Newfoundland National Convention, 25 November 1947, Debates on Confederation with Canada


November 25, 1947[1]

[Mr. Fogwill gave notice of questions to be directed to the Governor concerning unemployment in Canada, and the amount of telegraph traffic from Canada to Newfoundland]

Report of the Ottawa Delegation Proposed Arrangements for the Entry of Newfoundland into Confederation Committee of the Whole

[The committee first considered section 4.5, dealing with assistance to housing. Mr. Smallwood read extracts from the Black Book dealing with the National Housing Act. There was no debate on this point, and the committee went on to section 5 dealing with services that would be taken over by the federal government in the event of confederation.
In connection with the Newfoundland Railway, Mr. Smallwood read a section of the Black Book covering its integration into the Canadian National Railways system. This report indicated that the Canadian authorities anticipated an expenditure of $10 million over ten years to rehabilitate the railway. In addition, $7 million would have to be spent on rolling stock.
Rates of pay would become standard CNR rates.
The Railway deficit would be transferred to CNR.
The Newfoundland Hotel would not be transferred unless the Newfoundland government so 836 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 requested.
Mr. Fogwill asked what would happen to the vessels owned by the government in the event of confederation][1]
Mr. Smallwood The reason is this — when we went up we had a list of all vessels or ships owned by the Government of Newfoundland. We even had the Customs cutters; we had the Railway steamships and Clarenville boats.[2] The only thing they refer to are those owned by the national government railway.
Mr. Fogwill You refer to 19 vessels, last paragraph, page 70.[3]
Mr. Smallwood That is the number of vessels owned by the government under all headings. They segregated those not owned by the Newfoundland Railway from those that are owned; they only deal with those owned by the Newfoundland government railway.
Mr. Fogwill The ownership of those would be vested in Newfoundland. What would be the position of a federallyuoperated boat and a provinciallycperated boat in competition to the other?....
Mr. Smallwood It would be the same as exists today. In Newfoundland we have ships in the foreign and local trade not owned by the government in any sense of the word, competing with ships that are so owned. In Canada there is the Canadian government merchant marine, there are privately owned ships, and I daresay there are provincially owned ships. Various things could be done. Maybe the Canadian merchant marine could be asked to operate them.
Mr. Fogwill I am concerned about this. These are now operating. What would happen then to the vessels operating in competition between the federal and the provincial government?
Mr. Smallwood I cannot be expected to say, if we became a province, what that government should do with its own property. That would be its problem to solve in its own way....
Mr. Bailey Have you any guarantee that these ships would belong to the province — anything to go on? Do you know whether they would remain with the province or whether they would be taken over by the federal government? These cost the government quite a bit and they are worth a lot. In fact they are one of the best assets the Commission of Government could have. Mr. Smallwood I suggest the members might help me out in this — apparently the list of ships is not reproduced in this volume. Is no one present who can say anything definitely about these l9 vessels? Has the Railway got 19 vessels including the Clarenville boats?
Mr. Fogwill Nineteen would include Clarenville boats.
Mr. Miller Since we are considering clause 5, it says, "At the union, or as soon as practicable thereafter, the following services will be taken over by Canada and become subject to the juris— diction of Parliament." I think Mr. Smallwood in his interpretation has to be governed by this Grey Book. It says further, "Newfoundland to be relieved of the public costs incurred in respect to each service after it is taken over". We will be relieved only in pan of these public costs. We will be contributing to the taxes collected by the federal government, we will bear a proportion of this cost. A fair interpretation would be that the Newfoundland provincial government would be relieved of the cost, but Newfoundland as a people will pay a proportionate share of the cost into the federal government...
Mr. Smallwood Mr. Miller is right. There is not much need for concern over the wording of the clause. Incidentally, I hate to jump from one subject to another, but in connection with the Newfoundland Hotel, since 1932 it has lost $162,000 to date on operating costs. I have that note entered here in my own writing.
Mr. Chairman I think you had better stick to the Railway.
Mr. Bailey It includes the Clarenville boats, do the others come under Customs?
Mr. Smallwood The Natural Resources own some. Some boats owned or operated by the Railway are owned by other departments of the government. They are left out of the picture. This has to do with boats run by the Railway. It looks as though those include the Clarenville boats.
Mr. Bailey Apparently, according to this, the federal government will take over the Clarenville vessels?
Mr. Smallwood That is what it seems.
Mr. Harrington Just one question comes to mind. Clause 5, section (1), "the Newfoundland Railway, including steamship and other marine services." That is official. That is in the proposed arrangements. In Volume 2, page 69,[1] reference is made to the condition of the property of the railway and steamship services. The second paragraph should have been read in connection with the rehabilitation that is likely to have to take place in connection with the railway and steamship service. That is provisional. That is not guaranteed. They presume certain works would have to be done. There is no guarantee they will be done, once we become a province. Was this memorandum prepared by the Government of Canada?
Mr. Smallwood That is a memorandum prepared for the cabinet of Canada by the railway and steamship officials of that government, the President of the Clarke Steamship Company, and the Vice-President of the Canadian National Railways. They prepared it. If the Canadian government were to offer, in this document, to take over the railway and steamship service, they wanted to have some idea of what they would be taking over, and whether it had been making money or losing it; what condition it is in; how much money would likely have to be spent to put it in good condition, if it is not in good condition. They asked their authorities, railway experts, to prepare a memorandum; in the next ten years, $10 million would have to be spent to put the railway system in good condition. The rails would need to be renewed, ballast renewed, embankments and cuts widened.
Mr. Chairman That is for re-railing?
Mr. Smallwood No. That is for all of them:
It would appear that the rails would need to be renewed on the whole of the railway within a period of ten years, and that at the same time ballast should be renewed, embankments and cuts widened, drainage restored or improved and that a majority of the bridges would need renewing.
Mr. Chairman There is $7 million covering rolling stock.
Mr. Smallwood Yes. "It may be hazarded that the cost of rehabilitating rolling stock over a ten-year period would be of the order of $7 million." That is $17 million the railway expects it would need to spend. Commander Edwards, Deputy Minister of Transport, who was one of the Canadian government committee, met with us on this railway question. He has been in Newfoundland and knows our railway system. He is an expert railway man. This memorandum is based on the data we brought up to them; some of it we got afterwards, at their request; and also of their own knowledge. They have a fairly good knowledge of the railways of other countries.... This memorandum, as Mr. Harrington says, is not an undertaking, it is not a bond; it is not in the terms. The Canadian government has been informed by their own experts that $17 million would have to be spent to make it shipshape over a period of years. I would draw Mr. Harrington's attention to the fact that freight rates would presumably be reduced; express rates would presumably be reduced; passenger rates would presumably be reduced. That is the opinion of the railway experts of Canada. They assume that if the Government of Canada takes over the system, and makes it part and parcel of the Canadian National Railways, naturally they will have the same freight, same passenger, same express rates as in Canada. Mr. Harrington is right, it is not guaranteed. Personally I have no doubt about it; still, it is not so stated in the terms.
Mr. Job When Mr. Smallwood was talking about the Clarenville type of vessels, I understood him to say that, undoubtedly, they would not be taken over; but he rather altered that opinion later on. Was that the case?
Mr. Smallwood That is the case.
Mr. Job I imagine that they are really part of the government set-up. They are managed by the Railway. They are paid a fee for managing them. They are on a different footing from the other boats. It is important to ascertain what the facts are.
