May 27, 1921 (13th Parliament, 5th Session)


Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)



The vote would
have been exactly the same as it is now, $2,500,000. We are carrying out the policy of the hon. member for Red Deer and of the Government of that day which he supported, and we are not increasing the expenditure one iota. What has this Government done? We have discharged 783 civilians and naval ratings that we did not need, we have sold those obsolete ships, and we have accepted modern ships as a free gift from the Mother Country. My hon. friend says it is a melancholy vote. Yet if anybody ought to appear in sackcloth and ashes it is my hon. friend from Red Deer. He helped to put the Naval Service Act on the statute book, he gave his consent that Canada was big enough and strong enough to take over the docks at Esquimalt, to support a naval college, and to bring out the Niobe and the Rainbow. The policy followed since the passing of the Naval Service Act must be the policy of Canada until such time as that Act is amended or repealed. My hon. friend took that responsibility; I think he took it rightly; but he cannot get out of it now by attempting to shift the responsibility on to me, although never at any time am I afraid to take my full share of that responsibility. Had we not accepted these ships from the Mother Country we would have had a disgracefully inefficient Naval Service, a service not worth one cent to Canada, and the expenditure would be just the same as we have now for a very efficient navy.

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