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AERIAL WARFARE.

The agitation in favour of a stronger navy has had a natural sequel at Home in the demand for the provision of aerial warships to defend the country against any possible danger from hostile aeronauts. Three days ago a large and enthusiastic meeting held in the Mansion House supported the proposal for "ah Aerial League of the -Empire t " and Ad' niiral Scott boldly declared that a twoPower standard Was as necessary for the sovereignty of the sky as of the sea. The immediate re'asdn for this sudden agitation is, of course, the interest that our foreign ritals and enehiies have been taking in the application of aeroplanes and airships to the problems of warfare. Mr. Haltlane has just explained to the House of CoinmoiL, that ■Germany already has a fleet of dirigibles and is constructing six more. Thfe successes of La Patrie and other famous French dirigibles are now matters of history, and the wonderful performances of the Wright, Farmafl, and other types of aeroplane have brought home to every intelligent man the vast possibilities for good and evil involved in our newly-

secured control of the air. In England it is generally felt that very little has Been done, in this direction comparable "to what' has been achieved in. France, Germany and America. The "Pall Mall Gazette" has recently declared that England, is ,for the.moment completely outdistanced in the race for aerial" supremacy. The "Times," in a moderate and cautiously-worded article, asserts that England is "only ■ stumbling painfully along miles in the rear of other "nations, repea'tuig rudimentary experiments which they have long ago discarded in favour of newer and better things." The argument is unanswerable that if aeroplanes are worth anything for defensive purposes, the sum of £19,000 already expended by England on this work is ludicrous, and the "futile efforts of Mr. Cody, with his much-boomed army aeroplane, are simply making us the laughing stock of the nations. No doubt it will take some time to rouse the WatOffice to a sense of its responsibilities in this respect, and in the meantime there can be no doubt that the rapid progress of aeronautic science and its successful application to military and naval purposes abroad constitute a very real and urgent danger to England.and the Empire.

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AERIAL WARFARE. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 84, 8 April 1909

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