10 MARCH 1928, Page 18


[To the Editor of the SrEcto•on.].

SIR,-It is possible that my letter may get on your nerves, but it.certainly will not any more than the exaggerated ideas that privail in England as 'to what we are going to do about our navY:', get: o-n• 'The-U.011,1W.. are-nihily:saiprised-,ati Europe's interest in us ; it is all so recent and so over- ernplzasized. We are not " hot ap.:.e-yer our navy or that of any other country, though we, have Olean, noisy talkers who have nothing to do with final results. Your papers are all mixedup about thif one hundred andfortiiieight million pound programme. There is no more a chance of our carrying it out than there is of my-Cominitting hara-kiri. But there seems to be no question that we will build, over a period of years, 'twenty-five 10,000-ton cruisers.

Poor Admiral Plunkett, whose statement was very much modified by the complete transcription of his testimony, was nevertheless severely reprimanded by the President and the Press, and has retired. • -

May I suggest that we do not describe war with England as " unthinkable " because, as far. as my knowledge of America goes; no American, has ";been foolisk-eitione:,eyen.to:thipc of it as " unthinkable " I am veryskroJnigly.Ofthe..opinion that the best thing that can happen to this little tea=pot tempest is to stop writing about it. At the same time I can easily understand that we sit over here, isolated as we are, full of food and contentment, patronizing theworld; as is the wont of those with full stomachs, and fail to understand, the terrific strain which still curses Europe and which naturally tends to keep European tempers and misgivings near the surface.

Anybody who has been over here much understands that the only way we can ever be forced into any war is by having some European country " boot " us into it, as Germany did in 1917.-1 am, Sir, &c.,