Mr. Northcott How do our rates compare with the Canadian National Railway freight rates?
Mr. Smallwood All I know is what the Canadian government railway experts have said, and what they have said is here in this memorandum of theirs. I will read it out:
(b) Freight Rates:
The standard Canadian classification and tariffs would likely become applicable, and if the benefits of the Maritime Freight Rates Act were to be extended to Newfoundland, these two in combination would define maximum rates. The resulting rate structure would be modified by water competitive conditions and by special commodity rates in accordance with standard Canadian tariff practices.
Substantial reductions from the existing freight charges on goods moving to or from Newfoundland from or to points in Canada and the United States would probably result. A special feature to be considered would be whether a special charge would be made for the boat movement from Port-aux-Basques to North Sydney or whether the movement would be treated as so much railway mileage.
According to that our rates are higher than theirs and presumably would have to be reduced. I would not set myself up to throw any doubts on the assumptions of the Canadian National Railway experts....
Mr. Northcott You do not know what the difference is?
Mr. Smallwood No, I do not. Ours would be brought down to be the same as Canadian rates.
Mr. Hickman At the present time there is a move to increase freight rates 30% in Canada; and where, now, the Maritimes have been subsidised for their freight rates, that is also going to be under discussion. I do not know if it will be done.
Mr. Chairman Presumably the elimination of subsidy must increase rates in Canada.
Mr. Smallwood I am familiar with the first point. I attended meetings of the Board of Transport Commissioners. Some friends of yours, Mr. Chairman, were participating as counsel for the various provinces they represented. One morning Mr. Higgins, Mr. Bradley and myself went up and attended the hearings of the railways who are applying to have their freight rates increased. They are applying to the Board for 30% increase 'across the board' as they call it. I attended day after day. It was never done. I am not saying it could not be done. All over North America the railways are trying to get the freight rates up. They are all claiming they are losing money. On the other point, there is not a suggestion, not a hint of the abolition of the Maritime Freight Rates Act. There has been 20% reduction on freight rates in the Maritime region, which is east of LĂ©vis; but there has never been the slightest hint or suggestion of the abolition of the Maritime Freight Rates Act. Mr. Hickman is right, they have been trying to get an increase in freight rates. But the Maritime Freight Rates Act is there; it is a statutory act.
Mr. Hickman It has been on the carpet for some time and I note from the papers that the question is up again of a 30% increase, and it specifically mentioned also the cancellation of the subsidy to the Maritimes. I do not know if that means the cancellation of the Maritime Freight Rates Act. This came up for decision since Mr. Smallwood was in Ottawa.
Mr. Smallwood Now I know what he is referring to. The Maritime Freight Rates Act is one thing; that is statutory. What Mr. Hickman is referring to is the subsidy paid on grains. There are two subsidies. All feeds, all animal and poultry feed grains from the Prairie provinces going into the Pacific coast and Atlantic coast are hauled freight-free.... I do not want to anticipate it; but when it comes, that is to be applied to Newfoundland as well. In addition to that, there has been something else. During the war the government has paid the Prairie grain growers a subsidy of so much a bushel and the subsidy was to encourage them to grow the things that the government wanted to be grown during the war. They have now taken that off. But as to the hauling of it down through the Maritimes, it is hauled freight-free. Mr. Hickman is referring to the taking off of the subsidy given the Prairie provinces.
Mr. Hickman I was referring to the subsidy on freight to the Maritimes on grains and other items you mentioned.
Mr. Fogwill On page 69[1] — I am not sure there is an error; but it says "It is noted that the staff of the railway at the present time numbers 2,990 and of the steamers 761, a total of 3,751". I would refer you to....
[It was pointed out by Mr. Smallwood that the figures had been supplied by the Railway.[2]
Continuing the debate on clause 5 of the November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 839 proposed terms, the sub-section dealing with the Newfoundland Hotel was then introduced by Mr. Smallwood, who stated that the federal government would take over the operation of this hotel if such was desired by the Government of Newfoundland. Mr. Smallwood said that the CNR operated a chain of hotels, and in the event of union it would be possible, perhaps advisable, that the Newfoundland Hotel would be acquired by that company. Mr. Bailey expressed the opinion that this was the best reason for confederation which he had heard so far.
The sub-section dealing with Posts and Telegraphs was brought up for discussion. These services, though considered as two separate services in Canada, would be taken over as a single service if Newfoundland entered confederation.
A question was raised whether the federal government would continue to employ the Newfoundlanders in the service at the time of union. Mr. Smallwood stated that the federal government was duty bound to employ in the public services of a province, citizens of that province. Mr. Fogwill wondered if the persons now employed by Posts and Telegraphs would be required to qualify for jobs according to standards set by the federal government: if the qualifications required were higher than those in Newfoundland, would it mean that persons now employed, who failed to meet these qualifications, would be discharged? Mr. Smallwood felt certain that if persons were unqualified for their jobs, every opportunity would be given to those employees to qualify.
Mr. Fogwill wanted to know why revenue from Posts and Telegraphs estimated by Canada was $1 million below the amount estimated for the 1947-48 period by the present government. Mr. Smallwood stated that in the event of union this service would be taken over by the federal government. Postage rates would be lower and wages would be increased, hence the difference in the two estimates. He went on to say that during the period 1920 to 1940, Posts and Telegraphs in Newfoundland averaged a yearly deficit of $500,000.
Mr. Miller was anxious to know if there was a guarantee that existing public services such as our coastal service would be continued as they were at present]
Mr. Chairman The thing Mr. Miller asks you is whether or not there is any guarantee that there will be any material or other alterations in the operations of the railway and steamship lines as presently operated.
Mr. Smallwood I have good hearing. I heard him say that.
Mr. Chairman He asks if there is a guarantee.
Mr. Smallwood If he, or anyone else, takes the stand that because here it does not say...
Mr. Miller Could you answer "yes" or "no"?
Mr. Smallwood I cannot answer "yes" or "no".
Mr. Miller That is very apparent.
Mr. Smallwood If clause 5 does not say that "the following services will be taken over and become subject to the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada and will be maintained at existing levels or even better", are we to infer that there is a danger that the services may not be maintained at the present levels but may be reduced?
Mr. Chairman Which is a fair inference.
Mr. Smallwood It may be a fair inference from a purely legal standpoint. But to me it is not a fair or realistic inference at all; the Government of Canada in taking over these services will give us much better service, but as for a guarantee, no, there is no guarantee. That is a matter of what has been said and of what we believe. I believe, personally, that they will give us a little better service. I wish Mr. Higgins were here. He was one of the three delegates who were at the meeting. When the meeting ended we were chatting around in groups with the railway experts, especially Commander Edwards. The Deputy Minister of Transport said, "If and when Newfoundland comes into confederation, what do you think would become of the railway? What do you think, Captain, do you think they will do something for the railway, put it in good shape?" He said, "What else? Either that, or we will have a railway hanging on us, dragging on us, a burden on us." ....He said, "If you ever come in with us, you will have the best railway you ever had." But there is no guarantee of it in the Grey Book. No guarantee about the railway and the steamship services. No guarantee they would not even shut them down. If anyone prefers to think that, I cannot stop them. I do not believe that. On the contrary, I believe the services the Government of Canadian would take over would be operated more efficiently and with better service to the 840 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 people of Newfoundland and of greater benefit to the employees than now....
Mr. Butt Is not that covered on page 68 of the Black Book?
