CHAPTER XI.--SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS.
B. Subsidiary Recommendations.
CHAPTER IV.--THE FINANCIAL POSITION.
(5) It would be of benefit to
the community if the internal loan of $2,500,000 raised in 1932, and secured on the
Petroleum Products Fund, could be paid off (paragraphs 140-142).
(6) The present tariff is unscientific, excessively complicated,
presses too hardly on the poorer classes, and urgently needs readjustment
(7) Adjustments are needed in the salaries of Judges, Civil Servants
and Government employees (paragraph 173).
(8) As soon as circumstances permit, the opportunity should be taken to
restore, in part at least, the cuts which have been made in war pensions (paragraph
(9) An increase in the Government grant towards the maintenance of the
Island's educational services is, in our view, urgently called for (paragraph
CHAPTER VI.--THE FISHERIES.
The Seal Fishery.
(10) Conditions in the seal
herds might form a suitable subject of investigation by a University expedition
The Cod Fishery.
(11) The cod fishery has always
been, and must continue to be, the mainstay of the Island. It is capable of great
development but has stagnated, if indeed it has not declined, whereas the fishing
industries of Norway and Iceland, Newfoundland's chief competitors in the markets
of the world, have achieved a record of continuous progress. The fishing industry
has now fallen on such evil days that urgent action is needed for its revival.
(12) The chief defects if the present system are:--
industry is conducted locally on a credit instead of a cash basis. The credit
system is nothing more or less than a truck system which fosters inefficiency and
laxity, raises prices of essential commodities, lowers the standard of living,
keeps the fisherman in a condition bordering on servitude, and reacts to the
ultimate disadvantage of the merchants themselves (paragraphs 270-280 and paragraph
(b) Control of the fisheries has been political, involving
periodic reversals of policy, lack of continuity, absence of expert service (nearly
all appointments being political, without reference to merit), and the patronage of
certain business firms in disregard of the just requirements of others (paragraph
(c) There is an entire absence of organisation or large scale
co-operative effort, the merchants or exporters conducting their business on a
basis of pure individualism without regard to the true interests of the country or
of the industry itself. Energies have been dissipated in internal jealousies and
intrigue; haphazard and hand to mouth methods, a scramble for quick profits even at
the risk of spoiling the market, and an indifference to the success of foreign
rivals and even to the welfare of the local fishermen, remain, in spite of repeated
warnings, the chief characteristics of the present system (paragraphs
(13) As a result of a
succession of seasons since 1930 in which the industry has been conducted at a
loss, the condition of the fishermen is now desperate, while the merchants also
have suffered severely. If the present system continues unchecked and prices in
foreign markets fail to recover to a remunerative level, there will be a general
collapse. The rehabilitation of the fishery, essential as it is to the recovery of
the Island, is of immediate and capital importance and must be the first objective
of the new Government (paragraphs 274 and 362).
(14) We have made a series of recommendations to this end (section IV
of Chapter VI) of which the following are the main features:--
scheme for the reorganisation of the fishery administration, the country being
divided into eleven districts, each in charge of a District Fishery Officer, the
latter being responsible to a Chief Fishery Officer at St. John's, who in turn
would be responsible to the Head of the Fisheries Bureau of the Department of
Natural Resources (paragraphs 351-356).
(b) On the administrative side of the Fisheries Bureau, the
Commissioner in charge of the Department would work through a permanent
administrative secretary and would have at call advisers expert in the various
branches of the fisheries. The functions of the existing Salt Codfish Exportation
Board would be assumed by the Bureau. On the scientific side, the Commissioner
would be assisted by the Director of the Fishery Research Laboratory at Bay Bulls,
this institution becoming a permanent part of the governmental machinery dealing
with the fisheries (paragraphs 348-349).
(c) The Fishery Research Commission would be abolished and a
new Fisheries Advisory Board would be set up (paragraph 357).
(d) Two officials would be appointed as Inspectors of Markets
in Europe, with headquarters at Oporto and Genoa respectively, and a third,
possibly, as Inspector of Markets in South America (paragraph 350). These officials
would be responsible to the Commissioner.
(e) The Commissioner would also be Chairman of a Committee for the
control of shipments of fish from Newfoundland (paragraph 381).
Action should be taken to retire the credit system by stages, and, as a beginning,
regulations should be issued providing that in 1934 no merchant shall purchase fish
from the fishermen without a minimum cash payment of 20 per cent of its value.
Consideration should also be given to the question of establishing auctions for
fish on specified days in St. John's and one or two chief centres (paragraph
(g) The formation of Fishermen's Mutual Societies should be
encouraged but under appropriate safeguards (paragraph 361).
is most needed in Newfoundland is the resuscitation first of the deep-sea fishery,
and secondly of the fall fishery, thus adding four months to the intensive fishing
season which at present lasts only from June to September (paragraph 362). Schemes
for both these objects, and for the concurrent development of subsidiary products,
have been prepared (paragraphs 364-378) and are recommended for the consideration
of the new Government.
Recommendations are made with regard to the need for improved apparatus in the
outports, the inspection of fish premises, an enquiry into the possibility of
building up of a local carrying fleet, the need for statistics, the provision of
organised education in fishery matters, and the launching of a national campaign
for the rehabilitation of the fishing industry (paragraphs
|Witless Bay (Southern Shore), n.d.
Photo by Holloway. From the album of photographs furnished to the Newfoundland Royal Commission, August 1933. Courtesy of the Centre for Newfoundland Studies Archives (Coll-207),
Memorial University of Newfoundland Library, St. John's, Newfoundland.
Provision for experiments in the production of canned products with a view to the
establishment of a canning industry, and in the manufacture of fishmeal, has been
included in the schemes referred to above (paragraph 370). There would seem to be
an opening for the canning of salmon in the north of the Island and possibly also
in Labrador (paragraph 331).
(k) Lobsters have been over-fished. A temporary suspension of
operations, or at least some measure of restriction, is essential (paragraph 333).
(l) Greater use could be made of herring, both for bait and
for local consumption (paragraphs 335-336).
(m) There are openings for the use of caplin not yet
developed, (i) in the dried form, for export abroad, e.g., to the West Indies,
(ii) in the canned form, principally for local consumption, (iii) for fishmeal
(n) A local market might be developed for smoked "turbot" or
Greenland halibut (paragraph 342).
Image description updated May, 2004.