4 JULY 1908, Page 31


THE places of honour in the new Nineteenth Century.— the beginning and the end—are given to two articles on the: international position of Britain. Mr. Ellis Barker, who writes on "The Triple Entente and the Triple Alliance," is optimistic, for in his opinion we have awakened at long last to the value of alliances. London now occupies a place in the political world of Europe similar to that of. Berlin when Bismarck was at the height of his power. So long as Britain was only a hanger-on of the Triple Alliance our position was thoroughly insecure, for the Triple Alliance would not have supported us in the case of a war with either France or Russia. Nothing would have better suited the chief partner of that Alliance, Germany. The author argues that to keep the balance of power in Europe, Denmark, Holland, and' Switzerland must be defended at all costs, and that, while. Britain can secure the first, France is the natural defender of • Round About the North Pole. By W. J. Gordon. London : John Murray. [Iro. net.] the second and third. Therefore Britain and France have interests which naturally barmonise. In dealing with Russia Mr. Barker is probably right in saying that a free Constitu- tion is not the remedy as yet for the country's ills. Economic and educational reform are the chief needs, and till these have done their work Russia is not ripe for Western Constitutionalism. It is a sensible and temperate article, and we differ from the writer only in the view that the present Entente should become an alliance. That would have had a provocative effect, and would be popular neither in France nor here. The _Entente gives both countries all the security they need, and yet is not aggressive in any sense.—Admiral Penrose Fitzgerald is much more doleful than Mr. Ellis Barker. He urges that the old British spirit has fled to Germany and Japan, and that we are so busy guarding the "precious freedom of the British hobbledehoy" that we have forgotten national needs and duties. Invasion be thinks perfectly practicable, and by no means unlikely. There is much force in Admiral Fitzgerald's vigorous appeal, though there is always the risk that a high-coloured argument may be discounted by readers who might be convinced by a more staid form of address.—Still another defence article is that by Major-General Charles Owen on Mr. Haldane's Territorial Artillery. He admits the merit of the general scheme of reconstruction, but he brings strong evidence to show that Mr. Haldane's partially trained Terri- torial batteries will not fulfil the intention of their creator.—Sir Bampfylde Fuller, the late Lieutenant- Governor of Eastern Bengal, has an interesting paper on the genesis of the present unrest in India. He puts it down largely to schoolboys, and advocates a stricter educational supervision. The perpetrators of outrages and manufacturers of bombs have been mainly in their teens. Sir Bampfylde draws a picture of this type of Indian schoolboy which is repulsive in the extreme. He is convinced that our educational policy is good on the whole, but he wants more discipline, and he desires to see the prurient and seditious papers which the schoolboys read sternly suppressed. He thinks there is no real national movement in India against British rule. All we have is an effervescence among the light-headed elements in the population caused by the success of Japan.— M. Augustin Hamon contributes a dithyrambic eulogy of Mr. Bernard Shaw, whom he calls " Un Nouveau MoliCre." We are bound to say that we do not see much point in the com- parison. There is little serious criticism in the article, and many of the statements are so wild as to make us distrustful of the equipment of the critic.—Among other papers, we would mention an excellent repudiation of the demand for women's suffrage by Lady Lovat ; a study of the Khedive by Mr. E. Dicey, who praises Sir Eldon Gorst for the good relations he has established between the Palace and the British Agency; Miss Violet Markham's exposition of the claims of Cartier and Cabot to be honoured along with Champlain at the Quebec Tercentenary this month; and Sir Harry Johnston's plea for the proper use of anthropological study in Imperial policy.

The National Review is a very good number. In the "Episodes of the Month" the editor, to quote his own words of the Pan-Anglican Reports, gives us a "vast deal of sound sense in excellent English." His comments are more temperately phrased than usual, though he describes Mr. John Ellis as a "simple child of nature" who wishes us "to rely exclusively on our self-righteousness for security." He insists upon the essentially pacific nature of the proceedings at Reval, and asks very pertinently why the Radicals who used to " cherish a hopeless passion for Russia " are now so violently Russophobe. "The Russian Govern- ment was far more reactionary in the days of the Midlothian Campaign." He praises heartily Sir Edward Grey's treatment of the whole question. To atone for this temporary lapse into amiability towards the Government, he dismisses Mr. Haldane's policy as a "sham, whether it fails or succeeds." Mr. Haldane is trying to bury compulsion, but "compulsion will bury Mr. Haldane unless he escapes to the Woolsack."—Lord Newton in his able paper, "The Great Haldane Imposture," takes the same line. Unlike General Owen in the Nineteenth Century, he condemns the whole scheme root and branch. It has reduced the armed forces at our disposal, exclusive of India, from six hundred and fifty-one thousand in 1906 to five hundred and twenty thousand in 1908. We cannot pretend to consider Lord Newton's indictment a judicial one, though we agree with certain of his incidental arguments. It seems to us a mistake to attack the essential principle ci the scheme instead of concentrating on a demand for changes in details. We believe the principle to be sound, though we differ from Mr. Haldane on many points, and though, as our readers know, we most earnestly desire universal training.—The most brilliant paper in the number is "An Inside View of the Free Churches," by the Rev. S. Skelhorn. It is a scathing attack, obviously strained and overcoloured, but containing some truths of which thinking Noncon- formists are fully conscious.—Among other contributions, we may mention Lord Desborough's article on "Olympic Games," Mrs. Edward Stuart-Wortley's interesting com- parison of English and French feminism, and Mr. Bernard Holland's well-deserved praise of Mr. Oliver's Alexander Hamilton.