Mr. Smallwood Not exactly covered. Here is the bond, the Grey Book. This is the offer of Canada.
Mr. Butt Is not this a memorandum prepared by some members of the Canadian civil service?
Mr. Smallwood It is.
Mr. Butt It reads, "It would not be contemplated that at least at the outset any substantial increase in service would be instituted, since the present service appears to be reasonably adequate."
Mr. Smallwood That is not, as Mr. Miller, pointed out, in the bond; that is the expert opinion of the railway experts.... It is not an undertaking, as Mr. Miller points out.
Mr. Butt It gives an indication of the minds of the people with whom you had to deal: "the present service appears to be reasonably adequate."
Mr. Smallwood Yes.
Mr. Butt That is their mind.
Mr. Bailey A very strong point, to my mind — I did not want to bring it up, but Mr. Miller brought it forward. For 40 years I have travelled, now and again, between North Sydney and Truro. If we are going to have that class of railroad under confederation, I do not think it is going to suit us.... The people up there have been fighting to get a bridge across the Gut of Canso since 1910. Anyone who has travelled over that railway, especially if you are coming east, would think there are square wheels under the track. I will not say anything about the cars. It is apparent that it is worse today than it was back in 1911 and 1912. If that is the type of railroad we are going to get, I think we should hold on to the one we have. It is not going to be good enough. I am sure there was nothing in this country that was worse.... We have the Grey Book and the Black Books and other books, but there is no guarantee. I would like to see their John Hancocks there before I marked my "x" for confederation. I have been doubtful about this all the time. Since Mr. Miller brought it up, I would bring it to the attention of the members here.
Mr. Smallwood I have travelled on the railway line to which Mr. Bailey refers, quite recently — a couple or three months before, going to Ottawa. The whole delegation travelled across Newfoundland. Having crossed the Gulf and landed at North Sydney we were all awake to watch that railway. We left 8 o'clock in the morning. We were travelling in the day. Everyone was watching the railway, sizing it up, getting the feel of it. I, for one, will say now that the worst railway across Canada is that railway, but it is better than our cross-country railway.
Mr. Bailey No.
Mr. Smallwood That is your opinion. The best way is for all of us to travel over the railway and see for ourselves. Every man can then make up his own mind. Now, let Captain Bailey go a little bit further, let him go down and take a look at the kind of service the Government of Canada is providing for tiny Prince Edward Island, 2,000 square miles in size, with a population of 95,000.... When that Island joined the union as a province, the terms contained a clause saying the Government of Canada would maintain a ferry service between the mainland and Prince Edward Island. I wonder if Captain Bailey has any knowledge of the monumental sum of money that the Government of Canada has spent to keep that promise. In 1917 the Government of Canada spent $1 million to build a ferryboat to connect that province. In 1927 they built another one which cost $2 million. Remember, our Caribou[1] cost $500,000 in 1925.... In 1947 the Government of Canada spent $5 million to provide a new ferry and in addition they spent $6 million to improve the terminals at each end of her run.... In addition to that, they found when they took over Prince Edward Island, that they had a narrow gauge railway. They took over that railway. What did they do to that railway? They made it a broad gauge. I remember the first time I ever visited Prince Edward Island, the broad gauge railway ran only half-way across the Island, up to Charlottetown; then the rest of the distance was narrow gauge. The Government of Canada spent $11 million in that little province in 1947. They have no political influence, they count very little...
Mr. Fogwill Point of order. I think we should confine our remarks to the report, not to what happened to Prince Edward Island.
Mr. Smallwood It is not a good point of order. But in order to save time, I will pass that.
Mr. Crosbie Do I understand the federal government made a promise to Prince Edward Island for that service?
Mr. Smallwood Yes.
Mr. Crosbie That is the point we object to.
Mr. Smallwood The promise was merely a clause in the terms.
Mr. Crosbie There is no clause in our terms, that is what we object to.
Mr. Smallwood In 1873 there was a clause in the terms given to Prince Edward Island, a perfectly innocent-looking clause saying this, "The Government of Canada will maintain a ferry service between the mainland and the Island." That is all. Nothing about how much they would spend.
Mr. Crosbie Point of order. What is Mr. Smallwood now quoting from? Have you that contract and could we see it?
Mr. Smallwood It is in the BNA Act, the terms offered to Prince Edward Island, what would happen if she became a province. You will find it says nothing about how much they would spend to maintain that ferry service; nothing more than just a simple clause saying they would maintain a continuous ferry service winter and summer from the mainland...
Mr. Crosbie I want the whole terms offered to Prince Edward Island.
Mr. Smallwood It would be a simple thing to have it copied and mimeographed.
Mr. Crosbie That would suit me fine. These terms to us do not say they will maintain an efficient service between the mainland and the island. They do not contract to do any such thing.
Mr. Smallwood You will find, in the terms offered by Canada, that they have covered that very point. They have gone further than any clause offered Prince Edward Island in 1873. What they have done in our case is, they have offered to provide and maintain a service for the conveyance of motor vehicles; it will be a type of ferry that will take motor cars, where they will not be dumped into the hold with a winch. In North Sydney the cars are lowered, now...
Mr. Crosbie Point of order. We are not concerned about how motor cars get down in the hold of the steamer.
Mr. Smallwood The last man I want to get into a snarl with is my friend — and I say advisedly "my friend" — Mr. Crosbie; but I do not think that it a point of order. I am attempting to deal with a point. I was challenged to produce the clause offered to Prince Edward Island. I am pointing out a similar clause, only a better one, offered us in 1947. Perhaps in dealing with the clause we have come to a clause which has not been dealt with, but I have done that at Mr. Crosbie's request.
Mr. Chairman Mr. Smallwood offered to produce the terms in mimeographed form; Mr. Crosbie has agreed and that settles the matter.
Mr. Reddy I understand Prince Edward Island has been fighting the federal government for a decent ferry service over the past 50 years and it was only this year that they got it.
Mr. Smallwood Would not Mr. Reddy call a $2 million ferry service in 1927 a good ferry service? In the last 50 years and longer, since 1873, the Government of Canada has spent scores of millions of dollars to give them a decent service. And now Mr. Reddy says they waited until 1947. He is completely wrong.
Mr. Chairman You are getting far outside the original terms.
Mr. Bailey The Prince Edward Island people, like ourselves, are on an island. They have been paying freight rates over a number of years to the Canadian National Railway and also when it was a private service. They were paying for service they did not get. I can assure you that whatever Prince Edward Island got, they got it through fighting hard. I have been in their parliament. I was talking to their men. I have seen their ferries going out and the conditions they worked under. I am glad they got the service. They deserved it. After all, as they pointed out, they have to ship out a lot of potatoes and other vegetables. They had a very hard fight. If they had the old type of service today, it would turn people against confederation. They did not get it before. A $2 million vessel on that strait was not good enough for the job she had to do, especially a sea-train. I have been on a couple of them. The cost of construction of the vessel was way above the ordinary class of vessel. They also had to bring along an icebreaker with it. They did not get any $2 million vessel in 1927, and very little in 1917.
Mr. Reddy I think the people of Prince Edward Island have been fighting hard and I thank Mr. Bailey for agreeing with me.
Mr. Job In connection with the Clarenville 842 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 ships, it makes a big difference to the arrangements here if these are taken over by the railway or not. If the province keeps them, they are worth to the province perhaps a couple of million dollars. As it is favourable to Mr. Smallwood's argument, I thought perhaps I should mention it.
