There was a debate on the Naval Estimates on Monday,
which came to nothing, but in the course of which Mr. Stansfeld made an extraordinarily suggestive speech, the drift of which was this. He wanted the Admiralty to remember that their ultimate duty was not to keep the police of the seas, but to provide for the contingency of a great naval war. For that we had an iron-clad fleet superior to that of France and America combined, and the Admiralty ought to increase that by one or two first-class vessels, and not keep on building numbers of ships for distant stations, which on the outbreak of war would have to run away. He wanted a plan framed with reference to our needs, instead of a plan framed by cutting down the demands of each department, those demands being always purposely exaggerated, in order that the cutting may leave something. The speech will pass almost unread, but it is one of the most statesmanlike Mr. Stans- feld has yet made.