May 26, 1919


Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)



I am sorry I cannot off-hand tell the hon. gentleman the longitude and the latitude of the ship's position on that date-it is not to be supposed that I should know-but I will try and get that information for him. There is no necessity for me to refer to where the submarine went.

I pass over several of the hon. member's remarks and come to his statement that the Americans established seaplane bases at Halifax and North Sydney, and that this was a humiliating position for Canada. Well, let us see how humiliating it was for our beloved country. The seaplane bases at Halifax and Sydney were established, constructed and paid for by the Naval Service Department. As all naval operations on the Canadian coast were carried out in consultation with the Imperial and the United States authorities-that is to say, after our

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neighbour came into the war, it was agreed that when the stations were erected, the United States would lend such personnel as was desired to assist in operating them, for the following excellent reasons: I need not go into details, but there were large numbers of American soldiers going out of the ports of Sydney and Halifax, and it was necessary to establish a naval seaplane base not only at Sydney, but also at Halifax. The agreement was that the Americans were to provide the machines free of cost, which they very generously did-not only seaplanes, but kite balloons, and they were also prepared to supply airships. They also agreed to supply the personnel until we had a sufficient number of Canadian officers trained to take the places of the American officers. When one considers the number of men that we sent overseas and the number of men engaged in the naval service, it was not at all humiliating for Canada-when it came to filling the technical posts of pilots and crews of seaplanes, kite balloons and airships-to apply to the United States for the necessary skilled officers and men until Canada could provide the personnel. Canada had her share in this. We had to provide the buildings and the landing base, which we were proceeding to do as rapidly as possible, and some of the buildings were partially constructed when the armistice was signed.

As to the patrol of our waters by the United States war ships, the United States was one of the Allies. The tremendous British fleet was performing, as we all know, the herculean task of providing the necessary escorts for the vast number of ships that were carrying soldiers, munitions and foodstuffs, as well as holding the enemy at bay in the Kiel canal during the whole term of the war. Therefore, an arrangement was made with the United States for their navy to patrol a certain portion of Canadian waters. The United States established their outer base at Shelburne with a view to protecting the approaches to the northern United States ports. The patrol from Lockeport, east and north, was carried on by Canada. So the United States was only taking a fair share in looking after the safety of her own ports as well as the safety of her own soldiers.

Then the hon. member comes to an offer than he heard was made by Mr. J. K. L. Ross "to pay for a British cruiser if the Government would build the other four, but his offer was turned down." There is no record in the Naval Service to show that

any such offer was ever made by Commander Ross. Furthermore, at the outset of my remarks I clearly showed that the Canadian Government on two different occasions asked the Admiralty if we could do anything in the way of building ships or providing further naval service, and the reply was, "No; concentrate Canada's effort on the military forces."

Then the hon. member deals with the Halifax explosion, and here is what he


There was absolutely no necessity for the Mont Blanc to come up harbour, and the Naval Authorities had no right to allow her to come up, there being plenty of space in the Eastern passage to lay, etc.

I would state that there was absolutely no reason why this vessel should not come up Halifax harbour. The channel is wide and straight, the largest ships in the world have navigated it throughout the war with ease and safety in all weathers. The people of the city of Halifax would, I think, be the last to claim that the entrance to Bedford Basin cannot be navigated, in all weathers and at all hours, with ordinary every day precautions on the part of pilots and masters for their ships. So there was no necessity whatever that the Mont Blanc should be held out for there was any amount of sea room and the day was perfectly clear. The hon. member further states that the collision was caused by violation of the rules of navigation. In answer to that, I may say that a court of inquiry was immediately ordered by me, as Minister of Naval Service. That court was presided over by Mr. Justice Drysdale of Halifax. The court found Pilot MacKey to be at fault, and his license was cancelled. Not even the slightest insinuation was made by the court that the Canadian naval authorities at Halifax were to blame.

It will require only a moment to deal with the statement of the young lad, Julian, who is the hon. member's authority for charging that the dockyards at Halifax and Esquimalt were in a deplorable condition. I can assure the hon. member that they were not; on the contrary, they were in constant use at the time and they have been in use ever since. I will not take up any more of the time of the House by referring to the commissioning of the Niobe and Rainbow; the fishery protection vessels; or the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve.

If my hon. friend (Mr. Duff) does not hold the officers and men of the Royal Canadian Naval Service in very high es-

timation, our beloved Sovereign does, and he has been pleased to approve of the following posthumous awards:

Mr. Albert Mattison, late aoting boatswain, R.C.N., Albert Medal.

Late Stoker Petty Officer Edward S. Beard, V.R. 1731, R.N.C.V.R., Albert Medal.

John T. Gammon, Ohief-master-at-Arms R.C. N., member of the Military Division of the British Empire Order.

Chief E. R. A. 2nd Class, Hay, R.C.N., Meritorious Service Medal.

Walter Critch, A.B., Official Number 1242', Newfoundland, R.N.R., Meritorious Service Medal.

The British Admiralty have requested that an expression of their Lordships' appreciation may be conveyed to the following officer:-Mr. Walter O'Reilly, Gunner, R.C.N.

The Admiralty have sent letters of appreciation to the next of kin of the following ratings :

Chas. C. McMillan, Leading Seaman, V.R. 2496.

Carl C. Wilson, Able .Seaman, V.R. 1561.

Albert Sanders, Able Seaman, V.R. 1066.

Freeman P. Nickerson, Able Seaman, V.R. 1891.

Geo. H. Yates, Stoker, 2nd Class, V.R. 5480.

Now, Mr. Chairman, I think I have covered the ground sufficiently to satisfy every hon. member of this House that there is no truth whatever in the charges that were made by the hoft. member for Lunenburg either against the materiel or the personnel of the Naval Service.

I have shown what splendid service they have rendered, and as Minister of the Naval Service I have paid my tribute to them. I am sure that the House and the people of Canada will feel proud of the splendid work done by the Naval Service, its officers and man. of whose aoiiiviues they have to-day been informed for the first time, in a meagre way.

In closing his remarks the hon. member (Mr. Duff) suggested that a committee of the House be appointed to investigate the affairs of the Canadian Naval Service. There is no ground for the appointment of such a committee; there is no necessity for it. I think I have made it plain that not one of the charges made by the member for Lunenburg is substantiated by the facts.

At six o'clock the Committee took recess.

After Recess.

The Committee resumed at 8 o'clock.

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Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)



Did the hon. member not say, when he was referring to the Lux Blanca being torpedoed seventeen miles from the coast off the entrance to the port of Halifax, that admiralty officers at that time were trifling at pink teas and playing bridge whist? Will the hon. member say whether or not he made that statement.

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William Duff

Laurier Liberal


That is not an answer to the statement I have just made, but for the benefit of the hon. minister I willquote further from my speech later on; and as to the naval officers in Halifax in their relationship to the Lux Blanca, I haveabsolute proof that they did nothing torelieve the situation that existed on the occasion to which I referred. While, perhaps, they might not at that precise

moment have been attending. pink teas or playing bridge, I can substantiate the statement that this condition of affairs generally prevailed in Halifax at that time; and if the minister would grant the investigating committee which he refused this afternoon I could prove my charges to the hilt. I am quite aware that there are good men in the so-called Canadian Navy. For instance, there is young Silver of Halifax, who was lost on the H.M.S. Good Hope off the coast of Chili. No brighter boy ever donned the uniform than this young man, who went to his death as a hero in battle against German ships in the Pacific Ocean. Or. take my good friend, the hon. member for Temis-couata (Mr. Gauvreau), would anybody say for a moment that his son is not a credit to Canada-a young man who has been for four or five years in the Naval Service in command of a submarine chaser? No man, certainly not myself, wTould ever think of saying anything derogatory of young men such as these. Again, there is the son of Mr. Justice Brodeur. Would any one sug-

'gest that he does not deserve the utmost credit? What I do say, Mr. Chairman, and I do not think it can be controverted, is that there were certain men in the so-called Canadian Navy who were not fit to be in it, and this fact I shall prove in a 'few moments.

The hon>. minister was disposed to sneer at my knowledge of marine affairs, and he said I did not know much about the sea. Well, I do not profess to, but I think I know more about naval affairs than a gentleman who was bom in the city of Montreal and had the odour of paint in his nostrils for the last ten or fifteen years. I was born with the smell of salt spray in my nostrils and have been familiar with the sea ever since I could toddle, and I should be the last to say anything disrespectful of men in whom I have taken an interest all my life. For this reason it did not become the Minister of Naval Affairs to sneer at me and to suggest that I was unfriendly to the fishermen or those whose- calling is to follow the sea. I presume the minister likely derived his knowledge of the sea on a gump-head in Montreal, while I, on the other hand, got my knowledge of the sea on the sea itself, however little that knowledge may be. The entire speech of the minister consisted in sneering inuendoes and insinuations, and it was painfully evident to all present, as he read his essay, that he had not learned his lesson as perfectly as he might have done, for he did not even lay the emphasis on the proper portions of his address-; he- j.ust recited his statement with the aid of the two officials at his side who coached him from time to time. He also suggested that the charges which I made in my speech some time ago were not prepared by me. Well, what about the answer of the minister himself? Did he prepare the statement he made this afternoon? Was there very much of a suggestion that the work was his own, or did it not rather appear that he was repeating what the officials of his department had prepared for him? I do not think that any one sitting beside me when I made my charges could question the originality of them, and I can prove and substantiate them in their entirety.

