At the meeting of the Royal Geographical Society on Monday
a letter was read from Mr. Lowe, finally refusing to provide Treasury funds for an Arctic Expedition. The Challenger Expedition will cost a great deal of money, "and it would not be right" to send out a second scientific expedition just when the public revenue was burdened with the expenses of the first. The force of that argument would depend entirely upon the amount it is proposed to expend in each case, but unless it is very great the excuse is valueless. The old argument for Arctic_ expeditions is still unanswerable, namely, that they are bloodless campaigns which train naval officers in time of peace almost as well or quite as well as war would do. It is not to the debit of science but of national defence that an Arctic expedition should be carried, more especially while we have never yet fairly tried what a good steamer could accomplish. At least, one competent officer asserts in the Times that it is possible to steam across the Pole, and bring the ship through Behring's Straits into the Southern Seas.