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Q. Do you know what the cost of curing in Canada is?-A. As far as I can find out, about 20 cents a quintal.
Q. About what proportion would that be?-A. There is no great difference as the prices are now.
Q. Do they not employ women and children to do their work?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. You do not know what the difference in cost is between the wa actually paid here and the wages actually paid there in the curing of fish?-A. No, sir; I don't know.
DYNAMITE FOR CANADA.
Q. What do you want Congress to do with Canada for your benefit?-A. Blow it up with dynamite.
Q. You do not want free fish?-A. No, sir.
Q. Is there anything they can give you for which you will be willing to give them free fish?-A. No, sir.
Q. Is there anything that your fishermen, the men like you, want of them?-A. No, sir.
By Senator EDMUNDS:
Q. Did you ever fish for cod inside the 3-mile limit?-A. When I belonged there I did.
Q. But I mean since you left there?-A. Never since I left there.
TESTIMONY OF JAMES A. SMALL.
PROVINCETOWN, Mass., October 1, 1886. JAMES A. SMALL Sworn and examined.
By Senator FRYE:
Q. What is your business?-A. Outfitter; I do a general outfitting business for fishermen.
Q. What kind of fishermen?-A. Mackerel, principally; some cod.
EFFECT OF THE TREATIES, ETC. Q. State generally to the committee what you know about the mackerel fishing during that seventeen years, and the effect of the treaties, and matters connected. therewith pertinent to our investigation.
Senator EDMUNDS. And where the fish are caught, whether inside or outside of the 3-mile limit.
A. The mackerel generally, for the last seventeen years, have been caught on the New England coast, and but few, as far as my experience goes, in the Bay of Chaleur, and a large proportion of those caught there have been caught outside the 3-inile limit. My personal experience in that matter consists in having gone perhaps a half dozen trips during the seventeen years, those trips having resulted in perhaps a thousand barrels of mackerel caught, half of which have been caught outside the 3-mile limit.
Q. (By Senator FRYE.) What is the reason it is not prudent to take the fish within the 3-mile limit?
Senator EDMUNDS. That is, while the treaty was in force that made it lawful for A. While the treaty was in force we could not do it lawfully.
Senator EDMUNDS. I mean while the treaty was in force which allowed you to fish inside the 3 miles.
The WITNESS. We did fish inside the 3 miles when we wanted to, but as a general thing we fished outside.
Senator EDMUNDS. We wanted to know the value of the deprivation of the privilege of going inside.
The WITNESS. That is very little. Q. (By Senator Frye.) Why? Is it not because the method of fishing has been changed?-A. In a great measure, yes. They fish with seines now, whereas formerly they fished with hook and line.
you to do it.
VALUE OF THE FISHING PRIVILEGE WITHIN THE THREE-MILE LIMIT. Q. How many vessels have you in the business?—A. We have four in the business now, and we have averaged, I should think, about eight sail in the mackerel business.
Q. When your vessels have fished within the 3-mile shore limit what has been the profit on the mackerel which you have taken?
The WITNESS. I don't understand the drift of your question. Is it what has been the profit on these particular mackerel that we caught there?
Q. What has been the result of your fishing operations within the 3-mile limit? A. They have not been in any way satisfactory or useful to us; they have not been to our advantage.
Q. In other words, then, your mackerel cost you more than you got for them?A. My experience is such as to cause me to believe that if we had never seen the Bay of Chaleur, or North Bay, it would have been better for us and all concerned in this town. I think it would have been better for us if that bay had been closed up to us fifty years ago.
COST OF FISHING VESSELS IN UNITED STATES AND CANADA.
Q. What kind of fishing vessels are those mackerel vessels ?—A. They average 70 or 75 tons.
Q. What do they cost?-A. The last one we put in new in 1883 cost us $10,000 equipped.
Q. How would Canadian vessels cost compared with that?-A. I am not able
Q. By the way, how many trips have your vessels made within the 3-mile shore line in the last five years?—Ă. I should say that in the seventeen years we have made five or six trips to the North Bay, with a product of a thousand barrels of mackerel, one-half of which were caught within the 3-mile limit.
Q. During the whole eventeen years ?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. What value do you place upon that privilege of fishing within that limit today?-A. No value comparatively. We can get along without it.
Q. What are you willing to give to Canada for the privilege of fishing within that limit?-A. Not a cent. They should pay us rather than we should pay them. It is no privilege to us.
Q. How about bait? Is it not a privilege to buy bait?-A. We have never had occasion to buy bait there.
Q. Do you think it is necessary for cod fishing to go in there to buy bait?—A. No, sir.
Q. Is there anything that our fishermen need there except shelter or food, and water, and chances to repair?-A. No, sir; we ask no privileges.
Q. Have our fishermen been in the habit of drying any fish there for the last ten or fifteen years?-A. Not to my knowledge.
