June 26, 1920

UNION

William Antrobus Griesbach

Unionist

Mr. GRIESBACH:

The second,, third,

fourth and fifth naval powers were almost on terms of equality.

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L LIB

Jean-Joseph Denis

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DENIS:

At all events, if it were

only for the reasons I have just given, I submit that the conditions in 1910 were altogether different from what obtain today. In 1910 the menace was the rising sea power of Germany, and Great Britain

urgently needed our help for in case of war our navy could have been used to some purpose against the Germain navy; and the same considerations would apply should the rising sea power to-day be Japan, China or any other nation but the United States.

On the whale I submit that there is no reason why we should for the present commit ourselves to any naval expenditure. We are not wiser than the British naval authorities, and they are waiting for this Imperial Conference before adopting a permanent policy; therefore this naval programme is, to say the least, premature. When the Conference next year shall have pronounced itself-'and Canada will be represented there- we shall be in a position to adopt a naval policy suited to the needs of this country in relation to the needs of the Empire.

As I said at the beginning of my remarks, I am not posing as an expert, 11am speaking simply as a layman, and I wish my words to be accepted as such. If the Imperial Conference should come to the 'conclusion that the point of view I have presented is wrong, well I will be ready probably to change my opinion, because I would not presume to think that I new better than the technical men whose opinion no doubt will guide the Conference in reaching a conclusion as to a permanent naval policy for the Empire. At the present time we are going by ourselves alone without any direction. Because we think it is a good thing to do so, we are going into a naval policy which cannot and will not be any policy until a permanent policy has been adopted. Therefore, this should be suspended; these expenditures are premature.

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UNION

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Unionist

Mr. ARMSTRONG (Eambton):

We have just had the privilege of listening to one of the most remarkable speeches, I believe, that has ever been delivered in the Parliament of Canada, a speech placing the people of Canada in the most humiliating position that they could possibly be placed in, distinctly and definitely stating that we are in the position that Serbia was in previous to the war; that we are in the position Mexico is in to-day; that while we are looked upon as the right arm of the British Empire, we are to-day in the most humiliating position of any nation on the face of the globe. That is, according to the argument brought forward by my hon. friend. He says that as Great Britain has an enormous navy, and as the United States have built up a great navy we should not take any part in any war in the future, we

should not support Great Britain in any way that would interfere with any action taken by the United States. I am sure that when the people of Canada read the words the hon. gentleman has just made use of they will recognize the fact that he certainly does not voice their sentiments. The Canadian people have given, in connection with this great war, a definite demonstration of what they are capable of doing, not only on land, but on the sea. Take into consideration the fact that previously to the war, every man, woman and child in the Motherland was compelled to take six dollars out of his and her pocket and give it towards the development of the British navy in order that we, as part of the British Empire, might be protected, in order that our commerce on the high seas might be protected, and that to-day Great Britain is taking from the people of the British Isles $10.75 per head for the same purpose, while the request that has been made by the Minister of Marine and Fisheries (Mr. Ballantyne) is simply for a paltry 25 cents per head from the people of Canada to help to carry on this proposal. The hon. member for Joliette (Mr. Denis) says that this is not the semblance of a navy. That is very true. The Minister of Marine and Fisheries has definitely explained that part of the matter. We listened to another very interesting speech from the hon. member for Lunenburg (Mr. Duff) who said: Sell out the Niobe land the Rainbow; clean up the dirty mess.

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L LIB
LIB

Louis Édouard Fernand Rinfret

Liberal

Mr. RINFRET:

The hon. member stands by his statement.

Mr. MEilGHEN: Who made the mess?

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UNION

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Unionist

Mr. ARMSTRONG (Lambton):

That is just what I was going to ask. Who was responsible for it?

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UNION
L LIB
UNION

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Unionist

Mr. ARMSTRONG (Lambton):

The hon. gentleman says: "What has that got to do with the matter?" The hon. gentlemian says that we should clean up the dirty mess, but who were the men who organized the dirty mess?

An horn. MEMBER: The Act was passed before the war.

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UNION

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Unionist

Mr. ARMSTRONG (Lambton):

Yes, it

was organized before the war, and while the hon. member for Lunenburg (Mr. Duff) was speaking, he was able to say that the Rainbow and the Niobe did excellent work during the war. Yet, he is perfectly satisfied to say that these new vessels that have been completed since 1916 are not to be compared with the Niobe and Rainbow that have been in existence for the last twenty-five years. The hon. gentleman knows very well that the latter vessels do not dare to leave the shores of Canada in their present condition. Let us look at the Naval Service Act for just a few moments. It is called "an Act respecting the Naval Service of Canada." It was introduced in this House on the 12th January, 1910, and was assented to on the 4th May following. I want the hon. member to remember that that Act is still in existence, still in force and effect. That Act provides for the establishment of the Department of the Naval Service, full control of naval affairs being vested in the minister of that department. It also provides for the placing of the Naval Service of Canada under the Naval Discipline Act and the King's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions, so far os applicable.

