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Q. Have you been interfered with or molested by the Canadians in any way?-A. Yes, sir; they took our schooner about the 11th of September, at Port Mulgrave, in the Strait of Canso.
Q. You were in the Strait of Canso at that time?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. What were you doing?-A. We were going through there; had some idea of coming home; didn't know whether we would or not certainly.
Q. Were you under way?-A. We had been anchored about fifteen minutes when we were seized.
Q. What part of the strait were you in?—A. We were about halfway through.
Q. What did you anchor for?-A. The tide turned against us and the wind was moderate and calm, but we had to tow in to keep from going back again to where we had come from. We towed some hour and a half, I guess, with a boat, to get in.
Q. That is, towed with your own boat?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. Was that the only reason why you anchored?-A. Yes, sir; that was the reason why we anchored. Q. Had you undertaken to have any communication with the shore?-A. No, sir.
Q. What took place there after you had anchored?-A. As soon as we had got the sails furled the collector of customs come aboard and says, “I am going to inform you, Captain, that I have seized your vessel in the Queen's name.” He says, “It isn't anything that you have done, but it is something that was done in 1881.” That is what he stated at that time.
Q. What did he say was done in 1881?-A. He said he didn't know what it was. He said the claim was sent from Chester, Nova Scotia, and he had orders from Ottawa to seize the schooner if she came there, but what the claim was he didn't know.
Q. What happened then?-A. He then ordered us to take the schooner across to Port Hawkesbury. That is on the other side of the strait. I told him if it was for something I hadn't done that I should refuse to do it; if he wanted the schooner taken over he would have to take her over that night, as we had just towed in. But he said it would be some expense for the owners for him to put on a gang to take her over. I told him if he would wait until morning, and there was a breeze of wind to do it at that time, to save expenses to the owners we would take her across.
Q. How far across?-A. About a mile and a half, I think.
Q. Does the tide set pretty strong through that strait?-A. It does in the spring. I think there is about a knot and a half or two knots tide any time.
Q. Did you stay all night there where you lav?-A. Yes, sir; we did. He had two of the cutter men and the custom-house officer, Mr. Burneau, stop aboard all night.
Q. What took place in the morning?-A. In the morning we took her across and anchored her at Port Hawkesbury, with only one watchman aboard at that time. The cutter came up and he had another watchman put on board the schooner, and we lay there some three days and the cutter lay alongside of us. I guess this was Saturday night. Monday morning I telegraphed to her owners in Gloucester, and they telegraphed back that they had telegraphed to the consul-general at Halifax and for me to act under his advice.
Q. What was this armed cutter that lay alongside of you?-A. It was an armed (utter. One of these sailing cutters that they have down there this season, named the Houlette.
Q. How long did you lie at Port Hawkesbury, and what took place?-A. We lay there, I think, some four or five days before they took the schooner in to the whart. They then took her in to the whart, and the cutter left as soon as we were taken in. We lay a couple of days to the wharf before they stripped the schooner, and then the custom-house officer said he was going to take the schooner and shut her up and that the consul-general would have to look out for us.
Q. What did you do then?--A. So I went and saw Consul Clough. I had seen him before, and he made arrangements to send us home on the steamer.
Q. So you had to leave your vessel and come home?-A. Yes, sir. While I was there I wanted the collector of customs to give me a statement in writing as to what he would release the vessel for and I would send it home to the owners. He said, “There is no need of that. You can telegraph to the owners and they will do all that is needful." I got him to figure it up to see what she could be released for, and finally he said that on the claims against her they would release her on deposit of $1,600.
Q. What did you have on board at that time—anything besides your outfit?–A. We had about 39 barrels of mackerel.
Q. How long had you been down in those waters?-A. About five weeks.
Q. Before you left Port Hawkesbury did you learn of what the vessel was accused?-A. No, sir; we couldn't find out. I found out that they had two claims
against her this season. This English detective that was there said he had claims enough against the vessel to take her and four just like her, allowing they had done just the same thing.
