Sir ROBERT BORDEN:
There is some
correspondence, but we are expecting further correspondence on the subject. As soon as the correspondence is complete, it will be brought down. In the latter part of January the Government sent a representative to Great Britain for the purpose of conferring with the War Office and with the Admiralty, in order that some provision might be made for the transport across the Atlantic of supplies purchased in Canada by the British or the French Government. It was observed at that time that tonnage was becoming extremely scarce, and rates abnormally high. Mr. A. H. Harris, of the Canadian Pacific Railway, who went to England for this purpose, has just returned; and we are informed by him that, as stated by my hon. friend the Minister of Trade and Commerce, eighteen vessels have been assigned by the British Admiralty to this service, and withdrawn from other service. We are informed that the vessels will be available for this purpose from now until the end of the war.
I understand that one or more vessels have already arrived on this side, and that one has been loaded and is now on her way back to Great Britain or France. Another advantage which will be of general interest is that, by this arrangement, the tonnage which has been used in carrying coal from Great Britain to Halifax for the use of the Admiralty at that port, and which has been heretofore used to a very considerable extent for the transport of these supplies, will, it is hoped, be available for general purposes, and in that way assist in supplying the general demands for tonnage to transport goods from Canada to the Mother Country.