I now come to another important adjunct of shipping, and that is the establishment of a steel plate mill and the contract entered into by the Dominion Steel Corporation with the Government. The contract calls for 250,000 tons of ship plates, the Government obligating themselves on their part to take 50,000 tons per year for a period of five years with the
the present time has bright prospects of becoming very much bigger and greater.
That brings me to the question of subsidies. I am not going to say anything in that regard, further than that the Government have the matter under their careful consideration. The Minister of Finance, when he brings down his Budget will state, in the Government's behalf, whether or not they can see their way clear to do anything to aid the shipbuilding industry in Canada. However it will be gratifying to hon. gentlemen to know that notwithstanding the fact that Canadian shipbuilders have absolutely no protection of any kind they have been able under existing conditions to secure foreign orders in competition with shipbuilders in the Old Land.
The National Shipbuilding Company of Three Kivers-the constituency which is so worthily represented by my hon. friend (Mr. Bureau)-is at the present time engaged in the construction of six ships of
5,000 tons deadweight each, three' of 3,200 tons each and two of 6,500 tons deadweight each for foreign registry. These orders were secured from France by the National Shipbuilding ''Company of Three Eivers in competition with the world. Canadian Vickers, Limited, of Montreal, also in competition with the world, secured a contract from Norway for the construction of two steel vessels of 8,000 tons deadweight each. The Collingwood Shipbuilding Company have secured the contract for the construction of a vessel of canal size for the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, to be employed in foreign waters. That may seem to indicate that our shipbuilders can now compete with the world, on account of the conditions that I have referred to. But I am not so optimistic as to say that one or two years from now they would be able to do so without any assistance whatever.
I desire to pay a tribute to those of our Canadians who have had to do with the building of these ships. They were not skilled in the building of ships when steel shipbuilding was comrhenced on a large scale some two or three years ago. But although the designs of the ships which are being turned out in the yards from Halifax to Prince Kupert are British, the materials and workmanship are Canadian, and Canadians have demonstrated their skill in shipbuilding as they have in other walks of life, just as when the call of their country came they displayed their adaptation to military life, and their bravery in the field of battle.
Our ships are equal in design, workmanship and efficiency to any ships of the same kind that are built in the old land. I have covered the programme as fully as I have been able to; if hon. members desire to ask any questions I shall be only too pleased to answer them.
Subtopic: VOYAGES MADE TO FEBRUARY 6. 1920.