December 1, 1945

LIB

Gordon Benjamin Isnor

Liberal

Mr. ISNOR:

I believe I can say that all hon. members from the maritimes are agreed in asking that the minister give every consideration to the question of fisheries. At the outset I should like to associate myself with the congratulations which have already been extended to the minister by the hon. members from Saint John-Albert and Royal upon his appointment as Minister of Fisheries. He has already shown by his interest, his energy and his cooperation with the various sections of Canada that he is alive to the possibilities In his department. It is no minor department, but represents real wealth to our country. The maritimes is perhaps the largest fishing unit in the dominion-with all due respect to the hon. member for New Westminster, who takes such a deep interest in the fisheries. I would remind the house that the fisheries mean something like 838,000,000 to our section of the country, and to Nova Scotia itself a wealth of 823,662,000.

I wish to concur in and support the representations made by the hon. member for Saint John-Albert in his suggestion to the minister that he cooperate in the closest possible manner with the Department of Public Works. Like the hon. member I too made representations to the Minister of Public Works that he give favourable consideration to the requests from the maritimes for breakwaters, particularly in the fishing villages along our coast. Unless they have that protection, and unless there is close cooperation between the two departments, the fishing industry, particularly, the inshore fishery, cannot be carried on to the advantage of the industry and of the country. Both ministers must be familiar with the hazards experienced by the inshore fishermen. They leave their homes as early as four of five o'clock in the morning, go to the fishing grounds, and do not return until towards evening. Unfortunately considerable publicity has been given recently by the radio and the press to gales that are sometimes experienced in Nova Scotia. These gales cause damage all along our coast, and it is to offset such damage that I have urged again and again that the Minister of Public Works cooperate with the Minister of Fisheries with a view to providing the necessary breakwaters. As an illustration of the problems with which the. fishermen are faced, let me point out that many of them operate out of small coves containing from eight to ten fishing boats. Through the months when storms are experienced the openings through which the fishermen pass to and from the fishing grounds are closed by obstructions

piled up by the storms. I am anxious to see that these passages are kept open by the provision of proper breakwaters.

I wish to support the arguments which have been made in support of the development of our export trade, and particularly the' marketing of maritime fish in central Canada. Years ago we established a market in central Canada-Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto-and it was a Halifax man, by the way, who was largely responsible for the inauguration of that market. I am anxious to see it maintained, and I am wondering whether the officials of the department have cooperated with' or made representations to the Department of Transport in the matter of providing modern facilities for the carrying of fresh fish from the maritimes to these central markets which I know wish to have our fish. As the hon. member for Royal has said, in Ottawa we repeatedly ask for fish and cannot get it, and the same is true of Montreal and Toronto but to an even greater extent. It would increase the consumption of fish and be of direct benefit to the maritimes if the Minister of Fisheries would give this matter further thought, and encourage the marketing of our fish from the maritimes.

The minister is no doubt familiar with the merger of a large number of fishery concerns which recently took place in the maritimes.

I think it will be a good thing from the point ' of view of our export, trade, which takes care of something like seventy per cent of our total catch. This large merger no doubt will have the most modern equipment for processing, freezing, and so on; but I am concerned about the future of our inshore fishing. We have in Halifax the largest number of inshore fishermen in any county in Nova Scotia, and that may sound surprising when you think of Halifax rather as a port and an industrial section of Nova Scotia. But the fact remains that we have 750 inshore fishermen's boats, employing 963 men. As I say, I am concerned about these inshore fishermen, and I am going to suggest that the minister endeavour to give them every possible encouragement in the establishment of small processing plants. If there is one department that has efficient and sympathetic officials, from the deputy minister down, it is the Department of Fisheries. I have gone to them time and again with problems and have always had a very attentive hearing, and I have found them ready to lend assistance whenever possible.

I am suggesting to them through the minister that further encouragement be given to the inshore fishermen; that inspectors and their assistants visit these fishing villages along the

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shore, offering advice''as to how the fishermen can better process their catch. If this is done I feel sure it will add largely to the output.