Q. Did he tell you what that claim was?-A. He didn't tell what it was.
Q. You spoke of two claims made against her this season; what were those? Do you know?-A. One was for getting stores at Tignish, Prince Edward Island, to go home. We were bound home and hadn't enough stores to get home with, and we went in and got some stores, enough at least to get home with, some $44 worth, I think.
Q. Was that the same trip?-A. No, sir; that was the trip before, in July.
Q. Did you pay any harbor and port dues, pilotage, or anything of the kind at Tignish?-A. No, sir; we did not. There is no harbor there, and I never knew of their having a custom-house there.
Q. What sort of a place is Tignish?—A. It is just a straight coast along there; there is a little boat harbor there that takes, I think, about 6 feet of water, but our schooner draws 10 and 11.
Q. How much of a village is it?–A. There is no village there at all, just scattering buildings.
Q. Any store?-A. Yes, sir; a little store kept by an American fish firm there by the name of Myrick.
Q. Did you see any custom-house there when you went ashore?–A. No, sir.
Q. Did you see any British flag?-A. No, sir; nothing to indicate a custom-house in any way or shape.
Q. What was the other thing they said you did this year?--A. They had a claim on us about getting salt out of Miramichi.
Q. What were the circumstances about that?—A. We got some salt out of a Nova Scotia schooner named the Zelia.
Q. Was that in the port of Miramichi?-A. Yes, I suppose so; I don't know. We were, I suppose, some 20 miles from the custom-house. The square-riggers that come here go up the river 20 miles.
Q. You were at the mouth of the river?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. You bought it from a Nova Scotia vessel that had some?--A. We didn't buy it at all; we simply got the salt from a brother of our owner, and I got the salt of him and never paid for no salt. He just simply said for me to tell his brother, and I never paid for the salt, and never took the scratch of a pen for it.
Q. You were in need of a little more salt?-A. Yes, sir. They had been there the year before and exchanged salt with each other, and he said it was all right.
Q. Did you have a permit this year to touch and trade with that ship?-A. No, sir.
Q. And you did not in either of these instances see any custom-house or any customs officer?-A. Nothing of the kind.
Q. Did you go into Miramichi for the purpose of getting salt?—A. No, sir; we were in there for shelter.
Q. Who are your owners?-A. Lorin B. Norse was the owner of the schooner I was in.
Q. You say his brother's schooner happened to be there; was she lying there?A. Yes, sir; she was in for shelter, the same as we were.
Q. She was fishing?-A. Yes, sir; seining for mackerel.
Q. You, in fact, then, borrowed that amount of salt from the brother of your owner?-A. Yes, sir.
Q. And those are the only two things that you were informed of while you were there that are the causes of complaint?–A. Those are the only two things.
By Senator Frye: Q. The vessel is there now, is she ņot?-A. Yes, sir. The American consul, Clough, sent us home.
TESTIMONY OF ORIN B. WHITTEN.
PORTLAND, ME., October 6, 1886. ORIN B. WHITTEN sworn and examined.
By Senator FRYE: Q. Where do you live?—A. I live in Portland. Q. How long have you resided here?-A. Twenty years. Q. What is your business?-A. Fish business. Q. In what direction, or in what capacity?-A. We are owners of vessels. Q. How many?-A. We have 14 or 15 now that we are interested in. Q. Are you in business in any other way than the fishing business?--A. That is all.
Q. What is the character of the vessels you own?-A. They are cod and mackerel fishing vessels.
AMERICAN MACKEREL VESSELS AND OUTFITS.
Q. What is the average tonnage of a mackerel-fishing vessel?—A. I should say 60 tons; that is only an estimate, of course.
Q. What do they cost per ton ready for business?-A. I should say that the average cost of a vessel ready for sea would be, with all fishing appliances, about $10,000. I get this information somewhat from others. Q. That is over a hundred dollars a ton?-A. Yes, sir. Q. That includes appliances?-A. That includes appliances.
