Hon. J. A. MacKINNON (Minister of Fisheries):
Mr. Speaker, I wish to refer to a matter of special importance to management and labour engaged in the salmon fishery industry in British Columbia.
As members will recall, the government late last fall withdrew its control on the export of certain species of raw salmon to the United States. This permitted United States buyers, who were offering higher prices, to obtain substantial quantities of Canadian raw salmon which otherwise would have been canned by our industry for domestic and export markets. Our canners, thus deprived of the raw materials, were obliged to suspend salmon canning operations in the latter part of the season.
The government has been concerned with the possibility of a more serious dislocation of salmon canning throughout the 1948 operating season. Separate submissions were heard from representatives of the canners, labour union and co-operatives, all of whom desired the maintenance of the British Columbia canning industry, notwithstanding some differences of opinion as to the sharing of their respective responsibilities in meeting this end. The government feels that some corrective steps must be taken to safeguard both fishermen and management. The most desirable solution seemed to be a measure of stabilization of the canning industry while at the same time assuring increased export of the raw material to the United States.
I wish, therefore, to announce that, effective immediately, British Columbia fishermen are permitted to export to the United States unrestricted quantities of raw spring salmon. Export of raw coho is also permitted, but only up to September 1 of this year.
Raw sockeye, pinks and chums, will be retained in Canada.
I want especially to emphasize that this decision is simply a ruling that is designed to give balanced treatment to management and 5849-1784
fishermen. It is not an embargo. It necessitates, of course, reasonable compromises on both sides.
I am satisfied that the decision reached by the cabinet will provide equitable safeguard for management in maintaining its canning industry and for fishermen by leaving the way open for them to take advantage of the higher prices paid on the United States market for springs and coho.
I might add here that the normal export to the United States of all species of canned, salted, smoked, cured frozen salmon is not, of course, affected by the ruling.
Subtopic: PERMISSION TO EXPORT RAW SALMON-RETENTION IN CANADA OF RAW SOCKEYE, PINKS AND CHUMS