Speech delivered in the British parliament by Sir
Reginald Fisher as a reaction to von Tirpitz’ navy
bill in the Reichstag and William II plans of Weltpolitik.
members of the House,
I would like to inform you about an alarming development
which takes place less than 1000 miles away from
The German Emperor, William II, and his Secretary
of State for the Navy, Admiral von Tirpitz, have
– in their enormous wisdom – come to the decision
that the world owes Germany its natural status as
a world power.
But the circle of world powers is small and this
has good reasons. Being a world power does not only
mean to be mighty or to have a huge fleet like our
glorious Royal Navy. Is also means responsibility!
And the German policy lacks exactly that virtue!
And this is a threat to our Empire that covers the
whole globe and all races and colours. We do not
want to allow the Germans to question our status
as the world’s leading naval power. What right do
they have to demand more colonies to extend their
fleet and to dream of a world under their dominance?
We have been a global seafaring nation since a time
when their boats only acted in their bordering seas.
We already had colonies 300 years before Germany
even thought of having its first ones. History proves
that an Empire which survived centuries must be
successful and will be so in the future. But how
dare William II and Admiral von Tirpitz thing they
could manage rushing to the Olympus of power with
a plan which lacks all sense of reality?
Tirpitz plans a massive expansion of the German
battle fleet. He intends to increase its destructive
potential up to a level at which we would avoid
a mass confrontation at the expense of great damage
to our fleet. Therefore he has ordered the construction
of new battleships. Taking into consideration Germany’s
industrial potential we have to assume that there
is a risk of success in his expansion plan.
But the Admiral should not forget to keep an eye
on the international stage. We will not allow him
and his Emperor to hypocritically care for a good
relationship while they plan to smash our Empire.
Neither will Germany carve a dirty wound in our
African colonies nor will it destroy the balance
of powers in Europe.
Tirpitz might think we are unable to defend our
mother island in a brave fight. He might assume
our invincible Royal Navy is scattered all over
the globe and would leave Britain without defence.
He might assume we would not risk huge battles at
the expense of losing our Empire. I say: Let’s teach
He thinks we cannot provide a strong naval presence
both in the North Sea and the colonies. I say: For
every battle cruiser they build we will build two
and increase our local fleet. These German hypocrites
will learn what the excellence of British naval
engineering can create. We will keep the superiority
and we are not going to leave the Olympus of the
world. William II and Admiral von Tirpitz might
be proud of their system of naval organization they
consider to be great but in my long career in the
Royal Navy I have never seen human beings more skilled
and loyal to their monarch.
Each country ought to exercise its rights as a state
in an appropriate way. The geographical and political
circumstances our beloved Empire is in justify the
necessity of a fleet which fits its seize. Due to
its smaller territorial extension Germany only requires
a smaller navy. I do not want to deprive Germany
of the general right for a fleet or the right for
colonies but it may not exercise these rights at
the expense of pain and suffering both on the land
and at sea. I do not seek to provoke Germany but
I admonish William II and Admiral von Tirpitz: We
will not tolerate a threat to our status as the
one naval giant and in accordance with our national
anthem I say: