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entered in the colonies, trained on different systems, under different commanding officers, not united under any one authority, would lack that cohesion and strict discipline which is absolutely necessary to form an effective naval force. It is true that each flotilla would be generally retained for the defence of the port to which it belongs, but occasion might arise when it would become necessary to unite them, and in any circumstances they would be required to act in conjunction with the ships of the Royal Navy, where the want of a uniform system would be seriously felt.
I am very far from wishing to depreciate the personal value of officers and men trained and nurtured in the colonies. I believe that men whose early life has been passed in any of our large colonies will be found to be peculiarly well fitted for service in the army or the navy; and I would gladly see both services more fully recruited from that source, both as regards officers and men. In respect to the navy, in which service a considerable increase in the number of young officers is becoming more necessary every year, much benefit would be derived by the admission of a larger number of colonial cadets, who would thus be trained to take part in the defence of their native or adopted homes, as well as to fulfil their duties in other seas.
I do not, however, anticipate, in view of the scarcity of labour and high wages now prevalent in the colonies, that we shall get seamen in any large numbers to join ships of war at the present rates of
pay for some years to come. There are many minor difficulties to be overcome before colonial naval forces can be with advantage incorporated with the Royal Navy in time of war. Our naval regulations, Naval Discipline Act, and system of signals are not to be learnt in a day; the officers and men will, however, be subject to all of them; and arrangements must also be made to define the relative rank of the officers of the combined forces. These matters are no doubt capable of solution, but they require careful consideration, and the efficiency of the armed vessels of any colony must in a great degree depend not only on their organisation, but on the constant exercise and training of the officers and men in every branch of their duty.
An inspection of a well-disciplined ship of war by a landsman, or indeed by anyone not thoroughly conversant with naval matters, would give him an impression that the order, regularity, rapidity, and precision with which every operation is carried out are the result of natural causes, or perhaps the application of ordinary intelligence and attention to the performance of daily duties a knowledge of which may be easily acquired, and that when once the machinery of routine is in motion it must go smoothly and with accuracy. There is nothing to indicate that a long apprenticeship, with constant, unflagging training and daily exercise actually at sea, is necessary to enable reliance to be placed on the performance of every branch of the varied duties which combine to make an efficient ship of war. The management of steam machinery, the repair, maintenance, and use of torpedoes, a knowledge of electricity and magnetism, thorough acquaintance with the working of ordnance, both heavy and light, the navigation and handling of a ship in dangerous localities and in a fleet, the control and discipline of bodies of men, and that selfconfidence in actual warfare founded on experience, are all necessary branches of knowledge which must be possessed by the officers, and especially by the captain if he is to take his ship into action with any prospect of success.
It is certain that an efficient and reliable naval force cannot be extemporised: it must be the growth of years, of years during which the personnel must apply their whole energies to obtain a knowledge of and practice in their profession.
These points are for the serious consideration of those colonies which at the present time are with much energy and patriotism endeavouring to organise local navies for their own defence.
I will now endeavour to give an outline of the system which I believe those of our colonies, really in earnest in providing for the local defence of their important ports, will sooner or later desire to adopt. As has been mentioned previously in this paper, the protection of trade on the high seas must continue to be the duty of the Imperial Government. We ought not to look to the colonies to take any share of the cost of providing sea-going ships, whether ironclads or unarmoured cruisers; and it would be most unwise to limit the cruising grounds of such cruisers at the request of any colonial Government, so as to hamper the plans of the admiral in command and prevent the concentration of his force for offensive or defensive operations as he thinks desirable.
The Government of each colony which is desirous of supplementing the Imperial forces by contributing towards the provision of a flotilla for the local defence of its seaports, whether it be that of the Dominion of Canada or of any of the Australasian group, might be invited to consider, in conjunction with any naval and military officers they think it desirable to consult, what description and amount of naval force they deem it necessary to provide for the defence of their ports. This should include the provision of submarine mines, gunboats, torpedo-boats, and any description of force afloat. An estimate can then be formed of the cost of providing and annual cost of maintaining the vessels decided on, which estimate should be approved both by the Imperial and Colonial Governments, and the amount be paid annually by the colony to the Imperial Government, which should then engage to provide the necessary vessels without delay, and to maintain them in efficiency at the several ports as part of the Royal Navy under the command of the admiral on the station, on the distinct understanding that neither during peace nor war should they be removed from the ports they were provided to defend without the consent of the Government of the colony.
This system is similar to that which has been in operation for many years between the Home and Indian Governments for the protection of trade in the Persian Gulf, and has worked to the satisfaction of both Governments and of the Royal Navy. It will insure one uniform system being adopted in all parts of the world: the colonies would thus determine what number and description of vessels they require for each locality; the officers and men would be under constant training, and would be acquainted with every improvement in the art of naval warfare. The navy would be increased, and facilities would be furnished for the entry and training of seamen, boys and officers from the colonies, whether they are enrolled in the active service of the navy, or in the colonial naval reserve to be called out when required.