Just recently I put before the Minister of Public Works a problem affecting twelve fishermen who formerly operated from a certain village. A processing plant was established a little further along the shore, and through lack of a breakwater these fishermen were obliged to travel many more miles to the new processing plant, with the result that there has been a gradual dying out of the fishing industry in that section. I feel that there is an opportunity for doing business in both places, and if we had cooperation these eight or ten fishermen would be able to carry their catch to a plant in their immediate vicinity instead of having to waste time in carrying it to a plant at a greater distance.

It is a matter of satisfaction, Mr. Chairman, to have the two ministers sitting in front of me, because I can address one or the other from time to time, and therefore I hope we shall have closer cooperation between the two departments than we have had in the past.

I am glad that the hon. member for Royal mentioned the West Indies trade agreement, which I understand is now under review by the Department of Trade and Commerce. It is quite likely that the Minister of Fisheries will make sure that his officials sit in on those deliberations so as to bring about the best possible results for the fishing industry-in this country.

I corfid speak on the lobster catch. Sometimes this is termed a luxury trade, but it means real money to us in Nova Scotia, particularly to the fishermen in the constituency of the hon. member for Shelburne-Yarmouth-Clare. No doubt he will deal with that question to a greater extent than I would care to do at this time.

I am going to leave just tw-o thoughts with the Minister of Fisheries. I would ask him, as I have said, to give every possible assistance, financial and by way of advice, to those who are prepared to construct small processing and freezing plants. I would also ask him to give every possible encouragement and advice to the fisherman who is anxious to build the type of boat which will permit him to go further to sea, but who is not financially able to do so. I believe the larger type of boat is more economical to operate, but unfortunately the Nova Scotia fishermen are not always in a position to finance the building of such boats. So I would ask the minister and his officials to give these men every consideration with a view to encouraging and helping them in every possible way

I realize, Mr. Chairman, that you wish to , get these and other estimates through as quickly as possible, so I shall not add anything further at this time. From my knowledge of the minister I am sure he is sympathetically inclined toward this industry and will do everything possible to encourage it, both in the maritimes and throughout the dominion.

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LIB

Loran Ellis Baker

Liberal

Mr. BAKER:

1 will be very brief, Mr. Chairman. I am not a lawyer; I do not believe in repetition, and I have not taken up much of the time of this house. I had a very pretty little speech prepared, but much of what I intended to say has been said already, so I will content myself with saying that I concur in the remarks of the hon. member for Royal, the hon. member for Saint John-Albert and the senior member for Halifax. I will not put those remarks on Hansard again; and I hope other hon. members will take the hint and do likewise.

I come from a province where the actual landed value of fish in 1944 was 814,851,376, which total was exceeded only by the province of British Columbia. ,

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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

The value of the fish caught in British Columbia was equal to that of the three maritime provinces put together.

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LIB

Loran Ellis Baker

Liberal

Mr. BAKER:

I am going to offer what I consider a few practical suggestions. Fishermen are men of few words; often they are a bit bashful and unable to express themselves well, and for this reason it is hard for them to get organized. They are becoming better organized now, and I look to the future with great expectations. But certain things are needed. I spend a great deal of time on salt water myself, so I am going to be practical - and not merely present a thesis. One thing we do need is more protection for the fishermen. We all consider that the men in the armed services require every bit of protection they can get, and we know that their wives and children worry about them. Fishermen, particularly in the part of the world in which I live, the junction of the bay of Fundy and the north Atlantic ocean, also require protection, and their wives and children have the same anxieties that the wives and children of servicemen have had for the past few years, except that they have to put up with these worries all their lives. I want to suggest that when you think of farmers you should always think of fishermen as well. I have the greatest sympathy for the farmers. I have listened to hon. members from the prairies, and have really enjoyed what they had to say. I have every sympathy for their problems; but in

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drawing up legislation for the farmer we should at the same time have regard for the fishermen; and for the benefit of the hon. member for Qu'Appelle I would say that I believe the wives of fishermen should be regarded in the same light as -the wives of farmers. When it comes to the matter of benefits I believe fishermen should always be . considered when farmers are mentioned.