Mr. Smallwood I intended to give notice of question to the Government of Canada to have that matter cleared up definitely. When they say here in the clause the Government of Canada will take over "the Newfoundland Railway including steamship and other marine services", I intended to give notice of question to ask if that includes the Clarenville boats. I thank Mr. Job for that kindly gesture and we will have that matter cleared up.
[Regarding civil aviation, it was pointed out that Gander airport would be taken over by the federal Department of Transport, which would assume full responsibility for, and the costs of the airport][1]
Mr. Smallwood Clause 5, sub-section 5, Customs and Excise. That means, the only customs tariff would be the Canadian customs; the only customs officers we would have would be the Canadian government customs officers; they would be the same men we now have, but they would be employed by the Government of Canada customs department and not by the Newfoundland customs department, because there would not be any Newfoundland government customs department.
Mr. Fogwill On page 15 of the Grey Book, you have listed estimated revenue for the federal government, customs duties and import taxes, $2 million. I would like to know what volume of goods that covers, and at what percentage did you arrive at that?
Mr. Smallwood In answer to that, I have not arrived at it; it is not my estimate; that is the estimate of the financial, fiscal and customs experts. I would ask Mr. Fogwill if he will be kind enough to hold that over until we come to it, and I will tell him why. He is aware that there has recently been enacted 100-odd trade treaties involving tariff reductions, and that Canada is involved in those arrangements; they are multilateral agreements, the same with 23 countries, of which Canada is one, Newfoundland is one. I am hoping to get the tariff reductions to be brought into effect at the end of the year in Canada as in other countries, and have the information brought here, and I think we will be much better able to go into that matter than we are now.
Mr. Fogwill I am satisfied to that, but I would like to know if Mr. Smallwood has any information now; we could use that, and if he gets some later on, we could use that.
Mr. Smallwood I would like to have the story at one time rather than a story which would have to be modified in the light of subsequent new information. We have to come to it, obviously. I think in the meantime, possibly it would be good policy from the standpoint of making progress here if we came to that when we came to it.
[Mr. Smallwood stated that defence was a federal responsibility and involved military projects in peace time as well as in war. Mr. Bailey wanted to know where Newfoundland was going to get the money to pay for the maintenance of any army and navy.
Mr. Smallwood then introduced subsection 7 dealing with the pensions and rehabilitation of war veterans and merchant seamen. After a short discussion the committee decided to adjourn until 8 pm][2]
Mr. Chairman When recess was taken at 6 pm, arising out of clause 5, sub-section 7, in which Annex 1 is to be incorporated by way of reference, it was proposed that you would read the annex in question, beginning page 7 and ending on page 8. If it meets with your approval, you might at this time read the Annex in question.
Mr. Smallwood While I was at tea I had a telephone call from Mr. Ballam who was a member of our delegation committee that dealt with veterans' affairs in Ottawa. He had a very slight operation this afternoon and on the advice of his doctor is not supposed to go outdoors tonight. He was wondering if the Convention would be kind enough to pass by number 7, Pensions and Rehabilitation of War Veterans and Merchant Seamen — and come back to it when he is present.
Mr. Chairman I have no objection. We have plenty to occupy our time. If members are in compliance with Mr. Ballam's request, may I suggest that we defer further consideration of this November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 843 until his return. Therefore, we might begin business by proceeding to the next succeeding subsection.
Mr. Smallwood Thank you. Clause 5: Canada will take over " (8) Protection and encouragement of fisheries". I would ask members to turn to volume 1, page 86:[1]
15. The Department of Fisheries has legislative jurisdiction over all the fisheries of Canada. In the administrative field the Department has administrative authority over the public fisheries of the Maritime Provinces and British Columbia, where for administrative purposes the Eastern and Western Fisheries Divisions are established.
16. The Eastern Division is in charge of aChief Supervisor of Fisheries and is divided into three regions; Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, each of which is in charge of a Regional Supervisor of Fisheries. Each region is divided into units as follows: Nova Scotia, 8; New Brunswick, 5; and Prince Edward Island, 2. Each unit is in charge of a. Senior Inspector, and according to the intensity and importance of the fisheries of each unit a number of Junior Inspectors are employed. In many units part time fishery guardians or wardens are employed for protective purposes.
17. Protection of the Eastern sea fisheries is maintained by six coastal patrol boats owned by the Department and 13 boats chartered for seasonal operation. The Department also operates a fisheries protection cruiser.
18. The Fish Culture Branch provides a field service which operates 30 hatcheries, 6 rearing stations and 6 salmon-retaining ponds in the Eastern Division The object of this work is to maintain and increase fish stocks. Conservation is also achieved by regulatory action.
19. The Fisheries Research Board carries out investigations of practical and economic problems connected with marine and fresh water fisheries. It cooperates with other branches of the Department in providing advice and instruction to the fishing undustry regarding the most efficient methods of fish handling and processing. Adult education in this connection is carried out at several centres.
20. The Board operates 7 scientific stations, 4 of which are located in Eastern Canada. The latter are the Atlantic Biological
Station at St. Andrews, NB (with a sub-station at Ellerslie, PEI), the Fisheries Experimental Stations at Halifax and Grand River, PO, and the Atlantic Salmon Investigation Station. There is a trained staff of scientists at each station and a number of non-scientific personnel are also employed. The Board is associated with other scientific committees such as the Joint Canadian Committee on Oceanography and the Canadian Committee on Food Preservation. The Board is also responsible for the direction and execution of the work of the Atlantic Herring Investigation Committee. This Committee was created in 1944 as a result of negotiations with Newfoundland and with the Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. The Committee is carrying out an intensive investigation of the herring industry of the Atlantic Coast.
The Province of Quebec is the only province administering its own sea fisheries. Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta also have administrative responsibility for their own fisheries but the Federal Department co-operates to the fullest extent with the Fisheries Administrative Services of these provinces, as well as of the province of Quebec. The province of Nova Scotia has a fisheries division which works in close cooperation with the Federal authorities.
21. The non-tidal fisheries of Nova Scotia are administered by the Federal Department of Fisheries, but those of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and of the other provinces are administered by the respective provinces.
22. An annual bounty is paid to fishermen and owners of fishing boats and vessels on the Atlantic coast under prescribed conditions.
Mr. Hickman That annual bounty paid on the Atlantic coast. I understand it amounts to about $21 or $22 a year per owner or fisherman. Two 844 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 years ago they paid out $158,000 for 7,300 fishermen and owners. Do you know if that is correct?
Mr. Smallwood The total amount is very small. I have the impression that the money for it is the annual interest on the Halifax Fisheries Award.[1] The interest on it is paid out each year to the fishermen as a bounty and the whole amount of it is small because it is only the interest on the capital sum....
Mr. Hickman About $20 per boat?
Mr. Smallwood Something like that. I notice in the appendix to Volume 2, Black Book, page 115, "A brief description of the Fisheries Support Board." This is rather an important thing:
(ii). A brief description of the Fisheries Prices Support Board and its functions.
The Fisheries Prices Support Act was passed in 1944 and proclaimed in July, 1947, the Board under the Act then being named by the Government. The Act covers the fisheries products of Canada as a whole, and if Newfoundland were part of Canada, would apply there as elsewhere in the Dominion. In the event of Newfoundland entering Confederation, the Federal Government would wish to reconsider the present membership of the Prices Support Board, with a view to having proper Newfoundland representation on the Board itself. Likewise the Board, which has named three Advisory Committees (one representing the west coast fishery, one the inland, and one the Quebec and Maritime fishery) would probably wish to add to its advisory groups representatives of Newfoundland fishermen, producers and exporters, or if the people preferred to have the Newfoundland Fisheries Board act in an advisory capacity on Newfoundland fishery matters....
