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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72


page 24


On Raiding Cruisers and Australasian Defences.

Regarding possible or projected raids on British merchant shipping, on Colonial ports, Captain S. Eardley-Wilmot, R.N., writes as follows in [unclear: Le] Brassey's Naval Annual, for 1893:—

"We come next to the feasibility of raids by one or two cruisers that might evade our fleets. Attacks on our commerce by individual cruisers of great speed and coal endurance are contemplated in case of war with this country by nations which would otherwise have little scope for maritime operations. The production of vessels with a speed of twenty knots, and able to traverse thousands of miles without replenishing their coal supply, has put within their reach possibilities that a for years ago existed only in the imagination. Such a vessel may be a bona fide was cruiser or an armed merchant steamer,—auxiliary cruisers with a sea speed [unclear: of] knots, and a large bunker capacity. Evading our own cruisers she could effect considerable damage before being brought to bay. The antidote is not to be found in harbour defence ironclads or gunboats. Cruisers of high speed and moderate gun power must be employed against an enemy of this description.

"Taking a survey of British interests in all parts of the world it is at [unclear: co] apparent that the welfare of our Colonies depends very largely upon preserving intact the goods they are receiving and sending across the sea by well known routes"

In describing the defences of King George's Sound, Sydney and Port Darwis a is stated by Captain Wilmot, that Sydney holds "a commanding position between Melbourne and Brisbane. With the coal supply of Newcastle in immediate proximity it should be the Portsmouth of the Pacific. A single battery with medium [unclear: si] guns at Inner South Head or Bradley Point, would keep out any hostile vessel" Writing of Melbourne and other Colonial ports, he says:—

"Melbourne is well guarded by extensive batteries on each side of the entrance to Port Phillip. Local defences have in fact been overdone here and absorbed money which might have been more usefully employed. A tingle battery on Point Loss dale and Point Nepean would keep off any hostile vessel. As for landing, unless the enemy brings a fleet of transports and a force of 50,000 men, the idea may be dismissed.

"Adelaide is a locality which, except at an enormous expense can only be effectively covered by guns afloat. A small ironclad could guard the approach up Gulf St Vincent.

"Tasmania.—The general defence of Tasmania will devolve upon the naval forces guarding the approaches to Melbourne and Sydney. A single battery at Hobart will relieve the town from anxiety, if a friendly cruiser is not in sight. Launceston is too difficult of access to fear an attack.

"New Zealand.—Owing to its isolated position New Zealand must rely mainly on naval defence. An adequate force of cruisers would necessarily be detailed to protect commerce approaching and leaving its shores. Light defences would deny the principal towns to any raider that had slipped past our vessels. The approach to Auckland is not easy to the stranger, but it is only necessary to place a few guns page 25 in a commanding position within the harbour, to counteract any such design. Wellington can be as effectually guarded. There is no special object in excluding a hostile cruiser from Port Nicholson. All that is necessary is to prevent him taking up such a position as to cover the town with his guns without fear of a reply. One fort at the point at the Eastern end of Lambton harbour will remove this risk. The same principle may be applied elsewhere."

On the same subject the Hon Mr Brassey writes:—"The ports of Cape Colony of India, of Australia and of New Zealand, possess an element of safety from attack in their distance from Europe. It is clear that no power could withdraw a fleet of ironclads for operations in distant seas without abandoning to us the absolute command of European waters, and without setting free a proportionate number of British battle ships. Attacks on commerce by one or two cruisers, keeping generally out of sight of the coasts are the most probable form which the operations of an enemy would take on the coasts of India, Australia, or South Africa. Occasional raids on territory might be made with the object of obtaining supplies, but it may be safely asserted that few captains of cruisers would waste ammunition on bombardment with the chance of falling in with an enemy's cruiser before they could return to their base to obtain a fresh supply."

Defensive Unity of the Australasian Colonies.

Obsolete Weapons.

A general union of all parts with the Mother Country would augment our resources, so in a lesser degree does the amalgamation of individual portions of our outlying territory assist their defence. Nothing appears more ridiculous now than the way in which the several Colonies in Australia, all working on different lines when they decided to guard against some spectre attack, the direction and force of which they were unable to define. Misled by military experts, who should have been the last persons called on where it is a question of estimating attack by sea, they wasted their substance in providing elaborate batteries with guns of all natures; while remember a few years ago being called on to inspect some torpedo-boats for colonial defence, which were armed with a weapon we had long discarded. A union of all the Colonies in Australia with New Zealand and Tasmania, would enable the defences to be planned and worked on a common basis.—Captain Eardley-Wilmot.

Torpedoes and Submarine Mines.

"I do not wish to be considered as one opposed to all forms of submarine defence. There are many places in which this weapon can be applied with excellent results, but they depend on conditions which do not exist everywhere. Combined with forts they may avert an attack in front, but cannot guard the flanks and rear of a coast town. They did not delay by one hour the fall of Valparaiso when the forces opposed to Balmaceda, having command of the sea, landed a few miles north of the town." Ibid.

