Mr. THOMAS CHISHOLM (East Huron).
I am sorry I was not able to follow very closely the speech of the hon. gentleman (Mr. Beauparlant) who has just sat down. If I understood him correctly, however, he directed a good deal of his discourse towards the hon. member for Jacques Cartier (Mr. Monk), and also the hon. member for North Toronto (Mr. Foster). While I applaud his enthusiasm and the patriotic way in which he delivered himself, I detected however, a strain of selfishness in his address, for he seemed to confine his patriotism almost entirely to the province of Quebec. Now I will just say that the Dominion should be taken as a whole, we should have equal loyalty to every part of this Dominion. The province of Quebec is not the whole of Canada; and there seems to be in some quarters a feeling that the proposed fleet should lie in the mouth of the St. Lawrence. Again, I think we should take in the whole of the British empire into our consideration, just as we should take in the whole Dominion. We should look to the safety of the British empire, feeling that we are citizens of that empire. I am sure that if the province of Quebec were attacked, the other eight provinces would rise as one man to go to her defence.
Now, Mr. Speaker, I have followed this debate very carefully for a number of days, and I have tried to do so with an open mind. I feel that we should conduct this
discussion entirely above politics, and it is in that view that I desire to discuss it myself. In the first place when this question began to be discussed, I was under the impression that we should have a Canadian fleet built by Canadians, built in Canada, and of Canadian materials. However, ^ as the discussion has gone on, one question struck me continually, and I waited day after day and hour after hour to hear _ that question answered. That question is this: What are we going to do for Britain and the British empire if the British empire is attacked within the next five years? We have no guarantee that peace will be maintained for five years, that Germany will not attack Britain within the next five years. But we are told plainly that it will take us one year to enlarge our dry docks, and four years at least to build our little Bristols. Now what are we going to do in the meantime? Are seven and a half millions of King Edward's loyal subjects on this side of the Atlantic going to stand with folded hands and see the old land taken by an enemy, see her robbed of her wealth, see our beloved King Edward led oft a prisoner as Napoleon the Third was? Are we to stand idly by for five years without doing anything to ward off such a catastrophe?' Until that question is answered I feel that I cannot agree with the Bill that is now proposed for our consideration.
After listening to this discourse for a considerable time, I feel it my duty to speak out boldly and freely in regard to a question of such vital importance as the defence and preservation of Canada and of the British empire. I do this the more freely, because I have some suggestions to make which I think might be of use if they were properly considered, but which I fear will scarcely be in accord with the views of either the leader of the government or the leader of the opposition. I may say however, that some of my constituents and many others whose opinions I value very highly, seem to think that my views are. sound, safe, economical and businesslike. Of course I may be wrong, but I am open to conviction. Let me say, however, that there must be something more to convince me than mere bald assertions. That has been tried on me already, and it has failed. I must have logical arguments put up to me, arguments founded on known facts and founded on common sense. In the meantime I feel that I would not be doing my duty to my country and to my constituents if I sat silent in this House, and beheld one of the greatest and most far reaching follies that was ever perpetrated in a civilized country enacted before my eyes. My duty becomes doubly imperative when I find that some hon. gentlemen on my own side of the House are inclined
to advocate measures that I do not find quite satisfactory. You will, therefore, gather from what I have said that I do not think that either of the two great political parties in Canada exactly realize how they can most effectively assist Great Britain in the present emergency.