The Act outlines the powers of the Board (section 9). It will be noted that these powers are mainly those powers are mainly those of buying and selling fisheries products, either directly by the Board itself or through agents, and the powers of paying deficiency payments. There is nothing in the Act to prevent the Support Board from naming the Newfoundland Fisheries Board or any of the Co-operative marketing groups in New foundland as its agents for the handling, that is buying and/or selling Newfoundland fisheries products. In short, there is nothing in the present Canadian Act that would necessarily interfere with the present organization and methods of operation of the Newfoundland fish trade, and the Canadian Prices Support Board would, no doubt, wish to take advantage of all existing machinery that could readily be used to complement its operations.
The Prices Support Board, it should be noted, has no "wartime" powers such as were held by the Wartime Prices and Trade Board. It cannot define prices as was done during wartime. It can influence prices mainly "through buying and selling, or through deficiency payments and it has no powers of allocation and no powers of directing the marketing of individuals or groups except when such persons are acting as the agents of the Board itself and handling the particular products being bought and sold by the Board itself. The Board can, of course, make its purchases and sales subject to certain standards of grading.
....We had a meeting with the fisheries authorities who explained to us fairly thoroughly the idea of the Fisheries Prices Support Board. If the price of fish begins to slip, especially in foreign markets, the Board may step in and by buying a quantity of fish help to keep the price from sinking. A very striking example of the way that works happened while we were in Ottawa. It was not fish — but the same principle is used — it was the apple crop of the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. They had a crop worth some $10 million; ... Britain was buying the apples. Suddenly Britain said it could not afford the dollars; they thought they could use the dollars on something more necessary. They cancelled their order. The Canadian government stepped in and bought the entire crop and gave them away for relief in Greece and Italy and sent so many to Britain as a gift, to help out the apple growers of Nova Scotia. This Fisheries Board is supposed to operate in something the same way....
Mr. Hickman I am glad to note one very important clause, to my mind: "There is nothing in the November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 845 present Canadian act that would necessarily interfere with the present organisation and methods of operation of the Newfoundland fish trade." I say that because, while I have had nothing to do with fish for many years now, I feel convinced that our system here in Newfoundland has been better than the Canadian system of marketing. To bear that out, there was a delegation this summer from Nova Scotia to endeavour to find out the basis of our set-up so that they could set one up in Canada. Since then we have gone further; we have now the Codfish Exporters Limited,[1] or some such name, and instead of various groups or committees, we have now one marketing organisation. I am glad to see there can be no interference with Newfoundland. We may derive benefits! We are away ahead of them so far. And as long as it cannot be interfered with, that is something in our favour.
Mr. Bailey I wonder if Mr. Smallwood would read page 115 — Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island; also page 114, British Columbia — coastal, not inland.[2]
Mr. Smallwood Page 115:
Quebec: The Canadian Fisheries Act and regulations made thereunder apply to all fisheries. There is also certain provincial legislation. By an arrangement made in 1922, the administration of all such legislation and regulations in respect of all fisheries, whether in navigable or non-navigable waters, together with the administration of any provincial Crown fisheries, is carried on by the government of the province.
May I say that is what is known as a gentlemen's agreement between Quebec and the federal government made in 1922 under which the Province of Quebec was permitted by the Government of Canada to administer its own fisheries at its own expense. It did not want any money from the federal government — they did not want anyone to administer their fisheries but themselves.
New Brunswick: The Canadian Fisheries Act and regulations made thereunder apply to all fisheries and are administered by the Government of Canada. The provincial government leases angling privileges in the non-tidal waters and administers these leases.
Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island: The Canadian Fisheries Act and regulations thereunder apply to all fisheries and are administered by the Government of Canada in both tidal and non-tidal waters.
Mr. Bailey You all know we may go into confederation. I do not say I will have anything to do with it, I may be fishing at the time, but whoever has to do with the negotiating of it will have to be very careful with our fisheries. I refer here again to British Columbia. On the coast of Vancouver Island in 1935 certain capitalistic concerns got control from the Canadian government. I was not able to get the whole story; but I found out that these trapmen had gotten control of the waters within the three mile limit and all the handline fishermen were not allowed inside it. I was told that RCMP were patrolling the coast. We have full control over our fisheries, something I believe we always had. I know something of the rows between the trawlers and the handline men. I was told how the trawlers had to get outside the three mile limit and stay outside. Some of them had been trawling since 1905-06. Should the people vote for confederation, I want them to keep this in mind. There should be a clause whereby the federal government will not be able to lease any part of our waters to the detriment of the fishermen. I want our people, in negotiating for Newfoundland, whatever they do, not to turn our fisheries over to remote control. We want to see that the rights we have always fought for are kept for us
Mr. Smallwood That is very good advice for the future government of Newfoundland or someone in the future. I may say, the practice in the Department of Fisheries of Canada is this: any regulations they make governing the fisheries ... all the practical details of fishery, that is left entirely completely and absolutely to the province. It is only in other fields that the federal department exercises its jurisdiction. For instance, you will find in Quebec and the three Maritime Provinces it is their practice to regulate the seasons of the year you may fish and the distance each fishing gear must be apart from the other; but that is upon the advice of the local authorities in the provinces, the local interests concerned. So that if ever 846 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 the people of this country decided to make this country a province of Canada, in the purely mechanical, technical and practical terms of the fishery, it will be the local will that will prevail.
Mr. Bailey That is not what I was given to understand. That was why I asked down north, "Why not appeal to your members?" The answer was, it was outside provincial jurisdiction.
Mr. Chairman As a matter of fact, from memory... if there is any competition between the federal and the provincial occupying the same field, then the right of the province must give way to the right of the Dominion.
Mr. Smallwood It is concurrent legislation.
Mr. Bailey As far as I can gather, I know they were outside and they had no appeal, and when the Mounted Police came they had to pull out, because the fishing rights were hired to big canning concerns run by Japanese.
Mr. Reddy Does the Canadian government provide any subsidy for shipbuilding in this country? Is there a bounty for building schooners for fishing?
Mr. Smallwood I do not think so. I will not swear to it. That is a provincial matter.
Mr. Reddy In this country the government provides $95 per ton for building schooners.
Mr. Smallwood Yes, any province of Canada no doubt could do the same thing.
Mr. Crosbie There is a federal bounty on shipping.
Mr. Smallwood I said I would not swear to it. If the House so desires, I could get that information.
Mr. Bailey I think it would be a help if you would get that information. I know there is a bounty in Quebec on everything built.
Mr. Smallwood I wonder if the bounty to which Mr. Crosbie refers is provincial or federal?
Mr. Crosbie It was a federal bounty in 1944. I do not know if it has been changed since.
Mr. Newell I take it that copies of this Fisheries Act will be available presently?
Mr. Smallwood It is in the bibliography and they will be available.
Mr. Chairman Yes, that particular act would be included and covered by the request already made, and we are expecting it any day now.
Mr. Newell We can refer to this section any time?
Mr. Chairman Definitely. As I already pointed out, its proper interpretation might not pemit otherwise. It might very well be that a clause might defy interpretation unless and until related to a preceding clause.
