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


Hugh Havelock McLean


Mr. H. H. McLEAN.

He says also:
The nearest British port of anv naval value to the west coast of Canada is 5,'000, 6,000 miles away. This distance" is only traversible by the largest war vessels (cruiser or battleship) at low speed. . . . The connection of the Canadian fleet with the rest of our naval forces, would he entirely dependent in war on the good-will of the only powers that, who for very many- years at least, can possibly threaten her Pacific coast. In a war with the United States, a Canadian fleet, placed as you suggest, would be at once isolated. Ia a war with an east-Asian power, the naval defence of the west coast of North America can best be carried out by a fleet operating from Singapore and Hong Kong.
If the opinions of this gentleman, for the reasons given, commend themselves to the judgment of hon. members present, they can take them; certainly, they commend themselves to me.
, Now, I wish to refer to one of the leading admiralty authorities of England as regards this question of cruisers. His article was published in the 'Fortnightly Review' for May, 1908. He says:
I advocate India and the colonies owning their own scouts, destroyers and submarines, as it would be out of the question for these types of small craft to be sent out when once war had been declared, no matter how pressing might be the need for them.
Other advantages might be enumerated as follows:-

1. Great usefulness at comparatively small expense. . , , , . . .
2 As the professional knowledge required is much the same in all the types of vessels here advocated, the officers and men would undergo a uniform standard of training, and would he able to take service in any type of colonial ship or boat. .
3. The officers would become highly trained specialists in practically one particular branch of naval warfare, and would possess an intimate knowledge of the pilotage of their own territorial waters.
1. If the scouts and destroyers were fitted with turbine machinery and oil fuel, this method of propulsion, being very simple and easily worked, would mean comparatively small complements, both below and on deck, thus enabling higher wages to be paid, and thereby ensuring a good class of men entering the service.
There is the opinion of one of the highest naval authorities in England declaring that this is the correct policy. There can be no doubt that it is the correct policy. As regards the guarding of our coasts, scouts, cruisers and that class of vessels are the kind we want for the purpose. As I have said before, they could beat any vessels below the armoured cruiser class or the protected cruiser. That being the case, I say that if we have, in addition to that, a cruiser of the Indomitable type we get practically clear of any danger through Germany sending to our coasts vessels below the Indomitable type in case of war. Take, for example, the Atlantic coast; that coast is very easily guarded. The entrance to the Gulf of St. Lawrence is Belle1 Isle Straits, which are narrow and 40 miles long. One or two destroyers could guard that entrance. The other entrance is Cabot Strait, between Cape Ray and Cape North, that is between Cape Breiton and Newfoundland;. With two destroyers or a scout cruiser it would be difficult for any privateer or any vessel, except one of tjie very largest class, to get through that entrance. Then practically you have, after leaving Quebec, about 600 miles of protected water before the vessel would get out on the high seas. When it was out on the high seas, as is pointed out by Mr. Hamilton in some very clever articles he has been writing in the 'University Monthly,' she would be comparatively free from attack, as to find her would be like hunting for a needle in a hav stack.
