Bill No. 206, to incorporate The General Council of the Canadian Branch of the St. John Ambulance Association.-Mr. A. Thompson.
Bill No. 207, for the relief of William Ewan Laurie.-Mr. Baker.
Bill No. 208, for the relief of Margaret Van Dusen.-Mr. Schaffner.
Should this Bill become law, will it apply to dry-docks in regard to which contracts have been entered into, but in respect to which work has not yet been undertaken? Some considerable time ago a contract was entered into for a dry-dock at Vancouver, but no work has been undertaken with the exception of acquiring the site, which was done when I was minister.
This amendment to the Act will not apply to any contract that has been let. In the case of Vancouver no contract has been let, and those who had prospected doing the work some years ago, apparently have failed in their endeavour. I do not know whether they will apply under the present amended Act. At all events the amendment would not apply to dry-docks where contracts have already been let.
If my hon. friend the Minister of Public Works intends that this Bill shall not apply to ports where contracts have been entered into for the construction of dry-docks, I consider that this section, if passed, will not carry out his view, because it provides that paragraph (a) of section 8 of the Dry-docks Subsidies Act of 1910 is repealed. Therefore, when this Bill passes, there will be no law except it in existence under which subsidies can be paid, because the previous Act which authorizes the Governor in Council to make payment of a subsidy of 3J per cent is repealed, and this will be the law providing for a. subsidy at the rate of 4 per cent. I do not complain in regard to the matter; I am inclined to think it better that it should be so, because even Governments to-day are obliged to pay 4 per cent for money; and in the case of docks which have not yet been actually undertaken
4 per cent is a reasonable rate of interest, when we bear in mind that the principal is not guaranteed and that the subsidy is only for a limited time.