20 JANUARY 1900, Page 1


WE dealt last week with what, in our opinion, the Government ought to do, and do at once, in order to provide against the effects of farther reverses in South Africa, and in order to ensure that if the war is still going against us in six months' time, we shall be able to resist with absolute certainty of success all attempts at foreign intervention. Possibly the Government have already decided to take these very obvious precautions. We shall, however, enumerate them once more, and shall continue to do so week by week as long as it is not evident that the necessity for such enumeration is no longer present. What the Government should do is : (1) To make naval preparations of the amplest and most thorough kind ; (2) to obtain more artillery as quickly as possible ; (3) to give the Volunteers the transport and other equipment which will convert them into an army; (4) to get in touch with all the trained men in the country and organise out of them at once a large force; (5) to raise and prepare an efficient body of troops in case of further and exceptional demands for service abroad. If these things are done now, we shall think a year hence that they were useless. If they aye not done, it is by no means impossible that six months' hence we shall be foolishly lamenting that we have lost six invaluable months. A temporary insurance always seems a waste of money if you do not die in the period.