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The Navy League of Canada

Dr. Ken McKenzie




Speaker 1 0:01
gives me a great deal of pleasure today to introduce you to Ken McKenzie. Ken is a former president of the sultry on the Historical Society, former academic, good academic history background. He's lived in Salt Spring for lens when you come here again 7591. So he is a local person who has got some very good interests in history. And his topic today, the Navy leave Canada is one of the topics that he has researched and will present to you today. And I'd like to say that Welcome to the Historical Society.

Speaker 2 0:48
Thank you very much indeed. And I certainly appreciate the chance of being able to tell you a bit about the Navy League of Canada, and certainly about the Navy League before it became the Navy League of Canada after World War One. So it's this is going to be sort of a shaggy dog story. Because well, there's quite a bit of background before we actually get to the topic or that you want to talk about. And also, before I get going, there are three people that I would certainly like to thank, first of all, Darcy, Kyle and Sue mort, for all the usual reasons that people thank Sue and Dorothy for the efforts and for their knowledge and their assistance. The other person, of course, is frank here who has dragged me kicking and screaming into the electronic age. And I'm still not sure if he hasn't insinuated some of his pinups into my slides, but I suspect and hope that perhaps not but anyway, thanks to Frank, maybe the slides will work. Anyway, first of all, what I want to do is talk on three specific or give you an outline of the three areas I want to talk about. First of all, is how and why the Canadian Navy come into being second leaves the role of the Navy League in Britain and in Canada. How did it influence affairs before World War One. And thirdly, is the role of the Navy leagues role in activities in Victoria and Saltspring island where the branches were the branches were the most effective in Canada after about 1907. First flight, please, Frank. Nice little ship. Handsome man. If anybody can be called the father of the Canadian Navy, that's the man. And I'll bet you nobody recognizes them, and nobody has probably even heard him. His name is Pierre Etienne 14. And he was the commander of the armed schooner law Canadian, which operated in the waters of the lorrison. Lawrence, between he'll operated between 1852 and 1867. In other words, he was operating it even before Confederation. And this was a ship that was doing fisheries protection activities on the province of Quebec, and down into the Gulf state. He ran the ship from 1852 until 1867, he was a step Pendry magistrate. And he was also the he called himself the commander of the ship, but he wasn't a master mariner. It was a seasonal effort. St. Lawrence freezes, and so he couldn't operate it year round. But it was sufficient for the purposes of Canada at the time. He was so well known, and he was so effective in his duties, that he became known as the Gulf, the king of the Gulf. And in 1880s, when Canada and the Canadian Parliament of which he was a member, by this time, by the 1880s, if they refer to his fleet, which expanded considerably after he left it in 1867. They call it Canada's Navy. And it was doing exactly what a Navy is supposed to do. It was looking after Canadian sovereignty, and patrolling Canadian waters to make sure Canadian regulations were followed.

Speaker 2 4:24
By the way, there's a very good book of a biography of Pierre Etienne. I have a copy here. It's called a life on the line here at Gen 14. And his times, and it makes a fascinating read. People don't realize that when we talk about the frontier in Canada, and the extension of Canadian Pacific Railway, and we're celebrating the 120/5 anniversary of the railway right now of the CPR. They don't realize that the fourth that the frontier in Canada extended eastward as well. As westward, and then the time that Pierre for 10 was in command of La Canadienne, he had to deal with a pretty unruly group of Americans coming up the fish in Canadian waters, and also Canadian fishermen not wishing to follow the rules and regulations imposed upon them by the rest of hostage treaty. So again, you have I have to emphasize that the Canadian Navy really started here with the with this little group called the provincial Marine. After 1867, the provincial marine developed into what was called the fisheries protection service. And that's a name that probably people here who studied, the Marine history on the coast will realize, extended to this coast once British Columbia had joined Confederation. As the fisheries Protection Service developed, as a historian of the Coast Guard points out, it started off as a quasi military and naval body that was enforcing Canada's sovereignty as far as it was able to by the time that, that we're starting to talk about when we're starting to talk about the Navy League in the 1880s and 1890s, the ships were basically becoming Steamers. And on this coast, for example, a captain walbran and the CGS Canadian government, ship Quadra became as well liked on this coast, as 14 had been several generations before on the East Coast. The service was slowly evolving. One man besides for 10 did a great deal to expand its role. And that was the First Minister of marine and fisheries in the Canadian government after 1867. This was Senator Peter Mitchell on New Brunswick man, one of the men that that Sir John McDonald decided he had to thank and give her and provide for after Confederation he had helped bring New Brunswick kicking and screaming into Confederation. Senator Mitchell was given the task of his provincial i Sorry, of the Federal Minister of marine and fisheries, he did an incredible job. And in 1873, when the MacDonald government was thrown out of office, on railway politics, bassy and Virk have precedence. Many years ago, Michel had prepared an agenda for his department, that would have taken up the whole whole time of Parliament, he was a dedicated Minister of marine and fisheries on both the shore and the and the seagoing aspects of the of his, of his department. In fact, he was so involved and selective, that Samuel pencil, whom some of you will know, the the sailors friend, who developed many of the others, much of the legendary British legislation, in support of mass of merchant seaman Samuel Plimsoll, actually told the British government that they should follow the example of Canada and its Department of Marine and fisheries and how they treated merchant seamen, and how their work at sea was right was to be regulated by governments. So you can see for this time, we're really starting to develop a merchant service a marine service, and marine facilities which qualify us it for being a navy, long before the actual Royal Canadian Navy came into being in 1910. We're celebrating the anniversary of the Navy this year. 100 years of the Royal Canadian Navy or the Canadian naval service. The two terms are pretty well interchangeable. But it really goes back much further than that.