Q. Do you know any of our fishermen who have?-A. There may have been some, but I know of none positively.
Q. What do you think Canada has that she can give us for the right of our market free for her fish?-A. She has nothing that will offset that privilege, in my estimation.
Q. What, in your judgment, has been the effect of free fish under the treaty?
A. Its tendency has been to open a market to them and to increase their feet to such an extent that, in one sense, they take the large part of our market for their fish. They have seen the value to them of the open market, and the consequence is they have increased their feet, from the fact that they have had these inducements held out to them.
Q. Why can not you compete with them?-A. Because they are nearer to the fishing grounds, in one sense, and they can build their vessels, if I understand the matter correctly, very much cheaper than we can. Everything that goes into the making up of a voyage comes to the cheaper. Everything that enters into the construction of the vessel is cheaper to them than it is to us.
S. Doc. 231, pt 5-43
Q. What effect upon the fresh-fish market has the importation of fresh fish free, under the construction given by the Treasury Department, had?-A. I think it has been injurious, as far as my observation goes, and as far as I am able to learn.
Q. Have you any idea of the extent of the fresh-fish market in this country?-A.
Q. What do you do with your mackerel?--A. Šalt them.
INCREASE OF CANADIAN IMPORTATIONS.
Q. You know the condition of the market after the Canadian fleet increased so for the last five years. Have you any knowledge as to how much the importation of fish was increased from Canada year by year?-A. No, sir; I couldn't give the amount. I am not versed in the statistics.
Q. Suppose the same condition of things should continue for the next ten or fifteen years that has been in force for the last five years; what would be the effect upon our fishery business?—A. We should be driven out entirely. 'It has been going down for three years steadily. We have not made both ends meet in any branch of the business.
Q. Is that true of all the fishery business with which you are acquainted?-A.
By Senator SAULSBURY:
Q. About what percentage, should you suppose, were brought here in Canadian bottoms?-A. I have no means of knowing that. I have never studied that question.
TESTIMONY OF JAMES GIFFORD.
PROVINCETOWN, Mass., October 1, 1886.
By Senator FRYE:
Q. During that time have you had any interest in or made any investigation of this fishery matter?-A. I have.
STATISTICS SHOWING THE EFFECT OF DIFFERENT TREATIES.
Q. Will you state, in your own way, to the committee your knowledge of the fishery business, the effect of the treaties upon the business of this country, etc.?-A. I will state that I have examined the official reports of Canada, the annual reports before and during the treaty, and also the annual reports of our Government during the same time, and I have compiled from them some statistics. I have the reports for each year with me, but for the sake of making a brief statement to the committee I have compiled my figures, the result of which I will give you. I will first give you the products of the British fisheries, to show the effect of the treaty from 1872 to 1884, and the amount of importations into this country.
In 1872 the value of British products was $7,532,200. We imported that year into the United States $1,020,081 worth.
By Senator EDMUNDS: Q. That is fish products?-A. Yes, sir. The intervening years I will not give, but give them for 1884.
Q. Have you the figures for the intervening years?—A. I have them.
Senator EDMUNDS Then make up a table and give it to the stenographer to be made a part of your testimony.
The Witness. In 1884 the value of British products was $17,852,521; we imported that year $5,633,566; the gain being in products of Great Britain $10,320,521, and the gain in importations from 1872 to 1884, inclusive, into this country was $4,613,455.
The increase of Canadian fishing vessels and boats during the same time was as follows:
In 1873 the fishing vessels numbered 402, and fishing boats 9,009.
In 1884 they had 902 fishing vessels and 12,772 boats, a gain of 500 sails of fishing vessels and 3,763 boats.
In 1883 the Province of Nova Scotia alone added 143 fishing schooners, chiefly bankers, and 1,526 men, to her already large fleet.
And in this connection I refer the committee to Report on the Canadian Fisheries for the year 1883, page 21. I have that report with me.
I will now state the decrease in American tonnage during the same period.
I will now state the decrease in the number of fishing vessels in the six ports of
Q. That is, the district of Barnstable?-A. That includes the whole district of Barnstable.
In 1873 the number of vessels belonging to Provincetown was 190 sail. (I would say that this is taken from the official records at Barnstable, from the latest authority.) In 1885 there were 118 sail. In Wellfleet in 1873 there were 71 sail; in 1885 there were 47 sail. Dennis had in 1875 46 sail, and 19 sail in 1885.
Chatham had 18 sail in 1873, and 20 sail in 1885, being a gain of two, and the only one that has gained.
Plymouth had one in each of those years.
The total for the six ports in this district was 266 sail in 1873, and 206 sail in 1885, a loss of 60 sail and 2,000 tons during that time.
I will now state the catch of vessels belonging to Barnstable County that fished in
By Senator Frye:
By Senator EDMUNDS:
Six from Wellfleet took 70 barrels in 1880, none in 1881, none in 1882 and 1883.
Five from Provincetown in 1884 took 500 barrels. One from Provincetown took 206 barrels in 1885.
