My honourable members of the House

Homework by Alexander Meka (year 12, history)

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.

My honourable members of the House,
I would like to inform you about an alarming development which takes place less than 1000 miles away from our coasts.
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 him nightmares.
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: Rule Britannia!


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