Karnebeek and Big Navy
Following the passage of the Singapore Naval Base bill in the British Parliament (reported last week), the Dutch Parliament bethought itself of Holland's possessions in the East Indies. The more the perturbed Parliamentarians thought of the matter, the more they became convinced that a large navy is necessary to protect the Netherlands' possessions over the seas.
A bill was introduced into the Dutch Parliament to provide for an increase of naval forces; a sum of 400,000,000 guilders ($158,080,000) will be spent over a period of twelve years, if the measure is passed. The debate was marked by a heated discussion on disarmament. Jonkheer Dr. H. A. van Karnebeek, Foreign Minister, said: "The greatest prudence is advisable for Holland, as it is not yet sure, even if the treaty (Washington Conference) guarantees are accepted, that the nations will really adhere to the limitation of armaments prescribed. A revised military plan will be drawn up according to the resolutions, but who will be able to control whether the powers will adhere to it? All these elements demand the greatest prudence from the Netherlands." (At the present moment Holland's navy consists of a few obsolete coast defence ships and light cruisers, the largest of which is the cruiser Sumatra with a displacement of 7,050 tons, built in 1916.)