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OTAGO MEMBERS INTERVIEWED.

ln\ OPINION DIVIDES. ;, ' (By Telegraph.—Press Association.) /* Mpnday. •Interviewed regarding the proposal of the Gorermnenrt to present a battleship to the Imperial , navy, 'Mr. G. M. TSomaon, M.P.J hesitated <bo an opinion in the absence -of Hβ fully realised the responsibility of the Dominion to contribute adequately to Imperial defence, bat the battleship would cost £ 1,750,000, ■which would increase the national delrt foy that amount. Austxa-lian States had b. population of four and a-half millions, Nevr Zealand had not a million of white population. He reeogniied, however, -the great moral influence the colonial offers would have on Europe. ■ Mr. J. F. Arnold, H;P,, also hesitated to give an opinion in the absence of dfr •tails. It waa no doiibt the duty of thos« in the Dominion to Bee that the navy— the finst line of defence —was maintained in an efficient condition, and ws musrf •contribute a fair share' of the finamcia responsibility. . ' Mr. James AHen, M.P., said: "The die closures that have come about are ver? disquieting. They make one doubt one'/ confidence in 4he Intelligence Deparfcmeri' at Home or else in the Pre Burning the newspaper reports are cor a-ect, and that Sir Joseph Ward and hi: fcolleagues are not acting in a panic 1 Ibut are fully aware of the gravity of th> Situation, I would not hesitate mypel to advocate a million and three-quarteri ,of Xew Zealand money being expendec ifor battleships, but it Tests with ou advisers to prove the facts. It looka ti ""me as if New Zealand were trying to g> ene "better than Australia, I cannot undei stand the Minktry committing the coun try to so large an expenditure -withou consulting Parliaaierrt, It seems to m that if the situation is so grave as t "warrant the authorisation o-f a millio j end three-quarters or two millions of .ci 1 penditure, Parliament should have bee "■jailed together inunediately,"

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OTAGO MEMBERS INTERVIEWED. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 70, 23 March 1909

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