The Mother Country and the Colonies.

The same author on this subject writes as follows:—

"We extol the advantages and glory of our vast Colonial and Indian Empire in sounding phrases, but murmur at the necessary cost of maintaining it. Unfortunately, when there has been a disposition on the part of the Colonies to assist in the work of defence, no word of advice or encouragement has come from the Mother Country. Instead of the Imperial Government initiating joint action in the matter each Colony was left to its own devices. Hence we find some Colonies bristling with guns on shore, while others are left without any such defence. In one locality small torpedo-boats are obtained, incapable of action except in the finest weather; in another Colony gunboats are favoured, which, owing to lack of speed and other qualities, would be equally ineffective against an enterprising enemy who had evoded our Fleet. Then, great store is set in certain quarters on submarine mines, and elaborate systems have been devised which will infallibly break down under the stern test of war.

page 26

The Royal Australasian Squadron.

A Contrast Between Now and 1873.

Subjoined is a list of the Royal-Australasian Squadron, the duty of which, as specified by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty is—"The Protection of Floating Trade in Australasian Waters." The ships are thirteen in number, and are thus described and classed in the Navy List:
Name of Warship. Screw, &c. Class of Vessel. Guns. Tons. H.P.
Orlando T-Screw Cruiser First-class Arm. 12 5600 4040
Ringarooma T-Screw Cruiser Third-class 8 2575 4600
Tauranga T-Screw Cruiser Third-class 8 2575 4600
Mildura T-Screw Cruiser Third-class 8 2575 4600
Wallaroo T-Screw Cruiser Third-class 8 2575 4600
Curacoa Screw Cruiser Third-class 12 2800 2540
Royalist Screw Cruiser Third-class 12 1420 1510
Rapid Screw Cruiser Third-class 12 1420 1400
Boomerang T-Screw Gunboat First-class 2 735 3500
Katoomba T-Screw Gunboat First-class 2 735 3500
Goldfinch Screw Gunboat First-class 12 805 1200
Ringdove Screw Gunboat First-class 6 805 1200
Lizard Screw Gunboat First-class 6 715 1000

What a contrast this list presents to-day compared with that of the time (some twenty to twenty-five years ago), when the modest "Brisk," the "Blanche," the "Dido," and one or two others of that class were content to pay an occasional and rare visit to our Colonial ports, and then sail away to suppress labour schooner engaged in "blackbirding" in the remote islands of the Pacific! As these lines are being penned the evening gun booms over the waters of Wellington harbour, in which, at the moment, lie at anchor three noble vessels of this fleet—the Orlando. Curagoa, and Tauranga.

Colonial Subsidies to the Royal Australasian Squadron.

For the services of the Australian Protective Squadron the Australasian Colonies pay the Imperial Government an annual subvention of £126,000, the contributions of each Colony being determined on the basis of population. For the year 1892 the respective contribution of each Colony is given as under:—
New South Wales £37,720
Victoria 36,968
Queensland 13,342
South Australia 10,663
Western Australia 1858
Tasmania 4850
New Zealand 20,599

The Australian Colonial Navy.

The war vessels owned by the respective Colonies are thus described in the official lists:—
New South Wales.—Wolverene, screw corvette, 22 guns, 2,540 tons, 1,400h.p.
Queensland.—Gayundah, double-screw steel ship, 2 guns, 360 tons, 400 h.p.; Otter, gunboat, steel, 1 gun, 220 tons, 460 h.p.; Palerma, double-screw iron ship, 2 guns, 360 tons, 400 h.p.page 27
South Australia.—Protector, cruiser, 6 guns, 920 tons, 1641 h.p.
Victoria.—Cerberus, double-screw, iron, armour-plated turret ship, 4 guns, 380 tons, 1660 h.p.; Nelson, training-ship, steel, 22 guns, 2,730 tons, 500 h.p.; Victoria, gunboat, steel, 2 guns, 530 tons, 800 h.p.; Albert, gunboat, steel, 6 guns, 356 tons, 400 h.p. There are also registered as belonging to the Navy of Victoria eleven other small vessels:—Countess of Hopetoun, Childers, Nepean, Batman, Fawkner, Gannet, Lady Loch, Commissioner, Customs No. 1, and Gordon.

Naval and Military Forces in the Principal British Colonies.


The strength of the forces maintained in the seven different Colonies of the Australasian Group is given as follows in Mr. Coghlan's latest volume:—
Colony. Total Forces. Paid. Partially Paid Unpaid.
New South Wales 5,157 633 4,419 105
Victoria 7,314 406 4,343 2,565
Queensland 3,840 134 2,851 855
South Australia 2,371 56 1,508 807
Western Australia 6.57 2 ... 655
Tasmania 1,856 40 605 1,211
New Zealand 5,561 134 ... 5,427
Total, Australasia 26,756 1,405 13,726 11,625

In addition to these there are in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Tasmania Rifle Clubs or Companies of a strength of about 8,500 men, who, trained to the use of the rifle, would be available in time of war.

