It is like the man who was going to make the farm pay but -when his father looked over the figures he said, you
have forgotten to put down SB,000 for rent. "Take out your salmon"; I can retaliate, "take out your cod". They are both there and wall be long after we have gone away, I hope. I said partly because of the officials, and partly also because there are more members of parliament from the maritimes than from British Columbia.
The hon. member for Cape Breton South mentioned another instance in which the government is going in for helping the cooperative scheme-a very excellent thing, and I support every word he said in that regard; $50,000 was voted for it last year. But British Columbia, with a larger catch and more fishermen, got $5,000.
If they did not use it all, they asked for more this year. It all leads to the conviction-and I am not speaking on my own account only-that we are neglected. It is not only the fisheries, but also the loggers and the grain men; I saw a big report the other day of the grain men complaining, but that has been in part altered. Begin a little further back; right down through the pages of history you get this story. Take the vote for $160,000-1 will not bring that up just now because the weather is hot and it always makes our maritime friends so exceedingly hot under the collar that I am afraid they will get apoplexy. But history shows that the fishermen of the Pacific coast have been robbed of their share of that $160,000, so much so that we have had men like Hon. Mr. Rhodes trying to defend it, but he had to admit that the act ought to be altered to agree with his conception. He said it was intended to mean something else. But the law says this is for the fishermen of Canada, not the maritimes alone.
Then take the lobster industry; they had an order in council passed about May 1. The lobster fishery in the maritimes occupies about three months in the year, and they thought they would not catch more than 70,000 cases- why, one cannery in British Columbia would put up that much. And they thought the price was going to be low and that something should be done, that the dominion government through the Minister of Fisheries should intervene in the marketing of canned lobster by appointing a controller and giving him authority to buy not more than 55,000 cases at $18 a case. That comes reasonably close to $1,000,000, and they gave him authority to sell it as and when he could. There was also an advertising campaign carried on. But that was not enough; later they introduced another amendment to the order in council.
S upply-Fish e ries-Adrninist ra tion
In the first order there was a provision that in order to get this number of cases bought from him the lobsterman had to certify that he had paid the fisherman a reasonable price per pound, I think 5i cents or something like that. But that did not suit the operators, so they had it changed to provide that the lobsterman had to take his oath or swear in an affidavit that he had paid this agreed price to the fisherman, but only on that portion of the pack in connection with which he got paid by the government. Well, if it was right and proper that he should pay 5J cents per pound on part of the pack, surely it was a good idea that he should pay it on the whole pack. This was aid for the maritimes alone.
That is just a casual instance. I have already dealt with this $800,000 that was so urgently needed, but of which only half was spent. Perhaps after the next census we will have a larger and more united representation from British Columbia; at all events I hope so. And if we have a majority I hope we will treat the maritimes more fairly than we have been treated in the past. I know it is not popular to speak at any length at this stage of the session, but is twenty minutes too long to take to discuss the merits of one of the largest industries not of British Columbia only but of Canada, and I think the second largest in British Columbia, involving revenue to the country of millions of dollars, revenue to the government of hundreds of thousands of dollars and the employment of many thousands of men? If the matter comes up late in the session that is not my fault. I always know when the house is going to adjourn because the fisheries estimates are always brought down the day before adjournment. Is that because the department is so small that they have very little regard for it, or is it that they do not want to meet criticism?
We have an additional handicap this year because of the war. This session the government has been too ready to hint that this, that and the other thing should be done because of the war. They do not use the word disloyalty, but if any attempt is made to oppose or debate a bill or estimate they say we are hindering the work of the war. Sometimes that is utterly unfounded. The other day we were scolded for holding up a matter for a day, but it turned out that the bill had to go to the senate, which did not meet until eight o'clock that night. The senate got the bill at eight fifteen, so that we really did not hold up the work of the war for very long. Attached to no party, as I am, I have sat on the side-lines this session and watched the various manoeuvres. I want to say that the leaders of all groups, par-95826-156
ticularly the leader of the Conservative opposition, have been cooperating with the government to the very greatest extent. We have also passed a great many things by unanimous consent, more than I ever saw before, and many of these matters easily could have been held up.
There may be odd cases in which the necessities of war require apparent discrimination or injustice as against an individual, a group or even a province, but such occasions are very rare indeed. There are few cases in which the prompt and vigorous prosecution of the war cannot go hand in hand with justice and equity in what may be called internal matters, provincial or even local in their character. A demand for justice in this matter is no sign whatever of disloyalty, and I resent even the indirect implication that if anything is done to oppose any measures the war effort will suffer. We have heard that; but this session we have adjourned more Friday nights than ever before, and have sat only one Wednesday night, so there does not seem to have been such a great rush after all.
