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-,THE ADDITIONS TO THE NAVY.

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THE ADDITIONS TO THE NAVY. IT was inevitable, perhaps desirable, that the statements of Lord Selborne and Mr Arnold- Forster should elicit criticism, but in the main ? the judgment upon the programme of con- struction has been favourable, and it is note- worthy that the remarks of those members of both Houses who are in the best position to form an opinion were scarcely calculated to support, the somewhat pessimistic views of Lord Brassey; and a distinguished authority i in all naval matters did not hesitate to say that we have not for many years past been in so strong a position at sea as we are at this time." Mr Allan expressed his satisfaction with the programme of the Admiralty and although there was a good deal of discussion on the old questions of the boilers and the Royal yacht, yet the majority of speakers appeared to regard the proposed additions to the Royal Navy as tending to meet the exigencies of the situation. The Times objects that if our three main squadrons are only now or very shortly" to get their share of the ships that are on the verge of completion," then they cannot, at this moment, be quite up to the standard of strength and efficiency. But there is an obvious fallacy in this reasoning which might be applied with equal justice to every institu- tion of the country which is in a condition of progress. We are to have three new battle- ships, which are intended to be superior to any that the Admiralty has yet produced, or in other words which mean the same thing, superior to any that the world has produced. They are to be of 16,500 tons displacement, and 18,000 horse power, and it is hoped that they will be able to maintain a speed of 181, knots. It is also proposed to lay down six c armoured cruisers of the Monmouth class, -which, Mr Arnold-Forster says, will be capable of attaining a speed of 23 knots. In view of his lordship's remarks at Glasgow on the subject of the speed of German cruisers, this announcement must be particularly welcome to Lord Brassey. Ten new destroyers are also to be added to the Royal Navy, and Mr Arnold-Forster tells us that they are to run at an actual, and not merely theoretical, speed of 30 knots. There are some questions with regard to the arming of the battleships and cruisers concerning which only experts are qualified to form an opinion, but it seems pretty obvious that if all these ships respond to the expectations of the Admiralty, they will, in that case, be a most valuable addition to the Royal Navy. Lord Selborne remarked that sl the Navy should be so strong that it can have the reasonable certainty of success in the performance of any duty which it is reason- ably probable it can be called upon to perform." The definition appears to be a sound one, and if the Admiralty maintains that standard, erring in case of doubt on the side of safety, the nation will be satisfied. As the greater includes the less, so this question of general adequacy and efficiency includes the smaller one of the strength of the Mediterranean fleet, concerning which much has been said by well-intentioned critics. Of course there is no harm in people endeavouring to indicate faults in our naval system, but it is no more than a platitude to say that while the Lords of the Admiralty, if they are incapable, should be superseded, at the same time the final decision as to the distribution of ships must, so long as they remain in office, be vested in them.

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