30 SEPTEMBER 1905, Page 3

Chatham' and her terrible cargo, which was sunk in the

Suez Canal, took place on Thursday, happily with no evil results, though the experts would not commit themselves beforehand to any definite opinion as to what might not be the effect of exploding so vast a charge. There were some ninety tons of explosives in the ' Chatham,' and no such quantity had ever previously been discharged at one time. An excellent account of this extraordinary incident is to be found in a telegram in Friday's Morning Leader. The report, the corre- spondent tells us, was heard thirty miles away, but no great harm was done beyond the opening of a rift sixty feet wide in the Asiatic shore of the Canal. The African shore was uninjured. The people who left Port Said had, therefore, nothing to justify their panic. " There was not even a tremor of the earth perceptible," to quote the Morning Leader again, "and the surface of the water in the harbour and in the Canal, as far as could be seen, was not disturbed in the least." We wonder whether the effect of an explosion in the earth, instead of in the water, would be equally innocuous. Unless we are mistaken, there is a very large quantity of dynamite or gun-cotton buried outside Suakim which hitherto no one has dared to explode or remove. Perhaps it will now be deemed safe to deal with it, though personally we should prefer to apply the trustee's motto, quieta non movere.