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second officer, be he commander or first lieutenant, in every ship. The captains should select, under certain restrictions, and we should then see discipline maintained in a more harmonious manner. Secondly, we earnestly trust that no ignorant popular outcry will lead to the abolition of the class of Navigating Officers. It is a mistake to suppose that, because one carefully trained officer is appointed to take charge of the details of navigation, therefore all the other officers, from the captain downwards, must be supposed to know nothing about it. The captain ought to be a good seaman, a good navigator, a good gunner, a good drill; but he has to superintend all, and time would fail him for his other duties if he were to attempt personally to perform the hourly duties which devolve upon the navigating officer. Constant observations for the latitude and longitude by day and night, constant observations to correct the compasses and establish their deviation, variation, and local attraction; the care of all the sounding apparatus, the certainty that men can steer and take the lead, the care of the anchorgear and ground-tackle and steering apparatus; the care of the charts, of the instruments, and of the winding and rating of the chronometers; the care of the stowage of the hold, of the economical issue and use of stores, and of the accurate survey of unknown anchorages, the due record of every occurrence in the ship’s log; at sea constant attention to the position on the chart, and, in going in and out of harbour, the supervision of the pilotage, give him quite enough for one man to attend to. İf you make the captain do all these duties personally, you must appoint another captain to do captain's work; if you leave it to be done by any lieutenant, it will not, in many cases, be so well done as at present, because a young lieutenant will ordinarily be selected for the duty, and the duties named require practice and experience. Besides, the navigating officer is expected to be a pilot for the English Channel, and, in war, ships will be lost if you have not an officer so qualified. We trust, therefore, that this valuable class will not be improved out of the English Navy.

The Admiralty, however, if not prepared to add the details of the navigating duties to the already serious labours of a captain, seem to have determined that he shall at least be responsible for the duties of the medical officers. Among the economies of the present Ministry has been a reduction of the numbers of medical naval officers, and their want may be seriously felt at any moment. But in the Navy, not only medical but surgical duties are required. The medical duty may perhaps

be

be performed if the Admiralty will only reprint, for the use of officers, Smollett's famous advice: “When the sick sailor complains, give him the key of the medicine chest and stop his grog, and he will be sure to give you no more trouble.' But the surgical duty cannot be so easily disposed of. It will not do to hand the surgical instruments to the wounded man.

We have one slight glimpse of the working of this economy. A piratical outrage had occurred in the Straits of Malacca. Fifteen persons claiming British protection had been murdered. Captain Robinson, of the Rinaldo,' was called upon by the Governor of the Straits to inflict the necessary punishment upon these freebooters. He at once proceeded to perform his duty in a manner that shews that there is not any decay of spirit in the officers and men of the Navy. Condign punishment is inflicted, and in doing so eleven of our men are wounded, and there is no medical officer to attend to their wounds. It is gratifying to believe that, so soon as this was known at the Admiralty a medical officer was appointed to the Rinaldo.'

The wasted time of Parliament this Session prevented that inquiry into the supply of stores for the Navy, and especially of coal, which is so necessary; but the fright which Government received last year has led them to do something to replenish the foreign coal depôts, though we fear the quality is still very inferior. Fortunately, too, for the country, Mr. Childers and Mr. Baxter have left the Admiralty. We may hope for honest and straightforward information from Mr. Goschen, so far as he knows; and we have a political Secretary who is not likely to undertake, on his own unchecked responsibility, the duties of purchase and sale.

The present Government have, however, added nothing to the ironclad navy since they came into office, except completing, in a dilatory manner, the ships commenced by their prede

We have

cessors.

FIRST Class.

Hercules, built by the Duke of Somerset.
Sultan

Conservative Government.

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The Monarch' is the Duke of Somerset's also, and Glatton and · Hotspur’ are the creation of the Conservative Admiralty. The · Rupert ’is, indeed, the only vessel which is the creation of Mr. Childers's Administration. For we have already discussed the monstrosities which, under the names of Devastation,' • Thunderer,' Cyclops,' • Hecate,'Gorgon,' and • Hydra,' disfigure alike the Navy List and the sea, and have been reported on so unfavourably by the Committee on Design, and none of which are yet ready for commission.

We must, however, admit that this Government has done something to increase our gunboat classes. The 'Staunch, built by Mr. Corry, is an admirable example, and some ten, at least, of a similar type are in course of construction which will do good service in the protection of our ports.