A remedy would thus be found for all the difficulties which are inherent in the organisation of separate colonial squadrons independently of the Royal Navy, of which the vessels would be perhaps provided with different arms and ammunition; and a true federation for defensive purposes would be established, which would be more efficient and more economical than any combination of colonial forces. No one can doubt the administrative power of colonial statesmen or the energy and high personal qualities of the colonists: they are capable of creating an army and navy which would in time be second to none in the world; but I have endeavoured to show that the creation of a navy requires a long period of training, for which the colonists have not at present the leisure, and they will not be satisfied with a paper force.
Various plans have been proposed for the defence of the trade of the colonies during war, one of which has the merit of simplicity, if it were practicable. It is that we should agree with other maritime Powers to exempt private property from capture or destruction during
It is scarcely necessary to point out that such a convention would soon be disregarded during a maritime war, and that any nation which trusted to its observance would suffer. War must continue to be a burden and disaster to all the inhabitants of the countries engaged in it, and every individual should be interested in bringing it to a close as soon as possible.
The foreign policy of the Imperial Government is a matter of much importance to the colonies, and is one in which they apparently have no voice; but is it really so ? The Government of this country is bound to consider, and doubtless does consider, the interests of the whole Empire ; and it cannot be questioned that our foreign policy is chiefly dictated-more or less wisely-by considerations affecting the interests of our foreign possessions. These interests are best secured by a powerful navy, one that is represented by an adequate force in
every part of the globe, under one supreme command, a force which should be homogeneous, uniform in organisation and in discipline, not composed of various materials which could never form a compact body.
The time has arrived when the protection of our commerce requires a large increase in the number of fast, well-armed cruisers ; it cannot be too forcibly urged that, in view of the great speed of many ships in our own and other mercantile navies, we must provide ships of at least equal speed and coal-carrying capacity, armed and protected so as to be superior in fighting power to any armed merchant ships they may meet.
I believe that the stability of this rapidly extending empire depends in a great measure on the consideration which is given by our statesmen to the interests of our sister States abroad. The proceedings of this year connected with the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in London will do much to awaken the people of Great Britain to the fact of how large a share of our commercial greatness is due to our colonial possessions; and will induce them to consider that their prosperity can best be insured by a continuance of the policy which has been followed of late years, by which those countries so separated from us by local position, climate, and other circumstances are not only encouraged to manage their own internal affairs, but have free institutions and true liberty secured to them by constitutions guaranteed by the Imperial Government, and are protected from disturbances from without by the navy of Great Britain. The electric telegraph and our lines of steamships have lately brought the colonies into much closer and more rapid intercourse with each other and with the people of these islands; and all classes of society have followed the example of the Queen and the Royal family in showing their appreciation of the high qualities of our colonial brethren, and the value we attach to their friendship.
It is my earnest desire that the union between our colonies and this country should be closer and more firmly established year by year; not bound by any additional legal ties or enactments, but by far more reliable and permanent bonds, those of affection, common interests, and mutual confidence.
A. COOPER KEY.
Vol. XX.-No, 114.
THE UNIONIST CAMPAIGN.
The month which has come and gone, since I wrote in the last number of this Review on the then impending election, has been fraught with grave results. It is needless to say that those results have been very welcome to those who hold, with me, that the maintenance of the Union is a matter of life and death to Great Britain. A great danger has been averted; a great disgrace has been avoided ; a great principle has been vindicated. When a battle has been won, there is little to be gained in fighting it over again on paper. Concerning the elections, all I need say here is that they have amply justified the confidence which I ventured to express when last I wrote. There is one person-according to the French proverb--who is always cleverer than all the world, and that is all the world. So it has proved once more. The astute politicians, the clever wirepullers, and the sharp electioneering agents, as usual, failed to realise the truth that the plain common sense of the great public would carry the day against party organisations, however adroitly worked, and party tactics, however skilfully played. The masses to whom Mr. Gladstone appealed against the verdict of his own Parliament have confirmed that verdict by an overwhelming majority, and have now transferred their confidence to his political opponents.
This, as I read it, is the real lesson of the late elections. The great public, whose judgment is in the end the final arbiter of all our political controversies, has lost confidence in the Liberals, and above all in their leader. In an evil hour for themselves and for their country, the Liberals, as a party, consented, at the instance of Mr. Gladstone, to identify themselves with the Irish Separatists. By so doing they have impaired—and most justly impairedpopular faith in their patriotism and their statesmanship. It is distrust of Liberalism, far more than belief in Conservatism, which has brought about the Conservative reaction. Be this may,
the existence and the extent of the reaction are not open to dispute. Not only has the Conservative vote increased to an extent almost unknown in our political annals ; not only have the great centres of the nation's intelligence and wealth and industry pronounced in favour of Conservatism ; but in every part of the United Kingdom, in every nine constituencies out of ten, the Liberal vote has fallen away-the