December 17, 1945

TRADE AND EMPLOYMENT

CANADIAN REPRESENTATION AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN 1946


On the orders of the day:


PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I have a question to ask which on two previous occasions I addressed to the Prime Minister, with respect to the proposed international trade conference next summer in the United States. I understood that it was to be answered this morning. I asked whether an invitation had been received by Canada; and, should one be received, would it be accepted and would the Prime Minister consider sending a nonpartisan delegation to the conference. Perhaps the Minister of Fisheries would bring the question to the attention of the Prime Minister so that I may have an answer later to-day.

Topic:   TRADE AND EMPLOYMENT
Subtopic:   CANADIAN REPRESENTATION AT INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN 1946
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SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO ASSIST MR. SPEAKER IN REVISION OF STANDING ORDERS


On the orders of the day:


PC

John Bracken (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. JOHN BRACKEN (Leader of the Opposition):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to ask what progress has been made by the special committee, appointed on November 7, to recommend revision of the rules of the house. I think it is apparent to all of us that revisions of the rules are urgently needed, and as the committee has not brought in a report at this session, might we 'have an assurance from the Prime Minister that action will be

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taken, as soon as parliament reassembles, to appoint another committee which will have ample opportunity to make a thorough study and a full report?

Hon. IAN A. MACKENZIE (Minister of Veterans Affairs): It is .the intention to set up that committee as soon as possible after the next session is convened.

The house in committee of supply, Mr. Macdonald (Brantford City) in the chair.

DEPARTMENT OP FISHERIES 72. Departmental administration, $163,760.

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CCF

Harry Grenfell Archibald

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. ARCHIBALD:

I should like to say

a few words on this general discussion. When the department was before the committee previously I did not get up in time.

I should like to bring to the attention of the minister a problem which will soon arise on the international markets of the world in selling the produce of the sea. Such countries as Venezuela and Chile are going into the building of large cold storage plants, and though the fishing industry is in a healthy condition at the present time it is apt to face in the near future competition which it will be difficult to meet. If we are to keep the fishermen in their independent position they must have a reasonable price for their products. For instaifee, the halibut fishermen do not want to see the price of halibut go down to two cents a pound, as it did around 1931.

Another problem is that of the boats. During the war the fishing industry had difficulty in getting lumber, as many other industries did, to replace old and outworn equipment. Now the few boats which are being built at the boat yards are having _ a hard time getting good lumber.. It is a disgrace to see the type of lumber which is going fnto the holds to-day. It is a flat-grained fir. Prior to the war, in such things as decking you could get No. 1 edge grain, but they are not getting it to-day. In British Columbia we are exporting 65 per cent of our total cut, with only 33i per cent being exported from Ontario. Surely the minister could find some way of retaining some No. 1 lumber to put into the boats of the fishermen. There are subsidies of from 50 cents to S3 a cord on such things as cordwood. The minister should be able to get something of the sort for the fishermen on the coast.

A word as to the old halibut boats up in Prince Rupert. Most of them were built in the United States, and they will soon have to be replaced. These boats were built in the United States under subsidies given by the

United States government. We in Canada will have to follow the same practice in the future. We talk about free enterprise.; the halibut fleet out on the coast is the highest expression of free enterprise. The boats are individually owned. The men who work on these boats work on a share basis, and any new member of the crew who comes on them is not picked by the skipper so much as by the boys. In the interests of thie men I should like to see that independence continued.

The equipment which the fishermen have on the coast does not compare, I think, with that which comes up from the United States coast. Not many of our halibut men fish in the No. 3 area because they have not large enough boats. I should like to press on the minister the desirability of subsidizing or helping the fishermen to establish a No. 1 modem fleet.

We know that the fishing season on the Pacific coast in practically all lines is getting shorter. There should be some research in the matter of developing new fields for the fishermen to enter. Take, for example, the tuna fishing. It has been developed just over the past two or three years, and the fishermen have had to go out and test the equipment for themselves. Some boats, because they have had to keep the bait on the deck, have been turned upside down, and lives have been lost, because there has not been research as to the kind of equipment required in this branch of the fishing industry. _

Investigation should also be made in the Jap current which lies thirty miles off the northern tip of the Queen Charlotte islands. It is reported that large schools of salmon have been seen, but it may be tuna. The tuna fishing season is very short, and this would fit in nicely with the halibut fishing industry.

