4 FEBRUARY 1938, Page 2

America's New Ships Mr. Roosevelt's message to Congress demanding increases

in the U.S. Navy that will cost some Lt6o,00o,000, and the Vinson Bill in which his demands are embodied, have been a severe shock to Japan, in whose indignation Italy professes to share. The prospect of a naval arms race with the U.S.A. cannot be contemplated by Japan without dismay ; and the size as well as the number of the new ships is of the gravest concern to her. But she has only herself to blame. The secrecy she has preserved about her own naval programme, as well as the extreme provocation recently offered to the U.S. in the Far East, have made the race all but unavoidable. Nor is there much doubt who will win it. Yet it is probable that to many Americans the justification for naval rearmament is to be found as much in the possibility of foreign intervention in South America as in the Far Eastern conflict ; even the strong pacifist and isolationist movements are somewhat perturbed by the prospect that the Monroe Doctrine may he challenged. Admiral Leahy, Chief of Naval Operations, in his evidence before the Naval Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, significantly laid most emphasis on the vulnerability of the American continent itself.

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