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THE RIVAL NAVIES.

EXTRA DREADNOUGHTS. , DEMANDED BY UNIONISTS. GERMANY'S FACULTIES. (By Cable.—Press Association. —Copyright.) LONDON, March 18. The profound effect produced in London by the naval statement has been re-echoed in the provinces. Unionist papers insist that extra Dreadnoughts be put on the slips immediately. The Radical papers admit the necessity for the Government having a free hand, but say that social reforms will receive a set-back. Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr. Arthur H. Lee (Civil Lord of the Admiralty from 1903 to 1905), said the nation would demand that the Government at once order eight more Dreadnoughts. The employees at Krupp's works had, he mentioned, been increased to 38,000 last year. In his opinion all the trouble was due to the Government not carrying out the programme of the Earl of Cawdor, who, when First Lord of the Admiralty, defined the two-Power standard. Mr. A. Harvey (Liberal member for Rochdale) announced that he did not propose to move the Reduction of Armament Committee's amendment against the increases recommended. Mr. T. J. Macnamara dwelt on the value of the pre-Dreadnought battleships. Mr. John Dillon (former Leader of the Irish party) and Mr. Arthur Henderson (chairman of the Labour party) accused the Government of pandering to panicmongers. GERMANY'S DREADNOUGHTS. NOT HASTENING THE PROGRAMME. BERLIN, March 18. The debate in the British House of Commons on the Naval Estimates has aroused great interest in Germany. The Press, however, is sparing in its comment. The Neuste Nachrichten," the organ of the Navy' League, is incensed at Germany informing Great Britain that she does not intend to hasten her rate of construction, and characterises the supplying of this information as a regrettable weakness. Admiral yon Tirpitz (Secretary of the Navy) stated in the Reichstag to-day that in the autumn of 1912 Germany would have only 13 ships of the Dreadnought and Invincible types. "I do not know," he added, "on what grounds Mr. McKenna (First Lord of the British Admiralty) arrived at the larger figure. No proposal for disarmament has been made to Germany." YON TIRPITZS DENIAL. THE LITTLE NAVY VIEW. (Received 8.45 a.m.) LONDON, March 18. The "Daily News" and the "Manchester Guardian" declare that Admiral yon Tirpitz's denial of the hastening of Germany's proposal disposes of all conjectures whereon the navy debate was based. On the other hand, Mr Frederic Harrison, the famous author, leader of the Positivists, who are opposed to all forms of militarism, warmly supports, in a letter to the "Times," the taking of every possible precaution on sea and land against Germany.

NINETEEN SLIPS AVAILABLE. THE PLANT AT WOOLWICH. (Received 8 a.m.) LONDON, March 18. In the House of Commons to-day, Mr Reginald McKenna, First Lord of the Admiralty, stated that Britain had 17 slips on which large warships could be constructed, and two others capable of adoption for warship purposes. In reply to a question, he admitted that there wag no plant at the Woolwich works for gun-mountings. Some time ago, in a debate in the Reichstag, Admiral yon Tirpitz, German Secretary to the Navy, was questioned by Herr Stresemann as to the comparative rapidity of the construction of battleships in different countries. Admiral yon Tirpitz said: "We have already built battleships more quickly than England, and I much more quickly than France or the United States. 1 would gladly reduce the time required for the construction of each battleship still further, but the difficulty lies in obtaining the armour plates and guns for equipment."' AUSTRALIA'S VIEW. '-WE MUST SING SMALL." (Received 10.40 a.m.) SYDNEY, this day. Public men take a serious view of the Xaval situation disclosed in Mr. McKenna's statement, and its bearing on Australia. Mr. Fisher, Premier of the Commonwealth, states that at the Premiers' Conference he drew attention to the present state of European politics, and that the danger of invasion might demand that the whole resources of the country should be used. The "Daily Telegraph" says: "In tho event of the tension over the naval situation becoming sharper, if Australia and Canada, as leaders amongst the Colonial countries, each offered the Admiralty the cost of a Dreadnought, what a significant intimation it would be, to the nations that these comparatively rich young Dominions would be quick to reinforce the Motherland in any emergency. The cost would be relatively small, but the force of example tremendous." The "Sydney Morning Herald," recog- j nising the significance of the position to Australia, says: "While we can be grateful to the Mother Country in facing the facts with her traditional courage, we must, in decency, sing small until we can feel we are doing our fair share towards keeping the national home together."

LORD ROSEBERY S VIEW. SECURITY OP THE NAVY. ADEQUACY OF HOME DEFENCE QUESTIONED. (Received 11.20 a.m.) LONDON, March 18. Lord Rosebery, in a letter published by the "Times," declares that while the naval announcement is most critical, the navy in a sense is secure, because the nation will vote all that is possible directly it realises that navy preponderance is threatened. But, imperviousness to invasion being relegated to the region of doubt, he raises the problem whether the Territorials are sufficient for home defence.

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THE RIVAL NAVIES. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 67, 19 March 1909

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