaries are up $6,000. Now let us look at outside officialdom. We find on page 88 an increase of five employees, mostly inspectors with an increase in amount of S9,000-not a very big increase as time goes on and development goes on. But when there is an insistent demand and a patent need for economy, and when vital, essential things have to be cut down $250,000, $9,000 of an increase in salaries is, I submit, an unnecessary expense. It is true to the well-known policy, whenever an emergency arises, of "up with the salaries and down with the wages."

I will explain this big cut. It is on the practical work. It mostly cuts out guardians who watch the streams to prevent poaching and also to see that fishermen do not come within half a mile of the mouth of the river or the creek. Last year the amount voted was $391,082; this year the vote is S248,842, showing a decrease of $142,240. There are three other similar cuts. The vote of $18,000 for the air service has been cut out altogether, and for building fishways and clearing rivers the item has been reduced from $9,000 to $2,000, a mere 77 per cent cut. There is also the matter mentioned the other evening by the hon. member for New Westminster, the item regarding hair seals; $30,000 is just wiped out of the book, or a 100 per cent cut.

Now as to the first two items. It is not only the matter of the loss of fish which will be poached through our withdrawing protection from them. If this was for only the one year we might put up with it, but there is no doubt the war will go on longer than that; it will continue for years to come, anyhow. The point is that, through the withdrawal of these practical working guardians, and so on, it may be ten, twelve or even sixteen years before the run in the particular place is restored.

The fish congregate as a biological urge or something of that kind to go up a certain

river at a certain date. They wait perhaps till the rain comes to give them more water, or until they feel like it, and they gather within half a mile of the mouth of the ri%rer. Practically the whole run is there. And we pay a guardian whose business it is to stay there and see that no seine boat goes within a half a mile of the mouth of that creek. If they go outside of that area they are not so congregated together and cannot be slaughtered in a wholesale manner. But if a couple of seiners can get into that area to work their will for a couple of days they will take out perhaps ten thousand fish, which is the bulk of that run, not only for that year but almost for eternity. It will take at least two or three cycles of four years each to build up from the scattered ones which are left.

Remember, these fish which are there are the last resource, the final remnant. They have encountered and have suffered and been destroyed by all their natural and human enemies. They have escaped all the perils of the spawning ground and got down into the river. They have escaped all the fishing people who have been taking them legally on the way back, and have got to the river at last, and every salmon there is worth $5 or $10 because of its potential spawning value. Yet those are the ones we shall allow to be eliminated because we are going to withdraw their guardians, the inspectors there and let the whole run be poached. If that is done the area will have to be closed not for two or three years but for two or three cycles in order to restore it.

Now it may be said that this change merely means putting a little more work on the guardian, that he will have to cover a little more territory. That is not so. It is well known that these guardians have little gas boats, and a fisherman knows as well the sound of the exhaust of the guardian's engine as we would know the number of our car. They can hear him as far as the sound can be heard, probably a couple of miles or more on the water, so, knowing exactly when he is coming, they can pull in their nets when they are fishing illegally. And also there is what is called the grapevine proposition. An inspector has gone south, they know that he has gone south; they have wired ten miles and learned where he has gone, and they know that it is perfectly safe for them to go north, because he cannot get back in time to do them any harm. It is a free-for-all for everybody. Fishermen are like other human beings, no better and no worse, and they will take advantage of the opportunity, 'because if they don't, somebody else will do it.

Suppl y-Fish e ries-A dmin is t ration

I think that the cutting ouit of the air service is one of the most foolish economies the government has proposed. Even when you have these efficient guardians it is possible to trace them by telephone and telegraph, and fishermen know the sound of their engines. But the aeroplane people are impossible to guard against, so to speak. Seiners have come to me and said, "Why do they put on these airplanes so that an honest man doesn't have a chance?" The reason for the complaint is that he is happily poaching, and an aeroplane comes over a mountain top or a little hill, and two or three minutes from the time he hears the first sound of the engine the inspector lands down beside him; there is no time to pull up nets or anything of that kind. It 'has been said that this service has not got many cases of infractions of the regulations. That is because the fear of them is more powerful and more effective than any actual arrests they might make. A couple of years ago I had a date with an inspector in connection with a court case, and he was late. He explained that as he was flying down from some place he had to stop and pick up a couple of seiners whom he had unexpectedly found poaching. That is the beauty of the aeroplane; the inspector can come upon them unexpectedly and the poacher does not know when or where they will appear.

