London Times, 24 February 1908, pp. 5-6: THE RUSSIAN NAVY. St. Petersburg, Feb. 23 (Reuters)
M. Stolypin, the Premier, M. Kokovsoff, Minister of Finance, and M. Isvolsky, Minister for Foreign Affairs, last night attended a protracted secret sitting of the Defence Committee of the Duma and gave a series of important explanations relating especially to the navy estimates. The representatives of the Government dwelt on the necessity of Russia’s possessing a strong navy, without which she could not occupy the position of a first-class Power. The Government, while willing to receive amendments, regarded the speedy execution of the naval programme as of vital and paramount importance.
Statements were also made at the meeting regarding the situation in the Near East.