Consideration should also be given to helping out the fishermen by modernizing their equipment. In the United States one firm is going into the manufacture of radar equipment for fishing boats. In "Time" magazine it is stated that no up-to-date fishing boat should be without radar. Is Canada going to be one beat behind the United States at all times? We developed radar; now let us see that tine fishing fleet get it, because it will be a marvellous help in finding fishing schools and also telling what type of bottom they have where they are fishing.

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LIB

Robert Henry Winters

Liberal

Mr. WINTERS:

Not with radar.

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CCF

Harry Grenfell Archibald

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. ARCHIBALD:

A word about such

places as Langara island and Juskatla. I was caught short because I did not have the names, but I will give them to the minister so that he can bring pressure on the Minister of

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Public Works with regard to these points which the northern fishermen want built iuip. At Massett they need facilities as soon as they can possibly be brought ih. Officials of the Department of Fisheries are well aware of the needs of the fishing fleet in northern British Columbia. In Prince Rupert the fishermen through their cooperatives have built a large cooperative cold storage plant, but they have no proper facilities to get down to the plant, and they need a road right along the C.N.R. right of way. If this provision could be made for them it would be much easier for them to get down to the boats with their gear. At the present time they practically have to pack it on their backs if they want to get down to the boats on the roads built by the Department of Public Works.

I bring these points to the attention of the minister so that the fishing industry may be enabled to maintain its independence and grow and develop with the development of the country.

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LIB

Robert Henry Winters

Liberal

Mr. WINTERS:

In rising to speak for a few minutes on fisheries I would say, as almost everyone else says upon rising in these last days of the session, that I regret taking the time of the committee under the circumstances. I offer by way of justification the fact that I represent Queens-Lunenburg, which is the best fishing constituency on the continent. In other constituencies possibly more fish may be caught, but I know of no other wherein a greater percentage of the population is engaged in fishing or wherein this single basic industry represents a greater proportion of the over-all economy.

This constituency is steeped in the tradition of fishing, involving wooden ships and iron men. There has been a tendency on the part of some hon. members to compare the merits of the west with those of the east. In my opinion competition is always a good stimulant, but it is -better when tempered by cooperation. Progress on the east coast will mean betterment on the west coast, and vice versa. On this basis we in the east are pleased with any developments our western friends can achieve, so long as we have adequate opportunities to do a little developing on our own part.

The fishermen on the west coast have been well championed by the hon. member for New Westminster and others. We do not deny that they catch fish of many varieties, and in large quantities. We cannot agree, however, with the hon. member for New Westminster, when he says that British Columbia fisheries are neglected in favour of the maritime9.

fMr. Archibald.]

To refer again to our good friend the hon. member for New Westminster, he was kind enough to send me a copy of a report entitled International Pacific Salmon Fisheries Commission Annual Report', 1944. This report sets out in a clear and interesting way the work put into the development of the Fraser river, and the expenditure of money involved in the effort. It is undoubtedly all to the good, and illustrates what could be done, on a much smaller scale of course, to improve such rivers as the Medway in Queens county and La Have in Lunenburg county. Both these rivers are essential to the economic welfare of the communities along their courses, and their development is urgently needed. People who live along these rivers, and read of the development of British Columbia rivers, find it hard to agree that the Department of Fisheries discriminates against British Columbia m favour of the, maritimes. *

As I have said previously, the department is well aware of the importance of developing these Nova Scotia rivers, but when I press the issue, I am toldi by the department that work cannot be proceeded with because the engineers who will eventually be concerned, are occupied in British Columbia.

In Queens-iLunenburg we have been engaged in fishing for a long time. It is of more than secondary importance to us. I can, join with my colleague, the hon. member for Shelbume-Yarmouth-Clare, in asserting that, in our adjoining constituencies, fishing is the very core of our economic life. To us it is not difficult to justify the appointment of a minister from the maritimes, and right now we maritimers think we have a pretty good one. His department may be the *Cinderella of the government, but it is growing in stature.