Then take the Bay of Fundy. The entrance there is only twenty miles broad. Vessels have to keep clear of Muir Ledgese, they have to pass between Gannet Rock on one side, Brier island on the other, so that the entrance there is so narrow that it can be easily guarded and protected. Therefore, I say that with a very little expense, because Halifax with
the guns she has is well protected, our eastern coast could be defended. We found at Santiago at the time of the war between Spain and the United States that a few guns on land were more effective than four or five times their number at _ sea. The obsolete guns which the Spanish had at Santiago were able to keep at bay the whole American fleet. Therefore, I say that we will be able to do what the admiralty want us to do, that is to effectually protect our own coast line and effectually guard our commerce until the ships get on the high seas. _
A great deal has been said about the 'German Scare.' I may say that I do not agree with many _ of my
friends on the government side that this is a scare. As far as I can find by looking into this question the action taken by Germany is a very serious one. Unless England now carries out the policy she has adopted, Germany would in a few years become strong enough to force the issue with England, and perhaps might make it very doubtful. But the result is that England is aroused now, last year four vessels were laid down and this year eight will be built. I want to
call attention to the class of vessels England is now building. We have heard about the Dreadnought class, that is a vessel of
17,000 tons, with 21,000 horse-power, armed with ten 12-inch guns. Now they have the super-Dreadnought type, a vessel of 22,000. odd tons with greater horse-power, and some of them are proposed to be armed with 13-5-inch guns. They are laying down this year four of the largest class of superDreadnoughts. Let me call your attention to one vessel that England is laying down this year, that is what is called the Capital cruiser type. This vessel has over 80,000 horse-power. Think of that! She will have a speed of over thirty knots, and as you all know, a knot is one and one;eighth miles. She is to be armed with twelve 13-5 guns, the largest now being made. She is to be armed also with a number of 10.6-inch guns and a number of 4-inch guns. A vessel of that class with 80,000 horse-power, armed as she is and with,her great speed would be practically invincible.
Another type that England is now laying down is called the Destroyer type. It i3 called a destroyer of destroyers. Vessels of this type have a speed of over thirty-eight knots. The ' Tarter ' lately made a record of over forty knots. She is armed with four 4-inch guns, and has a torpedo tube. Here is a vessel capable of doing tremendous execution in case of trouble. These are the newer types. We remember that since the time of the ' Admiral ' class every type of battleship has been made larger until we came to the Dreadnought type. Since then, we are go-

thrift, intelligence and the prosperity of her people, illustrates to mankind the advantages of training her citizens, in their youth and manhood, to the use of arms. The habits of -discipline and the order and cleanliness of person. It is recognized today as a national characteristic, that the womanhood of that nation look with reproach upon men ignorant of military training. Germany is well to the fore in all that belongs to the twentieth century civilization. The greatest lesson of all we learn from China. There is a nation of 3,000,000,000 to 4,000,000,000 of people. Honest traders, inoffensive, and unaggre-ssive. A nation which, from its physical character, the industrious habits of its people, and its natural resources, should have been the last to arouse hostility. It neglected its defence on water, and we now see the result. The nations in possession of navies are trying to tear it to pieces and divide the spoil. Do we hear of any of these nations being worried by honest scruples? No. The whole dispute is over the division of the spoils.
Reference was made by the Minister of Railways to the splendid internal canal system of Germany, and all that has been done within the last ten years. But, now that England is aroused we need not fear any danger. We know very well that with England's resources she is now building at the rate of eight ships per year, and that she will never again allow -Germany to approach near the, danger point.. The statement of some hon. gentlemen that , there will be a war in a year or two seems to be absurd. It has never been stated bv any naval authority in England that Germany could hope to enter into successful war with England even in the year 1912. Up to that date Germany would certainly be far outclassed. We must further remember that although Germany may be building these new ships she has to take men from the farms to man them. Germany has no large coast line to support a maritime people, and the men for these ships are taken by a system of what -we would call force. They are forced to serve in the German navy, as they are forced to serve in the German army for a number of years, and while there is no doubt that after a time they do make good seamen, yet it is fair to say that even after these new ships are built it will take some years before the men are trained and before she is able to go to war with England. Now, let me point out to the House that in the year 1912, which it is prophesied by some may be the year of danger, Britain will have 22 Dreadnoughts, super-Dreadnoughts and Dreadnought cruisers; her naval programme for 1909 provides for the building of eight of the super-Dreadnought Mr. H. H. McLEAN.
type. The Navv League annual shows that in 1912 England will have 22 Dreadnoughts, super-Dreadnoughts and cruisers, as I have already mentioned. But look at the improvement in these ships. The first Dreadnought was 17,900 tons and the last four ships of the super-Dreadnought class are to be of 25,000 tons. The first Dreadnought had 23.000 horse power, but the super-Dreadnoughts are to have 45,000 horse power and a speed of 23 knots instead of the Dreadnought speed of 22 -4. They are to be armed with ten 13.5 inch guns and fourteen 6 inch guns. I might give a short description of these guns as follows:
The 16 -25-inch gun.
