The minister will agree that the amount was actually $1,150,000. Therefore it would seem that when that Order was passed, the minister thought that $1,050,000 was the amount paid for the submarines. I do not find any other Order in Council correcting this, although this report was brought down, I think at the session which opened on the 18th of August; but my hon. friend will no doubt, if there is another Order in Council, call our attention to it. Another important statement which I think requires explanation is as follows:
The minister states that two submarine boats have been offered to the Dominion Government and that these boats were originally built for the Chilian Government which was unable to receive them.
From that statement one would assume that for some reason or other-financial, I would suppose-the Chilian Government was not able to take delivery of these submarines.
That is a fair inference from the statement of the minister contained in that recommendation to Council. My opinion is, that so far from that being the case, the Chilian government had rejected these submarines, that they had a naval expert present at Seattle where the submarines were completed, and that expert, after the tests were made on the 26th of July, declined to accept the submarines, claiming that they were not in accordance with the specifications and were not properly built. I' cannot think that my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, had he knowledge of that fact, would have made such a statement to Council. My hon. friend and I do not always agree, and when we are in our own home town we differ markedly on some questions. Perhaps one of the most important questions on which we differ has reference to the building of ships. I did all that I could, when I was in the ministry, to secure the building of war vessels in Canada. The fact that they were going to be constructed in St. John did not prevent me from being enthusiastic over the project; I- have not been afraid to do anything I could for my own constituency. My hon. friend, for reasons that seemed
good to 'him, has taken the opposite view, and has done all he could to prevent the building of war vessels in Canada. I do not now criticise his course, nor do I argue which of us was right. 1 have no doubt he thought he was right, and I am sure I was right. But, as I have said, I do not think he knew, when he made that recommendation to Council that these submarines had been rejected by the expert of the Chilian government. It shows that somebody must have been pulling the leg of the minister and that gentleman lived in the province of British Columbia. I think that when I give all the evidence which I have bearing on the subject, evidence which comes from British Columbia, and which I think is to be relied upon, it will be seen that that gentleman-who may properly be called the sixteenth member of this Government, though he is not yet sworn in; I refer to Sir Richard McBride-I say I think the House will agree that he was not exactly fair or frank with my hon. friend the minister when he induced the Government to make the purchase of the submarines. Not but that it may have been advisable-as to that I do not know-to purchase these submarines at a fair price. But I think my hon. friend would not have asked Council to purchase submarines of a somewhat obsolete character, the construction of which had been entered upon some three years before, and which had taken an unconscionably long time to build-for they could ordinarily be constructed by a good shipbuilding plant in from eight to ten months. But, as I have said, when my hon. friend was induced to purchase these submarines at a price of $1,050,000, or $1,150,000 which is the sum to be paid though it is not what is stated in the Order in Council, he was induced to do something which, I think, he would hardly have done had he had full knowledge of all the facts.
There appeared in one of the leading Seattle newspapers, the Sunday Times, of 26th July last, an article with reference to these submarines, which I think will 'be of interest to the House. This newspaper, I am informed, has a wide circulation both in Victoria and in Vancouver, and we may well presume that statements published in it would >be pretty well known to the people of these cities. The article is as follows :
Chile rejects fighting craft launched here-
Two submarines made in New Jersey and
put together in local yard reported as unsuitable.
Iquique and Antafogasta, submarine war
craft built in Seattle by the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey for the Government of Chile, at a cost of more than ?1,000,000 will never be known in future history as great sea fighters defending the honour and welfare of the people of the South American republic. They have been officially pronounced undesirable by the Chilean naval commission, of which Captain Charles Plaza, of the Chilean navy, is chairman. They will not be accepted by the Government of Chile, says Captain Plaza.
The two underwater destroyers, built at the shipyards of the Seattle Construction and Dry-dock Company assembfed, rather than built, to bo speaking with technical accuracy were launched with great eclat and with impressive ceremonies. They have been about three years in building. All the material was made in the east by the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey and shipped to Seattle, and the two war crafts made fit for service in the local shipyards, under the personal and official direction of the representatives of the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey.
Captain Plaza determined, in the recent trials at Bellingham, that the trouble with the Iquique and the Antafogasta is that they are overweight and not of sufficient and quick acting buoyancy as to justify their acceptance and this makes it practically certain that his government will sustain his adverse recommendation.
In a carefully guarded statement, Captain Plaza completely absolves the Seattle Construction and Drydock Company from any responsibility whatever for the failure of the Iquique and Antafogasta to meet the requirements of the Naval Department of the Republic of Chile.