It is pretty difficult to sell to maritimers the idea that other departments are more important and require more personnel. I would imagine it is equally difficult to sell the idea to fishermen from British Columbia. What the fishermen' want is a fisheries department strong enough and sufficiently well staffed with experts of all kinds, such as researchers, inspectors, guardians and so forth, to provide fishermen with adequate assistance to guarantee them a just share of Canada's wealth.

I do not know of any class of people who work harder for what they get in return.

The fishermen in the maritimes are grateful to the government for floor prices under fish. Although this has been a temporary measure, we hope that the government will continue to extend these benefits, which have prov.ed to be such an advantage to so many people.

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We have just come through a period of fair prosperity for fishermen, because their entire output could readily be absorbed, at good prices, to feed warring nations. These nations are now at peace, and are bending every effort to restore their own economies. We shall have to look elsewhere for markets and perhaps be prepared to accept lower prices. There is much to be done in developing markets both in Canada and externally. When one realizes that the average consumption of fish per capita per year in Canada is only about twelve pounds, and that during the same period the average meat consumption is 157 pounds, we can see why the fishermen think there is room for improvement.

Externally our big markets used to be the United States and West Indies, and these are still good potential markets if we are given an adequate chance to develop them'. The Canada-West Indies treaty operated to the disadvantage of maritime fishermen. We lost good customers because of preferential trade barriers and discriminatory freight rates on Canadian steamship lines which considered it expedient to carry other commodities, and even fish from other countries, at rates considerably less than those charged for our own Canadian fish. These conditions are clearly presented in a report prepared for the Department of Fisheries in 1938 by two well known and-authoritative merchants and experts, Messrs O. F. M'acKenzie and F. Homer Zwicker. The report is entitled, "Markets for Dried and Pickled Fish."

Another report I would commend to hon. members is entitled "Report of the Royal Commission Investigating' the Fisheries of the Maritime Provinces and the Magdalen Islands" presented in 1928. After reading this latter report I gained the impression that the government has given it close study, since many of the recommendations have been implemented already. I cannot urge too strongly, however, that the- MaeKenzie-Zwicker report be given careful study and that it be acted upon. Maritime fishermen are convinced that the southern markets can be. regained by negotiating favourable treaties, but they insist that this must be done without delay. This .applies to frozen, fresh and salted fish.

It is most important that the department's programme of development and research be pushed with vigour. There is much to be done. We must find out how to get fish to markets in the best possible condition. This means quality control, scientific methods, more and better inspection., and a full programme of education. We have lost many sales because we were outdone in quality.

The research programme must, of course, embrace shellfish. Lobster and scallop fisheries must not be overlooked. There is still too much illegal fishing of lobsters. This applies particularly to the fishing of lobsters in closed seasons and taking of small lobsters both in closed and open seasons. Greater vigilance is necessary on the part of guardians, and it may well be that their number needs to be increased.

Scallop fishing needs some attention. This used to be a lucrative business, and scallops were taken in large quantities. The supply is fast diminishing. An investigation should be undertaken to locate new beds, and1 with a view to providing regulations as to the dates of the season, the length of the season and the permissible quantities to be taken.

I would add1 a few brief remarks in support of all that has been said by the hon. members for Saint John-Albert, New Westminster, Halifax and Shelburne-Yarmouth-Clare, in requesting close cooperation among the departments of fisheries, transport and public works. It is fundamental that fishermen must have the full advantages of breakwaters, wharves, adequate buoys, direction-finding devices and so forth, if they are to develop to the best advantage.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would say again that there is much to be done. Fishermen are counting heavily on this government to help them take their rightful place in the Canadian economy. We have full confidence in the minister and his department, and we are hoping for the 'best.

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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GREEN:

Could the minister tell the committee what plans his department have in mind for the extension of the fishing industry, more particularly plans in connection with the rehabilitation of the men coming back from the forces? As the estimates of the different departments have come up for consideration I have formed the opinion that the departments are allowing themselves to slide back to the 1939 outlook. They seem to be getting back to normal, whereas there should be some recognition of the fact that we are living in a new era and that there must be expansion and a movement forward. I hope there are some 'forward-looking plans all ready to be put into effect by the Department of Fisheries.