But I do not wish the admiral of the fleet to take my words alone for what 1 have said; I am quite prepared to give him some more evidence on this matter, and for this purpose I will first quote a gentleman well known in this country, Mr. J. W. Wilkinson, R.N.A.V., of Toronto. Let us see what he says-and I am' willing to

admit that this gentleman knows more about naval affairs than I do myself. This is what Mr. Wilkinson says:

It has always been to me a source of disappointment and regret that Canada has ever failed to realize her duty with regard to assuming her full share of responsibility in connection with Naval Defence

When considering Canada's weakness with regard to her naval obligations, I would ask, could anything be more grotesque than the ceremony which took place opposite the City Hall during " Sailors' Week," when under the auspices of the Navy League of Canada a dummy ship was christened the Victory, and at which the Premier of Ontario, the Lord Bishop of Toronto, and His Worship the Mayor, were present, while simultaneously the Captain of the steam trawler Triumph at the Toronto Exhibition, tells his pitiable story or how he was captured by a German submarine, of how guns and a wilreless were placed on his steamer, and how he and his crew of twenty were crowded into a small boat, and after being insulted, had the humiliating experience of seeing his own boat steam away manned by a German crew, with the object of sinking the rest of our fishing fleet, and of which they were successful in destroying some twelve vessels. No effort was available from the Marine Department in the way of .defending our fishing fleet against & cruel and relentless foe, who simply destroyed at his own free will. To use a well-worn quotation, "Nero fiddled while Rome was burning"

I may vary the quotation and say that " Mr. Desbarats fiddled while our fishing fleet was being 'sunk on the banks of Newfoundland and off the coast of Nova Scotia." Mr. Wilkinson proceeds:

After four years of war, to appear to get busy over the British navy about the glorious work it has and is doing, would practically be an admission of ignorance, and to do so at the present time would have a tendency to place Canada in a false light by advocating the necessity of the British navy, when Canada, as a matter of fact, has no navy of her own to talk about.

Further on he says:-

Notwithstanding that we thus have the enemy in our own waters, performing deeds of piracy and destruction at his own free will, without let or hindrance, as far as Canada's ability to defend herself is concerned, we read in the newspapers that the Naval Department at Ottawa calmly makes the statement that "all steps possible are being taken to meet the situation," and that a fleet of submarine chasers from the United States and British navies had put off after the enemy submarines. Are we to understand from this that Canada still refuses to assume any responsibility whatsoever as regards naval defence, but merely assumes the right when attacked by German U-boats to call for help to the United States and British navies? What greater proof is our present Union Government waiting for to make them realize that the great need of Canada to-day is a navy of her own? .

When we remember the indifference displayed by Canada in the past with regard to her naval responsibility, any thoughtful person must surely look on with amazement that even

after four years of war, and the enemy sinking our ships at his own free will in our own waters, that no action appears to be considered neoessary for our Govelhiment to take in the way of providing a navy for our own protection.

He says further:-

There never has been a time when the want of a Canadian navy has been more keenly felt than at the present. We are at war and we want a navy to drive the enemy from our shores, and protect our ships sailing in Canadian waters. Is it not a fact that the very type of vessel is at present being built in Montreal for the British navy, which we require for our own coast defence, viz, the submarine chaser? Would it. not, therefore, be advisable to get some of these or similar craft included in our Canadian navy, in order that they might be placed in commission with as little delay as possible? It would also be advisable in my opiniop to have guns placed. on all. fishing vessels of sufficient size, which would at least give each boat a fighting chance. These are, however, all matters which I trust will be taken into consideration at an early date by the Marine Department.

Unless something of a definite nature be done while we have an enemy to fight, there will be a strong tendency with a very large section of the Canadian people to come to the conclusion when the war is over, that a navy as far as Canada is concerned, will not be necessary.

Those are the words of Mr. Wilkinson; they are not mine. Yet the minister this afternoon said, in effect, that I was the only person in -Canada with the audacity to get up and say one word in this House against the Naval Department- of which he is the head. He also quoted from a letter which he cut out of the Montreal Star. I wonder if the admiral of the naval forces also cut out an editorial which appeared in the Star on Saturday morning, to show to Ills leader on his return to-day? The letter which the minister read was no doubt written in good faith; I have not one word to say against the writer, but I noted this sentence which the minister read: " The patrol fleet had notified sixty iLunenburg vessels to go to port.55 Now, if there is one thing I know it is about the Lunenburg fleet, and particularly what happened last summer on the Atlantic coast, and I happen to know what happened to the fishing fleet. So if that is the only evidence the minister can adduce his defence of the Canadian navy is very badly supported.

I have also received some letters, and one of them happens to be from Montreal. I want to be fair to the Canadian navy. Any criticism I made was made in good faith. I made it as a business man who did not want to see the money of this country wasted. When I can say a good word for the Canadian navy I shall be only too glad

to say it, and to be absolutely fair I shall read this letter in full:-

Dear Mr. Duff,

I read with interest the comments in the papers on your speech in the House regarding the Canadian naval situation, also your criticisms.

As a demobilized member of the R.N.C.V.R.,

I do not wish to make any remarks one way or the other, but I think that, while the question is up, it is only fair for me to draw your attention to what I consider the brightest spot in the whole service, namely, the Naval Hospital in Halifax. During the influenza epidemic last fall I was unfortunate enough to be one of the victims and was sent to this hospital for treatment, and I cannot speak highly enough of Dr. Rousseau, Dr. Irwin and the two nursing sisters, and, in fact, every one connected with the institution. I was in the hospital itself for about two weeks, and during that time every patient with whom I came in contact, had the same feeling of appreciation.

With regard to your remarks on the Naval College, while never having met Commander Nixon, I can only repeat to you what appeared to be the general opinion among the men I met while in the service, namely, that the Naval College was efficient, that it did splendid work and turned out efficient officers, and that those officers wdio had graduated from the Naval College and who were serving with the imperial Fleet were highly thought of and efficient.

With regard to Lieutenant Julian's views on the general administration, I had the privilege of serving on the same ship with this officer and know him very well personally, and am sorry to say that both myself, and, I think fully ninety-nine per cent of the officers and men in the service are forced to agree with him.

Now, what has the minister to say about Lieut. Julian? He insinuated this afternoon that Lieut. Julian was no good, that he was not a good officer. I say that he was a good officer. He served four and a half years in the naval service and had a splendid record, with not one black mark against him. I say it was most unfair for the minister to insinuate that this man was not a good officer and a good Canadian. The writer continues:

I trust that in all fairness you will, while drawing attention to the dark spots, also draw attention to the bright ones. In October, 1917, I with a number of other officers, was sent from Halifax to Esquimalt, and we one and all were greatly impressed with the difference in the atmosphere prevailing at the latter station. In Half ax there was nothing hut discontent and what seemed to us practically chaos, whereas at Esquimalt everything was efficiency itself and every one seemed well content.

On my return to Halifax in the spring of 1918, after having put in six months at Esquimau, the difference in the atmosphere was d-oubly impressed on me. I think it was sufficient to say that every officer who was trained at the Esquimalt base feels the same towards it, and it was a heartbreaking experience to find that all the "esprit de corps" that had been created at Esquimalt was absolutely crushed

out after the men had been a very short time at Halifax.

Will the minister deny that this is true? This afternoon he flapped the flag and tried to make out that I was simply insinuating -that there was nothing in my charges. I have another letter which might interest the Minister of the Naval Service and the Admiral of "the Bum Boat Fleet." This writer says:

It is all true, and further, the half has not

been told. I think would give you

some information along that line as he is pretty sore at them for the way he says they used him. He appears to be' ready to squeal on them as he is awfully sore.

These are not my words. I could talk all night about the way naval affairs were conducted at Halifax. You must have noted, Mr. Chairman, that the minister this afternoon, trying to get some applause from his own side, endeavoured to make it appear that I had introduced politics into this question. 'Nothing was farther from my thoughts, and although Lieut. Julian in making his charges blamed the Borden Government, I was not responsible for that. After saying that I had introduced politics into this question, the minister in his next breath went on to say that I was making charges against ships built by the Laurier Government. If I was introducing politics, why should I introduce charges against ships built by the Laurier Government? 1 think that is a complete answer to the minister's insinuation. The truth is he was simply floundering around like a seal on ice and did not know where he was half the time.

He also objected to my remarks about the Niobe. He tried to make out that there was nothing wrong with this steamer's boilers. I tell you that the Niobe was compelled to come back from her cruise because her boilers were no good, the result of having been allowed to rust. It is quite true that for four or six weeks after the war was declared they did manage to patch the boilers up, but I would ask the minister how much money was spent for repairs on the Niobe from September 1, 1914, until she finally played out in 1916. The only reason she played out was that her boilers were out of condition. Will the minister, or anybody connected with the naval base at Halifax, deny that?

He tried to make out that I was getting my information from outside sources, and that it was second hand. I want to tell the minister that this is not the fact, and further that I watched operations proceeding and that any information I got was from

the officers themselves and the men of the so called 'Canadian navy.

The minister also tried to make out that I had said that the men on the Hochel-aga had run away from the submarine.

I did not say any such thing. If the minister knew anything about marine matters he would know that the cook, steward, cabin boy and marines have nothihg whatever to do with navigating the ship but that that is a duty which is left entirely to the captain. To make such an assertion shows very little knowledge of naval and marine matters on the part of the minister. He tried to make out that I had said the men were guilty of cowardice. I said no such thing. The men were all right. 'If I could only repeat some of the conversations that the men had with me on their return I would tell you how, with tears in their eyes, they told me that they wanted to fight the submarine but that they were not allowed to do so by the captain. The men are not to blame; they are all right. The men are all young Canadian boys, they thought they were going to do something for their country, they went into the Naval Service prepared to do it but -they were prevented by the naval officials.

The minister also tried to make out that this captain of the Hochelaga was a great man. I hate to say anything unkind about anybody but if the minister knew where the captain of the Hochelaga came from and what service he had had, the information would make him hang his head in shame. I know all about the captain of the Hochelaga. I know how long he has been in the Naval Service, I know where he came from; and I say he never should have been put in command of that boat and I can prove it.

