Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne (Minister of Marine and Fisheries; Minister of the Naval Service)
The hon. member will certainly see the contract to-morrow. I do not find any fault with him for imagining anything he likes. The transaction was a perfectly sound and legitimate business transaction and was perfectly above board. If I had accepted the lowest cash bid of $88,000 and someone had asked the hon. member to inquire of me why I had not accepted the offer of the St. John Rolling Mills at $135,000 even if the terms were longer, I could understand that the hon. member might possibly have something to say. But the whole criticism to-night is directed at the department because we did not take the lower tender, for the reason that it was cash, notwithstanding that it was $30,000 less. Possibly it might have been better had we taken it, although I do not hold that opinion. But everything was done in a proper way and I shall have no hesitation in bringing down all the correspondence, laying all the tenders on the Table, and producing a copy of the contract or the original itself. The Department of Justice was furnished with the contract which we entered into, and I have absolutely nothing to hold back.