I have roughly estimated the reduction in these material expenses. My hon. friend has said something about 37i per cent, but you can do anything with figures. I estimate that the material expenses will be down 60 per cent, while the official expenditures have been increased. In the case of the hair seals, mentioned by my hon. friend from New Westminster, you are going to undo the work of sixteen years. I believe that it is something like sixteen years since I first agitated that the bounty on hair seals, which had been suspended, should be put on again, and I succeeded. Now you are going to have a closed season for them, and of course they will breed and they will undo all the advantages which have resulted from the policy of the last few years. It must be remembered that hair seals do an incredible amount of destruction.

As to the item "building fishways and clearing rivers." Last year the vote was $9,000 and this year it is $2,000. Long experience has shown that fish ladders are one of the most effective methods if not the most effective method of preserving fish. A fish ladder within a few miles of where I live cost $4,000; it was put up to allow the fish to get up the falls where, without it, nine times out of ten they could not pass. The odd one

did get up, in order to perpetuate his species, but the numbers were not of any practical value. There were three to five gill netters operating on that valuable sockeye run. We put this ladder in and closed down for five years, and now there are 165 gill net men getting their living off that river, because the fish go up that ladder. You can watch them leaping up step by step, and it is an attractive sight to many visitors. It is also obvious that clearing out the jams on rivers caused by logging operations, and so forth, is a very useful thing, because if you get one jam one year, that closes the run; they spawn in unsuitable places, and the run does not amount to anything.

Another consideration. In the past we have spent millions-and that does not mean one million-on hatcheries. In the long past we conceived the idea that that was the way to increase the run: as we were taking such a heavy toll of the ordinary catch of fish, we ought to help to bring them into existence, and we established these expensive hatcheries. A fisheries commission which I was on some twenty years ago doubted the wisdom of this. They ordered an investigation, and in the report, which is in the minister's office, while they do not say that fish could not be produced artificially, they contended that it could not be done economically, or not so economically as by permitting and encouraging the natural resources of the fish. They said, cut out these expensive hatcheries and encourage the natural breeding methods, and enable them to get up the river by building fish ladders,- by removing jams and so on, and things like that. We were promised in this house-and there is many a promise made in this chamber which is afterwards broken- that the large sums formerly spent in the hatcheries would be devoted to helping the natural resources. That promise was not lived up to. Last year for this work all over Canada, the vote was $9,000. I know many places where that amount could be spent profitably; half of it could be usefully spent at one place in my district, and there are others as well. Yet last year's vote has been cut 77 per cent, and $2,000 is left for helping fish all over Canada to get up to the spawning grounds. Yet there is a vote of $10,000 for the travelling expenses of the salt fish board- who won't produce any spawning fish-and that only for the maritime provinces.

I want to emphasize again that this loss is not for the moment-if it were we might endure it-but it will be in force and effect for years to come. It will not reduce the official staff. They increase like pink rabbits. But for a number of years it will reduce the fish catch and the number of men who are

Supply-Fisheries-Administration

living by the fisheries. The authorities do not seem even to have the sense to see that if there are no fish there are no fishermen, and therefore no officials. Many years ago, when I was appointed an Indian agent, with all the enthusiasm of a young official I suggested what seemed to be some desirable changes to my superior officer. He said to me, with the greatest of kindness and frankness, "Neill, let me offer you two pieces of advice. First, stop annoying your superiors with these ideas; it only irritates them; and second, see that you get your salary paid punctually every month." "But," I said, "if we go *on like this it may lead to the Indians dying off." "Oh," said he, sarcastically, "they will last our time, anyway." And they have lasted my time.