That there is an emergency, I make no doubt. No one has yet proved that there is not an emergency. The very fact that the Asquith government brought in a budget imposing extra taxes to meet an emergency, that they required so much more money, and that the budget was so unpopular, that the Asquith government was nearly defeated, shows that there is an emergency. Since that election was over they have ordered the building of four extra Dreadnoughts, showing that in Great Britain at least an emergency is believed to exist. Actions speak louder than words. Now, an emergency requires emergency measures, and these are generally of a temporary character. Therefore, it seems to me that all we have to do at present is to make some temporary arrangement that will enable Britain and the empire to tide over the present crisis. Now, in the old days when a great general met with a military emergency in the shape of a great river that impeded the onward march of his army, he did not stop to build a stone bridge with solid stone abutments, and erect thereon a steel structure; if he had done so, he and his army would have been taken at a great disadvantage, and would have been ruined. Instead of that, he built a bridge of boats over which he safely transferred his army. Similarly, by adopting the principle of a temporary arrangement, I am prepared to show how Canada can give to Britain seven extra Dreadnoughts until this crisis is over. Now, Sir, you may say that is a strong assertion, but I will ask you not to condemn it until you have heard my argument. Besides that, I think I can show you how -we can save millions and millions of dollars at the same time to the Canadian people without spending nearly as much money as either of the proposed plans -would entail, simply because it will be a temporary measure. Now, if I undertake to prove that big proposition, it will be necessary for me to examine thoroughly the ground and establish my arguments on a solid foundation, because there is no doubt that I will have the whole House against me.
In the first place, I will take up the question of dry-docks. I am in favour of the enlargement of our dry-docks, and I think the government in that respect are going in the right direction. It is absolutely necessary that we should enlarge our dry-docks. Our' trade and commerce require it. Take the dry-dock at Levis, Quebec, only 600 feet long and 62 feet wide. Suppose the ' Oceanic ' wished to come to that Mr. T. CHISHOLM.
port, she is 685 feet long and 68 feet wide, and if any accident should happen to that vessel in the Gulf of St. Lawrence she could not be repaired on this side of the water, she would have to cross the ocean before she could be repaired. Now, we know that a vessel, when injured, generally draws more water than she did before. Therefore, I say that the dry-dock at Levis should be enlarged. We have many other vessels plying to Quebec which the dry-dock is too small to accommodate. We have sailing the ocean such ships as the 1 Kaiser William II.,' the ' Deutschland,' the ' Cedric,' and the ' Baltic,' the great size of which renders it necessary that dry-docks must be made larger and larger. Why, not so long ago, the ' Empress of Ireland ' had to be taken across the ocean to be repaired. I say, Sir, that the require- -ments of our trade and commerce demand that these dry-docks should be enlarged. If we are to compete with an enlarged, and deepened, and improved, Erie canal, we must do everything in our power to keep up the good name of the St. Lawrence route, and to provide that insurance rates on that route shall be reduced. For my part, I would approve of the dry-dock at Halifax being enlarged, and I may say here that I am in favour of the establishment of a naval college in Halifax, or anywhere else, wdiere it may best be located.
I believe also that the dry-docks at St. John and Esquimalt should be enlarged. But, Sir, I object entirely to saying that such improvements are to be_ charged up to the motherland as something we have done for her or on her behalf. Why, to say that, would be acting on the principle that if a man had a fine residence in this city with beautiful grounds, and some tramp was to attack him in his garden, and a neighbour came across to assist him, and after the melee it was necessary to take that neighbour into his house, get a surgeon and have his wounds attended to, and then when he would be going away, instead of the man thanking him for coming to his assistance he would say: I built this big house and fixed up these grounds for your special accommodation and benefit. In a similar way, if a war vessel of Britain is ever injured in Canadian waters, it will be when she comes here to protect the cowardly Canadians who will not defend themselves, and surely we might give these British ships the benefit of our dry-docks until they get their wounds repaired. _ There is another matter which I think should be taken up by the government, and that is the encouragement of aviation.
