July 3, 1942

NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

The minister's plan covers only very small fishing boats. I was referring to fishing boats as well as other ships.

War Risk Insurance

Topic:   WAR RISK INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR COMPENSATION FOR WAR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY
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LIB

William Chisholm Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Halifax):

Topic:   WAR RISK INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR COMPENSATION FOR WAR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY
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NAT

Howard Charles Green

National Government

Mr. GREEN:

By chopping off the heads

of the great lakes fishermen, taking something away from them. We were not trying to do that.

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LIB

William Chisholm Macdonald

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Halifax):

It was the suggestion of the hon. member for Comox-Alberni.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

No.

Topic:   WAR RISK INSURANCE
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LIB

Robert Wellington Mayhew

Liberal

Mr. MAYHEW:

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IND

Alan Webster Neill

Independent

Mr. NEILL:

The latter sum would be reasonable and fairly satisfactory.

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LIB

Robert Wellington Mayhew

Liberal

Mr. MAYHEW:

I think he should be

insured up to the $3,000 on the same basis.

There is another aspect of the matter that should be considered. The bill makes it possible for a man with an investment of half a million on shore to get additional insurance at his own expense at a reasonable rate. In

your marine bill you are not making it possible for him to get it. If what the hon. member says is correct, that there has been a 50 per cent increase in cargo war risk insurance rates, if would mean, according to Mr. Leonard's statement in the banking and commerce committee, that fishing boats in the Prince Rupert area would be paying 45 per cent premium. He said that there were three different sections: 12 per cent at the southern end of the island, 20 per cent about the centre and 30 per cent at the northern part, so that adding 50 per cent would mean that a boat out of Prince Rupert would be paying 45 per cent. That is hardly a reasonable rate. The government should endeavour to provide enough competition so that the private enterprise will at least come to a reasonable base and not overcharge a man who is trying to earn a living. _

There is another reason why I think the fishermen should be encouraged. They have made very good money up to date in the fishing; many of them have made as much money this year already as they made all last year. They are not going to continue to risk their boats without any insurance and pay practically 100 per cent of their earnings to the government. That is human nature, but it is a fact that must be taken into account.

Topic:   WAR RISK INSURANCE
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LIB

Vincent-Joseph Pottier

Liberal

Mr. POTTIER:

If they are making so much money that they are going to stop working, it seems to me the least they could do is to stay at work a little longer and pay an insurance premium and save the government from having to dip into the treasury in order to provide more money for them. I am not objecting to the order in council referred to by the Minister of Fisheries, because I think it is a great step in behalf of the small man, who is the one we have to protect. Let me give an idea of the number of boats by counties. In Shelburne county in my riding we have 708 fishing boats and 100 larger fishing boats. In Yarmouth county we have eighty-eight fishing boats and ninety-three larger fishing boats. That is the picture of the state of affairs along the shore of the maritime provinces. For these fishermen, their total assets, their livelihood, what they educate their children on, their working capital, are represented by these small boats. And they are not insured. They each own a boat worth perhaps $2,000 to $3,000. The operation of large numbers of boats to the value of $75,000 or $80,000 each, which apparently is the style in British Columbia, is something we do not know anything about. We have a few, not many.

I hope we do not get to the radical point- the "gimme's" such as we see from western

War Risk Insurance

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Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR COMPENSATION FOR WAR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY
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LIB

Robert Wellington Mayhew

Liberal

Mr. MAYHEW:

I did not ask that the man with a fleet of fishing boats should get free insurance. He should be considered on the same basis as the man with that amount of capital on shore; I quite agree with my hon. friend on that. The only point I raised was whether a man who uses his boat as a shelter on the sea should not get the same privilege as the man who uses his home for shelter on land.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

I want to ask a couple of questions. I represent fishermen-

I do not know how many boats, but from Vancouver north I have no doubt as many as the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth-Clare. I quote the words of the hon. member as reported on page 2855 of Hansard: "I think we should leave it as it is now."

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

Leave what?

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

The hon. member said:

I rather agree with the last speaker. I do not think that just because you cannot get what you happen to want you should take anything away from anyone else. It serr.s to me that if there is any chance at all of fishing boats getting any protection it will be because somebody else has somewhere similar protection. If we take out of this bill the road leading half way to where we want to go we abolish our only chance, and there never will be any opportunity for fishing boats to be insured. I think we should leave it as it is now, . . .