There is no article in the new Contemporary of very special interest this month except Dr. Dillon's monthly survey of foreign affairs, which is, as usual, full of striking generalisa- tions and neglected facts.—All the reviews this month give much space to women's suffrage, and the Contemporary has two articles on the subject. The first, on "The Rebellion of Woman," by Mrs. Billington-Greig, is a wild, rhetorical paean on the coming revolution. We cannot imagine anything leas likely to make converts than Mrs. Greig's style. The suffragists are happier in their second defender, Mr. Bertrand Russell, who puts very temperately the main points in their case.—Mr. George Haw delivers a spirited attack on the permanent officials of the Local Government Board, which is alleged to be the worst managed and most reactionary of all Government Depart- ments. It was created in 1871, but its spirit is of a much earlier date. Its methods, says Mr. Haw, are "as wooden as old warships and as much out of date as manual fire engines."—Mr. Macnicol in "The Future of India" says what there is to be said for giving India some share in self-government, but his style is too emotional to incline the reader to accept his arguments.—The number contains also one or two well-informed and useful studies in foreign affairs by first-band observers. Such are "The Polish Question in Prussia," by Herr Koscielski, of the Prussian House of Nobles ; and a paper on "The Reform Movement in Persia," which suggests that the work of inspiring the Shah's Government with Constitutionalism is for the moment a hopeless task.

We agree with Mr. W. CT. Howard Gritten in the Fortnightly Review that popular opinion is turning against the present Government, but we prefer to pass by with very brief comment his "Restoration of the Unionist Party." It will not be enough, we would remark, that his friends should "repudiate on all occasions the inaccurate epithet of pro- tectionist." Some of the leaders among them have adopted it, and it cannot be repudiated for the beat of all reasons. The arguments by which they support their policy are Pro- tectionist arguments. With the hope of a new " Centre " Party we sympathise. Might we observe that one of its characteristics should be a little more courtesy in the language of political polemic than Mr. Gritten sees fit to employ ? Surely all opponents of Tariff Reform cannot be described as "those who oppose it either for purposes of party warfare or because they refuse to subject some special private interest to the common weal."—Foreign politics occupy a considerable part of this number. One article is the usual "Foreign Affairs: a Chronique," occupied with a criticism of Abd.ul- Aziz and a cautious reference to Abd-ul-Hamid, with an account of German activities in the Near East, with specula- tions as to the possible outcome of the Austrian Jubilee, and with a notice of the Presidential contest in the United States. Another article is "The Menace of Elsenborn," by "Y." Elsenborn is a new German camp which threatens the in- dependence of Belgium. "The Triple Entente," by " Calchas," is a review of the situation of Britain, France, and Russia as seen in its latest stage of development, the meeting at Reval. "Calchas" is as vigorous, and goes as directly to the point, as ever. He speaks of the Kaiser's imagination as "wholly possessed by extra-European visions," and traces to this departure from the Bisrnarckian policy the disadvan- tageous position of Germany. When one thinks of the South African telegram, the Moroccan incident, and German action

in the Far East, one can hardly doubt that he is right. But perhaps the most important paper, both from its authorship and the urgency of the subject dealt with, is Sir Harry Johnston's "Britain and Belgium." After reviewing the past relations of the two countries, the author takes up the Congo question. The Belgians have a suspicion, fostered, it would seem, by interested parties outside, that we have selfish aims. What we are really anxious about is the safeguarding of native rights. We are anxious, quite apart from sentiments of humanity, because we are a great African Power, because we dread anything that would aggravate a black v. white feud, because we know from our own experience "that it does not pay in the long run to rule twenty millions of Africans against their will." These savages may, as King Leopold's apologists aver, be bloodthirsty, as bloodthirsty as Nether- landers and Englishmen were in the sixteenth century; but they have rights, and it is of urgent interest to us that these rights should be safeguarded.—We can make but the briefest mention of M. Yves Guyot's "Influence of English Thought on the French Mind." It is only too crowded with facts and references. Into what an interesting volume it might be expanded !—Mr. Minchin writes pleasantly about Thomas Fuller, and Mr. Marriott gives a most pleasing picture of Lady Falkland in "The Mistress of Great Tew."—We should like to quote some of the things which Mr. Francis Gribble says about Mr. Arthur Symons. Perhaps it is as well that our space is exhausted. We must mention, however, Lady Grove's article on the "International Moral Education Congress," which is to meet in London from September 23rd-26th.

