Lapas attēli

the commission merchant sells to the wholesale dealer, and they divide the profits; that is what I have heard they do. Of course that all comes out of the Canadians, I suppose.

Q. Do you know that that is the case?-A. No, I don't know; only that is what I have heard.

Q. You say the tariff is paid by the Canadians. If there was no tariff upon those Canadian fish, would not the commission merchant sell to jobber at a cheaper rate than he does now with the tariff?-A. No, sir; because he would want a bigger profit.

Q. The question is whether he could not do it and get his regular commissions?— A. It is not handled by commission merchants. These commission merchants sell to the wholesale fish dealers. They take the thing in hand and sell to the retailer; and by the time it gets to the consumer the price is just the same; it don't make any difference whether they pay $4 or $5; and you will find it so right straight through the country.

Q. I want to find out whether the commission merchant who sells to the wholesale dealer, if there were no tariff, would not be able to sell to the jobber, retaining his regular commissions, if he did a fair and legitimate business?-A. Yes, if they would do that; but we find by experience that when those fish get into the retailers' hands and they are retailed there is no difference.

Q. I want to know whether or not, by doing a legitimate business, the commission merchant could not sell to the jobber at a lower rate than he does sell, and the jobber sell to the grocer at a lower rate than he does, if he did not have the duty to pay? The WITNESS. Do you mean Canadian fish?

Senator SAULSBURY. Yes.

A. I presume the cost of their vessels is less than ours, and they can produce fish cheaper than we can because they don't pay any tariff on anything that goes into the construction of their vessels.


Q. Has the tariff existing upon Canadian fish afforded any protection whatever to American fishermen? Would not their fish come just the same if there was no tariff?-A. No. Take last year and the year before; we had a large fleet of vessels fishing, and we could then sell No. 3 mackerel at $3.50 a barrel, and we caught them so plentifully that we could make money by delivering them to the country at that price. But the Canadians could not send that kind of fish here because they could not afford to pay the $2 duty; still our fishermen caught all that was necessary, and there were thousands of barrels left over, so that we can supply the markets of this country with fish for a long time; we have fleet enough to do it without asking anything of Nova Scotia in the way of supplies and opening our markets free for them. Take it for the last three years. Of course this year there has been a failure on this shore, and I think that is on account of their fishing at New York and destroying so many fish. Take it for the last ten years. Before this year we have had plenty of fish, and fish have been away down at their lowest point.


Q. With reference to the Southern fishery business, I understand you to say that you are in favor of a close season?-A. I am.

Q. Have the fishermen of New England any association among themselves by which they can regulate their trade?

The WITNESS. Any association?

Senator SAULSBURY. Yes.

A. Yes, sir; they have in New York what they call the Fishmongers' Association. Q. Have they not an association at Gloucester, of which Mr. Steele is president, embracing the entire fishing interests of this section?

Senator FRYE. Senator Saulsbury refers to the American Fishermen's Union.
A. Oh, yes.


Q. (By Senator SAULSBURY.) I want to inquire if the fishermen, through their association, could not, by themselves, without any intervention of law, regulate that business?

There are

A. No; and I will tell you why: Because if one goes all want to go. about a dozen or half dozen that can go south and make money fishing; but if they do there will be a hundred or one hundred and fifty all go after them.

Q. They are not all members of that association, I suppose?-A. Those are the fishermen themselves and the captains that want to go. There are many vessels

owned by captains who have no agent, like myself; when they go it is pretty hard work to keep ours back.

Q. Then you want a law to make you behave yourselves?—A. That is what I think. Going out there is a lottery; it has always been unprofitable.


Q. Has the whole supply of salt codfish this year been in excess of the demand? I mean including not only the catch by your own fishermen, but also those that have come to us from Canada.

The WITNESS. This year?
Senator SAULSBURY. Yes.

The WITNESS. Do you mean both codfish and mackerel?

Senator SAULSBURY. Yes.

A. The supply has been in excess of the demand.

Q. By what?-A. There has been enough mackerel to supply the market, because there were a great many old mackerel left over last year and the year before.

Q. Has not the price of mackerel been unusually high this season?-A. Yes, sir; it has been high compared to other things, but it has been a great deal higher in years before. The high price is of course owing to the scarcity on this shore. By some means or other they have left this shore this year. Last year I packed 23,000 barrels of mackerel; this year I packed about 3,000. That is the difference.


Q. You are of opinion that the mackerel which are off Hatteras and down that section of the coast are the same mackerel that come up along here?-A. They are, without doubt.

