LORD ROBERTS'S article on " How to Restore Military Efficiency " in the Nineteenth, Century takes the form of a
short but effective reply to the proposals of the Duke of Bedford. The Duke, who rejects the scheme of the National Service League, advocates a larger Regular Army, backed by a reduced voluntary Territorial Force. Lord Roberts finds fatal objections to this scheme in the impossibility of getting recruits and in the unnecessary expense — involving a net increase of about four and a half millions. But where Lord Roberts disagrees with the Duke most strongly is in his "retain- ing the old barriers between the nation and the professional Army instead of adapting these two elements to form a Home Defence force that will not only be far more effective in war but will inculcate patriotism and discipline in the whole nation in time of peace." We must also note Lord Roberts's very striking comment on the Duke of Bedford's view that, as the two-year soldier is superior to the four to six months' soldier, an Army of the former must beat an Army of the latter.
"I am in complete agreement with the first part of the above view, but not with the conclusion. My reason for this opinion is that the Army of short-term soldiers would have in its ranks the most intelligent and best-educated men in the country, and, with this overwhelming advantage, I maintain that, provided a certain standard of efficiency is insisted upon—both as regards officers and men—a large Army of short-term soldiers would defeat a small Army of professional soldiers. As, in our case, an Army 500,000 strong should be a match for at least 150,000 Regular invaders, I hold that we should possess an ample factor of safety ; in fact, that no invader would be likely to attempt a landing. Switzerland is surrounded by the long-service armies of the great military Powers, nevertheless she only enforces a short term of training, analogous to that recommended by the National Service League. The Swiss Army is generally held to be sufficiently powerful to make the dangers of an invasion of that country practically prohibitive, even to the most formidable military nations."
In conclusion, Lord Roberts pleads for more give-and-take among certain advocates of compulsory service. The National Service League scheme may be imperfect,yet it has succeeded in securing the "vote and influence" of some 260,000 people in
the country; and as the only compulsory scheme that holds the field it calls for united support and not pedantic criticism.— Bishop Frodsbam, lately Bishop of North Queensland, has an excellent paper on the attitude of religious thought in Australasia-towards compulsory training. Taking the official resolutions passed by representative bodies of the various denominations—Anglican, Presbyterian, or Methodist—he finds that religious thought is substantially in favour of the Defence Act. Personally he believes that provision will be ultimately made in Australia for the exemption from military training of all bona-fide members of religious bodies whose articles of religion forbid warfare. Such provision has already been made in New Zealand. But he adds that the experience of Australasia makes it clear that "the unsub- stantiated pleas of physical inability or of conscientious objection are not sufficient."---Mr.Marmaduke Pickth all replies to Sir Edwin Pears's criticisms of his previous article, and reiterates his charges of European interference and intolerance in Turkey. He admits that the present anti-patriotism found among the ruling classes is most disheartening, but emphatic- ally declares that Turkey has gained by the revolution—that the atmosphere of Turkish life has been transformed, and improvements have been made in every branch of the admini- stration. His optimism reaches a climax in the statement that
as soon as it is generally known in Kurdistan that the Armenians fought magnificently for the Empire in the late war, the feelings of the Kurds must change. But apart from this the paper is
full of arguable propositions, e.g., that everyone now knows that the Balkan war was preconcerted under Russian auspices.— Professor J. H. Morgan, in " How Ireland is Governed," pints the patent of the Lord Lieutenant—which, he observes, has never before been published—in order to accentuate the anomalies of what he describes as " the most highly centralized, the most paternal, and the most bureaucratic government in the British Empire with the exception of India and the Crown Colonies." He excepts from this condemnation the Board of Agriculture and the local committees formed in connexion with it, which "have had a remarkable influence in neutralizing Irish affairs by delivering them from the obses- sions of politics." Professor Morgan's examination of the administrative differentiation of Ireland from England leads him to the conclusion that the only logical course is to com- plete it by annexing to it an Irish legislature which shall reduce it to order.—Of the miscellaneous articles we may note the long account given by Pasteur Rey of Avignon of the romance of John Stuart Mill ; Sir Harry Johnston's "commonsense view" of the protection of fauna, flora, and scenery, in which he pleads vigorously on behalf of the nation for the control of the speculative builder ; and Mr. E. B. Osborn's admirable article on " Universal Languages," showing how, in the pursuit of simplification, reformers tend to create a. Babel of their own. There are ten universal languages still alive, and in a test sentence which he has translated into all of them the English version is the shortest and the least uncouth.