Speaker 2 8:59
By 1904, the fisheries speak the fisheries Protection Service had two marvelous little ships. One was the Coast Guard ship, Canada. The other was the Coast Guard ship vigilant. Canada was was by far the closest to a warship that Canada ever possessed until 1910. The vigilant was was classified as an armed third class cruiser. And she had was built in Canada in Toronto. So by 1904, we had possessed two ships that were quasi naval vessels armed with quick firing guns. The service itself was becoming more than seasonal pieces. Were working on the ships year round, that it is expanded of course to the west coast and onto into Halifax and the East Coast. And so the ships operated year round. The man had uniforms. And so the evolution towards a naval force was slow going ahead and I have two stories about Canada and about the CGS Canada first of all, that involves a one of the crack merchant ships of the Allen line that operated from Britain to the east coast to Halifax, and to Quebec City. In the 19, early 1900s. The Victorian was actually the first of the turbine steam passenger steamers in the world Canadian development by the LM line and the and the Canadian government was anxious to increase the speed of the mail service to Canada. So what they did was they employed the the Allen lines Victorian, a turbine steamer one of the fastest on the trip, and it still wasn't quite fast enough if they included the time from Liverpool to Montreal or Quebec City. So they decided that they would make the ship off Cape Breton was one of the government ships and bring the ship the male ashore to the railway at Cannes and Cape Breton. And the government in its wisdom said, let's leave us CGS Canada to meet the ship the Victorian and bring the male's treble allies the CGS counted really was a small worship, and she had a ram and the Allen line decided that this was not an effective way to to deal with what with their crack ship that was being used in their North Atlantic route. So the CGS, Canada was no longer used for that. Again, she was a warship. The other thing that that I liked to mention about the CGS Canada after World War One, and this is going to be honor if you heard a little bit after World War One, the CGS Canada became access for government requirements. And in the early 1920s, the Navy League of Canada discovered it was surplus and tried desperately to get a hold of it, for saving for the training of their of the Sea Cadets, and the training of naval personnel. Canada had already provided that role in the night in the first decade of the 1900s. Because fine, Canada's first professional naval sailors got their sea training in that ship. So she had a terrific connection with the Navy, and was still not quite keen knit.

Speaker 2 12:25
This is all very well, I thought we have to remember is that is that Canada was still very much a part of the British Empire. And as such came under the rules and regulations that the Imperial authorities in London forced upon us. And the result is that there were two things happening first of all Canada was moving towards towards independence. Our second not separation from Britain, but increasing independence from Britain. That's the first part. The second part of the conundrum that we're looking at now is the fact that right about this time, right about the time that the fisheries Protection Service was becoming more effective, more like a Navy, the Royal Navy itself was going through a tremendous change. If any of you have read anything about Admiral Jackie Fisher, you will realize that when he came to be the man in charge of the Royal Navy, he conducted he had a complete change in the approach of Naval Affairs and naval tactics. And if you ever want to read anything about him, this is a book to read. It's called fishers face. And you can see the face it's the book is by John Morris after she was no longer James Morris. It's a fascinating story. And she was captivated by Fisher's face and you can see it was quite, it's quite a thing. Fisher started to wreak his Havoc depending on your point of view, or bring the Royal Navy out of what John Morris is called a complacent instrument of empire. Now that I think is a marvelous description of how the the Royal Navy had, in a way degenerated after the golden age of sail. There was no wars, Pax Britannica was firmly in force, and the Royal Navy was starting to enjoy itself. And it wasn't doing much in the way of warlike Fisher was determined to change it. So here we are, Canada's developing. We have a small Navy naval force which is starting to come into operation. But the Royal Navy is starting to suffer Britain can start no longer pay for the Royal Navy. This is a time of technological change. If there's one thing Fisher was remembered for, it's the Dreadnought scare. This is the scare whereby the the People are sorry that ships and the technology of the ships became so expensive. It came beyond the British purse to maintain it. It didn't help also, that Britain at this time, we're not talking about the period 1895 to about 19, Old Seven, up into 1912 didn't help that at this time, Britain was determined that not only would they have the most powerful navy in the world, they would have a navy that would be able to fight every other Navy in the world, and still when the costs were enormous. And so where would Britain look for assistance and paying for it, but from the Empire. And here we find roughly in the period 1904 to 19, nine, we find Britain expressing its willingness for the various colonies, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Mallee states and other places to help support the Royal Navy. And the way they wanted it done was don't bother with ships just send us money.