Senator SAULSBURY. I believe that Professor Baird entertains the theory that the fish come in from the sea to different points along the shore.

The WITNESS. I think they will come up here, if allowed. But if you take 150 vessels down there with purse seines the fish don't have much chance to get here; they go away down offshore and go into the bay of St. Lawrence. I think they ought to be let alone until the 1st of June, and that is just about the same in effect as the 1st of July, because the 1st of June is the spawning season and those fish then protect themselves; you don't see them. In the month of June no mackerel are caught to amount to anything, except small ones and those that contain spawn. You may take quite a catch of No. 3 mackerel in June, but it is very seldom you get any in June. That is my experience, and I guess that is the experience of everyone in the mackerel business. The mackerel begin to spawn about the 1st of June, and we don't get any of any consequence until the 1st of July. Along about the 10th of July we begin to catch them again in quantities.


Capt. STEPHEN KEENE, sworn and examined.

By Senator FRYE:

Q. Where do you live?—A. At Bremen, Me.

PORTLAND, ME., October 6, 1886.

Q. How long have you lived in Bremen?-A. Ever since I was born.

Q. How old are you?-A. Thirty-two.

Q. What is your business?-A. I go master of a fishing vessel most of the time. Q. What kind of a fishing vessel?-A. Codfish vessel. I have have been fishing the last three years about 60 times.

Q. Good vessel?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. How many men do you carry?-A. Fourteen to 17.

Q. How did you fish-on a lay?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. How long have you been in the fish business?-A. I have been in it off and on for twenty-two years.

Q. Where have you been in the habit of fishing?-A. Cod fishing on the Western Banks and the Banks of Nova Scotia.


Q. When you have fished in the waters off the Canadian coast what bait have you used? A. Principally clams, except what bait we caught on the ground where we caught our fish.

Q. You were fishing all through the pendency of the treaty of 1871. During that time did you buy bait of the Canadians?-A. I never bought a bill of bait from the Canadians in my life.

Q. Is there any necessity for buying bait of them?-A. I can't say that there is. Q. Do you agree with Captain Whitten that, take it on the whole, it is a detriment to waste time to go in to buy bait and out again, and all that sort of thing?-A. Yes, sir; a great waste.

Q. Then, in your judgment, the privilege of purchasing bait from the Canadians is worthless? A. Yes, sir; we consider it an injury.

Q. Were you up there this season with your vessel?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. What time did you go?-A. I left home about the 20th of April.

Q. How long were you up there?—A. I returned, I think, the 18th day of June.


Q. Did you have any trouble?-A. Not that voyage. I did the next voyage.
Q. When did you go the next voyage?-A. I left on the 28th of June.

Q. What is the name of your vessel?-A. The City Point.

Q. Give the committee the history of your last trip.-A. We left Bremen, where I belong, about 60 miles east of here, on the 28th or 29th of June-I believe it was the 28th-and arrived at Shelburne, Nova Scotia. On the night following the day we sailed we took a very heavy breeze, and the vessel sprang a leak and had some of her rigging carried away. On the 30th of June, about 4 o'clock, we came into Shelburne.

Q. What did you go in there for?—A. We went in there to have the vessel repaired, to put some calking down and renew some rigging that had been carried away, and to refill some of our water and other small things. When I left home had received the impression from the papers that I had the privilege to go in and out, as we had done before, and of course I went in there, and was probably more careless in some things than I otherwise would have been.

Q. What took place?—A. We came to anchor about 4 o'clock about 5 miles from the town. We had to refill our water that we had used from the time we left Portland up to that time. It is a great inconvenience to fill water, except when the tide is up, and there was no chance of getting water at town without taking it out of some well and hiring somebody to haul it and making it sort of inconvenient and expensive, so we stopped to refill water before proceeding to town. While they were finishing refilling the water (there was only one large cask that had to be filled) I took two men, with my papers in my pocket, and started to go to town, thinking it was all right as long as I entered within the twenty-four hours. I had always been given to understand that it was all right if I entered in twenty-four hours. In the meantime some of our men had gone ashore; and so, as I proceeded up the harbor, I met Captain Quigley, of the cutter Terror, who ordered me to go back to my vessel, and so I went back. I wasn't driven back exactly, but I wanted to go anyway to see what he wanted, as much as anything. I went back to the vessel and he came on board and asked me where I was from, where I was bound, etc., and took a report. Then he asked me what I had been doing, and I told him that I had been refilling water. He asked me where I was bound, and I told him up to town to report and see about getting some work hands to repair damages. Then he asked me if I knew that I had broken the law and was liable to a fine of $400; I told him I was not. Then he ordered me to get the vessel under way and start for town. I told him some of my men were ashore; he told me it didn't make any difference-to go to work with what I had. So I got the vessel under way; we didn't hurry much about it, so his crew lent us a hand, and we proceeded up the harbor and came to anchor about 8 o'clock in the evening under the bows of the cutter Terror. I then went ashore and entered the vessel, somewhere about 9 o'clock p. m., in the custom-house. I had been there before, and was acquainted with the collector, and knew that he would generally accommodate me if I came there late and wanted to enter. He said, going up the harbor, that it was lucky for me that I had some calking to have done.

