June 13, 1947


On the orders of the day:


PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Peel):

May

I direct a question to the Acting Minister of Mines and Resources? In view of the statement made a few moments ago by the hon. member for Beauce (Mr. Dionne) which, as I jotted it down, seemed to indicate that there was shipping space available on boats if a contract for 2,250 passages were entered

Inquiries of the Ministry

into coming and going, will the minister comment upon it so that the house will be clear as to what the hon. member meant?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES
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LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Reconstruction and Supply)

Liberal

Right Hon. C. D. HOWE (Acting Minister of Mines and Resources):

The Department

of Mines and Resources has been actively engaged in attempting to find space for immigrants. It may well be that there is a source which has not been discovered. If ao I shall obtain further information and certainly explore the possibility.

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES
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PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

Was I right in my

assumption that the hon. member for Beauce did say that there was contract space available for 2,250 persons?

Topic:   IMMIGRATION
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES
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GIMLI BREAKWATER

REPAIR OP DAMAGE CAUSED BY STORM


On the orders of the day:


CCF

William Scottie Bryce

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. WILLIAM BRYCE (Selkirk):

I wish to direct a question to the Minister of Public Works, arising out of a telegram I have received from the mayor of Gimli regarding the destruction of part of the breakwater by the last storm which is causing buildings to fall into lake Winnipeg. Will the minister give me some assurance that the repairs will be made at once?

Topic:   GIMLI BREAKWATER
Subtopic:   REPAIR OP DAMAGE CAUSED BY STORM
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LIB

Alphonse Fournier (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Hon. ALPHONSE FOURNIER (Minister of Public Works):

I received notice of this

question before coming into the house. I called up my officers and they told me that as yet they have received no report of these damages. I instructed the engineer in Winnipeg to make a survey, investigate and report. The moment I receive that report I shall communicate it to the hon. gentleman.

Topic:   GIMLI BREAKWATER
Subtopic:   REPAIR OP DAMAGE CAUSED BY STORM
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PEACE TREATIES

INQUIRY AS TO APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT


On the orders of the day:


PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GORDON GRAYDON (Peel):

I should like to direct a question either to the Prime Minister or to the Minister of External Affairs. In view of the grave uncertainties and disturbing possibilities in certain sections of Europe, does the government intend at this session to press for approval of the treaties of peace involved in the resolution now on the order paper and dated May 28 last?

Right Hon. L. S. ST. LAURENT (Secretary of State for External Affairs): I think it will be proper at this session to ask the houses of parliament to approve the treaties of peace, as has been done in the United Kingdom and in the United States. The resolution on the order paper calls for such approval by the houses of parliament, and that is necessary

fMr. Gray don.]

before instruments of ratification can be deposited. When the motion was drafted in this form consideration was given to the question of how soon after it passes parliament it might be proper to deposit the instruments of ratification, which, as the hon. member knows, have to be signed by His Majesty the King. It was felt that we should endeavour to secure the approval of parliament now, and decide, in the light of the circumstances as they may exist at the time when His Majesty's instruments of ratification should be actually deposited.

Topic:   PEACE TREATIES
Subtopic:   INQUIRY AS TO APPROVAL BY PARLIAMENT
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FISHERIES RESEARCH BOARD