Speaker 2 16:19
And right about this thing, about this time that three things happened, which categorized what was going to go on now from the, from the period we've just talked about until World War One. First of all, was the Anglo German naval rivalry. And I think most of us know a lot about that. It reached a fever pitch after in 1895. And, and really became tend to govern the affairs of both the Royal Navy and the Empire. Secondly, as I mentioned, with the development of the famous or infamous Dreadnought, the first all gun battleship or all big gun battleship, which revolutionized navies, and really made every other warship obsolete. The third thing to consider, as we as we progress here is a bitter and destructive rivalry, personal and prevention provision professional between Britain's two best known admirals one of them was Jackie Fisher. His supporters were called the fishpond. And if you read this book, you realize just how his tentacles spread throughout the Royal Navy. The second person was a man, a naval historian has called him a pompous bombast. This was large Charles Beresford. Not very well known nowadays. His nickname, his nickname was Condor, Charles. Those of us who know the history of the Navy and the West Coast, HMS Condor was launched off the off the coast about 1901. That wasn't his ship, but he had commanded HMS Condor when in 1880s, with the Alexandria when the Royal Navy shield Alexandria. As I said, Barbara had never came perfectly important. But he was sufficiently noisy that he and he and fishers struck up what became a destructive rivalry. And if you listen read one of the most recent British naval historians. The claim was made that they virtually destroyed the Royal Navy in the period they were holding of us. Now I happen to have a few friends in the Canadian Navy. And I say, I was speaking with them quite recently. And I said, of course, that could never happen here, could it? And they laughed at me. And they said, Well, eventually it happened in World War Two, the battles between two of our admirals and he said currently, it's not unknown, the current admirals been anyway, the worst example of this was Fisher versus Bear thursford. And as the author as the historian Lambert wrote, The coral split the service and the country, spreading it a bit strong, but it's held back the Royal Navy. There was another another marvelous quotation that appeared at this time, and this is taken from a newspaper of the time. There may be hope yet that the naval alarmists, again, were at the heart of the of the naval scare the Dreadnought scared at the Naval alarmists, like the Kilkenny cats will end up exterminating each other naval Judaism as a kind of rabies and having united to bite the public. These gentlemen are now breaking up into droves and rending one another. That's just how bad it was. So where did the Navy League come in all of this? We're getting closer to our to the meat of our topic. The modern Navy League started in Britain in 1895. It was not as been claimed a response to the prior formation of a Navy League in Germany. That didn't happen until three years later. Rather, it came about because people, particularly in London, were determined to do their best to make sure that the Royal Navy was brought into the technical age and remained supreme at sea. They members initial members of the Navy League that insisted they weren't political, it was an apolitical organization. Now we know how far that can go. And in fact, if we weren't allied originally politically, they were certainly allied in the in the struggle between birth admirals Beresford and Fisher. Those in the league in favor of Fisher's policy were identified with the governing liberals in Britain at the time, whilst the Conservatives were identified with Barris bursts which party. Part of the problem was the Fisher's intention not only to improve the Navy, the Royal Navy technologically, but also to bring the fleet back home into home waters in current 10 terms, I suppose home land security, Fisher started to bring the all the major elements of the Royal Navy back from the outposts of the empire into homeland waters, and also the Mediterranean. Beresford post this and this is where you start to see when the Navy leaves commit. Are you in favor of the bird policy of withdrawing the fleet from the outposts of empire? Or are you in favor of Fisheries Policy to to defend Great Britain. This of course, will impinge on the west coast in particular, and also all of Canada

Speaker 2 22:00
maybe leagues, Canada was almost as quick as Britain in establishing a branch of the Navy League. Our first branch was established in that most important seaport in Canada, Toronto. Now if you start to wonder why Toronto, actually if you read Michael Ignatieff book True patriot love, you'll find out why in Toronto, because in Toronto, it wasn't a matter of naval service. It was a matter of Canada's position in the empire. Torontonians were in the midst of a great battle to decide to what extent Canada should be part of the British Empire. And so the Navy League branch that started in Toronto in 1895, was determined that Canada would have a navy of its own. And so it decided then, that the only way to do it was for us to establish our Navy under Canadian rules and regulations, albeit accepting the fact that in a major war, it could become useful to the Royal Navy. There was always that idea that that in times of dire emergency, it would be available as part of the Royal Navy. This was called the nationalist approach or nationalist option for establishing a Canadian Navy. And you can see it being started at 95. fissures starting to become important in Britain. The technological race is starting to heat up the German naval scares are starting. And so we decide then we want to start at least in Toronto, a Canadian Navy. Second branch in Canada came six years afterwards. It was number 56. In the Empire Toronto's was the sixth. And it was in Victoria. Incidentally, starting a year before the US Navy League started in 1902. There Torontonians and particularly their honorary secretary, HJ Wickham shouldered the responsibility for the Navy lead in Canada from about 1890 from 1895 to about 1907. From the outset, as I said, the branch firmly and unequivocally called for the formation of a separate Canadian Navy. The Nationalist option, and Wickham, who was a quintessential essential backroom boy inundated the government, and particularly the Minister of marine and fisheries with his branches advocacy of the Canadian Navy when push with push, becoming shove, and ever strident demands for Canada to provide aid to the Royal Navy, and this came from another Torontonian This is the depth of the of the of the discussion at the time. Manda name of Jay Castel Hopkins, who was the publisher and editor of an enormously important book for historians, the annual Canadian Annual Review. If you've never seen copies of this, so you should try to see it. It's marvelous book. He started producing it about 1901. And he read he died in 1921 or 1922 terrific amount of information in the Canadian annual review. He was a staunch conservative, and a staunch supporter of what we call the contributions side of Canada should forget the idea of a Canadian Navy, and should provide funds for the Royal Navy during this period, welcome as a backroom boy bombarded the Minister of marine fisheries with advice on how to establish the Canadian Navy. At this time, the the Minister of marine and fisheries was a man by the name of LP Louie Philip Brodeur. And I have to give you some bit of full disclosure here. By far one of the quirks of my naval career, I happen to serve in a ship in which LP borders grandson was Lieutenant and which Admiral Melis grandson was Lieutenant, and in which Admiral minkeys grandson was Lieutenant. So I had quite a group of introduction to my Canadian Naval Service Cadet serving with the sons of three of our admirals, all our most famous admirals, the order, by many is regarded as the as the man who brought in the modern Canadian Navy. In other words, he took over from 14. And it's it's intriguing to note that the two people that have credited with starting the Royal Canadian Navy and bringing it up from its origins as a fisheries protection service, but to French Canadians. This is important, because in the period 1907 to 1914, part of the controversy and part of the of the fate of the Royal Canadian Navy, hinged on how French Canadians viewed establishing a Royal Canadian Navy, and what its role would be in connection with the Royal Navy. There's nothing new in history

