April 24, 1918

L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

I think it is very important that the work should be proceeded with as soon as possible, because I was told yesterday by Mr. Davy, who happened to be in Ottawa, that the partial blowing-up of the Halifax dry dock would 'bring a lot of ship repairing business to Quebec ini fact, that the shipyards of Quebec and Montreal would have to look after mostly all the business of ship repairing in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

I hope that my hon.

friend, or any other members' of the House-either, will not get the idea that the Halifax dry dock is out of commission. That dock was put out of commission by the explosion which occurred last winter, and I may as well state here, and I am. glad to-have the opportunity of doing so, that the Minister of Railways and Canals and myself spent three or four days- in the city of Halifax after the explosion. At that time there were eight or nine ships in the harbour which would have to enter the dry dock, and we -at once entered into negotiations with the owners, the dry dock being a private institution. The owners claimed that they were unable to finish the dock, and would not finish it. They wanted us to buy it, which we did not feel like doing, and we started in to make repairs. The owners are to pay towards the cost the amount of their insurance, which is 111,000, and we are putting up the balance, an amount which will not be very great.

However, the first thing was to get, this dock in commission, and it has been in commission for nearly two months. The ship that was in. it was repaired and sent out, and I believe that another has since been taken in, repaired and sent out. The Halifax dry dock, therefore, is operating just as it was a year ago. But that does not obviate the necessity of placing the Champlain dry dock in commission at the earliest possible moment; in fact, it could be operated almost immediately. This dock is in two compartments: there is a gate in the centre which can he closed so that one end may be used as a dry dock and the other to contain water, or vice versa. The outer section could be, and, I imagine,

is, being used to-day. In addition to that, we have the old dry dock, which has ansvyered the purposes of the St. Lawrence during the last twenty or twenty-five years. I can assure my hon. friends that the work will be pushed forward as rapidly as possible, and will be entirely completed within a few months.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I ishould like to know what the policy of the Government is in the matter of building dry docks. Do we own a dry dock at Esquimalt?

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

Yes, and one at Kingston .

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

The dry dock at Esquimalt was passed over from the Imperial Government to the Dominion.

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UNI L
L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

I am not aware that the Government owns any dry docks on the Atlantic coast.

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

No. The Government has no particular policy with regard to the construction of dry docks except that which is embodied in the Dry Dock Subsidies Act, which was passed in 1908 or 1909 and subsequently amended. The dimensions of a first-class dry dock have been increased to 1,150 feet in length, and a guarantee of interest is provided at 41 per cent for a period of thirty-five years on an amount not exceeding $4,500,000.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

Attempts have been made by different Ministers of Public Works to make the Dry Dock Subsidies Act more attractive than it was .at the beginning, but so far no business concern has taken advantage of its .provisions. If the Government are going into the business of build-dry docks, private companies 11 p.m. will not fake advantage of this Act, [because they would then come into competition with the Government. I suppose there is not much use in suggesting any large public expenditure just now, but I wish to point out that the harbour of Sydney, with its proximity to Newfoundland and its importance in connection with trans-Atlantic traffic, is becoming a great shipping and commercial centre. But, excepting a marine railway, no facilities have been provided there to take care of ships. I understand that the matter has been discussed in the other House by Senator McLennan, who comes from practically the same place that I do. I should like the enterprising Minister of Public Works to take into consideration the

fact that we have great need for a dry dock in that part of the country, particularly in view of the presence there of large steel works; and I hope that he will remember this, if the policy of building dry docks is to be carried out by the Government.

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

I appreciate everything my hon. friend has said about the harbour of Sydney. It is certainly a very beautiful sheet of water, especially in summer, and I hope that some enterprising citizen or citizens in that part of Nova Scotia will come forward with a business proposal under the Dry Dock Subsidies Act. If they do, I assure him, they will receive every encouragement that the department can give them. The same applies to similar proposals which might be made in other parts of the country. A floating dry dock has been built under the Dry Dock Subsidies Act by the Vickers people in Montreal.

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L LIB

Daniel Duncan McKenzie

Laurier Liberal

Mr. McKENZIE:

That was imported from the Old Country?

