We are glad to find that, thanks in a great
measure to the activity of the Navy League, South Africa seems likely to do the very thing which we lately advocated in these columns, found a local navy, which could be, were the Empire in peril, placed at the disposal of the Central Government. Admiral Sir Vesey Hamilton, acting for the Navy League, appears to have begun the movement by a letter to the Colonial Press. The proposals were warmly taken up, and special meetings, both of the Cape Town Council and of the Chamber of Com- merce, have been held to consider them, and both bodies have enthusiastically approved the principle of Colonial contri- bution to the Navy, whilst a joint committee has been ap- pointed to advance the objects of the Navy League, of which a branch has now been definitely established in Cape Town. In Natal also Admiral Hamilton's manifesto has received an enthusiastic welcome, a large public meeting having been held at Durban, under the presidency of the Mayor (Mr. Jameson), at which it was unanimously resolved to form a branch of the League, the liability of the Colony to contribute towards the cost of the Navy being freely acknowledged. The Cape Times has given a wise and practical shape to these aspirations by urging that the contribution to be made should take the form of a Cape cruiser, and ultimately of a Cape squadron, to be placed at the disposal of the Admiralty for service in any part of the world, in the event of war. The prospect is most hopeful. To stimulate the establishment of local naval forces is wisdom and statesmanship. To try by implied taunts and open grumblings to get cheques out of the Colonies to be paid into ,the British Exchequer in ex- change for the protection offered by the Imperial fleet is, on the other hand, the surest way to breed ill-blood between the Colonies and the mother-country.