Then the minister talked about the Lady Evelyn and he practically said I was not telling the truth about that steamer when I said that she had gone to the Magdalen Islands to deliver six pencils. I beg the hon, minister's pardon. She not only delivered the pencils, but she also delivered some pads for the wireless operators. I have the facts from the officers who were *on board the Lady Evelyn. I intend to repeat what these officers said and if the minister does not want to take my word I will give him that of somebody else. On August 20, 1918, the day that the Triumph was captured, the Lady Evelyn was in a Nova Scotia port. A wireless message came stating 'that the Triumph, a steam trawler owned by the National Fish Company of Halifax, had been captured by a German submarine on the Middle Ground,

a fishing bank off the Nova Scotia coast. Word also came that the German submarine commander had equipped the Triumph with guns and manned her so '.that she could be used as what- is known as a raider. This word came to the Lady Evelyn. The captain immediately sent a wireless to the man in charge of the naval dockyard at Halifax asking permission to go and try to capture the Triumph. The men on the Lady Evelyn did not sleep all night, they kept steam up and they waited minute after minute and hour after hour for the expected word from the Halifax authorities to go and recapture the raider which had been previously a fishing boat. No word came from Halifax but the Lady Evelyn with Commander Shenton in command was sent to the Magdalen Islands to deliver six pencils and a few pads for the wireless operator.

Let me give a little more information about the Lady Evelyn. In a few days the *Lady Evelyn returned from the Magdalen Islands and reported to the base at Sydney. The flash came over the wires that on a certain night a German submarine was coming up the strait of Canso. The Minister of Naval Affairs, of course, with his knowledge of marine matters and geography, knows where the strait of Canso is, 'but for the benefit of hon. gentlemen who may not have that information I will explain its location. The strait of Canso divides the island of Cape Breton from Nova Scotia and connection between either side of the strait is maintained by the operation of a steam ferry between Mulgrave and Point Tupper. That is practically the only means of communication between the great coal mining and steel districts of Cape *Breton and Nova Scotia and the Test of the world. The situation was considered so serious that the Government ferry was laid up at Point Tupper. It was not allowed to cross the straits for fear the submarine might come up and attack it. The Lady Evelyn was lying at Whitney pier at Sydney with steam up waiting until *word came from Halifax. The men were all on tenter hooks. They wanted to engage the submarine. They were anxious to go, and suggestions were made that they should not wait for orders but that they should take the Lady Evelyn and go to the strait of Canso. You can understand the state of mind in which these young men were when they were deliberately talking of mutiny, of taking charge of the ship, taking her up to the straits of Canso and fighting the submarine. This is what an officer said about it:

We were in Cianso a few weeks ago and all our old Mends were there to welcome us and renew olcl acquaintances. While there one evening a party of young 'ac'es from Canso came on hoard and entertained us with music and singing. We left next morning. We now hear they are being shelled, while we are lying comfortable at Sydney. Perhaps these same young ladies that entertained us are being murdered by the German beasts, while we, lying at anchor, steam up, ship ready with a lot of damn, stupid Englishmen preventing us from slaying the murderers of our friends and sweethearts less than a 100 miles away.

Would the minister be kind enough to tell this Committee why the Lady Evelyn was left at Sydney and why she was not dispatched to Canso to try and catch that submarine if submarine there was?

The Minister of Naval Affairs also endeavoured to contradict my statement in reference to the steamer Lux Blanca. I wish to tell the minister that if the officials gave him the information that he gave here this afternoon there is only one thing to he done with these officials and that is to get rid of them. The minister said that there was a fog that day. I was on the Nova Scotia coast and I never saw a more beautiful summer day than that on which the Lux Blanca was sunk. There may have been a fog in Ottawa and if so it was around the Naval Department.

But, Mr. Chairman, he went on to say that there were patrol boats that had gone out in answer to the Lux Blanca's S.O.S. call. I said they did not, and I think I can prove it in a few minutes. The minister this afternoon deliberately contradicted my statement, and said that patrol boats went out to help the Lux Blanca. But he had to admit that those patrol boats lost their way, and they tried to get their course from a fisherman, but the fisherman could not give them their course. Well, Mr. Chairman, I do not know very much about marine matters, but I will say this-and I am looking at my hon. friend from Halifax (Mr. A. K. Maclean) while I say it, because he had something to do with putting buoys and lights at the entrance to the mouth of Halifax harbour-that from my little experience of marine matters I can leave Halifax in a boat on -a dark night or a foggy morning, feel my way out to the Fairway buoy, and can shape my course to where the Lux Blanca was sunk. If that is the kind of men the Minister of Naval Affairs had on his boats-if'with their lead lines, their compasses, their horns, and everything

else, they could not find their way out in the fog,-my charge in that connection is proved out of the lips of the minister himself. But, Mr. Chairman, I do not want the minister to listen to anything I say; I am going to give him the evidence of somebody else. I would not expect him to accept the correctness of my statements, after what he said this afternoon I am almost afraid myself to believe that I know what I am talking about; but I will give him the testimony of other men. When the Lux Blanca was sunk, what happened in Halifax? I am going to recite a conversation which took place between a master mariner, who is the agent of a very large insurance company in Halifax, and who knows all about marine matters, and certain other parties. I will give what he said about the sinking of the Lux Blanca. This gentleman-he is a reliable man and I will give his name if necessary-said:

I was informed of the sinking of the Dorn-fontien off the Bay of Fundy and shortly after of the sinking of another vessel up the coast towards Cape Sable. I saw at once that the U Boat was headed towards this part of the coast and of course expected that the Dockyard was watching the course of events and would be preparing to look after her. Great was my surprise next morning when going to my office on finding Long Distance frantically trying to locate me. I at once took up the phone and

found Captain of a fishing vessel

speaking from down the shore, he said, I have just been sunk by a large German submarine a few miles of Cape LaHave. We are all out this morning, he is going towards the eastward and will probably get all of us who are out, for God's sake get in touch with the Dockyard and send help.

This marine insurance man continued:

I asked him the particulars and then rang off, calling up the Dockyard and giving them the information. I do not know who answered the phone but it was some stupid idiot who wanted to know how he could be sure the information was authentic and he also replied that everything that was possible was being done.

That day (I am not sure whether he said that day or the next day) a prominent merchant of Halifax called me up on the phone and told me a German submarine was1 shelling an oil tanker a few miles off Sambro, he said,

I am going to call for you in my car and we will rush to the Dockyard and interview the "powers that be" and see if we can do any good, I replied, "I will be waiting for you." _

A few minutes later the Halifax gentleman arrived in his car and we drove to the Dockyard and went at once to see Admiral Storey. He appeared a very sociable chap but I was not there on social calls that day.

I do not know whether this Admiral Storey gave the two gentlemen pink tea or not, but you will notice, Mr. Chairman, that this insurance man says "he appeared


to be a very social gentleman." He wenfc on:

We went over the situation with him as quickly as possible and then asked him what he was doing. He replied very calmly that he was sorry but that he had nothing he could send out to engage a modern submarine. I replied, "Great God ! do you mean to tell us that with all those patrol beats" (pointing to a mass of boats I could see from his office) "you will calmly let a steamer be shelled to pieces by a German submarine and never lift your hand to stop them, and this almost before your eyes?" He replied, "Gentlemen, as I said before, I have nothing which can engage a modern submarine." We had a few more words and we left, and what we thought of the Dockyard I had better not say.

Now let us see what the captain of the Lux Blanca himself said:

When the Captain of the Lux Blanca arrived in port with his survivors he at once came to see me and I can tell you he was a very hot boy. He gave me the full particulars of the fight and he ended with. "Had I thought that the Dockyard of naval people would not send me help I would) never have tried to do what I did. I was expecting help to come every moment from around the point but never a sign of assistance came. My ship was sunk underneath my very feet and two of my gunners killed almost in sight of the forts of Halifax and with all the patrol boats and everything else, not a sign of anything came to help me. What in Heaven's name can they be thinking of there? I put up an unequal fight for hours, but I might better have tried to save our skins for all the assistance I got from the Canadian navy.

Now, Mr. Chairman, let us go on a little further.

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Hugh Boulton Morphy



Does the hon. gentleman assert that there was anything in the Canadian Navy in the shape of a war vessel fit to go out and cope with a modern submarine at that time?

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William Duff

Laurier Liberal


I am very pleased indeed that the hon. gentleman has asked me that question. It is quite true that there was no vessel in Halifax, or in the Canadian Navy, which could have coped successfully with this German submarine, but let me tell the hon. gentleman that what the naval authorities at Halifax should have done was this: They had, as this marine underwriter says, scores of boats lying in the dockyards doing nothing, but if Admiral Storey had gone down and said to the crews of those boats, "I know you cannot cope with this submarine but get steam up and start for Lux Blanca and the minute the German submarine sees the black smoke coming round the head it will submerge and go away," it would have been effective. The authorities might at least have done that. I do not say they could

have sunk the submarine, but I do say there were boys in the Canadian navy who could, have gone out and driven that submarine away.

Topic:   SUPPLY.

Richard Clive Cooper



Did the hon. gentleman give Admiral Storey the benefit of his excellent advice?

Topic:   SUPPLY.

William Duff

Laurier Liberal


No, Mr. Chairman, he had so many Englishmen around him there was no necessity for me to give advice.

I will read about some of them before I am through. Now, Mr. Chairman, as I said before, I do not want the minister to take my word as to what happened.

Topic:   SUPPLY.

Michael Clark

Unionist (Liberal)


Does the hon. gentleman think it was a misfortune for Admiral Storey to have Englishmen around him while the war was on?

Topic:   SUPPLY.

William Duff

Laurier Liberal


Well, we had a certain class of Englishmen in Halifax, some of whom were not much good. For instance the captain of the Hochelaga was an Englishman. Here is what was said by the Halifax Herald in its issue of August 7, 1918:

The outstanding- feature in connection with the three hour battle outside the harbour that rivets attention with compelling force is the absence of any protecting ships while torpedoes sped on their deadly mission, shells fell thick and fast and the air reverberated with the crack of guns for a space of 3 hours.

