I COMPARATIVE EXPENDITURE. GERMANY IN THE LEAD. HALF MILLION ABOVE BRITAIN (By Cable.—Press Association.--c-opj-rigat.) ( (Received 8.30 a.m.) LONDON, March 31. In the House of Commons Mr Reginald McKenna (First Lord of the Admiralty) informed Mr C. W. Beliairs (Liberal M.P. for King's Lynn) that, calculating, on the same basis here as elsewhere, the British Estimates for new construction of armaments for talled £10,256,194, compared with £10,----751,466 in Germany and £10,015,101 in the United States. Hon. Arthur J. Balfour (Leader of the Opposition), speaking at the Agricultural Hall, in criticising Mr Asquith's method of accepting New Zealand's offer of a Dreadnought, declared that such splendid patriotic liberality ought not to be used as a relief to the British taxpayer or a subvention of the Motherland's pecuniary necessities, but as an additional guarantee of the maintenance of the Empire's necessities. The "Westminster Gazette" charges Mr Balfour with making party capital out of the colonial Dreadnoughts by linking the offers with the fiscal system, but argues that the present is a favourable moment to consider the whole question of colonial co-operation in Imperial defence. The expenditure on warship construction by Britain last year was £7.545,207, as against £8.100,000 for the preceding year. The German naval programme proposes to spend 207 millions by 1917, and the estimates provided for an expenditure on construction of £15.300.000, hut not all of this will go into ships. Mr McKenna said Inst year that "Mr Cobden had declared that he would vote a hundred millions sterling rather than allow a foreign navy to be increased to a level with the British. No responsible minister, said Mr McKenna could abate from Mr Cobden's resolution. He added that the worst possible policy was for England to fall behind in naval equipment, and tahe next worst policy was needlessly to make the pace in expenditure on armaments.
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