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Q. About curing the fish; do not Canadian people employ very much cheaper labor to cure their fish than Americans? A. Yes, sir; it is cheaper.

Q. Do they employ women and children?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. At how much per hour?-A. They probably pay a woman a shilling a day. Q. What do you pay her?-A. We pay a woman 25 to 30 cents an hour on the wharf here.


Q. Do the Canadian vessels cost less than yours?-A. They can be built there at from $18 to $20 a ton; we have got to pay $45 a ton.

Q. And yours will cost about $100 a ton to fit for sea?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. And theirs will cost about $60 a ton to fit for sea?-A. Yes, sir; and they receive a bounty.


Q. How much bounty do the Canadian fishermen receive?—A. I can't say; I think it is $1.80 a ton.

Q. The boatmen receive a bounty, too, do they not?-A. Yes, sir; as soon as they can prove that they have landed 1,200 pounds of fish.


Q. As a matter of fact, has there been any necessity whatever during the last fifteen years for our fishermen to use the Canadian shores for drying purposes?— A. No, sir.

Q. So that that is a privilege which now is of no use?-A. No use. The fish have got to be salted before they are cured, and they are salted aboard the vessels.


Q. You sell your fish here to the wholesaler?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. During the last fifteen years has the business been profitable?-A. No, sir; the business has not been profitable.

Q. Take the whole fifteen years together, have your vessels netted 10 per cent; that is, 10 per cent over and above insurance, deterioration, and everything?—A. No; I don't think they have.



Q. You were speaking of the cost of construction of vessels-in Canada and here. I think I understood you to say that the cost of a Canadian vessel was $25 to $30 per ton; that is for the hull, I suppose?-A. For the hull and spars.

Q. What do you say it would cost here?-A. Forty to forty-five dollars a ton. Q. What is the reason for this difference in the cost of construction? Is it because our vessels are better built, or because the materials entering into the construction of them are subjected to duty in this country?-A. Labor is higher here, and we have got to pay for protection on the manila and everything.

Q. Is it, or not, true that the American fishing vessels are better finished and have more work expended upon them?-A. It may be so, and they may last longer, but for their purposes the British vessel is just as good.

Q. Then another item is the difference in cost of labor in curing the fish?—A. Yes, sir.

Q. You say they employ women and children? A. Yes, sir.

Q. If the same class of labor in curing fish was employed here, what would the difference be principally? Would the difference in cost be so great as it is?-A. I

don't know.


Q. What proportion of the fish that are brought into this market do you estimate are caught in British waters?-A. I couldn't answer that very well. The large part of the mackerel this year have been caught in British waters; that is, beyond American waters. There are no codfish hardly caught in the British waters this year.

Q. Do you know anything about the proportion of salt and fresh fish that come into these markets?-A. No, sir; I do not.


GLOUCESTER, Mass., October 4, 1886.

Capt. SYLVANUS SMITH Sworn and examined.

By Senator EDMUNDS:

Q. What is your age?-A. Fifty-eight.

Q. Where do you reside?—A. În Gloucester.

Q. You have lived here a long time?-A. I am a native of the Cape, and I have lived here in this town thirty years.

Q. What is your occupation?-A. I am carrying on the fishing business at present. Q. Do you mean as master of a vessel?-A. No, sir; as owner and fitter. I was master of a vessel seventeen years, fishing in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Q. Do you buy and sell fish? A. Yes, sir.

Q. And fit out vessels?-A. I own a fleet of vessels, and buy to some extent outside of the fish that my own vessels catch.

Q. How many vessels have you?-A. I have 13 at present.

Q. Have you ever been a fisherman_yourself?-A. I went until I was 35 years of age; I began when I was 10 years old; I was master for seventeen years. Q. And you quit fishing what year?-A. In 1864.


Q. Then you had experience in fishing both before the reciprocity treaty of 1854 and during its existence?-A. I was fishing in the Bay of St. Lawrence in 1849, and all the time after that until 1864.

