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.
On the contrary, this first Bill was prepared and submitted to the proper authorities. This second Bill was proceeded with in the same way. I have done what I was requested to do by the Board of Trade of British Columbia, I have been acting under their advice, or I have been attempting to come to their rescue.
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to replace Bill (No. 38), which has been withdrawn.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.