Mr Harry Adlam gives an informed overview of the colonial navies that were supported by the ships of the Empire’s Royal Navy’s Australian Station, established in 1859. The separate colonies each maintained control over their respective navies until 1 March 1901, when the Commonwealth Naval Forces was created. Initially, like the colonial forces that proceeded it, this new force also lacked blue-water capable ships, and its creation did not lead to an immediate change in Australian naval policy. However in 1909 Prime Minister Alfred Deakin, while attending the Imperial Conference in London, sought the British Government’s agreement to end the subsidy system and develop an Australian navy. The Admiralty rejected these approaches, suggesting instead that a small fleet of destroyers and submarines would be sufficient. Deakin was unimpressed and had previously invited the American Great White Fleet to visit Australia in 1908. This visit fired public enthusiasm for a modern navy.
Recorded in late 1970’s.
Duration 49 minutes.
Note that photos and diagrams referred to in this address are not included in this audio-only podcast.