May 13, 1953

LIB

Louis-René Beaudoin (Deputy Speaker and Chair of Committees of the Whole of the House of Commons)

Liberal

The Chairman:

There is a supplementary item here, No. 661.

661. Industrial development service-further amount required, $1,000,000.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

Who is going to have to do with the administration of this branch? What department will administer this?

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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LIB

James Sinclair (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. Sinclair:

The industrial and technical service branches of the department will administer it. This vote is the first step we are taking to implement the recommendations of the Walsh report which is of such interest in Newfoundland. As I said last night, we were very anxious that the report be submitted before this session ended so that we could actually start this summer. As soon as the report was received by the government the Prime Minister set up an interdepartmental committee with representatives from the departments of finance, fisheries, labour, mines and technical surveys, public works, resources and development, and transport. Those officials reviewed the report and recommended a program which we can embark on this summer. The hon. member for St. John's West has studied the report, I know. Unfortunately, however, it is not as yet available for general distribution but the main recommendations at the conclusion of the report divided the responsibility amongst the three groups concerned, the provincial government, federal government and industry. Our interest is in the continuation and expansion of the work we have started to do over the last three years-experiments in fishing, more work in biological research and also in the technical end of handling fish, demonstration of new fishing techniques, and the 68108-332

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first steps in building up central communities along the northeast coast in order to attract fishermen to those communities with better community facilities in the way of wharves and breakwaters, and assistance in the matter of new mechanical driers which are now being tried out along that coast. That is the program which we intend to launch this summer.

The Walsh report suggested that there should be a permanent standing committee in Newfoundland composed of representatives of the federal government, the provincial government and the industry to carry on this work. We feel that for this year at least, which is still an exploratory year, we should carry on with our present officials- that is, the interdepartmental committee of the federal departments concerned will continue their work. During the course of the year we will be able to see whether a permanent committee set up in Newfoundland would or would not be a better way of handling this program. The important thing, and I am quite sure the Newfoundland members will appreciate this, is that we did want to do something this year. It is for that reason that this vote has been placed in the estimates.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

With

reference to the industrial development service, the details for which are on page 196, I do not find the name of the person in charge. Who will be the director or the chairman of this group that is being set up, and where will he be located?

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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LIB

James Sinclair (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. Sinclair:

The work of the committee in Ottawa comes directly under the deputy minister of fisheries. The actual carrying out of the program, in so far as this interdepartmental committee is concerned in Newfoundland, will be under the chief supervisor there, Mr. Bradbury, for the coming year.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

Will the

Newfoundland fisheries board come under that?

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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LIB

James Sinclair (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. Sinclair:

Mr. Bradbury is the chairman of the fisheries board, but his principal office down there is chief supervisor of fisheries for the province of Newfoundland.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

Is there any special allocation out of this vote for any particular purpose, or have you come to that

stage?

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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LIB

James Sinclair (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. Sinclair:

We have not come to that

stage, but the interdepartmental committee, in looking over the field in which these federal departments have responsibility, estimates that the Walsh report recommendations result

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in the following division, roughly: 35 per cent fisheries; 35 per cent public works; 25 per cent resources and development-that is in connection with housing-and then labour and transport for the navigational aids and things like that, 5 per cent. That is a tentative estimate.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (Si. John's West):

Has any

consideration been given to the areas? I understand from a report that they are going to concentrate on places where there are bait depots, and make them centres to which people will be invited?

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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LIB

James Sinclair (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. Sinclair:

That is not quite so. The

mines and technical surveys department, along with fisheries and other federal and provincial departments, last year started, and this year will finish, an economic survey of the entire coasts, and it is on the results of that economic survey that a decision will be made as to the best place to start this concentration of development. The bait depots are not necessarily the best places.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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PC

William Joseph Browne

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Browne (St. John's West):

I can only

hope that there will be no discrimination. I am not saying this in any offensive manner at all. I hope that, in order that the program may meet with the confidence of the fishermen, every care will be taken to avoid discrimination.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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LIB

James Sinclair (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. Sinclair:

We will certainly do that.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLure:

Following item 135 there is

a note "appropriation not required for 1953-54." I understand that results from some change made in the department with regard to fur seals. I should like to know why there is not going to be any vote.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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LIB

James Sinclair (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. Sinclair:

This point was discussed last year. Under the Financial Administration Act, an appropriation was made for revolving funds for various departments. This is a fund which will revolve. It always seemed a little unfair to have the cost of this department's participation in this fur seal convention on the west coast included in the estimates. Nowhere in our estimates was there any item showing the actual net revenue which we derived from it. Last year our 20 per cent under the agreement with the United States, which results from the proceeds of fur sealing on the Pribilof islands, amounted to over $800,000. With the consent of the house that item was transferred to the Financial Administration Act in a revolving fund, so that item no longer appears as an expenditure under the fisheries department.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLure:

But the fur seals will be taken care of by the fisheries department just the same?