Speaker 2 27:26
debate continued in Canada, and it particularly started in 1909 and ended in 1910. nine to nine, Parliament decided, yes, Canada should have a name. That was quite alright. A year later, in the run up to the actual passing of the Act, the debates became became acrimonious and it became not as not as friendly debate as it had been. Perhaps the best, the best introduction to the Canadian Navy, as I said, we received Royal Assent on the fourth of May 1910. That's what we're celebrating this whole year. And I hope some of them taken in some of the events around in Victoria. And on the 10th of November 1910. Actually, exactly 100 years ago today, the Toronto Globe paper we all love. staunchly liberal than has now demanded that the Naval Service Act must stand. Or Robert bargain was starting to say that perhaps the naval Act should go six months after they've been established. But the globe went on to say editorial a pointed out to the long evolution of the naval service and said the creation of an active marine service note they're still reluctant to call it a Navy at the creation of an active marine service is simply a forward movement and a line of evolution projected long ago in relation to national defense. And this forward step has been taken with the utmost deliberation and after thorough discussion that it had Okay, use it then you're talking to me. Okay. We sure we want that. Lady get off to a slow start. A modest start. The government accepted to surplus cruisers one for each coast. To tide it over until modern ships which we were going to build in Canada would came with come on stream. The four funnel ship Niobe went to Halifax while the smaller to funnel rainbow found her way around the horn to SkyMall. Both had been built in the early 1890s and had long been rendered obsolescence by the quickly advancing technology of the times. Both became training vessels started to perform useful service and they still are known up and down this coast at least, for calling in at all the ports up and down the coast, and even doing fisheries protection service up and down in the Bering Straits. Nova Scotia was slightly different because the pearl Niobe ran aground in about mid 1911 and was never really repaired before world war one started. So here he is. Next slide.

Speaker 2 30:32
Okay, good. The only tangible efforts taken to implement the government's naval program, and this was on Canada, from 1910 until 19, above 1913, was established, but on the civilian side, establishing shipyards, and the only legacy of that the only real legacy of those efforts at that time was the establishment of the Vicar's sons and sons, Vickers sons and Maximo shipbuilding plant in Montreal. surprising that it happened there, isn't it? That plant actually it still exists and served Canada well at the end of World War One, and also in World War Two. But that's another story. At this time, also Yahoo has established itself and Victoria. The trouble was in September of 1911. Laurie lost the federal election to be replaced by Robert Gordon, how much the failure to move quickly and aggressively to evolve the fisheries protection service, as everybody had said was there wasn't was the purpose and even the goal but said so we can how much we can blame. What happened to the Navy afterwards on the inaction of the Liberals is now hard to say. It's one of these things that I hate to look at as a historian. But what if, because we simply can't tell that it didn't happen and the Navy languished. They didn't have a policy was largely ignored during the campaign. And Laurie lost on his platform lost the election on the platform of free trade, nothing to do with the Navy. Borders biographer acknowledges that burden purposely avoided any public commitments on naval policy during the campaign. Although he made up for it afterwards, after the election, Does this sound familiar? Barton then indicated his determination to replace the lorry Naval Service Act was one of his own, the very thing the globe had warned against. And to all intents and purposes the Naval Service of Canada went into hibernation, not to recover until the mid 1930s. Where were the Navy leaks and all of this are they speaking out and supporting the Royal Canadian Navy so now we come to the Navy legal activities on this coast. We if we can credit the Toronto branch with the nationalist option in establishing Navy and give it credit for having brought about the name of the lorry Navy in the form that it did. Then we can also say that on this coast. We took the other option or we seem to have mentioned the conflict in Britain between the train wreck for our Beresford and, and Fisher we were polite in our in our differences in certainly the Navy League because we separated our differences both in time and in geography. Whereas the Toronto branch of the Navy League petered out about 1907 Perhaps they thought their work had been had been accomplished. We got going on the contribution list side in Victoria, at about the same time, some 3000 miles away from Toronto. After all, Victoria and the islands were more English than the English. And so we find league members here from 1901. The establishment of the Victoria branch, advocating support for the Royal Navy. In a way it is hard to criticize them to severity because in fulfillment of Fisher's grand plan for the Royal Navy, all elements naval albums were being withdrawn from the coast here and action first of March 1905. There was nothing left of the RN specific station that had gone there was no naval defense, certainly naval defense flying white Ensign available on the Pacific coast. The solution to the Naval defense conundrum on this coast and how best to provide naval protection for it was the question faced by a man by the name of Clive Phillips Wally. Unfortunately a double barreled name from now on we'll just call him Wally. He he suffered the the terrible fate of having his name misspelled or whatever it is. So we'll just stick with Wally, one and two L's Wally had not the slightest doubt of the answer to this question. It was to be substantial and contribute and continuing contributions to the Royal Navy. This is Royal. This is Phillips Wally, at the height of his campaign for the Navy League in Victoria. He's in the middle. You're in Jack's above him on the right. pounding his fist is is the BC premier Richard McBride. On the top is, is the mayor of Victoria. On the left is the one is the local Anglican bishop. Anglican bishops were firm and thinking that the Royal Navy could be should be supported. And the little dog on the right is a naval mascot. Interestingly, this dates from from 1911. And it's claimed to be the boys naval mascot. And one of the things that seems to be is that when rainbow came up to the coast in 1910 100 years ago, she did actually have on board seven boys who had been taken from Barnard Dr. Bernardo is homes in Britain. And they were being trained and this was a theoretically their mascot. This is how the Navy League in Victoria conducted its campaign on behalf of contributions to the Royal Navy grand Spectre spectacular entertainments held very seldom and firmly controlled and run by Phillips Wally, the gentleman in the middle

