have been pleased to answer the question put by the hon. member for South Huron if I could hear it, especially as it comes from a man who says that he knows of no duty that we owe to the empire, and who is prepared. Mr. Speaker, to vote $15,000,000 now and $7,000,000 a year for all time to come for a navy which is no good to the empire, but that does not matter much to him.
I have never yet, during the ten years that I have occupied a seat in this House, interrupted any gentleman, and if an hon. gentleman was not in good health, I would do my utmost to assist him. Mr. Speaker, how can we best do our duty to our empire? You know my position now with regard to the navy which is to he constructed in Canada. You know that I do not believe in it. You know that I do not believe that it will be a protection to Canada, or of any assistance to the people of this country. But we should consider and weigh carefully every step that we take in this important matter. The first step is to consult the people of our country; but there may be another duty that we owe before that, and I believe there is. A great many of the people from Europe who have come to this country appreciate the freedom they enjoy in this country from military restrictions and burdens which they experienced in their own countries, and their anxiety is that their adopted country may not repeat the mistakes that those European countries have made. This does not mean that they are not prepared to defend their homes and their country.
Now, is there a way to help the British empire, and do what she asks us to do without committing this country at this time to battleships and to war? I believe there is such a possibility.- The Finance Minister of this country should put into the estimates at once a sum sufficient to build on the Atlantic and on the Pacific, dry-docks for the accommodation of our own shipping trade and large enough to accommodate the largest warships of the British empire. That is what Lord Tweed-mouth at the colonial conference in 1907 asked the colonies to do. He spoke as follows:
Then I would like to say a single word on the further point of the provision of docks; and coaling facilities in the colonies. The enormous development of the modern warship entails important consequences. These great modern warships require large docks to contain them. I think we are getting on well with the provision of docks. At this moment in our own country and abroad, we have, I think, thirteen government docks which will take in our largest ship, the Dreadnought. I think in the course of the next two years, we shall have four more, which will make about seventeen altogether. But it is very desirable that we should have, in all parts of the world, docks which could take such great ships, supposing they were to meet with an accident or were to receive damage, in war.
I ask this government to provide sufficient funds to commence immediately the construction of these great docks, which will no doubt cost a good deal of money, but which will do more for the defence of the empire than the money which the government to-day propose to expend and will at the same time develop our own material resources.
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, I would direct our energies in such a way as to secure for ourselves a foremost position amongst the nations of the world and build upon this half of the continent an active, manly, industrious, intelligent and progressive people, ready to protect their homes, and ready and willing to min with Britain
in the defence of the empire. I believe that the best way of preparing for our defence is by steadily, and rapidly, developing the arts of peace-by peopling the almost boundless virgin lands of Canada with a teeming population, of the best agricultural classes, ready at all times to defend their altars, their institutions, and their homes; to encourage and to build up immense manufacturing industries, which will not only supply the wants of our agricultural population, and afford them a profitable home market, but which will also use up our rich resources of raw material, and export abundant quantities of fully manufactured goods to every quarter of the globe. To this end would bring the wide borders of Canada into closer communication with each other, and with the world, by improving and multiplying our avenues of intercourse-our transportation facilities -by land and water, internally, and by the sea until we should have not only an unrivalled internal transportation system (for which nature has in such generous measure endowed us) but a merchant marine, as well, carrying the products of our farms, our fisheries, our mines, arid manufactures, to the markets of the nations, and successfully competing for a share, and a large share, of the carrying trade of the oceans. To this end, I would especially encourage the development of our mines and the industries incidental to mining, increase harbour and transhipment facilities, build dry-docks, and restore to Canada again in ships of steel, the ship-building industry she enjoyed in the days of wooden vessels. In a word, I would develop the material resources of Canada all along the line, maintaining as far as may be,
. peace within her borders, and food, and raiment, and contentment, within all her homes. Canada within the empire, and of the empire, pursuing peace and giving no ground of offence, but still ready to protect our homes, our country, and our empire.