Where was the patrol fleet? The brave wireless operator of the oil tanker heriocally obeyed duty's call, but the patrol answered not. Had it been a ship in distress even in peace times succor would have arrived in less than that time.

But at war, with the fiendish Hun pirates at our very door and known to be lurking in the waters off the coast, the brave crew of the allied ship fought single handed a monster pirate of the deep-and there was no response to the piteous calls for help from the patrols- which at least it would be thought would be busy scouring the waters that lap the shores of Halifax and all the other towns an 1 villages from here east and west.

The Halifax Herald goes on to say:

Where the patrol was, what they were doing, may he in the ken of the authorities-

And I presume it was, Mr. Chairman, and I want the minister to pay particular attention here:

Where the patrol was, and what they were doing may be in the ken of the authorities-may be confidential, but the citizens of this city-who have already suffered from the greatest calamity ever visited upon any city on this continent by gross and criminal carelessness, and neglect of proper control by the constituted authorities, are vitally interested to know that the patrol is such that it may with all human probability save Halifax from another calamity.

If the patrol (boats did such good work, why does not the minister produce their

logs and tell us where they were on the coast of Nova Scotia during this time? That would be the proper evidence to lay before this Committee. But he gives us only sneering remarks about my knowledge of these matters, he tries to gloss them over- to put a coat of Sherwin-Williams shellac, on the whole business.

The minister says that some of these boys were decorated by the King. Certainly they were. They were good Canadian boys lost in the Halifax explosion. They were on the Niobe at the time and volunteered to go out to the Mont Blanc, and they deserved to be decorated by the King or by anybody else.

I would like to call the minister's attention to what he said about the conduct of the captain of the Hochelaga in comparison with the conduct of the six boys who were sentenced as criminals to eighteen months' imprisonment in Rockhead jail. The captain of that steamer, as I said before, was discharged for gross negligence and cowardice in the face of the enemy. The hon. minister tried to make out that I said the captain was honourably discharged. Perhaps I did so express myself. But if the Naval Department discharged the captain of the Hochelaga, is there any man in Canada to-night who will say that the department is treating those six young boys as they should be treated, some of them iad's from the city of Victoria-no doubt from the county represented by my hon. friend (Mr. Cooper) who interrupted me a few minutes ago? These boys are at present languishing in a criminal prison at Rockhead, forced to associate with vicious, degraded criminals. I assert that no man should dare get up and say that those boys got a correct sentence. Immediately the minister read my speech he should have taken steps to interview the Minister of Justice 'and have these young men discharged from custody. I say it is a disgrace that these six young men should be tonight undergoing the association of criminals while we are here sitting on our cushioned chairs; and I say emphatically that to-morrow morning the first thing the minister should do is to see that those young men are immediately released.

Now, Mr. Chairman, for a few moments I wish to make some further statements, as the minister did not quite believe what I said in my last speech. I noticed this afternoon that he spoke about the good work- the Royal Canadian navy did on the British Columbia coast. That is quite true; but no credit is to be given to the naval authorities at Ottawa for that good work.

At Victoria, British Columbia, a few public spirited men got together in 1912 and put their hands in their pockets for the purpose of forming what is known as a Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve. They applied to Ottawa for permission to form this reserve and for help. The officials of the Naval Department turned those men down, and declined to give them any assistance. A petition accompanied the request. Shortly after a cold formal acknowledgement was received from the department saying " the matter would be given consideration," but nothing further was done by the department. Influential citizens of British Columbia were interested in this matter, and, as I said a moment ago, out of their own pockets they subscribed liberally, and as a result 400 boys joined what is known as the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve. Nothing was done until July, 1914. You will remember {.hat the minister this afternoon took credit to his department for what was done in relation to these boys. The

department was compelled to give them recognition, because in July, 1914, the Kam-agata Maru arrived in Victoria with a large number of Hindus-, and the city authorities, realizing the seriousness of the matter, telegraphed the Ottawa authorities and asked that those boys be given power to look after that ship and see that nobody landed from it. That was when the Naval Reserve was first recognized. No. 1 Company, Victoria, of the R.N.C.V.R, were the first to offer and to perform volunteer service in Canada when the war started in August, 1914.

Those boys at that time were sent to Esqui-malt, and to show you the state things were in, for a few days they were given orders to dig trenches in the solid rock around the dock yards. Ammunition pits were dug and shelters erected, and general chaos" reigned throughout. To show that nothing was contemplated, these boys were not fitted out with any equipment, clothes, rifles or anything else.

What happened on the Pacific coast? On or about August 10 the German cruiser Leip-sig was known to be in the Pacific. The citizens of Vancouver, of Victoria and other coast towns were very much afraid that this cruiser might reach the British Columbia coast and shell them. In fact, the banks in the coast cities removed their gold to then-inland branches. Our fighting strength at the outbreak of the war on that coast was represented by the cruiser Rainbow and the other two ships mentioned by the minister this afternoon. In addition, there were

two fishery protection boats, the Galaino and the Malaspina and the two submarines which were purchased in Seattle about this time from an American shipbuilding firm. There was also a fleet of auxiliary yachts given to the Naval Reserve by wealthy men of Victoria and Vancouver. The Naval Department agreed with the Marine Department here to transfer those fishery protection boats to the Naval Service. These two boats were armed, but on being taken over by the Naval Service the guns were taken off and they were sent to sea without guns or ammunition. It is well known that the Galaino proceeded to sea without guns or ammunition of any kind.

But, Mr. Chairman, the Naval Department determined to do something, and they thought they had better help out one of their friends, I presume, so they arranged to charter the Grand Trunk Pacific steamer, the palatial Prince George. She was chartered on August 8, 1914, at $500 per day. Then the department proceeded to spend a lot of money on her for repairs and alterations to fit her as a hospital ship. Equipment was purchased, cots and sick bays and operating areas were installed, and a staff of female nurses and a medical officer were placed on board. These are a few of the things that were purchased:

Drugs and medical supplies $505.40

Surgical instruments 287.16

Flags 115.65

Medical stores 127.27

Bowls, jugs, soup tureen, etc., etc. .. 109.78Arrowroot biscuits, 500 lbs., etc 135.00

Blue jackets, overalls dressings; gowns, 72 at $2.00 each; tooth

brushes, towels, etc S62.35

Bed spreads, 74 at $2.10 each;

Blankets, 111 pr. at $5.25 per pair;

Felt mattresses, hammocks, etc.;

silver forks, etc 2,214.89

-and hundreds of other items. This steamer, Mr. Chairman, was sent on the broad waters of the Pacific with lights out. Now, anybody knows that Red Cross boats or hospital ships should not be sent out in that way. It is well known that the Hague Tribunal provides that hospital ships shall be painted white with a green stripe and with the red cross displayed in four or five prominent places, and in

no way try to conceal her identity. The Prince George proceeded on her journey, and had she been unlucky enough to have met with one of the German cruisers then at large, a terrible calamity would have occurred.

It is not the custom nor the procedure of the Admiralty of any country to send hospital ships sculling about, endangering the

lives of people on board; these ships are to follow after an engagement, not to precede it. During, an engagement they remain at their base or in the safety zone. After a short but somewhat expensive career this hospital ship was recalled and dismantled, and on September 23, forty-five days after being chartered, was turned back to the Grand Trunk Pacific. This little farcical episode cost the country $49,805.05, plus some other items of expenditure appearing in the expenses of H. M. C. dockyard, Esquimalt. As I said before, the Government paid the Grand Trunk Pacific $500 per day for the use of the Prince George.

While this was going on on the Pacific coast a number of German trading vessels were proceeding from Japan to Pacific ports in America. It was known to every pilot on the Vancouver coast that these ships had sailed from the other side and were on their way to this side of the Pacific. Two of the lieutenants who were at Esquimalt- one of them was Lieut. Julian and the other, Lieut. B. L. Johnston, a Vancouver pilot- presented to the naval office at Esquimalt a list of the German vessels which were then on their way acro-ss the Pacific, and requested permission to take the Galiano or the Malaspina, place her guns back on board and use the boat in an effort to capture these German ships. The senior naval officer promised at once to communicate with the naval authorities at Ottawa, but a few days later the lieutenants were informed that permission was not granted. One of the trading vessels was the German barque Kurt, which arrived at the port of Astoria, United States, on September 11, 1914. If these young Canadians had been allowed to take these fishery protection boats out they would have captured the German barque Kurt, which was worth $600,000 in gold, had a full cargo of products from South America, and was without guns or ammunition of any kind.

There were other vessels which the commander at Esquimalt was told about, and concerning which, I assume, he sent word to Ottawa. One was the ss. Alexandria, which arrived in San Francisco from Samoa about this time with the entire personnel of the German staff of the South Pacific German possessions, and over a million. dollars of gold in her strong-box. Other German boats which arrived safely at their destination on this side of the Pacific were the Arnoldus Vinnen, which arrived at Astoria on October 11, 1914, and the German ship Ottawa, of 2,542 tons register, which arrived at San Francisco August 21, 1914. If these young lieutenants

had been allowed to use the fishery protection vessels to which I have referred they would in all probability have captured these three valuable prizes.