I think this government should have done something for Messrs. McCurdy and Baldwin, when they attended the military camp at Petawawa last summer. We are told that the government gave them the use of some sheds on the grounds, but what the gov-
ernment ought to have done was, to pay their way there, maintain them properly when they were there, and pay their expenses back again at least. They are considering in other countries the question of the navigation of the air and Canada should not be behind. I notice that is the course of one experiment made in California a man had gone up in an airship and was able to drop 200 pounds of sand on to a piece of white paper ten feet square. If the science becomes so perfect as that it might be possible to destroy even Dreadnoughts by airships. We know what they are doing in Britain in this matter, we know what Zeppelin has done in Germany, we know what success they have had in France, and why should not Canadians be encouraged in the development of aviation. When we consider that Messrs. McCurdy and Baldwin had backing them a man of such genius as Dr. Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, surely this government should have accorded them some practical help. I notice that Mr. D'Almcida, in a lecture before the Engineers' Club, of Toronto, stated that he thought the time was near at hand when airships would be considered the safest, cheapest and best means of transportation, and added that the time may come when we will be able to go around the earth in seventy hours. Surely, there may be some wonderful developments in the future when such remarks are taken cognizance of by an intelligent and educated body like the members of the engineers club. Now, why are we neglecting this very important factor in the defence of our country? It is stated in the Toronto 'Globe' of the 14th instant-and no doubt it is true when the ' Globe ' prints it-that a military airship in Britain was launched for the use of the British army, and that she answered her helm perfectly on her trial trips, even when speeding in the teeth of a stiff breeze. Well, our Canadian people should be encouraged in the pursuit of this science and in the near future it may mean more than a fleet of little cruisers, or even Dreadnoughts. Indeed, the control of the navigation of the air may mean more to Canada than either of the propositions now before the House. This is an important day in the history of Canada; it is an important day in the history of the British empire and the world, because I believe that to-day the eyes of every nation on earth are turned towards Canada. It is known everywhere that a perilous time and fearful crisis in the affairs of the British empire is approaching, and the world is wondering what Canada will do. I would remind the House that the very moment it was known that this crisis was near our younger, smaller, and weaker sister nations did their duty and did it vigorously. They did not wait to write, they cabled assistance to the mother country, and Canada has been the only tardy child,
the only laggard in this great family of nations. It was known right here in Ottawa more than a year ago, that this danger was coming, and what have we done? Deliberately in the face of that knowledge we spent the whole of the year 1909 in passing, unanimously it is true, a very high sounding and loyal resolution. We made a noise but we did nothing. The session of 1910 is well advanced now, and still nothing practical has been done; we have had a great deal of talk, Grit talk and Tory talk, but we have done nothing. I think it is admitted that we will have to spend 1911 in enlarging our dry-docks, and then I suppose we will spend 1912 in building the slips on which, in 1913, we will begin to build our little cruisers. If we may judge by the progress that is usually made in erecting public buildings and the construction of government works in this country we may safely assume that the ships cannot be ready before 1920. The Prime Minister said it will take four years to build the cruisers and it is admitted it will take one year to enlarge the dry-docks; the leader of the opposition says the cruisers will not be ready for fifteen years, but I will take a happy medium between the two and say they will be ready in ten years.
Could the enemies of Britain wish anything better than to know that under these circumstances we are to have a Canadian-built navy composed of little vessels or cruisers that are sure to be obsolete and out of date before they are constructed? Why, if the government were in league with the enemies of Canada, it could not give them a better guarantee. It is simply a guarantee that even these little cruisers will not be ready for_ from seven to ten years, and will not be of any use when they are ready. Britain has a great many of these small vessels now, and has had them for a good many years, before Dreadnoughts were built. She could only use a few of them in a struggle in the North Sea, because these little vessels of the Apollo and Bristol type are used only as scouts; they are used to evade the enemy, to run away, not to fight. They would be worse than useless in a contest on the ocean unless there were a Dreadnought or super-Dreadnought in the neighbourhood behind which they could run for shelter. There is no doubt, however, that Great Britain can use all the little vessels she has to good account, without taking them into the North Sea, to guard her cotton raw material and food supplies. Those who are pretty well on in life remember well the great suffering that there was in Lancashire when the cotton supply was cut off at the time of the American war. If Britain's cotton supply were cut off tomorrow, there would be the greatest possible suffering, and if her food supply were
