From “On Deck” May 1938
To the Editor:
Sir,- In the last issue of “On Deck” I read with interest the letter published on a Training Ship for New Zealand by W.S.T., and apparently the N.Z Company of Master Mariners have been busy in an endeavour to make it easy for N.Z. boys to go to sea. Frankly, Mr Editor, I consider they are on the wrong tack.
New Zealand is a very sparsely populated country and unless the population is materially increased is in danger of being captured by an enemy in the war which is to come at no great distance date.
Our duty to-day is to increase our population and to do this our boys should be encouraged to go on the land or otherwise busy themselves ashore, for each one so doing makes another prospective defender when the country needs them.
There is no urgency about manning our Mercantile Marine with New Zealanders as we all know there are no better seamen than Scandinavians and Britons, so why not leave well alone and continue to man our vessels with men from these parts of the world. I guarantee that with an invitation from our Government, enough young men and boys would come out here to fill any shortage that was impending and as far as I can ascertain there is no acute shortage at present.
The N.Z. Company of Master Mariners can do a better service to this country if it assists immigration rather than make avenues for our boys to leave their homeland.
Yours in the interests of New Zealand
LONGSHOREMAN Wellington 9 April 1938