This session we have seen a large number of workers in two of the greatest industries in British Columbia discriminated against. The fishermen of that province will say, and truly-that is the bitter part of it-"We have seen millions spent in the maritimes to help the very needy, poverty stricken people there, but we cannot get a nickel for British Columbia. We cannot get even the conservation work required to protect our industry, which is imperilled because of the way they have carried out these economy measures, by doing the cutting not in connection with the officials but in connection with the amount available for this work." The loggers will say, as they are saying already, "Yes, they gave unemployment insurance to the Japanese in the saw mills, but they have not given it to us. I suppose between them these two industries employ fifty or sixty thousand workers. Is that going to help our war work? Is that going to make us a united people, all anxious to do our share?
I do hope the government will adopt a different policy in regard to British Columbia. We are far from being disloyal; never mind what they say about being "pink." The other day the records showed that British Columbia had bought more war savings certificates per capita than any other province of Canada, and twice as many as Nova Scotia, so that after all we are not so very disloyal. Let the government show us that we are not the forgotten dog. The common expression is "the forgotten man," but I think I have used a better word. Show us that we are not the
forgotten dog of the federation, and together with the rest of the country we will bear whatever sacrifice which may be necessary in order to win this fight for democracy.
There is one other point I should like to mention. This matter was referred to the other night by the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid) and every fisherman member from the maritimes has been aghast when I have told him about it. Until a few years ago in British Columbia you could give a man a licence to catch sock-eye salmon which, after he caught it, he was compelled by law to sell to one man for 55 cents and prohibited from selling to another for 75 cents. It seems incredible now, when I look back on it, but that was the law for many years. The 75 cent man was in Seattle; the 55 cent man was in Vancouver, and the fishermen were compelled to sell their fish within the province at the price fixed by the local cannery. That situation continued for many years. Finally when the hon. member for Yale was minister of fisheries he gave us a fair deal. The matter was brought up in the fisheries committee, and when they realized that they had an open hand and could do as they wished, that situation was changed. It had been the political pull of certain parties in the west that had maintained that situation for so long. That was years ago. None of the terrible things happened that were predicted; as a matter of fact the cannerymen themselves now import fish from the United States when it suits them and pays them to do so, just as they do it the other way when it suits them to do so. But if the fisherman wanted to ship his fish to the United States, where he would get 75 cents for them instead of 55 cents, he was not allowed to do so. To-day the law is that a man can sell his fish in the best markets.
That applied only to sockeye. Last fall, for reasons I need not go into, the price for chum salmon, a late, cheap variety, went up. A better price could be obtained in Seattle than in Vancouver; but the cannerymen, unknown to the fishermen or the members representing the various districts, had an embargo on chum salmon put through by the department. They wrapped it up nicely with some talk of loyalty, because the men concerned were mostly Japanese, and everybody knows I have not much use for the Japanese; but there is such a thing as fair play and honesty. The cannerymen did not want to pay a little higher price in Canada. I did not hear of it until the thing had been done. The fishermen's unions were not consulted or even advised. Surely the members representing those districts concerned could have been
given a chance to express themselves. Some of the members of the fishermen's union approached the cannerymen and asked what they were doing, but they were told that it was none of their business, that it was a private matter between the cannerymen and the government, which was almost true. That was not done because of the war but because they did not want to pay a higher price.
The other night the hon. member for New Westminster asked the minister if there had been any application from the canners to renew this embargo on sockeye. He appeared to think he had some reason to believe, as I have some reason to believe, that the cannerymen are going to make such an application, if it has not been made already, because there is now a demand for sockeye on the American side. There is no question of loyalty involved here. The British government does not want sockeye salmon because it is too costly, and the canners of British Columbia do not want to put it up because the market is doubtful. I do not blame them. They will pay only a very low price, because they have to take the risk. But there is a demand and a good price in Seattle. Why should the fishermen not sell in that market? It is not a case of keeping them from British empire consumption at all. They are not wanted in Great Britain, for the reasons I have stated.
The minister said that representations had been made to him by the same people that United States buyers were coming into the Fraser river. He also said that it was the intention of the department to maintain its independence as regards cannerymen, as it had with regard to fishermen. It would do me-and I think some other hon. members, and certainly the fishermen's union
a lot of good if he would make that more definite, and if he would say he would not for this season, at any rate, put an embargo on sockeye salmon. If he is asked to put it on the other four kinds I would ask that at least he first consult the fishermen, and the members of parliament representing fishing districts, who know something about the matter.