What was done to help these boys keep up this naval reserve? The climax was reached and the death knell sounded for the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserves on the arrival of the Director of Naval Service in Esquimalt, Vice-Admiral Chas. E. Kingsmill. Strong representation was made to him by the heads of the respective branches at Esquimalt to obtain the bare necessities for carrying on the R.N.C.V.R., and it was hoped that his arrival would in no small way herald the righting of things. It is to be remembered that Admiral Kingsmill called the entire corps of the naval volunteers to assemble in the drill hall and there addressed them somewhat along the following lines: He

said he had been informed by the department at Ottawa that the Government had received instructions from England to devote all their energies to manning an army, not a navy. This is in contrast to the recruiting that was going on in Great Britain and in the Dominions overseas. Admiral Kingsmill stated: That the naval volunteers had been very badly advised; that the naval volunteers had been to a much greater extent poorly led; that there appeared to be

. great discontent throughout the

9 p.m. rank and file, and that it was not the intention of the department to go on with the volunteers as a fighting force, and, therefore, that as many as wanted could leave the yard forthwith. This was small recompense and very little thanks for the work done up to this time under the most adverse conditions by these men. They had been in the stokehold of the Rainbow when at sea; they had coaled ships in their civilian suits and had generally borne the brunt of things in the yard. Great consternation reigned after this speech. However, suffice it to say that over one hundred availed themselves of the admiral's advice and departed.

Needless to say, naval recruiting was at a standstill. The blow had been dealt, ani the naval spirit that existed up to this time in Western Canada was practically dead. Many of the naval ratings joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force. However, it is to be noted that about sixty days later the Naval Department, evidently being in need of naval ratings, sent an urgent telegram to Esquimalt, using the words " Recruit! Recruit! RecTuit!"

As showing the kind of situff our Canadian boys are made of, I may point out that a large number of them, some 1,188, went across to the Old Country and joined the British navy. But let us see what The Sailor, a magazine published in Toronto, says about affairs in the Canadian Naval Service. It is headed " The Price of Inaction/5 and says:

Mention has been made editorially of the fact that Canadian officers serving in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve strongly desire to be identified with a Canadian Naval unlit. This desire has been expressed not once, but many times, and recently was voiced in a constructive manner by a young officer, who, in writing home, suggested that some plan be worked out whereby Canadians who are now serving under the White Ensign be formed into a Canadian Naval unit and loaned to Great Britain for the duration of the war. It may be parenthetically remarked here that the young officer in question has already been recommended for a foreign decoration and has been since appointed to a responsible post in the British navy. Therefore, his suggestion was actuated by the purest motives of patriotism, and shows plainly the spirit which animates our sea warriors ; for no matter how high they may climb ; no matter what their environment, they are Canadians first, last and all time; and they are proud of their Mother Country. It is a curious fact, however, that the suggestion was identical with the one made by Capt. the Hon. Rupert Guinness, R.N.V.R., to the Department of Naval Service in 1916. At that time he was in Canada armed with diplomatic credentials, and (instructed to urge Canada to recruit 2,000 men for the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve, and to lend them to Great Britain, where they could be trained in various ratings. While he was pleading with the late minister, and his deputy minister, to take action in the matter, Commander Armstrong, R.N.V.R., was also in Canada and was energetically recruiting for his unit. The result was obvious, the apathy of the one side and the energy of the other, brought its own reward, and when Commander Armstrong left Canada he had secured about 400 of Canada's finest sons for the British branch of the service. Meanwhile the late minister and his deputy sat idly by, and watched the young men go. In fact, it took them from early spring until late autumn to break the monotony of their inaction, and then they decided to start recruiting for the R.N.C.V.R., in the depth of winter. This decision was indicative of only two things, of either the utter incompetency of the late minister and his deputy as departmental heads, or of their absolute indifference to the branch of the service which they were bringing into being.

These are not my words, Mr. Chairman, but the words of the editor of The 'Sailor. I think his name is Mr. Amelius Jarvis, of Toronto. At the time the German cruiser was on the Pacific coast and we had only the poor old Rainbow and the other little boat 'to do our work, wThat was the position that Canada was placed in? We had to accept help from the Japanese Government. Three Japanese cruisers-I

forget their names-came to the Pacific *coast, established a base at Esquimalt and did patrol work for 'the Canadian Government and the Canadian people during a great many months while there was *danger on the Pacific coast. .

The minister this afternoon endeavoured to convince the Committee that it was impossible for the Niobe to capture the German steamer Willehad, which sailed from Montreal.

'Some one asked that question, and it was shown that she was going along the Nova Scotia coast the very day war was declared. My information is, and reliable information too, Mr. Chairman, is that the steamer Canada was at that time on the Atlantic coast. She carried two twelve-pound guns, and if she had been given instructions from the dockyard or from the authorities at Ottawa she could have captured the Willehad. There was no necessity to have the Niobe to capture the ship. Now, it was considered necessary to purchase an aggregation of boats for patrol, and in connection with this matter I do not think I need say very much. There were a number of boats connected with the Marine Department for the purpose of laying buoys, and looking after the bells on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. One of these boats was the Lans-downe. She was one of the largest steamers in the Marine Department, being equipped with derricks for the purpose of placing and hoisting buoys. This ship was taken off Marine work and put in the Naval Service, the cost involved being some $47,043. Instead of being put to useful work she was kept at the base in Sydney for the purpose of lifting and lowering the signals at the defence boom to allow vessels to come into Sydney-work which a small tug boat could have done rather than -this large ship belonging to the Marine Department. Let us see what happened as a result of the boat being taken off the Marine work. As I said a moment ago, the work of these boats was to lay buoys along the Nova Scotia coast every spring. In winter some of these buoys have to be taken up owing to the ice, and during the spring and summer of 1918 a number of buoys were not placed because the Marine Department had no boat to lay them. The following are the buoys not placed in position:

Liscomb Fairway, gas and whistle.

Thrum Cap, gas and bell buoy.

Three Fathom, gas and bell.

Egg Island buoy, no whistle or light.

Thorn Shoal, bell.

Owl's Head, bell.

Ship Harbour, automatic whistling buoy.

Spry Bay, bell.

Sheet Harbour Passage, bell.

Basson Reefs, bell.

Lockwood Rock, automatic whistle.

Nixonmate, bell.

Bull Rock, bell.

Isaac Harbour, gas and whistling buoy.

New Harbour, whistling buoy.

Tor Bay, whistling buoy.

Flying Point, bell.

Whitehead, gas and whistling.

Cerebus, gas and whistling.

Grimes, gas and whistling.

Argus Shoal, whistling buoy.

Petitdegrat, gas and bell.

Beak Point, whistle buoy.

Haddock Rock, bell.

L'Archeveque, bell.

Fourchu, whistling buoy.

Guion Island, gas and whistling buoy.

Barr Reef, whistling.

Now, I suppose the Minister of Naval Affairs will say the reason these buoys were not placed is that the German submarines, if the buoys were in position, would find their way into the harbours. That argument will not hold water, because the German submarines had no need of the buoys or bells to enable them to get into the harbour. All the coast lights were burning, and if a German submarine wanted to go into a harbour from Cape Sable to Cape North it could have done so at any time, day or night. To show what kind of naval service we had, we were obliged to have a Japanese guard on the Pacific coast, while a similar: condition

existed on the Atlantic. It will no doubt be remembered that two Australian ships came to our coast to help protect our coastal waters. If I remember correctly, these ships were the Sydney and the Melbourne. One I am sure was the Sydney, which sank the German ship Emden in the Pacific and afterwards came to help us. So that it is obvious the minister could Hot rely on the service of his navy when *we had to have Japanese and Australian ships assisting us. Then the hon. gentleman told us about the work of the mine sweepers. The joke about them is that they only swept the sea after the convoys had passed, and for this statement I have the most reliable authority. The duty of the mine sweepers is to clear the water before the ships carrying soldiers and other passengers .go forward; but this patrol calmly swept the ocean after the convoys had passed and were out of sight. We did have some protection on the Atlantic coast in 1917, on the suggestion of Mr. Amelius Jarvis of Toronto. The Canadian Government, with money which I believe belonged to the Imperial Government, purchased seven or eight fishing schooners which were changed to represent camouflaged vessels.

They were supplied with motors, and had guns. They also had on deck dories which were let down and disappeared in the waist of the ship. These vessels were bought in May or June, 1917, and as an illustration of the expedition with which the naval authorities in Halifax did their work, these seven or eight vessels were not made ready until October of the same year. Of course, as every one knows, in October the fishing fleet were home so that those ships did not do any work that season. However, they should have been kept for the next year and could have rendered excellent service. One of these little vessels fixed up to look like a fishing craft could be anchored or laying amongst the fishing fleet, and on a German submarine coming up, this "mystery ship," as it is known, would lower her dories and train her guns on the submarine, and before the latter had time to get her own guns ready, the camouflaged boat could damage, if not sink her. In the winter of 1918, I presume at the suggestion of the department, these vessels were sold at about half their price to any one who cared to purchase. I contend that they should have been kept, for they could have performed very valuable services in 1918. But, as I said, they were sold in February or March of that year. We have been told of what was done to protect the fishing fleet on the Atlantic coast. I do not profess to take any credit for what was done, but I may say that I did telegraph the Acting Minister of Naval Affairs last year acquainting him with the condition of affairs in Nova Scotia and asking him if something could not be done to protect about 150 fishing vessels at that time on the broad Atlantic. I received word from Ottawa-a very nice telegram, I must say-that they were doing all that they could in the matter. Of course, I knew what that meant, and I telegraphed hack and requested that an endeavour be made to get either British or American cruisers to come and patrol the Nova Scotia coast. We have heard about the Stadacona and the advice to fishermen to leave their grounds and go into port. Now, I took the matter up myself when I could not get satisfaction from the minister, and on my responsibility I telegraphed every port in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland where vessels were in the habit of going and advised them to remain in, and by the time that either American destroyers or any boats which the Naval Department might have sent from Halifax got to the grounds, there were only two or three vessels on the Grand Banks. So that

when the gentleman who wrote the letter to the Montreal uiar, as quoted by the minister this afternoon, said that there were 60 vessels notified, I will say that it must have been in the stokehold of the boat shovelling coal instead of being on the lookout. These vessels could not continue their fishing voyage owing to lack of protection by the Canadian authorities, and the advice I gave at the time was that they should endeavour to get home at the earliest possible moment and in so doing hug the shore.