Q. What was the effect of the treaty of 1854 on the American fishing interest?— A. Well, I don't know as there was any particular effect on it at all. There was some little point about the privilege we had in the fall of the year, in windy weather, of going into harbor, if we got a deck of fish, to cure them. Before the treaty they didn't allow us to do so. I never caught many fish inshore; very few were caught where I fished.

Q. Were you fishing for cod in those days?-A. I was cod-fishing on our shore the forepart of the year; after July we changed our business and went to mackerel fishing; that was the general custom at that time.

Q. But so far as the right to catch fish inside of the 3 miles was concerned, the treaty of 1854 made no practical difference?-A. I don't think it made much difference; occasionally there would be some fish inshore, and where they fished it might have affected them. Where I fished, mostly around the Magdalens, we fished where we were a mind to. In the fall sometimes the fish would get near the shore around Cape Breton, and there would be some days that the fish would be inshore; that would be along from the middle of October until November. The rest of the year the fish were mostly offshore.


Q. Taking the general run of the year, in and out for ten or twenty years together, according to your observation and experience, the value of the inshore fishing is very small, is it not?-A. It is very small; that is, to a master of a vessel and fitter; I have been having vessels running since that time.

Q. While the treaty of 1871 was in operation, what occasion was there for fishermen to fish within 3 miles on those shores; how much practical advantange was that?-A. It wasn't any to me. I had several vessels along there during those years, and they made a failure of it, and came home to fish on our shores. Previous to this year, for the last ten years, mackerel have been plentiful on our shores. This year it has been almost a total failure; some few that went into the Bay didn't get anything.


Q. Do your knowledge and information cause you to agree in opinion with the other gentlemen whom you have heard-and in fact with all the people we have seen, from Provincetown up-as to where the great bulk of the mackerel, take it year in and year out, caught in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, that they are caught outside of the 3 miles with purse seines?-A. When I went there fishing we caught ours, as I say, outside the 3 miles, but I never went seining; knowing the character of the bottom there I shouldn't suppose it would be practicable to fish with a seine.

S. Doc. 231, pt 5-47

By Senator FRYE:

Q. You fished with hook and line?-A. With hook and line. I shouldn't suppose it would be practicable to fish with a seine there; it has a very rocky bottom and shoal water.

By Senator EDMUNDS:


Q. Perhaps you have been along those shores up there enough to know whether or not they are occupied now by people?-A. I think it is pretty well settled all around the coast, so far as I know.

Q. In that case, under the old treaty, the question might arise whether you would be obliged to arrange with the shore men for labor in drying your fish or anything else that you wanted done on shore, or otherwise it might be an invasion of the rights of private property?-A. That mode of fishing has much changed. There are no fish cured ashore; it is a thing of the past. I don't think there has been anything of the kind for thirty years.

Q. Are there not some cured ashore at St. Pierre?—A. Those are cured by the natives there, not by Americans.


Q. What do you think of the value, respectively, of shore-cured fish as compared with those that are kench-cured, as it is called, I believe, and brought home and pickled?-A. For our market here their fish haven't much value. We have what we call the pickle-cured fish; that is what suits our market. Their market is more for

the Brazils and West India market, and the foreign trade generally. Q. How are they, in respect of quality, as a good food?-A. They are good food enough for the climate they go into, but they are not good for our trade here.

Q. What I want to get at is this: Assume that you keep house, or, at least, eat meals somewhere; if you want to have to-morrow morning for your breakfast the best possible salt codfish, would you have a good St. Pierre cured fish, or a kenchcured fish?—A. If I was going down to my warehouse to take out fish I should take out a Georges pickle-cured fish. In no case would I take a St. Pierre fish to carry it away, because it is not the kind of fish that I want at all. They do cure some for table use to cut up and eat raw; sometimes a few are used that way.

Q. For the general consumption of people who eat fish you think this method of kench curing is just as good as any other?-A. We have no call in our trade for any other kind.

