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difficulties must be added those arising out of the criticisms and questionings of a body constituted as is Parliament, where special and local details possess a far greater interest than the larger considerations of permanent policy; and above all where each item of the Estimates is dependent on the exigencies of Parliamentary tactics, or where their vital principles are at the mercy of some popular debater. A man of exceptional genius or of strong military tastes, might perhaps break through the great difficulties of such a position, though probably at the cost of many mistakes; but in the vast majority of cases the result can only be as we have described. It is likely even to be aggravated by the recent changes which have so greatly subordinated the position of the Commander-in-Chief to that of the Secretary of State ; though, it should be added, the changes made in this sense and with the intention of transferring the management of the army from the Crown to Parliament seem to contain some elements of self-destruction. For, on the one hand, in proportion as the Secretary of State gives effect to the popular doctrine that the army is the creature of Parliament, and conformably with that principle brings it under the direct control of the House of Commons, so the qualities which are necessarily inherent in such a body and which are not favourable to efficient military administration, as understood everywhere out of England, must be expected to exercise their natural influence. On the other hand, as the Minister, feeling his own ignorance and helplessness, resigns himself to the guidance of his professional advisers, so must official irresponsibility and routine predominate. Even now, in Parliament, the accountability of a Minister often becomes a fiction, when every criticism on his procedure is treated by his colleagues as an attack upon themselves collectively; but henceforward, within the four walls of his office, concurrently with a nominal increase of authority, his sense of responsibility is likely to grow less. It perhaps will be said that the blessings of a Parliamentary Government are so great that the principle must not be disturbed in its least detail, and that even military mismanagement, with all its attendant risks, is not too heavy a price to pay. We need not here argue the question, except perhaps to recall Lord Bacon's famous saying, that where one nation devotes itself to the accumulation of gold and another to the use of iron, the former must expect to see its much-prized possessions change hands.
For many years the evil which we have indicated has grown steadily, though during Mr. Cardwell's tenure of office it has come to a head, and from it flow much of the failure and mismanagement which has, in a more or less degree, disfigured our military operations of recent years. The late Lord Herbert, on a
memorable occasion in the House of Commons, said that he did not know an instance in which England had been plunged into war in which she had not met with reverses,' * and the historian of the Sepoy Mutiny has dwelt in vigorous language upon our systematic refusal to see danger, even on such a soil as that of India undermined with disaffection, and the habitual unpreparedness of our War Department for the very contingencies for which it exists. It is a complaint unhappily verified in every page of our military history from the Commissariat of the Duke of Marlborough to that of Lord Raglan. The dead carcases embalmed in the forage, the horses gnawing each other's tails from starvation, the green coffee served out to famishing troops, the six shirts which were washed during one whole month in the hospital where there were two thousand patients, the confusion of stores, the waste of life, the narrow escape from signal discomfiture during the earlier part of the Crimean war,—have faded from the unretentive memory of the British public into the shadowy domain of History. But they are none the less true ; and the following record of mismanagement, which we have disinterred from the Blue Books and Reports of that time, may be even now read with interest, not less for the dreary light which it throws upon our Parliamentary war administration, than for the vigorous language in which it is expressed :
'The troops were too few for the work they had to do; weakness induced by privations rendered the men very susceptible of disease ; and sufficient hospital accommodation was not supplied. The more sickness prevailed, the more work was required of those who remained fit for service, who in turn gave way under the increased pressure. The reinforcements sent out were principally levies of mere boys too young to bear fatigue and exposure. No reserve was provided at home adequate to the greatness of the undertaking, and the Militia, from the ranks of which it might have been drawn, was not called out in time to be available. The obvious inadequacy of all means induced the general belief that the Government never seriously contemplated a war. ... The Government of England, which is in the hands of a dozen civilians, did not know the difference between a number of well-disciplined regiments and an army. They were ignorant of the necessary means of moving the food and baggage of troops, they forgot to be as well prepared for the failure as the success of a military operation. ... The troops sent were too few, the Commissariat was inefficient, no depôts were provided, the hospitals were inefficient, and those at the head of them overwhelmed with labour.'t
A ghastly story—but who doubts that it would be repeated in any future war conducted under our present system? And if repeated, who doubts that the results would be of a more serious character both from the gigantic agencies and marvellous rapidity of modern warfare? Even the slowest Governments of the Continent are immeasurably prompt when compared with our 'Aulic Council.' In 1866, when war had become inevitable, the Austrian Commissioner proposed to the Germanic Confederation that their forces should be mobilised within fourteen days, so as to march at the same number of hours' notice. But Prussia was even speedier. She allowed to the hesitating and recalcitrant States of the Confederation only twelve hours within which to. decide between her and Austria. In 1870 Prussia was momentarily surprised by the French Declaration of War; but France was unable to improve the opportunity, and within ten days half a million of German troops were mobilised, and another half million were in process of mobilisation. Nor does the policy of foreign Governments hesitate to keep pace with military operations. European statesmen know the value of an initiative. The Belgian and Luxembourg questions, the repudiation of the Black Sea neutrality, grew up during the late war within the narrow compass of a few months, and gave but a few days' warning of their existence. They found England wholly unprepared to meet them, though Belgium and Switzerland knew how, within a fortnight of the outbreak of hostilities, to place 100,000 and 50,000 men on their respective frontiers and to make the neutrality of their small States respected by both belligerents. We, on the contrary, live so much in an atmosphere of wealth that we fancy that money will repair any mistakes or misfortunes. But a money vote of the House of Commons, though powerful, is not omnipotent, and cannot give us the promptitude of action which may be essential. Such promptitude depends on timely and long-considered organisation, with which no genius or fortune can dispense; and if any illustration of this homely truth were needed, the conduct of the three great captains and rivals of the last generation, on three critical occasions, would be a striking example. For two years Napoleon patiently trained his “Grand Army' for the campaigns of 1805; equally patiently the Duke of Wellington formed and disciplined that famous army of the Peninsula with which it was said that he could march anywhere and do anything; and with equal patience but unequal fortune, because the miscalculations of politicians precipitated hostilities, the Archduke Charles sought, after Marengo and Hohenlinden, to build up the shattered organisation of the Austrian forces.