The instructions which I gave them at that time were to try and get home at the earliest possible moment and hug the shore; that is, they were to leave the Newfoundland ports and come up around Cape North, down through the straits of Canso, and hug the shore from there to Lunenburg. This was done, but I regret to say that one of the vessels which was hugging the shore-this would not have happened if we had had the proper naval protection-on the sixth of September was blown on the rocks by an easterly gale, and eighteen men were lost owing to the culpable negligence and' lack of protection afforded by the Canadian naval authorities. When these vessels arrived at their home ports I telegraphed to the Minister oi Naval (Service that some 150 valuable ships had arrived home with valuable cargoes ranging in value from $30,000 to $40,000. 1 asked if it would not be possible for him to send some patrol vessels from Halifax to patrol the coast off the mouth of Lunenburg and Lahave, but the minister has not yet done me the courtesy to reply to that telegram. Two days after the armistice was signed, on the 13th of November, into the harbour of Lunenburg steamed about a dozen patrol boats, the first we had seen since the beginning of the war. That is the kind of patrol service which the minister tried to defend this afternoon.

Early in the war a despatch came from Ottawa to the naval authorities at Halifax that the German cruiser Karlsruhe was shelling the town of Glace Bay. Of course, no such thing ever happened, but word came to that effect. The naval authorities hustled around. At that time the good ship Canada, a boat not much longer than this Chamber, was lying at Halifax. She had two twelve-pound guns, and that was the boat that was sent down to Glace Bay to engage the German man-of-war. At the same time, in order to give further protection to the citizens of Glace Bay, a crew with a couple of guns was sent by train. This crew was made up of sick-bay attendants and watchmen on the Niobe; there

TMr. Duff.]

was hardly a naval rating among them. The joke was that the gunners went without any ammunition and without a breach lock. One of the guns sent by the naval authorities at Halifax was about twenty years old, and had been used as a hearse at sailors' funerals. The whole thing was a joke, and after setting up some wire at the town of Glace Bay, the sailors came back.

The minister did not think I was correct when I said that a certain gentleman had offered to give one destroyer to the Government if they built four others. That offer was made by Commander J. K. L. Ross. He gave his own boat, the Tuna, and also took charge of a vessel called the Grilse. The Grilse was the only vessel in the patrol service that could be said to be equipped with guns and ammunition, and would you believe it, after the Grilse had been bought in New York and brought to Halifax she was sent up to Gaspe Basin, in the St. Lawrence, to help convoy ships carrying Canadian soldiers. Her guns and ammunition on her first trip consisted of a half-barrel with a stick of wood painted gray lashed on top of it.

The minister also talked about the ships the Government bought. I notice that six of these small patrol boats cost something like $208,000 each, or $1,250,000 altogether. They could have been bought in England for at most half the price, and I say without fear of contradiction that somebody made $75,000 or $100,000 on each of these six boats. If the minister would grant me the investigation I ask I have no doubt this fact would come out. It is true that other boats were purchased, but all kinds of prices were paid for them and no attempt was made by the department to get value for the people's money. I have no hesitation in saying that our naval affairs were conducted by the department in such a way that every Canadian should hang his head in shame.

The minister said that my remarks with regard to the Mont Blanc were not correct, and he spoke of the beautiful harbour of Halifax. Now, if anybody should know about the beauties of Halifax harbour I should. It is one of the finest -harbours in the world; I might say the finest, but the hon. members for St. John might not agree with me. The minister said that it was all right to allow this ship carrying high explosives to come into Halifax harbour. I do not know whether the minister knows this or not, but it is a fact that the Mont Blanc had her decks on fire before she reached Halifax harbour. Some oil had got

out of the casks on deck and started a fire. That ship was deliberately allowed to come up to Halifax harbour with her decks on fire. Is that the way to protect the citizens of this country? I do not want the minister to take my word alone; I am going to put somebody else on record. On December 20, 1917, the 'Morning Chronicle said:-

The public have the right to know under what authority. the Mont Blanc was allowed to approach the Narrows, proceeding inward towards Bedford Basin at the very moment when the Imo was outward bound. The naval authorities, as we understand, control the movements of all ships inward and outward. It is imperative that the public should know by whose authority the Imo was ordered to leave her anchorage in Bedford Basin at a time when it must 'have been plain to the competent naval authority that the two ships would meet in or near the narrow channel which leads from the inner harbour to the basin. It is also imperative not only for the purposes of this investigation, but for the city's security in future, to ascertain why a proper patrol was not maintained by naval craft to keep the course clear for the munition boat. The naval authorities have a large number of boats of various sorts at their command in this harbour, but so far as we have learned none of them were employed in escorting the Mont Blanc on her way to Bedford Basin. Why? The public have a right to know why these and other precautions which we might mention were not taken and, above all, why the risk of allowing these two steamers to meet on this narrow waterway was taken.

The Morning Chronicle at that time was a supporter of the present Government and of the Minister of Naval Affairs. On December 22, 1917, the Chronicle says:-

Halifax has suffered a calamitous loss on account of the explosion on a ship which carried exceedingly high explosives. What we want to know is what precautions were taken to avert this disaster; why the Imo was allowed to go through the Narrows, where the waterway is comparatively narrow and a considerable current runs, at the same time as the Mont Blanc laden with munitions; why the course was not kept clear for the latter ship? And why warning was not given to -all craft to give the munition-laden ship a wide berth?

The public want this whole matter thoroughly and searchingly probed, not alone to establish the responsibility for what has occurred, but to ensure that there shall be the most absolute safeguards possible for the future. They want to know if the regulations governing the movement of traffic in this harbour shall govern in the future, and they want to have it made absolutely certain, so far as human effort can make it, that no such risk of disaster will ever be taken again.

Now Sir, I will go a little farther to establish my case. I do not want the minister to think that I am the only person in Nova Scotia who complains about his bum-boat navy. The Chronicle of December 26 (?) says:

Halifax harbour is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Canadian Government lit is

officered and staffed by Federal appointees who act under Federal orders. Neither the province of Norn Scotia nor the city of Halifax exercises or can exercise any control over its navigable waters. It is evident, therefore, that neither of them bears any responsibility for anything which may be amiss in the management of those waters. They receive neither fees nor direct emolument from the shipping which enters the -port. They have no -power to regulate, much less to prevent, the movement to, from or within the harbour of undesirable or dangerous shipping

It seems to us that the Dominion is not only legally and equitably liable for the Injuries occasioned by the explosion of the Mont Blanc in Halifax harbour, its entrance having -been sanctioned, if not invited, by responsible -federal officials, b-ut -that it is morally and conscientiously bound to indemnify, in so far as it can, the people of Halifax for the grievous loss and injury which has been inflicted upon them through the direct acts of its regularly appointed and duly authorized agents.

Would- not any individual citizen of Halifax have a good cause of action against the Dominion Government for his personal loss? If so, should1 not the -damage done to the city toe borne without contest or murmurs by the whole people of -Canada every one of whom has as much -personal interest in the cargo of the Mont Blanc as had any citizen of Halifax, although all the loss caused by the explosion fell immediately upon the people of this city?

The Government and the minister admitted their responsibility when they paid the citizens of Halifax millions and millions of dollars. The Halifax Chronicle of December 28 said:

The inquiry which is demanded is an inquiry to establish the responsibility for the movement of the ships, the one from her anchorage in the lower harbour, the other from her anchorage in Bedford basin-why a death-carrying vessel w-as allowed to proceed up the harbour and into a narrow channel and there to come in collision with an outgoing steamer, with, so far as it is known, no precautions or safeguards whatsoever having been taken or provided. That is the crux of the whole question.

The minister said this afternoon that this ship was perfectly justified in coming up the harbour an-d that the naval authorities had done nothing wrong, and yet we have this Government organ, the Chronicle, condemning in unscathing terms not only the minister but his officials at both Ottawa and Halifax. But I am not going to rest my case upon what the Chronicle says. The Morning Chronicle once upon a time was a Grit paper and of course some of my friends might -say Grit papers are not always reliable. So I am going to give a few quotations from another paper. This paper is known as the Halifax Herald, a newspaper edited by no less a gentleman than the Hon. Senator William Dennis, of the city of Halifax, province of Nova Scotia. What do we find the Herald saying on December 24?-

There is no need to try and disguise the fact that the citizens will not rest content until the blame is rightly fixed and it would he useless to deny that there is considerable unrest in the minds of the people, that the citizens require to have their faith re-established in the ability of those having the safety of the port under their care.

It is alleged that there is no effective harbour patrol, though the naval authorities have a number of craft at their disposal, many of them tied up when they might be keeping the roadway clear for ammunition-laden ships. That there is a scarcity of men to man those patrol boats does not seem apparent from the number of uniformed1 men which were seen day by day in the vicinity of the Acadian hotel, which by the way was a sort of hotel for naval men on the " waiting list."

"Set when the hon. (member for Guys-borough (Mr. Sinclair) asked the minister a question about the number of men lying around Halifax he tried to make out that they weie net there for any length of time. He will go a little farther and see what the Halifax Herald says on December 31:

The persistent demand made jby the Halifax Herald is for a thorough investigation into all the causes that led to the explosion and the placing of official and personal responsibility therefor.

(a) Who permitted the Mont Blanc to pass up the harbour without being preceded by a patrol boat?

(b) Who permitted this foreign ship, heavily laden with a cargo of inflammables and the most deadly explosives and with a captain, officers and crew who couldn't speak a word of English and a pilot who couldn't speak a word of French? What naval, or other Canadian Government official permitted this ship to steam up to the Narrows not only without a patrol escort, but without even the ordinary and usual " red flag " danger signal?