The editor of the National Review takes his stand beside Mr. Arnold White on the question of the King and the Con- stitution, and pours out the vials of his irony on " our esteemed and usually amiable contemporary the Spectator." We have no wish to prolong the controversy even with so friendly an opponent, but we think it is putting the intelligence of his public rather low when he expresses his conviction that "ninety-nine of our readers out of a hundred do most heartily assent to the substance of the prayer published in the Daily Express."—Under the title " Welt Politik," one of the pseudonymous pundits of the National Review, " Watchman" by name, discusses the exigencies—political, geographical, and physical—which render a policy of expansion inevitable for Germany in the light of Mr. Ellis Barker's recent work on " Modern Germany," while Lord Erroll, who writes on "Armament and Policy," welcomes the gradual approach of the question of National Service to the area of practical politics. He deals faithfully with Lord Roberts's opponents, especially those who represent his campaign as directed against the Territorials. " On the contrary, those who are criticised are not the men who are serving in the Territorials, but those who refuse to make any sacrifice to patriotic duty. Over and over again the patriotism of the Territorials has been praised and their devotion to duty eulogised, and the fact that, under present conditions, it is impossible for them to become efficient is the bedrock of the present agitation." The taking of the chair at Wolverhampton and Leeds by two Radical mayors is, as Lord Erroll notes, a welcome sign that this question may yet be raised above the strife of party warfare. —Mr. George Lloyd, M.P., has an interesting paper on the rise of East Africa, in which he utters a vigorous plea for the speedy provision of greater transport facilities. If the Uganda Railway, be asks, is already hopelessly congested, if traffic is already far beyond its carrying capacity, what will be the conditions in three years' time ? " A round sum of three million rounds, one million to be spent on harbour works at Kilindini, and two millions for the re-equipment of the railway, is the amount urgently and immediately required for handling the traffic that has developed in Uganda and British East Africa." He also outlines a scheme for dealing with the problem of the labour supply, and dwells on the gain that would accrue both to the Government and the settlers, if there were one good newspaper in East Africa. As matters stand, the settlers lack an organ which can express their point of view even articulately.—Mr. Maurice Low, discussing the situation in Mexico, sums it up by observing that, while President Wilson is as firmly opposed to intervention, which means war, as Mr. Taft was, and dislikes war as much as Mr. Cleveland and Mr. McKinley, yet, like the last-named, he may be unable to keep the peace. Discussing criticisms of Mr. Bryan for lecturing, Mr. Maurice Low pertinently observes that the majority of the American public
"New York City Marine Band. English Opera Quintet. William Jennings Bryan. Sears, the Taffy Man.
Avon Sketch Club.
—We may also mention among the miscellaneous articles Mr. E. B. Noel's interesting paper on real tennis and Miss Amabel Strachey's " Elizabeth," an episode from a short historical play entitled " The Sea Power of England," cul- minating in the news that the Armada has been sighted off the Lizard.
The Contemporary Review has secured two articles of more than common interest on the latest phases of the Balkan question. That by Mr. H. W. Nevinson, entitled " The Land of the Eagle," i.e., Albania (Shquipenia, the native name, being derived from " Shkipon," an eagle), is in great measure a defence and vindication of the Albanians. Mr. Nevinson shows that the traditional view of the Albanians as a picturesque and ferocious race is largely due to Byron and Childe Harold. Byron, however, in his letters, spoke highly of their honesty, and made the penetrating remark that "their religion makes little difference in their manner or conduct."
Mr. Nevinson quotes Miss Durham and Mr. Brailsford to show that their Mohammedanism and Christianity sit lightly on them, and that to Albanian patriots "creeds and ranks are senseless and obsolete inventions." As for the charges of barbarism, Mr. Nevinson retorts them upon their traducers, and charges Montenegrins, Servians, and Greeks with specific acts of abominable cruelty and butchery
against innocent Albanians. Against Montenegro, "Russia's pet little parasite," his indignation is the greatest. On the other hand, he claims for the Albanians that there is less to
fear from religions fanaticism among them than from any other Balkan race, that the rude local government by proved and trustworthy persons which now prevails throughout the country maintains order and the rights of property, and notes that the only serious crime he heard of in his long journey in July was the assassination of a notorious scoundrel for assaults on women. He believes in the honesty of the "Provisional Government "—even in their capacity to build up a sufficient Government for themselves :-
"But throughout the country I noticed that hesitation, self- distrust, and dependence upon higher authority which are the curse bequeathed to all subject races by Empires, whether good or bad. And so, like the Israelites, the Albanians clamour for a Icing to rule over them, as though kingship had brought nothing but blessing on Greece, Bulgaria, Servia, and Montenegro. They will have a Prince. A Prince is indispensable,' Ismail Kemal kept repeating to me. Unhappily, a primitive belief in blood royal' still subsists, and in demanding a Prince the Albanians have a vision of a magical creature, beautiful, charming, wise, intellectual, just, merciful, temperate, courageous, lighter-footed than the fox, and rich beyond the dreams of fairyland. Well, the Powers have promised them a real Prince at the end of the next five months, and one can only hope he will be something like that."