If that is satisfactory to the maritimes it is not to British Columbia. We are accused of saying "gimme" all the time, but the only place where Japanese submarines are active to-day is on the west coast, so far as Canada

is concerned. We are accused of having the

gimme s . I should like to ask any hon. member from Nova Scotia what subsidy the fishermen of British Columbia got when the lobster fishermen of the maritimes were even having their advertising paid for, and now you cannot buy a tin of lobster because it is not available. But we and the rest of Canada paid the cost of advertising that part of their lobster catch that had to be canned.

The question I desire to ask the minister is this. He referred to fishing boats costing from two to four hundred dollars. So far as I know there are no boats of that class operating in my constituency. I do not class myself as an expert with regard to fishing, like the hon. member for New Westminster or the hon. member for Comox-Alberni, but I believe that in British Columbia they fish with either gill nets or seine nets.

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LIB

Joseph Enoil Michaud (Minister of Public Works; Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. MICHAUD:

And trolls.

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LIB

George Alexander Cruickshank

Liberal

Mr. CRUICKSHANK:

Yes. I may be corrected if I am wrong, but I believe the gill net is the least expensive net, costing at prewar prices from $600 up. I should like to know of any boat used on the west coast of Canada, costing from two to four hundred dollars and making use of a gill net costing $600 at the very least.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I have no knowledge of the value of gill nets on the British Columbia coast, nor did I purport to be expressing any opinion in that regard.

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LIB

Paul Joseph James Martin

Liberal

Mr. MARTIN:

Possibly this discussion between the salt water fishermen of the Pacific and the Atlantic should be balanced by someone speaking for the fresh water fishermen in between. The minister has said that ships on the great lakes have been taken out of the provisions of this act because it was felt that there would be discrimination against ships operating on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Surely that is no argument for denying to the ships on the great lakes the advantages offered by this legislation, and which they would have received if they had been allowed to continue under its provisions. This is not a case of the "gimme's" as far as the great lakes are concerned. The government would still get the money paid in by the ship owners on the great lakes, w'ho I believe would pay a smaller premium. I do not see why hon. members either from the east or from the west would wish to have this discrimination operate against the great lakes fishermen, and certainly the minister has not yet satisfied me that the mere fact that there would be a discrimination is sufficient reason for excluding

War Risk Insurance

shipowners on the great lakes from the operation of this legislation. In effect he is saying, "We cannot give you what we think you are entitled to, because we see no reason for according a similar privilege to those on the two coasts." I suggest to the minister that if there is any stronger argument he should give it to the committee.

Topic:   WAR RISK INSURANCE
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR COMPENSATION FOR WAR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY
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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

I think that is the main argument, but I believe it is a strong one. I do not think we would ever hear the last of it if we provided a government scheme at what would be represented as bargain rates for marine insurance on the great lakes, and did not make the same provision on the coast. From the governmental point of view, the parliamentary point of view, that is an excellent reason. I was impressed by the argument advanced by the hon. member for York South in that regard. He took an interest in the debate; and while I do not think he had any interest from a constituency point of view, he did raise the point of discrimination the other day, and I found my own answers to him not quite as convincing as I should have liked them to be. My answer was that there was no reason why we should not extend the same rates to ships on lake Ontario, for example, that we extend to buildings in Toronto. Nevertheless I have stated repeatedly that it is not our aim to supply insurance facilities for persons to whom commercial facilities are available. Commercial facilities are available to ships on the great lakes; and I think we would be accused, and justly accused, of discrimination if we provided insurance for them and not for ships on our coasts. I have taken the matter up with the members of the advisory committee; it has been fully discussed, and I have come to the conclusion that we should take those ships out. The hon. member for Comox-Alberni moved an amendment the other day, to have those ships taken out, and now I think I shall agree with him on that.

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NAT

Douglas Gooderham Ross

National Government

Mr. ROSS (St. Paul's):

If you take away the opportunity for war risk insurance on ships I do not see why you should not also take away the opportunity for war risk insurance on cargo. I do not think the two things should be mixed up in this bill at all.

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LIB

James Lorimer Ilsley (Minister of Finance and Receiver General)

Liberal

Mr. ILSLEY:

There might be some demand for that, I do not know; but from the point of view of cargo, particularly grain, the flow is so continuous-it goes from the elevators into the boats, where it is sometimes stored- that I think we had better leave in cargoes on inland waters. We could never get this so that someone would not accuse us of discrimination. Just as soon as we become too

generous in one line, that is used as an argument why we should be generous in a number of other lines, and we are pushed from one point to another. I cannot have a light regard for demands on the treasury. I must have some sort of control or rein on such demands, and I think we have gone as far as we should be asked to go in this matter.

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Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR COMPENSATION FOR WAR DAMAGE TO PROPERTY
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July 3, 1942