The object is to enable me to introduce a Bill permitting the Department of Marine to take over the control of all the pilotage systems of Canada and to vest authority in the Governor General in Council. At present, and for some twelve years past, the pilotage systems of the two districts of Quebec and Montreal have been under the Department of Marine. In order to determine what steps should be taken in the interest of the greater efficiency of the pilotage system in Canada, the Government appointed a Royal Commission in the early part of 1918, consisting of Mr. Thomas Robb, of the Shipping Federation, Montreal; Captain Bayles, Deputy Warden for the port of Montreal; and Captain Harrison of Halifax, to inquire into the matter. The commission visited all the important seaports on the co-asts of Canada, such as Halifax, Sydney, Louisburg, St. John, N.B., Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo, and their report, which has been already tabled, recommends very strongly that these pilo-tage districts, outside those of Montreal and Quebec, be taken under the supervision and direct control of the Department of Maxine. I am sure hon. gentlemen will recognize that the only object the Government has in recommending that this course be followed is to place the pilotage systems
in the ports referred to on a much more efficient basis than they have been in the past, and to provide for much more rigid pilotage examination. It is the intention of the Government, if the resolution should pass, to appoint a local superintendent of each one of these leading ports who shall be a seafaring man holding a master mariner's certificate. In addition the Government intends to appoint a general superintendent of pilots, to be stationed at the head office of the department in Ottawa, who will have general charge of all the local officers and of the various pilotage systems. It is further provided that the harbour dues on ships of over one thousand tons registered tonnage shall be increased to $7.
A great many of the harbour masters who are looking after our ports now are only allowed to draw a maximum salary of $600 per year. The object of this Bill is to allow them, if they collect sufficient fees, to draw a maximum salary of $1,200 per year. For instance, the harbour master for the port of Victoria, can at present, only draw a salary of $600 per year, whereas if this Bill passes, he will be allowed, providing he collects sufficient fees, to draw a maximum salary of $1,200.
There are, therefore, two important matters in the resolution before the Committee: First, that the pilotage systems of Canada from Halifax to Victoria be vested in the authority of the Governor-in-Council under the Minister of Marine and Fisheries; and, second, to provide harbour masters who are now drawing $600 a year a maximum salary of $1,200.
Subtopic: CANADA SHIPPING ACT AMENDMENT.