Submariners Assocation of Canada Easti

Canadian-Built UK H-Boats

The Canadian-built British H-boats

© J. D. Perkins, 1999

As early as the end of August 1914, Canadian Vickers placed a proposal(1) before the Deputy Minister for the Naval Service to build two or three Electric Boat Company submarines for the RCN at Montreal. At 400-tons dived displacement and mounting four 18-inch torpedo tubes in the bow, they were similar to CC1 but with improved engines. Vickers was offering to have the first two boats completed by the 1915 opening of navigation on the St. Lawrence River for a price of $572,000 each. This was $2,800 less than what had been paid for the CC-boats, plus a considerable return to the Canadian economy through wages and materials purchased in Canada. A further $50,000, it was claimed, would have been recoverable from customs duties. The third vessel, it was predicted, could be ready for trials a month after the first pair.

As they had done in the case of the CC-boats, the Canadian government sought the advice of the Admiralty. This time Whitehall advised they reject the offer on the grounds that the design was unsound and that the boats could not possibly be built that quickly. The Canadian government acquiesced and turned down the offer. This whole affair provided a precedent that would typify the performance of successive Canadian governments with respect to the acquisition of submarines, even to the present day.

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