—Mr. R. W. Seton Watson, in an interesting survey of recent developments in the Balkans, notes the extraordinary miscal- culations made by the best judges as to the relative values of the rival nations. Not only were the Great Powers wrong in their estimates of the Allies and of Turkey—he does well to recall the ferocious contempt of Simp/icissimus for the Balkan peoples and their leaders—but the Allies were wrong about one another. He maintains that the rapid collapse of Bulgaria in the second war would not have caused such surprise abroad if the press had struck a due balance between
the relative importance of the Thracian campaigns, and com- pares the wasted opportunities, the ineffectual -victories of the Bulgarians after Lule Burgas with the successful and decisive
achievements of the Servians at Kumanovo and in the Sandjak. In fine, "in bravery, enthusiasm, and endurance the two Slav kingdoms are worthily matched ; but in cavalry, as artillery, the Servians have the advantage, while the superior strategic qualities of the Servian general staff were beyond all dispute even in the first war." But, according to the writer, the brilliant achievements of her army merely form who resent such action on the part of a Secretary of State are ignorant of the cost of living in Washington. Mr. Bryan's salary is £2,400 a year, and no Secretary of State in recent years has been able to live on it. It is the same with ambassadors. The reductio ad absurdum of this economy is that Mr. Bryan is now being "billed" in the Middle West in juxtaposition with other stars as under :— Neapolitan Troubadours.
Elliot A. Boyl.
Ed. Amhurst Ott."
part of the recent unexpected renaissance of Servia, for which he gives no little credit to King Peter—the beggar bandit of Simplicissimus
"The foul circumstances under which King Peter acceded to the throne have shrouded the subsequent history in a mist of prejudice; and the humiliation which the little kingdom so rashly courted at the bands of Count Aehrenthal only served to strengthen the impression that Servia was a negligible quantity in the Near East. In reality King Peter's accession was an almost unmixed blessing. The brutal removal of the Obrenovitch gave Servia for the first time a genuine constitu- tional Sovereign, and released her from the intolerable thrall of a dynasty whose private and political record was equally odious. For the first three years King Peter was helpless in the hands of the regicides : since then he has set himself quietly to eliminate from public life not merely the ringleaders themselves, but the doubtful elements from which they were recruited. The old methods of political and military favouritism have steadily diminished; a new spirit has found its way into the Court and into the bureaucracy."
In the remainder of the article Mr. Seton Watson gives evidence for his statement that the renaissance of Servia is intimately connected with the national revival among the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes of the Habsburg Monarchy, and discusses the turning-point in Austro-Roumanian relations brought about by the Balkan war. Commercial interests are likely to strengthen the growing friendship between Bucharest and Belgrade, and in conclusion "on every ground Roumania is entitled to the leadership in the Balkans ; . . . the modera- tion which she has displayed in the recent crisis proves that she desires to lead rather than dominate."—Dr. Dillon, in his voluminous description of the negotiations which culminated in the Treaty of Bucharest, agrees substantially with Mr.
Seton Watson's eulogy of Roumanian statesmanship. But his latest hero is General Fitcheff, whom he considers great not only in war but in his respect for realities and resignation to the inevitable. (Dr. Dillon, we may note in parenthesis, puts an entirely new complexion on the campaign in Thrace. The best judges condemn the Bulgarians for failing to push home their successes at Kirk Kilisse and Lule Burgas. Dr. Dillon would have us believe that it was Fitcheff who then cried, "Enough. Let us now make peace," but that he was overruled.) Dr. Dillon con- cludes by declaring that the Treaty of Bucharest is final; it will be abrogated only by war, and he observes that Bulgasia's gains far exceed the utmost she ventured to hope for when she declared war. The omniscient Dr. Dillon has failed to anticipate the last shake of the Balkan kaleidoscope—the direct negotiations between Bulgaria and Turkey.—Mr.