Q. What would it be without the appliances, ready for fishing?-A. Perhaps about $8,000.
Q. What is the character of the vessels as to quality?-A. The very best.
Q. What is your knowledge of the Canadian vessels engaged in the same business? Are you acquainted with them?-A. I am not fully acquainted. I have seen Canadian vessels. They are made mostly of spruce, soft wood.
Q. Have you any idea what they cost per ton as compared with yours?–A. Probably they wouldn't cost half as much as ours.
Q. How many vessels have you engaged in the mackerel fisheries?-A. We have some vessels that go cod fishing in the early part of the season, and for mackerel in the latter part.
Q. Where have you been in the habit of fishing for mackerel?—A. Mostly on this shore.
Q. How long have you been engaged in it?-A. About twenty years.
Q. During those twenty years you have been so engaged, what proportion of your mackerel have been taken in American waters?-A. We never have made much of a business of sending vessels into the Bay; about all our mackerel have been taken here during the last twelve years.
Q. Where here, as a rule?-A. Anywhere from Cape Cod to the Bay of Fundy.
Q. And what proportion of those taken in our waters were taken within the 3-mile shore line?-A. As far as my knowledge goes, I think a very small proportion was taken within that limit.
Q. State, as nearly as you can, what percentage.-A. I should judge not over 10
Q. What has been the difficulty, during the last ten or fifteen years, of fishing for mackerel within the 3-mile shore line?-A. The only difficulty in using a purse seine is on account of the water being shallow.
Q. It is dangerous to the seines?-A. Yes.
Q. The bottoms are generally rocky on our coast?-A. Yes, sir; they don't like to take the chances with a seine worth from $1,000 to $1,200.
Q. Does the same difficulty prevail in the Canadian waters?—A. It does. Q. So far as your experience extends with the fishermen of Portland, how much of their fishing is done in the English waters for mackerel?—A. Very little.
Q. And during the last fifteen or twenty years, what proportion of it has been done
Q. If there was a treaty existing to-day by which you had the right to go in the Canadian waters within the 3-mile shore line, would any of your vessels go there to fish?-A. I think perhaps there might be localities within that limit where they could fish with perfect safety, but as a general rule I don't think they would make use of the privilege to fish within 3 miles of the shore.
COD AND HALIBUT.
Q. Where do your vessels take cod?—A. At the Western Bank, mostly, and Quereau.
Q. Do you fish for halibut?-A. We do not.
Q. In fishing in Canadian waters for halibut—I do not mean in waters within their jurisdiction, but off their coast on the Banks—what necessity is there for your fishermen to go into their ports for bait?—A. Not any whatever. All our vessels for cod fishing use salt bait, which we get here, and about all the fishing done in Maine is done with the use of salt bait.
Q. What kind?—A. Clams; the same as the Nova Scotia people use.
Q. So that privilege of going to buy bait in English waters is, in your opinion, worth nothing?-A. Not to us here, for what we call the dory fishing, hand-line fishing; that is about all we do here. Q. You do not trawl?—A. We trawl some, but
little. By Senator EDMUNDS: Q. Why do you require a different bait in trawling?-A. On the trawl they use a fresh bait; the trawl extends a long distance.
Q. But if a cod will bite a salted clam at the end of a hand line, why not on the traw 12–A. No doubt he would bite it, but still, where these vessels go they come to anchor and drill for their fish, and they take a long string of gearing and thousands of hooks, and they use fresh bait because they think the tish will take it more readily than salt bait.
By Senator FRYE:
CANADIAN PORT PRIVILEGES. Q. Do you consider valuable the privilege of going into Canadian ports to buy bait?-A. I do not consider it of any value at all. The vessels that go there with salt bait get their trips a good deal quicker than if they had had to go for fresh bait, because sometimes they have to go a hundred miles for fresh bait, and before they get back to their fishing grounds the bait may spoil. Then, again, it is an inconvenience in this way: When the crews go ashore they almost invariably make drafts on account of certain things they want. So, on the whole, I take it that it would be better for us to send all our vessels with salt bait to the Banks than it would be to depend on fresh bait on the Nova Scotia shore.
Q. Then, so far as the Canadian ports are concerned, other than for purposes of shelter, water, wood, and repairs of damages, it would be better for the fishermen of Maine if they were not permitted to go in at all?—A. I think so; I don't think there is any occasion for them going in for shelter, because our vessels are far from there. Perhaps they might be able to go in in case of a storm, but generally during the fishing season we have no occasion whatever for shelter or water-that is, for our vessels from here.
Q. What can Canada give the Maine fishermen, so far as you know, that would be an equivalent for our market to them?
that they have to give us to ofispt to
Pyth #1761 limetalnable to the Maine fi-hermen that
ANAL AND OUTFITS.
Orin B. WHIT
iruki ni the ****d with thatch riprocal in its characteri-A. I do Dot
the Irvan that is just the provisions, you mean, or the barrels, kailt, and fishi Start: Tuke the whole outfit
The fitting out you make for a voyage. nator EXTE: La them out.
The Irsas The erines, too?
hapis (uver the whole
Qind does that include provisions?-A. Yes; I think $1,200 to $1,500 would get
1. for a Bunk trip they might cost, taking the dories, the salt, laut, and lines, 6. How would the Canadian outfit compan with your in cost?-1. I can not say. you do not know?
-d. Only what I gather from what I have heard. the best information I have from fishermen they can fit a great deal cheaper than
Q. You may state from the best information you have irom fishermen.-4. Frufu the fishermen want the best there is, so that we have to fit our vessels with the very Q More cheaply?-A. Yes, sir. We are a sort of progr-ive people, and esra
we can; they live difierently.
Q. What do you put on board your fishermen for food?--A. The same almost ** the market; when they get in off a trip they generally go to market for fri-ati fermi
, Q. Coffee and tea?- 1. Yes, wir; and pork. When they live at home they live it! vegetables, etc. Some even take condensed milk, talnarind, apples, and everythu
we have at hotels
of that kind.
(WMPENSATION OF FISHERYEN. Q. On what terms do your vexel* eligage in tihing? - A. They sail on what we call half-line; that is, the owners of the laws furnish the Ve] with resid. required to catch tish, and the crew have one-hali the protests of the timh, ani :-* of their half they pay the cook's wage and one-hali the lait bill.
Q. When do they get their pay?- 1. dxwn as the t-ian sold. For in-tant, ií a vessel comes in to-lay with markerul, just as soon & they are sold the como . a* a general thing, are the with; or, if they leave lutore the markere are sold they are settled with when they return.
Q. Are they paied in cash- A. They are.
Q. Do you know whether or not the Canadian fi-hermen are paid out vf stutter A. I am told that they live out of the storer altug ther.
EFFET OF DITY (PON THE (ONI MER. Q. When your vessels come in they sell their cargo** of tich to the wholesaler, de they?-A. Yes, rir.
Q. And then what becomes of them? A. If they are conti-h, they are curei a1. put into the market, and then they are shape all over the country. Our maiberri are packed really for market, and then they are shipped all over the country.
Q. De poll deal any extent in fresh tinh? A lot anv.
Q. What, in your opinion, is the effert of the prezent duty up»: the price of tish to the consumer. - .. It has no rhyt whateitir.
Q. li there is any effe* t, it is between the ti-hertuan and the whole-aler? --A. Yr. sir: I do not think the consumer has to pay any more with duty wian he will with it.
Q. Have you ever noticed that the duty hal ini ad, or that the almance of traty has been antil the price of tiwb to the wilder durns the last tittarin years"-AT don't know that the duts han ansthing to do with it whatever. In tát, it is strange that salt och were never so low as they are at the prezent ume, with the duty on