Quite some time ago Lord Strathcona before he died donated to the crown in the right of the Department. of National Defence five houses in Montreal on the understanding that an armoury would be erected thereon for McGill University. No action, however, has ever been taken by the crown to erect the armoury in question. This donation was made in 1914, and as the governors of the university prefer to erect a building which will contain a drill hall on their own land, the property donated by the late Lord Strathcona was returned to the trustees of his estate by special grant dated November 14, 1923. During the time that this property was in the possession of the crown, they received $25,824.62 by way of rent for which there were disbursements for maintenance, repairs and taxes of about $8,000, leaving a balance of $16,918.90. As we were not carrying out the condition of the trust, the money naturally had to be paid back.
Some time ago when I had an opportunity of saying a few words in regard to the military estimates, I stated that I did not intend to support another single dollar in regard to those estimates. We have passed all the main estimates, and I find in the supplementary estimates the sum of $253,-41S.90. Perhaps this item that we have now come to is the best place for me to make my protest against this addition to the military estimates. I do not think for one moment anyone in this House is in favour of war. The only difference between us is as to what we should do as regards military expenditure. Canada occupies a unique position in the world
at the present time. She has an opportunity to lead the nations in the ways of peace. No country in the world is less menaced by war than our own Dominion. The North American continent, perhaps, will lead the way in regard to peaceful pursuits and show an example to the older world in regard to what can be accomplished by peace, goodwill, a proper understanding, trust-worthiness and good feeling between nations. At this late hour I am going to content myself with moving that this item be reduced by $99,000.
As I explained when my estimates were before the committee on the first occasion, it was absolutely necessary, in order to prevent the artillery companies from disbanding, that they should be given an opportunity of drilling this year, which opportunity they had not had for two years. The situation as regards artillery is different from that with regard to infantry. The artillery companies have to be brought, with their guns, to a place where the guns can be fired safely. Certain places have been provided in Canada as practice camps, first at Petawawa in northern Ontario and at Hughes and Sarcee camps in the west. This arm of the service is very important. There was a danger of its disbandment if nothing were done at all this year, and I stated at that time that I proposed to ask for this amount. It is absolutely necessary in order to keep this service of the country in any kind of decent shape.
Item agreed to.
General services-amount required towards the construction of a magazine and other buildings and services in connection therewith, at Bedford Basin, Halifax, N.S., for the joint use of militia and naval services, $50,000.
No, it was initiated last year. Halifax is one of the old fortified cities and large quantities of ammunition have been stored there. The fort is in the immediate vicinity of the Imperial Oil Company's works and there is grave danger of explosion. The city of Halifax was half destroyed during the war as a result of an explosion and representations have been made by the 'Citizens and various public bodies to have the new works constructed in a safe place where there will foe no danger from any explosion. The land has been expropriated and this is to complete the undertaking.