A NAVY UNCHALLENGED.
THE PEE-DREADNOUGHTS. (By Cable.—Press Association.—Copyright^ LONDON, April 7. Mr T. J. MacNamara (Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty), speaking at the City Liberal Club, declared that two satisfactory features emerged from the naval debate. The first was the determination met with amongst all classes to maintain a navy unchallenged and unchallengeable, and the second was the spontaneous recognition by the colonies of their vital interest in Britain's sea supremacy.
Mr MacNamara added that the Government's programme was sufficient to secure national safety. He denied that by April, 1912, Germany would get ahead of Britain. He admitted that our superiority in Dreadnoughts might at times be narrow, but emphasised the preponderance of pre-Dreadnought ships. Speaking in the House of Commons, in reply to questions, Mr Asquith intimated that any special conference on the naval defence of the Empire was dependent upon an agreement in that direction between the Imperial and colonial governments. The latter had not yet expressed any desire for such a conference.
The "Daily Chronicle," referring to the proposals of the Opposition for a naval campaign, says; "It is most undesirable that tlie navy should continue to be dragged along party ruts. The fact is there has been too much of these tactics in this mutter by both sides. The Government, for tactical reasons, combined a cry of danger with a hypothetical way of meeting it; the Opposition, for tactical reasons, magnify the danger and reduce a hypothetical quartet of Dreadnoughts to phantom ships.
"Nobody," the "Chronicle" concludes, '■'believes that, only four Dreadnoughts will be the sum of the Government's programme for 1909, yet when the Government proceed to do what they already mean to do. perhaps it will be represented that they were bullied into it. This is absurd, and ought In U> prevented."'
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