NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
8th June, 1909 : The Prime Minister, Alfred Deakin, amid controversy over defence planning, today received apparently qualified acceptance of Australia’s offer to pay for the construction of a new dreadnought battleship for the Imperial Navy. Mr Deakin has declined to make public yet the terms of a cordial reply from the British Government, accepting Australia’s offer of a dreadnought or other approved vessels. The offer to assist the British Navy comes as Germany’s maritime build-up is causing international concern. Mr Deakin’s offer received a mixed reaction from the British press, some of which said Australia’s contribution would be better made by ensuring its own defences. The Prime Minister is under mounting pressure in Australia to establish a firm policy for the country’s defence.
[Nobody bothers to mount pressure on the Prime Minister any more.]