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The following communication has been received in Australia from Mr. Edward Palliser, late captain in the 7th Hussars : of the 13th October, with an important leading article on the subject of Russian merchant cruisers and their objects. There are many at home who think that a war with Russia, in consequence of our forcing them to avoid Constantinople and our- conquering Afghanistan, is quite possible before long, when, if the Australian and New Zealand Governments are not prepared to fit out their merchant steam marine to cope with the Russian merchant (?) steam marine crusiers, great damage will result to your shipping. Russia being essentially a war brewing power, and England, Australia, Canada, and Now Zealand being devoted to peace, places the latter Governments at a great disadvantage. As, however my brother, SirWilliam Palliser, has pointed out, you have the money, you have the ships, you have the men, but you have not the armaments for the ships, and your- Governments are naturally slow to purchase the exceedingly expensive guns made in England, excepting a moderate number for your coast forts. Sir Vr. P.i’liser and I have taught Urn Canadians how to make then guns, and in consequence of the first gun made in Canada having passed proof in that country before the officers of the Royal Artillery, ten guns arc placed on the Estimates, to bo made in Canada by Messrs. Gilbert and Sons of Montreal, who courageously came forward to join us in tire work. These guns will be just suited to a merchant cruiser, and can compete with any guns of their calibre. They are to be DO-pounders, with a length of bore of 25 calibres, and a charge of oOlbs of powder. There are 1500 Palliser guns in our service. Australia is rather far to go and instruct your engineers, who are quite as callable as Messrs. Gilbert and Sous. But it may bo acceptable to you to know that Palliser guns suitable for the armament of your sea-going steamers can bo obtained in England at a moderate rate. This is well known to your military advisers, who, I have no doubt, will not forget the circumstance should it appear- advisable, as we believe it to be, to store an armament at moderate cost to be ready in case of trouble with Russia. If all the colonics followed the example of Canada and made preparations in time, wo should hoar less of the boastings of Russia as commented on ir the leading article in the “Standard. ’ ’

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Bibliographic details

Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 51, 22 January 1880

Word Count

ARSENALS FOR THE COLONIES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 51, 22 January 1880