Chiozza Money has an interesting and, on the whole, optimistic paper on " The New Dearness." He is satisfied, by comparing prices with the gold output of the world, that, whatever the precise effect upon them of the variation in the gold supply may have been, it most certainly has not been the main or dominant factor. He looks to science to bring about the passing of the new dearness and to substitute for it an enduring cheapness, which may or may not be expressed in terms of gold.—Canon Grane discusses " Public Opinion and War," and expresses the conviction that in the war against war a
psychological victory has more influence on the final issue of the campaign than a victory on the field of economics.— Professor Lindsay maintains that the average religious attitude of the churches leads to much unreality in their teaching. We cannot, he holds, dispense with Christianity, but its presentation must be sincere and adapted to the range of our present knowledge and intelligence. Such a restatement of the Christian position, he believes, will only lighten the burden of the good ship, which carries the precious cargo of man's spiritual hopes, of the accumulated and superfluous lumber of the past.
H. Maeterlinck, in search for a solution of the problem of life after death, has been studying Mrs. Besant's theosophy and the reports of the Psychical Research Society. This
month's Fortnightly contains an instalment of his views on the subject. With regard to the doctrines of the theosophists, we are told with assurance that "It cannot be denied that, of
all the religious theories, reincarnation is the most plausible and the least repellent to our reason." In spite of this M. Maeterlinck devotes himself chiefly to giving his readers a rather watery dilution of some of the well-known proceedings of the Psychical Research Society. These proceedings make far more interesting reading in their original form than in the scrappy manner they are now given to us, nor are the comments of any real interest, though delivered in the most imposing manner of the writer whom the author of Jean Christophe has called the "mystic of the drawing- room."—" Auditor Tantum," in writing of "The Veto of the Crown," takes the line already advocated by the Spectator.
He says truly that if the strain now so lightheartedly urged in some quarters were put upon the Constitution not only would the Radicals agitate," but the next general election would be fought upon the veto of the Crown and the very existence of the Monarchy." The writer, too, reminds us of the scene in the House of Commons when, at the outset of the present reign,
"Mr. Asquith described how the Government had loyally observed their utmost duty to the Crown in, its how of mourning and bereavement. The most he drew from the Coalition was a formal murmur of respectful assent. But when, with altered mien and tone, the Prime Minister reminded his friends and allies that the Government also owed a duty to the great democracy, then roars of cheering broke forth from every quarter of his sup- porters."
—" Excnbitor's" article seeks to show Germany's decline in the balance of power in Europe. Six or seven years ago may be counted as Germany's high-water mark of power. She, however, was not satisfied, and made the mistake of not only desiring more ships and soldiers, but supported her policy by rash words. We became alive to the danger, and now, if the various tables here produced are correct, our margin of sea- power over Germany is a large one. For instance :—
"In 1909 we were asked to face the prospect of Germany having twenty-one and possibly twenty-five Dreadnought ships completed by April 1912, at a moment when we should have only twenty ; and Germany, there is little doubt, believed that she had entered on the last lap in the race for naval supremacy. In July 1913, fifteen months later than this critical date, Germany has actually fourteen ships in commission, while we possess twenty-four."
Apart from this the reduction of the powers of Italy and Austria has had a serious effect, and it seems likely that in the future the German fleet will have to be split up, owing to the growth of the Russian navy in the Baltic. Germany has to expand bothileet and army; we have had only to expand our fleet. This is an advantage to us, because money spent on the army is of no use commercially, while anything that stimu- lates and cheapens shipbuilding is of enormous advantage. —" Mancunian," in " A Liberal Plea for Dissolution," pleads strongly for recognition of the principle of the refer- endum. He tries to persuade Liberals to accept it, because, if the Unionists are returned to power and reform the House of Lords on their lines, the Liberals will then be praying to have it included. He also hopes that a new Home Rule Bill may be agreed upon by both parties, and be substituted for the present one. To facilitate this the Liberals should pledge themselves to dissolve directly after its passage by the House of Lords ; the issue before the country would then be House of Lords Reform. " Mancunian " and the Liberals who think with him have a hard task before them to find a solution of the Home Rule problem which both sides will find satisfactory. It is no doubt easy enough to say airily that such a solution can and ought to be found; the difficulties begin when actual proposals have to be made.
