I will act on the advice of those who are familiar with the conditions as to whether it shall be a wooden or a steel vessel. I am not prepared myself to give an opinion on that point. I do not know whether there are facilities in British Columbia for building a steel vessel, at the same time, I think such a vessel ought to be built in British Columbia. A vessel of this kind could not easily be taken around the Horn. I would like to see her built in British Columbia, but I will leave it to those who are experts in such matters to decide as to the character of the vessel. I may say this to my hon. friend from Victoria, Mr. FISHER.
that when I put $20,000 in the estimates I thought it would be sufficient to obtain such a vessel as is needed there ; but since these estimates were prepared, representations have been made to me by my officers at that station that a larger vessel would be required, one that it would not be possible to purchase for $20,000, and suggesting tnat this item be largely increased. On these representations I think it is quite likely that 1 should ask for a larger-sum in the supplementary estimates. The service there requires a very staunch vessel. Frequently she has to go out in very stormy weather to meet ships, and the passage from Victoria is exposed to heavy winds. The suggestion is made that a vessel fully suitable for that work cannot be obtained for $20,000 on the British Columbia coast. If that Is the case, I should have to ask for a supplementary estimate ; but in the meantime I ask that this item be granted to me, and I assure the committee that I will carefully look into the matter and get the best advice I can from ship building experts as to what the cost of such a vessel is likely to be.