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ARMAMENTS

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

With the cessation of hostilities and the signing of the armistice, large arma ments fell into disrepute among the Allied powers of Europe, England, France, and Italy alike scrapped hundred of ships, stopped building dreadnoughts, placed many of the old ones out of commission, and reduced naval property an personnel wherever possible. Besides being decidedly economical, it was felt that this policy would indicate general confidence and more firmly establish peaceful friendships.

In sharp contrast to the European countries, the United States has embarked upon a sudden and extravagant orgy of shipbuilding and increase in armament. Sixteen capital ships are being built, and millions of dollars will be expended in the effort to make our navy the "biggest in the world." America is bringing naval rivalry back once more.

But it would not be the part of wisdom to pursue this course too far: It is directly contrary to America's attitude during the war, and to the present plan of the League of Nations for disarmament. The opinion of other nations is plainly shown in Japan's refusal to reduce her armament until such time as the United States sees fit to stop increasing its own. Under present conditions, we are but leading the world back to the old military basis which we have just been struggling to undermine.

There is also the consideration that a dreadnought, owing to the perfection of submarine and aerial development, is no longer the invulnerable leviathan that once it was. Money expended on a big ship without providing it with the neccssary defensive air and water compartments is money thrown away. It would be better, under present conditions, to stop wasting money on thirty million dollar ships, and round out the aeroplane and submarine fleets; a little of the new, and not so much of the near-obsolete should be given attention. Such a course would not only be economical, but it would also save America from the stigma of encouraging a new race for armament.

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