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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LIB
PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLure:

I am glad to know that the request I have made for a good many years has been followed out, and that is you are going to have all the skins processed in one place, no matter where that place is. I notice that during 1952 the skins were all processed by one concern, so that there is going to be a uniform processing and a uniform type of skin instead of the type we have been receiving on the market for the last few years. Although these skins were all stamped the same, they were not the same price. The minister says we made $800,000 last year, but if the skins had been all processed at one place we would have made over a million dollars. Seven or eight years ago I made the statement in this house that more than a million dollars should be made every year from this source.

However, there is some difficulty in this industry now, and I should like to get some information from the department about it. It seems that the seal herd is not increasing. As a matter of fact, within the last couple of years research workers have found a tremendous mortality amongst the pups. It has been ascertained that the mortality rate almost equals 25 per cent of the pups. I hope that the fisheries department will co-operate with the United States in connection with research work to find out more about the seal herd. I notice that within the last two years they have commenced to brand and tag the herd, but as yet they have been unable to find out where any of these animals go after they leave the Pribilof islands or where they come from when they arrive at those islands. The important thing is to see if the seals can be protected when they are leaving the islands.

I believe there are a couple of other nations who are taking a big toll out of these animals in the different seas. I understand that negotiations are under way with Japan to see if that country will refrain from poaching as much as they have been in the past. I only raise these points because years ago the fisheries department neglected the seals and in 1944-45 only had about $160,000 of revenue from that source. As I say, if the industry is properly handled it should bring in a revenue of over a million dollars, that is unless the herd goes below a take-off of some 65,000 skins. I should like to draw

to the minister's attention that Japan is anxious to get back in on the treaty. According to the treaty 80 per cent of the take goes to the United States and 20 per cent to Canada. I want to ask the minister not to allow Japan back in, that is if we have to give up any of our 20 per cent, because this is a revenue upon which you can depend for years. Mistakes were made some years ago when Canada had the opportunity of buying the whole herd. We neglected that, and since that time the United States has made over $40 million of net profit after buying the herd. We are now receiving 20 per cent, but I would urge upon the department to investigate the mortality amongst the young pups and to give every protection to the herd while coming to or leaving the Pribilof islands.

Another thing I want to mention is that you should continue to get the skins processed in one place. In looking up what happened last year, I find that on last years' sales there was a difference of $56 on the skins that were processed otherwise than in the St. Louis market. Anyone who attended those sales can easily see the reason why the difference has occurred. Let me repeat again: Be sure and take your skins from

the Pribilof field for processing in the one place, as long as they have a process equal to that of the Fouke Fur Company of St. Louis, Missouri.

Topic:   QUESTIONS
Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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LIB

James Sinclair (Minister of Fisheries)

Liberal

Mr. Sinclair:

The skins last year were all processed at the one place. Last year for the first time we were on the seas and the Aleutian islands on scientific research with the Americans. As to the seal population, it is reported now up to 5 million seals. Our scientific people and the Americans think that is about the limit of what those little barren islands can sustain. It takes a great many fish in the Bering sea to support 5 million seals. Our problem may now be overbreeding rather than lack of population. The fur seals are perhaps a class that might be included in the new north Pacific convention since they are under scientific study, they are under control with regard to killing, and they are being fully exploited.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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PC

Winfield Chester Scott McLure

Progressive Conservative

Mr. McLure:

In connection with that

matter, I might say that the figures given by the minister as to the size of the herd at the present time do not correspond with the take-off. The take-off of pelt has gone down each year. According to last year's report, and as I had information from one member of the research party, it is now more difficult to make a selection of skins owing to some form of disease that is in 68108-332i

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the herd that arrives there from time to time.

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Subtopic:   DEPARTMENT OF FISHERIES
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May 13, 1953