It is known that the local shipbuilding company merely assembled the two submarines. Every part of them, practically, was either made in the East and shipped out here or was fabricated in Seattle under the specifications and drawings prepared by the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey. Therefore, the responsibility of the local shipyards was not more than that of a man instructed to put a hat in a bandbox.
Captain Plaza, who, as chairman of the Chilean Naval Commission has been in Seattle for months past in connection with the building of the submarines and whose written report advising his government against the acceptance of the Iquique and the Antafogasta has been mailed, said last night:
' I can only confirm the report you have, that the two submarines built here for my government have not been accepted and that at this time they do not meet the full requirements of the contract between the government of Chile and the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey.
Inasmuch as my report has not yet reached my government, I cannot disclose its contents, nor can j give you the facts upon which the commission acted in advising against the acceptance of the submarines.
You are authorized to state, however, that the disagreement is a matter entirely between the commission of which I am the chairman and the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey and does not in any way involve the Seattle Construction and Drydock Company, which built the destroyers for the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey and according to the direc-
tions of the representatives of that company on duty here.'
Considering all the angles in the case it is evident that the incident of the rejection of the Iquique and Antafogasta will cause a mild sensation in Coast shipbuilding as well as in naval circles. It is apparent, however, that aside from the discovery that the two submarines lack the proper buoyancy to make certain their safety and efficiency, they are considerably out of date as to style and pattern. They were designed several years ago, and it is known they do not compare with the type of submarines now building here and elsewhere for the United States Government. In fact, it is understood, were the two submarines satisfactory in point of safety and efficiency, they would scarcely measure up in standards of destructive power, speed and other requirements to the submarines recently built or on the ways in various ship yards of the country.
Because of the absence from the city of President R. J. Patterson, of the Seattle Construction and Drydock Company, and of T. S. Bailey, local representative of the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey, no official statement could be obtained yesterday from the builders' and designers' point of view.
What recourse, if any, the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey has against the Chilean Government is not known, but it is shrewdly guessed that the company, which owns the so-called Holland patents, will charge the experience up to profit and loss.
In Bellingham Bay, several months ago, as The Times then exclusively told, the Iquique, during her preliminary trials, while partly submerged, ran afoul of a boom of logs towing in the harbour. Her plight was a serious matter for a period of two hours or more, because of the fact that the master of the tug was unaware of the fact that his tow had hooked the upper works of the diving destroyer, thereby imprisoning the craft, so to speak, and likewise confining the officers and crew within her steel body in such a manner as to menace their lives.
Before any real harm had been done the master of the tug ascertained that he was mixed up in a peculiar and embarrassing situation with the submarine, and measures were promptly taken to release her and to permit her crew to handle her in their own way.
This is the report of Captain Plaza, chairman of the commission appointed by the Chilean Government to make an examination of these submarines, to witness the test to which they were subjected and to determine whether or not they were acceptable. As this newspaper states, Captain Plaza in reporting to his Government refused to recommend the acceptance of the submarines. That was on July 26. I am informed from British Columbian sources that Mr. Patterson was the chairman or president of the company in Seattle which was putting together the parts of the submarines.
I am informed that upon the rejection of the submarines by the naval expert of the Chilean Government this gentleman imme-
diately went to Victoria and interviewed Sir Richard McBride. Presumably Sir Richard McBride communicated with this Government on the subject-of course we shall have the correspondence if this motion is carried-and it appears that in the course of a few days Sir Richard McBride purchased the submarines on behalf of the British Columbia Government, the cheque of the British Columbia Government being given in payment of the purchase price. That is a matter which I think my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries ought at some time to explain to the House. If this Government found it desirable to purchase these submarines, I think it will be a matter of interest to know why the Government did not purchase them direct from the builders, and why it was left to Sir Richard McBride to take the extraordinary step of making a purchase in the name and on behalf of the Government of British Columbia. As one who has had some correspondence on the subject, it looks to me as if this Government was hesitating about purchasing the submarines and Sir Richard McBride took it upon himself to force the hand of the Government by purchasing them himself on behalf of the British Columbian Government, knowing right well that when he had gone that far his influence with this Government would prevent the ignoring of his recommendation and would obviate the danger of the Government of British Columbia being placed in the very awkward position in which they would have been placed if they had become the owners of these submarines.
It appears that a few days afterwards these submarines were brought over to Victoria, and subsequently, on August 7, an order in council was passed for their purchase. As I have said, in its terms the sum of $1,050,000 was mentioned as the purchase price. It was not stated that the submarines had been rejected by the naval expert of the Chilian government; my hon. friend the Minister of Marine and Fisheries merely reported to His Royal Highness thiatt the Chilian government had been unable to receive them. That order in council says that technical officers of the Department of Naval Service reported that these boats were very suitable and recommended their purchase. So far as is known in Victoria, no naval experts from the department at Ottawa had any opportunity of examining these boats before they were purchased, and my information is that no such examination 7
was made. However, I have no doubt that the correspondence will show what these reports were. I take it that my hon. friend cannot treat that correspondence and those reports as private, and that he will bring them down as part of the return which will be submitted.
