6 JANUARY 1906, Page 25



&E,---Your paragraph in the Spectator of December 16th on the decision of the Lords of the Admiralty in this case has awakened widespread admiration and sympathy in this island, where the officers concerned are well known to many of us, through a recent visit. It is felt that the central idea of your paragraph is most just—namely, that the blame, if any, should be cast on the quarter from whence the orders were issued rather than on subordinates—and in default of a more skilled authority on naval affairs, I, as a lover of fair play, take upon myself to voice the general opinion. I may venture to add that in the heroic period of our naval history in the eighteenth century Admiral Byng was dealt with directly; now, how- ever, in these days we have improved our line of action ! Many of your readers here hope earnestly that the influence possessed by your most influential journal over the intellect of the Empire may lead to a better state of things. It is curious, just after we have ceded to France the dominant interest in Morocco, that our costly ships, with the valuable lives required to man them, should be sent into the worst sea inlet on a coast, so well known to be deadly that the common ocean " tramp " avoids it. May one of the "general public" ask by what right the Lords of the Admiralty reversed the sentence of the Court-Martial ? Is this going to be the rule for the future ? And why does the Navy come under a proceeding