Naval College had been opened at Halifax, Nova Scotia, where 20 boys (selected from all over Canada by competitive examination) were being educated and trained. Two protected cruisers—the Niobe, of i i,000 tons, manned by 705 officers and men, and the Rainbo v, of 3,600 tons, with 273 officers and men—had been purchased in Iglo, and tenders for the building of four other vessels and six torpedo boat destroyers had been received in the spring of IC)II, but the building of these had not been begun when the Liberals went out of office.
Mr Borden's In the summer of 1912 'Ir. Borden and Plans. three other Canadian ministers went to England to discuss with the British Admiralty the question of naval defence. After his return he brought in a bill "to authorize measures for increasing the naval forces of the Empire." Instead, however, of beginning at once to form a Canadian navy, he proposed that thirty-five million dollars should be granted for the building in England of three of the largest and strongest ships of war, which (while bearing historic Canadian names) should, for a time at least, serve as part of the British navy. Such enormous ships could not be built in Canada without making new shipyards, but the British Government intended to give orders for smaller vessels to be built in the Dominion. If Canada shared in the defence of the Empire, it was considered only fair that she should have a voice in Britain's foreign policy, so it was announced that a Canadian minister should spend the whole or part of each year in England, so that lie might be consulted on important steps in foreign policy, and might attend the meetings of the British Committee of Imperial Defence.
A Parliamen- The Liberals preferred the plan of begintary Battle. ning with smaller vessels and naval stations at Canadian ports. For months the debate was kept up,