It is important that the Government should examine into all the facts in connection with this purchase. It is stated by many people and believed by many people on the Pacific coast that this company was not paid either $1,050,000 or $1,150,000 for these submarines. My information is that two cheques were passed, one of which, for the sum of $900,000, was issued to the company which built the boats. The other cheque may have been issued bona fide to a proper party, but the feeling in the public mind-among many people in British Columbia, at all events-is that somebody got a commission on the purchase of these submarines. I do not know whether or not that is so, and I make no charge in that respect, but I do say that having regard to the fact that these submarines were rejected by the naval expert of the Government for which they were built; that the builders had no market for them, except Sir Richard McBride on behalf of the British Columbia Government; that the boats were reported to be obsolete and not according to the specifications and that the naval expert of the Chilian government reported adversely upon them, it is an extraordinary thing that the price paid for them was equal to the price at which two of the most modern and up-to-date submarines could be purchased. I say that is an extraordinary fact, and it does seem to me that if those who were acting in the purchase of those two submarines had been anxious to do so, they could have purchased them at a very much lower price than that which was paid for them. My assumptions are based upon what is recognized out on the coast as public knowledge; based upon newspaper reports and statements of persons familiar with these submarines.
The fact that the purchase price was divided into two sums, one for $900,000 and one for $250,000, lends colour to the suspicion entertained on the coast that a considerable portion of this money did not go to the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey, which had the contract with the Chilian government for the building of these two submarines. As a further evidence that there can be no truth in the statement contained in the Order in Council-which I assume the
Minister of Marine and Fisheries placed in the recommendation to Council without full knowledge of all the facts with regard to the Chilian government being unable to receive the boats-the Chilian government, the moment this thing was closed up and they found that they were freed from any responsibility of litigation with this company, gave an order for two up-to-date submarines and those two are now, I am told, under construction, showing that their failure to take the submarines over was not due to inability on their part to receive them but to the report of their naval expert that the vessels were not up to specifications and entirely unsuitable and obsolete.
The motion also asks for any reports which have been made with reference to these vessels at the time of purchase and also since they have been in the ownership of this Government. In this connection I am told that one of these submarines has been in the drydock practically ever 3ince they were purchased and that recently a great portion of the side of one of them has been stripped out and that new machinery was installed. I can understand that that might be done in order to put in lighter machinery to prevent the boats from being over-burdened. I am told that the difficulty is to keep them at the proper level. They are overweighted and will sink down very much below the depth at which, for ordinary purposes of navigation or service they ought to be kept. No doubt my hon. friend will bring down any reports he may have on these subjects. With regard to the general question of purchasing submarines to form part of the Canadian navy I would assume that the coBrespondiencc I am asking for will give full information. I myself am very much in favour of adding submarines to the Canadian navy. It is a matter of great rejoicing to me that we have upon the Statute book an Act known as the Naval Service Act of 1910 which would enable the Government to have submarines built and to add to the Canadian navy a class of vessels vhich this war has already demonstrated is of the very greatest possible value for the protection of our harbours and for attacking larger vessels which might attempt to invade our coast. My only regret is that there should be any question as to the suitability of these submarines for the purpose for which they were bought. It is a well known fact that
for some fifteen months there have been in Canada shipyards well adapted for the building of submarines and larger vessels as well. Submarines could be built to-day, and for a considerable period could have been built, at the magnificent shipyards at Maisonneuve, near Montreal, where there is one of the finest ship-building plants to be found in the world. They could be built at Esquimalt where there is a dry-dock and a shipyard as well. They could be built at Levis, where Mr. Davie has a very fine ship-building plant, not suitable for the building of large vessels, but entirely suitable for the building of the submarines. They could be built at Halifax, where there is a dry-dock and a ship-repairing plant, but we know it is very easy, by a little enlargement, to convert a ship-repairing plant into a ship-building plant. I am sorry to say they could not be built at St. John, but my hon. friend knows the reason why, and we need not refer further to that. Up on the Great Lakes at Port Arthur there is a splendid dry dock and shipyard, built under a contract which the late Government made while I was minister. Submarines could be built there. It might be that under the Rush-Bagot treaty, unless by the consent of the United States, we could not turn out more than one at a time, but you know at least two vessels of a certain tonnage are allowed on the Great Lakes. Even if they could not be put together there, all the parts could be brought down to Montreal and Quebec and assembled. I think this correspondence, when we get it down, will show that a strong argument was made by Sir Richard McBride in order to induce this Government to act, and to act promptly and buy the two submarines, even although they had been rejected by the naval experts of Chili. I take it that the papers will show a very strong argument in favour of adding submarines to the Canadian navy.