Blackwood this month has very little to say about topics of to-day. The " Muser without Method" takes occasion of the Quebec Tercentenary, and, goes back to Champlain in the seventeenth century and Wolfe and Montcalm in the eighteenth. He is at his beat when he handles such themes, and he is here equal to himself.—By a happy coincidence, the author of "Missing Regimental Honours" touches on the Canadian campaigns. He argues that " Canada " should be one of the names that appear on regimental colours. Louis- burg and Quebec are already among them ; but these words, significant as they are, do not tell the whole story. As the writer well puts it, "'Flanders' and 'Peninsula' alone have a better right to appear upon the colours than Canada." —" One of the Natal Army " gives an admirable appreciation of Sir Redvers Buller. There can be little doubt both that Buller came to the Boer Campaign with a reputation as well earned as that of any soldier of the time, and that he left it under something of a cloud. The case is put here with perfect fairness. He did not persist under failure or follow up success. Had the fourteen years of administrative work anything to do with it ? The man who knows how hard it is to keep the British Army up to its standard of numbers might hesitate to trust his regiments on the enemy's lines. One thing is certain,—that his men never ceased to worship him. —Colonel G. K. Scott-Moncrieff continues his papers, "On an Indian Canal." They are full of very significant facts, which critics of our rule in India might profitably consider. Here is one. The Chenab Canal—one of several Punjab canals—cost Rs. 28,227,748; last year it produced a net revenue of Rs. 5,706,662. "Unfortunately," the writer goes on, "there is one dark shade across a very bright picture." And what is this ? Briefly, that the engineers who work it have an ill. paid, distasteful employment without even a prospect of something better to lighten it.—Mr. Arthur E. P. Weigall contributes an essay of no little learning on "The Tempera- ment of the Ancient Egyptians." He contends that they were a cheerful people who practised with a whole heart the philosophy of "Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." And be collects a number of examples to prove his point. That, we imagine, would not be difficult to do in any literature. The Egyptians certainly bad their feasts ; but was it not they who invented the idea of having a skeleton in the midst ? This is a very readable paper, but the tone of advocacy does not make for the highest literary result.—One of the best things in the number is the review of Mr. J. B. Atlay's Victorian Chancellors. There were some remarkable men among them,—Lyndhurst, Brougham, Campbell, Cairns, and Selborne, not to speak of the lawyers pure and simple. Campbell, though far from the greatest, is perhaps the best known among them, thanks to his literary work, and he is sketched here with special skill. Not less happy is the picturing of that very strange personality, Lord Westbury.

The space which politics occupy in the Albany Review is not large, but it is amply filled. Universal suffrage for both men and women is enough to satisfy us for a while. (Is there no doubt as to the depth of the impression which the recent demonstrations have made on public opinion ? It is generally believed that they found and left a public either hostile or indifferent.) Later on the courageous person who comments on "Current Events" declares against all "galling discriminations" in the matter of old-age pensions. The vagabond or thief who has preyed on the community all his life is to have a modest income secured to him when he feels himself unequal, poor fellow ! to his methods of violence or fraud.—It is refreshing to turn from such crudenesses to the admirable article on "State Children in South Australia," by Miss Edith Sellers. (Miss C. H. Spence's book on the same subject might have had a more ample recognition.) A young community, with a fair field for effort, and manageable numbers, may do with comparative ease what is beset with difficulties in an old country ; but there is certainly much in the system that might be usefully adopted.—A curious dialogue between "Famine and Pestilence" which has a bearing on the "Condition of the People" question has been contributed by Mr. Lascelles Abercrombie. It does not seem to us a felicitous way of expressing opinion. Here is some strange talk in the mouth of " Pestilence " :—" Do men seem to be living joyfully or nobly in an English town ? By 'joyfully' I do not mean 'not being mopish and glum' ; I mean a very positive thing, a feeling that it is sheer ecstasy to have senses and emotions." And so the eloquent and amiable creature goes on for pages. "Famine," it must be allowed, does not reach this height,

but her occupation is naturally exhausting. Madame Savinkov in her "At the Foot of the Scaffold" adds some fresh evidence to the terrible catalogue of Russian horrors. —Literary subjects are so apt to be crowded out by more urgent discussions that we feel bound at least to mention a most striking piece of Shakespearean criticism from the pen of Mr. W. H. Hadow. It is on the character of Iago.

In this month's United Service Magazine the place of honour is given to an article entitled "Battle Practice : Some of its Faults and Failings," by "Executive Officer." Though somewhat confused and disjointed, the article contains much excellent sense. "Executive Officer" dwells specially upon the great importance of early hitting in a battle, and he doubts whether the conditions under which battle practice, or what he more accurately describes as "long-range firing competition," takes place are calculated to make officers realise how essential it is to draw first blood. He also insists upon the danger of our forgetting " Barfleur's " proposition: "Battles are lost and won by men and not by ships."

Another interesting article is "Interior and Exterior Lines," by Captain R. H. James. Captain James begins by a well- expressed definition of the aim of strategic manceuvre. "The ultimate object of all strategic manceuvre is to obtain not only superiority of force at the decisive point, but also to utilige this superiority in such a way as to produce the greatest results." In the end, Captain James claims to have shown that operations on exterior lines are morally more advan- tageous than those on interior lines.