March 6, 1923


On the Orders of the Day:


LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Hon. ERNEST LAPOINTE (Minister of Marine and Fisheries):

I desire to answer

a question that was asked last night just prior to adjournment by the leader of the Opposition (Mr. Meighen), concerning the treaty that was signed at Washington on March 2. This treaty is for the preservation of the halibut fisheries in northern Pacific waters, including Behring sea. It provides for a close season from November 16 of each year to February 15 following, both dates inclusive. It provides for certain dispositions to enforce that restriction. It provides also for the appointment of a commission composed of two members from each country, to investigate the life history of halibut and to make a report to both governments as to the best means of preserving those important fisheries. The treaty is for a term of five years, to be continued thereafter until two years after either party has notified the other that it wishes to put an end to the treaty. It will be printed in due time, but in the meantime I desire to lay on the Table of the House a typewritten copy of the treaty.

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LIB
IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (South York):

As

regards the negotiations in relation to this treaty, was there any change in the status of Canada in connection with the British Embassy at Washington?

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I will answer the question of my hon. friend from Lunenburg (Mr. Duff) and perhaps the hon. member (Mr. Maclean) will draw his own conclusions. The

treaty was signed by the United States of America, Mr. Charles Evan Hughes, Secretary of State for the United States, acting as plenipotentiary for the President; and the Minister of Marine and Fisheries of Canada, acting as plenipotentiary for His Majesty the King.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I understand that neither the name of the British Ambassador nor that of anyone representing Great Britain appears in the treaty, nor was any representative of the British government consulted as to its negotiation.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

The treaty is signed by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, having full authority from His Majesty the King, to sign it as his plenipotentiary.

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IND

William Findlay Maclean

Independent Conservative

Mr. MACLEAN (York):

Is there any

change in the status?

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Were the contents made known in any way to the British government prior to the execution of the treaty?

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Yes, certainly.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

Then my hon. friend agrees that there is no change in the procedure.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

Well, my right hon. friend may draw his own conclusions.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I certainly will draw mine, but I was asking the minister what his were.

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

This treaty will be considered by a committee of the House and by the House itself, and when that is done I think it will be ample time to discuss the merits of the treaty and even the phase of the subject raised by my right hon. friend.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I have another question to ask regarding the subject. Will my hon. friend tell us upon what decision of this parliament the treaty was negotiated?

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

The treaty provides for certain dispositions which were recommended in 1918 by the International Commission appointed by both governments-by the government of which my right hon. friend was leader and by the government of the United States. Among man}' other recommendations, a treaty had been prepared at the time in regard to the salmon fisheries of the Fraser river, and it was signed but was never ratified by the American Senate. Another treaty had been prepared but was not signed, and one of its dispositions was the very one which is now agreed to in the present treaty. That treaty, I say, was never signed; but it has been

Supply-Defence-Drill

unanimously recognized by the experts of the Departments of Marine and Fisheries of both' countries that it was highly desirable to enforce the close season, to say nothing of the other dispositions which had been recommended by the International Commission. I may say also that this disposition has been recommended unanimously by the members of the parliamentary committee which was appointed last session to investigate the subject of the fisheries in British Columbia. As to the question which my right hon. friend raises, I do not know of any treaty which was discussed in parliament before being negotiated. The discussion always takes place afterwards.

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CON

Arthur Meighen (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MEIGHEN:

I am afraid I cannot agree with the hon. minister. I should like the minister, before he comes to the discussion of the bill itself, to be good enough to look up some of his own speeches and those of his leaders on the subject of secret diplomacy

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LIB

Ernest Lapointe (Minister of Marine and Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. LAPOINTE:

I do not like to read my own speeches; I enjoy much more the reading of my right hon. friend's.

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LIB

Hewitt Bostock (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Hon. members had better reserve any further remarks on this subject until the question comes up regularly before the House.

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JAPANESE STOWAWAYS

March 6, 1923