cut off, she could be surrounded like a beleaguered city and starved out in a month. We have recently heard a great deal in this House and out of it about the immense aggregate tonnage of Britain's warships. This is a very plausible argument, but it is just as deceptive and misleading as it is plausible, and it is unworthy of a great man and a clear thinker. We all know that the smaller ships are so far out-classed by Dreadnoughts that in a battle on the ocean they could not get near to a Dreadnought or .injure it in any way. Therefore, in future nothing but the tonnage of Dreadnoughts and super-Dreadnoughts will count. I often think that Canadians who live hundreds or it may be thousands of miles away from the ocean, have a small idea of what a fearful deathdealing monster a Dreadnought really is. We can only convey this idea to them by comparison and description. We cannot take them to see one. Some idea can be formed when I say that a Dreadnought has a displacement of 22,000 tons, whereas the little ship in which Jacques Cartier first crossed the ocean and landed in Canada had a displacement of only 60 tons. A Dreadnought is simply a death-dealing monster covered with nickel steel eleven inches thick and armed with ten 12-inch guns, any one of which, if discharged at close range, would send a ball through a solid mass of wrought iron three feet thick. It requires 200 pounds of cordite for a single .charge and it throws a shell weighing 750 pounds; so that if the ten guns were discharged all at once, they would hurl forth nearly four tons of metal bursting shells whch would be deadly at six miles. Now, Germany will have a great many of these Dreadnoughts by 1912 or 1913. We have heard so many different estimates here, and they are so confusing that I scarcely know how many she will have; but from what I can gather, she will have from 17 to 20 of thtse marine monsters in 1912 or 1913. Britain will have as many or a few more; but she cannot, like Germany, put all her Dreadnoughts in the North Sea at the same time, because she has many outlying points to guard, in the Mediterranean and elsewhere; and she will have to guard Quebec too. More, owing to her insular position, she must in every case guard the line of her food supply, and protect it perfectly. It is as important to guard that as it is to meet the German fleet in the North Sea. We would still have an adequate idea of the preparations which are being made to dismember the British empire if we had not some idea of the invincible land army with which Germany is now guarding the Dreadnoughts which she is building. A writer for McClure's magazine for November last, gave a very good description of that. He Mr. T. CHISHOLM
said that Germany could on 12 hours notice hurl 400,000 men, fully armed and equipped, and 800 guns upon either her eastern or western border; that in two days she could increase that number to a million, in two weeks to two millions, and finally to four millions, the greatest and best army on this earth. Germany has in her war office ready for use, plans for the invasion of every country in Europe. She has an intelligence system that seems to make known to her what is going on in every part of the world. She has accurate maps of every country on earth, and every officer and man in that vast army has secret mobilization orders that will enable him, when notified by telegram or telephone, to take his place immediately in the great German fighting machine. The railroads of Germany are mostly owned bv the state, and are part of her military machine. She has armoured trains ready. She has bridge-building materials lying at suitable places, and at the great fortress of Spandau, near Berlin, this writer says, she has many hundreds of sacks of gold, a part of the French war indemnity, which is carefully guarded, and which forms the nucleus of a war fund. I might also call your attention to the fact that Germany has a magnificent air fleet capable of thundering destruction from the skies. At Ehren-breitstein not long since that air fleet had military manoeuvres and a sham battle that lasted three hours. So that in every direction Germany is preparing for the conflict; even her air ships are ready for action; and I think we know what all these preparations are for. Germany has an immense population, rapidly increasing, of more than 60,000,000 people, cooped up in a little territory of 208,000 square miles, about four-fifths the size of our new province of Alberta. Her farmers are thoroughly protected, and therefore they are prosperous and numerous; and by means of her technical schools and the wonderful industry of her population she has become one of the leading manufacturing countries in the world. Germany wants more room and new markets, and there can be no doubt that is the origin of the trouble. This is no false alarm, because we find the Krenz Zeitung, a leading German paper recently said that for England to think that Germany was not building her Dreadnoughts for the purpose of opposing Britain, was simply to adopt the policy of the ostrich which sticks its head into the sand and then thinks it is safe.
