On Thursday Mr. Haldane made an admirable speech at the
Cannon Street Hotel on Army policy, and effectually dis- posed of the bogey that the new Government intend to reduce the strength and efficiency of our national forces. "I have the authority," said Mr. Haldane, "of Sir Henry Campbell- Bannerman—an old Secretary of State for War himself—to say to you that so much stress does he lay upon efficiency that if it were requisite he would be prepared to find more money and more men for the promotion of efficiency." But efficiency and lavishness, as Mr. Haldane knows well, do not go together, and we do not doubt that what has been done at the Admiralty can be done at the War Office. Under a proper organisation expenditure can be greatly reduced, and yet the nation be given an infinitely better Army. Mr. Haldane's sketch of the Army that we need was the most encouraging thing said in regard to military affairs during the present generation. The Regular Army must be based on the old principle, for nothing else will serve our purpose. Next, the Militia must be utilised and not neglected. Lastly, the Volunteers must be maintained and improved. "They should not be set to do camp drills which they could not perform." All this sounds so simple as to be a truism; but in spite of that, it shows that Mr. Haldane is thinking out his problem, and on sound lines. The hint he dropped as to obsolete fortifications, and the analogy he suggested with obsolete ships, were most fruitful.