The principal details of the 110-ton gun are as follows: It has a bore of 16J inches in diameter, and is 43J feet long. Its projectile is 1,800 pounds in weight, and is propelled by a charge of slow-burning cocoa powder weighing 900 pounds. This gun can only be fired at the rate of one round every seven minutes, and the life of it is not estimated to exceed 100 rounds. Now obselete.
The 13 -5-inch gun.
The 13 -5-inch gun throws a projectile weighing 1,250 pounds, with a muzzle velocity of 2,016 feet per second, and with a firing charge of 630 pounds of powder has an energy of penetrating 25 inches of wrought iron at 3,000 yards.
The 12-inch gun.
Next in order we come to the 12-inc-h gun, which, with various modifications of design, remains the standard heavy British naval gun of the present time. The total length of this magnificent gun is 617 -7 inches. The initial velocity of its projectile is 3,010 foot-seconds, which gives a muzzle energy of 53,400 foot-tons; the effective range against an average modern armoured warship is computed roughly at about four miles, and the extreme range is 25,000 yards, at which limit the remaining velocity of the shell would be so relatively small as to render it comparatively harmless save by virtue of its own weight.
When we remember that the latest British Dreadnought type of battleship are armed with ten of these mighty pieces of ordnance apiece, the tremendous concentration of their powers of aggression makes contemplation of the future naval battle simply appalling.
The 10-inch gun.
The 10-inc.h gun is a weapon that has been fitted to a few of our battleships, although it has never found particular favour amongst tine gunnery experts of the British navy. The Vickers' pattern of this weapon, which is largely used in the Russian, Italian, Japanese, and United States navies, is 34 -5 tons in weight, has a length of 45 calibres (464 -9 inches, including breech-chamber), and throws a projectile of 500 pounds, with a muzzle velocity of 3,000 foot-seconds, and a muzzle energy of 30,990 foot-tons.
The 9 -2-inch gun.
Continuing to follow the category of primary weapons in the order of their size, we come now to the 9-2-inch gun, which is the most popular and in its way the most useful piece of artillery in the British fleet. It is

to be found alike in our battleships and big cruisers, and, whilst it lacks the shattering power of the heavier weapons against modern armour, yet its remarkable penetrative qualities, coupled with its rapid fire delivery-three rounds per minute-renders it a deadly effective gun. The Woolwich pattern, Mark X, of this type, weighs 28 tons unmounted, is of 46-6 calibres in length (extreme total 442-.35 inches), and has a muzzle velocity of 2,800 foot-seconds with a muzzle energy" of 20,685 foot-tons. The projectile weighs 380 pounds, and has a striking power at a range of 3,000 yards equal to carrying it through 25 inches of wrought iron.
The 7 -5-inch gun.
The 7-5-inch gun, of Vickers' wire-wound pattern, weighs 16 tons without mountings, is 50 calibres long (extreme length 386-7 inches), and has a muzzle of 3,007 foot-seconds, giving the projectile a muzzle energy of 12,540 foot-tons.
The 6-incli gun.
The 6-inch gun has been said, not inappropriately, to mark the strict limit to the quick fire series, although not officially so regarded. But its projectile of 100 pounds in weight is the heaviest that can be man-handled, and the result is that the weapon can be fired at the rate of twelve rounds per minute. Indeed, nothing but the necessity of waiting for the recoil to spend itself restricts the rapidity of fire delivery with the 6-inch piece. The latest (1908) Elswick pattern weight 8f tons, is 50 calibres in length (total over all 315 inches), and has the remarkably high muzzle velocity of 3,050 foot-seconds, with a muzzle energy of 6,492 foot-tons.