By Senator EDMUNDS:

Q. That is, the captain of the Terror?-A. Yes, sir; the captain of the Terror said that it was lucky for me that I had some calking to have done, or he would make trouble for me. He said I should get my calking done as soon as possible, and get ready to proceed to sea. So I engaged workmen that night, and next morning they came aboard, and about noon, I think it was, I went ashore to clear. The custom-house officer said he couldn't clear until he had seen the captain of the Terror. The captain of the Terror had gone down the shore, and he returned some time during the afternoon. Then I found that he had preferred charges against me for allowing my

men to go ashore with clothes bags, so stated, though there wasn't anyone on the vessel at the time who had occasion to go ashore with clothes bags. I had two men, though, that belonged there. Then he said that he couldn't let me go until he had advices from Ottawa. It seemed to me that he wanted to keep me there as long as he could; he didn't prefer charges against me or wire to Ottawa until I was ready for sea. He gave me to understand then that he thought he would get orders to let me go, but his orders were to seize the vessel. So after we were there a day or so they fined the vessel $400. He said that on payment of the same he would release the vessel. That was the dispatch that came to the collector at Shelburne. I saw the dispatch and took a copy of it: "We fine the vessel $400, and on payment of the same she may be released.

Q. That came from the minister of marine?-A. Yes, sir; Mr. Foster. He would not allow any of the men ashore while the vessel lay in the stream, and he told me not to allow any of the men to go ashore. I told him that I would try to keep them from going ashore, but fishermen, as a rule, are rather an independent class and they might not go according to orders when I had gone. He said if they went ashore they would go at the muzzle of the revolver. One of his men shortly after was a little bit annoyed, and he called me alongside the cutter as I went to go ashore and told me if my men meddled with his men aboard his craft they would get a saber cut over the head, and it might not be very pleasant for them. Then, after we had got through the affair, and the owners of the vessel had paid the fine through the United States consul at Halifax, I believe, or deposited the amount of it under protest, and wired Shelburne to release the vessel, he said he would not let me go until I had paid the expenses of detention, constable fees, wharfage, etc. I then telegraphed the owners that he would not allow the vessel to go until the expenses had been paid, and they wired back to pay the expenses, and I paid the bill. I went to the custom-house to clear the vessel because I didn't know what the bills were. The custom-house officer said he would take a check from a merchant there, as I had no money. Then I went out to see what the bills were, and then I cleared the vessel. As soon as the captain of the cutter found I had cleared he said: "Now you are just as liable as you ever were." He wouldn't give me time to do my business as I wanted to do it, and hurried me off. I had two men that belonged about 4 miles down the harbor, and this was on Monday morning that I cleared to sail, and Saturday one of those men went to the collector and asked him if they could go home, and if he would let me call for them as I proceeded to sea on Monday. He said he would; he guessed there would be no trouble. So, to be sure about it, the men came back to me and told me, and I went up to the collector myself and asked him if I could call for them. He said yes. I said: "Then give me a permit, will you?" No; I didn't ask him for a permit that morning; I am mistaken. It was Monday morning. But when I got cleared I got the permit to take those men on, and I went down to the wharf where the vessel lay. In the meantime the captain of the cutter had ordered his mate and a boat's crew to escort us down to the light to see that we "did not get into any trouble." I believe that was the expression he used. He said we couldn't take those men on. So then I produced this permit. The collector stood there at the time. The captain of the cutter said that we ought to have got the men aboard Saturday. The collector spoke up and said: "Yes; you ought to have got the men aboard Saturday." He apparently was very much frightened by the captain of the Terror; at least he told me he was in so many words. He said: You understand there is a man standing right over me if I don't go straight." He commenced to throw the blame on to me. I talked to them some, and at last they concluded to let me take the men on as I proceeded to sea. At first he said I would have to go without them. Then he says: "What time were you in here this spring?" Said he: "Was it in May?" I said: "I wasn't in here this spring." He said: "Yes; you were in here this spring and never entered your vessel.' I said: "I was not." He said: "You told me the other day you were here this spring." Said I: "I beg your pardon, I never told you any such thing," He allowed I did and never entered the vessel. We had some little talk, but it didn't amount to much. He said: "You were in Liverpool this spring." Said I: "Yes." He said: "You never entered your vessel.' Said I: "I did." He said: "I want to see the entrance and clearance." I said: "They didn't give me anything;" that I had been there several times and I never got any entrance or clearance. He said: "I want to see them." Said I: "If I have got the papers you can see them." Then he thought he would stop me again, and if it hadn't been for Mr. Attwood, the collector, he would have detained me there some length of time; I don't know how long. He said he could ascertain easily by wiring to Liverpool. So they concluded to let me go. But his whole actions during the time I was there seemed to indicate to me that he wanted to waste all my