With regard to the fisheries on the Pacific coast suggestions have been made by very responsible people, which I think would be backed up by the members from British Columbia, to the effect that a great deal could be done in the way of clearing streams so that salmon, could get up to spawn and the

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young fish could get back to the sea, and that there should be a far more carefully organized patrolling and observation of conditions on the various fishing streams. It is suggested that once again fish hatcheries should be established in our province. I do not know how many hatcheries the dominion operates at the present time, but certainly most of them have been closed. Another suggestion is that courses should be established in connection with the rehabilitation of veterans, in which they could study such subjects as biology, zoology, stream control and a certain amount of forestry. Those are typical of the suggestions which have been made about the fishing industry. I see quite a large vote for this department in the supplementary estimates, but the particulars show that the bulk of the money is to be spent on the acquisition of boats, and is not for measures such as those I have suggested. Could the minister make a short statement with regard to the questions I have raised?

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LIB

Hedley Francis Gregory Bridges (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. H. F. G. BRIDGES (Minister of Fisheries):

We are still on the first item, and it is my intention to make a short statement after all those who wish to speak have done so. At that time I will deal with the matters the hon. gentleman has brought up. '

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LIB

Thomas Reid

Liberal

Mr. REID:

I have one suggestion to offer to the minister, and I am not going to repeat what I said when we were in committee recently. It is this. Our Canadian fishing fleet on the Pacific coast now is going farther afield. As the inshore fisheries are becoming depleted they are building larger vessels and going out into the open sea. They are also going down south and fishing off the coasts of California, Washington and Oregon. I realize that the minister is new to his position, but I should like him to take serious note of this suggestion, because I believe it would be of great benefit to our fishermen. Back in 1845 a treaty was drawn up between Great Britain and the United States concerning the Columbia river, which begins in the interior of British Columbia and flows to the sea through the state of Washington. In. that treaty it was laid down that British subjects would at all times have free access over the river to the sea.

That would be of benefit to us in this way. The Canadian fleet fishing off Washington and Oregon sometimes have to run for cover when a storm comes up. At the present time they have to pick up anchor and move back into Canadian waters, which takes a considerable length of time. It is my opinion, and the opinion of others, that by this treaty our fleet could enter the Columbia river, which would

[Hr. Green.]

save them a very great deal of time. To those who are not aware of conditions out there this may seem a trivial matter, but to those who know the district and to the fishermen themselves this would be worth thousands of dollars annually. If instead of having to run a hundred miles-or more in order to reach Canadian waters they could find safety in the Columbia river, which under the treaty I claim they have a right to do, it would be of great benefit to them. I do not expect the minister to give an answer now, because he has many matters to look into, but this is one thing I would ask him to consider carefully just as soon as the opportunity presents itself. .

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LIB

Andrew Wesley Stuart

Liberal

Mr. STUART (Charlotte):

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of production, as the earner was obliged to play safe and usually worked less than a full day. To me this is proof that a regulation that will work in every case is something as yet undiscovered, and adjustments should be made in extraordinary circumstances such as these. 1 sincerely trust that the government will consider this carefully and also consider tax adjustments on low personal incomes, which I believe fall far short of present requirements and should be eliminated. There should be established a graduated scale for middle income brackets, which would remove more of the tax burden from the small wage earner.

I was in this house a very short time when the name "free trader" was given me by some of my colleagues. They were perfectly justified in doing so, as I still look back to the election of 1911 as the greatest disaster in the history of the maritime provinces. We have always been obliged to sell our products in a competitive market and forced to buy in a highly protected1 market. This has proved disastrous to the maritime provinces, particularly in the fishing industry. In order for this industry to prosper, a more friendly feeling must be created between the primary producers and the canners on both sides of this border, as the fishermen here have always been obliged to depend upon these canners for a market for their fish.

As I have pointed out, we in the maritime provinces are obliged to depend almost entirely on foreign countries for markets for our fish and fish products, and we are obliged to sell in competitive markets and buy in a highly protected market. Our' sardines in the fresh state have always entered the United States free of duty; that market absorbs about 75 per cent of the yearly catch. Lobsters, scallops, oysters, smelts and many other kinds of fish enjoy the same privilege. Ninety per cent of these fish are sold in the United States. If a prohibitive duty were imposed by the United States government, the fishing industry in the maritime provinces would be practically worthless.

