24 DECEMBER 1904, Page 2

We note with satisfaction that the Canadian Government of their

own initiative are preparing a scheme under which some five thousand of the hardy seamen of the Canadian coasts, among the best sailors in the world, will be trained as a Naval Militia. Mr. Prefontaine and Captain Spain will leave for England shortly to discuss matters with the Admiralty. Though we fully realise that naval defence can never in the last resort be local, and that if the enemy are in the Mediterranean or the Indian Ocean, it is there, and not in the North Atlantic or the Pacific, that the coasts of Canada will have to be protected, we desire to see a sense of fighting seamanship and of naval enthusiasm grow up in the Colonies. But in order to obtain this, the formation of local naval forces for which the Colonies will pay and be responsible is essentiaL With the interest and responsibility thus created will come the knowledge that the command of the sea is no affair of coasts, but of the blue water and the untrodden paths of ocean, and then the Colonial subsidiary navies will be freely placed under the Admiralty to do their share in securing the command of the sea whenever they may be required. Then we may see Canadian and Australian ships defending Quebec and Melbourne, not in home waters, but off Jaffa or in the Straits of Bab-el-Mandeb.