Sir FREDERICK BORDEN.
Mr. Speaker, I would like to give the answer which I promised to my hon. friend the leader of the opposition (Mr. R. L. Borden) last Thursday in connection with a paragraph which he read from a statement in the London 'Times,' purporting to have been made by Sir Wm. White. The answer is as follows:
With reference to the matter of the Halifax and Esquimalt naval yards, referred to by the hon. the leader of the Opposition yesterday, and with particular reference to the observations of Sir William White, published in the London ' Times ' of November 19 last, regarding the condition of these naval yards, the reply, so far as the Department of Militia and Defence is concerned, is as follows:^
Whatever action ha:s been taken with regard to the armament and works at Esquimalt, has been taken with the full cognizance and concurrence of the Imperial War Office and in furtherance of their policy at the time the fortress was taken over.
With respect to the information which Sir William White stated that he had received that the naval base at Halifax was in a similar condition to that at Esquimalt, the only remark which can be made is that the fortress at Halifax is believed to be in at least as efficient a condition at the present moment, both as regards armament and works, as it was when taken over from the imperial authorities.
So far as the Department of Marine and Fisheries is concerned, the following information has been received from that department:-
With regard to Esquimalt, the naval yard at that station is still under the imperial authorities. The machinery is lying idle, but well looked after. The same is to be said as regards the buildings. The station has, however, been reduced to two gun vessels and one survey ship.
With regard to Halifax, the machinery in the workshops is looked after, though the parts are not assembled for working.