that these gentlemen who advise the Minister of Marine do not go over to London and advise Premier Asquith with regard to proper protection of the city of London at night from bombs, that instead of keeping it in darkness he should light a circle of lamps around the city-and the better the
lights the greater the safety. That would be a sure preventive against the dropping of bombs.
I would think that a very imaginary fear. This is what I want my hon. friend to find out if he will, and he ought to have some report on the subject. My information is that one of these submarines was for a considerable time in dry dock. I do not say she is now. I have no doubt that my hon. friend's statement as to a telegram received yesterday is absolutely correct. But this boat was put in dry dock, not because she struck the bottom, but to make some change in the machinery; and the whole of one side of the ship was stripped for that purpose. That is the information I have, whether it be true or not.
Just a word as to my right hon. friend's regret that I should have brought this matter up. I must take the responsibility for that as a member of this House. If my hon. friend has made it clear to the people of this country that the purchase of these submarines was absolutely above suspicion, that they were first-class submarines, that only a reasonable and fair price was paid for them, that everybody concerned acted honestly, that there were no commissions,- all the better for my hon. friend, all the better for the Government, all the better for the people of this country. But I submit with every confidence, that a strong prima facie case has been made out.
Let me repeat very briefly the salient facts of the case. They are, first, that these vessels were built for the Chilian government under a contract price which I am informed, and which as a member of this House I state that I have from reliable authority, was originally $375,000 each; that Captain Plaza, the
Chairman of the Naval Commission appointed by the Chilian government, was watching these vessels from day to day and from week to week; that when they were completed a test was made, as it was proper that it should be made; that he found they were not up to specifications and rejected 8*
them, and so reported to his Government; that then the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey had the boats on their hands and no customer for them; that the day after this test was made, the 27th of July, Mr. Patterson started for Victoria, thinking he would have a customer in Sir Richard McBride. He sees Sir Richard McBride, and on the 3rd day of August, the hon. member for Victoria (Mr. Barnard) is present with the Minister of Agriculture, and this expert, Captain Logan, is called in. He states that in his judgment the price will be about $375,000 each.
Well, then, Captain Logan was there. He is one of the agents, possibly one of the middlemen who were arranging for the sale of these boats. He goes to the house of my hon. friend the member for Victoria-
I recognize that it is a matter of vital importance, whether it was at the office or the home of my hon. friend that Captain Logan appeared. Well, then, Captain Logan goes to the office of my hon. friend.
correction. At all events these are the facts. On the 3rd of August Patterson, after having seen Sir Richard McBride, goes back to Seattle and these gentlemen meet together. The gentlemen whom my hon. friend names are included among them. Captain Logan is asked his opinion of the price.
Well, then, he volunteered his opinion. I cannot express sufficiently to my hon. friend the gratitude which I feel for the way in which he is assisting me. This gentleman expressed his view as to the price of these submarines; he said they should be bought for $375,000 each. Then they telephoned to Mr. Patterson who had previously seen Sir Richard McBride, and the price is fixed at $1,150,000, so my hon. friend says, and that amount is paid. And I state to this House that my information is that that amount of $1,150,000 was divided into two cheques. One cheque for $900,000 was paid to the contractors, but what became of the other $250,000 cheque 1 do not presume to say. These are the facts. Draw from them, if you like, the inference that there has been some wrong-doing. Get angry over it if you like. But in the interests of our country, in the interest of the people who pay this money and who cannot afford at any time, and more particularly in these times of stress, to pay out one dollar more than what a submarine or a gun or a round of ammunition is worth, I ask that this matter be looked into, and when the time comes that a proper and thorough investigation take place.