Now, how does this country reciprocate? Does the United States fisherman have the same privilege of trying to sell fish in Canada? Absolutely not-except during a very short period. During the first great war-I believe it was the years 1917 and 1918

and for a few months during this last war, the United States sardine fishermen were absolutely barred from any market in Canada, The lobster fishermen in Maine got exactly the same treatment. Why this has been done I cannot explain, and I doubt if any depart-

ment in Ottawa could give the house a reasonable explanation. If they feel they are protecting the fishermen of the maritime provinces, they are absolutely wrong.

In the seventy-eight years since confederation we in the maritime provinces have earnestly endeavoured to find that market for fish in Canada and have failed. If the United States fishermen can do what we have failed to do, I feel they should be given every opportunity, and the least this government can do is to give them the same consideration we are given; even though it would be of little benefit to them, it would at least create a more friendly feeling on both sides of the border.

Another matter I wish to bring to the attention of the committee is the destruction caused by the storm of November 20 to both private and public property in the maritime provinces. In Charlotte county alone this damage is estimated at one million dollars. A great- proportion of this loss was private property. In some cases a life's savings were destroyed in a few hours. These fishermen should receive every consideration from the government, and everything possible should be done to assist them in getting established in business again.

The destruction of wharves and breakwaters is a very serious matter, particularly at this time of year when a large fleet of boats engaged in winter fishing depend on these breakwaters for harbour. The boats used to-day are much larger than were used even ten years ago. The value has increased at least 400 per cent, consequently, a much larger space is necessary to berth them. The number of boats engaged in this particular branch of the industry has also increased to such an extent that- breakwaters must be built larger and dredging done to accommodate a valuable fishing fleet.

Another matter I wish to discuss briefly is the wages that are paid fishery guardians. These men are employed temporarily by the fisheries department, usually for a period of a few months, and in many cases they are obliged to live away from home. Guardians are paid $2.50 per day, which is far too little. Returned veterans usually get these appointments. I well remember attending a fisheries conference at Shediac, New Brunswick, in 1941, when an official of this department made the statement that due to the fact these appointments were political appointments, they were getting the wrong type of men. Just what he expected for $2.50 a day I never could understand. This condition may exist in some parts of this country but being per-

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sonally acquainted with the guardians in the county I represent, and working with them for quite some time myself, I feel I am in a position to Say they are reliable citizens, doing a fine job for starvation wages. I think the department should consider paying these guardians, who in most cases, as I have said, are returned soldiers, a living wage.

Much can be done to improve this industry by sincere cooperation between this department and the fishermen. If every official from the highest to the lowest could be convinced that he is paid not only to make and enforce regulations, and I might add that there are plenty, but also to study the problems confronting the fishermen from coast to coast, to associate with them in a friendly manner, imparting knowledge acquired by that study where it would be beneficial and appreciated, then everyone would 'be benefited. From experience I would say that too many officials see only one part of their obligation, that of enforcing regulations. That may be essential, but it does not require great knowledge of the fishing industry; or it may not prove to be a great credit to the official. I sincerely hope that in the future this department will seriously consider ' the importance of arming these officers with knowledge of the fishing industry, not with firearms to carry while on official duty as has been done in the past and is being done at the present time. An officer's efficiency cannot always be gauged1 by the number of infractions of regulations reported, or by the number of prosecutions secured, although this is the yardstick commonly used by this department..

In conclusion may I say that I am personally acquainted with practically every fisherman in the county I represent, having been associated with them during the time I was engaged in this industry myself, for over twenty years, and I feel I have some. knowledge of the difficulties they have to contend with. Long hours of exposure and hard work mean nothing to these men if they can make the living which they justly deserve. I have endeavoured to point out the situation regarding markets and the absolute necessity of cooperation between the fishermen and the fisheries departments of these two countries, since we are obliged to look to our neighbours for the markets we have always enjoyed. We are also dependent upon the cooperation of all departments of the government to see to it that those privileges are preserved which mean so much to the fishermen of Charlotte and the maritime provinces. The men who go down to the sea in ships have over a period

of years built up a friendly international spirit which might be copied with great benefit and credit by other parts of this dominion.