Mr. Job I do not want to delay the House on this point, but I was looking through the report and with regard to the export of saltfish from Canada, there is no information given on that subject. The point I wanted to make was this. I do not think Canada exports any fish to the Mediterranean countries. We do. We have been enabled to do that almost entirely by our connection with the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has supplied us with the sterling exchange, particularly from Spain, and for some reason or other Canada has not been participating in that market.
Mr. Smallwood To Italy, do they not?
Mr. Job Very little. It is worthwhile looking into the reason for that. It may be that if we joined up with Canada, it might affect our relations with those markets. Formerly Canada was a heavy shipper to these markets, but they have not been shipping in recent years.
Mr. Chairman Before we go any further, are you making a list of the requisitions for information, Mr. Smallwood? I want to make sure that each and every request for information is complied with or given to the department concerned. They must, of course, first go to the Information Committee.
Mr. Smallwood Yes. I understand what Mr. Job wants is a list of the countries to which Canada exports codfish. I suppose Mr. Job is referring to salt codfish?
Mr. Job Yes, and more especially the Mediterranean....
Mr. Bailey We have been able to beat them, either in better selling methods or better fish. I know two or three markets which Canada held, where we came in and ousted the Canadians. I believe we did that in Central America with the Gaspé fish very lately.
[Short recess]
Mr. Smallwood Sub-section (9): Canada will take over "Geological, topographical, geodetic and hydrographic surveys." In that connection I ask you to turn to Volume 1, page 89:
Mines and Resources
The Mines and Geology Branch conducts topographical and geological surveys and in this connection makes use of aerial surveys carried out by the RCAF. The purpose of November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 847 such surveys is to discover and develop the natural resources of Canada such as minerals, forests, agriculture, water power, etc. and to stimulate and assist the development of mineral resources. The Branch produces geological maps. It also secures and maintains specimens indicative of the geology, mineralogy, palaentology, ethnology, flora and fauna of Canada. It investigates the character of deposits of minerals of economic and strategic interest with a view to their exploration and development. It investigates methods of mining, quarrying, processing, utilising and marketing mineral products. It operates physical, metallurgical laboratories with a view to improving the quality of metallic products and it undertakes the study of economic problems affecting the mining industry. The Branch administers the Explosives Act.
The Surveys and Engineering Branch supervises the work of the Dominion Observatories, the Geodetic Service of Canada, the International Boundary Commission, the Hydrographic and Map service, the Engineering and Construction Service and the Dominion Water and Power Bureau. The functions of these various divisions include time and astronomical services; triangular and precise levels; the determination and maintenance of the international boundary; surveys for the preparation of coastal and navigation charts; legal surveys and the preparation and printing of maps and charts; engineering and construction works relative to national parks, historic sites and Indian reserves; the measurement of streams and the investigation of national water and power resources.
The Branch renders assistance to provinces under certain circumstances in connection with the building of roads which are considered to be of national importance.
Mr. Bailey I wonder if Mr. Smallwood would also read no. 10 in the Grey Book in connection with that.
Mr. Smallwood That refers to lighthouses, fog alarms, etc. That comes directly under the marine services division of the Department of Transport and is a different subject altogether. We might come to that after we pass this one.
Mr. Bailey After you hear what I have to say, you will understand why I wanted to read the two together. I think this, above anything else in this country of ours, is long overdue, especially a hydrographic survey. The others, I am not going to touch on; they are outside my jurisdiction. In fact, I know very little about them. If you notice, when you pick up a chart of this country, it refers back to Captain Cook. He is a long time dead. I must say he did a wonderful job. But I think it is time someone else did a job. It is long overdue. There is many a mother and wife whose husband did not come home, because nobody was interested in what was under the vessel's bottom. Sometimes the only way to find a depth of water is to have a wire dragging between two ships with floats on them. This is long overdue and whether we have responsible government, commission government or confederation, the first job is to get this survey of our coast and Labrador coasts. The Labrador coast is in the worst condition of any part of the world. It is a crying shame, especially in a maritime country.... Take the Funks — nobody knows the fishing ground around the Funks. I had hopes of bringing this up before, but I could not work it in.
Mr. Smallwood I have a great deal of sympathy for what Mr. Bailey says. As a matter of interest, I took occasion when in Ottawa to go down to the office where this work is done, and talked with the men in charge — the men who would be in charge of the mapping and charting of the coast of Newfoundland and the coast of Labrador. As professional men, they were looking forward with interest to the charting of the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. But let us be quite accurate about this. The British Admiralty has brought Captain Cook's charts up to date; we are not as far back, in coastal charts. We are a little more modem than that. But I agree they are lacking, and need to be brought up to date.
Mr. Ballam I believe had our Commission government made arrangements with the RCAF — they had planes stationed in this country, and did a lot of photography work in the training of pilots — I cannot see why it could not have been done. If it had been put before the British government, they would have been only too glad. We have not been able to reach anybody in authority 848 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 to do the right thing....
Mr. MacDonald On page 21, Volume 2,[1] there is a question and answer.
Question: Would the services outlined in paragraph 36 — also paragraph 37 — (mapping, survey work of all sorts, investigation of mineral deposits, metallurgy, economic problems, etc.) apply to Newfoundland, and how rapidly would it be likely they would be introduced?
Answer: The services described have been carried on for many years and would undoubtedly be extended to Newfoundland under present federal policy, although not all of them are, strictly speaking, federal responsibilities. For example, the federal government is obligated by Statute to carry out geological surveys in Prince Edward Island, Manitoba and British Columbia. No such obligation exists in respect of other Provinces.
Would Mr. Smallwood like to explain that?
Mr. Smallwood If you turn to page 23, it says, "It is expected that all the above services could be extended to Newfoundland promptly."
Mr. MacDonald "It is expected."
Mr. Smallwood Further on in the Grey Book there is a clause where they undertake to do this with extra speed and promptness to Newfoundland.
Mr. Ashbourne I would like to point out on page 22 it says "The recharting of Newfoundland coasts is one of the most urgent survey projects required. Newfoundland's fishing industry badly needs up-to-date hydrographic charts...." That would be, I take it, the surveying of the Banks and the other places around the coast which would be most beneficial to our fishermen who, it seems, will have to go further offshore in the future to obtain more remunerative voyages, probably when inshore codfishery proves a failure, and the carrying out of this work is obligated by the terms; that they would take over these surveys is an important item in the terms.
Mr. Smallwood Sub-section (10). The Government of Canada would take over "Lighthouses, fog alarms, buoys, beacons and other public works and services in aid of navigation and shipping." I would ask you to turn to Volume 1, page 94.[2] You will notice these matters come under two different departments of the Government of Canada; strictly marine works come under the marine services division of the Department of Transport, and others come under the Department of Public Works...
I said they come under two departments — it is really three departments, the Department of Public Works; the marine services of the Department of Transport; and the National Harbours Board looks after such harbours as are designated to be National Harbours, From memory, I would say there are 16 harbours which have been designated as National Harbours and one harbour at least, maybe two harbours in Newfoundland would be designated as National Harbours were we to become a province.
[Mr. Smallwood then read the section of the Black Book dealing with the Marine Services Branch]
All marine works are federal in function and operation. Thus we have it here in section 10 — "Lighthouses, fog alarms, buoys, beacons and other public works and services in aid of navigation and shipping" — all marine works are federal in character. The federal government pays the employees, and pays the costs and expenses of all these maine works. It would make your mouth water to hear the amounts spent, the amounts voted year after year for marine works. It is ladled in there. Last year I think they spent in the three Maritime provinces $5-6 million. That is the normal thing every year to keep up public wharves, breakwaters, viaducts, aqueducts, lighthouses, harbour improvements, dredging. We, living in a maritime country, need these things so badly.