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

Yes. Another floating dock which was brought from the Old Country, has been built at Prince Rupert under the Dry Dock Subsidies Act. I think these are the only two which have been built under that Act. However, the Act is there, and it is open 'to any body of capitalists who wish to invest some of their own money -in these public enterprises to take advantage of its provisions. I should like to inculcate a spirit of giving into some of the capitalists of Canada. I have watched them very carefully during the last fourteen or fifteen years, and I have observed on their part a great willingness to receive public money; I hope that I can now cause them to realize the importance of the duty of giving money to the public. I should like to see these gentlemen put up some of their own money to build these works, accept Government subsidies, and become real patriots. By doing this they would build up a better public sentiment than we have in Canada at present. I do not say that the Government will or will not adopt any particular policy with regard to the construction of these docks, but I throw out the suggestion to many capitalists who have grown wealthy during the last three or four years, that they come along with a real business proposal for the construction of dry docks in the large centres of Canada.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

The Vickers people

have been very enterprising. I happen to know that firm- because their works are

located in my new constituency of Maison-neuve. Although they had invested a large amount of money, for many years they did little work. Since the war began, however, they have been fortunate, and at the same time they have rendered valuable service to the British Admiralty. During the first year of the war I saw there two or three cruisers which had taken part in the famous naval engagement off the Falkland Islands. The Vickers have been growing and developing, and I daresay they have , to-day one of the largest shipyards on the North American continent.

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

They come within the class of men whom I should like to see doing business in this line.

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L LIB

Rodolphe Lemieux

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LEMIEUX:

May I call attention to the danger which exists of our crippling the shipyards of Canada if we apply not only the spirit but the letter of the new Order in Council concerning conscription to employees of ship-building establishments? Conscription is the law, it is true, and must be obeyed. But I was speaking yesterday to a prominent shipbuilder who was at a loss to understand how the Government could deprive his shipyard of from one hundred to two hundred of his hands-riveters, heaters, riggers, shipwrights, plumbers, furnace men, boilermakers, draughtsmen.

Although it seems rather easy for any one to become a heater or a riveter, yet this shipbuilder was explaining to me that it took not months merely, but several years of training for a man to become a good heater or a good riveter. I beg to draw the attention of the Government to the necessity of protecting, I shall not say the shipbuilding of the country, but the shiprepairing that will take place during the months to come. I was just mentioning the case of one or two cruisers which took part in the engagement at the Falkland Islands and which were repaired at Vickers during the first year of the war. Since then, this has not been made public, but the Vickers Company in Montreal and the Davy Company in Quebec have done a quantity of work for the Imperial Government; they have built submarines, destroyers, chasers and trawlers. They have contracts with the Imperial Government, the Dominion Government and the governments of the Allied countries. They have cancelled some contracts which they had with neutral govern-meats. We should treat this question as business men and see to it that this industry

is not crippled at this very crucial moment of the war.

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

I quite appreciate what my hon. friend states. I realize the importance of those shipyards, as I had the pleasure of going through them in December last. I was very much impressed with the evidence of business which I saw there. I shall be glad to call the attention of the Minister of Marine and Fisheries, and the Minister of Militia and Defence to the statement made by my hon. friend this evening.

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L LIB

Henri-Edgar Lavigueur

Laurier Liberal

Mr. LAVIGUEUR:

What is the total cost of the Champlain dTy dock, including land?

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

Speaking roughly, about 83,400,000.

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LIB

Joseph Philippe Baby Casgrain

Liberal

Mr. CASGRAIN:

On the 25th of March the minister, in answer to a question of mine, stated that the cost of the dry dock was $3,077,460.28.

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UNI L

Frank Broadstreet Carvell (Minister of Public Works)

Unionist (Liberal)

Mr. CARVELL:

My hon. friend probably was not in a few minutes ago, when an item o-f $355,000 was passed by the committee to take care of work that has yet to be done, the drawback and things of that kind. I am speaking roughly, but the total cost of the work will be around $3,400,000.

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April 24, 1918