The strength of the various arms in these Colonies is thus summarised:—
Staff, Medical Staff, Instructors, Ambulance Corps, &c. 901
Artillery (Garrison, Field, and Horse) 4,169
Engineers 717
Cavalry 909
Mounted Infantry and Mounted Rifles 3,200
Infantry 16,860

These, with the Rifle Companies, make a total strength of about 35,256 men.

The Marine forces, trained to submarine mining and the use of torpedoes, or capable of being employed either as light artillery land force, or to serve on board the local war vessels, are stated as follows:—
New South Wales 631
Victoria. 615
Queensland 479
South Australia 173
Tasmania- 70
New Zealand 1,228

The combined forces of all the Australasian Colonies, on their present footing, according to the last official returns, are 38,452 strong, and of these 25,000 could be mobilised in any one of the Colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, or South Australia.

Mr. Reid, Minister for Defence in Victoria, in addressing the London Volunteers in Westminster Hall, on 13th April current, said, "The Colonial Volunteers were ready to fight on behalf of Great Britain anywhere that their services may be required."

page 28

Forces of Cape Colony.

The Cape Mounted Rifles comprise 815 officers and men, and the Volunteer (horse and foot) number 5,160.

Forces of the Dominion of Canada.

The military establishment consists of (1) an Imperial Military and [unclear: Na] Garrison at Halifax, and a naval station at Esquimalt, on the Pacific, [unclear: altogeth] comprising about 2,000 troops; (2) a permanent corps, with schools of instruction for cavalry, artillery, and infantry, with a total strength of 1,015 officers and men (3) a volunteer force of 37,677 men.—Hazell's Annual, 1894.

The Army List (large edition) states that the Dominion has a reserve from estimated at 1,030,000 men.

Great Britain's Stake on the Seas.

Mercantile Marine of the World.

Value of British and Colonial Shipping and Commerce.

When the shipping and commerce of the Empire are compared with those of other nations, those of the British Isles far transcend in magnitude and value, in ships and their freights, those of all other Powers. There are, according to [unclear: Lia] Register, 32,010 steam and sailing merchant vessels of 100 tons and upward, with a tonnage of 24,258,375 tons, owned by the different nations of the world. Of then the flag of the United Kingdom floats over 9,333, whose tonnage is 11,563,997 tons to which have to be added 2,526 vessels of 1,224,285 tons belonging to the British Colonies, making a total of 11,859 vessels, employing nearly 250,000 persons. and with a tonnage of 12,788,282, or more than all the tonnage owned by eve[unclear: ry] country.

The annual imports and exports of the Kingdom exceed in val[unclear: ue] millions sterling. Of this last-named sum the Australasian Colonies, in their British imports and exports, supply close on 63* millions. The total imports and exports of these seven Colonies (apart from the value of the large intercoicial trade) amounted in the last year reported on by Mr. Coghlan to over £84,651,000 In the same year that intercolonial trade reached no less a sum than £30,057,000 that is to say commodities worth one hundred and fifteen millions of pounds sterling were produced, and purchased in one year by a population of less than four million souls.

These figures, compiled from the latest sources, are specified here in order the it may be seen at a glance what an enormous amount of the marine commerce if the world is produced, owned, and conducted by the people of the British Empire. They all demonstrate, as a natural corollary, that Englishmen in every clime lock to the British Navy as the safeguard of the vast interests, the existence and in portance of which those figures display.

More Fast Cruisers Wanted.

How this safe-guarding is to be accomplished is put with great earnestness by Captain Eardley-Wilmot, from whom I have already copiously quoted. He says,—

"We still require a large addition to our fleet of fast cruisers. There will be an immense demand for them in time of war. More cruisers will be the cry of every officer in command of battle-ships, as Nelson groaned over his want of frigates. From every part of the globe will come an appeal for their presence for the protection of commerce. Our standard for battle-ships should be two to one possessed by any possible enemy. This standard must be largely increased in the case of cruisers. . . . We should have ten cruisers for every one of a possible enemy, excluding all vessels of a less speed than 16 knots."

The Armies and Navies of Europe.

Military Forces.

The subjoined particulars are compiled from the latest authentic sources available. At a time like the present the facts they disclose possess no little interest as page 29 showing the enormous burdens which the nations of Europe are compelled to sustain for warlike objects, and the formidable array of armed forces which, by the word of a potentate may be culled to meet in deadly conflict involving issues that must more or less affect the destinies of nations, and most parts of the civilized world.

The British Army at Home and Abroad.