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IND

John Lambert Gibson

Independent Liberal

Mr. GIBSON (Comox-Alberni):

Mr. Chairman, I would like to take a few minutes to discuss certain phases of the fisheries industry.

I also represent a fishing constituency, that of Comox-Alberni. While perhaps I cannot say that it is the best fishing constituency in Canada, I can say to the hon. member for Queens-Lunenberg that it probably produces the most fish. I welcome the suggestion of the hon. member that we who represent fishing communities should work together and cooperate rather than endeavour to create rivalry between the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. In that I am in complete agreement.

I notice that the agricultural members in the house have achieved great success in, shall I say, assaulting the treasury. They have made an excellent job of this. I notice that every time the agriculture estimates are up those hon. members appear to cooperate whole-heartedly with the Minister of Agriculture in an effort to obtain all the assistance they can for their farmers. I know that the budget for the Department of Fisheries of some $4^00,000 will not appear like a large sum to members representing agricultural districts. I noticed that one hon. member from Saskatchewan made an appeal for his white-fish. I am glad to see him taking care of the fishermen of his constituency, but I am just wondering, in view of the technique displayed by these agricultural members, if we will not find our appropriation going to the province of Saskatchewan. I am a little bit worried about their skill in that regard.

The hon. member for New Westminster has suggested that the British Columbia members were not pressing their fisheries as much as they should. That may be true. We British Columbians are modest people. We never say much about our climate or our peaches or anything like that. We have always found that if you have a real good product or a real good industry it will be something like mother's pies-they will not need too much praise.

I am, sorry there has been so much delay in bringing down these estimates. It was unfortunate that so much time was wasted on the speech from the throne in discussing generalities. I hope, that next year we will be able to get down to these matters earlier in the session. We are fortunate in having so many British Columbia1 members still present in the house. They must have been lucky with their train reservations.

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The estimates we are discussing are practically all dead and gone now. I notice the supplementary estimates are quite, substantial and indicate some expansion, for which I am very glad. I hope next year the minister will bring in even larger estimates, and I can assure him that he will have the support of all maritime members. The Department of Fisheries would be well advised to cooperate closely with the Department of Trade and Commerce in connection with marketing. This has been mentioned already by some hon. members. I should like to see our reentry into the great oriental market in connection with Pacific salted herring and salted salmon.

Speaking of market extension, I think a good job has been done in British Columbia by the wartime prices and trade board in extending the market for Atlantic coast products. Because of our higher standards of living out there, we must pay higher wages and therefore it costs us more to pack our products. One item I might mention is clams. I happen to be a connoisseur of clams because I was brought up near a clam beach. We always figured that the table was set twice a day when the tide went out. Without wanting to disparage the wonderful shellfish that they have on the Atlantic coast, I must say that they just do not come up to the product of the Pacific coast. We have been pretty well forced to use the product from the Atlantic coast, because the ceiling prices put on by the wartime prices and trade board made it impossible to put our superior product on the market.

I certainly would not have supported bill 15 if I had thought that the wartime prices controls were to continue into that sphere. What they have done is to send our products in the raw state across to the United States, and there are at least one thousand jobs less in British Columbia because of that. I sincerely trust that by next year we shall have got away from that condition. The wartime prices and trade board has done a wonderful job, but one unfortunate thing they have done is to lump a quality pack with a pack of lesser quality on the same price basis. I do not think that should be done, in view of the fact that the department is carrying on a very worthy work in emphasizing the quality of our fish. If we are putting out a high class product, we should be allowed some extra price in order to take care of the. extra expenses.

The vote for fisheries research this year is $541,000. To some hon. members this may not look like a large amount, but it is a lot of money for fisheries research. I sincerely

hope that we shall get value for that money. I wish to congratulate the minister and his department upon the excellent research experimental station at Vancouver. They have made a most valuable contribution to the industry out there. The advice they have given to the canning industry has been most valuable, and they have developed some new products which should be very helpful in creating a market in Canada. Canadians are the lowest per capita eaters of fish in- the world whereas with the high quality of our products we should have a very large domestic market. Our scientists and research stations have a tremendous job on their hands and if we give them proper direction and tell them what we really need in the fishing industry they can supply us with the information required.

