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THE LITTLE NAVYITES.

BERESFORD AS A BOGEY. ,

INVOKED AGAINST THE EIGHT, (Received 8.30 a.m.) LOXDOX, April 9. Mr W. T. Stead, in the "Review of Reviews," asserts that Admiral Lord Charles Beresford has been the trump card of the Little Xavy party who opposed the Dreadnoughts.

Mr Winston Churchill and Mr Lloyd George constantly invoked Beresford, whether he knew it or not, to terrorise the Admiralty into the abandonment of the demand for eight new Dreadnoughts.

Like Mr Henry Brassey, Lord lieresford desires more ships of another class, and the Little Xavyites took advantage of his known opposition to the Dreadnoughts to cut down the estimates, without providing the additional boats of a lighter class for which the retired admiral contended.

BRITAIN'S NAVY PROGRAMME

A VAIN APPEAL. LONDON, April 8. A vain appeal was made to the Government yesterday to enable Parliament to present a united front by an assurance of eight Dreadnoughts at the earliest possible date.

Mr McKenna (First Lord of the Admiralty), in reply to Colonel J. Gretton (Conservative member for Rutlandshire), admitted that Germany had dv.ing the past five years made provision for 50 tor-pedo-boat destroyers and Great Britain for 49. Only four of Britain's destroyers were complete and ready Tor sea, compared with 30 completed by Germany.

Mr McKenna added that on the other hand Britain had ordered 36 so-called coastal destroyers, now armed as firstclass torpedoers, of which 30 had been delivered.

The Council of the Royal Colonial Institute has unanimously adopted a resolution expressing warm admiration of the generous offers made by oversea dominions to co-operate with the Motherland in the naval defence of the Empire.

" BETRAYER OF HIS COUNTRY."

AN ADMIRAL ON C.B. LOXDON, April 9. Admiral Smith-Dorrien, speaking at a Conservative meeting, declared that the remains of the late Sir Henry CampbellBannerman should be hanged in Trafalgar Square because he had betrayed his country.

Several Radicals urgently sought to discuss this language in the House of Commons, but the Speaker refused to allow them to do so, on the ground that the retired admiral was beyond official control.

AUSTRIA'S DREADNOUGHTS.

VIEXXA, April 8. The newspaper "Zeit," of Vienna, states that Austria is to build four Dreadnoughts, which will be completed in 1012.

AUSTRALIA'S CONTRIBUTION.

LOXDOX, April 8. Mr C- H. Rason (Agent-General for West Australia), in the course of an interview, said he would not be surprised if West Australia joined Xew South Wales and Victoria in offering a Dreadnought from Australia.

The intention was that the battleship should supplement whatever programme the Imperial Government thought necessary, and thus make safety doubly sure.

ARMY ACT AMENDED.

LOXDOX, April 8

In the House of Commons the Army (Annual) Bill was read a third time.

The bill contains clauses enabling colonial legislatures to apply the Army Act to local forces, and a clause making members of colonial forces subject to the Army Act when training in the United Kingdom.

The bill also provides for the billeting of Territorials on private individuals when inns are unavailable.

FEDERAL DEFENCE SCHEME.

MELBOURXE, April 9

The Federal Minister for Defence estimates that the cost of preparing the new military defence schenre will be £550,000, and that the expenditure for the first year will be £1.200,000, for the second year £1,248,000, for the third £1,301,000, and for the fourth year £1.325,000.

The naval scheme is estimated to cost for the first year £817,000, for the second £1,092,000, and for the third £72,000.

NEW ZEALAND'S OFFER.

(By Telegraph.—Press Association.) CHRISTCHURCH, Friday. The local branch of the Xavy League has convened a public meeting in the King Edward Barracks for the 14th inst., for the purpose of submitting a motion approving of the Government's Dreadnought offer. The Mayor will preside, and amongst the speakers will be Bishops Julius and Grimes.

