A NARROW MARGIN.
GOVERNMENTS NAVAL MOTTO. SAFETY, NOT SUPERFLUITY. THE NAVY IMPKEGNABIE. (By Cable.—Press Association.—Copyright.) Received 8.25 a.m.) ' LONDON, March 28. Mr Walter Runciman, President of the Board of Education, in a speech at Colchester, declared that the naval agitation was an artificially-created scare. He declared that the British Navy -was impregnable, and said that there were no German "Dreadnoughts yet afloat, while Germany had only two-fifths of Britain's number oi sailors available to man her ships. The Government's motto in naval affairs was safety without superfluity. NATIONAL SAFETY. ASSURED BY NAVAL PROGRAMME. (Received 8.40 a.m.) LONDON, March 28. Dr. T. J. MeNamara, Parliamentary and Financial Secretary to the Treasury, denies that there is any likelihood of Germany getting ahead of England by April, 1912. The margin might possibly be small, but the Dreadnought fleet and the Government's programme fully assured the national safety. NUMBERS v. SITTING POWER. INDOMITABLE'S FINE SHOOTING. (Received 8.40 a.m.) LONDON, March 28. Admiral Sir Percy Scott, in a speech on Saturday, declared that the value of a fleet depends more upon hitting power than numbprs. The Indomitable, with eight guns, recently made double the number of hits of the Dreadnought with ten. A MEMBER VINDICATED. HIS WARNINGS RIGHT. (Received 8.40 a.m.) LONDON, March 28. Mr C. W. Bellairs, M.P., whom the Liberal Association repudiated because of his belief in the necessity for an increase in the Naval Estimates, was accorded by a meeting of his constituents a unanimous vote of thanks and confidence. The motion declared that the anxiety of the country and Empire regarding naval supremacy proved that Mr Bellair's warnings were right. He had earned the gratitude of his countrymen by the stand he had taken.. AUSTRALIA'S INTENTIONS. HER OWN NAVY. (Received 9.45 a.m.) SYDNEY, this day. The policy speech which Mr Andrew Fisher, Labour Premier of the Commonwealth, is to deliver at Gympie to-night will probably indicate that the aim of the Government will be to provide in the course of time such a fleet in Australian waters that the Imperial squadron may be withdrawn, and that, if necessity arise, the Australian navy may undertake the duty of patrolling the south seas and policing the lands. It may indicate that as a start more torpedo boat destroyers and three or four submarines be added to the two destroyers already ordered. The speech is also expected to declare in favour of a modified scheme of compulsory training, and is expected to propose either a land or property tax for defence purposes. The Lord Mayor, on behalf of the citizens of Sydney, has cabled to Sir Joseph Ward, congratulating him on New Zealand's noble offer to Britain, and adding: "Australia has no alternative but to follow your lead." UNPARALLELED GENEROSITY. GOVERNMENT'S MISCONCEPTION. LONDON, March 27. Lieutenant-Colonel Seeley (Under-Sec-retary for the Colonies), speaking at Huoknall Torkard, in Nottinghamshire, said that New Zealand's splendid generosity was unparalleled in history. The Australian States and other colonies were following the Dominion's example, thus ehowing an eagerness to assist the Motherland if necessary. Sir Gilbert Parker (Conservative member for Gravesend), in a speech at Muewell Hill, said the Government's reply to New Zealand's offer was cither a wilful mlscenccption or blind inapproolation of its benefits, especially the magnificent demonstration of the growing sense of the colonies of the moral obligation to chare in the responsibilities ef the Empire, The @evernment reply contained the same elements of quibble that the Government had shown in relation to the demand for the four Dreadnoughts, THE CENSURE MOTION. LONDON, March 27, Mr Balfour, in a letter, explains that a vote pf pensure on the Government is the onsy course open, as by the rules of debate it would only be possible to move a reduction of the Estimates, the Government, which has the responsibility for the pountry's finance, being alone able to move increases in its Estimates.
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