(c) Who permitted the Norwegian steamer Imo, chartered as a Belgian Relief Ship, but now in ballast, to proceed down the harbour at an hour and minute that made it possible for the empty Imo-also without patrol escort- to collide with the Mont Blanc and her cargo of death-dealing explosives, through " error of judgment," "accident," "crass stupidity," "'gross carelessness," "damnable cussedness

or from any other cause-to collide in the very narrowest part of the harbour-this wonderful harbour in which the greatest ocean leviathans can swing around at full speed and the niavies of the Empire could ride in safety.

We will go a little farther with this investigation and see whether the naval authorities were doing their duty at the time this boat came through the Narrows ana blew up with the result that some 1,80U people lost their lives and some 20,000 or 30,000 were injured and wounded. This was the greatest disaster that any city haa suffered for a number of years and it was all due, as proved by the Chronicle ana the Herald, to the carelessness of the naval authorities. On January 31, the Herald said:

There are rumours that there may be a complete reorganization of the naval department at Ottawa, but it is hardly likely that anything will be done until the findings of the Drysdale Commission are received. The feeling here is that there is ''too much pomposity and too little efficiency among certain naval officers in Ottawa."

I address this in particular to the minister himself.

Deputy 'Minister of Naval Affairs Desborats is admitted to be a competent official though, of course, he is a civilian and consequently lacking in naval experience.

The shake-up in Canadian naval affairs at Halifax is without doubt only preliminary to a more extensive carrying out of a much needed reform in the Department of Naval Affairs at Ottawa.

Let me go a little farther to prove my case: The Halifax Herald of February 5, 1918, says:

Notwithstanding the cruel manner in which-

And this is a reference to the minister:

.-he was deceived by his officials when he made his deplorable utterance at Halifax some weeks ago in defence of men who have been shown to he utterly incompetent, and of a system thoroughly rotten, congratulations are due Hon. Mr. Ballantyne on the initial reforms he has made. No one to-day regrets that utterance more than he and the changes he has already made can he looked upon as an instalment towards a complete reorganization of the staff at this port-and which should carry with it as complete and' as thorough a change in the department at Ottawa, An investigation of the conduct of naval affairs in Canada, apart altogether from the question of harbour control, will reveal changes that should have been made long ago ; and if they had been made not only might the great catastrophe have been prevented, but much money would have been saved which has been expended for unseaworthy craft and their incompetent management.

I would like the minister to give careful attention to that.

Of that there will hei more to reveal in the future.

Let us see what the Halifax Herald says further of the Department of Naval Affairs. On February 9 it says:

Yet upon this simple policeman's job the Canadian naval service, with all its frills and feathers-

Now who is talking about pink teas and furbelows?

The result 1,500 innocent men, women and children killed', thousands injured, and several hundreds blinded for life. The punishment, the preventive methods for the future must not stop with the prosecution of a pilot, a ship's master, and a subordinate examining officer. The horror is too appalling, the measure of official^ neglect too ghastly.

We will go a little further in the matter. In its issue of February 12, 1918, the Halifax Herald says:

So accustomed has Halifax become to startling developments in connection with the recent disaster and the matter of harbouir control, there would seem to be nothing added which could further appal the people of this city, and further convince the country of the necessity of revolutionary changes. But once again comes a terrific shock. It is an actual fact that the great ocean greyhound, the Olympic, had, because of harbour mismanagement, a narrow escape, when freighted with thousands of human lives, from going on the deadly Sambro Ledges. The Commission appointed by the Federal Government to inquire into pilotage affairs was astounded yesterday afternoon near the close of the second session of the day at an announcement by Captain Latter of the pilot board. Captain Latter declared that "the naval people shifted buoys without warning, and vessels coming up in the fo

Then this appeared in the same papei on the same day:

Another development of the inquiry was the further proof of the "death sleep" and lethargy of the Marine Department at Ottawa given the evidence of J. E. De Wolf, one of the Halifax Pilot Commissioners. Mr. De Wolf said that some six or seven years' ago the (Marine and Fisheries Department asked the Pilot Commission to draft new by-laws.. The Commission, assisted by Hector Melnnes, K.C., did this and the new by-laws were sent to Ottawa. It is evident that they are still reposing in a dusty pigeonhole. No notice was taken by the department. " They treated us with contempt " said Mr. De Wolf. 'We never heard a word and I urged upon the commission to resign in a body as a protest." .

Now, the point I am making in connection with what I am reading now has reference to do with what happened after the explosion. The explosion occurred in December, and although the naval authorities knew all that happened in that regard, the officers of the Naval Department at Halifax made no attempt to better the conditions of that city. Therefore we read as follows in the Halifax Herald of March 12, 1918:

Further investigation by the Halifax Herald in shipping and pilotage circles yesterday has brought additional and conclusive evidence that there must be a shake-up of no meagre dimensions at Ottawa. The pilot's story that a steamer laden with high explosives was allowed to lay in the fair way of the harbour one dav last week for seven hours., was fully confirmed, and in getting the confirmation other details of a most startling nature were disclosed.

The Halifax Herald is scrupulously careful to abide by the rules of the censorship and anything calculated to furnish information to the enemy is gladly withheld from publication. There is not a man familiar with marine affairs at this port, not a Nova Scotia captain, who has gladly given his services to the work of naval patrol, not a master mariner who regularly brings in and takes out a steamer, but what has a story to tell of stupidity, of pig-headedness, of bungling in connection with the affairs of the port, and, following up these stories, the trail leads directly to Ottawa and reveals a heterogeneous bunch of incompetents who may know the ways of society, who may be able to judge aright the merits of various blends of wines, but who certainly do not know the ways of ships .arid are not able to judge the competence of those whom they place in charge.

The coming in, the anchoring and the going out of ships is at all times a matter which should demand the attention of men familiar with the. sea. Nova Scotia has produced some of the best seamen of all time-they are not at Ottawa* they are not in control of marine affairs, such, control is left to men whose hands never gripped hemp, men to whom the use of a sextant is an absolute mystery, and their management of floating things limited to a slight knowledge, possibly of a varnished canoe on a still lake.

In times of peace we should not have such men at the head of affairs qf a maritime nature. To have them in such position in these awful days of war is evidence of a laxity on the part of our people, a laxity which has already led to fatal consequences, and which should, perchance, a break be made through the British fleet, lead to awful disaster. God forbid that a change at Ottawa be withheld until such a time comes.

It took one of the greatest disasters the world has ever known ito partially arouse those in auhority, but those who were in supreme authority then are still in authority. Britain, France, Italy, the United States, all have had a shake-up, and a betterment of their management of marine affairs-. Canada, after appalling evidence of incompetence is without a shake-up. A Jellicoe was shifted, a Kingsmill reigns supreme.

I think I hear the minister whispering something to the Chairman. Perhaps he does not want me to read these extracts; but I would like to finish the task which I have undertaken, even if I am getting under the skin of the minister. In its issue of March 13, the Halifax Herald says further:

that so long as men who have notoriously outlived their usefulness as public officials, and some of whom are regarded as having become fossilized incompetents are retained in positions of great responsibility at Ottawa in marine and naval affairs there will be no harmony, cooperation or practical co-ordination among those upon whom the safety of this port depends and while this condition remains the people of Hali

fax cannot feel that "all that is possible for their protection is being done."

Then the Halifax Herald says on the same day:

The Halifax Herald has been informed by responsible citizens, in a position to know, that [DOT]while the vessel was at anchor in the fair way, explosive matter was removed from her, that it was taken up the harbour, that not only tugs or barges, but a motor boat, with gasoline on board, was used in the transportation of certain cases from the vessel before she was taken up into the basin.

Yet the Minister of Naval Affairs this afternoon without endeavouring to criticise the charges I brought against the department, pronounced those charges inaccurate

Now I have established to the satisfaction of other members of the Committee that what I said in my previous remarks on May 7th was correct. I have also gone at great length into these matters to-night. I have more to say; and if the minister will grant me the investigation for which I have asked I will prove who is speaking truly and who is not. We are going ahead to-night with the Naval Estimates. On May 7th after making my charges, I made the assertion that under all the circumstances, after what had happened in the case of the Canadian Navy officials, we should not vote one dollar for naval expenditure this year. I repeat that statement to-night. After all has been said and done, after all that was heard on May 7th, and what has been said to-night, and after all that is current talk in the city of Halifax, and in every port of Nova Scotia, I say that this Committee should not vote one dollar to the present Administration for Naval Affairs in Canada. We are asked to vote a sum of $288,000 for the salaries of men whose incompetence has been proven not only by myself, hut 'by the Halifax Chronicle and the Halifax Herald. Therefore, I urge this Commitee not to vote one dollar for the Department of Naval Service. It is quite unnecessary. It can *do no good. There is no necessity for any *vote of public moneys for men in Halifax *connected with the Naval Department. They should be discharged as incompetent, and the vessels either sold for old junk, or else handed over the Minister of Public Works, filled with cement and ballast and then sunk for the purpose of making breakwaters at the mouths of harbours. We are not only asked to >vote $288,000 for salaries for these gentlemen in the Naval Department, but the immense sum of $1,805,000 is asked for the maintenance and upkeep of the dockyards at Halifax and Esquimalt and the Royal Naval Reserve. I say, Sir, that no good can come from this expenditure especially in view of the present (financial situation of Canada, and every representative of the people should decide against one dollar being voted for this purpose.

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John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal


They were court martialled and sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment. I suppose they are serving their sentence; at least we have not

been told anything to the contrary. That may be all right-I do not know. It looks to me like very severe punishment. But admitting- that it was all right, what was done to the commanding officer of the Hoche-laga, Lieut. Robert D. Legate? He was in charge, and his orders were to destroy submarines. He saw a submarine at sea, but instead of attempting to destroy it, he turned tail and made for harbour. He was court-martialled. And what was his sentence? He was dismissed from the service. Now, those seven boys would have been very easily punished if they had been simply dismissed from the service. Perhaps that would have suited them very well. At any rate, this officer was simply dismissed from the service and not punished at all.