During this term of four years from those six ports there were 16 vessels that made voyages to the British waters, and they took a little over 110 barrels. I should say that this year we had several, but there was but one that made a successful trip.
By Senator FRYE: Q. Can you tell as to the cost of that mackerel, whether they paid for the 16 vessels?-A. No, sir.
Q. State as nearly as you can as to that.-A. There was a loss. Amongst the 16 voyages there may have been two or three that were profitable, but the rest suffered serious loss, and during that time two vessels were lost from this port, one with an entire crew, the loss exceeding by far the gross stock caught in those waters during that time.
By Senator EDMUNDS: Q. You spoke of one vessel this year fishing in British waters; what did you mean by that?-A. There was more than that.
Q. Do you mean inside the three-inile limit?-A. No, sir; there were nine vessels from this port this year in the British waters, all fishing off shore, and they brought in 1,426 barrels, an average of about 158 barrels to each vessel.
Q. You do not call the Grand Banks British waters?-A. No, sir.
Q. You mean in the neighborhood of the islands at the mouth of the St. Lawrence?-A. No, sir; in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
By Senator FRYE: Q. But not within the three miles?-A. No; none of our vessels have fished within the three-mile limit this year. There was one of those vessels I speak of that made a very successful trip.
Q. Did those 16 vessels during that time fish within the 3-mile shore line when they had that privilege, or did they take most of their fish outside?-A. They took most of the fish outside.
CANADIAN ESTIMATE OF VALUE OF INSHORE FISHERIES.
But just allow me to quote to show the estimate of the British themselves in regard to the value of those inshore fisheries.
Q. What do you quote from?-A. From the official report of J. Hunter Duvar, inspector of fisheries for the Province of Prince Edward's Island in 1883, before this treaty was made or had been mooted. This is in reply to an accusation made by the fishermen there that the seines were destroying the shore fisheries to the book-andliners. The inspector examined the complaint, and says:
“At the very time that the committee of the International Fisheries Exhibition is about to induce an American fishing vessel to visit British waters for the purpose of teaching British fishermen the art of seining, continued complaints are made to me by a certain class line fishers against seining, on the plea that the use of the seine scares mackerel from the hook."
After showing these complaints to be groundless, Inspector Duvar continues:
“It is true some Americans seined successfully this season within sight of land, but as a general rule they prefer sea room, and usually find their schools beyond the shallow waters of the book-and-liners.
Further inquiry shows that hook and line in shallow water, or inshore fishing, must be abandoned by British fishermen, and that seining must eventually be the recognized practice for the main mackerel fishing."
He adds: “Mere seine boats, and merely picking up stray schools within the 3-mile Canadian limit, will be found quite inefficient. Schooners of some burden would take the place of shore boats, and would scatter themselves over the Gulf, as do the Americans."
That is, if the British fishermen would pursue the mackerel fishing efficiently they must leave the inshore shallow waters, and, like the Americans, fish offshore, in the deep waters of the Gull, where the body of mackerel are to be found.
The matter of bait has been alluded to. Provincetown is the second port in importance in amount of tonnage and number of vessels that visit the Grand Banks, Gloucester being the first of New England; and I would say that there has not been a single vessel of the entire fleet of this port that has touched a Canadian or British port for bait this season, and that within the last five or six years there have been perhaps on an average two vessels that have gone into Newfoundland to purchase squid. It will not exceed two vessels.
I also wish to call attention to the fact that the Canadians are indebted to United States for bait, as well as our vessels to them. There is a large amount of bait purchased by them from Maine; most of it goes from Maine; and when the gentleman who furnishes this bait was here this spring I questioned him about this matter, and he told me that the total yield of clam beds in Maine was about 18,000 barrels; that the average annual sale to the British provinces was 6,000 or 7,000 barrels; and that the average price for the last five years was $6.50 per barrel. That amount will go a great ways toward balancing any inconvenience we derive from not being allowed to procure bait from them. There is a class of vessels making short trips for fresh fish that run in there for bait, but they could be supplied from Eastport if necessary; they could stock up with bait at Eastport and ice it, and get it there in good condition.
Q. So that in your opinion there is no necessity for any American vessel going in there?--A. No, sir.
Q. The privilege of going in for bait is not worth anything?-A. No, sir. There is another inconvenience, and sometimes damage connected with it, and that is that while they are in there the crews frequently spend their money and draw upon the owners; so that it is generally considered undesirable by owners for the vessels to go in for bait.
TRADING LICENSES FOR FISHERMEN.
By Senator EDMUNDS: Q. Haye any of the fishing vessels that have left this port or this district, so far as you know, since the treaty terminated, taken out any other than mere fishing papers? Have they taken trading papers?-A. Yes, sir; we have five fishing vessels that are now laid up, and one of them has been laid up for two years, a good vessel, because of her running in trade.
Q. What I am speaking of now is the custom-house papers issued to these vessels. They ordinarily take a fishing license?-A. Always.