An intelligent foreigner desirous of becoming acquainted with that which is most characteristic of the activities of our race could not do better than devote himself to the study of Blackwood. This month he would find evidence of the way in which the English make themselves felt in remote places. America, India, Burma, and Africa all show the impression made by our colonizing and governing propensities. The American example is an exceedingly curious and exceptional one. Mr. G. Cunningham Terry describes a visit he paid to an Indian reservation in North Carolina, where a people numbering four thousand live secluded, talking Chaucerian English and using cross-bows. The explanation of these circumstances is that these people are not pure-bred Indians, but are the descendants of Sir Walter Raleigh's lost colony of Roanoke. This colony was supposed to have been dispersed, but there seems little doubt that it did not perish, but became absorbed in an Indian tribe who ever after remained separate. Thus alone can we account for the Croatan Indians, with their red skin, blue eyes, and Early English speech. These people seem to be self-respecting and industrious, never forgetting to pay a debt. They are now recognized as a separate people and have their own schools.—From India comes yet another instance of the murderous savagery of the Forth-West Frontier, while from Burma we get a pathetic
tale by Sir C. Crosthwaite of the devotion of a peasant woman to her bandit son.—Mr. N. B. De Laney Forth
describes with enthusiasm the Camel Corps, which is recruited from the Arabs between Khartoum and Kordofan. This force in its component parts is made completely self-sufficing; each man carries food, ammunition, water, and all else that he wants. A company with its English officer wants no baggage train and no commissariat department. The writer describes the wonderful way in which the officers have the confidence of the men, and bow perfect is the discipline. We can only wonder at this when we realize that the men who form this corps are untamed Arabs. An interesting instance is given of the fidelity of the men. On one occasion a small party got separated from the main body in a difficult mountain country. It so happened that the party had with it boxes containing .V9,000. They all knew the value of the boxes, and could have disappeared with them, never to have been seen again, with the greatest ease.
" Early one morning, accompanied by an Arab sheikh, the writer found them sleeping in the sandy bed of a khor, but the money-boxes were invisible. Then he asked a question which he has regretted ever since= Is the money safe ?' and back came the hurt, indignant reply, 'Of course the money is safe : we are four men, and we have our rifles, and we are still alive.' The boxes were in the sand, covered up in a dug-out hole over which three men were lying with one on watch."
—The lighter side of life is represented by Venice and
Ireland, from each of which comes a scherzo. Mr. Rolfe again charms us with his exploits in the unknown canals of the lagoons. This time his explorations brought him into contact with the Admiralty officials, who were not at all anxious that deep channels not marked on charts should be explored. How this was conveyed to Mr. Rolfe is a delightful example of Venetian courtesy. The Irish family described by Miss Somerville and Miss Martin is most amusing to read about, though their abounding vitality, practical jokes, and sociability must have been trying in the contact of real life.
The United Service Magazine has two articles which deal with naval construction. Commander Currey, R.N., in a rather pessimistic paper on the French Navy, traces its decline to undue regard for " the ways of the destroyer." He admits the validity of certain arguments against the cult of the big ship, but nevertheless maintains that, ton for ton, and represented in terms of money, the smaller the vessel the more expensive she is.—Mr. Percival Hislam, in an interest- ing review of " Dreadnought Development, 1905-1913," takes
a somewhat different view. The Dreadnought era, he observes, "has increased everything—the size and cost of ships, the calibre of guns, the complements of ships, the personnel of navies, and aggregate naval expenditure. How long can these tendencies be maintained? Theoretically, there is no limit. Engineers can build a ship or a gun as large as any Admiralty might care to order. Men can be obtained for fleets in the same way as most nations find them for their armies. No Power exhibits the least sign of breaking down under the burden of defence expenditure ; nor, indeed, is there any reason to believe that outlay would be reduced if the cost of ships were halved. Every nation claims to maintain a fleet for the purpose of preserving peace—a strange argument indeed when we reflect that war is impossible without the means of prosecuting it. The danger that confronts the world to-day is that some nation with little that can be lost and with a. great deal to gain may suddenly decide that peace is not worth the cost of maintaining it. It is, in truth, a matter of grave doubt whether anything short of war can check those tendencies, upward in everything save ideals, which are characteristic of the naval era in which we live."
—We may also notice a paper by "Mea" on " Confidence in War," in which the writer deprecates the modern tendency in army organization to sacrifice everything to lightness and mobility.