„I want to acclaim the day when America is the most eminent of the shipping nations. A big navy and a big merchant marine are necessary to the future of the country... The United States, before the war, never seriously contested and had no thought of contesting Great Britain’s dominance in shipping, but since, as an incident of the war, we installed a huge shipbuilding plant and became the owners of what was, for us, an unprecedented quantity of tonnage, we have come to be ambitious in this field. If the aggregate mind of our business world were distilled, it would probably be found, consciously or unconsciously, that we now have a national ambition to contest Great Britain’s shipping dominance. If we are to achieve a position in shipping and foreign trade comparable with that which Great Britain has had for many generations, we can only do so through time, patience, and the building up of the reputation for commercial skill and integrity that makes Great Britain’s prestige in every part of Asia and Africa... We are witnessing and participating in one of those great incidents in world-history which occur only once in several centuries, and which will be a subject for poets and historians for generations to come.“
— Warren G. Harding American politician, 29th president of the United States (in office from 1921 to 1923) 1865 - 1923
Speech at Norfolk, Virginia (4 December 1920), quoted in The Times (6 December 1920), p. 17.