In' the brief that was presented to the former minister of fisheries (Mr. Bertrand), early this year, it was suggested that the question should be looked into of reestablishing salmon hatcheries in British Columbia.

I know of one area that used to1 produce one hundred thousand sockeye salmon in one year. Despite the fact that there has been no change' made in the stream, no obstructions put in and no logging' done nearby, for no apparent reason that run has disappeared so that in one year alone only one thousand salmon were taken out. The value of the fish in that run alone, as it formerly was, would almost equal this appropriation for research.

There is another question which I should like the research board to look into very carefully and do it promptly. There has been a great deal of criticism regarding otter and beam trawling. A large number of fishermen feel that in scraping up the bottom of the ocean bed the spawning grounds for the fish are being ruined. I have seen hundreds of tons of small immature fish brought on to the deck of trawlers and shovelled off again into the water, probably causing pollution. That is the kind of thing our scientists can look info. Unfortunately our fishery regulations in Canada seem to have been made on the basis of the number of squawkers. No class, however numerically large it may be, should be able to get the regulations so framed as to do an injustice to our fisheries.

I think that rather than yield to pressure from groups we should call in our scientists and experimental stations with a view to passing proper regulations.

I am very glad that the minister is taking into consideration implementing some of the suggestions that were submitted in the Bertrand brief earlier this year. I see by a notice that I have received that a waterways

i

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engineer is being sought to clear stream obstructions. I would point out to the minister that British Columbia definitely now has an unemployment problem, and I sincerely hope that his programme of expansion of our fishery service will result in the employment of a large number of war veterans, who I understand are being trained in this work.

I hope that that programme will be implemented as soon as possible.

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PC

Percy Chapman Black

Progressive Conservative

Mr. BLACK (Cumberland):

This is one of the most important departments of government so far as the people of Nova Scotia and the maritime provinces are concerned. Fish is one of our great natural resources and deserves more attention than it has had in previous years. The Duncan commission recommended that fisheries be set up as a separate department, with a special minister placed in charge. I was a member of the provincial government that made this representation to the Duncan commission. We have had some capable ministers in charge of the Department of Fisheries who have made considerable progress. Unfortunately these ministers, I think without exception, have not been practical fishermen, but distinguished members of the legal profession. Many people interested in the fishing industry would have preferred that someone with practical experience and knowledge of the fishing industry be placed in charge of this department. I believe that the present minister has done fairly well in the time that he has been there, considering that he has had very little, if any, practical experience. He has been supported lay capable officials in his department-I refer especially to the deputy minister and assistant deputy minister.

The great problem in Nova Scotia has been markets and prices. Our fishermen in former years have had to work at starvation wages over long periods of time. In recent years prices have been more satisfactory, but the fishermen could never understand why there should be such a tremendous spread between the price they were able to get, as low as fifty cents a hundred pounds, and what the consumer had to pay. I hope that the legislation we put through at a previous session providing for floor prices will rectify this.

There is also the matter 'of the quality and the marketing of the fish. It has been recommended that a special aeroplane service be established in order to market the fish regularly and in the best possible condition. I do not know whether the minister is^ prepared to make a statement in that regard. I am referring particularly to fish caught in the outlying portions of Nova Scotia, fish caught

on the- coasts and marketed inland- at a considerable distance from where it is caught. The marketing of the fish in first-class condition depends upon better facilities for transport, and in this connection it is desirable that an aeroplane service be established.

I would ask the minister what is his attitude and that of his department with respect to the large merger recently made in Nova Scotia in the fishing industry. I have no reflections to make on those who are at the head of this big organization. If they are going to direct their attention to assisting the actual fishmermen in the marketing of their product, I believe there is no one more capable of doing that than those at the head of that great merger. On the other hand it is giving the fishermen of Nova Scotia a great deal of concern as to whether the merger has been set up with the approval and, under the control of the department and has for its object an improvement in the lot of the fishermen, and whether it will be able to *achieve that purpose and guarantee them a satisfactory price and a steady market.