PROVISION FOR SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES


The house resumed from Thursday, June 12, consideration of the motion of Mr. Bridges for the second reading of Bill No. 264, to amend the Fisheries Research Board Act. Mr. W. CHESTER S. McLURE (Queens): When the house took recess at six o'clock yesterday I adjourned the debate. At that time I had almost come to the conclusion of my remarks, but I have a few more words to say with reference to some of the conditions in the fishing industry. I had dealt briefly with fishing, curing and part of the distribution. I now wish to place on record the plight the fishermen find themselves in at the present time. Today fishermen and the industry are faced with lower prices for their produce and soaring high prices for all commodities and all supplies that they need to engage in their calling. As I said, the price of their commodity has dropped. The price of everything they purchase has advanced to a very high degree. I should just like to give a few of these prices in percentages. Take twine. The advance in twine of different kinds, makes and meshes has amounted to about 150 per cent during the last four years. Rope has advanced fully 150 per cent. These two articles are largely used in the fishing industry. Shooks which go into the making of boxes are in the same position. Shooks for boxes which contain up to 200 pounds have advanced, in price about 130 per cent. Shooks for medium-sized boxes have advanced 150 per cent. The smaller sized boxes which contain five, ten and twenty pounds and in which the great bulk of the fish is shipped have increased 290 per cent. When we come to gear we find this situation. Let us look at the advance that has taken place in boats, for instance and repairs to boats, dories and all kinds of fishing smacks. These have increased in price from 60 per cent to 75 per cent. Wages have also increased. On the whole the fisherman is faced with highest prices Fisheries Research Board on everything he has to buy to continue his fishing. The prices of all his commodities, averaged together, show a percentage of 140, he has to pay this on all the gear which he must purchase for his fishing activities. These are the conditions which face the fishermen, the canners and the packers. This is one matter in respect to which the Minister of Fisheries (Mr. Bridges) will, as soon as possible, endeavour to assist the fisherman so that he may continue his industry. For a moment I wish to refer to the consumption of fish, as previous speakers did yesterday. Fish does not seem to be in the class of an essential food. Housewives do not look upon it as necessary, and I think that is the reason why it is not consumed in the same proportions as other stable foods. It was recorded here yesterday that the consumption per capita per annum of fish was 8i pounds, while the consumption of meat was 137 pounds, of eggs 38 pounds, and so on through the stable foods. If the fisheries department could place before the housewives and the people of the country an educational programme to show the nutritional value of fish, I believe it would be a great help in the pressing time that the fishermen are having. I wish to put on record a little item from the fisheries council bulletin with regard to the nutritional value of fish. Nutritionally, no foods are better and a few are equal to fish. Proteins, fat, minerals are abundant. Protein is the most important food substance found in fish, an average serving supplying sufficient to satisfy the daily requirements of the body. The iron in seafoods helps to prevent anaemia. Iron prevents goitre. The important body functions are regulated by calcium. phosphorus, copper and magnesium, all of which are found abundantly in fish. I think that if we had proper advertising of fish, with instructions in the preparation, of it for food, it would do a great deal to help the industry. We have now before us Bill No. 264 to amend the Fisheries Research Board Act. The amendment to section 8 is intended, in my opinion, to take the control away from the Minister of Fisheries. Personally I do not agree with that. I believe that if more control were given the minister, so that he would not have to go to some other body when he had an idea of what was best for the industry, it would be better. I would rather see this clause remain as it is. However, we will deal with it when we come to it. I should like to see the minister retain control so that he oould urge on his own government that they give him adequate allowances for the further development of our great fishing industries.


CCF

Harry Grenfell Archibald

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. H. G. ARCHIBALD (Skeena):

I will not keep the house long inasmuch as the members for New Westminster (Mr. Reid) and Nanaimo (Mr. Pearkes) covered the ground in outstanding fashion. However, I want to bring out one point I heard in the discussion, which interested me, namely that the solution of many of our fishing ills lies in the consumption of more fish. The point, as I am coming to see it, is that it is not going to be a solution at all because it looks as if we are depleting our banks to such an extent that it will be difficult to get any fish.

According to the December 7 issue of Collier's magazine, which contains an excellent article on the fishing industry, I gather that what is true on the Pacific coast is also true on the east coast. The grounds are being depleted to a large extent. Out of 100 fish caught in a drag, from 40 to 90 fish were not saleable and died. That was the result of a dragging experiment carried out by the halibut commission.

