March 3, 1910 (11th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Eugène Paquet

Conservative (1867-1942)


(Translation.) Should the people, as my hon. friend suggests, pronounce in favour of the building of that navy, let me tell him that I have too much respect for the will of the people not to bow to it, once it has spoken out. I would obey the people, or else I snould respect ny own convictions to the point of bidding adieu to public life and going back to my professional labours.
Besides, in the course of the remarks I am going to make, I shall have the opportunity of replying more fully to the questions he has just asked me. However, I wish it to be well understood that I have such a respect for the will of the Canadian people that I would not hesitate to bow to their decision, and as I said, to withdraw from public life, should it be necessary.
The Bill introduced by the government on the 12th of January provides for the creation of a naval force to be composed of a permanent corps, a reserve force and a volunteer force. Let us review the variations of the naval programme of the government.
The yearly cost, from $3,000,000 rises to S7,157,000, even before we have started building our navy.
In introducing his Bill on the 12th of January, the Prime Minister laid down the naval programme and stated that Canada was going to establish a navy which might cost $15,000,000 and which was to be composed of four Bristols, six destroyers and one Boadicea.
This involves an expenditure of $3,000,000 a year for maintenance.
On the 3rd of February, Sir Wilfrid Lau-rier stated that the expenditure involved in the maintenance of this new fleet would be $4,253,000 a year.
Still another variation. On the 10th of February, Sir Frederick Borden also addresses the House The scheme is extending; a naval college is now wanted.
Here is the third plan: Four Bristols. six destroyers, one Boadicea, one Niobe or Rainbow, one naval college.
Henceforth, we are going to have 12 ships, and according to Sir Frederick Borden the estimated cost is $11,730,000, or a little less than the cost of the seven ships first mentioned. In return the cost of the upkeep, according to Sir Frederick Borden, is only $3,680,000 now, or $600,000 less than the estimated cost of maintenance of the 11 ships of Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
This ' Niobe ' which hooks on the last scheme, is a vessel thirteen years old, and out of date, which we have bought from the British Admiralty for the sum of $1,075,000.
Mr. Monk, the member for Jacques Cartier, prevailed upon Sir Frederick Borden to

place on ' Hansard ' a memorandum prepared by Admiral Kingsmill, who is in charge of our new navy, and this memorandum, which the minister tried to conceal from the House, shows the following figures, prepared by Admiral Kingsmill:-
1. Cost of ships.
(In England.)
4 Bristols at $1,885,000 each $ 7,540,000
1 Boadicea 1,750,000
6 destroyers at $400,000 2,400,000
1 Niohe 1,075,000

Everybody admits that 25 per cent must be added for the additional cost of construction in Canada, except for the Niobe, which is already built:-
4 Bristols at $2,350,000 $ 9,400,000
1 Boadicea 2,180,000
6 destroyers at $500,000 3,000,000
1 Nibe 1,075,000
Total cost $15,655,000
The interest at 3 per cent on that expenditure is $468,000 a year. The life or term of service of those ships is but ten years; one-tenth of their cost must be set aside yearly, to provide for their replacement. That sum amounts to $1,500,000.
Admiral Kingsmill, in his memorandum, gives the following approximate cost of the college, battery, barracks, dry docks, &c.:
1 naval college $150,000
Furnishing same and workshops.. .. 50,000
Two houses, captain of college and
director of studies 15,000
Barracks 200,000
Battery for heavy- and light guns.. .. 20,000
Arming same 110,000
Admiralty house for officers of barracks 70,000
Dockyards 100,000

Just think of it. Building a college for $150,000 and constructing a dry dock for $100,000. Who ever heard the like?
Let us take those figures, $715,000, and add them to the total cost of the fleet, and that gives us a total of $16,405,000 for construction and maintenance.

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