We have not space to go into the evil effects of Mr. Childers's scheme of Naval Retirement. Suffice it to say that it has arrested all promotion, and entirely destroyed the spirit of just

expectation will

ment.

expectation of promotion which formerly encouraged, in ever so slight a degree, the zealous naval officer. The country was persuaded into the belief that the considerable sum it had to pay for compulsory retirement would give a flow of promotion and younger

officers. The reply is, that there is literally now hardly any promotion, and that in the year now elapsed only 1 flagofficer, 6 captains, 13 commanders, and 27 lieutenants have been promoted, and there have been 71 cadets entered ; whilst 977 officers in the lower ranks pine hopelessly for expected advance

And yet still the best men of all ranks are arbitrarily compelled to retire. Take two cases. Vice-Admiral Sir Henry Kellet is Commander-in-Chief in China,—no man more active, or, looking to his great reputation and experience in those seas, more difficult to replace. Yet on a given day he becomes sixtyfive, and his command ends, to the great loss of the country. In the spring certain information was required as to some of our ironclads, which were unjustly suspected. Captain Richard Ashmore Powell, who had recently served as Commodore in the Pacific, was an officer who had great general and special experience in the service and in command of ironclads. His opinion was justly looked upon as exceptionally valuable. He was appointed to the · Vanguard,' to report upon that ship and others of her class. Within a month or two of his appointment, and before he had reported, he became fifty-five. He was anxious to serve, he is hale and active, and no better or more trusted officer exists; but the Admiralty, before they could receive a Report from an officer appointed by them a short time before, with the approbation of the profession, suddenly cut this experienced officer short in his career and send him into retirement.

The command of the Channel Fleet itself—which was to be a school for admirals, as well as other officers and seamen-is given in a manner which shews that all the boast about obtaining an efficient list of flag-officers, by a costly and cruel retirement scheme, has ended without effecting the desired result. Mr. Childers's private secretary commands the Flying Squadron ; Sir Sydney Dacres' flag-captain is appointed to succeed the ill-used Admiral Wellesley in command of the Channel Fleet, this officer having been constantly employed in good commands for many years past.

The whole profession is in a state of ferment. There is no longer the happy aspiration, Shall I live to fight a successful action? Shall I enrol my name on the record of fame? Shall I too achieve a peerage or Westminster Abbey?' but the sole question is, “How soon shall I be forced to retire ? how soon will my neighbour be forced to retire ? and which of the manifold schemes of retirement will be the most profitable?'

The Admiralty, as administered by Mr. Childers, has signally failed; but we hope to see, even if the Liberals continue in office, that the Navy shall again become an honourable profession, and not a grasping, cheese-paring trade. Unless this happens, and happens speedily, the public spirit which has animated in happier days our naval councils is gone for ever.

Art. VI.-1. Report on Turnpike Trusts. 1871. 2. Return of Railway Amalgamations. 1868. 3. Annual Railway Statistics. Public General Acts relating to Railways. Tramways Act. 1870. 4. Gas and Waterworks Clauses Acts. 1847. 5. Reports on Telegraphs. 1871. 6. Local Government Bill. 1871.

THER
NHERE is always danger that a new principle, when it has

once found acceptance, will be invested with a degree of absoluteness and universality which no principle of human action can deserve; and that it will be applied without reference to the circumstances under which alone it is true, or to the modifications to which, under all circumstances, it is subject. And there is the further danger, that when this is found out, a re-action may set in against the principle itself, and cause it to be abandoned in cases to which it properly applies. The latter danger is, perhaps, the more serious of the two.

Something of this kind seems to have happened in the case of one of the leading principles, if not the leading principle, of political economy; viz. the doctrine ' that individual interest, if let alone, will do more to produce wealth than any organised action of Government,' and of the inference that this motive power, coupled with its natural governor, competition, is sufficient to regulate all cases where one man produces what another wants. The great masters of the science have, of course, always recognised, more or less distinctly, the limits of this principle; but in practice and common opinion it has often been carried too far. At the present inoment we are exposed to all the dangers of reaction. There is a strong tendency on the part of the public to call for Government interference on all sorts of pretences in all sorts of cases, in many of which it can do nothing but harm. At such a moment it is not inopportune to endeavour to ascertain in one special and exceptional department of human industry

how

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