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IF WAR BROKE OUT TO-MORROW EVERY SHIP WOULD BE FULLY EQUIPPED. (By Telegraph.— Press Association.— Copyright.) LONDON, 18th March. Mr. Winston Churchill, in his speech in the -House of Commons in Committee on the Naval Estimates, said that owing to trade conditions there was a likelihood that many of the vessels would be completed in 1914 without acceleration or speeding up. If war broke out to-morrow every ship could be sent to sea, fully ' equipped. In future lieutenants with eight years' service would be termed j lieutenant-commanders. Seventy merchantmen will be armed by the end of 1914. j Mr. Churchill declared with emphasis that Great Britain would remain the independent guardian »oE her Mediterranean interests. The Government was not unhopeful that Canada would meet her 1 share of the naval defence. While Japan remains allied with Britain and Britain possesses naval superiority, Japan will be safe from the attacks of the great fleets of Europe. In no other way, in the years immediately before us, can Japan adequately protect herself. JAPAN'S RELIANCE ON BRITAIN. Mr. Churchill said that the growth of European interests in China, and the development of European navies on a greater scale than Japan can afford, would increase Japan's reliance on Great Britain. Great Britain's obligations to .lapan provide against an increase of European squadrons in the Far East. EFFECTIVE PROTECTION OF AUSTRALASIA. i Mr. Churchill contended that the Government had given full effect to the 1909 agreement. Although not doing it in the same unit, they were keeping the battleships in Home waters whore alone they would meet their equals. They sent the battleships Swiftsuro and Triumph to tho China ond Indian stations, which would be sufficient. Any addition would be merely a duplication of the Australian unit. There was no reason to suppose that Japan would need England's friendship less after the expiry of 'the alliance in ,1921. The bohd between Japan and Britain would mean the effective protection of Australasia. The bond depended entirely on the maintenance of British naval supremacy. There was no means whereby, in the next dozen years, Australasia _ could , maintain itself singlehanded if Britain's power were shattered. The only course then open to whites in the Pacific would be to seek the protection of the United States. From this viewpoint the ptofound wisdom of the policy hitherto adopted can be appreci* ated. It provided, in the most effective way, England's own and the common security. The Admiralty were bound to uphold the broad principles of unity in oider to command concentration in a decisive theatre. The Admiralty regarded the effort of the Commonwealth as heroic, and tho Admiralty would leave nothing undone to assist the Commonwealth. COMMONWEALTH'S FLEET IN WAR . TIME. Mr. Churchill said that sound arrangements had been made as regards the disposal of the Commonwealth s fleet in war time. The Government realised the importance of creating naval sentiment in the dominions, and therefore advocated the creation of an Imperial squadron and urged the importance of having stations and dock repair plants in Canadian and South African waters defended by local destroyevs and submarines. This would help to arouse iocal naval interest. BRUTAL REALITY OF RESPONSIBILITY. Mr, Churchill added that though the Government believed that the foundation's of peace among the Great Powers had been, strengthened, yet the causes which lead to general war have not beln removed. There has not been the slightest abatement of naval and military preparations, and attempts to arrest them have proved ineffectual. The Admiralty's responsibilities came home with brutal reality. Unless Britain's strength and solidarity were unswervingly maintained tho Government would not be doing its duty. Mr. A. H. Lee (Unionist) said that the Government was failing in its promises to keep up the 60 per cent, standard. They would be three ships short in Home waters in the summer, four in 1915, and two in 1916. The Government also _ completely failed to carry out its Mediterranean pledges. MODERN BATTLESHIPS ENGAGED. EGGSHELLS STRIKING WITH HAMMERS. (Received March 19, 8.40 a.m.) LONDON, 18th March. Tbo newspapers comment on a passage in Mr. Churchill's speech' in which he said that a true picture of a battle between modern battleships was not as of men in armour striking heavy swords, but of a battle between two eggshells striking each other with hammers. Mr. Churchill added that this fact suggested, ddubts as to whether the enormous ships were not approaching a culminating phase. Experts, commenting on this, point out that submarines have almost the range of battleships, while torpedoes travel seven miles at a speed of twentynine knots, but it was doubtful whether it was safe to reduce the size. H.M.S. NEW ZEALAND. (Received March 19, 8.30 a.m. 1 ) LONDON, 18th March. Mr. Churchill, replying to Sir C. Kin-loch-Cooke, said that before H.M.S. New Zealand was included in the Home fleet the Admiralty obtained New Zealand's assent.

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Evening Post, Evening Post, Volume LXXXVII, Issue 66, 19 March 1914

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NAVY ESTIMATES MR. CHURCHILL'S SPEECH Evening Post, Volume LXXXVII, Issue 66, 19 March 1914