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168   DAYS OF PREPARATION

Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve offered to proceed to England to join the Royal Naval Brigade which had been formed there, but for the reasons above stated applicants were advised to enlist with the Canadian overseas forces. In the summer of 1916 a representative of the British Admiralty visited Canada and made some effort at recruiting for the British Navy with but slight success. Since then the movement has been pushed more energetically. The prospects are brighter, especially since Admiral Jellicoe's personal appeal to the men of Canada. At certain points a mine-sweeping flotilla is provided. This consists of comparatively small vessels whose duty it is to keep the approaches to the harbours clear of enemy's mines. This entails daily operations on their part.

A number of vessels were employed on patrol duty on different parts of the coast. Their duty is to keep watch for hostile craft of all sorts, and to trace up rumours of their presence, and this patrol is organized jointly with the Imperial authorities and the Government of Newfoundland. Steamers purchased in 1915 for patrol work on the St. Lawrence have performed their work admirably.

At the beginning of the war all enemy merchant ships were ordered to be detained, and arrangements for this were concluded with the Customs Department.

Many important questions regarding contraband and neutral commerce are continually arising and being referred to the Naval Service, which is also continually conferring with the Customs with a view to preventing coal or supplies reaching the enemy or enemy agents by means of neutral or other vessels. At certain places guns have been mounted and manned by naval officers and men, while in other places protection has been prepared by the provision of motor torpedo boats and mines prepared for laying in case of emergency. As the situation relaxed these were gradually withdrawn. A system for the collection and distribution of naval


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