Mr. D. D. McKENZIE.
Referring to the subject of the development of disease on the ships after they have received a clean bill of health, I think it my duty to bring to the notice of the minister a case that occurred in my own town of North Sydney, in the month of May, 1902. A fishing schooner called the ' Arthur Binney ' left Gloucester Mass., on the 16th of May, 1902, and, because of stress of weather or some other reason called at Liverpool, N.S., on the 20th of the same month, and, after remaining at Liverpool for a few hours cleared for the bank off the coast of Gape Breton. On the 30th of the same month, she came into the port of Cape Breton with small-pox developed on board. This schooner had a crew of twenty-four or twenty-five men. The quarantine officer went aboard and discovered one of the crew down with small-pox. He immediately, as was his duty, communicated witli the Department of Agriculture thinking he would be instructed to look after them. Of course, he received the same answer which the minister-I suppose quite properly according to the law has given here to-night-that, as the vessel had touched in some point in Canada the government of Canada was not liable for her bills or charged with any duty In respect of her. After considerable negotiations we, as a town, were obliged to look after that crew for over a month. We had to put some in the hospital Mr. FISHER.
and to hire a tug-boat to stay with the vessel for the whole time, and incurred expenses of over $1,000. Now, I think it will be perfectly clear that, wherever the responsibility ought to be, it is not the duty of a small town on the sea coast of Nova Scotia to be liable for matters of this kind. There is no doubt that the government of the United States, and, perhaps, the fishing company to which this vessel belongs, would be pleased to pay these expenses if there was some constituted authority that had power to deal with them. But we as a town would not be recognized in dealing in a matter of this kind. We have to pay this bill even if we never get a cent of it hack from any person. I quite understand that the minister's answer is according to the law. But I would respectfully suggest that it is not a safe condition of the law. It so happened that this vessel came to our town, and we were able to deal with the case. But if she had been in the lakes, in the interior waters of Cape Breton, she might strike simply a municipal district where there are no appliances or facilities to deal with such a case. The conditions would have been very bad indeed. I think the law should be changed and some regulations made by which the government, or some other authority which is able to deal with the matter within the towns and municipalities, should be put in a position to look after such cases. This, of course, is a comparatively recent case-1902-but there is no telling when another such case may arise, particularly in our harbour where hundreds of these American vessels come in. And I think it is, perhaps, the duty of the minister to see to it that some regulation is made either by his department or by the Marine and Fisheries Department, by which cases of this kind can be properly looked into. I have thought that some means should be found, either by negotiation with the government of the United States, or in some other way, by which our town may be recouped for this expenditure. I do not think it is fair that we should be obliged to expend over $1,000 out of our small funds lO pay the expenses of a foreign vessel that should look after herself.