Mr. Speaker, the object of this proposed legislation is to bring the Canadian law with regard to coastal shipping on the great lakes on a par with the American law. Under the American law it is illegal to carry grain in a British ship, say, from Chicago to Port Colborne, unload it and carry it to another American port in a British ship. Under the Canadian law as it now stands such a procedure is possible in connection with Canadian grain. It actually happens that a very considerable amount of Canadian grain is carried in American ships, from Fort William and Port Arthur to Buffalo unloaded there into other American ships of canal size and shipped to Montreal, Sorel and Quebec for export.
The proposed bill will also contain a provision that in the case of a British shipping corporation, seventy-five per cent of the stock must be owned by British subjects in order to entitle such a corporation to engage in the coastal trade. Some fear has been expressed that this legislation will increase the rates from the great lakes to Montreal, but I desire to say that the shipping companies have given assurance that no increase will be made. I can assure the house that this government
will apply section 938 of the Canada Shipping Act, which gives the power to suspend the coasting laws, should the rates be raised unduly.