It is a pleasure to hear a seaman like the hon. member for Charlotte get up and take part in the discussion of the bill. I am also an old-time sailor. I admire the hon. member for Vancouver-Quadra greatly as a lawyer and for his common sense. I also admire the hon. member for Vancouver East, whose judgment I am sure is very good in a great many matters; but I think he went a little too far this morning when he suggested that the operators of steamboats were more concerned with the saving of dollars than the saving of lives. I am sure he meant it to be a fair comment but I think he would not care to repeat it after giving the matter due consideration. I do not think it is generally known that the whole concept of safety at sea has changed completely in the last ten years, as the hon. member for Charlotte said, with the installation of radiotelephones on hundreds and hundreds of vessels plying the waters on the Pacific coast. A new era has come into being so far as safety of life at sea is concerned.
I should like to offer to the parliamentary assistant another comment which I hope will be of value to his department. I must say that these amendments to the Canada Shipping Act were brought in with very little notice to the shipping industry on the Pacific coast. As a matter of fact there was almost a panic in the industry when those engaged in it finally learned what the contents of the bill were after it had been printed. When a bill of this kind is introduced in
the other place and is passed by the gentlemen there it carries with it a certain stamp of approval, and one naturally considers that a body of that kind would give such a bill very mature consideration. But we find that it went through the other place with a minimum of discussion and examination and then came to the House of Commons. As hon. members who were on the committee all know, very substantial changes had to be made in the bill because as first presented to us it was ridiculous so far as the west coast industry is concerned. In making these comments, I do not wish to cast any reflection on the Department of Transport, but I hope they will make the gentlemen in the other place feel that when legislation is presented to them for the first time _ they should give it very careful examination before according it their stamp of approval.
Topic: CANADA SHIPPING ACT
Subtopic: AMENDMENTS RESPECTING STEAM AND MOTOR ENGINEER CERTIFICATES, RADIOTELEGRAPH INSTALLATIONS, ETC.