It has turned out a type of ship vitally important at this time; and I can say to the house that within the last three weeks we have had most urgent cables for help in delivering 4,700-ton ships to Great Britain, urgently needed for operations within the next three or four months. Pictou has turned out practically all of the 4,700-ton ships which have been built. I think two or three were built on the St. Lawrence, two or three at Saint John, and the rest at Pictou. But we were able to supply a considerable number of 4,700-ton ships to meet those very urgent demands from the United Kingdom, and I am glad we were able to do so. I am willing to take the full responsibility for having ships built in a high-cost yard at a time when they could not be built in any other yard in Canada. We have had to build where we could; we used the facilities that were available. We
War Expenditures-Mr. Howe
have had to move into second-grade facilities when first-grade facilities were not available. If there is any tapering off in the programme we shall be able to move from second-grade facilities into good facilities. That is what we will do in shipbuilding. As long as this urgent war-time demand continues I am going to build these ships anywhere I can, and pay whatever price I must.
My hon. friend has spoken of the condition when the committee's examination was made. That was at least six or seven months ago. I can tell him that the position has improved greatly since that examination was made. I invite the committee on war expenditures to return to the same shipyards it has criticized in its last report, and examine the situation anew. I know its members will be surprised at the improvements in cost that have been effected in these yards.
Subtopic: MOTION FOR CONCURRENCE IN SECOND, THIRD, FOURTH AND FIFTH REPORTS OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE