27 MARCH 1909, Page 2

We have dealt so fully with the• naval crisis in

our leading columns that we shall only note here that the public anxiety is still maintained, and that though happily there are no signs of the country losing its head, or being seized by unworthy panic, there is a growing determination observable to maintain the absolute command of the sea at all costs. Though we strongly condemn the tactics of the Opposition in insisting on a. vote of censure, we feel sure that the Government will not retain the confidence of the nation unless they announce positively that eight capital battleships shall be laid down this year. They have in deed, if not in word, told us that such a course is necessary, and they have let it be inferred that they are certain to take this course. At the same time, they have shown enough hesitation' in their manner to make the public believe that it is just possible that they will not do what the First Lord of the Admiralty and the Prime Minister and the majority of their colleagues clearly think necessary.