There is a good deal more that I should like to say in connection with the work of this department, but I know the committee is anxious to make progress and I shall not delay it.

Mr. M'OORE: I have listened with a great deal of interest to the discussion that has taken place this afternoon on fishing. All the speakers have been brief and to the point and the discussion has been really worth while. I happen to come from Manitoba, where the fishing industry is of considerable -importance. The statement was made this afternoon that the agriculturists of this country get a great deal of benefit from the federal department of agriculture because of the activities of members of parliament on behalf of agriculture. That may be true, but we must look forward to a much greater expenditure still on agriculture if it is to continue to be the industry it is supposed to be. Saskatchewan, for instance, will require an expenditure of $200,000,000 for a major irrigation project. This is something of extreme importance. I do not think we are asking too much when we ask this. We must remember that prior to the outbreak of the present war over 400 million dollars was spent on Singapore, and the guns of the naval base could not foe turned around to fire inland. The enemy came up from behind and the garrison simply had to surrender.

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?

Some hon. MEMBERS:

Order.

Supply-Fisheries

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CCF

Ronald Stewart Moore

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. MOORE:

That fact may not foe greatly related to these estimates, but I think it may be in point as far as the question of recommendations is concerned. As to fishing, Manitoba has a considerable fishing industry which is gradually extending northward. I recommend that the department lay plans for the building in northern Manitoba of a number of fish filleting plants at places Where the fish have to be transported by air. If that were done it would foe quite possible to expand the industry considerably. I think we can take a leaf out of the book which Saskatchewan has written in connection with the fishing industry. The Saskatchewan government has done considerable to expand the industry in the northern areas of the province. I suggest also that we investigate the possibilities of cooperative marketing of fish. Already Nova Scotia has done a great deal in that line.

After looking through the estimates it appears to me that no large amount of money has been allocated to the inland fisheries. How much money, for example, is to be spent in these estimates on fishing in Manitoba?

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LIB

Hedley Francis Gregory Bridges (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. BRIDGES:

I asked him what report he referred to in his remarks he told me it was not a document that had been put out by the fisheries department. It is really not within my competence to discuss the matter of controls, because it does not come within the. purview of the Department of Fisheries. There was, however, one remark of the member for Queens which I would comment upon. At page 2796 of Hansard I read:

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.

May I say that my information from the departmental officials is that a special effort has been devoted to this very problem. This cooperation took the form of courses given at the Halifax fishermen's experimental station for cannery managers and the preparation and distribution of pamphlets giving a simple description of improved technique and proper processing, and continued and repeated1 visits by experts of the department to the canneries to assist in various problems, placing at the disposal of the canners engineering and technical advice. Any fair-minded canner, especially the smaller ones, will attest to the truthfulness of that statement, and if the hon. member wishes further information, such as examples of the type of literature available, it will be furnished by my department. The department will be pleased to make such information available to him. One thing which the department has always emphasized and will continue to emphasize, in my tenure of office at any rate, is quality of product.

The member for Nanaimo made certain references to the rehabilitation of streams on Vancouver Island. I am pleased to be able to inform the hon. gentleman that this is being made the subject of special study by the fisheries research board, though the problem is a large one which cannot be tackled all at once. I can assure him that Vancouver island is included in the study. The hon. member also brought up the question of the utilization of seaweed. This is a matter that is receiving the continuous attention of the research workers. [DOT]

With regard to whaling, my information is that whales have been threatened with extinction by the operation of competing countries, and there are conventions, to which Canada is a party, under which we have all agreed that, in order to conserve the industry, a definite limit must be placed upon the kill each year. The Canadian government has

taken steps to protect the interests of Canada in this regard so that we may be assured of our proper share.

The member for Saskatoon City referred to the fact that in 1944, according to the public accounts, this department spent only $13.08 in his province. In fairness it should be pointed out to the hon. member, 'and also to the member for Churchill, who spoke a few moments ago, that the prairie provinces are responsible for their own administration of fisheries. I would also direct attention to the fact that the dominion government has established a prairie provinces division and experimental station to assist in the development of the industry and marketing problems of the prairie provinces. This was accomplished by order in council P.C. 4812, to which the member for Saskatoon City referred.

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December 17, 1945