May 27, 1921

UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

$1,100,000. We paid about $1,200,000 for the Niobe.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
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UNION

Alfred Ernest Fripp

Unionist

Mr. FRIPP:

When the minister found that this New Brunswick company were able to pay only $20,000 on a purchase price of $135,000, did he take any security for the balance? Would it not have been better to accept the cash offer of $100,000 tendered by the Ottawa firm than to accept only $20,000 cash from another firm and then have to try to collect the balance through the Department of Justice?

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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

The hon. gentleman would be quite correct in taking that ground if I had had any information before me at the time that the New Brunswick Rolling Mills were not able to pay for the Niobe. I have no reason now to believe that they are not able to pay. We did make careful inquiries with regard to the standing of the New Brunswick Rolling Mills, and the information was that their financial standing was good. Two bids were received, one for $88,000 and the

other for $112,000, and so far as I could tell both firms were in good financial standing. I am sure, therefore, that hon. members of the committee would have found serious fault with me if I had accepted the tender of $88,000 under those circumstances. The only reason why this firm has not taken delivery of the Niobe-and it is not a financial one, as I understand- it is that the value of steel and of everything that enters into the make-up of a ship like the Niobe has considerably depreciated, and this firm would now like to get out of their purchase. The Government, however, still have the Niobe. I do not know what other security we could take. The duty is now upon the Government of seeing that this firm carry out their bargain and pay for both the submarines and the Niobe.

Topic:   PRIVATE BILLS
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L LIB

John Howard Sinclair

Laurier Liberal

Mr. SINCLAIR (Guysborough) :

Did

the minister take a cash deposit with the tender?

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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

Yes, $20,000.

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UNION

Alfred Ernest Fripp

Unionist

Mr. FRIPP:

Will the $20,000 be

forfeited to the Government if the contract is not carried out by the purchaser? If so, within what time will the money be forfeited?

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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

I do not see any reason at all for letting this firm out. They knew what they were doing when they tendered for the Niobe and the submarines. Wc have $20,000 of their money, and we have the Niobe. The firm is financially good and it is the intention of the Government to see that they pay for the Niobe and the submarines according to the contract price, $135,000.

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UNI L
UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

Yes.

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UNI L
L LIB

Jacques Bureau

Laurier Liberal

Mr. BUREAU:

As I understand it, the minister thought the first tenders were too low, so he did not consider them. The third time tenders were called, a tender was received for $112,000 cash from a St. John firm and $135,000 cash from the St. John Rolling Mills, including the submarines. The law says that when tenders are called for the highest tenderer should get the contract according to the conditions of the tender. By what authority did the minister vary the conditions of the tender by allowing the New Brunswick Rolling Mills to pay the purchase price in instalments? Also, how were the instal-

merits to be paid and what was to be the rate of interest?

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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

It is true that this Ottawa firm quoted $88,000 cash; they did not want the submarines. The other tender was $135,000 but the tenderer in this case could not pay cash. I considered it was my plain duty to get the highest price I possibly could, and the arrangement was that this firm was to pay $20,000 cash and the balance at the rate of $10,000 a month.

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L LIB
UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

I am sorry I

have not the contract before me, but it would be in November or December of last year.

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L LIB
UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

Yes, but the Niobe is still at Halifax.

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L LIB

Georges Parent

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PARENT:

When the hon. gentleman says that the Niobe is still at Halifax, does he mean that the Niobe is the property of the Government? The fact of its being at Halifax or elsewhere does not necessarily mean that it belongs to the Government?

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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE:

The Niobe is

being held at the port of Halifax until such time as the New Brunswick Rolling Mills carry out the terms of the contract. We are not going to turn over the boat to them until payments are made according to the contract.

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L LIB

Georges Parent

Laurier Liberal

Mr. PARENT:

The minister has said that the case of the New Brunswick firm is in the hands of the Department of Justice. What is the reason for its being in the hands of the Department of Justice?

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UNION

Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)

Unionist

Mr. BALLANTYNE :

The reason is this: 810,000 was due from this firm on the first day of January of this year and $10,000 every month afterwards.

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May 27, 1921