VIEWS 0-F SIR JAMES ALLEN.
DUNEDIN, May 2. In a speech at the annual .meeting of the Otago branch of the Navy League Sir James Alien said he did not view without ja considerablefa-mount of alarm the position of the Pacific. We were taking under our mandate a * portion of the territories previously occupied, by Germany. The other islands m the" Pacific would probably be handed over to a nation that during the war had been a friend of ours. We coiild not say that that, nation would, remain friendly' for all time. He looked with a good deal of suspicion upon the occupation of the Marshall Islands by the Japanese. The Marshall's were about half-way between Japan and New Zealand and Japan and Australia. It seemed hard to find any reason except a wish to dominate the Pacific why..the Japanese wanted to occupy tlie Marshall Isliands. He did not.know what would result from the Conference at Home or -what the position might be with respect to the mandate of Japan with regard to the Marshalls. During the war an undertaking was arrived at with reference to islands north of the equator and islands south of the equator. That undertaking having been made,. the Empire could not break its word, and if the MarshalLs had to go to Japan we must put up with that position. Ho hoped satisfactory arrangements would be made with reference, to the question of fortifications, etc. He did not wish to underrate what Japan had done in the war. The fact that she was .present in tho Pacific made things comparatively safe for us and every credit must be given to her for the service she rendered. He hoped Japan had ho intention of spreading her wings right. over the Pacific, but he feared there was that possibility.
The Minister added that it was impossible to give any idea what our own naval' policy would, be. Lord Jellk-oe was ou his way to .give advice.. It was never in the Minister's .m'ind-)t*o' vcreate a special nayy^'beloiiging to New Zealand,, but' if we were' to* protect the seas every part of the Empire had-* to have an opportunity to take its share. ' It was not sufficient to pay yearly a j certain amount of money. We must j pay for. our protection in men, and it j would be an everlasting . disgrace to \ New Zealand if the Motherland had to j 'enter into any _aval combat in which I New Zealand was not represented by. . some of'its manhood. If we. valued j box" freedom it was our duty to take a I Vtiare and train, our men for a unit ir. ; the Imperial Na\-y. He did not know ' what ships or machines would be ; required in the future. It was necessary to consider^ what J should be done in regard to the Air j Service. Tho speaker did not propose- j to enter into a large policy of aviation, j but he thought it would be necessary to have a minimum establishment of experts here in order that if war. broke out we might bo in a position to train men for defence purposes if need arose. Air machines could be Used for other than military purposes, and there was | no reason why civilian and military j functions should not be combined. Men j 1 had already been trained in flying in | New Zealand, and some of these haa ! gained great reputations and won.high ! distinctions. However, with regard to iboth the naval and air policy of the-, future, he would ask the people to exercise patience untiJ the opinion otexperts was available.
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HOME DEFENCE, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9600, 3 May 1919
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