To get down to something practical, we need some sort of coast service, guard service, though I realize the minister cannot look after this all by himself. In the Unite ' States they have a coast guard service which issues weather reports, picks up stray boats,

. and does anything that can be done. Their ships are equipped with ship to shore telephones, and we need something like that in Canada. I would offer what I would term a constructive criticism and suggest that the Minister of Transport, the Minister of Fisheries and possibly the mounted police get together in order to establish some such coast guard patrol. I am sure the minister is sympathetic toward the idea of having protection for the fishermen, and I know this question will be given every consideration. The minister knows all about it, but I am placing these remarks on Hansard so the other departments will see them and cooperate with him.

Then we are very badly in need of rope,- and here I am not speaking only of my own constituency, as I hope hon. members will notice and again follow my example. In southwest Nova Scotia, which also takes in the constituency of the hon. member for Queens-Lunenburg, .they are very much in need of . rope. Anything that can be done by this or any other department to secure more rope for the lobster fishermen this winter will be appreciated.

The question of future markets has been dealt with already. The only suggestion I should like to add is that we must develop our Canadian market more than we have in the past. We need to spend considerable sums on research and advertising. The fisheries department has some excellent research men, and I hope no one will ever object to the moneys that are being spent for research in connection with fisheries; and these remarks do not concern my own province only but apply to British Columbia as well. I can assure you that I will back them up in any way possible, because our problems are so similar.

Last but not least I should like to say a word about lobster hatcheries. The hon. member for Saint John-Albert referred to lobster hatcheries for New Brunswick. If we are to

have these hatcheries I hope we shall have them for New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and any other area in which lobster fishing is carried on.

In conclusion I want to say how delighted I am with the type o.f man we have as the new Minister of Fisheries. As he has said, he is Frank by name and frank by nature. That is just the way the fishermen are, and that is the kind of man they will appreciate and understand, so I feel sure they will cooperate with him.

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PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLURE:

I want to make a few remarks on this important question of fisheries, but first I should like to join in the congratulations that have been extended the new minister. However, since the hon. member for Shelburne-\ armouth-Clare made some kind remarks, and since the minister has hardly stopped smiling following those remarks, I had better not elaborate on the congratulations which are being heaped upon him, except to say that I am proud he is a maritimer. I * should like him to understand that if in the course of my remarks I have anything to say of a critical nature with regard to the Department of Fisheries, he must not take that criticism personally, because he has been in the department only a very short time. This morning we had a warning, or perhaps it could be called a threat, extended in a nice way by the Prime Minister, who said that if we were not good boys this morning and this afternoon, and if we did not do a fair share of work in school we would be kept in after eight o'clock to-night, so I suppose I had better make my remarks as short as I can.

The fisheries are one of the great industries of Canada; it is up to us to take particular notice of it and see what improvements can be made for the benefit of the men who are engaged in it. For after all, the fishermen of the maritime provinces and of Canada generally are doing more to keep down what some people cry about-inflation-than any other class of men. By their production they have been the best safeguard for keeping away that terrible thing known as inflation.

It is my intention to speak about certain things which have happened in the last few years in connection with the fishing industry, and what I shall say will refer more specifically to my own province. One may say the fishing industry in Prince Edward Island is a feast in one year and a famine the next, largely due to regulations, transportation facilities, and lack of proper supervision by the fishing authorities. But worst of all in the past four years, and particularly in the last year, those engaged in the fisheries have been under control boards. As I said in an earlier

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debate, while some of those boards might b'e permissible in wartime, they should now be east to the four winds of oblivion, so that we might get down to something practical in the processing and transportation of fish from the maritime provinces.