Speaker 2 37:06
he's an interesting character. And there are two books that if anybody's interested and following up on and that really are worth reading. One is Patrick do nice gentleman emigrants. Phillips while he was an exotic epitome of a gentleman named emigrant somebody who'd never quite give up the fact that he was British. The other is a very recent book, which tanks to sue. I've seen I've seen called the Imperial Vancouver Island, which contains considerable entry on Phillips walling. This book points to the strong Imperial connections between the West Coast particularly Victoria, and as we'll see Saltspring with with Great Britain. There is no evidence that Raleigh ever became reconciled to the idea of a Canadian naval service, and that rather, he saw it as a threat to his call for contributions to the Royal Navy. When HMCS wrangle arrived on the coast on the seventh of November 1910, and you can imagine the greeting and the reception she would have received when she steamed into a scrambled harbor. Wally was back east somewhere, speaking to Navy League representatives, and in Winnipeg, heading all the way to Toronto, where he was trying to revitalize the Navy League. He was unsuccessful there. But his absence here with the with, first of all with the arrival of rainbow and secondly, with the other important factor that happened at that time, the transfer of control of naval base at a squabble to Canadian control. The Admiralty had left it, but it was still under its control in 1905 years before. Now in 1910. With the arrival of rainbow we took a risk one but naval base. While he wasn't here, it was very much a one person thing.

Speaker 2 39:13
I just want to digress on Wally a little bit. He really was the epitome of this gentleman. And he was much more than just an advocate on naval policy. He'd arrived in Canada at navies. And they traveled extensively throughout throughout British Columbia. And, and was in the mining, newspaper publishing works. He was also a poet. He didn't quite get have the distinction of being of showing up and monophyletic anthology of early British Columbia poets. But there's evidence that he received the baronetcy in 1915. There is evidence he got it because of His portrait and not his advocacy for the Navy League. That's a story that I still have to look up. The Times columnist in 1907 called him are Canadian Kipling. And at the time he got his his, he became Sir Clive, the British poet of English seapower, Henry John Newbold received his BA in the C two. So he's an a really an increasing an intriguing man, well worth looking into. Problem was he was to British, even for Victoria. And so come 1912 It was becoming obvious that he did not have the support of his branch. But this time was called the Victoria and Squamish branch. And I still don't know when that changed from being just Victoria. And in 1912, it was decided that they would try to federate, the Navy League branches in, in British Columbia, there were quite a few. And they were reasonably successful. And so, they decided they would establish the federated Navy leagues of DC. And Wally would take over its presidency, and he would resign presidency is a Victorian undescribable branch. A year off in 1913. disgruntled members of the federated Navy League went public demanding a naval policy for the organization, which was not forthcoming. Thereafter, the league did did little, and certainly added nothing to the great naval debate of the time, going on between Borden and Laurie, on what the what the future of the Navy in Canada should be. In other words, the Navy League buttoned down and it's and this inertia on the part of the Navy League here on the coast 1913 to 1914 parallel the virtual disbandment of the Royal Canadian Navy in that same period. I'll just close this before coming on getting on to finally Saltspring This is a quotation from Wally, speaking in Vancouver in 1908. He's talking about Canadian naval policy, and he's advocating contract contributing to the Royal Navy. And he says the question was of such moment that it might be spoken of in a cathedral by a primate addressing a kneeling people. I'm not sure if we get anything much more Imperial than that. And eventually it was to be Wally's downfall.

Speaker 2 42:35
Next slide please. Frank or mixed, mixed up in all of this. Canada's not going discussion on its own. The rest of the Empire is going through this discussion. And we won't get into it. But it's fascinating. Australia originally started off on the contribution List option, providing funding for the Royal Navy has been Zealand. Australia at the same time that Canada has decided to establish its navy. Also this establishes its own navy it switches. Trouble is Australia starts to buy big ships. Fact, big battlecruisers, Zealand is a little different. And I don't I don't know if you can read the sash. On the man on the left it says New Zealand and the caption is for the Empire. And New Zealand is preventing presenting its first Dreadnought to the Royal Navy. This was in 1999 I think the ship of course was called HMS Zealand. None of its officers and probably virtually none of its crew were New Zealanders. That didn't matter they provided the ship. Apparently the cost was about $5.5 million. or pounds at the time doesn't matter. HMS New Zealand actually went on to quite a career in World War One. It was involved in all the major fleet battles of the Royal Navy. And in 1913 when she was finally completed and ready to tour, and we'll talk about this a little later, she came to Canada. The trouble is that in 1922 when New Zealand still owed 100,000 pounds on the New Zealand The ship was scrapped. That's another story. Next there's rainbow to finals. This in the day when funnels counted numbers of funnels counting small ship not very effective. Next one. Does anybody know by the way the the major thing Before World War One that that the rainbow did. Little bit a menace. Oh, well, that's a different story. Yes, you came to Salisbury. And she was sent to the Vancouver harbour and was there when Komagata Maru came in, just to make sure the Canadians that the crew and the passengers in the Komagata Maru behaved themselves. And we will skip over over that part. Now, as I said, the shaggy dog part of the story is finally complete, we'll get into Saltspring. Now. There's a strong possibility. And remembering my comments about Wally and Victoria, that here on Saltspring, he had the chance to gain support that he was obviously losing in Victoria. One of the big issues, as far as one of the things that other Canadians like to think about with Victoria, is just how empirically minded people were here, and how anything Imperial was accepted. Without question, the Navy issue proves this wasn't the case. And the two newspapers No, they were both a wildly political, one liberal, the other conservative, but the fact remains that that both newspapers took different tax. One of the liberal Daily Times was by no means imperialist. Victoria didn't call us of course, was quite the other way. And the controversy and the way developed in the papers over the over the Navy question points out that Victoria, was not nearly as imperialistic as people have, would like to believe. There's very little documentation about the leak here. And it's again, as I mentioned before, it's Sue mode and people like her, and now Mary Hogg will be here, who provided me with some with some material by which we can piece together some of the things that happened on Saltspring the Ganges or more correctly, the Saltspring branch of the Navy League, and it had a letterhead. This is an example of it. And it says Navy Lagos Saltspring Island branch. The Saltspring branch never appeared named in the Journal of the British Navy League. It's a question I still haven't looked into thoroughly enough. But the fact is, this is the branch here salt or Salt Spring established pretty well in Ganges. The first president, very enthusiastic man, according to the papers was Ernest crafted. And he did his best to extend the reach of the league into the nether most parts of the island, apparently to little avail. It never seems to have caught on and Fulford within a year, Crofton had become the branches honorary secretary, and of course, to me and to people like like, in any organization, the most important person and inside of an organization like that as the secretary. So presumably Crofton was going to the seat of power, and he turned over the presidency to the Reverend GW doing. We saw before that the Bishop of of Victoria was front and center with the Navy League there. happened here to Saltspring branches first Trafalgar Day celebration was held on the 20th of October 1911. And regrettably, was not reported in the press. Next event of note, as Bob pointed out, was the arrival of HMS HMCS rainbow on one of the flag waving tours for which she became so famous. She pulled them forward early February 1919 12 so foggy apparently that they've quickly made their way to the Ganges. And there's a terrific story in the paper of her finding her way up into Ganges harbour, blowing her whistle all the way she came up