The latest returns of the Regular Forces at home and abroad show that the total number of officers and men borne upon the regimental rolls (exclusive of the Indian Native Army) is very little below 220,000, and about 2000 more than were in the ranks a year ago. Of these, nearly 20,000 are cavalry, 37,000 artillery, 7,500 engineers, 143,500 infantry, 5200 colonial troops, 3500 Army Service Corps, and 2500 Medical Staff Corps, the remainder being made up of the smaller departmental corps. Great Britain and Ireland retain nearly half the Regular Army for home service, there being little short of 107,000 troops in the three kingdoms—74,000 in England and Wales, 28,000 in Ireland, 3500 in Scotland, and the residue in the Channel Islands. Away from home India always absorbs the greatest number of Regular troops, and the men of the Imperial Army there now reckon up about 77,000, or about 600 more than at this time last year. Of these, 15,500 are in Burma. Egypt has 5000. The Regular forces scattered over the Colonies in all parts of the world are 31,000 in number. Gibraltar has in its garrison 5000 men, and Malta 8000, while Cyprus has only about 600, mostly infantry. There are 3300 at the Cape and Natal, 1000 in the West African Settlements (where the Regular Lops are principally the coloured soldiers of the West India Regiments), 2900 at Hongkong, 1500 at the Straits Settlements, 1600 to Ceylon, 1400 to Nova Scotia (the only portion of the Dominion of Canada garrisoned by Imperial troops). 1600 to Jamaica, 1400 to Bermuda, 1,300 to Barbados, 800 to Mauritius, and only 200 to St Helena.—The Times.

Besides these there are Militia 140,300, Yeomanry 14,000, and Volunteers 264,000 In addition to the British troops in India, there is a native army of 150,000 men. There are also 170,000 native Police officered mainly by Europeans, also the native reserves which number 7000 infantry; and Imperial service troops furnished by native states numbering 14,000, of which 6400 are cavalry. There are also European and Eurasian volunteers, which number close on 20,000, with an enrolled reserve of 2200.

The Peace and War Forces of Russia and France Germany, Austria, and Italy.

The total peace force of the Franco-Russian Alliance is thus put,—
Men. Horses. Guns.
Russia 977,500 148,261 2,174
France 523,755 121,924 2,808
Total 1,501,255 270,185 4,982
Their respective strengths on a war footing are stated at—
Men. Horses. Gnus.
Russia 2,722,395 680,000 5,420
France 2,715,576 800,000 4,500
Total 5,437,971 1,480,000 9,920
The peace strength of each of the parties to the Triple Alliance is thus set out-
Men. Horses. Guns.
Germany 592,869 119,944 2,622
Austria 299,146 53,356 996
Italy 247,228 51,894 858
Total 1,139,243 225,194 4,476
page 30
And the war footing is as follows:—
Men. Horse. Guns.
Germany 2,441,436 522,126 4,428
Austria 1,590,819 291,870 2,136
Italy 1,909,021 .. 1,620
Total 5,941,276 813,996 8,184

These particulars are extracted from Sir Archibald Alison's recent paper on "The Prospects of War in Europe." The war footing of the five Powers above enumerated sum up a gross force of 11,379,247 men. Other authorities, which bring down details to the end of last and beginning of the current year, present somewhat different figures in a few instances. Appleton's tables (American), for example, credit France with a gross war-footing force of 4,190,000 officers and men of all ranks and services. Another authority specifies only something over 2,000,000. For Germany Appleton gives fully 3,000,000. A later compilation sets the war force of the German Empire at 3,350,000, which can be put in the field fully armed, while, by the new Army Act passed by the German Parliament, this force will, by 1,916, be raised to 4,400,000 men, including the Landwehr and Land-sturm reserves.

Other European Land Forces.

Officers and Men.
Turkey 1,000,000
Great Britain, including Militia, Volunteers, &c., but excluding 71,000 Regulars in India 540,000
Spain 480,000
Sweden and Norway 330,000
Switzerland (including Landwehr) 213,000
Bulgaria 195,000
Roumania 158,000
Servia (including reserves) 153,000
Portugal 155,000
Holland (about) 152,000
Belgium 150,000
Denmark 51,000
Add the war forces of the five other Powers 11,379,000
Total war forces in European Armies 15,156,000

These figures are partly compiled from Appleton's summary. The forces of Italy are elsewhere represented as having in war a regular force of 839,354, with a movable and a local militia of fully 1,909,000, making a total nominal strengths the land forces, on a war-footing, of 2,848,000, which very nearly agrees with the figures of Appleton. The last-named authority, in a table of the war land forces alone (including reserves), foots up his calculations by showing 18,909,608 officers and men, with an addition of 378,633 men in the navy, making together 10,288,241 men.

Forces of the Nations of the World and their Cost.