I would call the minister's attention to the last directive issued in the maritime provinces. I suppose it was, put out as a result of an order in council. The one in question is dated October 1, 1945-and I mention the date to show that these directives are not put out in time to serve those engaged in the industry. They do not know what is going to happen from one day to the next. The order in question was issued from Halifax by Mr. Mclnerney, allocation officer for Atlantic canned fish. I take it for granted, of course, that he did not authorize its publication, but that it was put out by the administrator of fish products at Ottawa. When the complaint was made, Mr. Mclnerney told the fishermen, the packers and the eanmers that he was not responsible for the directive and did not know anything about it. This directive for 1945-46 for canned fish packs was directed to canners, assemblers, packers and exporters. It told them what they could do, and how and when they should do it. It was really a straight dictatorship in respect of all fish products, and I believe it was made by the administrator of fish products here in Ottawa, whoever he was.

I do not wish to dwell at length on this matter, because its application has passed for this season, but I draw the matter to the attention of the minister so that this condition can be rectified in the future.

Another thing this authoritative body did was to stipulate how quantities should be allocated. For instance, the Canadian Red Cross were allowed only a certain small proportion, to consist only of sardines. A definite quantity of sardines was made available to the British Ministry of Food. At the same time no definite amount of lobster pate or tamale was specified, but it was left to be supplied "as required". A buyer of these goods might buy them and pay a certain price for them; but when he came to sell them he would find that he had some new problem to deal with, namely that of finding out how he could market them at a price on which a ceiling had been set after he had made his purchase. In most cases he would have to take a loss.

When one looks at the instructions issued with reference to lobsters he sees that we did not have an opportunity of selling all our lobster in the United States market, where the highest prices were offered. A certain

quantity, according to the directive, were supposed to be for relief feeding. We know this was absolute foolishness, and the dealers suffered a great loss when seventy-five per cent of their pack which could have been marketed easily in the United States had to be sent in other directions.

Another disturbing factor in the directive is the one pertaining to exports, where it is stated that at the discretion of the Department of Trade and Commerce a limited quantity of ground fish, chicken haddies, mackerel and lobster may be exported to Latin America, but that with reference to mackerel and lobster, permits would be granted on a first-come-first-served basis. In my opinion this is a crude fashion in which to allocate under export quotas, and it is certain to end in controversy when any attempt is made to find out who was first or who was not first. It leaves a condition under which those having the greatest pull with the controller of their goods will receive the favours, and will be given the first export permits. There has been considerable controversy between the department and various shippers on this subject.

The allocation board which operates under the administration is supposed to be represented in the maritime provinces by two members from each province. The two from Prince Edward Island who served on the board were packers, and I am informed that not in one single instance were they asked for advice. They were supposed to give advice concerning the province to which they were - allocated. Again it boils down to the fact that the rules and regulations as laid down might best be done away with by eliminating the bureaucrats from the controls. These boards of control are burdened with red tape to such an extent that they are clogging the wheels of progress in the fishing industry.

May I emphasize this point to the minister who is now in charge of this great fishing industry: Do not permit the fishing trade or industry to be dominated by any administrator-no matter who he may be or where he is

who either does not know fishing conditions, especially in Prince Edward Island, or desires to make it a non-profitable business both to the packers and to the fishermen. There is no doubt that thousands of dollars have been lost to the fishermen through the actions of these administrators and boards of control.

I should like to mention another matter in connection with lobster fishing. It would appear that this fish products controller or administrator knows very little about the

27%

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fishing industry in our province, or perhaps even in the maritimes. For instance, in one report with reference to Prince Edward Island it is stated that the lobster industry is only a home packing proposition. If some of the fishermen down there ever get their hands on 'he man who said that about their lobster canning plant, I am sure he will be canned in more ways than one.

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LIB

Hedley Francis Gregory Bridges (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRIDGES:

To what report is the hon. member referring?

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PC
LIB

Hedley Francis Gregory Bridges (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRIDGES:

By the Department of Fisheries?

