On Tuesday in the debate in the Reichstag on the
new Navy Bill Admiral von Tirpitz, the Secretary of State for the Imperial Marine, explained the Government programme. It is proposed to build six large cruisers, and to increase the dis- placement of future battleships to eighteen thousand tons. The cruisers were necessary for the protection of Germany's foreign commerce, and also to give the Navy an acquaintance with the conditions of ocean navigation. In war, too, small cruisers were the best defence against torpedo-boats. As ,to the battleships, modern experience had shown that a heavier armament must be carried, and th,e Dreadnought' was a proof of the new view. "The German Navy could not remain blind to these advances, and must follow snit." Admiral von Tirpitz defended the plan of fixing a shipbuilding programme for a series of years, on the ground that it favoured systematic training in the Navy, and enabled the Government to make better terms with the shipbuilding yards. The general pro- gramme, as well as the Bill providing for laying down two battleships of eighteen thousand tons and one large cruiser of fifteen thousand tons, was carried, in spite of the opposition of the Social Democrats and a section of the Radicals.