November 30, 1910 (11th Parliament, 3rd Session)

CON

Thomas Wilson Crothers

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. CROTHERS.

were to attack England to-morrow it would be to late for those men to talk about rushing to the aid of England to strengthen the navy then, and if thousands of them rushed they would do no good because the strength of England's defence depends on her ships and the trained men on these ships. There is as much of an emergency to-day as there was two years ago, and there was then as much emergency as there is to-day. England is reconstructing her whole navy at a cost of a thousand millions, and for what purpose? Is it not for the purpose of protecting the British Isles alone, but for the purpose of protecting all parts of the British Empire, Canada among the rest. And she asks us to render her some assistance and our answer is as expressed by this government: We will not give you a dollar, there is no emergency, you have money enough of your own to construct ships to protect us; but we will build a few ships in Canada to protect our coasts and our trade routes, and as the Minister of Marine says, to keep away the pirates down in the Gulf of Mexico. It would take us 50 years to prepare a navy that would be of any service whatever to protect us against any attack by a foreign nation, and in the meantime the British navy would have to be our protecting arm. And, are we willing to accept that protection for nothing during the next 50 years, as we have for the last 150 years. Mr. Speaker, the difference, in a few words, between the two parties is this: that the Liberal party wants a few ships, as they say, to protect our own coasts, and as many of them say to be a step in the direction of independence, while the Conservative party declares for: One King, one flag, one navy.

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