Speaker 2 49:13
there report of her of her staying in Ganges is well worth reading. And I'm going to read it out to you so bear with me. This is from the coach and leader of mid February 1912. On Monday, the fifth of February rainbow arrived Ganges I'm dropping anchor she was boarded by the representatives of the Navy League, the Reverend GDL the union president, the craft an honorary Secretary F Scott and C Laird, who welcomed in the name welcomed them in the name of the Navy League to Salzburg. On February the sixth the Committee on behalf of the League, entertain the commander officers and ships company by a supper good man Oh, they always call it good man hold on those days. Put chaired by the ladies of the district. Now this gives me a marvelous chance to bring in the ladies. The ladies were always welcomed in the Navy League from the very beginning, certainly in Canada and certainly on the West Coast. This in early icontrol this just before the IoD II gets going, and Saltspring but the ladies are still front and center and doing everything they can in support of the billing activities. In my other research, I have found the extent to which IUD is became involved in the Navy League once they were established in their own right. But as I said, they will always welcome into the into the Navy League organization. So anyway, in this case they were doing providing the entertainment for the commanding officer, Commander officers and ships company by supper. Masters Kharbut Harris calthorpe Robertson Robinson, in the guise of amateur waiters took care that the blue jackets plates were fooled. Nothing was mentioned in here about their glasses, but I suspect they were fooled too. After the supper, the public came into a concert given by the League. The President Mr. Dean made a short speech of Welcome to the commander of officers and ships company, the commander of the ship was Amanda name of Walter hose. And this is Walter hose here. And if we credit for that, and Mitchell was being instrumental in the establishment of the Navy, this is a one man who made sure that it survived. He's been written about copiously. Just suppose suffice it to say that probably had it not been for Walter who was the Navy wouldn't have been the way it was in the Second World War. Hose took off or sorry. When your hose rose to speak, he was not allowed to speak for some time by the audience who insisted on giving him three cheers and singing For he's a jolly good fellow. The glasses were certainly full. He then thanked the residents for their enthusiastic welcome, which he took on behalf of the great service he had the honor to belong to his officers than men. He dwelt on the aims and objects of the Navy League, the importance of sea power, etc, etc. songs and music were then rendered by Messrs George Holley F carpet, delta V. Morris are longer than three petty officers from the ship. This brings up again, the image of Jackie Fisher, Jackie Fisher, if he's known for two things, it's for the Dreadnought and for being an incredible dancer. And the stories in this book in particular, extol his virtues as a dancer. The Navy League was the Navy was great on these sorts of entertainments long since gone. One of the people who entertained the group was the Mr. Aw Barrington fruit, who as far as I can gather, was a successor predecessor to arbit, Chalmers. Stanley Dean kindly accompany them on the piano. The legal the debt of gratitude to food, who came from Thetis Island to sing and brought down the house each and every time he came on the platform. On the seventh of February, the residents of the islands and were invited to a sing song on the rainbow. A capital program was rendered and the most enjoyable evening was spent. During the week rugby Association in hockey hockey matches were held, which seemed to give the spectators as much enjoyment as the players. And the last evening of the shift state Captain hos and his officers were entertained by the bachelors at a more successful dancer command Hall. The festivities were kept up till daylight, and wound up a most delightful visit. On Friday, Rainbow probably thankfully left for Vancouver. It's presumed that from at this time was when Rainbow Road got its name. Although it's an old ships navigator myself, I'm not sure I'd have allowed my captain to bring his precious ship of nearly 3000 tonnes far enough into the harbor to be visible from current Rainbow Road. But there it is. That's the story. One person who was certainly galvanized by the this wonder rainbows time expiring Royal Marines rainbows crew was by and large Royal Navy. Like all of us who visit Saltspring unsuspectingly for the first time, felt the urge to settle here. Along with his wife and 10 children, who were still in England. He engaged the support of the Ganges branch and the league for help in his ambition. because that was the purpose of this letter from Crafton to the BC government asking for assistance in getting this the wrong Marine veteran and his potential to come to the coast, an early version of both people I suppose. Maybe legal activities peaked in Salt Spring at the end of 1912. According to a letter Wally wrote that appeared in the Coachella Valley citizen on the 17th of October that year, for reasons which are sufficiently valid the anniversary of Trafalgar de that was a big thing they celebrated will be celebrated on Saltspring Island at a mass meeting of the Navy League. We can see reflected here the problems he's having in Victoria, because it goes on to say he exhorted the locals. With its intentionally British population to attend salt a Wally is now looking towards Saltspring to see if he can resurrect some of these hopes and aspirations for the Navy League. Exciting turns out to be all Yeah, this is that slide should have been earlier. I mentioned how the controversy over the liberal Navy liberal naval program and the and the conservatives program of contribution to the Royal Navy was such a controversy and, and so on. This actually is a rendition of what the what the lawyer Liberal government intended to do within the earth after the passage of the Naval Service Act. And you can see it's an ambitious program, which hadn't been carried out would have been worthwhile and would certainly would have been useful come World War One. There to have what are called fleet units. This is something I've got glossed over in the paper. They're talking about 50 units, at this time, with a heavy capital ship, a battle cruiser or battleship with lighter cruisers, the submarines and destroyers. And so time, this was what a liberal newspaper This is Victoria Daily Times, but it's reprinting something from the Toronto Star. It could have been an effective Navy, had it been prosecuted vigorously, and had possibly had the Liberals not gone out of power at the end of 1911. It never happened. And I don't know if Duncan can say when the Royal Canadian Navy ever reached that size. But it certainly wasn't until well into World War Two. Excellent. Oh, again, again, that's the same story a continuation of the of the HMS Zealand Story that here we are New Zealand and Australia in the background playing with their with their with the ships that they have provided for the Royal Navy. And we're out of the game. There is another story here. When New Zealand came out on her flag waving in 1913, the Navy League on Saltspring was determined that as many people on the island could see it. And they tried to arrange the charter of the CPR steamer, Joan to go to to go over to Victoria and see the New Zealand who was showing off what Imperial enthusiasm could do if you really buckled down and provided money from the Royal Navy. Somehow it fell through. I don't know why the John was not didn't come. They were going to send the schoolchildren they paid all their fares, but it didn't seem to have happened. And New Zealand of course came to Victoria in mid 1913 to incredible angst among novelists and neighborly personnel in Victoria, and then sailed off of course, the war