As far as sable-fish are concerned, in 1943 and 1944 statistical returns showed that out of 111 million pounds of sable-fish landed by line fishermen, draggers landed 2 million pounds, and it is recorded that there were more fish in the 2 million pounds than in the other proportion. So that with modern fishing the beds are being destroyed in both halibut and sable fishing. Granted that they are under the control of the international halibut commission, and to a large extent the problem of a continuous crop is solved there, but, the fact is that the season is now getting shorter and shorter. The season in No. 2 area lasted only thirty-nine days. Therefore it is not altogether price that is affecting the fishermen. The season is becoming shorter, and other means will have to be found to use their boats and equipment in order that they may carry on as an independent fleet.

On the east coast they have some form of credit legislation put through by the provincial authorities, but on the west coast we are not blessed with an advanced government that puts through that form of legislation. If we could get the federal authorities to assist the fishermen on the west coast with credit legislation, I have no doubt an independent fleet could be maintained.

I thought I would bring up these points, because it has been pointed out that a crisis is building up in the fishing industry. I do not know exactly how it can be solved under the present methods but I do hope that more

Fisheries Research Board

money will be allocated for educational purposes among the fishermen so that they will understand the problem they are facing.

While on the coast last winter I received complaints that there is not enough money allocated to the university of British Columbia extension department. There is a far greater amount allocated to the east coast, and yet 50 per cent of the fish are caught on the west coast. The fisherman appreciate this service and would like to see a greater amount allocated to this department. With the number of boats engaged in fishing constantly on the increase, a crisis is developing.

I fully believe that in the final analysis, if it is not going to end in a cut-throat affair, the fishing grounds will have to be far more rigidly controlled than at the present time, and to a large extent fishing will have to be turned into one large cooperative unit where self-discipline and education will be scattered among the fishermen so that they themselves will protect their grounds. At the present time, with so many competing interests, the fishermen at times cannot afford to be honest, and there is too much bootlegging of fish, and raiding as well. The only thing I can see as a solution for the fishing problem, so far as the west coast is concerned, is to have a complete cooperatively owned system of canning and processing of fish so that the fishermen will work through their own organization to protect their own interests.

Topic:   FISHERIES RESEARCH BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES
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LIB

Andrew Wesley Stuart

Liberal

Mr. A. W. STUART (Charlotte):

I assure you. Mr. Speaker, that my remarks will be brief and to the point, as most of the hon. members who have preceded me have been brief.

First I wish to associate myself with the remarks that have been made by those who have taken part in this debate. It would appear that in discussing fisheries members on all sides of the house are pretty much of the same opinion as to the ills of the industry and what might be a cure or at least some relief in a very difficult situation. As has been stated already, the fishing industry is the first to feel the effects of the post-war period. Today conditions are not good. The facts must be faced and the problems studied very carefully. In my own county, marketing conditions are responsible for an enormous drop in production, particularly in the sardine trade where over fifty per cent of our markets are lost. It is hoped there will be an improvement in the near future. At the present time the supply is very much greater than the demand. Undoubtedly this seems incredible [Mr. Archibald.)

to many hon. members who are aware of the fact that millions of people in the world today are without necessary food.

The matter of markets and distribution would still seem to be one of our major problems in the fishing industry. If the industry is to survive in the maritime provinces, home consumption of fish must be encouraged and markets must be found for surplus. On different occasions I have pointed out in this chamber the absolute necessity of United States markets for our fishermen, and have suggested the benefits that might follow an international gathering of fishermen and government officials. Another matter I have continually brought to the attention of the fisheries department and research board is the necessity of establishing lobster hatcheries on the Atlantic coast. I am aware that an investigation was made into the hatcheries in the state of Maine and an unfavourable report brought back, but this information does not coincide with the reports I have received personally from the operators of hatcheries in the state of Maine, or with articles published in their fishing magazines. I could read several of those reports, but shall refrain from doing so at the present time. The great problem the Maine fishermen have to face in this regard is the lack of funds to carry on this important work. Our problem is not lack of funds but lack of interest or action by the research board. The United States, with a population of 130,000,000, is spending less on fisheries research than is Canada, with less than one-tenth that population. The fishermen in Maine, however, are interested to the extent that they provide funds themselves to carry on this work. If a lobster fisherman in the state of Maine catches a spawn or berried lobster, it is taken to the hatchery, where he is paid the sum of $1 for it. In many instances lobsters have appeared at these hatcheries three and four times. Each time a lobster is received a puncture is put in its tail, so they are able to say that some lobsters have been caught, liberated and caught again by fishermen and returned to the hatchery. If that much interest is taken in the lobster industry in the state of Maine I think it is time the research board in our own country decided at least to give the hatcheries one more try. This would please many fishermen on the Atlantic coast; and until this is done the feeling will always be that the industry is being neglected.