Mr. Bailey Have you any data on breakwaters in the provinces?
Mr. Smallwood I have not got it handy now — I can give you the actual amount voted year by year by the Parliament of Canada for these purposes.
Mr. Bailey Looking back, and looking at other countries around the world, I think from 1900 to 1929 we could hold our head high with regard to navigation aids, especially during the Monroe government when Captain Winsor was Minister of Marine and Fisheries. Take our country as it November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 849 was in those days; I do not think we had anything to be ashamed of along the line of beacons and buoys and lighthouses, considering what the revenue was. Since the Commission of Government came into power, I know of only one lighthouse put on our east coast. I have been out of this country most of the time since Commission government came into power. I hope whatever government we get will remember its first duty is to keep up what our people did in the past. I am sure that those who were in responsible government days have to be proud of what they did in this respect.
Mr. Butt In the estimated expenditures, marine works, 1947-1948 there is the amount of $670,000.
Mr. Smallwood I am glad Mr. Butt mentioned that. I do not remember offhand what this present government has spent on lighthouses in the last few years; but on marine works generally they have spent immense amounts — breakwaters and harbour improvements made in the last four or five years, it is a striking amount. I cannot answer for lighthouses. I do not know if any or many have been built or improved. What they did spend, they spent during the last two or three years. Before the war they did not have it to spend. If the amounts spent each year by the Government of Canada in the Maritime provinces on these things can be taken as an example, I think we could figure on something over $1 million on marine works to be spent in Newfoundland for a good many years. We have today something like 300 public wharves. We have public launchways, public slipways, I think we have between 150 and 200. Many of them have been swept away or gone into a bad state of disrepair. There will have to be an awful lot of money spent on marine works to bring them up to a half-decent standard.
Mr. Bailey You mean we had them. I can point to one in Hants' Harbour where the marks only are left; you have to look for stumps. There was an $80,000 wharf in Hearts' Content — where is it? There is one in New Perlican and I dare you to put a horse on it. They have spent a few dollars in Winterton. The breakwaters in Bay de Verde and Bonavista are memorials to the Commission of Government. They have been sadly neglected.
Mr. Smallwood Sub-section (11). Canada will take over "Marine hospitals, quarantine and the care of ship-wrecked crews."
I have nothing to add to that. I do not remember anything in the Black Books. The only thing I would add is that we have one marine hospital in Newfoundland. That would become a federal hospital, paid for and operated by the federal government; quarantine and care of shipwrecked crews.
Mr. Bailey I do not think we should pass that without giving credit. I have been hospitalised in many countries; I have had occasion at times to get medical attention for men, and I can pat the authorities on the back, both past and present, for the care given shipwrecked crews in this island. I believe in the care of shipwrecked crews — we had a case of it on Sacred Island[1] — those men will not forget they were shipwrecked in Newfoundland. I can tell our people, those men who had the misfortune to be hospitalised or shipwrecked here; wherever I have been in this world, that has been brought up, the general hospitality and kindliness of the people of Newfoundland.
Mr. Smallwood Sub-section (12). Canada will take over "The public radio broadcasting system" — that is, the Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland. I do not know if there is anything in the Black Books. The Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland would become part of the Canadian Broadcasting Commission. Although it would be owned and operated by the Canadian Broadcasting Commission, it would remain — we were assured of that — that although it would be taken over and operated by the CBC, it would remain in many ways what it is today; and so far as being a Newfoundland station, it would remain entirely what it is today. The main difference would be that the employees would be federal, paid by the CBC, and stations of the Corporation would carry the Canada news roundup, Canadian news broadcasts, national news and international news. Any programmes originating in Newfoundland, interesting enough to carry on the CBC throughout Canada, would be carried throughout Canada. Then when politics came up, general elections and so on, the speeches of the leaders of the political parties would be broadcast on our stations at the same time as on all stations throughout Canada. Except for these things, our station would go right on as though confederation 850 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 had never come at all. There is no intention of trying to Canadianise us. They are quite happy for us to remain Newfoundlanders. We will have our own programmes, our own local news, our own Newfoundland broadcasting.
Mr. Job What about the assets of the Broadcasting Corporation? It is a flourishing concern with a cash surplus. It is a nice present for them if they take it over.
Mr. Smallwood That is only chickenfeed, $100,000, compared with the Newfoundland Railway and the Newfoundland Hotel.
Mr. Fogwill Would privately owned broadcasting stations be issued licenses to continue?
Mr. Smallwood No doubt of that. It is done throughout Canada. All existing radio stations would go on as usual.
Mr. Hickman Might I ask if the delegation did bring up the question of independently owned stations such as VOCM, and do they know whether they will be allowed to operate or not?
Mr. Smallwood It was not brought up in view of the fact that throughout Canada there are probably two privately owned stations for every public station. There was no need to bring it up. It is quite obvious that they have privately owned stations. They have private stations in Nova Scotia, in British Columbia — why not in Newfoundland? One thing they have not done in Canada, the government has not permitted provincial governments to operate their own stations.
Mr. Chairman I do not want to get into the realm of legal interpretation, but certainly in the light of the words "the public radio broadcasting system," it must of necessity exclude the others.
Mr. Hickman I was not referring to that. I notice that no others were mentioned.
Mr. Smallwood It is perfectly obvious.
Mr. Hickman I am not going to accept Mr. Smallwood's interpretation, what he thinks; there may be some control of wattage in those stations; I merely asked for information. I do not want an answer, "It is perfectly obvious". It is not obvious to me.
Mr. Smallwood I did not say it was obvious to Mr. Hickman. What I said was, the reason the delegation did not raise the question was that, to them, it was obvious. I would suggest we give notice of question; let us get the official answer from the Government of Canada. Let us have a question directed to the Government of Canada on whether or not privately owned stations would continue; whether licenses to them would be issued; what is their policy with regard to power for privately owned stations.
Mr. Bailey I wonder if the delegation made any investigation as to whether Newfoundland, if and when she went into confederation, could hold control of the broadcasting station?
Mr. Smallwood Yes, we did. What we were up against was the fact of a definite, categorical policy of the Government of Canada not to allow provincial governments to operate radio stations. Members who have been following the modern history of Canada will remember probably why that is. Mr. Duplessis in Quebec wanted to start a provincial government station, the federal government stepped on it, would not allow it. They could not allow one, if they did not allow another. They adopted that categorical policy. Two stations, yes, but no provincial-owned stations.
[Short recess]
Mr. Smallwood If no one has any comment to make that Canada would take over the public radio broadcasting system, I can pass on. Subsection (13). Canada would take over "Other public services similar in kind to those provided at the union for the people of Canada generally." That is just a blanket clause. They could not list all the public services; they put in a blanket clause to cover the rest. If there is no comment, I might pass on to clause 6.
Canada will pay the salary of the Lieutenant-Governor and the salaries, allowances and pensions of superior court judges and of judges of district and county courts, if and when established.
There is only one thing I have to say. Under confederation there is only one governor in Canada, the Governor-General. Each province has a Lieutenant-Governor. He is appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of his ministers, that is the cabinet of Canada. His salary is paid by the Government of Canada. His appointment runs from five to ten years. Some of them resign before that time; some are re-appointed, and so on. They would pay the salaries, allowances and pensions of superior court judges, and that means, in our case, Supreme Court judges. And they would pay the salaries, allowances and November 1947 NATIONAL CONVENTION 851 pensions of judges of district and county courts.