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PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLURE:

Oh, no. I am glad the minister asked that. It was issued by one of these boards of control or agencies that are not under the minister's control. I thank the minister for bringing that to my attention, because I did not intend to saddle that on him. I should like to give one example of their lack of knowledge. There are two lobster seasons in Prince Edward Island, one in the spring and one in the fall, on different sides of the island. This control board or fisheries product controller at the beginning of the season of 1941 placed a ceiling on the lobster pack of $28 per case. Then just as the spring pack had been marketed, they came along in the fall and raised the ceiling price $10 per case. Those who had fished in the spring were faced with a loss of $10 per case. What did they do in 1943? Up until September, 1943, there was no price ceiling on chicken haddies, herring and mackerel processed in Prince Edward Island. These packs were yielding the packers 'from $9.50 to $10 per case. On September 3, 1943, when two-thirds of the pack was up, they put on a ceiling price of $10.50 per case for chicken haddie and a ceiling price of only $8.80 per case for mackerel, which has just as good food value. This resulted in a loss of thousands of dollars to the fishermen of Prince Edward Island, because they were fishing mackerel at that time .

I want to remind the minister again that I am not holding these things against him, because he was not directing the affairs of the Department of Fisheries at that time. This fish products board must have some special favourites, because we find that price ceilings were placed on special articles at certain times. In 1943, through the efforts of the Department of Trade and Commerce, some dealers in Prince Edward Island were able to sell several carloads of herring to the West Indies. When those dealers applied for an

export permit it was turned down by the administrator, regardless of. the fact that a dominion government department had negotiated the sale for the fishermen and packers. This showed that the administrator of fish products could override the trade and the Department of Trade and Commerce; he appeared to have full dictatorial powers. I am sure that this is the sort of thing the minister will see does not occur in the future in Prince Edward Island or anywhere else.

It has been most annoying to the fishermen that the Department of Fisheries have not cooperated with the packers and the fishermen in an effort to educate them to put out a better article for the market. For the last three or four years the matter of production has been left mostly to these boards of control, and probably they did not give the Department of Fisheries an opportunity to take action.

The industry in our province, is growing. It provides a livelihood for quite a number of people. It may be a matter of some interest to this committee to know,that the fish canning industry of our province produced $543,000 worth in 1939, which represented fourteen per cent of the total canned fish production of the maritime provinces and Quebec. In 1943 the production of the fish canning industry of Prince Edward Island had a value of $2,074,000, or twenty-five per cent of the total production of the maritimes and Quebec for that year. This great increase in the production of canned fish was due largely to the fact that the people were patriotic; when the government asked them to do their bit in the way of supplying food for military and relief purposes, they did so. I have not the figures for 1944, but I think they showed a still greater increase.

I know that the minister will give proper supervision to the work of his department, which will result in the fishing industry, not only of Prince Edward Island and the maritimes but of Canada generally, growing still greater.

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PC

George Randolph Pearkes

Progressive Conservative

Mr. PEARKES:

Mr. Chairman, I should not like the Minister of Fisheries to think that the only source of congraulations to him is to be found on the Atlantic seaboard. I should like to join with previous speakers who have offered their congratulations, and I should like to congratulate him on two scores particularly: first of all, on having overcome that initial handicap of hailing from New Brunswick, and second, on being a returned man of this war, who has achieved cabinet position.

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I am sure that in the industry which his department supervises there will be opportunities for a limited number of returned veterans to find gainful employment. I believe that in' British Columbia some 70,000 people derive their livelihood either directly from or indirectly from the fishing industry. But that fishing industry is surrounded by uncertainties and by risks and dangers for those who are catching the fish at sea. The uncertainties are governed partly by the course of nature, which if left to itself wTould ensure a continuation of the supply, but when nature is tampered with by human beings its full cycle of production is upset, and it is inevitable that with the development on the coasts and at sea in other industries, the course of nature is interfered with. Therefore I welcome the items which are included in his estimates for the conservation of fish and research into the methods by which fish can be conserved. I would almost wish that more funds could be made available for that purpose.