The 4-7 inch, the 4 inch and Small Q. F. Guns.
The biggest and most familiar type of naval ' mosquito ' armament is the 4 -7-inch, gun, immortalized by the memorable part it played in the salvation of Ladysmith. This weapon in its latest type weights 3 -27 tons, is 45 calibres in length, and throws a shell 45 pounds in weight, with a muzzle velocity of 2,925 foot-seconds, and an energy sufficient to penetrate 8 -6 inches of wrought iron at a range of 2,000 yards. But excellent as this gun has proved itself, it has been quite supplanted as a light quick-firer by the 4-inch, wire-wound pattern. This is a piece of ordnance of extroardinary range and penetrative powers for its size. Its wpight unmounted is 2,018 tons, and its length 50 calibres (giving an extreme measurement of 208-45 inches). It discharges a projectile 31 pounds in weight at a muzzle velocity of 3,030 foot-seconds, and with a degree of energy equal to penetrating 16 inches of wrought iron at the muzzle. The fire delivery of this gun is estimated at 15 rounds per minute. The 3-inch, naval gun is, strictly speaking, the smallest weapon which can legitimately be classed as big warship ordnance. Below this we come to mere popguns, throwing 6 pound and 3 pound projectiles, and machine guns, which rattle forth a hailstorm of 1-457 inch, bullets at a rate of 300 rounds per minute. These weapons are really designed to repel boat attacks, and within the limits of their effective range would prove very deadly. The 3-inch, gun referred to above, in its latest pattern (1908), has a
length of 50 calibres (156-9 inches over all), weighs 19 cwts. unmounted, and throws a projectile of 12-5 pounds in weight, at the rate of 25 rounds per minute, with a muzzle velocity of 2,700 foot-seconds, and a penetrative energy equal to passing through 9 -65 inches of wrought iron at the muzzle.
The four supeT-Dreadnoughts and capital cruiser ships are to be laid down in April, 1910, and they are to be put in commission in March, 1912. I wish also to -refer to another authority, and it may fairly be said that this authority is not prejudiced. The authority to which I refer is Pulsifer, who, in the United States navy book for 1909, gives the following as the comparative strength of the navies of Great Britain and Germany at the present time.
Great Britain. Number. Tons.
Battleships (10,000 tons and
over) . .. 60 941,450Armoured cruisers . .. 40 506,350Cruisers above 6,000 tons. . .. 18 176,250Cruisers 6,000 to 3,000 tons. . .. 48 214,700Cruisers 3,000 to 1,000 tons. . .. 24 51,675Torpedo-boat destroyers.. . . ..168 81,356Torpedo boats . .. 69 15,014Submarines . .. 67 . 19,078Total . ..494 2,005,873Germany. Number. Tons.Battleships (10,000 tons and over) . .. 32 436,424Coast-defence vessels . .. 8 32,378Armoured cruisers . .. 12 151,693Cruisers above 6,000 tons.. Cruisers 6,000 to 3,000 tons. . .. 26 105,293Cruisers 3,000 to 1,000 tons. . .. 17 37,626Torpedo-boat destroyers.. . . .. 97 49,859Torpedo boats . .. 33 5,819Submarines . .. 8 1,600Total . ..233 820,692
When we come to the total number of ships and the total tonnage we find that England has of firsfrdass battleships, armoured cruisers, torpedo boat destroyers, all effective 494 with a tonnage 2,005,873, and Germany has a total of 233 ships with a tonnage of 820,692.