Mr. Chairman Which we have not.
Mr. Smallwood We have one Central District Court; we have not a county court. If and when they are established, the judges in them would be paid by the Government of Canada. Now, the constituting of the county courts is left to the province. The province constitutes the county courts; divides the county into as many districts as it desires, and provides for the creation of a county court, but it is the federal government which appoints the judges and pays their salaries. It is not much use for the provinces to create county courts unless they know the federal government will fill the courts with judges and pay their salaries. I pointed out how many magistrates we had in Newfoundland and suggested, jokingly, that we could have every magistrate we now have in a magistrate's district; we could then create a county court and leave it to the federal government to provide magistrates by appointing them as county court judges. There was a laugh. They said, "You can not go the whole hog." On the basis of other provinces, we would be entitled to six or eight or ten county court judges, therefore that many county courts. Their salaries, allowances and pensions would be paid by the Government of Canada, if and when established.
Mr. Crosbie Are Grand Falls and Corner Brook included in district courts?
Mr. Chairman No. We have only one district court as such — the Central District Court in St. John's. All other district courts are magistrates courts. To illustrate what I mean, take Judge Browne, he occupies a unique position in the sense that when he sits on criminal matters, he sits as a magistrate of the St. John's Magistrate's Court. In any civil claims, in the case of debt or liquidation, demanding up to $200, then he sits as judge of the Central District Court. That does not apply to any other magistrate. As opposed to that, the county court system is a midway position between the magistrate system and our Supreme Court. For example, in the Magistrate's Court or in the Central District Court of St. John's, for that matter, if your claim exceeds $200, it automatically must go into the Supreme Court. Were we to have the county court system, the county court would have jurisdiction in the case of debt and liquidation up to $1,000. In the case of criminal matters, they would be able to try certain offences, other than capital offences such as murder, treason, etc., by a system of speedy trial.
Mr. Smallwood There were three questions we asked the Government of Canada when we were up there. Volume 2, page 17.[1]
Maintenance of Courts
Question: Does the federal contribution to the cost of such courts end with the payment of the judges' salaries, of if not, what other contributions are made?
Answer: The federal government pays salaries, travelling allowances and annuities of the above mentioned judges.
Appointment of Judges
Question: Must judges invariably be lawyers?
Answer: Under the BNA Act, sections 97 and 98, the judges of the courts of the original provinces are selected from the respective bars of the provinces. The Judges Act, 1946, provides that: "No person is eligible to be appointed a judge of a superior, circuit, or county court in any province unless, in addition to other requirements prescribed by law, he is a barrister or advocate of at least ten years' standing at the bar of any province."
Admiralty Courts
Question: There are at present six such district judges in Admiralty. Would Newfoundland become entitled to have one?
Answer: Under the Admiralty Act, 1934, the Admiralty districts are constituted in all the provinces of Canada, except the three Prairie provinces. From its geographical position Newfoundland would no doubt be constituted an Admiralty district.
Mr. Crosbie It is not clear to me who would pay the salaries of judges in Corner Brook and Grand Falls and other places in Newfoundland. In many places, magistrates are not solicitors or barristers. Would they be removed from their jobs and replaced by barristers and solicitors?
Mr. Smallwood They would in such cases where county courts were established.
Mr. Chairman You had better qualify that. There are certain magistrates who are lawyers; even then to become a county judge, you must have ten years practice. The magistrate may be a 852 NATIONAL CONVENTION November 1947 legally trained man, but he would not be able to comply with the other requirements — namely 10 years practice before the bar. Put it this way; if he is not a lawyer or legally trained man, he is out. Even if he is, unless he happens to have ten years experience he cannot qualify for a county or superior court appointment. Were any sections which are now administered by magistrate courts re-constituted into county courts, and the magistrate could not comply with the two requirements, I assume they would be automatically out and have to be replaced by some person who could comply with the statutory requirements.
Mr. Smallwood I think what would likely happen is this: we now have courts of justice, these courts are mainly magistrates courts around the island. Some of them are occupied by magistrates who happen to be lawyers. The tendency on the part of the provincial governments is to have as many county courts as possible, because the provincial government would not have to pay their salaries. They would try to push as many as possible on to the federal government. What would happen is, in certain districts where they have lawyers as magistrates, they would be constituted county courts; or if no lawyer, then the magistrate would be shifted to a district which would still be a magistrate's district and a lawyer put in his place.
Mr. Chairman For all practical reasons, Grand Falls, Corner Brook and Bell Island would undoubtedly follow the practice employed in the Maritimes. As I know it, and I have been a member of that bar for 14 years, these would become county courts.
Mr. Crosbie I am not satisfied. Who pays the salaries of these other magistrates?
Mr. Smallwood The province.
Mr. Crosbie It would be a charge on the province?
Mr. Smallwood The province pays the salaries of all magistrates who are not federal judges or magistrates. The federal government pays all county court judges. Naturally they would try to have as many federal judges as possible and as few provincial judges as possible.
Mr. Chairman The answer to Mr. Crosbie's question is that magistrates would be paid by the provincial government.
Mr. Smallwood I wonder could we read the next clause? I do not suggest we want to finish the debate or begin the debate on it.
Mr. Crosbie I would suggest that we start that tomorrow.
Mr. Smallwood Quite agreeable.
Mr. Chairman As Mr. Crosbie and Mr. Smallwood point out, perhaps it would be just as well, if suitable to members, to defer the reading of the next clause until tomorrow.
[The committee rose and reported progress. The remaining orders of the day were deferred]
Mr. Hickman I give notice that I will on tomorrow ask His Excellency the Governor to ascertain from the Government of Canada whether in the event of confederation the Clarenville vessels would remain in the ownership of Newfoundland.
[The Convention adjourned]


Newfoundland. The Newfoundland National Convention, 1946-1948 Vol 1: Debates. Edited by J.K. Hiller and M.F. Harrington Montreal: Memorial University of Newfoundland by McGill-Queen's University Press, 1995).



Selection of input documents and completion of metadata: Gordon Lyall.

Notes de bas de page:

  • [1] Parts of the afternoon session are unavailable either in the transcript or the recording. The report in The Daily News, November 26, 1947, has been used to fill these gaps.
  • [1] This summary is based on newspaper reports.
  • [2] The Clarenville boats or the "splinter fleet" were a group of ten wooden ships built at Clarenville during the mid—1940s. They were owned by the Department of Natural Resources, but operated by the Newfoundland Railway.
  • [3] In the Black Books.
  • [1] In the Black Books.
  • [1] In the Black Books.
  • [2] The following summary is based on newspaper reports.
  • [1] The S.S. Caribou operated between Port-aux-Basques and North Sydney. It was torpedoed in 1942.
  • [1] Newspaper report.
  • [2] Newspaper report.
  • [1] The Black Books.
  • A tribunal sitting at Halifax in 1877 in accordance with the Treaty of Washington, awarded $4.5 million to Canada and $1 million to Newfoundland.
  • [1] The Newfoundland Association of Fish Exporters Ltd. (NAFEL).
  • [2] Black Books.
  • The Black Books.
  • 2The Black Books.
  • [1] Near St. Anthony.
  • [1] The Black Books.

Personnes participantes: