There really has been no progress made since last session with regard to this matter. The decision of the Privy Council is difficult to understand. So far as I have been able to inform myself, after looking into the communications between the different provinces and the department, the parties seem to be further away from an agreement as to the meaning of this matter than when they started. It appears to me, not being a lawyer, that this matter will have to be settled by one or other of two courses. So far as the present condition of affairs, it is certainly very unsatisfactory. Either the points in dispute must be referred to some tribunal for settlement, aud both the Dominion and the provinces must abide by that decision, or there must be a conference and an agreement reached satisfactory to both parties. Before coming directly to the estimates, I may say that we all recognize the great importance of the fisheries of the Dominion and the necessity of having proper regulations to govern them. This one point is not in dispute-that the power to regulate the fisheries remains within the jurisdiction of the Dominion. That being the case, I think all will agree that, until some arrangement is made, it is the duty of the Dominion to see that the regulations are enforced and the fisheries protected. With regard to the item to which my hon. friend referred, that of $85,000, I find that at the time the judgment was given, the minister reduced the item, for some reason or other, by $25,000 or $30,000. It so remained, I think, for two years. But the expenditure remained the Lame as it had been an,d the result 'was a deficit* which, I believe, was made up bv a supplementary vote last session. After careful investigation it is found that nothing less than $85,000 would do for this item. Previously, I think, it was $90,000.
February 28, 1902 (9th Parliament, 2nd Session)