Joseph Raymond Fournier Préfontaine (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)
It has been represented by the shipping interests and the board of trade of Vancouver and Victoria, that under the present law seamen cannot be engaged in British Columbia ports because the shipping masters will not accept the legal fee of 50 cents per head. Ships are now obliged to go to United States ports and pay very large sums to secure crews. It is asked that under certain conditions the shipping master shall have authority' to appoint any one to act in his stead and receive whatever remuneration may be fixed by the Governor General in Council. There may be objections elsewhere. but under existing conditions in British Columbia there would appear to be
no objection to the boarding-house keeper acting as an agent to hire sailors. I understand why the law was made so strict a few years ago when it applied to the province of Quebec, but the conditions are not the same in British Columbia as they were then in Quebec, and in my opinion this Bill is in the public interest.