Hon. H. R. PREFONTAINE (Minister of Marine and Fisheries).
I thank the bon. gentleman (Mr. A. K. Maclean) for having brought this matter to the attention of the department. I may say that, with the few cruisers under the control of the Department of Marine and Fisheries, it is impossible to cover this large territory and make the protection as effective as we would like. The work is very extensive, and from the reports that I have received in the department it has been done pretty effectively. Up to the 1st of June I think that over 600 nets have been confiscated from Americans fishing and poaching in Canadian waters. The work is done as effectively as it can be done under the circumstances, but if there is some neglect I will certainly look into it and see that a remedy is provided. As regards the Americans getting their supplies from the Magdalen Islands, this is a new question that I am not ready to answer at the present moment, but I will look into it and try to satisfy the hon. gentleman on that point.
Hon. RAYMOND PREFONTAINE (Minister of Marine and Fisheries).
This Bill is
to replace Bill (No. 38), which has been withdrawn. The first Bill contained only one clause, and met with a good deal of objection, as it did not provide for certain eventualities. This Bill covers entirely the ground for which the measure was asked by the shipping interests of British Columbia. I could not explain the Bill better than it explains itself.
The first Bill meant simply that the dispositions of the Seamen's Act did not apply to the province of British Columbia, without giving further explanations. This Bill gives all the explanations and the way in which the measure will be acted upon.
The reasons I gave when the Bill was last before the House. As regards section 7 not affecting British Columbia, if power is given to a shipping master or deputy shipping master to appoint any one to act as an intermediary to hire seamen, it makes no difference who makes the engagement. At present in British Columbia the shipping master gets only 50 cents, which is not a large enough remuneration to induce the proper men to make up crews, and the result is that the masters are obliged to go to Seattle or some other part of the United States to secure crews. They have to pay $25 or $30 to American agents to get the proper crew, because under our law they can get nobody to engage seamen. It is necessary to make the provision as broad as possible, so that anybody can do this kind of work. It is provided in section 2 that the Governor in Council shall establish a rate of fees. Of course, the Governor in Council will be guided by the recommendations of tlie boards of trade. It is at the request of the board of trade and the shipping interests of British Columbia that this is done. I understand perfectly well that the first Bill did not go far enough, and would probably have been ineffective, while this one, after being considered by the Department of Justice, has been found to meet the case.