IT IS EVIDENT that a nation that requires a naval force requires one adequate to function efficiently in the hour of need. The efficiency of the Navy must not be based upon the fluctuation of the stock and commodity markets. A country does not need a Navy of one strength when she is prosperous and a Navy of another size when there is an economic depression. At all times we need a Navy that is strong enough to defend our possessions and to support our policies; to insure the safety of our country and the development of our commerce. I shall insist at all times that the Navy be administered with rigid economy, but to permit our Navy to get in position where our national safety may be threatened is false economy. To maintain a Navy which is not efficient is the worst form of extravagance. It lulls the people into a false sense of security that may have the most disastrous consequences.
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The first and foremost point of this bill is that it is a replacement program; with the exception of the two 20,000-ton carriers, every ship called for in the bill is a replacement ship.