During this debate, we have had the names of eminent statesmen quoted to us time and again-men who are leaders in both the great political parties in the old land, men who have the means of knowing and who do know, men whose word and wisdom are above suspicion-and
these men have told us that not only the integrity, but the very existence of the British empire is threatened. If Germany is not making those preparations to attack Britain, why is she building so many Dreadnoughts? She does not require them to attack France or Russia or any other land power. She is evidently building them for one purpose, and that is the destruction of the British empire. Her evident intention is to outclass and outnumber and defeat the British fleet on the North sea, seize the very heart of the empire, plunder the country, exact an enormous war indemnity, and perhaps carry away our beloved King, a prisoner, as she did the Emperor Napoleon III, and then proceed to crush and conquer the colonies at her leisure, and as a matter of detail. When the German Dreadnoughts are ready, she can choose her own time to make an attack; and there is no doubt at all, that when she does strike, she will follow her usual course of striking quickly, and when least expected. Just look at her strategical position. She has everything to gain if victorious, and if defeated she has nothing to lose, for all her fleet has to do is sail back to the protection of her invincible land forces; whereas should she win she can dismember the British empire, capture its immense wealth, control the ocean, and become the leading power in the world. That is something for Germany to fight for; and if we do not watch ourselves, there is little doubt that she will succeed. Judging by her past record I fear she would make a merciless conqueror and a hard taskmaster. We know what she has done to others. In 1864 she picked a quarrel with little Denmark, and despoiled that kingdom of two provinces. In 1866, owing to the discovery of her needle gun, she succeeded in crushing Austria in a single battle. In 1870, she overran France, seized two of that country's most favoured provinces, took the Emperor Napoleon away a prisoner as a hostage, and allowed him to die at Chiselhurst, and exacted the until then unheard of war indemnity of $1,000,000,000. Need we expect that this hitherto invincible power will spare Britain and her colonies if that unfortunate day should come when conquered Englishmen, Irishmen and Scotchmen and oversea Britons would have to plead for mercy before their victorious and unrelenting masters. Germany, it is said, has spent thirty years in preparing for this. In the meantime she has consolidated her empire, she has enlarged and improved her old canals, and built many new ones. She has been increasing and perfecting her invincible land army, and also supported and encouraged the enterprising firm of the Krupps until it has become the greatest manufacturing establishment of military supplies in the world.
Germany has the advantage of being able to attack Britain by sea, whereas Britain cannot attack her by land; and I would just 3ay that should the day come when Germany shall have conquered Britain, and a German tax be put on our products going to the British market, our Canadian farmers will suffer very severely. Even that is something to look after. Should the day of peril ever come, those silly Canadians, who are willing to trust to our little unbuilt cruisers, would then find out* when too late, that their cjuisers, even if built and going out to meet the fleet of German Dreadnoughts, would simply be the laughing stock of the world. And what is still worse, if these cruisers were manned by loyal Canadian citizens and seamen, the poor fellows would be slaughtered before they could raise a finger to defend themselves. They would be simply butchered to make a German holiday.
As to those other foolish Canadians who depend on the Munroe doctrine, they would find, also when too late, that though the United States might not be willing, to allow a European country to take perma-ment possession of Canada, they would never think of going to war, especially with the conqueror of Britain, for the purpose of preventing Germany from levying on Canada a war indemnity of such astounding proportions that it would simply mean the ruin of this country.
In the face of all this, we are told there is no danger, that these preparations do not mean anything; and although one of the greatest military disasters that could befall a civilized country is almost upon us, our government is doing nothing but waving the old flag, shouting loyalty and marking time. I had a letter from one of my constituents the other day in which he said the people were becoming alarmed and suspicious. He said that they heard the ' hail master ' and the giving of the kiss, and were beginning to be afraid of what might follow. Britain requires Dreadnoughts in the North sea. She requires them without delay. Why then this policy on the part of our government of putting off, doing nothing, Hilly dallying? Is it any wonder that our 3ister colonies are beginning to suspect Canada's loyalty to the British Crown? In my opinion Canada is loyal, but the whole trouble is not a lack of loyalty on the part of the government, as some of our friends seem to think, but simply their want of promptness and business ability, because there is neither promptness nor business ability shown in their proposal to build those little cruisers. In the first place should the crisis come upon us, we have no time in which to build them, we have not the trained mechanics, we have no mills with facilities to roll plates of nickel and steel
Subtopic: THE NAVAL SERVICE OF CANADA.