Of course I am not authorized to speak for other members of parliament in the matter, nor am I authorized particularly to speak for the fishermen. But I do know what their position is. I am convinced that they would very much like to hear such an announcement from the minister, simply that in view of the circumstances, and as it has no connection with supplying the British empire, he will not yield to pressure that may be brought upon him to place an embargo on sockeye salmon this year. We would like
him to say that if he is asked to put it on other fish, as he was last year, at least we might be consulted. I am not asking more than that. But we do urge that we ought to be allowed to express the wishes of the people who elect us before he takes any action in the matter.
For a moment I should like to turn the attention of the committee from salt water fish to fresh water fish. I have the honour to represent a constituency in which there are two large lakes, namely lake Winnipeg and lake Manitoba. Lake Winnipeg is one of the largest lakes in the world. I believe I represent more fresh water fishermen than any other member in the house. We have not heard from the fresh water fishermen of Canada to any extent. But there is one problem which I would like to place before the committee, and to which I would like the minister to give his serious consideration.
The fishermen and fish producers of lake Winnipeg and lake Manitoba would like to have a dominion government system of inspection and grading of the fresh water fish exported to the United States. The greater portion of the output from our fresh water lakes goes to cities in the United States, and it is the desire of the organized fishermen and fish producers of our two large lakes that there should be established a dominion system of inspection and grading of the fresh water fish which go by way of export to the United States. It is their desire that that be done in order to ensure a high quality of fish for the export trade.
I hope that during the recess the minister will give his most serious consideration to the suggestion of establishing a dominion system of inspecting and grading fresh and frozen fresh water fish sent to the market in the United States.
I do not know much about deep sea fishing, but I do know something about eating fish. The people in the constituency from which I come are interested in procuring sea fish. We cannot understand why a fisherman on the coast should receive only three-quarters of a cent per pound, or possibly one and one-quarter or one and one-half cents-I do not know what they get to-day-'and we should have to pay an amount so much greater than that. I am referring to prices of cleaned fish. For instance a pound of cod or haddock would cost anywhere from 15 to 25 cents in Toronto. We see large sums of money being spent on the administration of the Department of Fisheries. We know, too, that none of that money is spent in Ontario, or for the benefit of fishermen in that province. Therefore we 95826-156J
conclude that it is spent for the benefit of the fishermen in the maritimes. We like to see those fishermen receive help, because we realize we are helped in other ways. On the other hand we would like to receive something for the money the government is spending.
There is no doubt that we would benefit greatly if we in Ontario could get more sea fish. For purposes of health, and for the benefit of those who may be subject to goitre, more sea fish ought to be available. The difficulty is not that we have been unable to make our people fish conscious, nor is it a question of publicity. It is rather a question of price. For the life of me I cannot see why we should have to pay twenty cents a pound for fish when the fishermen receive only two cents. Surely there must be something wrong.
I am talking about fish-just plain, ordinary fish. I am referring to the kind of fish one buys in the grocery store. The grocery man cuts off a piece, and that is all the processing there is to it, so far as I can see.
As I said before, I know nothing about sea fish. I know that one can go out and catch a fish, bring it in, clean it, cut it up and put it into a pan. That is all the processing I know anything about. Of course we may find fish in some stores which have gone through a fancy process; but that is not what I am talking about. The people want sea fish-and they do not want fancy sea fish.
I am coming to that. In lake Ontario we have the finest fish in the world, and we have no trouble in disposing of them. But the people in Ontario want sea fish too. And of course they would like the people in the maritimes to eat some of our fish. I understand that the fisherman receives 14 or 15 cents a pound for lobsters.
And what do we pay for lobster? We pay a dollar a pound, or somewhere in that vicinity. Can we not get lobster cheaper than that? What is the reason for the spread beween two cents and twenty cents on a pound of halibut or haddock? The people of Ontario do not receive any assistance from the dominion government so far as fisheries are concerned,
and we would like to be told why the fishermen do not receive a better price for their fish.
Mr. Chairman, with regard to fisheries, I should like to tell the house how much I appreciate the splendid work of the minister in charge of thats department. In the first place, I wish to point out the training of adult fishermen undertakers by the Department of Fisheries. Economists are unanimous in saying that plans undertaken in the economic or social field cannot be successfully carried out unless they are based upon an efficient and proper unit. Now, in the particular case of fishermen, such a unit has to be formed by means of advanced training.
