May 26, 1919 (13th Parliament, 2nd Session)


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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