Q. Now, come to exportation. The dryer the salt fish is, I suppose, the better it will bear a warm and humid climate?-A. They have to be dry-cured for exportation.

Q. Can you treat these kench-cured fish when you get them here to Gloucester in such a way that they could be sent to the West Indies or to the East Indies and not spoil?-A. They have to go through that process of pressing and drying more. One way would be to put them into brine in butts; the other way is to wash and dry them and put them out on the flakes several times in order to get the requisite dryness. At times we make large quantities for the Boston market; they are made by the same process that they make them at St. Pierre and Nova Scotia. I think they make a specialty of that, and I think their fish of that class are fully better than ours, because they make a large quantity of fish that way, and it is not often we make them. Sometimes when the market is poor we have a call from Boston.

Q. There is nothing in the fact that you bring them in in brine?-A. Our fish are handled in the same way that theirs are until they are brought ashore.


Q. Are these particular kind of fish we have been speaking of called the dun fish? A. No; it is the age that gives the name of dun.

Q. Take a dry-cured fish and put it through the process, and it then becomes the dun fish?-A. It would after it had the age on it.


Q. From your observation what advantage would it be to the fishing interests of the United States to make this sort of an exchange between United States and Canada: Canada to give us the right to cure fish on her shores, the right to ship fish by rail, the right to fish within her 3-mile shore line, the right to buy bait, tobacco, and everything else desired by the fishermen; we in return to give the provincial

men the right to do the same things on our shores and the right to bring their fresh or salted fish in free? You would hardly make a trade of that kind, I suppose?-A. I should say it would be a very hard trade for us.


Q. For the cod fisheries, do you want to go there now for bait?-A. I have some seven or eight vessels that have been cod fishing this year, and I think they have not been to the provincial ports at all for bait; they have caught most of their bait on the Banks.

Q. Have you generally sent out a quantity of clam bait?-A. We haven't fished that way, but we used to years ago.

Q. Clams are used on trawls?-A. Not a great deal.

Q. What do you use on trawls?-A. Sometimes we carry salt herring and mackerel, and they fish with what they call shack, and birds, too. I had a vessel that went this year that way-cut up small fish and anything of that kind for bait. Buying bait is a thing that has come up more recently. Vessels used to go to the Banks with salt bait, and fish with clams or with birds and shack and such bait as they could take from the fish. Some ten or fifteen years ago the vessels began to go in on the Bank trips and get their bait in Newfoundland. I am speaking more particularly of the Grand Banks. But I doubt if that has been any benefit to us. We have paid out a large amount of money there, while the Cape Cod vessels that have pursued the old way of fishing have made better voyages, I think, than ours have, because they have saved large expense; and if we are unable to get our bait there, as has been the case for some time, we will go back to the old method and adapt ourselves to circumstances.

Q. There is bait enough to be caught in our waters, is there not, taking clams, menhaden, and what herring we have?-A. We have no trouble in baiting our vessels without going there to buy it. The vessels have in past years often gone in there just because it has been the custom, and some of them started this year the same way, but after they found that they were prohibited from going in for bait they have adapted themselves to circumstances, and have got bait on our own coast and on the Banks.

Q. And I suppose it is rather a temptation, when there is the right of free entry, to the fishermen, because they rather like to go ashore at a pleasant little village and have a good little time?-A. We think that operates against us as owners.


Q. Have any of your fleet been molested or disturbed in any way since the expiration of the treaty?-A. None of my own fleet particularly. The Adams was a vessel from my wharf; she was owned by her captain.

Q. Where is the captain of the Adams?-A. The captain was not aboard at the time; it was Captain Lewis who was aboard. But both the captains are away.

