To West Indies . . . . Voyages. .. 27
To Buenos Ayres . . . . 4
To Liverpool . . 9
To Glasgow . . 1
To United Kingdom from Van-
couver, via Panama Canal . . . . 3
To Bordeaux . . 1
To Havre . . 1
To Australia and New Zealand . . 1
To St. John's, Newfoundland . [DOT] ' 4
I now come to what must be the most interesting part to hon. members and to the public generally. It is not often that ships, railways or other things are managed and operated by governments in such a way as to show a balance on the right side, but I am happy to say that from the figures I will give in the moment you will see that although 19 of these ships have only been in commission for a short time, not one of them having been in commission for a full year, the balance is on the right side. I wish to explain how the net earnings are arrived at. The Canadian Government Merchant Marine follow good business practice.
They had to put on a new organization and to open up new trade routes. After providing for organization, overhead expenses, operating expenses, depreciation, insurance and five and a half per cent on cost, the ships have made a remarkably good showing.
I think it is only fair that as Minister of Marine, and on behalf of the Government of Canada, I should pay a tribute to Mr. D. B. Hanna and his board of directors of the Canadian Government Merchant Marine for having accomplished such a fine result as I am going to refer to in a moment, not withstanding all the difficulties inseparable from new routes and a new organization. I am immensely pleased as the minister responsible, so is the Government, and I am sure that hon. members and the people of Canada will also be pleased. The profit statement is as follows: .
Up to the end of December, 1919, there were delivered 19 steamers. Many of these were received during the late summer and fall, so that only 13 had completed voyages by the end of the year. As already mentioned, routes were opend to South America, West Indies and the United Kingdom. By December 31 28 voyages had been ,completed. The total gross earnings of all boats amounted to $3,448,030.25, and the net earnings to $1,406,000. This net will provide interest at 5J per cent on the Government's investment, full reserve for depreciation and a handsome margin in addition. These earnings are held by the company in the shape of bank balances, Victory bonds and accounts receiyable. In view of the fact that many of the boats were only in service for a portion of the year, and also as the initial expenses in placing boats in commission are extremely heavy, I- think you will agree with me that the operations of the Government's Merchant Marine present an exceedingly satisfactory showing.
It will be of interest, I am sure, to the House to know that the Government boats enabled the exportation of Canadian products last year to the value of $21,362,000, much of which would not have been shipped if the shipping facilities had not been provided by the Government.
It will be also interesting to know that since the first of the year, the shipyards on the Pacific Coast have delivered three boats, the " Canadian Raider," the " Canadian Importer," and the " Canadian Exporter," all of which will be employed in the Canadian-Australian trade. The " Canadian Raider " and " Canadian Importer " have already sailed with a full cargo of
lumber in the one case, and a full cargo of confectionery, newsprint, lumber, rubber tires, etc., in the other.
The " Canadian Exporter " is loading at the present time. It'is expected that with the service which the Canadian Government Merchant Marine will be able to provide between Canada, Australia and New Zealand very important business will be established.
I wish also to explain how the Government transferred these ships, built and paid for by public money, to the Canadian. Government Merchant Marine. By Order in Council these ships were transferred to the Canadian Government Merchant Marine at the, contract' price. In lieu of that the Canadian Government Merchant' Marine issued notes payable to the honourable the Minister of Finance bearing interest at thfe rate of 5i per cent. It is incumbent upon the Canadian Government Merchant Marine not only to meet the interest on the cost of construction on these vessels at 5J per cent but also to pay the principal from time to time out of earnings. I am very happy to announce that notwithstanding, as I have already explained, that only v19 vessels were for a portion of the year in commission, yet, out of earnings the Canadian Government Merchant Marine have issued a cheque to the consolidated revenue fund of Canada for $500,000 which meets the interest at the rate of 5i per cent up to the end of December 31, 1919. Hon.
members will see that the Canadian Government Merchant Marine are paying their way although they have hardly got started.
It may interest hon. members to know' what our sister Dominion of Australia is doing. Australia has half our population but is still a nation of great vision, energy and capability. Here is what Australia has done with regard to shipbuilding:
Australian Shipbuilding Programme.
In the early days of the war, Australia acquired by purchase 15 second hand Brit ish vessels with a tonnage of approximately
100,000 tons. In addition the Commonwealth Government undertook a local building programme The original programme provided for the construction of 24 steel vessels of about 5,500 tons deadweight each and 24 wooden vessels of about 2,600 tons do'i Jweight each. A second programme v^as subsequently undertaken which provided for the construction of 14 steel ships of about 6,000 tons deadweight each. In addition contracts were placed by the Australian Government for the construction of
6 vessels in United Kingdom yards of about
12.000 tons deadweight.
When Australia completes her programme she will possess a total tonnage of 348,400 tons net, a very good merchant marine for our .-overseas Dominions to have.