1908-03-20 VIEWS OF ADMIRAL ROZHDESTVENSKY

  
London Times, 20 March 1908, p. 7: VIEWS OF ADMIRAL ROZHDESTVENSKY

(From our own correspondent.) Paris, March 19

            In the course of an interview with the St. Petersburg correspondent of the Petit Parisien, Admiral Rozhdestvensky, referring to the question of the construction of a powerful Russian fleet, said:–

            “At the Parliamentary sitting of March 11 the Minister for Foreign Affairs explained the reasons why we wish henceforth to live at peace with Japan. Since we respect the Treaty of Portsmouth we must by our present and future conduct suggest the real idea to our enemy of yesterday that we do not seek an occasion for recommencing the struggle that has barely been closed. Therefore the plan of the Minister of Marine with regard to the construction of several battleships capable of contending with those of Japan does not correspond with those of M. Isvolsky. Suppose that, as a matter of fact, these ships were put on the stocks. Japan would at once assume the offensive and take from us the north of Sakhalin, the mouth of the Amur, the Ussuri, and Kamchatka. If this new war broke out, we could not count on France, since she, being bound by the entente cordiale, could not join in a struggle against Japan, the ally of England. Are we ready to sacrifice the milliards which those battleships would cost? Let us spend them, but let it be for consolidating our land army and strengthening our land defenses. We shall thus more efficaciously preserve our possessions in the Far East. The attitude of the Duma foreshadows that it will refuse the grants claimed by the navy. I consider that the Assembly will be right in acting thus. We ought to follow the example of Germany. She began by providing herself with an army before undertaking the creation of a fleet. We have no other course open to us.”

Provided by Stephen McLaughlin

 

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