15 JULY 1893, Page 16


!TD THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] Sra,—We have been frequently informed that the French Government is making a canal from Bordeaux to Narbonne, to be completed in two years' time, of sufficient depth to give passage to the largest ships of war. In an article by Lord Brassey in the Nineteenth Century for July, on "Great Britain as a Sea-Power," he seems to have left this out of his consideration, for there is no reference to it ; but (p. 128) he writes as follows of a possible war with France :—" By far the finest portion of the French Navy is now in the Mediter- ranean. The force maintained in the ports on the Atlantic and the Channel is comparatively insignificant. Our energies will be devoted to keeping the Mediterranean Squadron in port ; and if, as many naval authorities now hold, a blockade is no longer possible, we must bar the passage into the ocean through the Straits of Gibraltar." He likewise ignores the conversion of Biserta into a first-class naval fortress, and also the possibility of Algeciras being held by a hostile Power.