The minister said that if these seven sailors had been in the British navy and had got their just deserts under the laws of war they would have been court-martialled and shot. Under the naval laws of Great Britain would Commander Legate not have been court-martialled and shot too? If so, why was he not punished? I am informed that this is the first time in the history of naval warfare that the white ensign ran away from an enemy; I do not think such another case is recorded in British history. Why does this man go scot-free? Why were these sailors sentenced to eighteen months in prison while the commander of the Hochelaga was simply dismissed from the service, although his offence was much more serious than that committed by the seven sailors? That is the point which was made by the member for Lunenburg in his first speech, and it has not yet been answered. It ought to be answered by the minister before we go any further in voting salaries for his officers. The question was asked some days ago in the House whether the Canadian haval Department had

10 p.m. the power to punish this man, and the answer was in the affirmative, though no indication was given as to why they did not do it. Will the minister give us that information? If not we shall have to come to the conclusion that in the Canadian Naval Service there is one law for sailors and another for officers.

The character of the ships employed in the service has been referred to several times in this discussion. The minister has not told us very much about the character of the ships. In the naval discussion we had a few years ago the late Liberal Govern-men was reproached for what was described as a proposal to build a " tin-pot navy." The present political associates of the minis-

ter objected at that time to fast cruisers of the Bristol type. Ships like the' Sydney, which did such splendid work in the war. This was the class of ships that was proposed to be built by the Government then in power, but the minister's friends objected to that class of vessel. Nothing short of dreadnoughts would suit them; Bristol cruisers they christened " tin pot." But if ever a navy deserved to be called a " tin-pot navy," it was the navy constructed by the department of my hon. friend. The only ships that were any good in this navy were the ones that were there prior to 1911.

No one can deny that there was a great *deal of discontent in Halifax. Discontent prevailed in many places along the coast, hut chiefly at Halifax. If, as the minister says, everything was rosy, where did all this trouble come from? Why were there eo many complaints at Halifax? The fact that the Halifax Herald, though ia strong (supporter of the present Government, attacked the Government on this question, ought to be proof to the minister that there was something wrong. I suppose the Government was never so severely attacked as it was in connection with naval affairs by the Halifax Herald during the war. The Herald does not blame the officers at Halifax; it traces the trouble to the Naval Department at Ottawa; it blames the heads of the department here and it must be admitted that the contention of the Herald with regard to the inefficiency of the department was well founded. I do not expect the minister to give orders in regard to warfare or to naval affairs, and I do not throw the blame upon him. But the minister is responsible if he fails to surround himself with competent men. If he finds that his staff is incompetent and fails to take prompt measures, then we have to throw the responsibility on him.

The member for Lunenburg has been reading from the Halifax Herald; let me read a few extracts from the Halifax Mail. The Mail is the evening edition of the Hemld; both papers are owned by a prominent gentleman in the other Chamber, Senator Dennis. In dealing with this matter the Mail opened its columns to complaints, and they came in so fast that the Mail did not know what to do with them. They had a 'special editor whose duty it was to answer complaints of all kinds, but these complaints poured in at such a rate [DOT]that the editor was overwhelmed with them and admits that he could not answer them. But he makes a list of them in the paper [DOT]day by day, and here are some of them:

Question No. 1662-Why were the ratings on T. R. 30 court martialled in the Canadian navy last summer for refusing duty and sentenced to long terms of imprisonment, when several so-called skippers and mates positively refused to take boats overseas last winter and were not court martialled or punished in any way? (2) How can discipline he maintained in the service, when such work is allowed to go unpunished? (3) Is there one law for officers and another for ratings under the present management of the Canadian navy? (I) Can you give the names of the officers comprising the court martial before whom the ratings on T. R. 30 were tried, and are they still in the service? (5) Had the officer in command of T. R. 30, at the time these ratings refused duty, sufficient experience to command men and was he a Canadian? (6) Is there any truth in the report of the wholesale discrimination against Canadians in the Canadian naval service? (7) Will there toe a fair, impartial investigation toy a committee of the House of Commons at the next session of Parliament into the naval affairs of Canada during the war, with full power to go into all matters of expenditure, promotions, granting of commissions, etc.? (S) Who, on behalf of the Government, looked after the building of tooats known as C. D's? (9) Who accepted these boats from the builders as being fit for service?

: Then the paper goes on to say:

Answer-Here are nine questions on a matter of which we have no paiticular information. The only place where you can be effective in eliciting replies is in the House of Commons. The n'avy make a rule not to answer questions, as attempts on our part have fully demonstrated. Hundreds of questions are received every week concerning the navy, the majority of them asking the questions put toy our correspondent as above. It is evidently not a very happy or united family.

The above is an extract from a leading paper in Halifax, a supporter of the Government, published during the time these transactions were going on. I submit that the minister should answer them.

The only way in which they can adequately be answered is by granting the request of the hon. member for Lunenburg and giving an investigation. Let us take another extract from the same paper:

Note.-Questions continue to pour in concerning naval affairs. Many concern the men of T. R. 30, who are in prison for, it is alleged, refusing to go to sea in a craft unseaworthy. Others relate to P. V. 5 which it is alleged is in an unseaworthy condition. They say she is leaking aft around the rudder and also in her starboard bunker and the statement is further made that they were pumping from three to four tons of water per hour from her, that the conditions on board are unbearable. There is no getting away from the fact that there is seething discontent in the service. One correspondent says it is caused by "racial" distinction. He says he is a Canadian, wants to be a Canadian man-of-war sailor, but objects to be designated as a "native." The complaints may not all be founded on fact, but where there is scr much smoke, there must surely be some fire. The imprisoning of the boys on T. R.

30, seems to be causing considerable indignation. The complainants all lay stress on the statement that the boys should not have been sent to prison for refusing to go to sea on an unseaworthy craft, when captains of other boats, who refused to go to sea on the same plea were passed over without a reprimand. It is impossible to And room for all the letters. We would advise the complainants to take the matter up with the secretary of the Navy "League. The league has a paper of its own with 'a big circulation and is quite sympathetic to the men who have grievances. It is stated that out of 4,000 men in the service during the war, only a baker's dozen, when asked the question, if they desired to go on the reserve, answered "yes." If the service has become so unpopular, that men will not enter it unless by force, something drastic must be done at once.

That is the opinion of the chief organ supporting the Government in Nova Scotia, and I submit to the minister that it does raise a question for an investigation. If the officers at the head of the Canadian Navy are incompetent and inefficient, something ought to be done by the minister to see that this state of affairs is remedied. We are all anxious that the navy shall he properly managed and shall be such as all citizens of Canada may be justly proud of, and it is the duty of the minister to make this possible. I am sure he would be carrying out the will of the members of this Parliament and of the people of this country if he took decided steps in that direction, and I am quite sure he would have the support of every hon. member on this side of the House in such action. 1 am not here for the purpose of unduly criticising the minister, but it is my duty to ask him to take this question up seriously and make an investigation into the conditions of his department. And if he finds that there is truth in the allegations and that the officers responsible for the management of affairs in the Naval Department are inefficient, then it is his duty to see that they are dismissed and efficient men are appointed in their stead; if we are to spend millions of dollars in an endeavour to build up a Canadian Navy, let us have a navy in which the people of Canada can take a pride.

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Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)



I took the pains

this afternoon very carefully and categorically to answer every charge that the hon. member for Lunenburg made in his speech, delivered as 'I understood him to say, on May 7. I occupied the .time of the committee for a period of about an hour and a quarter, and I really do not think it would be fair to hon. members to ask me to cover the same ground again. I made a full and complete answer in regard to the court martial of men on trawler 30 who

refused to carry out the orders of their superior officers. I did not say that if these men had belonged to the Imperial service they would have been court-mar-.tialled and shot. What I did say was that .if on the field of Flanders Canadian soldiers had refused to carry out the orders of their superior officers they would have been court-martialled and undoubtedly the sentence of death would have been passed upon them, and they would in all probability have been shot the following morning.

I also very carefully explained to hon. members the full particulars about the captain of the steamer Hochelaga. I can traverse that ground again if hon. members think it necessary, but I must say that I endeavoured to the best of my ability to give a full, frank and complete answer- .which was not difficult-to the hon. member for Lunenburg. The hon. gentleman has wearied this House to-night for some two hours, continuously reading extracts and comments of the press of Halifax. Now, 1 am not interested in what the press of Halifax may have to say regarding the Naval Service of Canada, neither does it interest me to know whether the owners of those papers belong to either the Liberal or the Conservative party. We are dealing with serious matters. The hon. member for Lunenburg, has treated the Naval Service of Canada in a light and frivolous manner, and I made ample reference to that phase of that attitude this afternoon. He rose in his place some weeks ago and made the statement that the steamer Hochelaga went to the Magdalen Islands to carry six lead pencils to that port.

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Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)



The Lady Evelyn then. Does the hon. member think for a moment that sane members in this House will take that statement seriously? Who on earth would send the Lady Evelyn or any other steamer on such a voyage as that-to carry six lead pencils to any port? All through the hon. member's two hours' talk this evening, everything he did say confirmed what I stated this afternoon in regard to his slighting references not only to the officers of the Canadian navy but also to all the men connected therewith. The hon. member was not content to do that alone, but he deemed it fit to cast slurring remarks upon officers of the British navy. If we are holding-

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Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)



Allow me to finish, please. If we are holding this session now,

it is due to the fact that the Imperial fleet and those brave and gallant officers have defended Canada and the British Empire for hundreds of years, and it ill becomes the member for Lunenburg to make the slighting and slurring remarks which he made during his last speech in his reference to English officers that were employed-[DOT]-

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Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)



Mr. Chairman, I must protest against this interruption. I desire to complete my remarks.

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May 26, 1919