Let us add the war forces of other nations outside Europe. China has an army of about 1,200,000, with a navy comprising 3 ironclads, 7 cruisers, 35 ironclad gunboats, 9 torpedo vessels (British built), and 100 other minor war vessels. Japan has 245,000 soldiers. Persia, 150,000. The United States of America has an army of only 27,000 (including 2,140 officers.) Canada possesses 38,000 militia, and a reserve of 1,030,000. These, with the forces of other Powers, Persia, Morocco, Brazil, Argentina, &c" sum up roundly to 3,260,000 more, making a grand total of the war forces of the world possible for equipment of no fewer than twenty-two-and-a-half millions of men—22,500,000.

page 31

Of that vast array it is said that one-fourth to one-fifth of the number form the permanent regular forces, the maintenance whereof reaches an annual cost of about 250 millions of pounds sterling. This is not the place to discuss the ethics of these armaments. But in view of the new demands of the masses of all nations, the momentous social conclusions to which these facts and figures point, (especially in their bearing on the burdens of the peoples) form to-day very prominent factors in the current thought and history of our common humanity.

The British Navy.

The Navy List shows that (exclusive of coast-guard ships and some thirty other smaller vessels employed in harbour duties), Great Britain possesses 560 war vessels of all kinds. Many of these are battle-ships of the first order and newest construction, formidably armed with great quick-firing guns of precision and long range. These vessels mount over 2,500 guns.

There are now, says a recent report, being built in the United Kingdom 40 war vessels—16 in Royal dockyards, and 23 in private yards. The tonnage of the 17 amounts to 82,420 tons, that of the 23 to 13,055 tons. Four of the vessels are for foreign States.

Lord Charles Beresford's Programme.

Lord Charles Beresford, in a naval programme, says that England, on the basis of making her fleet one-third stronger than both France and Russia combined, should have 60 battleships. England has only 42 battleships. With regard to cruisers, Lord Charles Beresford says that France and Russia combined have 90, and one-third more makes England's requirements 120, which number she possesses.

But as two cruisers ought to be attached to each battleship nothing is left for the protection of mercantile marine. Therefore, in his opinion, ten more large cruisers should be built. The French possess 242 torpedo-boats, the English 97, and Russia has 135 (March, 1893), or France and Russia combined 377, Great Britain 97.

To watch the torpedo stations in the narrow seas he proposes to build an entirely new class of ironclad. "It is absolutely necessary that some such vessel should be built. The first duty on the outbreak of a war for a British Admiral would be to smash the torpedo stations of the enemy in the narrow seas in order to insure a safe highway for our mercantile marine." For this purpose Lord Charles Beresford proposes to build ten new ironclads at a cost of £2,600,000, displacement about 3500 tons, armoured belt 8in and 6in, speed about 17 knots, principal armament 6in and 4.7 guns (about 12 in number), with light draught to enable to get at their work.

Lord Charles urges the immediate necessity of building a mercantile mole at Gibraltar, and greatly lengthening the present military mole another 1800ft on the eight-fathom line. This work, which is all-important, should be undertaken at case and not spread over a number of years.

The sum of the suggestions is as follows:—
6 Royal Sovereigns £5,376,000
12 Barfleurs 7,560,000
10 Blakes 4,320,000
10 New-class Ironclads 2,600,000
50 Havocks 1,800,000
30 Torpedo-boats 450,000
Gibraltar Moles 634,000
Reserve ammunition and stores 500,000
Total £23,240,000

"This was my proposal," says Lord Charles Beresford, "on March 30, 1893—88 vssels and 30 torpedo-boats at a cost of £23,240,000; but since that date the following ships have been projected:—Battle-ships—Magnificent, Majestic, Renown, £620,000; cruisers—Powerful, Terrible (about £800,000 each), £1,600,000; Talbot, Eclipse, Minerva (about £250,000), £800,000; ten torpedo-boats. £150,000; total £5,170,000, and their cost would be deducted from the original proposal, leaving £18,070,000."—The Times.

page 32

Proposed Purchase of the Island of Lemnos.

Lord Charles Beresford also says:—

"It is imperative that Britain should buy, or enter into treaty with the Turkish Government for, the island of Lemnos or some such island possessing a good harbour at the east end of the Mediterranean, Cyprus being of no use whatever as a naval base of operations."—The Times.

Naval Strength of England, France, and Russia, Ships Built and Building.

Description of Vessel. England. France. Russia.
Ships. Tons. Ships. Tons. Ships. Tons.
First-class Battle-ships 35 367,300 16 175,648 11 111,857
Second-class Battleships 13 89,000 14 105,694 4 21,172
Coast Defence Ships 12 47,720 20 66,947 28 69,626
Armoured Cruisers 18 137,050 13 68,766 9 63,546
Protected Cruisers 1st Class 11 85,550 8 44,941 1 5,000
Protected Cruisers 2nd & 3rd 54 195,811 19 54,480 2 5,900
Look-out Ships 19 36,390 6 7,740
Torpedo Gun-vessels 32 27,110 13 6,835 8 3,600
Sp. ships to escort torp. flot. 3 15,660 2 12,000
Total 197 1,001,591 111 543,051 63 280,701


England. France. Russia.
Armoured or Protected Cruisers over 4000 tons 46 21 10
Protected Cruisers 2000 to 4000 tons (includes Leander class) 39 13 2
Look-out Ships, fast small Cruisers 19 12 0
104 46 12

Torpedo Boats.

