[Editor: This article, about the defence of Australia, was published in The Sydney Mail (Sydney, NSW), 15 September 1920.]
The defence policy stated in the Commonwealth Parliament last week by the Prime Minister was made with the main principle that our White Australia is what is most likely to bring us into trouble. What dominates our future is the fact that there is a huge yellow mass of people near us, with an aggressive pushing nation in their midst influencing the whole family — a formidable menace; and the danger of owning so fruitful a land puts us in a position akin to that of a wealthy Russian aristocrat surrounded by Bolsheviks.
The Federal Government recognises in its estimates that the first line of defence is on the sea, and nearly £4,000,000 is to go into naval expenditure. The military outlay is to be £3,250,000; but there is also an additional £600,000 for aviation, which will include encouragement of civil aviation. Legislation for the control of air navigation is to be passed.
Thus we are taking part in the general rush to build up armaments, for the nations are profoundly distrustful of one another, and Australia has more occasion to maintain effective defences than many others.
All the elements are now embraced in the scheme of the Government — land, water, and air. But a more important element will have to be seen to — population.
The Sydney Mail (Sydney, NSW), 15 September 1920, p. 38
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]
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