27 JANUARY 1900, Page 17

It may be that we have yet another cycle of

disasters in front of us. On the other hand, it is quite possible the abandonment of Spion Kop may prove, not the prelude to disaster, but to victory. But even if our troops were to win a real victory in Natal in the course of the next few days, the country must still press upon the Government the need for naval and military preparations. We cannot therefore drop our demands for : (1) adequate naval preparations ; (2) the procuring of more guns; (3) the organisation of a large military force here, partly in view of home defence, but still more in case the need should arise for sending another fifty thousand men out of the country. We do not ask this from panic reasons, but because we believe in insuring against new reverses, and want to see preparations made, not merely when events render them absolutely essential, but in view of contingencies, which, if not probable, are certainly possible.