* *Hansard,' Jan. 26, 1855.
• Nullum numen babes si sit Prudentia.” Though we have wasted golden opportunities, we have yet the means and time to repair the past; and Mr. Cardwell, it must be remembered, bas received or taken all the powers which he has declared to be necessary for the reconstruction of the English Army. Apart from the question of foreign engagements and the claims which those engagements may make upon our honour, we need a coherent and elastic organisation, which can give us an overwhelming superiority of numbers on our own soil at least, and which can be called into efficient activity at a few days' notice. We are deliberately of opinion that a competent Government can and ought to give us this, and to give it us with a proportionate, if not an absolute, diminution of our colossal expenditure. Whether the present Ministers can do this, next Session will show. We wait for the evidences with misgiving.
Art. IX.-1. Paris sous la Commune. E. Moriac. Paris, 1871. 2. Le Gouvernement du 4 Septembre et la Commune de Paris.
E. Andreoli. Paris, 1871. 3. Les 73 Journées de la Commune. Catulle Mendes, Paris, 1871. 4. L'Internationale. 0. Testut. Paris, 1871. 5. Le Livre noir de la Commune de Paris. Brussels, 1871. 6. The Civil War in France. Address of the General Council of
the International Working Men's Association. London, 1871. 7. Programme of the Land Tenure Reform Association : with an
explanatory Statement. By John Stuart Mill. London, 1871. THE changes of French politics are so rapid that it seems
late now to discuss the reign of the Commune as a chapter of contemporary history. Its ruin has been almost repaired; the survivors among its once-dreaded leaders have covered themselves with ridicule; its causes and misdeeds are all but forgotten in speculations upon the result of the new experiment in republicanism which the French are trying for the instruction of mankind. Nor is it a story upon which any one can reflect with pleasure. It was a strange, disordered period, in which all moral and intellectual qualities were crossly fitted together; in which only the cruel were spirited, in which only the loyal were feeble, in which only the mean were wise. An exception must be made in favour of the clergy, whose conduct, from the Archbishop downwards, emulated the finest examples of Christian courage and fidelity. But, outside their ranks, nothing could be more piteous than the exhibition of human character which this brief period affords. A Government without forethought, or promptitude, or settled policy; an army fresh from defeat, but still bold enough for an apparently safe mutiny; a few brave, bad men, remarkable for almost every evil quality except that of fear; a rabble who, to use the words of their own English advocate, believed in no God and in no man,' but yet perished
with the courage of fanatics; and an orderly, well-affected' majority, equally distinguished for the rectitude of their opinions and the cowardice of their behaviour. Neither Raoul Rigault nor Gallifet, neither the assassins of Montmartre, nor the imbecile party of order at the West End, are figures on which any one would care to dwell if their exploits could be separated from the history of the moving forces of our time. But the story of the Commune, its origin and its fate, are no isolated episodes in the revolutionary annals of France. As far as we can judge, it is the preface to a controversy which will thrust what we call politics into the background, in favour of a social conflict the most critical and the most embittered that has yet shaken the fabric of civilisation.
And the brotherhood of nations is too close to suffer the appearance of these storm-signals upon a neighbouring soil to be matter of indifference to us. English politics have always been peculiarly susceptible to foreign influences. Any great conflict of classes or opinions on the Continent finds its immediate echo here. In the matter of political innovation we are not an original people. Our agitations, like our dramas, are generally translated from the French ; but in the present case our interest is more direct. The organisation which carried out the Revolution of the 18th of March does not profess to accept the frontiers of nations as the limits of its action. aspires to be the combination of the workmen of all countries against the employers of all countries. It depreciates patriotism, both as a sentiment belonging to the old order of things, and as tending to hinder the purely class sympathy which is to enable the workman to subdue every other power to his own. Its first act at Paris, while the bitter resentments of the war were yet at their height, was to place Franckel, a Prussian, among the governing body of the Commune. The movements of the Paris Socialists, as of the whole Internationale, were governed by a Committee sitting in London. The relations which the Commune held at first with the national enemy of the French: the number of foreigners of all nations—Germans, Poles, Italians, Russians, Americans who appeared among its members and officers: the ostentatious destruction of the Vendôme column, sufficiently show that the fact of the Internationale having made its first public appearance as a revolutionary power in France implies no special connection with the people of France, and certainly no restriction of its activity to that country.
One or two ingenious writers have started and attempted to sustain the theory that the Commune had nothing to do with the Internationale, but that the movement was simply a struggle to regain municipal liberties. It is a theory which has been seriously defended nowhere out of England, and here it has obviously been