HOW IT WAS RECEIVED IX AUSTRALIA. (By Telegraph.—Own Correspondent.) CHRISTCHURCH this day. Mr Russell, M.P. for Avon, who has just returned from Australia, in the course of an interview gave a graphic description of how the news of New Zealand's offer of a Dreadnought was received. He said, "I was in Melbourne when the naval furore existed at Home, and the feeling was very intense. I believe that both the '"Sydney Daily Telegraph" and Melbourne "Argus" urged at the height of excitement that Australia should provide a Dreadnought. On the following day Melbourne, where I was then located, was astounded at the news that once more Xew Zealand had stepped in front and offered one or more Dreadnoughts to the British Government. The enthusiasm of the people I met—some of them Xew Zealanders. but most of them leading Australians— was remarkable. Their feeling was that in all these matters Xew Zealand succeeded in stepping in front of Australia. The strongest efforts were made to induce the Prime Minister of Australia to move, but he declined to do so. Then the Premiers of the States

were appealed to, and they finally made some half-hearted effort in the matter. I arrived in Sydney in time to attend a mass meeting held in the Town Hall. It was presided over by the Lord Mayor and addressed Ly the Rt. Hon. G. H. Reid and other notabilities. I have never seen any demonstration in my life equal to that for enthusiasm and for patriotism. I should think that at the lowest computation there were 7000 people crammed into that hall. Starting with the Lord Mayor, every speaker made reference to the offer of Xew Zealand, and every time New Zealand was referred to. the name of our country was received with cheers. Mr Reid, in drawing his remarks to a conclusion, said to the audience that, if they wanted to find where the true leader of Australasia was in this matter, they need not look for him in the bounds of the Commonwealth; they must look across the sea to that gallant place, Xew Zealand. This statement was received with terrific cheering.

"I had the pleasure," continued Mr Russell, "of meeting a number of leading politicians and others, and their kindness to a man who came from the country that had given a Dreadnought, was to mc a revelation of what Aus|trs>Uiaii hospitality can be. To give you an idea of the feeling of the meeting: "There were in the audience some people—as there are here—of the Little England type, sometimes they called out interjections of a malapropos character, but they only did it once; they were immediately stopped at once and invited by the police to go and take a walk outside. Proceedings were suspended till the interjector was removed into the balmy air outside in Georgestreet, and the audience cheered enthusiastically as these interjectbrs were conducted out. Despite the fact that several munificent subscriptions had been made towards the cost of a Dreadnought from Australia, the feeling was that the proposal to raiso the amount by subscriptions was doomed to failure, an» the. idea was that Sir Joseph Ward had adopted the only possible plan, namely, to make an offer on behalf of the whole State."

SPIRITUALISTS AXD UXIVERSAL PEACE. (By Telegraph.— Tress Association.) WELLTXGTOX, this day. The Spiritualists, in conference, passed a resolution urging that the time is ripe for a universal declaration by the people of all nations against the settlement of international disputes by war. All Spiritualists are enjoined to take part in a movement for the settlement of disputes by a national council of arbitration.

THE BRICKLAYERS' UNIOX AXD THE TRADES AXD LABOUR COUNCIL.

Mr. W. E. Gibson, secretary of the Auckland Bricklayers' Union, forwards the following report: —■

"A meeting of the Auckland Bricklayers' Union was held on Thursday evening ladt, and during the course of the evening, the resolution of the Trades and Labour Council re the gift of a Dreadnought by the Dominion was discussed. The members of the union, with one exception, expressed great indignation at both the resolution and the most unpatriotic sentiments expressed by Mes-f.rs. Lon#. Henry, Aggers, and otheTS, more especially those expressed by Mr. Long, the president of the Council. After a deal of discussion (during which some of the members spoke very strongly), the secretary was instructed to write to the Council expressing their strong disapproval of their action on the matter. It was also decided that, although the Bricklayers' Union is affiliated with the Trades and Labour Council, it will not identify itself with, recognise, or become party to any such resolution or sentiment passed by the Council. One of the members deplored the fact that Mr. Long holds the presidency of a Council in a British Dominion, and said that whatever individual opinions may be on the matter, still the prevention of the subjection of the British race by any foreign Power, the upholding of the British Empire and our freedom from autocracy and petty tyranny, is a matter on which of a necessity we must stand shoulder to shoulder. A letter has been sent to Sir Joseph Ward on the subject entirely concurring with his action ro the gift of the battleship, and informing him of the condemnation by the Bricklayers' Union of the resolution passed by the Trades and Labour Council."

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THE LITTLE NAVYITES. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 85, 10 April 1909

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