As regards fisheries in particular, no development plan can be permanently successful if it does not provide for competent and efficient fishermen. The necessary impetus must come from within, it must be derived from the enlightened will of the fisherman himself. Without such a starting point, all outside assistance, such as cooperation from the church, government help, scientific data, eit cetera, can only supply temporary solutions, if it does not indeed remain wholly fruitless.
And it should be emphasized that efficiency and competence are not necessary only to those fishermen who wish to direct their activity toward the economic field, with a view to the establishment of a cooperative system.
The owners of large fish processing plants also benefit from the training of good fishermen, who supply them with raw materials. The quantity and especially the quality of the fish supplied must also be considered. And in the case of a product that becomes perishable as soon as it is taken from the water, the importance of this matter should not be underestimated.
In the case of fishermen who wish to secure-economic independence in their occupation, adult training is essential if success is to be
achieved. Fishermen are not in a position to take over at a moment's notice the management of their own affairs.
Since fishermen have neither the money nor the time to go back to school, it behooves the government to make adult training available to them. The government have two ways of discharging that duty: if they have their own teaching staff, they can undertake the work themselves. That is a rather unpractical method. The best one is that whereby the government discharge their duty by providing the necessary funds while entrusting the task to an independent institution accustomed to that kind of work.
It was for that purpose that, last year and again this year the government have voted $50,000 for adult training among the fishermen of the whole country. They have entrusted that work to proper institutions and, especially in eastern Canada, to the social and economic department of the high school of fisheries at Sainte-Anne, and to the department of public relations of the university of Antigonish.
During the war, a continuation of this work is required in order that fishermen may be induced to discharge their duty fully and to do what their country expects from them in the matter of production. There is no more efficient or less expensive form of propaganda.
We must provide for the problems of the after-w'ar period while the hostilities are still going on, and this is a field where adult training is especially required. We all know the slump that was experienced by fisheries after the war of 1914-18. If we are to measure the magnitude of the next slump by the ferocious character of the present war, we may expect a dreadful crisis. That is where the competence and efficiency of fishermen will take a vital economic importance, in avoiding social upheavals or at least lessening the country's burden.
Statistics show that there were in Canada, in 1938, 56,969 deep-sea fishermen, distributed as follows: Prince Edward Island, 3,309; Nova Scotia, 18,548; New Brunswick, 13,713; Quebec, 11,150; British Columbia and Yukon, 10,349.
Mr. Chairman, as it is my privilege to have the floor while the right honourable the minister of Justice (Mr. Lapointe) is taking his seat. I am pleased to tender him our respects and our compliments.
To grant $50,000 a year for adult education would represent an appropriation of only 88 cents for each fisherman. Is anyone able to suggest a less costly and more effective form of assistance?
Mr. Chairman, although I have no desire unduly to waste this house's time, I would nevertheless like to point out that this item
of $50,000 appropriated for the education of adult fishermen is without a doubt the wisest expenditure undertaken by the Department of Fisheries; the results obtained at the St. Anne school, thanks to a grant of $8,000, are magnificent, and entirely meet the wishes of those who have been endeavouring for many years to better the lot of our Gaspe fishermen. This educational work has developed the personal initiative of these people, who have already organized, under the leadership of the school's director, Father F. X. Jean, and of his confidential assistant, Professor Boudreau, 200 study circles comprising 1,500 members. These members after studying various matters related to fisheries, have organized eight unions grouped in a federation known as the "Pecheurs unis de Quebec." The federation controlled, this year, more than six million pounds of fish.
And that, Mr. Chairman, is what we have long desired; that the Gaspe fishermen should, following in the steps of their Cape Breton colleagues, assume the management of their own business for their own profit. The individual fisherman is powerless to better his lot, but, grouped in trade unions, our people will achieve each year a greater measure of prosperity. They will receive education in their special field, learn, without added cost to the consumer, better methods of preserving their fish and of preparing it for the market, as well as the most favourable conditions under which it can be shipped and marketed.
This entire cooperative achievement is due, Mr. Chairman, to the adult education programme carried out to date; and it is in view of the success obtained that I would request the Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Michaud) to increase next year to $15,000 the amount of $8,000 granted to the Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatiere school.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to say a word concerning the equipment allowances granted to fishermen during the last few years by the Department of Fisheries. These direct grants have proven most valuable to our poor fishermen: ranging from $10 to $25, they have brought each man an additional income of $100 or $150. The minister will acknowledge that, on the very day following my election, I requested him by wire to maintain these grants; since then, I have submitted to him several petitions from my constituents asking the maintenance of these very valuable grants. Unfortunately, it has been decided to abolish these allowances due to the enormous expenditures brought on by the war. I have no protest to make on this
score, Mr. Chairman, but I trust that this grant will be renewed as soon as the war is ended.