Speaker 2 59:12
was one of those terrible stories that rankled for many years into Victoria. Didn't make it any better, when after the war, and the British center around Admiral Jarkko the hero of Jutland, to try and drum up support for the same monies for the Royal Navy. Even less successful this thing would ship the descendant around the empire in HMS New Zealand. So she came back to Victoria second time after World War One.

Speaker 2 59:48
famous quotation by the act of the captain of the New Zealand at this time speaking to the assembled group was when he said it was only a matter of time but For Canada does the proper thing and provides funding for the Royal Navy Salt Springs last Trafalgar game leading before the war in 1913. After this fiasco almost certainly reflected the end of Wally's influence. Nobody in particular showed up, unless one includes large numbers of conservatives who had chosen that time to hold a gathering of the scattered Island divisions here. The branch arranged for a floral tribute to be placed at Nelson's Column in London, with the Times reporting, which at times reported attracted considerable attention. The newspaper and then went on to describe the customer and musical entertainment of the excellent character always to be held in Saltspring. The reporter outlined the islanders surefire strategy at such meetings sold Springer's, while highly appreciative of speeches have adopted the very excellent rule of sandwich in one speech between two entertainments so I'm just sorry, I have been able to arrange entertainments here. This combined with the fact that every performance was on cord, protracted the entertainment until the late hour. Several revolutions were passed. At this meeting, all of an innocuous nature, and none having anything to do with Canada's naval policy, or the parlous state of the Canadian Navy. Thereafter, there was little Navy League activity reported in the press either in Victoria, or on Saltspring. In Britain, the league there labored mightily to make up the deficiencies in the Royal Navy, that it blamed on the failure of the role of the Canadian government to provide the chips that they had. They had said the work that was supposed to be going point a cost of three, three $30 million to provide three of the dreadknots. On July, the ninth teeth 19 at the Toronto mail an Empire gave its informed opinion on the results of pre war Navy League efforts, while at the same time, urging Canadians to join its successor, the Navy League of Canada. And this is the newspaper when in 1913, an emergency naval aid bill was introduced by Sir Robert Borden the activity of a powerful Canadian Navy League with the left no politician they get an excuse for pretending that is antagonism to the measure was owing to uncertainty as to the state of public opinion on the question. We should have had a permanent naval policy years ago if we had had a live nav League and that's the way it stood. When World War One start. Canada had no navy how much you can blame it on the on the an inactive Navy League without a concerted and agreed to policy is impossible to see. It surely should have helped, but it didn't. X slide. Oh, this is a delight and on the nether reaches of the Pacific when Canada decides not to provide assistance to the Royal Navy. Next slide. This is that gentleman they're throwing the dog overboard is premier McBride and the tiger dog says Pacific Fleet the one time that the Wali was willing to accept the idea of perhaps of a Pacific Fleet unit was when McBride took it up and McBride wanted it for various topics a little bright McBride was a strong Navy leader. The political politicians were there and this coast. But McBride got the other other compensation in better terms for British Columbia under Confederation. And so this is him jettisoning the idea of a feature next. Already nearly done. There's a far more pointed end to my story. And this is represented by this headline