Other activities are apt to interfere with this fishing industry, and I am pleased to see that quite recently improvements have been made at Hell's Gate which will enable the fish to work their way up the Fraser river. But there are other streams where fish work up to the spawning ground, and I suggest to the minister that research work be carried out with a view to seeing what streams on Vancouver island should have dams built in them in order to conserve the water. The logging industry has removed much of the undergrowth on the slopes, thus making a quick run-off in the spring; many of the streams become dry later on in the year, thus preventing the salmon from working up those streams to their proper spawning grounds. -

The fishermen on the Pacific coast have now, I think, better floating equipment than they ever had before. But in some cases a great deal of capital is required to enable men to start with the right type of floating equipment for the catching of fish. During the war years it has not been possible to spend much money on the improvement of the berthing facilities in the small harbours which abound on the Pacific coast, and therefore this new equipment the men have is running risks of being destroyed by winter storms. While I know that the development of fishermen's wharves does not come directly under the responsibility of the minister, I do hope that he will use his influence with the Minister of Public Works in order to ensure that safe harbourage is provided for the fishing fleet.

I referred to the risks which the men run while they are at sea; and likewise during the

war it has not been possible to maintain all the aids to navigation which are necessary. The Pacific coast is strewn with small islands and rocks. Many of these are a distinct hazard to the fishing fleets. I hope that a more active development scheme for marking those rocks and islands will be provided; and if it is possible to initiate some investigation which would provide a cheap form of radar set which could be used in the larger fishing boats, that would help to remove some of the hazards which are met with by the fishermen.

There are one or two suggestions which I would like to offer the minister in connection with the employment of returned men in this fishing industry. I mentioned at the beginning that the industry supported only a limited number of men. At the present time we have a serious unemployment situation in British Columbia, and any work which could be started in the way of improving the harbour facilities would be appreciated at this time. Also, in order to give those men who came from British Columbia full opportunity of entering into the fishing industry, I suggest very seriously that steps be taken to stop the demobilization of men in Vancouver and British Columbia who have not lived in that area before they enlisted or whose families are not there at the present time. -

There are various new branches of industry opening up. One, which seems perhaps foolish to mention by name but it is likely to develop into an important industry, is that of the utilization of seaweed and the development of certain types of seaweed which are now being used for medicinal purposes. Important medicines can be obtained from seaweeds, and at the same time the banks of seaweed provide safe cover for the young fish. I feel that it may be necessary in the not too far distant future to have some form of control regarding the cutting away of the seaweed banks in order that the young fish may seek the cover of that shelter.

I would suggest also to the minister that investigations be carried out as to the possibility of reestablishing the whaling industry on the Pacific coast. Years ago a whaling fleet used to sail from Victoria harbour; but the whalers have, in 1.1 le maim been commandeered for other purposes during this war, and there is a shortage of whalers to leave our coasts for the whaling grounds in the Antarctic. At the present time I believe there are negotiations under way regarding the limitation of the kill of whales. I picked up a copy of "Time", one of the October issues, in which attention is drawn to the fact that there are agencies suggesting that the restriction on the number of blue whales to be

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killed be removed. At the present |ime there is a restriction of the kill to some 16,000 per year. Quite Vecently the killing season was considerably extended; and I should like to know if the minister has any information as to the international agreement regarding limitation of the number of whales which are to be killed annually. I do hope that he will give consideration to stimulating in some way the whaling industry, which might possibly be revived again in our British Columbia ports.

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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

It was not my intention to deal extensively with the fishing industry at this time, but from remarks which have been made this morning, emanating principally from hon. members from the maritime provinces, I feel sure that anyone sitting in the gallery and coming from the prairie provinces would draw the inference, after listening to the discussion this morning, that the maritime provinces were greater in fishing than any other province in Canada. Earlier in the session the hon. member for Queens-Lunen-burg made the statement that his province was one of the greatest fishing provinces in Canada. I feel that, even at this late date, it is just as well that the record be kept straight. If wheat was being discussed, naturally the members from Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba would be taking a great part in the debate. So far this morning most of the speeches have come from hon. members from the maritimes, and I want to congratulate them, because when this subject comes up they immediately band together, as is their right, and so place their representations before the government.

