I can hold out no hope of the expenditure being any less. It will rather be likely to be increased, because there is an additional steamer this winter. We have two steamers on the route trying to keep winter communication between Prince Edward Island and the mainland.
Both were frozen in fourteen days, but are running again. The Stanley got out of the ice yesterday, and the Minto three or four days ago. $160,000 is the ordinary sum voted, and when any special repairs are required we ask for a supplementary estimate.
I think that is a new practice. The system on which the estimates used to be based a few years ago, took into consideration the total expenditure. Regardless of whether a boat was obtained by original or supplementary estimate. Bringing the estimates down in this way, a steady increase might escape the attention of the Committee. Evidently, $180,000 is the amount the hon. minister will require, for that was the amount last year and the year before; and, as I understand him, he does not hold out any hope that he will require any less this year.
Last year there was a supplementary vote for the Min to of $12,869, and alterations to the Aberdeen, $7,000. I shall propose this year's supplementary estimates for alterations and repairs to the Druid, the Aberdeen and some other steamers. I shall certainly require the whole $180,000. There will be the expense of running the additional steamer this winter.
Substantially the whole of this is for maintenance-small ordinary repairs are included. Where there is a special expenditure amounting to five, six or seven thousand dollars, I intend to ask the House for a special vote, naming the amount and the vessel to be repaired.
The hon. minister does not understand me, 1 take it that his officers have given him in detail the estimated expenditure for the maintenance of each ship, and also for the repairs of each ship. I do not ask for these details, but I desire to know how much is to be spent for repairs and how much for maintenance.