22 FEBRUARY 1902, Page 1


THE telegrams from the theatre of war show very satis- factory totals in regard to captures and surrenders, and the Times correspondent in Pretoria, telegraphing to Friday's paper, draws a picture of Boer demoralisation in the Eastern Transvaal which points to a collapse of the Boer resistance in that region. An intercepted letter from Viljoen to Mr. Schalk Burger shows that the spirit of surrender is -rife among the burghers. On the other hand, there has been an unpleasant little mishap. A detachment of the 2nd Dragoons get separated from General Gilbert Hamilton's main body and were badly cutup, the casualties being two officers severely wounded, two men killed, six wounded, and forty-six captured, but since released. That is, of course, annoying, but it would be most unfair to blame the force till we know more details. Unless our troops are venturesome we shall never end the war, and if they are venturesome they must occasionally be ambuscaded. At this stage of the war nothing must be done to deter men from taking risks by over-emphasising petty disasters. On the contrary, the commanders in the field must be encouraged to take chances,—provided always they are not the chances that come from sheer carelessness.