Q. And none of the vessels in which you have an interest were disturbed?—A. I have had five vessels fishing in the Bay of St. Lawrence this year for the first time for several years. My fishermen have fished on this coast for mackerel for several years, but in the absence of mackerel on this coast they have had to go into the bay with the rest of them. I have been advised that they got their fish, all of them, from 6 to 10 and 15 miles offshore, and, so far as cutters were concerned, they hardly saw one. They hadn't any occasion to go inshore, and, on the whole, they thought it was an advantage to be prohibited from going inshore.


Q. About how many men compose the crews of your vessels?-A. Fifteen to 18 in each.

Q. What would be about the average tonnage?-A. Seventy-five to 80 tons. Q. What would be the average cost of those vessels, hull and spars?-A. Hull, spars, and sails, about $8,000 for mine.

Q. How much does the outfit cost?-A. About $2,500 to $3,000 with the seines.


Q. How long will one of these purse seines last?-A. About two years, I should say. Q. Then they get rotten?-A. Then they get rotten. They are made of very fine twine, and some portions of them have to be rounded in that time; perhaps in one season some portion will give out.

Q. Even when the net has met with no serious accident?-A. Yes, sir. Perhaps a third of it would have to be taken out the second year, out of the middle of it, the bunt.


Q. What is the nationality of your crews?-A. From observation I should think about one-third are foreigners of different countries, and two-thirds American. I speak more particularly of the seining vessels. I think the seine fishermen are more largely American than the cod fishermen; perhaps half of the cod fishermen are Americans.

By Senator FRYE:

Q. And two-thirds in mackerel fishing?-A. Yes, sir. I have got one man that has about the whole of his crew Americans.

By Senator EDMUNDS:

Q. I am taking it at large?-A. Taking it on an average.


Q. Has there been any change in the retail prices of salt fish, so far as you have observed, which you can refer to the fact that a duty has been put on since 1885?— A. I don't know about the retail price; I am only familiar with the wholesale. So far as my knowledge goes, I know no difference.

Q. What has been the effect on the wholesale prices?--A. The duty went on a year ago last July; I think the price of codfish is about 25 per cent lower than a year ago last July. As to mackerel, there has been a very short catch of mackerel, so few that there has been quite a large advance in price.

Q. Has the advance gone up quite beyond the duty?-A. You might say there has been comparatively no mackerel; there has been none on this coast; and, altogether, there has been a short catch, so that the duty has not affected it.

Q. Did you notice any sudden rise immediately after the 1st of July, 1885, in the wholesale prices of any kind of fish as a consequence of the duty going on at that time?-A. There has been no rise in fish on that account.

Q. None of your dealers put up your prices on account of that fact?-A. No; it has been the other way. We had laid in large stocks of fish, the general impression being that we might get some advance, but it went the other way; it was ruinous, and our prices have gone down to almost nothing-that is, where fish fetched two years ago $3.50 a quintal, the price went down to $1.75—that is, while the duty was on the price was $3.50, and the same fish went down to $1.75 and $2 for 114 pounds.


Q. How was the mackerel catch last year?-A. It was quite large last year. There is another thing that has affected the price, and that is the quality. Last year they were No. 2, and small ones at that, and the price was very low; this year the mackerel that have been caught are very large and of better quality, so that a portion of the advance in price has been due to quality.

Q. But the quantity has been much diminished?-A. Very much diminished; the catch has been very small. The statistics of the Fish Bureau show that.


Q. Where do you sell the most of your salt fish?-A. I sell mine on the markets here, to the dealers mostly.

Q. You do not ship to distant points?-A. Not to any great extent. Q. Do you deal in fresh fish at all?-A. No more than that my fishing and their fish are sold to the dealers in Boston, that is all.

vessels go


By Senator FRYE:


Q. I would like to have you give the exact lay of the fishing business with your sailors, you own so many vessels.-A. In hand-line fishing each man has his own fish, and one man can make a large trip while another man will make quite a small one. Then they have what they call a half line. The crew pay the cook's wages, the ice, and the bait, and perhaps some other little bills, which are called stock charges. After those stock charges are taken out the rest is divided among the crew according to their catch.

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