Speaker 2 1:04:35
German submarines destroyed three British cruisers. These three cruisers are obsolescent ships, the HMS hog Cressi and Abu Bakr. They went by the scurrilous name of the live bait squadron because they were held out defenseless. They were patrolling off the Heligoland Bight you And of Germany won a one day on the 22nd of September 1914. In one hour, and despite the headline one two minute of German submarine was a crew of 20 sank sanquin The three of 14 160 officers and men of the Royal Navy lost their lives more than the service had lost at Trafalgar. And in fact, the second bloodiest battle until then, in the entire history of the Royal Navy. The first ship had been repeated, and the next two ships in turn, stopped to pick up survivors. And that repeated in turn is now agreed that only by the most egregious stroke of incompetency could Jellicle have lost World War One. Churchill notwithstanding, this has to do with fighting the German fleet. But the war could have been lost in a slower, more insidious way, with Britain brought to its knees by the lowly submarine. The most of the thinkers in the Royal Navy, and certainly all of the thinkers in the Navy never brought this up. I know Fisher knew of of the capabilities of submarines, but never got around to devising a strategy of dealing with one of those last, HMS Hogg was a man the name of Lieutenant Commander Clive Phillips Wally, not the father, but his only son. We can only imagine Raleigh's Wally seniors reaction at the loss of his son in such unavoidable circumstances. Unfortunately, local newspapers are quiet they record the identified the loss of Wally but as far as I've been able to plan so far, there was no condolences or offered to him. Something I'm looking for and trying to find again. There's a possibility Wally Sr, was in London that time, because he and his family and his son's wife and other relatives laid wreaths of Trafalgar Square, and memory of Lufthansa commander Clive Phillips Wally Jr. Restaurants relayed by the Saltspring branch and by the terrain of Squanto branch and the coaching branch of the Navy League. It's interesting here, first of all this the fact that within days the information that was published in the press was correct. It was pointed out upon suddenly we get it. It named the submarine and the 20 man crew in those early days of World War One, the first casualty of war was not the publicity that that we were at we become accustomed to in subsequent wars. So really, the war reporting was accurate at that stage. Let's leave the final word, once again to the goal on the 23rd of September 1914. alongside an editorial wondering, is the battleship obsolete. A question is the Navy League should have been questioning years before the newspaper editor wrote. Mr. Churchill said that if the German ships did not come out and fight, they would be dug out like rats in a hole. The rats emerged and three of Britain's greatest ships have been lost. Newspaper concluded for frantic boast and foolish word by mercy online people, Lord thank You

Speaker 1 1:08:57
are there any questions or comments anybody would like to say before we wrap up ahead?

Unknown Speaker 1:09:05
Whether they ever fired in anger

Unknown Speaker 1:09:12
the early ships in the Canadian Navy Yes. They went prepared. Rainbow rainbow was was fairly was reasonably well. The problem was men personnel.

Speaker 2 1:09:28
The law Canadian Oh yeah, she did this but there's only rifles. American fishermen basically we're talking no others. While you might have seen them called pirates, but no, it was just the American fishermen were determined that the Gulf and Lawrence the Loris Lawrence was fair game to them they could come up and fish here regardless. And they were encroaching continuously on on Canadian fishing grounds and solid ventually starting very early on well and well into the 1840s. We had to establish this service, the fisheries protection service to keep them out

Speaker 3 1:10:11
of 1900. The British, at least, the Germans as their greatest threat.

Speaker 2 1:10:20
The two were indivisible at that time, really? Britain lentil, as we all know, and on the fourth of August 1914, when Britain went to war, Canada was automatically war was no coincidence. 30 odd years later, we went to war a week after the British just pointing out there. There at least a semantic difference here. No, you're right. And as early as 1895. And again, it was Fisher. I don't know how you read Barbara Tuchman's book. I forget the name of the title company. But she said in 1895 by Bill Fisher said the weir forget everybody else. Germany are the people that we will, will next go to war with. And the other fisheries protection vessels, the ones that were seriously armed, the Canada and the vigilant. They had quick firing heavier, heavy armed, as far as I know, never really fired him. Directly. They will fire across the bow. But no but they're armed with light arms and, and side arms. But they are prepared to when they went into the Pacific I didn't are into the Caribbean. I didn't emphasize this enough. The exercise actually what's the Royal Navy, much to the chagrin of the Royal Navy and some people but they did do exercises with the Royal Navy in the Caribbean. This is before the Canadian Navy. This is in 1907 9899 and were their LP borders son, the father of the man I went to see with was one of those Canadian naval officers who served in in the CGS Canada in the Caribbean was the Royal Navy before they got the rest of their training in the era.

Unknown Speaker 1:12:01
Okay, anything else? We had been

Speaker 2 1:12:04
submarine that came into Britain? The answer that is yes. It was one of the British submarines or sorry, one of the Canadian submarines that McBride bought. In fact, Frank and I have been Frank short with a photograph and it's um, it's almost certainly one of CC one or CC to the two submarines and McBride bought from out from under the Chilean Navy, in Seattle, and brought up here promptly bought by Canada. But, but it was one of those those boats that had to be after, after I think it was the fifth of August 1914. Shortly after that, in fact, I've got a book that I meant to bring to Frank I've been promising to him called Canadian submariners. And the information is all there including the fact that there was a Saltspring er who's very active in there in the Naval Service and the submarine British submarine service. And who by one of those incredible coincidences coincidences, was involved was in the Royal Navy at the start of World War One and it was at sea and another operation when these three cruisers were sunk. This is W Jr. Beach. And there's a lot of information in beach in this book, which I'll turn over our shoulder Frank at some time.