The torpedo-boats of France are eight of 397 tons each, two of 440 tons, and, three of 925 tons. Those of England are four of 525 tons each; eleven of 735 tons; eleven of 810 tons; and five of 1070 tons.

Warships of Other Powers.

The following table, prepared from particulars given by the Navy Department of the United States, shows the relative strength of the navies of the world, as regards fighting ships (compiled from Brassey s Annual:—
Armoured. Unarmoured
Austria 13 31
Denmark 12 12
France 75 118
Germany 34 59
Great Britain 82 220
Greece 5 16
Italy 22 54
Netherlands 25 35
Portugal 1 29
Roumania 9
Russia 48 62
Spain 13 50
Sweden and Norway 22 20
Turkey 18 20
United States 29 40
Argentine Republic 3 7
Brazil 2 9
Chili 4 10
Hayti 5
Mexico 2
Peru 10
Uraguay 3
Venezuela 1
China 6 12
Japan 7 35
Persia 1
Sarawak 3
Siam 7
Egypt 3
Totals— 421 armoured, 883 unarmoured 1,304
page 33

Growth of Torpedo Boats of the Three Great Powers.

The following is a summary of all the first-class torpedo boats, as distinct from farpedo-boat catchers and torpedo-boat destroyers, that have been built, ordered, or authorised by Great Brirain, France, and Russia since the passing of the English Naval Defence Act of 1889:—
Great Britain France Russia
28-knot boats 2
26-knot boats 2 3
25-knot boats 7 1
24-knot boats 10
23-knot boats 11 53
22-knot boats 4 3
21-knot boats 20 14
Slow boats 3 4
11 101 25

Recent information cabled from Home shows that greater vigour is now being exercised in respect of these boats. Among the latest completions are the Havock, with a speed of 26 knots per hour, and the Hazard, which makes 28 knots, that is 34 miles an hour, the highest rate yet reached by any of this class. This gives promise of the accomplishment of a speed of forty-miles-an-hour which has lately been predicted as the speed that may safely be reached. At the same time far larger provision has been made for extended naval construction in the Old Country.

The sixty-seven ton gun is to be abandoned by the Admiralty as too heavy for battleships. The 110 gun was similarly condemned some time ago. Guns of 12 inch bore and fifty tons which can be loaded by hand are to be the heavy weapons of the future.

Royal Naval Reserve Merchant Cruisers.

Of late years most of our ocean merchant steamers have been constructed so as to be capable of speedy conversion into war cruisers, and numbers of these have been liberally subsidised by the British Admiralty. Below is a list of the vessels as published in October last:—
Name Tonnage Ocean Speed
Campania 12,950 21.18 knots
Lucania 12,950 21.10 knots
Majestic 10,000 20½ knots
Teutonic 10,000 20½ knots
Umbria 7,718 19½ knots
Etruia 7,718 19¼ knots
Servia 7,392 17 knots
Empress of India 5,905 17 knots
Empress of China 5,905 17 knots
Rmpress of Japan 5,905 17 knots
Aurania 7,269 16½ knots
Britainnic 5,004 16 knots
Germaine 5,008 16 knots
Victoria 6,300 15¼ knots
Britannia 6,300 15¼ knots
Oceana 6,300 15¼ knots
Arcadia 6,300 15¼ knots
Gallia 4,809 15 knots
Valetta 4,911 14½ knots
Masilia 4,908 14½ knots
Ballarat 4,752 14½ knots
Paramatta 5,759 14½ knots
City of Berlin 5,491 14½ knots
Carthage 5,013 14 knots
Borne 5,013 14 knots
Adriatic 3,888 14 knots

New Demand for High Speed.

All these vessels are not subsidised, but they are all held by the owners for the use of the Admiralty. Besides these there are numerous others of our ocean steamers which have fulfilled the requirements of the Admiralty as regards construction fitting them to carry effective armaments, though they are not under contract.

Indeed the demands of the Admiralty as regards speed, have within the last few menths been made more stringent, their Lordships having decided that all new vessels open to be subsidised must, to obtain subvention, posses speed of not less han 20 knots per hour, so as to be able to cope with the swift cruisers of any page 4 enemy. For example, the new vessel "Gothic," recently in Wellington, although strongly built and fitted for warlike purposes, is by the new rule not included in the Merchant Auxiliary Reserve list, because her speed does not reach the request twenty knots per hour. So I was informed by one of the owners of the "Gothic."

Permanent and Volunteer Forces of New Zealand.

Permanent Artillery.
Distribution of the Force. 1st Class. 2nd Class 3rd Class. Total.
Auckland 8 3 11 29
Wellington 9 4 35 56
Lyttelton 3 3 8 21
Dunedin 5 3 12 27
25 13 66 133

The total includes 3 majors, 1 captain, 1 lieutenant, 3 sergeants-major, 2 corporals, 2 bombardiers, and 12 artificers.