In view of the fact, Mr. Chairman, that there are a great number of industries related to the fishing trade which could be profitably established in my constituency, and that we do not possess 'the capital required to this end,
I would like to make, if I may be permitted to do so, an appeal to capitalists in other parts of Canada and even outside this country. There are at present in Spain and Portugal a great number of industrialists and business men whom 'the war has exiled from their respective countries, whether France, Belgium, Holland or Poland. I hereby invite them to establish such industries in Bonaventure county, where they will receive a hearty welcome from our people, a people of mixed origin who have found the secret of living together in the most perfect harmony, who are industrious, easily satisfied, and need only steady employment to live contentedly.
It might be possible, for example, to convert into fish flour the enormous amount of waste which is at present a total loss. Then there are the sand banks, replete with clams, which stretch almost without interruption from Nouvelle to Bonaventure, a distance of fifty miles. These clams are the finest in the world. If w'e had the necessary capital, we could establish a clam cannery which would be profitable both for the owners and the shore fishermen.
Lastly, Mr. Chairman, we could if we had the necessary capital establish one or two mackerel canneries. Mackerel, as the hon. member for Gaspe has just indicated, is an excellent fish which is found in abundance in the waters of the bay of Chaleurs. Many other industries could be established in connection with the products of our fisheries, farms and forests. Fresh farm produce could be placed on the markets of Canada and the United States when other sections of the continent cannot supply it. Our forests, properly developed, could produce indefinitely large quantities of lumber as well as of spool-wood, furniture-wood and box-wood.
I therefore make a sincere appeal to sound capital within and without Canada to open new industries in Bonaventure county, and also in Gaspe county, if my hon. friend the member for Gaspe does not mind my saying so. Such capital would meet with a most cordial reception from a people most eager to cooperate.
One word more. In the province of Quebec, as hon. members are aware, the administration of fisheries has been transferred by agreement from the federal to the provincial authorities. I do not quarrel with this, except to point out
that since this transfer was made Quebec does not receive its fair share of grants to fishermen. I therefore ask the Minister of Fisheries and the government to give the matter their serious consideration with a view to making to Quebec grants proportionately similar to those which the other provinces are receiving. Contributing our share of the taxation from which the expenditure on fisheries is provided, we are logically entitled to our share of the benefits. So long as I remain a member of this house I shall not cease to make this plea.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your kind indulgence.
I wish to say a few words of appreciation for the flattering remarks which the hon. member for Bonaventure (Mr. Poirier) has made about me in connection with the treatment meted out to Bonaventure fishermen during the last few years. I also wish to correct a mistake that the hon. member for Gaspe (Mr. Roy) who spoke before the hon. member for Bonaventure, has made with reference to the help given to Gaspe and Magdalen islands fishermen for the last few years. You are no doubt aware, Mr. Chairman, of the relations existing between the federal government and the provincial authorities as regards the Quebec fisheries. As a result of a judgment of the Privy Council and a subsequent agreement between the Quebec government and the central, or federal, government, the administration of Quebec fisheries, with the exception of Magdalen islands, is under the exclusive jurisdiction of provincial authorities. As regards Magdalen islands, the federal government never relinquished their jurisdiction and they have always exerted it. However, the hon. member for Gaspe has made a serious mistake in saying that help for fishermen from Magdalen islands or for those from the province of Quebec had begun in 1930. Before 1935, and that is the year in which grants to fishermen were initiated, nothing had been paid to the Quebec or Magdalen islands fishermen, either as- direct help or relief, or in the form of money contributions, with the exception of the funds voted and spent for purely administrative purposes.
In 1935, when the present government took over the affairs of this country, we found the situation, as regards fisheries in eastern Canada, and especially in Gaspe and the Magdalen islands, most deplorable. We endeavoured immediately to remedy this need, and it is thus that during the first year of our administration, in 1935-36, we provided a grant of $25,000 which the provincial government agreed to distribute among the fisher-
My question is based on a survey I made on lake Nipigon where I find that pulpwood being dumped into the lake from a reserve-I believe the whole territory about the lake is reserved-in any event the pulpwood is destroying-fishing in lake Nipigon. Perhaps nothing can be done about it, but I thought I should bring it to the attention of the department.