I was pleased to observe the other day in Canada, a paper published in London, a despatch from Montreal, or from New York originating in Montreal. I am sorry the Minister of Militia is not in his place. The despatch is as follows:
A telegram received in New York from Montreal, according to Reuter says: To meet the exaggerated stories published in the United States, the Canadian Militia Department has authorized the statement that there is no reason why the facts concerning the construction of submarines in Canada should not be published. They are as follows: The keels of eight first-class craft have already been laid down by the Canadian
Vickers Company here and it is expected that several will he ready in August next. The plant is running at full capacity.
I would ask the Minister of Marine and Fisheries if that statement is correct?
What hon. gentlemen on the other side do not know when they do not want to know is beyond comprehension. Is the censorship on my hon. friend? Has Mr. Cook or Mr. Hamilton got charge of him to see that no information can get out? The matter is very important indeed, and I would think that my hon. friend would be able to state with some definiteness whether it is correct or not, and also inform me how far he would feel I ought to go in discussing this matter. I should like my right hon. friend to intimate after recess whether the Government feel that I could, without injury to the public interest, discuss the building of these submarines at Montreal. Personally I do not think there would be any harm in it, for it is now a matter of common knowledge and has been discussed in all the newspapers of the United States and England, which profess to have published the news on the authority of the Minister of Militia.
Mr. Speaker, I will not detain the House very much longer. There is, however, one matter in couinection with the purchase of submarines which I omitted to mention, and in regard to which I trust the report to be brought down will give the House the information, and that is as to the contract price of these submarines with the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey. I take dt for granted, Sir that before paying this large sum of money for new submarines the Government would inform itself as to what was the contract price which the Chilian government were paying. I am informed on authority which
I believe to be reliable that the original contract price was- $387,000 for each submarine. That made the original contract for the two submarines $774,000. I am told that after the contract was entered into an extra torpedo tube and some other-extras were provided which brought the. contract price up to $900,000. My information is from the Pacific Coast. We can well understand that when the unusual circumstances occurred, of Sir Riehard McBride, as Premier of British Columbia, purchasing these vessels, there would be a good deal of discussion and eventually a good deal of information would leak out to the public. The information, which I have is that cheques were issued, one of which went to the Electric Boat Company of New Jersey for the sum of $900,000 which is said to have been the contract price for these vessels and the extras which was to be paid by the Chilian government, provided, of course, that they were up to the specifications. I would hope that my hon. friend would be able to give satisfactory evidence to the House as to the circumstances under which these two cheques were drawn, and also that the report will show what was the contract price with the Chilian government.
Now, I desire to repeat that I am particularly anxious to have the correspondence brought down and to see it and I am sure that my motion will commend itself to the House if for no other reason than to see what arguments are presented in favour of having a fleet of submarines for Canada. 1 am entirely in favour, as I have said, of increasing the Canadian navy by the addition of a number of submarines for the protection of our coasts. If my hon. friend the Minister of Finance and the members of the Government will pardon me for saying so, I would observe that I myself am unable to see any valid reason why submarines should not be built in Canada for the Canadian Government and to form a part of the Canadian navy. The Government has asked for a vote of $100,000,000 for war purposes, to be used for the defence of Canada in connection with the army or navy. Let me say to my hon,. friend, who I presume will favour the House with a few remarks after I have got through with the observations which I shall make, that, speaking for myself-and, I know I can speak for my honoured leader because he has made a statement to that effect to the House, and I believe I can speak for the whole Liberal party of Canada as represented in this House-this
hundred million dollars will be cheerfully voted to the Government for the purpose of assisting in the defence of Canada and the defence of the Empire. Let me express the hope that a part of that money at all events will be used for the purpose of constructing submarines to be used by Canada and placed, of course during the war, if the war should be that long continued, at the disposal of the British Government. If it is necessary to add $10,000,000 or $20,000,000 to that amount I am sure that this House will cheerfully grant the additional sum.
