Churchill, Borden And Anglo-canadian Naval Relations, 1911-14

Churchill, Borden And Anglo-canadian Naval Relations, 1911-14
Tags: Martin Thornton

In October 1911, Winston S. Churchill was an accomplished young Liberal politician who, as the newly appointed First Lord of the Admiralty, still wore his ambition and emotion on his sleeve. Robert L. Borden was the new Canadian Prime Minister, less emotional and much older than Churchill. They became companions in an attempt to provide naval security for the British Empire as a naval crisis loomed with Germany. Their scheme for Canada to provide three Dreadnought battleships for the Royal Navy as part of an Imperial squadron was hotly debated by the Canadian Parliament and rejected by the Senate. It was one of the most divisive debates in Canadian parliamentary history. Churchill invested considerable time and effort in trying to deliver the scheme and even believed he might need to resign when it failed. The decision had great implications for the future, leading to the crises in shipbuilding foreshadowing the outbreak of WW1.