At this point I wish to make my stand very clear in regard to research. I realize the value of scientific research to the fishing industry. The exception I take, however, is that too

fisheries Kesearch Hoard

much time and money is spent on inland or sport fishing, while our commercial fisheries are neglected. I also agree with the statement made by the hon. member for New Westminster (Mr. Reid) that we have too few practical men associated with the research board, too few men who have had actual experience. My thought is that the scientist is not always right. In his estimation a bumble bee should not be able to fly; the body is too large and the wings too small, but very much to his disgust and amazement it does fly. I believe this same rule would apply in many instances in reference to the fishing industry. Knowledge obtained over a period of years in any industry should be helpful to the government department concerned, and in this case such information could be useful to the officials if they were willing to accept it. I regret, however, that little consideration is given ideas that do not originate within the department. In other words suggestions coming from those on the outside are not greatly appreciated.

I have no complaint whatever in regard to the minister. I believe he is earnestly striving to put his department in order and to assist every branch of the fishing industry in all parts of the country. At the same time I fully realize that he must be guided by the officials of his department. It would be very much out of order for him to do otherwise. Any suggestions coming from the outside must be very carefully studied and screened by the officials, after which a report is made; and the minister naturally is influenced by that report in coming to a decision. During the months of July hundreds of thousands of spawn or berried lobsters will be available in the maritime provinces. It is to be regretted that they are of little interest to the fisheries research board. Therefore I would again impress upon the officials of this department the importance of the lobster fishing industry to the maritime provinces, and at the same time point out to them the indifferent attitude they have taken to date.

Topic:   FISHERIES RESEARCH BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

Order. I am sorry to interrupt the hon. gentleman, but the other day I was obliged to call to order an hon. member who was reading his speech. I think it only fair, therefore, to suggest to the hon. member who now has the floor that he is reading his speech and that he should not do so.

Topic:   FISHERIES RESEARCH BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES
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LIB

Andrew Wesley Stuart

Liberal

Mr. STUART (Charlotte):

Well, Mr. Speaker, I am reading a portion of it, but I can assure you I am not reading it completely.

In one portion of this bill mention is made of superannuation for the employees of the fisheries research board, and I think

this is a good idea. In my own town I know of employees of this board who have been working for the department for perhaps thirty years. Unless there is some change in the regulations, however, when it comes time for these men to retire they have no chance in the world of obtaining any benefits by way of superannuation. I believe an injustice is being done in this case, and that these men should receive exactly the same consideration as other people in the government service who come under the Civil Service Act. Two particular friends of mine have been with the department for many years. Their work has been very helpful to the research board and the biological board, and I feel that this department should take action at the present time to see that these people are placed in exactly the same position as other government employees. There are also younger men who have been with the department for perhaps only a year, two years or a little more. My understanding is that they have never had an opportunity of becoming members of the civil service. At one time I believe a vote was taken, but men who had been in the service for many years voted the measure down. Many of these employees are keenly interested in becoming civil servants. As to the older men, I believe it would be impossible for them now to pay into the fund sufficient to give them the amount of pension they rightly deserve and such instances some adjustment will be necessary. But I would urge upon the minister and the department that they give careful consideration to the providing of pensions for men who have given years and years of faithful service to the research board and the fisheries department.

Topic:   FISHERIES RESEARCH BOARD
Subtopic:   PROVISION FOR SCIENTIFIC, TECHNICAL AND OTHER OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES
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June 13, 1947