London Times, 18 March 1908, p. 7: RUSSIA. Sub-heading: THE NAVY ESTIMATES. St. Petersburg, March 17 (Reuters)
M. Stolypin, the Premier, and Vice-Admiral Dikoff, the Minister of Marine, were present late yesterday evening at a sitting held by the Committee of National Defence and the Budget Sub-Committee of the Duma to consider the navy estimates. Earlier in the day the two committees discussed at length the credits demanded for new naval construction in 1908. The majority of the members were in favour of the rejection of the credit for battleships pending the complete reorganization of the Ministry of Marine.
The Premier said that by the Tsar’s will the whole Cabinet had been entrusted with the responsibility of discussing and drawing up a plan for the reorganization of the Ministry of Marine and devising adequate means for national defence. He hoped that the plan would be complete by the end of the year. At the same time, however, he felt that the decision of the committees was already settled, but, whatever that decision might be, it would be accepted by the Government and would not provoke a conflict.
The Minister of Marine also spoke, dwelling on the primary necessity for battleships.
The committees’ vote is expected to-morrow.