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The consequences are diverse and complex, the mere shortage of labour not being the most important. The men who enlist are the cream of the factory or workshop; the most intelligent, the most patriotic and publicspirited. Among those that remain the self-seeking element acquires an undue predominance. The better influences being removed, evil counsels are the more likely to prevail. Increased wages encourage idleness; and, while our soldiers endure danger and privation in the trenches, and suffer through the lack of adequate support from the artillery, many of their comrades, who should supply the deficiency, loaf away the week-ends, or strike for a rise of wage. Nor can employers be absolved from blame. There seems to be a tendency among both classes, happily not very widespread, to use the nation's necessities and the distress of the army as means for extorting concessions or amassing profits. In a crisis which demands a united effort the sordid selfishness of a few threatens to paralyse the energies of the nation. Those who during the years of peace found more congenial occupation in sowing the seeds of discord than in preparing for the great struggle which they knew could not be long deferred have now to taste the bitter fruit of their labours. And Germany is jubilant at having been correct in her diagnosis of one of the many sources of weakness which she believed would sap the military strength of Great Britain.

W. P. BLOOD.

II.-AT SEA.

THE series of British naval despatches recently issued, and the short summaries published from time to time of the progress of the bombardment of the forts in the Dardanelles, have shown a number of preconceived opinions to be unfounded. On the one hand, the battlefleets of Germany and Austria-Hungary have been condemned to continued inactivity; on the other, battle cruisers, light cruisers, destroyers and submarines have been in action. Some data have been forthcoming as

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to the relative efficiency of the gun and the torpedo; the gun has apparently maintained its position as the primary weapon. There have been some indications of the value of armour; it has failed to save vessels from being sunk, even when attacked by gunfire at long range. A good deal has been learnt as to the influence of the submarine on operations in circumscribed waters ; it has been greater than most naval officers anticipated. Light has been thrown on the relation of ships to coast defences; the latter have been shown to be not impregnable. The conclusions formed on these and other matters may require revision in the light of information which a battle on the grand scale or the bombardment of the German coast might supply; but in the meantime they rest not on hearsay statements, but on despatches or official reports open to the study of the world. The issues may therefore be freely discussed.

The success with which the great fleet of Germany and the smaller fleet of Austria-Hungary have been contained and reduced to complete inactivity for about twothirds of a year must have constituted one of the greatest surprises which the German and Austro-Hungarian naval staffs have experienced. It was always assumed by Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz and those associated with him, that circumstances would occur in which German battle-squadrons would be able to .sally forth' periodically to fight details of the British Fleet, thereby doing considerable injury and assisting in the war of attrition in which their hopes resided. This expectation found expression again and again during the debates on the German naval legislation. It had no small influence in reconciling the people of the German Empire to the large expenditure which the new fleet involved, after it was realised by them that the British nation was determined to maintain a Navy of unquestionable superiority. The argument which carried weight with uninstructed opinion in Germany was somewhat on these lines. It is true that, owing to our activity, the actual strength of the British Fleet is being increased, and that the relative margin against us in capital ships will be approximately sixty per cent. While we should be at a grave disadvantage if we possessed only ten capital ships to Britain's sixteen, the disadvantage when the Vol. 223.-No. 443.

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numbers are roughly sixty to ninety-six will be considerably less marked, as it is improbable, under the conditions of war, that the enemy will be able to bring the guns of all these vessels into action at one and the same time.'

The Germans have always been the victims of methodical thinking. The naval staff appears to have worked in one water-tight compartment and the military staff in another. It was only after war actually broke out that these two bodies appear to have realised that the Navy and the Army of Germany, as of Great Britain, are complementary the one to the other, though their relative importance is reversed. When hostilities began, the theories of the naval staff proved fallacious. They realised that Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz's idea of a 'sally fleet,' useful as it had been during the discussions in the Reichstag, was a fallacious one, because it left entirely out of account the responsibility devolving upon the German Navy as a coastal defence force.

It remained for Grand-Admiral von Koester to break to the German people the bitter truth that for the main purpose for wbich their fleet was created, namely, to fight the British Fleet on the high seas—and hence the title High Sea Fleet—it was useless in existing conditions. The former Commander-in-Chief of the High Sea Fleet assembled a large audience at Kiel for the express purpose of conveying to them the facts of the situation, which contrasted unpleasantly with the hopes hitherto entertained. This officer, the special confidant of the Emperor William on naval affairs and President of the Navy League, first directed attention to the overwhelming strength of the British Fleet, and then reminded his hearers that a naval battle meant death or victory'; once a fleet had been destroyed it could not be renewed during the course of the same war, even if the campaign went on for years. He proceeded to urge that the German population should not be impatient, because the naval authorities must refuse to be tempted into taking any action in the performance of which they might be defeated. Our Fleet (he declared) must in all circumstances protect us and must accept battle only when it can count on success,'

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