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UNION

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Unionist

Mr. ARMSTRONG:

This Act was passed while I was a member of Parliament and-if I remember rightly I did not object to it. The Act further provides for the appoints ment of an officer to be called the Director of the Naval Service, who shall, subject to the regulations and under the instructions of the Minister of the Department, be charged with the directions of the Naval Service, and provides also that the Governor in Council may apoint a naval board to advise the minister in all matters relating to Naval Affairs. It also provides for a Naval Reserve Force, to consist of such persons as join the said reserve after Naval Service, or after undergoing such training as may be necessary, all members of said reserve being liable for active service in emergency. It provides also that the Governor in Council may organize and maintain a Naval Volunteer Force, and that the Governor in Council may place the Naval Force, or any part thereof, on active service at any time when it appears advisable so to do, by reason of an emergency.

Other provisions of the Act may be summarized as follows: In case of emergency the Governor in Council may place at the disposal of His Majesty for general service in the Royal Navy, the Canadian Naval Service, or any part thereof.

The Command in Chief of the Naval Forces is declared to continue and be vested in the King, and shall be exercised and administered by His Majesty or by the Governor General as his representative. The institution of the Royal Naval College of Canada is provided for by that Act also. I would like the hon. member to take particular note of this. He suggests that we should sell the naval dockyards at Halifax and Esquimau and clean up the whole business, "the dirty mess"; as he calls it. The naval dockyard at Halifax had been taken over by the Canadian Government previous to the enactment of this legislation, or to be exact, on the first January, 1907, and on the 7th November, following the coming into force of this Act in 1910, the dockyard at Esquimalt was taken over. Included in these transfers were the following properties. At Halifax the Royal Naval dockyard and hospital, camimander in chief's house and grounds, recreation grounds, and cemetery at Esquimalt, the Royal Naval dockyard and hospital, naval coal stores at Thetis wharf, the magazine establishment at Cole island, the Royal Naval recreation and drill grounds with buildings, and the Royal Naval cemetery chapel.

I should like the hon. member to pay particular attention to this provision: The Dominion Government will maintain the above mentioned properties at Halifax and Esquimalt in a state of efficiency, make any alteration in the buildings, wharves, jetties, etc., or in the present use of the sites; maintain the existing depth of water alongside the frontages of the properties, conveniences at least equal in character to those which exist at present. The Dominion Government will arrange for the stocking of coal or other fuel at Halifax and Esquimau. But the hon. gentleman would scrap these and if the British navy came to our coast, they would not be able to have their vessels repaired unless these docks were in existence. Here is an important point. In May 1912 arrangements were made between the Canadian and Imperial Governments whereby the Naval Department undertook responsibility for the naval defence of defended ports in Canada. These defences include such matters as regulation of traffic, examination service, minesweeping in the approaches to the ports, establishment of

war signal stations, the construction of channels and general attack by torpedo craft. How can the undertakings be carried on without money? Are we to turn down the proposals made by the British Government? The hon. member for Lunenburg says: Yes, turn them down with scorn. That is the word he used.

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L LIB

William Duff

Laurier Liberal

Mr. DUFF:

I am sure my hon. friend does not want to misquote me. 1 said: Turn down the submarines with scorn, not the cruiiSer or the torpedo boat destroyers.

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UNION

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Unionist

Mr. ARMSTRONG (Lambton):

I understood that my hon. friend was prepared to turn down the whole proposition with scorn. If he intends to turn down only the submarines with scorn, I think we can fairly conclude that he would not oppose turning down the whole proposition.

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UNION
UNION

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Unionist

Mr. ARMSTRONG (Lambton):

Nat ait

all.

Mr. LElMIEUX: Yes. My hon. friend

says, in effect: Here is Great Britain taxing herself $10 per head, whilst in Canada we offer her only twenty-five cents per head. Great Britain has not asked any of her Dominions to tax herself.

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UNION

Joseph Elijah Armstrong

Unionist

Mr. ARMSTRONG (Lambton):

I am

quite sure my hon. friend has no intention of misrepresenting me.

Mr. LE.MIEUX: I have stated just what I gathered from the hon. member's remarks.

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UNION

June 26, 1920