Submarine Mining Corps.
Torpedo Men.
Distribution. Artificers and 1st Class. 2nd Class. 3rd Class Total
Auckland 6 4 3 15
Wellington 4 4 19 33
Lyttelton 2 0 3 6
Dunedin 1 1 0 8
17 9 25 63

The total include 2 captains, 4 officers, 1 corporal, and 4 second corporals. Attached to this corps are the torpedo instructor and one sergeant major instructor of the Royal Engineers.

New Zealand Volunteers.
Districts. Naval Artillery and Batteries. Cavalry and Mounted Rifles. Infantry. Total of all Ranks.
Wellington 300 351 642 1293
Napier (sub-dist.) 117 46 133 296
Auckland 256 167 422 845
North Canterbury 204 119 590 913
South Canterbury 112 ... 251 363
Dunedin 305 56 571 932
Southland 134 ... 220 354
Oamaru 109 63 216 388
Westland 57 ... 245 302
Nelson 128 ... 161 289
Marlborough ... 49 125 174
Total 1722 851 3576 6149
Permanent Artillery, as above ... ... ... 133
Submarine Mining Corps, as above ... ... ... 63
Total strength ... ... ... 6343
page 35

There are thirty-nine cadet corps in the colony, numbering in all 2,153 cadets. "They vary in value," says Colonel Fox, "from very great efficiency to absolute inefficiency," a condition of things arising from a lack of "system or guidance in the management," an official hint which will doubtless be productive of improvement in the drill and training of our youth to familiarity with arms.

Obligations of the British Navy.

These obligations are becoming more arduous and extensive every year. They are, speaking generally, first to be prepared to blockade, or to meet and defeat on the high seas the fleets of the European Power or Powers opposed to us; and, secondly, to keep open our trade routes and lines of communication with our colonies and dependencies, and to guard our merchant vessels from the deprivations of hostile cruisers.—Lord Roberts's address to the Lincolnshire Artillery Volunteers.

Scarcity of Engineers for the Navy.

In its present condition the navy is very short of engineers. In 1882 the indicated horse power of the navy was about 500,000, and there were 700 engineer officers. It is now 1,500,000 and there are 750 officers, so that in 1882 there was one engineer officer for about 700 horse power, while then there is now one engineer officer for 2000 horse power. This is without considering the enormously increased amount of machinery other than propelling machinery, with the maintenance of which the engineers are charged.—Mr John Venn, M.P., of the engineering firm of John Penn and Sons, Greenwich.

Expenditure for Naval Construction in Britain France and Russia in 1894.

The actual figures for naval construction for the current year are Britain, £2,982,000; France, £2,918,000; Russia, £2,692,000. Our sea-borne commerce enormously exceeds that of any other Power. That of France and Russia is comparatively insignificant, their colonial possessions are of very minor importance, yet each of them is spending nearly as much as Britain is on naval construction. Why should our European neighbours, whose maritime interests are in no way menaced by the naval superiority of this country, endeavour to wrest from us that command of the sea which is so necessary to our national life and independence?—Speech of Lord Roberts, in London, December 15th.

Coaling Stations for Warships Protecting Trade Routes.

The only requirement in a coaling station for a warship was smooth water to coal in, because the effective protection of commerce necessitated the assumption that our naval force on every trade route would be so far superior to that of a possible enemy as to restrict his operations to attacks on merchant vessels on the principles of evasion and surprise, and to forbid the idea of open warfare. The defensive power of coaling stations themselves need not, on this theory, be greater than would be sufficient to protect them against a coup de main by a small force.—Admiral Sir John Colomb, in a lecture before the Aldershot Military Society.

Lord Roberts on Sympathetic Relations with the Colonies.

At a meeting of the Court of the London Scottish Corporation, at which £3760 was subscribed for the purposes of the charity, General Lord Roberts, of Khandahar and Waterford, who possesses the Victoria Cross for Valour, is a Knight of the; Grand Cross of the Bath, Companion of the Order of the Indian Empire, Knight page 36 Grand Cross of the Star of India, and a Doctor of Laws, Cambridge—in proposing the toast "The Scottish Corporation," after referring to the beneficent character of the charity, spoke as follows:—"The history of the Scottish Corporation appeared to him to be characteristic of the Scottish race. It illustrated their power of cohesion as well as their pride in their nationality—a power and pride which had made them equally illustrious in war and successful in peace. He had observed a Scottish regiments that almost every soldier looked, not only to his individual interest, but to the credit of his corps and the honour of his country, and, similarly in the pursuits of civil life, the Scotchman showed the same patriotic feeling resulting in an active desire to serve his fellow-countrymen. (Cheers). If the component parts of the Empire were determined and prepared to hold together in matters of Imperial policy, we might rely on British interests being maintained and British influence extended to the great advantage, not only of ourselves, but of the less civilised races with which we were brought in contact. He had no intention to express an opinion on any of the political questions of the day, but he might venture to remind them that in the excitement and turmoil of domestic affairs they were sometimes apt to forget the necessity for cultivating close and sympathetic relations with that Greater Britain beyond the seas which was one of the principal sources of oar national wealth, and an essential element of our national greatness. (Cheers) The industry, enterprise, and self-reliance which distinguished men of British descent would, he trusted, do as much in the future as they had in the past to increase the prosperity of all classes in the United Kingdom. But not less conducive to such prosperity was the peaceful and uninterrupted development of the resound of the whole Empire; and this could not be secured unless the mother country and its several colonies and dependencies were determined to defend Imperial intern whenever and wherever they were seriously endangered. (Cheers). He had as hesitation in expressing his conviction that, whether morally or physically, the British race was certainly inferior to none on the face of the globe, and that the maintenance of our rule over less civilized and less enlightened races was beneficial, not only to our colonists and the home population, but to humanity as a whole." (Cheers.)

