"If the United States is to continue to have a navy at all, it should not do so merely as a fashion. If the navy is not adequate it is a waste of energy and contributes to a feeling of false security. Especially is this true in the United States, with our great wealth and our God-given destiny. We should have the very best navy in the world".
So declared Admiral W. S. Benson, D. S. M., former Chief of American Naval Operations, last night in his lecture at the Union on "The American Navy". Admiral Benson stressed the great importance of an efficient and adequate navy to a nation so situated as the United States.
America a Friend to All
"America has always been and should continue to be a friend to all nations", said Admiral Benson. "In order to continue to exert our powerful influence for good, we must be in a position to assert ourselves. We should abhor force, but we must be ready for what may come".
Touching upon the recent accusations of American misgovernment in Hayti and Santo Domingo, Admiral Benson stated that such charges were absolutely false and without foundation.
Praises York of Hayti
"The American army and navy have never been used to subjugate any people or with any wrong intent", he declared. "The Navy and Marine Corps have done wonderful work in Hayti and Santo Domingo. When the new administration came into power a careful investigation was made of conditions in these countries, and it was found that the naval and marine government had made no mistakes, but had greatly improved conditions".
"Human nature will continue to be influenced by self-interest", said Admiral Benson in conclusion. "America--especially young America--must take a serious view of the international situation and must be ready for any eventuality. I cannot urge you too strongly to exert your influence in national problems and to study the affairs of state".