From this it will be seen that at the present time the British navy is superior to the German navy by more than the two to one standard. It is therefore, fair to say, that at the present there is no danger from Germany as regards her navy, either now or in 1912, when these vessels aTe built, and that in 1917, England will be better prepared than ever to cope with Germany if the need should be. But, the point I want to emphasize is this: That
in 1917, Canada, instead of adopting the policy propounded by the opposition of giving money and doing nothing else, Canada in 1917 will have at least 800 first-class, thoroughly trained men for these cruisers of ours. In addition to that we will have

I want to call attention also to our mercantile marine. At present, Great Britain stands first in the world with 12,000,000 tons odd, Germany comes second, and the United States third, and Canada at present stands ninth. But, with 70,000 more tons, Canada would pass Italy and stand sixth.
Criticism has been made regarding the building of these ships in Canada. Well, it does seem to me that that is the very best thing the government of this country could do. It excites one's ire to hear men talking about our not being able to go into this line of business. Why, we have had to bring skilled operators from other countries to start our manufactories, and Canada, in the old days of wooden ships, was able to build the best ships in the world. Scotland could not compete with her. We know that the fastest skipper ship ever built, came out of a St. John shipyard- the ' Mareo Polo.' And now when steel plate has taken the place of wood, we know that we have all the raw material necessary for steel ship building and all that we require is the plant and trained mechanics. Of course, it is not possible for any private individual at present to establish a plant large enough, but on looking over the register, I find that over 600 steam vessels now on our register were built outside of Canada and that practically very few have been built here. Take the one firm in St. John, Wm. Thompson & Company; they had fourteen steel steamships-ocean steamers-built on the other side. But as against these croakers who decry our capabilities, let me point to the example of Germany, and let me point out that Japan 18 years ago did not have a steel vessel. But Japan started to build up her navy, she got one of these big contractors from Scotland and started a plant, and she is to-day not only building her own ships of war, but also her mercantile vessels, and she is doing this to such an extent that she is now eighth in the list of countries owning ships. Germany's example, however, is still more marked. The first liner built in a German yard was built in 1887. To-day, in the German yards, are built not only her own ships, but also ships for foreign powers. They have built 757 steel ships besides four warships for foreign nations, and yet only fifty years ago, her whole navy was sold at auction.
When you think that, in 1887, her first vessel was built, when you think that it was not till 1898. that she commenced really to put down the keels and build her own steel vessels, and when you find these results, this great development of steel shipbuilding, and when you remember also that German plants were started by Scotchmen-of course the Germans rapidly learned the business, and they are able to carry it on now-why should any man say that Mr. H. H. McliEAN.
what Japan has done, what Germany has done, what other nations have done, in establishing these building plants, we cannot do in Canada? And it is a frivolous, childish objection, it seems to me, to say that it is going to cost you more to build your ships here than in England, and it is going to take you a year longer. But is it not a great thing to know that the establishment of a steel building plant in Canada, and the building of these war vessels, eleven in all, will start the steel building industry and shipyards, providing new employment for thousands of skilled men at 'big wages-for these men do get big wages? We shall be starting in Canada the biggest industry we ever had. For we are a maritime nation. Men who live by the sea, as do a number of the gentlemen present, know the enormous amount of money that is made by carrying freights. They know that for us to pay out the best part of our money to foreign ships to carry our produce is not Canadian, it is not business. Surely it would be better for us, with the enormous amount of our export business, that we should carry it in Canadian ships? A further fact is that which I have already mentioned- that over 600 steam vessels on the registry were built outside of Canada. Then, there is the point that made a great impression upon me, that nine-tenths of the cost of a steel vessel goes out in wages. Of course, you understand, there is the ore to be taken from the mines. Then it has to be smelted-and we can do that at Sydney. Then there is the work to be done on the hull, and all the rest, so that nine-tenths of the cost goes in wages to those employed in connection with it. That is a marvellous fact. It shows, when this industry is started, what a great thing it will be for Canada. I do hope, Mr. Speaker, that the day will come when we shall be united in one great power, forming a federation of great nations, a confederation for the purpose of consolidating power against foreign countries, and a moral influence on all international questions. Nations can only enjoy their freedom by being able to defend it. The true policy for us is to be closely united, to be thoroughly organized and equipped, and to be able to use our whole strength to the greatest advantage for the common safety of Great Britain. Canadians desire to be free and safe. It must be in an empire to which we are attached by every tie, to which we must render effective service, if necessary give our all, for the common defence, if we are to expect the forces of that mighty empire to be at our back when our lives as free people arie threatened, we should show a square front to any enemy that may attack us. We must be ready to play our part towards the security of our country, and if occasion offers, be ready to defend. For de-

fence, because every great thinker, and every man who has studied the subject, knows that we may have war upon us at any moment. Take the last words of that great statesman, Lord Dufferin, when he says:
Nothing, neither a sense of justice, nor the precepts of religion, nor the interests of humanity, would prevent any nation from attacking us at the first favourable opportunity.