A Prominent French Statesman Prophecies War.

A cable message from Paris, of 30th March, states that "M. Ste. Hilaire says that war between France and Germany is inevitable, and every day France's opportunity for revenge draws nearer."

When a veteran savan, statesman, and historian such as the aged and highly, cultured M. Barthélemy Sainte Hilaire (one of the most prominent living Frenchmen of the century) gives expression to an opinion so grave in its predictions as that just quoted the situation presents even more disturbing aspects. M. Ste. Hilaire has been a spectator of, and intimately connected with all the varied political phase and movements in France during the last sixty years. Notwithstanding his great age his mental faculties appear unimpaired, as is evidenced by his two most recent works, which the Press highly eulogised—"Philosophy in its Relation to the Sciences and Religion," published in 1889, and "Francis Bacon," in 1890. both works of a profound and erudite character. M. Ste. Hilaire's history, political and literary, embraces a wide experience and keen observation, and a ripe knowledge of affairs. He occupied the Chair of Greek and Roman Philosophy in 1838. and next year was made a member of the French Academy, and for some years was Minister of Finance. After the Revolution of 1848 he entered the Republican Assembly, where he was one of the leaders of the Moderate Party. On the occurrence of the coup d'etat in December, 1851, he was among those representatives who were arrested and imprisoned, and when Napoleon III. made himself Emperor, M. Ste. Hilaire refused to take the oath of allegiance to Napoleon, and resigned his appointments. After the Franco-Prussian War, and the restoration of the Republic, he was, in 1871, returned to the Assembly, where he was a steadfast supporter of President Thiers. Five years later he was made a life Senator, and in 1880-81 he held the portfolio of Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Cabinet of M. Jules Ferry From all this it follows, that,—coming from a statesman of his qualifications and experience in. the history and troubles of France, and of the conflicts of Europe page 37 since the early days of Louis Phillipe's reign—an opinion like that with which he is now accredited as having published gives cause for disquietude. That impression may be abated to some extent if it is argued that the opinion of the philosopher and statesman may arise from exaggerated alarm, a not uncommon accompaniment of extreme old age. But if so then the utility of transmitting the intelligence is not sufficiently apparent.

Progress of the New British Warship.

The Latest Orders for 120 Vessels.

At a public gathering at Cardiff, on 27th January last, Mr. W. H. White, Director of Naval Construction, said that of the 70 ships authorised by the Naval Defence Act five years ago, 61 would be completed and ready for service by the end of March next (last month), and the remaining nine, which were only small vessels would be very far advanced.

Later cable messages from London state that the British Admiralty has issued orders for 120 new warships, to be constructed within the next six years. These include ten first-class and three second-class battle-ships, six first-class and 27 second-class cruisers, and 64 torpedo-destroyers. This does not appear to warrant the existence of assured confidence in any project of general disarmament—at least on the western side of the "Silver streak" of sea, while on the other side the Continental Powers seem so afraid of each other that instead of lessening they are increasing their forces.

Is a General Disarmament Probable?

Late intelligence from Europe announces that an opinion is current that the commercial treaties between Russia, Germany and Austria indicate the approach of "a general disarmament, or the definite suspension of military preparations." The latter idea is not a very reassuring alternative considering the gigantic proportions which these preparations have already reached; and seeing also that the British Admiralty, according to latest advices, has almost adopted the whole defensive navy programme of Lord Charles Beresford, narrated in page 31 of this Appendix hereto.

Russia declines to be a party to consider general disarmament. She proposes to borrow three millions sterling for "railway purposes"—doubtless stratagetic lines as usual.


The latest cablegram that can be noticed here (dated Paris, 16th April) supplies the unexpected information from the French Assembly that the state of the French Navy displays inexcusable negligence in its administration, and eminent disorder; that it is unprepared for war mobilisation; that its torpedo vessels are unseaworthy, the naval stores depleted (as the French Commissariot was in 1870), and that a specially-constructed ironclad is "liable to capsize at the first impact." And further, it is declared, by the same authority, that all the great battle-ships of France are in a similar predicament.