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enemies. And it is with a sense of the greatest security that we intrust our interests to a King at whose hands the Navy will suffer neither forgetfulness nor neglect.

It is believed, and with good reason, that George V. is instinctively a politician. He has followed the debates in the House of Commons with an industry which proves him eager to understand the problems of domestic policy. The knowledge thus gained cannot but be of advantage to him. He is a Constitutional monarch, who may exert influence where he may not wield power, who may discuss and criticise legislation, though he may not initiate it. It is therefore of the highest importance that he should understand the opinions which divide parties in the House of Commons and in the State. The age of transition in which we live has its peculiar dangers. A lack of reverence for the past threatens to destroy in a moment what the centuries have built up. And there falls upon King George a burden of responsibility such as few kings have been asked to bear. This burden he can sustain only with the aid of knowledge and understanding. He can discharge the duty, which is his, of being, so to say, an umpire between the two parties, by no other method than by acquiring with observation and experience a knowledge of their opinions and aspirations.

We have said that George V. ascends a throne firmly established upon the good will of his subjects. That is true. It is


true also that one party in the State is intent upon the revision of all our honoured institutions. What the King's own views are we could not pretend to know. As he should be protected against the clamour of ambitious politicians, so it is his first obligation to hide his political sympathies from the people. But that some day he will be asked to face a crisis cannot be concealed, and we hope and believe that he will face it with the mingled firmness and conciliation which are the attributes of a king. He is bound by the terms of his office to defend the Constitution. He is expected, by immemorial usage, to take the advice of his Ministers, and all the patriotism and loyalty of England will be needed to support him in the impartial discharge of his delicate duties.


The first words and acts of the new King have enhanced the enthusiasm of the country. Nothing could have been better than the simple speech delivered by George V. at his first Council. Standing here a little more than nine years ago," he said, "Our beloved King declared that as long as there was breath in His body He would work for the good and amelioration of His People. I am sure that the opinion of the whole Nation will be that this declaration has been fully carried out. To endeavour to follow in His footsteps, and at the same time to uphold the constitutional government of these Realms, will be the earnest object of My life."

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SINCE the last great war came to an end in 1905, science has endowed strategy with new arms of such importance, and such eventual menace, that although they have not altered the grand and eternal principles of strategy, they have so gravely altered the conduct of war, and of naval war in particular, that we are bound to rearrange and sort out our ideas afresh, and to prepare for war of a character wholly different from that which the majority of us, even professionals, have hitherto anticipated.

I think that the North Sea falls within the category of narrow waters which eventually must, by a process of evolution which is taking place under our eyes-that is to say, by the invention or development of the airship, the submarine, the torpedo, and the mine become practically closed on the outbreak of war, and possibly throughout the war, to the operations of sea-going fleets and cruisers. I think that the great ships to which


devote so much money every year-though they have been, are, and may for a few years more be necessary-will within a limited period of time become useless for most operations of which the North Sea and the Channel will be the theatre. I think that these conclusions, provided that I

can, however imperfectly, show cause for them, will represent a new situation for the Navy, the Army, and Commerce, and that the public, if it wishes to avoid a panic, must be made aware of these new conditions, and must be prepared for them.

I will first endeavour to show cause why neither Dreadnoughts, pre-Dreadnoughts, nor super-Dreadnoughts will, a few years hence, have any place in a naval war waged in such narrow waters as those of the North Sea. I am not going to discuss the idea which presided over the armour and armament of these monsters. I wonder why they sacrifice buoyancy, offensive power, coal capacity, and speed to the pleasure of carrying armour which can be pierced by the projectiles of the guns of the ships which they are built to fight; and I wonder why, as we have guns which can pierce the armour of the ships of our rivals, we should cast about for a heavier gun which will pierce armour of a greater thickness than any ship carries.

But these are naval mysteries which do not interest me very much. The real point lies elsewhere. The super-Dreadnought costs from two to two and ahalf millions sterling, carries a thousand men, and can be sunk by a torpedo fired from an

invisible submarine, costing perhaps £60,000 to £80,000, at 7000 yards range. No naval constructor has yet succeeded in designing a ship which can retain its buoyancy after receiving the shock of the explosion of a modern torpedo. The Germans have added 2000 tons to the displacement of their latest ships in the hope that they will have effected this object, but I do not suppose that their constructors will have solved a problem which has baffled ours.

The modern torpedo is a weapon of which the full powers, and the full significance, have not yet been displayed in war. The Japanese torpedo in the last war was the 11-inch type, with 100 lb. of wet gun-cotton in the warhead. Great though the material and moral effect of the initial surprise at Port Arthur was, the Japanese torpedo craft suffered from tactical and technical disadvantages which prevented them throughout the war from gaining much more than partial successes. The war-heads of the Japanese torpedoes were so built that the centres of gravity of the charges were at some distance from a ship's side when exploded. The range was often too great. Leaks in the net - cutter glands sometimes drowned the explosives. The use of the gyroscope was not appreciated. In several instances torpedoes were frozen in the tubes and adjustments insufficiently supervised. The absence of any reserve of destroyers prevented the Japanese command from taking full war

risks, while there was, I believe, inadequate control of flotillas acting nominally in co-operation with fleets. tion with fleets. Lastly, there were the disadvantages inherent in all destroyer action at the time-namely, exposure to gun-fire, noise of engines, emission of smoke, flame, and sparks from funnels, and the bow wave which a searchlight so readily shows up at night.

The improvement of the torpedo and the development of submersibles and submarines have already completely changed the position of affairs since the last war. We went on from the 18-inch torpedo, with a range of 4000 yards and a speed of 36 knots for 1000 yards, to the 21-inch torpedo, weighing nearly a ton, with a range of over 7000 yards and a speed of 40 knots. Improvements in the controlling mechanism have endowed this torpedo with astonishing accuracy, while the charge of guncotton carried in the head is almost treble the Japanese figure, and can be depended on to detonate at all likely angles on hitting a ship. Thus we have already arrived at a weapon which can compete with the gun at medium if not long fighting ranges, and can deliver a far more deadly blow. By no means is this the last word of the torpedo, and we must expect the future to give us and our enemies weapon of even greater powers.

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Even if there were nothing but the destroyer to receive this weapon for its main armament, the position of battleship and cruiser would be gravely shaken by this new

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