And Joseph Howe, forty years ago, wrote in his essay on ' The organization of the empire
Security for peace is only to be sought in such an organization and armament of the whole empire as will make a certainty of defeat a foregone conclusion to any foreign power that may attempt to break it.
Something has been said about the Monroe doctrine. Let me say one word about it. It seems to me that the plea of the Monroe doctrine has been effectually answered and the doctrine shattered. We must not forget that for us to depend on the protection of the United States would be a cowardly position for us to take- that we should wait and ask the United States to keep away any bad people that want to come against us. It would be very doubtful whether the United States would be able to do it. But what would be her price? It would mean that we should give up our independence. We should go into the United States to bear a part of the enormous expenses they are under. Our provinces would not receive the subsidies they are receiving; our industries and manufactures would no longer flourish, and perhaps she -would take away from us all our raw products to manufacture them over there. That would probably be the price she would ask.
We have not received from the United States very much consideration in the past. In 1785 we had trouble with them- an invasion. In 1812 there was another invasion from the United States. Then, there was the Fenian raid in 1860, and of the enormous sum of money that we had to pay for the defence of Canada, not one dollar did we get back from the United States. There was the Trent affair; there was the New Brunswick matter, the Aris-took war, when our friends in Nova Scotia volunteered to send us 10,000 men to help us. That, of course, is not a matter mentioned now, but it was very acute at that time. That trouble was over a little bit of territory they wanted to get away from us. There was also the Venezuela affair. About the 1st of January, 1896, President Cleveland issued his message in reference to a dispute between Great Britain and Venezuela. It was couched in the most hostile terms, most insulting in its character. Among European nations it would have 1214
been accepted as a declaration of war. This was approved of by the United States as a whole. From 42 out of 45 States messages of approval came to President Cleveland, with offers of the services of their militia to be used in the invasion of Canada. It shows you what we could expect from the United States in case we got into a tight corner. But we hope, of course, that we shall be able to get along in peace and quietness with the United States. We shall be able to get along with the United States while we respect ourselves and while we show that we are able to defend ourselves. I am not one of those who believe that, in case the United States attempted to invade us, she would have an easy time. With a smaller number of people we have been able to hold our own in every invasion and to beat the United States in every fight that has come up. I am not saying this as a rag to the United States, or a chip on the shoulder or anything like that, but it is fair to say that since 1785 every invasion of Canada was 'brought on us not by out fault, but by the aggression of the United States and without excuse. The Venezuela affair, of course, was the worst and latest. But we ought to dwell in peace with the United States, that is our desire, we have never in the past given any occasion for offence, we do not in the future intend giving any occasion for offence. We hope to live with them as friendly neighbours should live. But I repeat that I believe if it did come to an invasion by the United States they would find that we could hold our own as our fathers did before us and would be able successfully to defend ourselves.
And now in conclusion let me ask you to support the establishment of a Canadian navy, so that we can -quote with truth the words of Kipling:
Carry the word to my sisters,
To the Queens of the East and the South,
I have proved faith in the heritage By more than the word of the mouth. They that are wise may follow 'Ere the world's war trumpet blows,
But I, I am first in the battle,
Said Our Lady of the Snows.

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