It is things like that which make people sore-I cannot think of a better word-and when you make people sore, look out. I have been astonished at the reception which the heavy taxation imposed by this government has met back home. I may find things somewhat different when I go back home, but those who have written me have taken this line: "It is terrible taxation, it is a very heavy burden, but we have got to face it, and we will do our part." But they do insist on this, and some do so with blasphemous emphasis, that there must be no discrimination, money must not be wasted, and the taxation must be applied to all and sundry. Many an oak tree of discontent, perhaps of revolution, grows from the tiny acorn of dissatisfaction, the sense of injustice. What caused the revolution of the thirteen colonies against the British government? They said it was the tax on tea-a small exaction. Well, they said, it was not so much that, it was taxation without representation which they resented. But when the whole thing was boiled down it just came to this-a galling and gnawing sense of injustice. These fishermen in British Columbia, and I believe other workers also, will bitterly resent a decrease having been made on the outlay on practical work accompanied by an increase in the cost of officialdom. They will say, and I think wisely say, "Money unwisely saved, money unwisely spent."

I want to speak for a few minutes with regard to the salt fish board. The committee will recall the objections which were made last year when the bill was going through the house. Hon. Harry Stevens and myself, and also Mr. Cahan, who was then a member, took the matter up, and we were told definitely -I can quote from the record if necessary- that the board would apply all over Canada; there was nothing to prevent it. That was in the house. But when it got to the senate,

guided by some vague sense of common sense and justice, or veracity, they put in a preamble which flatly and plainly stated that it was consecrated for the benefit of the maritimes only-which of course we had always insisted it was but that was not officially recognized in this chamber.

Another thing we objected to and fought very bitterly-and Mr. Stevens and Mr. Cahan know their law and what they are talking about-was that the bill would give the money which was being granted, about $800,000, to the wrong people; it was going to be given to the exporters and not to the fishermen. But with the arrogance bom of the backing of a large majority, the measure was deft as it was. If anything is brought into this house nowadays it is rather like the law of the Medes and the Persians, it cannot be and must not be altered, and if you criticize or even comment on it you are guilty of disloyalty. But when the bill got to the senate they inserted this clause to the effect that the money had to go to the fishermen and not to the middlemen. Suddenly the government got a change of heart and said, "Why, this is all right. There is nothing wrong with it. We will accept it." Mr. Stevens commented caustically on the fact that the government had yielded to pressure from another place what they would not yield to suggestions put forward in good faith and all sincerity by Mr. Stevens, Mr. Cahan and myself. The bill went through. Not a cent was spent in British Columbia. We did not expect that there would be. But great emphasis was laid, when the bill was going through, on the necessity of this vote of $800,000 to relieve the necessities of the maritime fisheries. I am all for that. I am not making any objection to it. I did not do it then and I do not do it now. But I should like to know why only $400,000, or just about half the vote, was spent.

The leader of the opposition asked if anything had been done about marketing, and he did not get a very satisfactory answer. Perhaps this is necessary and is the only way by which these fishermen can be taken care of, but the department did take a man at $7,000 a year to enforce the act, although we were told definitely when the bill was going through that it would not be necessary, that the matter could be handled by the officials then in existence. I wonder why only half the money was spent. What was the trouble? Did they, in their enthusiasm ask too much, or did the need disappear to that extent, or did the election come on too soon?

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NAT
IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

At any rate only [DOT] half was spent. The other day an hon. member from the maritimes undertook to defend the fish board. He said:

On the whole the board did a good job. We have $400,000 in the estimates this year for the same purpose. The board will function again, and if fish do not yield a price to give the fishermen a decent living, the board must make a deficiency payment to take up the slack.

Further on he said:

The money was paid on production of fish, and a large part of the money came to my county, because we produced the greatest quantity of salted fish.

Possibly if the leader of the opposition and myself had been able to make the same remark about our counties, we would have had the same complacent attitude, but I hope not. I particularly want to quote again what the member said, because it is so absolutely correct. He said:

... if fish do not yield a price to give the fishermen a decent living, the board must make a deficiency payment to take up the slack.

Hear, hear, I say to that. I am all for that. It was necessary to keep going these fishermen, who are in a very bad way, and keep the industry alive; but surely the law should work both ways, and I want to know why it is not working both ways. A law enacted for the whole of Canada has one effect in the maritimes and another effect in British Columbia.

The trouble in the maritimes was due, to some extent at least-I am subject to correction because I am not too familiar with the situation there-to the loss of the market because of changed conditions following the growth of systems of refrigeration. The ability to ship fish on ice and so on has hurt the salted fish market, and it is very doubtful whether that market can ever be recovered, whether it is not as much doomed as the horse and buggy was. It seems to me that it would be better to spend money on trying to switch a dying industry into the growing system of handling fish in an iced condition.