May I say that. I think I was one of the first members of the House of 'Commons to visit personally the new Minister of Fisheries and congratulate him. If I may add a personal note, perhaps congratulations from members from British Columbia should be taken with better grace than from hon. members from the maritimes, who believe there should always be a minister of fisheries from the maritimes; and while we in British Columbia produce over fifty per cent of the entire fish supply, we, generally speaking, are the first to congratulate the mfnister of fisheries when appointed from the east.

Let me first briefly tell the members from the maritimes how the fishing industry of Canada stands in the point of value. I have here a return which was brought down this year, when I asked what was the total value of the fishery products, including fresh and salt water fish products, during each of the years 1934 to 1944. I quite realize you can pick perhaps one year which would be good

on the Atlantic and poor on the Pacific or good on the Pacific and poor on the Atlantic. So I have looked over the past number of years, and roughly this is what I find. The total marketed value for the past ten years has been approximately S550 million for all the fisheries, including inland fisheries, products from the lakes, the Pacific fisheries and the Atlantic. Therefore the average for the ten years is $55 million. Of that amount, British Columbia produced an average of $26,500,000. The average for the three maritime provinces-Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick is $22 million. One could devote considerable time to this matter to show the great position in fisheries which British Columbia occupies. As I have said, it might appear, to an outsider at least, that British Columbia hardly exists in the matter of fisheries. The same thing happened with the shipbuilding in the maritimes, years ago. They were in days past the great shipbuilding provinces. But we in British Columbia started to build ships. Now we are doing a larger job building ships than any other province or place in Canada. I can say that without fear of contradiction, because I was a member of the war expenditures committee and have the figures under my hand.

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LIB
LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

Digressing for a moment, may I say I am reminded, when I look across at the hon. member for Nanaimo, how much pleased we in British Columbia are to see that a new honour has been conferred on his deskmate, the hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard. I just noticed that he had received another distinguished honour.

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PC
LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

The hon. member for Vancouver-Burrard has received a new honour, in addition to his having been granted the V.C. The announcement has just appeared in the press, and I am taking the first opportunity to congratulate him.

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PC
LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

Mentioned in Dispatches.

Now regarding the subject I was dealing with, the maritime provinces as compared with British Columbia, I have the feeling that they are somewhat against British Columbia, perhaps a little jealous. The only variety of fish in the maritimes in which the product is greater than that of British Columbia is cod. Lobsters they produce to the extent of about $10 million. But in the herring industry British Columbia is producing more in respect

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of both quality and value. Of halibut we produce great quantities. Of salmon, the amount produced from maritime waters is infinitesimal compared with the great quantities of salmon obtained off the Pacific coast shores.

May I also refer to the timely statement made by the hon. member for Nanaimo when he urged the minister to give consideration to the establishment of more returned men in the fisheries. But we on the Pacific coast are faced with this problem: there is only a certain quantity of fish, and the more men who go into the industry the less there is for each fisherman. It is one of the problems which particularly affects the runs of fish to the Fraser river, that the more men go into that industry, the less will be the returns to each individual fisherman; and likewise with those who are fishing off, Vancouver island and in the other waters of British Columbia. The catch is going down year by year, many of these varieties reproducing in the United States waters, over which we have no control. -

But I wanted particularly to keep the record straight for those hon. members from the maritimes, that British Columbia takes first place in fisheries. Ovei; a period of years she has produced more than fifty per cent of the total fisheries of Canada.

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LIB

Loran Ellis Baker

Liberal

Mr. BAKER:

On a point of order, I remarked that Nova Scotia was second only to British Columbia in 1944. Possibly the hon. member, the president of the fisheries committee, for whom I have a great admiration, did not hear me.

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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

I do not think I singled out any hon. member at all; I dealt with all members, and I am very sorry if the hon. member thought I was dealing particularly with him. But I did hear speeches this year to the effect that Nova Scotia was the greatest fishing province in Canada, and I, from British Columbia, with the record of the facts before me, do not intend to sit quietly by, even if we are kept here longer.

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PC

Alfred Johnson Brooks

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BROOKS:

The hon. member has injected the only discordant note into the debate since it started.

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December 1, 1945