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On February 26, 1930 Winston Churchill was the chief speaker at a public meeting of the Navy League at the Cannon-street Hotel, London. He was in a “combative mood and strongly criticized” the British government for being unsure of itself in the then ongoing London Naval Conference. Speaking on the naval position of the British Empire, Churchill said that naval defence was a matter of national and imperial existence for Britain. Declaring he wished to deal with two “simple points,” he first disputed the Admiralty’s position that the navy’s necessary minimum strength in cruisers was 50 instead of 70 such ships and secondly said that a treaty of naval parity between the United States and Britain “calculated arithmetically was not equality.” He argued that Britain should determine its naval requirements “by ourselves and by ourselves alone.”

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