With Japan’s denunciation of the Washington treaty, that agreement and the succeeding London treaty will cease to exist on New Year’s Day, 1937. Immediately in all maritime nations those to whom the old ratios seemed dangerously to limit the sovereign right of self-defense will be free to build, each to that elusive dream of absolute security, his country’s own peculiar needs. No longer will the size or the composition of fleets be dictated by statesmen in compromise agreements with a foreigner. It will be each for himself – and the devil take the hindmost. Freedom to redesign and to expand our Navy we shall have – and others will have it too – freedom bounded only by the size of the dockyard forges and the depth of the public purse. What use shall we make of this new found freedom, and where, we may ask ourselves, is it likely to lead?
Beyond the Naval Treaties (Prize Essay, 1935)
By Lieutenant Commander Melvin F. Talbot (S.C.) U. S. Navy
“A nation should have the army of its policy and the policy of its army.’’-Cordonneer