February 17, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Thomas Hay


MeLEAN. But referring to that proposition, my hon. friends Svho say, 'hear, hear,' will not be pleased with what I am going to say now. I am in favour of the greatest assistance being given Great Britain. The reason a fleet unit should be nrovided is that, two cruisers and one ' Indomitable ' would be better than five cruisers without an ' Indomitable.' However, I am perfectly prepared to take the advice of the admiralty in this matter; and I hope that it will not be very long before we will have an ' Indomitable ' and cruisers of the highest type. But,'let us appreciate what is being done. First, we are providing four Bris-tols of the highest type of cruisers afloat. It is true that none of them have been put in commission yet. The Bristol is supposed to be put in commission this year. She is. to have a speed as high as 27 knots per hour, is to be armed with 10 4-inch guns and 2 - 6-inch guns, in addition there will be three torpedo tubes, and as regards the cruiser type, she is to he absolutely ahead of any vessel of that class. The destroyers are to be of the very latest pattern. So that as regards cruisers, with the exception of the armoured cruisers of the ' Indomitable ' type, a Bristol can handle any other vessel she may be brought up against. In case of war, we know that Germany would undoubtedly send out privateers. That great authority, Lord Charles Beresford, has said that in the hold of every tramp vessel belonging to Germany are guns which they can mount in case of need. So that having that class of the fastest cruiser, we can more than hold our own against any vessel except those of the ' Indomitable ' type.
Again, as regards the furnishing of an ' Indomitable,' the proposition of the hon. the leader of the opposition to simply give money to the British admiralty to be spent as they may see fit, does not appeal to me. Here are his words:
Giving the admiralty full discretion to expend the said sum at such time and for such purpose of naval defence as in their judgment may best serve to increase the strength of the empire and thus assure its peace and security.
Surely, the hon. gentlemen belonging to the opposition should not approve of that policy. It seems to me a cowardly thing to simply hand over our money and not our men, and not to have any vessel of our own to take part in the fight. Not having any vessels of our own manned by Canadians, but simply sending over our money to the admiralty to invest in ships, would take from us that immediate, intimate interest in our contribution to the navy which we otherwise would have. It is quite clear that the British admiralty cannot furnish the armament and the guns for

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