July 18, 1924

PRO

Oliver Robert Gould

Progressive

Mr. GOULD:

The information which I

have before me, and which I do not quote as disputing the hon. minister, shows a total of twenty automobiles. Are these for the use of the men except when in training?

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

Among the

twenty must be included motor trucks used for the transportation of supplies.

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Item agreed to. Naval Service-to provide for the maintenance of the ships and establishments of the Naval Service, including the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve and the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve, $1,400,000.


LAB
LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

It is for

the upkeep of the various vessels which belong to the Canadian government-the torpedo destroyers, Patriot and Patricia; the minesweepers Ypres, Armentieres and Thiepval; the light cruiser Aurora, which is not in commission; and the submarines which are laid up in reserve at Halifax; the officers and men forming the complements of the above fleet; tha naval executive staff at headquarters, Ottawa; the naval barracks and training establishments at Halifax and Esquimalt; the naval dockyards at Halifax and Esquimalt; officers and men of the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve, and of the Royal Canadian Naval Volunteer Reserve.

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PRO
LIB
LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

In looking over the report

of last year it seems to me that we paid pretty high for what appears to be a very small service. Apparently the two ships in commission last year were used as sort of jolly boats trading between Lunenburg and Pictou, carrying picinc parties, receiving visitors, and that sort of thing. It reminds me of Jerome K. Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat." I will give an extract or two from the report. It states that the Patriot and Patricia were the only two ships in commission. Then it proceeds:

On September 19 Patriot was sent to Lunenburg to take part in the celebration of Fishermen's Day. From Lunenburg the ship proceeded to Halifax for refit.

I do not know what they did at Lunenburg to necessitate this refit

During October the ship was placed at the disposal of the Fishing Schooner Race Committee to assist in

the elimination races in preparation for the international schooner race. The vessel rendered valuable assistance in the regulating of the race, generally, and continual use of her services was made.

That is the second stage of the naval service rendered by this vessel-the superintending of a sort of picnic on the water.

The ship was opened to visitors at each of the Canadian ports at which she called and was on such occasions continually crowded with visitors. The visitors, particularly those following the sea, were very interested in the ship's appliances and in many instances requested to be taken on cruises.

That is the next step. It does not say whether or not these requests were complied with. The report goes on:

Upon returning from the international schooner race the Patriot remained at Halifax, while her ship's company took their summer's leave.

So much for ship No. 1. Now let us look at ship No. 2.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

My hon.

friend, in order to be fair, should at once proceed to state that the Patriot sailed for Bermuda and remained there in training and working generally with the North American squadron of the British navy for a considerable period.

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LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

Yes; I did not intend to

read the whole report. I said I was going to read only excerpts from it. I have read the report of that ship from September 19 until December, and that is a considerable period of the year. Now we will take the Patricia.

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LIB

Edward Mortimer Macdonald (Minister of National Defence)

Liberal

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou):

My hon. friend is not fair there. He admits the cruise of this vessel all along the various ports in the Maritime provinces. When he speaks of her participating in the arrangements for the fishermen's races I may tell him that the United States government sent a destroyer, and that is why this vessel was sent there.

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LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

The Patricia accompanied

the Patriot in all these jaunts. I quote:

The Patricia also acompanied Patriot to Pictou on September 13, for the celebrations there-

Another picnic.

-and then proceeded to Lunenburg for the fishermen's day celebration on September 20.

Another picnic.

She then returned to Halifax to prepare for her voyage to Esquimalt, on which station she has been placed.

Continuing:

On December 5 she proceeded on a cruise to Prince Rupert. This cruise gave the officers and men an opportunity of obtaining local knowledge of the west

Supply-Air Services

coast. The distance covered was approximately 1,100 miles. The inland shipping route was followed and valuable knowledge obtained, as the currents and tides of this route are intricate.

That is rather jocular to anyone who knows anything about the sea.

Stops of one day were made at each of the following places.

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PRO
LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

Yes, but this is rather

a peculiar task for a man-of-war, to be examining inland routes of that character.

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PRO
LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

I am quite certain my hon. friend has not been through anything that is very rapid. I have not been through this particular rapid to which he refers. Does he mean to suggest that the Patr.cia was in the Yonkatar rapid?

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PRO

Thomas George McBride

Progressive

Mr. McBRIDE:

That indicates what my hon. friend knows about the cruise along the coast. She would pass through these rapids.

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LAB

William Irvine

Labour

Mr. IRVINE:

If my hon. friend will

undertake to defend the voyage of the Patricia on the ground of naval service, he will be able to tell us just what valuable service to navigation was rendered as referred to in this report. However, he may do so when I am through. I have just quoted excerpts from the report, which hon. members may read for themselves. I want to give the cost of these trips to Canada. In the case of the Patriot the cost was $180,904.21 and in the case of the Patricia $203,693.17; pay and allowances, $533,493.17. I do not have to say to the committee that this has nothing to do with naval service; it can scarcely be called a laval jaunt. At a time when we are cautioned to practise economy and when the government *efuses even to consider seriously the urgent demand of 60,000 Home Bank depositors, we can spend lavishly on picnic jaunts for a few individuals. I am not speaking against the navy; that is not the navy. These are a couple of jolly-boats used for picnic purposes and to receive visitors. I do not think it will make for the training of very brilliant seamen to receive visitors at Pictou or any of these other ports. This is really humorous as the report of a naval service for which we have spent so much.

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Item agreed to. Air services-purchase of aircraft, technical equipment and provision of ground services, $300,000.


PRO

Henry Elvins Spencer

Progressive

Mr. SPENCER:

Will the minister give us some information respecting this item?

Mr. MACDONALD (Pictou); The aircraft service is hardly military in its character; it performs services for all the departments. The planes belonging to the department have grown very old and some of them have been out of commission. In 'addition 12 airplanes were burned at Camp Borden some three months ago, which almost paralyzed the service. It is necessary to purchase some additional airplanes and provide for their equipment. There is a vote also in the supplementary estimates for the carrying out of an arrangement made with the Department of the Interior, who are extending their service in regard to air patrol. Only last week very valuable service was rendered in connection with the fires that took place in British Columbia. It is for the purpose of putting the service in proper shape that this vote is provided.

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July 18, 1924