But in British Columbia conditions are somewhat different. This is not a state of affairs which will never pass away, but it is strictly a war condition. I am talking about a matter which was ventilated a few weeks ago, regarding sockeye salmon. This condition will pass after the war. Britain will not buy it to-day because she can buy cheaper fish; sockeye salmon is a luxury fish used by wealthy people; it is not any better food than the cheaper kind. The British people have not said that they will not buy it, but they fix the price so low that there is no sale. What we want is a price to give the fishermen a

decent living and make up the deficiency, a comparatively small amount and for a comparatively short time. But what happened to us? If the fishermen were not tricked I never saw men tricked. They were not going out to fish. A fisherman does not strike, he simply doesn't fish. But they were advised that things would be made right and that the government had appointed a committee.

I think that was a genuine misunderstanding; the committee was not appointed by the government-it was an informal one among ourselves, and we did not have the same authority as a committee appointed by the government. Then we were told the matter had been referred to the economic council for study and report, and on July 10 the minister said he expected the report of the committee to be ready for release that evening or the next morning. But on July 11 a change had come over the picture, and the minister said:

Whether it will be laid on the table is a matter which has to be considered, because the committee was not a committee of the house but simply an advisory committee. . . . Personally I see no objection to making the centents of the report public, but I shall inform the hon. member later as to whether it will be laid on the table.

It was not tabled and never will be. We were told it was a privileged or private communication. I challenge the minister to produce it now. It is a public document, a report of a public body. I challenge him to produce it or to produce the report of his department on which the report of the economic council was based; it would give us a lot of information that we have not got now.

I suggest that the reason it has not been brought down is that they are ashamed to bring it down. I would say the result was a complete, cold turn-down.

Let me quote some of the reactions. British Columbia is supposed to be half pink and the other half red, but these fishermen are not as bad as they are painted. Here is a letter from the secretary of one of the fishermen's unions:

Of course the fishermen are very much disappointed at the result of the whole affair and I am afraid it will reflect very badly on the Liberal government as a whole.

The hon. member for Yale can take that for his comfort.

For some reason the fellows had banked quite a lot on government doing something to aid them this season, but as you know only too well, nothing has come of it.

Yes, I told them the truth from the beginning. that they were not going to get any-

Sup pi y-Fish e ries-A dministralion

thing, that they ought to sell their fish on the United States side. Then he says:

It is very easy and to some people satisfying to drag out the red bogy to fit every situation, but it should be evident to everyone that when fishermen think over their inability to get benefits like other -workers from the acts covering compensation, arbitration and now unemployment insurance, and at the same time get no aid such as the farmers obtain from government loans, subsidy of crops and market control, etc., there is no wonder that they get the idea that they are the original forgotten men, at least as far as this coast is concerned.

Perhaps there is still a chance that something will happen this season that will inspire the fisherman. If so will you let us know about it.

I have not had any occasion to write or wire him of anything inspirational up to date.

Here is a man-I do not like to quote his name, but if I did I think some hon. members would know him; he is not connected with fishermen but he lives among them-who says:

I was out on the fishing grounds talking with some of the row-boat men (and God knows they have no easy time) and actually it was amazing what they voiced: in brief, "What does it matter to us who wins? We can't be any worse off than we are."

That is not red stuff, but it does illustrate the indifference born of despair, and you cannot get any worse combination than indifference and despair. The government in this matter are playing with fire; they are asking for trouble. I make this distinct charge, that too often they act in the interest of the big cannery combines rather than in the interest of the fishermen: for the cannery combine the fatted calf is always on hand, the ear and the pocket and the eye of the department are always open to their representations.

Apart from and beyond that is this further complaint; although British Columbia produces more than all the maritime provinces put together and within a reasonable distance of more than the whole of the rest of Canada, first consideration is always given to the maritime provinces, partly perhaps because they are older and longer established, partly because the officials of the department all come from the east-there are fifty-two officials in the department here and if there are more than two who do not come from the maritimes I don't know who they are.

Topic:   R1VI8ED EDITION COMMONS
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LIB

August 5, 1940