There is no reason in the world, it seems to me why vessels should not be built in Canada for the Canadian navy. There is no obstacle in the way now that I can see. The late Mr. Monk was opposed, as I understood, to this policy. My hon. friends need not be afraid of their once beloved and powerfully ally, Mr. Bourassa, because he does not count for a great deal to-day with the Canadian people. My friends, Mr. Pelletier and Mr. Nantel, have been provided for and whatever obstacle their views might present as against a Canadian navy has been removed. My hon. friend the Secretary of State (Mr. Coderre) has gone into a pleasant office where he will not want to say anything contrary to the views of the Government. My hon. friend the Minister of Inland Revenue (Mr. Blondin) has also gone into a position where, I think, he will be very well satisfied to carry out the views of the majority, and the hon. member for Dorchester (Mr. Sevigny) has been put in leash so that he is not likely to present any serious objections to whatever course in the interests of the Empire may be decided on.
Let me say to my hon. friends: Come to us and let us join together to build up as well as we can a Canadian navy which will be able to defend our coasts in case of attack by an enemy. Although we trust that peril may not arise, still we ought to be prepared for whatever peril may come to us. Let us join together in building up a Canadian navy in defence of Canada and of the Empire. I am sure that in any course which hon. gentlemen in the Government may take, towards the better ensuring of our defences and ensuring the welfare of the empire either upon the land or upon the sea, they will be heartily supported by the members of His Majesty's loyal Opposition on the floor of this House, and I believe throughout this whole Dominion.
station at Esquimalt and it was sent either by Captain Hose, the captain of the Rainbow, if he at that time was senior officer there; or if he was not there, it was sent by Lieutenant Pilcher, who would have been the senior officer in command of this Naval station, unless there happened to be some ship there with an officer senior to him in command.
messages are signed, " Esquimalt Yard." That is the way in which such official messages are signed, just as a message coming from the Admiralty is signed " Admiralty." That message came from one of our officers, and I am Sure any one will assume that a Naval officer of rank, qualification and experience, before telling us that he can purchase two submarines ready for action, with torpedoes on board; that the Chilian Government cannot take possession; that he considers it most important to acquire them immediately; will have made careful inquiries into the facts. As a matter of fact, as an officer of the Naval Department, he knew every detail in regard to these two submarines that were then at Seattle and
was able to speak with authority with respect to them.
That was on August 3. The naval department immediately took steps to gain further information. I consulted the expert advisors of the naval department of whom a number are men not only of ability but of experience in naval affairs, and their opinion was in favour of purchase. On the 4th of August, and before our decision had been reached, the Prime Minister received this telegram from Sir Richard McBride:
Sir Robert Borden,
Prime Minister, Ottawa.
Victoria, B.C., August 4, 1914. After consultation with Burrell and naval officers, have advanced to-night $1,150,000 to Lieut. Pilcher, senior naval officer in command, for purchase of two modern submarines lying Seattle harbour built for Chile. All arrangements completed for their arrival Esquimau to-morrow morning, unless untoward incident occurs. Congratulate Canada if this operation successful on acquisition of such usual-
I presume that this is a misprint for ' useful.'
*-adjunct for defence of country.
This telegram was in cipher, and I have this certificate signed by Mr. A. E. Blount, private secretary to the Prime Minister:
I hereby certify that the above is a true and accurate transcription of cipher Canadian Pacific telegraph message received by the Prime JUinister from Sir Richard McBride.
We have therefore the recommendation of our own naval officers at Esquimalt, and the recommendation of the naval advisers of the Department of Naval Defence, and also the advice of Sir Richard McBride residing at Victoria, a comparatively short distance from Seattle, where the submarines'were, and who might be presumed to be in possession of accurate information with regard to them. And this telegram of his is sent after consultation with the naval officials in Esquimalt. On these recommendations, I think, we should have been justified in buying the submarines, but we were not content with that. I caused a despatch to be sent to the British Admiralty. Hon. gentlemen know that the officers of the British Admiralty, are familiar, down to the smallest detail, with every ship of war that is being built in any part of the world. At least, that was true up to the time when war broke out. There may be ships building in Germany to-day, guarded from espionage, concerning which the British Admiralty have not such information, but I think I am right in saying that
up to the breaking out of the war the officers of the British Admiralty would have accurate information about the details of every vessel building in any part of the world for any government. The reply I received from the Admiralty on the 5th of August was as follows:
London, August 5, 1914.
Your message Chilean submarines is recommended purchase by Canadian Government if they can be manned by Canada.
Certainly. There is not the slightest desire to keep it back. It was a cable telling the Admiralty about these submarines and asking for advice. They advised the purchase, if we could man them. We found that we could man them. We were singularly fortunate in having in Esquimalt a gentleman who was in the British navy and experienced in submarines. There were also two or three retired officers of that class living in Victoria. With their assistance we manned these submarines, and had our crews practising day after day, as they are doing still, according to the information we have received.