In accordance with an arrangement already made the Canadian government would undertake the maintenance of the dockyards at Halifax and Esquimalt, and it was a part of the arrangement proposed with the Australian representatives that the commonwealth government should eventually undertake the maintenance of the dockyard at Sydney.
The representatives of the Canadian government at the conference took the ground that it would not be advisable for Canada to have all her fleet on the Pacific ocean. Evidently, as I understand the conference, the British government were anxious to have a strong force on the Pacific. There are considerations the discussion of which I may reserve for a future occasion; at present I am only outlining our policy. I think that every body will agree that it would be very inadvisable that the whole of our force should be located on the Pacific. Our representatives, the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Brodeur) and the Minister of Militia (Sir Frederick Borden) thought we should have our force partly on the Atlantic and partly on the Pacific.
The question arose as to what should be the extent and character of the fleet to be created in the beginning. Two plans were proposed and discussed, one involving the expenditure of $2,000,000 a year and the other involving the expenditure of $3,000,000 a year. The first one would have consisted of 7 ships; the second one would have consisted of 11 ships, namely, 4 Bris-tols, 1 Boadicea and 6 destroyers. We have determined to accept the second proposition, that is to say, the larger one of 11 ships. That is the force which we pretend to create and to start with; 4 Bristols, 1 Boadicea and 6 destroyers. Perhaps it will be interesting to the House to understand what is meant by a fleet unit, what is understood by a Bristol, by a Boadicea and by a destroyer. The fleet unit which was suggested, and which has been accepted by Australia, and to which the home government contributes a certain sum per annum, is to be composed of one armoured cruiser of the type of the Indomitable, 3 protected cruisers, 6 destroyers and 3 submarines.