George T. Davie yard. I am mixed up with the owner whose name was Charles Davie. It is the George T. Davie yard. There are two shipyards at Levis, one owned by the Canada Steamship Lines and the other owned by the Davie family. This is the latter. It was an efficient yard, and like all shipyards it was greatly expanded during the war. The St. Lawrence Metal and Marine yard also built a considerable number of corvettes. It is located in the city of Quebec. It was an extremely active shipyard during the war period.
Yes. The advance is guaranteed by a mortgage on the company property. The difficulty came when the first deliveries were about to be made. It was found that large sums of money were owing by Davie and by St. Lawrence Metal and Marine. It was found that without intervention from somewhere it was impossible to deliver the boats, because mechanics' liens would have been filed immediately had delivery been attempted at that stage.
What surprises me, Mr. Chairman, is that experienced shipping com-
panies of this particular kind, which did nol suffer any particular period of bad business during the earlier years, should almosl immediately on the conclusion of the war find themselves in such difficulties that they could not carry out these contracts and the government had to come to their aid. It is easy enough to run any business in that way if one can just carry on and fall flat upon the government to get it out of the hole. The fact that the government did something of this particular nature is more amazing, if it did it without authority, though I understand the minister to say that he did have an order in council for this.
Which presumably is his authority. However, it is more surprising still to find out that this much-vaunted private enterprise found itself in such a hole that the government had to come to its rescue to the tune of $850,000.
Unfortunately private enterprise has to be somewhat venturesome. These people ventured in 1946 and took a firm price contract to deliver nine ships. My hon. friend will recognize that the cost of material and labour advanced materially between 1946 and 1948 when the ships were due to be delivered. One of them is not delivered yet.
The first thing the government did was to call in a firm of chartered accountants to go through the records of the company from the beginning. The firm of McDonald Currie Company was retained, and no action was taken by the government until a complete report was obtained.