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

time he could. From the time I went up town to repair he never preferred any charge against me until I got through repairs. When I got through with them he brought the charges against me one at a time to make them last as long as he could. I told him once, when we were talking, that I had always supposed I had twentyfour hours to enter the vessel, which had never been denied me before, and that I only filled water down there because I couldn't get it at town very conveniently. He said: "Captain, you will get into trouble every time you come in here." Said I: For any purpose?" He said: "Yes; you will get into trouble every time you come in here.' Then I wanted to buy some rigging to replace some that had been carried away by the breeze coming across, but he wouldn't let me get it. He said I ought to have bought it before I left home. I told him I didn't need it then, and didn't know that it would be needed. But he refused to let me have any repairs any further than the calking; at least anything that I asked for.

Q. He would not allow you to purchase any rigging?-A. No, sir; although the collector told me I could. He said I should not. So, sooner than get into any further trouble, I went without it. As I say, I was hurried off because I expected every minute he would bring up something else against me and I knew my crew didn't feel very well about it and they were liable to make trouble, being so indignant, and that the sooner I got out of it the better. So I went to sea and made a voyage.

Coming home we met with some little trouble, met a gale of wind that tore our sails to pieces, and we went into Halifax. Come daylight next morning the first vessel I saw was the Terror, but he never came near me there. I went to see the consul-general as soon as I went ashore, before it was time to enter at the customhouse, and I made a statement of the facts before him. I got my repairs and after entering the custom-house and clearing I went to sea, but Captain Quigley did not come near me at that time.

Q. How much did you have to pay at Shelburne for constable's fees and expenses and all those exactions besides the fine of $400?—A. $42.38, I believe, if I remember right.

Q. You stayed up in the town in the custody of the captain of the Terror from what time to what time?-A. From the 30th of June up to, I think it was, the 10th of July.

Senator FRYE. About ten days.

The WITNESS. I may be mistaken. We were taken into his custody shortly after we arrived and we were there twelve days; so it must have been the 11th of July, I


Q. (By Senator EDMUNDS.) How long would it have taken you to make your repairs so that you could have sailed except for that interference?-A. About half a day. They commenced in the morning and near noon I went ashore to clear.

Q. You would have got off within twenty-four hours if you had been let alone?— A. Yes, sir; I should have got off that afternoon. When he stopped the vessel, of course, I did less repairing than I otherwise would have done and knocked the workmen off; I let them do what I could get along with without the vessel sinking and went to clear from the custom-house, but he wouldn't clear me.

By Senator FRYE:


Q. Do you know what is the average cost per day of your vessel and crew?
The WITNESS. Do you mean provisions and all?

Senator FRYE. Everything.

A. No, sir; I don't; I never made any estimate. The owner of the vessel is here, and probably he can give it to you better than I can. That is rather out of my line of business.


Q. Is that the only trouble you ever had with the Canadians?—A. Yes, sir; that is the principal trouble; about all.

Q. Did you ever have any difficulty before up there about entering or clearing, or anything of the kind?-A. I was in Shelburne once, and didn't enter the vessel right off, and Mr. Attwood asked me if I wasn't coming up to enter the vessel; he said I ought not to lay too long; and that is about all that was ever said.

Q. What is the understanding among you fishermen; that you have twenty-four hours in which to enter the vessel?-A. I understand now that we have not.

Q. What has been the understanding?-A. That we had twenty-four hours. Q. Have they practiced upon that understanding?-A. The most of them practiced not entering at all; a great many never bothered; I generally entered. I said most of them practiced not entering at all; perhaps I am wrong. Some of them didn't

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »