February 19, 1915

LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

Suppose a coasting ship were to leave Halifax to cross by the shortest route to Charleston, how far off land would it be?

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

I am not prepared to answer.

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LIB
CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

Perhaps it would. Of course, the idea of a coasting vessel is a vessel that follows from one point on the coast to another point on the coast, and so on. The certificate for a coasting vessel is different from a deep-sea certificate, which is for a vessel that crosses the ocean. It may not in many cases be more dangerous to navigate a vessel across the ocean than to navigate a vessel along the coast.

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LIB
CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

In some cases perhaps not so dangerous, but by legislation in Great Britain and also in other countries a distinction has been drawn between the two classes of voyages. In the revision of the Canada Shipping Act, we endeavoured to deal with the proposal contained in the resolution under consideration by creating another class of voyage to be known as " limited foreign-going voyage." This voy-age-and I would ask hon. gentlemen's attention to this is defined in the new Bill as follows:

A voyage between any place or places in Canada and any place or places in the West Indies, or on the continent of America or the islands adjacent thereto not within the limits of a coasting voyage.

Under that " limited foreign voyage," a vessel could go to any port on the continent of America or the islands adjacent thereto. If that idea is adopted by the House, we shall have three classes of voyages, namely: the deep sea voyage, the coasting voyage, and this other voyage which I have referred

to as being described as the "limited foreign-going voyage;" and certificates will be granted for this limited foreign-going voyage, not of such a character as is required for the ocean going voyage, but to some extent requiring a little more skill than is required for masters and mates of coasting vessels.

Hon. gentlemen will see at once the difficulty, in view of the London Convention, of adopting the resolution moved by my hon. friend the member for Guysborough, unless we are prepared to say that we shall withdraw from that convention, which was entered into in good faith by all the maritime nations of the world. Masters wishing to trade only on coasting voyages can at present be given certificates for a coasting voyage, the qualifications for which need not necessarily be as high as those required for a limited foreign-going certificate. Similarly, it is proposed by the department, if the terms of the proposed Bill should be adopted, to provide that limited foreign-going certificates should issue to masters who desire to engage in trade to the larger areas. The qualifications for this certificate would not be so high as those required for foreign-going certificates.

With a limited foreign-going certificate, a master would be enabled to take charge of a vessel to trade between ports in Canada *and ports in the West Indies, the United States of America, Mexico, Central South America, or the islands adjacent thereto. It seems to me, that this is the more desirable way to deal with the situation; and with that end in view, I would suggest to the hon. member for Guysborough that, instead of asking for the adoption of his resolution as it stands, he should agree to refer it to the Committee on Marine and Fisheries, where the merits of his proposal and the proposals to which I have referred, would be more fully and carefully considered. I have an amendment prepared to refer to the Committee on Marine and Fisheries, and I am not suggesting this course with any view of delaying action in the matter. While a great deal of time may be taken up in discussing the whole of the Canada Shipping Act, which is a very large measure, it seems to me that this one proposal might be dealt with. The committee would have before them the proposal embodied in the resolution introduced by my hon. friend, the proposal embodied in the Bill introduced by the department last year, and other matters which might be considered by the committee as well.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Will the minister tell

the House if he intends to re-introduce at this session the Bill consolidating the Canada Shipping Act?

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

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LIB

William Pugsley

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY:

I understand from my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries that, while it is not intended to [DOT] introduce a Bill providing for general amendments to the Canada Shipping Act, there will be no objection to making, at this session, amendments along these lines or along the lines of a limited ocean voyage.

