Mr. G. M. McDADE (Northumberland):
May I be permitted to make a few observations with regard to the resolution of my hon. friend the ex-Postmaster General (Mr. Veniot). We have on the east coast of New
Brunswick what is admittedly the best dry salt cod fishing in the maritime provinces. Along with lobster, salmon, smelts and oyster fishing, this industry serves to employ a large proportion of our people, and on the north Shore of New Brunswick, particularly what is known as the Miramichi district, in numbers employed fishing is second only to our great basic industry.
With the terms of the resolution as drafted one must be in reasonable accord, but it is to be regretted that those engaged in the fishing industry have not seen fit to take advantage not only of the regulations already existing in respect to the matter of bait but particularly of the legislation adopted at the last session of parliament when the Natural Products Marketing Act was placed upon the statute books. Unfortunately the fishing industry on the east coast of New Brunswick, as is well known to the hon. member for Gloucester, is really as to ownership and marketing facilities concentrated in the hands of a few large firms, who, I may say with great respect and deference, are not doing justice to the fishermen so far as the price for their catch is concerned. Take for instance the price paid for smelts to-day-and in this connection I may say with some considerable satisfaction that the Miramichi is the greatest smelt fishing river in the world. The price to the fishermen is only five cents per pound on the ice, while in the towns, the local domestic market, the price exacted is fifteen cents per pound, and smelts, as is well known, demand a high price on the Boston and New York markets. Therefore I say in all sincerity, and I am sure hon. members will agree with me, that those engaged in this industry should take advantage of the provisions of the marketing act. In this connection a campaign of education is essential. Members from Nova Scotia will appreciate the importance of the work accomplished in 1929 by Doctor Coady in his capacity as organizer in forming various cooperative societies in that province. Unfortunately the work of organization in New Brunswick did not commence until the winter of 1929, and due to transportation facilities being unfavourable at that time Doctor Coady was forced to abandon the work, which has not since been prosecuted.
May I commend to the acting Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Stirling) the advisability of studying, if he will, the question of organizing cooperative societies among the fishermen along the east coast of New Brunswick, and
Deep Sea Fisheries
particularly of the county of Northumberland. I notice in the estimates a vote of $4,050 to the United Maritime Fishermen's Association, subject as to expenditure to provisions to be enacted by the governor in council. May I suggest that a fair and equitable proportion of this vote might be well expended in the promotion of a campaign to organize cooperative societies on the north shore of New Brunswick. In this connection, if his services are easily obtainable, as I believe they will be, I know of no more outstanding and eminent authority than Doctor Coady, who did such excellent work along that line in Nova Scotia in 1929. At the same time I should like to pay tribute to Mr. Mclnerney, a former north shore boy, who is now acting secretary of the United Maritime Fishermen's Association. I should like also to congratulate the minister upon the good work achieved by the officials of his department, notably Colonel A. L. Barry, who is the supervisor on the north shore. However, I believe that a great deal of the difficulty our fishermen are experiencing could be solved by cooperative marketing. I am confident that if a campaign of education along this line were undertaken, excellent results would follow. It would at the same time furnish the opportunity of educating the people as to the necessity of respecting the existing regulations, because between illegal fishing and the lack of cooperative marketing the great fishing industry is suffering severely.
I do not know that I favour the idea of the department establishing a number of refrigerator plants, I believe that if private enterprise were properly directed-I mean the larger fishing concerns-they would make the necessary expansion. But as to the condition of those engaged in cod fishing, I concur in the remarks of the hon. member for Gloucester. I would respectfully urge upon the department the necessity of instituting some campaign along the lines indicated, and particularly of adding a rider that part of the proposed vote of $1,050 for the United Maritime Fishermen's Association be applied towards the expense of the organization of cooperative societies on the north shore of New Brunswick.
Topic: DEEP SEA FISHERIES
Subtopic: FACILITIES FOR REFRIGERATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF BAIT