March 21, 1957

COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE

INQUIRY AS TO POSSIBLE MEETING OF PRIME MINISTERS


On the orders of the day:


PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Howard C. Green (Vancouver-Quadra):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to direct to the Prime Minister a further question about the meeting in Bermuda between himself and Right Hon. Mr. Macmillan which is to take place the first of next week. Will not the Prime Minister reconsider the position which he took on March 19 that he himself would not raise the question of holding a conference of commonwealth prime ministers? Will the Prime Minister not go further and extend an invitation to hold the next commonwealth conference in Canada?

Right Hon. L. S. St. Laurent (Prime

Minister): Mr. Speaker, I think it may be that my language was not sufficiently clear, but I think the hon. gentleman rather misinterprets it. I did not say I would not raise the question, because I expected that question would be discussed. What I said was that I would not take the initiative in calling a meeting of the prime ministers. If the question is discussed we shall certainly discuss where the next meeting will be held, and I am sure we in Canada would feel honoured if the next meeting were held in Canada.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO POSSIBLE MEETING OF PRIME MINISTERS
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PC

Howard Charles Green

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Green:

May I point out to the Prime Minister that his words on March 19 were as follows:

That is possible; but I am not going to take the initiative of requesting that there be a prime ministers' conference.

This of course did not indicate, as the Prime Minister said today, that he would not take the initiative in calling the conference.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO POSSIBLE MEETING OF PRIME MINISTERS
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LIB

Louis Stephen St-Laurent (Prime Minister; President of the Privy Council)

Liberal

Mr. Si. Laurent (Quebec East):

I don't know whether there is any difference-and if there is I don't appreciate it-between calling a conference and requesting that there be a conference.

Topic:   COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO POSSIBLE MEETING OF PRIME MINISTERS
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FISHERIES

SEAL HUNTING, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR INQUIRY AS TO NECESSITY


On the orders of the day:


PC

Michael Starr

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Michael Starr (Ontario):

I should like to ask two questions of the Minister of Fisheries about the seal hunting now going

on off Newfoundland and Labrador. Is this operation really necessary, and is it conducted in a humane manner? Second, is the rate of killing so high that the seals may soon become as extinct as the buffalo?

Topic:   FISHERIES
Subtopic:   SEAL HUNTING, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR INQUIRY AS TO NECESSITY
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LIB

James Sinclair (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. James Sinclair (Minister of Fisheries):

Mr. Speaker, this is a question which is often asked at this time of the year. As far as necessity is concerned, this is a commercial operation which has been carried on for over 300 years. The adult seal hides make good leather, the blubber is reduced to seal oil, the pelts of the baby seals are used as fur in the garment industry, and the sealers take the flippers home to Newfoundland to make that unique Newfoundland delicacy known as seal flipper pie.

As to whether it is a humane operation, if the hon. member is referring to the crews all I can say is that it is the most dangerous and disagreeable work done by any men in the fishing industry in Canada. The ships are small and many of them have been crushed in the pack ice; many of the hunters have been lost on the ice floes. If the hon. member is referring to the seals, as I suspect he is, with regard to the humane aspect of his question, I may say that the adult seals are killed by high powered rifles. Occasionally some of them are only wounded and escape, but that of course happens in any kind of hunting. The baby seals, who are not very mobile, are killed instantly by a heavy blow on the neck.

The rate of killing is a matter of agreement between Canada and Norway. I can, however, assure the hon. member that it is not such as to lead to any likelihood of the seal herds becoming extinct. In the last century we used to have as many as 400 ships and

10,000 men killing 750,000 seals each year, but last year we had just three ships with 120 men out there and they and the Norwegians killed a total of about 200,000 seals. The present size of the herd is about 3 million, and a lot of the fishermen in the Atlantic provinces think those 3 million seals eat too much fish.

Topic:   FISHERIES
Subtopic:   SEAL HUNTING, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR INQUIRY AS TO NECESSITY
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ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

TORONTO


On the orders of the day:


PC

Margaret Aitken

Progressive Conservative

Miss Margaret Aitken (York-Humber):

would like to ask the Minister of Justice a question. In view of the fact that practically all the news media in Toronto are to be prosecuted under the Lord's Day Act, which

Inquiries of the Ministry was created by this dominion government, would the minister say whether the federal government will take part in the court action either in defence of the act or as an observer?

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   TORONTO
Sub-subtopic:   PROSECUTIONS UNDER LORD'S DAY ACT
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LIB

Stuart Sinclair Garson (Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada)

Liberal

Hon. Stuart S. Garson (Minister of Justice):

I do not ordinarily raise any objection to the almost universal practice of members of the opposition not giving the notice required by the rules of the questions they ask, but on the present occasion I must raise that objection and take the hon. member's question as notice, instead of giving an offhand opinion on the matter she has raised.

Topic:   ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
Subtopic:   TORONTO
Sub-subtopic:   PROSECUTIONS UNDER LORD'S DAY ACT
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HEALTH AND WELFARE

PAYMENTS TO DOCTORS FOR VISITS TO INDIANS


On the orders of the day:


PC

Gordon Knapman Fraser

Progressive Conservative

Mr. G. K. Fraser (Peterborough):

Mr. Speaker, can the Minister of National Health and Welfare say whether the Indian health branch of his department intends to increase its fees to the medical profession for visits to Indians from the present rate of 50 cents in some cases and $1 in others? I have a case before me where an average payment of only 67.5 cents a visit was made to a physician for visits to Indians. Does the minister not agree there should be a standard rate?

Topic:   HEALTH AND WELFARE
Subtopic:   PAYMENTS TO DOCTORS FOR VISITS TO INDIANS
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March 21, 1957