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

I know of no reason at the present time why that should not be done.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

I am very much pleased that the minister has shown that he is really interested in this matter, and that he has told us that he intends to put through some kind of a measure dealing with it before this session is over. At least, I understand him in that way. I am not very clear as to the way in which this proposal interferes with the Hague convention, because I do not see how a question of this kind could be before the convention at all. Our Act is a peculiar one. There is no similar Act either in the United States or in Great Britain, or, so far as I know, in any other country. The same restrictions on coasting voyages are not imposed in any other country so far as I have been able to find out. The safety of human life at sea is, of course, very important; but has there been any evidence submitted to show that the proposal to allow coasting vessels to trade to South American ports will endanger human life at sea? I do not think so. I do not think that there is such evidence available anywhere. Ships meet with disaster out at sea, but the most dangerous place where a ship can be is close to the land. A good captain does not take a sleep until he is far enough away from- the land to feel that he is out on the ocean. The simplest kind of navigation is that far from the land. Two years ago when we had an investigation of this matter before the Marine and Fisheries 'Committee, one official told us that his view was that coasting captains went along the shore till they found one lighthouse, then looked for the next, and in this way crept along by the points on the shore.

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

They have an expression that they " spell '' their way along.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

That is what this man understood, and he was an employee in the department of my hon. friend and might reasonably be supposed to know something about shipping. Perhaps he never saw salt water in his life; certainly he did not know much about it. The captain who leaves a harbour in Nova Scotia for the West Indies never sees land again until he arrives at the port of destination. He is a navigator and knows how to figure out his position at sea. So long as he sees the sun that is all that he cares about; he can figure out his course. I see no reason why the coasting captains should not be allowed to sail across the ocean; it is much simpler sailing by latitude than by longitude. As a matter of fact these men are crossing the

ocean. Some of the registered vessels in Barbados not more than ten days ago were chartered to carry cargoes to ports in Europe. It is commonly done, and there is no record that it is dangerous to human life or to property to carry on this business. The hon. gentleman says that the London convention fixes the limit for coasting captains at 700 miles from land. If that be so it is a very curious condition for the convention to impose. I venture to say that all the convention ought to require is some special appliances on board the ship. It would not be necessary to interfere in any way with the license under which the captain runs his ship merely because he happens to be more than seven hundred miles from land. But it might be necessary to have an extra boat or some life preservers aboard. I think my hon. friend will find that is all that is required in order to comply with the order of the convention.

However, I am not opposing the proposal of the minister. On the contrary, I am glad he is taking this course, and hope will invite a number of the shipping people of the Maritime Provinces to come here before the committee. My main purpose is to arrive at a result, and to arrive at it during the present session.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

It appears to me that the proposed amendment is not in very good form. It goes on to say " that the Committee of Marine and Fisheries be instructed to inquire and report." Yet the matter is not referred to the committee.

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

I would suggest that that be made to read in this way, which is practically in the same form as an amendment made in the case of the Bill with regard to cigarettes proposed by the hon. member for Dundas (Mr. Broder) :

That all the words after the word " that " in the first line of the proposed resolution down to and including the word " following " in the third line of the resolution he struck out and the following substituted therefor: " The Committee of Marine and Fisheries be instructed to inquire and report whether it is expedient to enact as follows ", and by adding to the proposed resolution at the end thereof the following words: " or whether it is expedient to make any other amendment and if so what amendment to the existing laws defining a coasting voyage."

That gives the committee full power to inquire into the amendments proposed by my hon. friend, and also to consider whether any other amendment, and if so what amendment, should be introduced.

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LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR:

Would it enable the committee to send for and examine witnesses?

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

As this is one of the standing committees, I take it for granted that it has the power to send for persons and papers and to examine witnesses under oath; but I have not looked into the matter. In order to be on the safe side, perhaps we ought to add the ordinary words which give the committee this power.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

I think that the committee already possesses this power under the resolution of the 11th of February:

That the Select Standing Committees of this House shall severally be empowered to examine and inquire into all such matters and things as may be referred to them by the House; and to report from time to time their observations and opinions thereon; with power to send for persons, papers and records, with the exception of the Committee on Debates and that on the Library of Parliament.

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CON

John Douglas Hazen (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. HAZEN:

That does not give power

to examine witnesses under oath.

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CON

Thomas Simpson Sproule (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. SPEAKER:

I am not certain, but 1 think that under our rules that power is given to committees of the House.

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February 19, 1915