II External Weaknesses

WHEN the Germans prate of the willingness of the world to join them in the hope of looting the British Empire, they seem to suppose that the English and the French will tamely sit still and allow them to bring their plans to perfection. Something has already been said in a previous chapter about Italy's position in the Mediterranean, her fear of Austria, and, in general, her lack of that same vital interest in Pan-Germanism which her two allies undoubtedly possess. While the great scheme is probably the most plausible and feasible ever suggested for the preservation and expansion of Germany and Austria, there are many other possibilities before Italy. She has already proved in the case of the Tripolitan War that she has her price and is by no means bound to the Triple Alliance with eternal chains. Suppose now that England and France should increase their offer to her and should be able to fulfill it, would she still cling to Pan-Germanism, and could it be completed without her assistance and with her opposition? Suppose France offered Spain a part of Morocco; that England offered Italy Egypt in addition to Tripoli, reserving only the right of free passage through the Suez Canal and the control of the Red Sea; that the Triple Entente guaranteed the autonomy of Greece and the Balkan States, and secured from Russia the suspension at least of her claims to territorial expansion in that district, in exchange for at least the right of free passage through the Straits and the control of the Black Sea; suppose that they offered the Young Turks control of Asia Minor, with financial support for their government, in exchange for the commercial privileges of the Baghdad Railway and the right to irrigate Mesopotamia; suppose England and Russia offered the Persians autonomy in exchange for a monopoly of trade and the right to construct the Trans-Persian Railway; would not the situation be materially altered? Would not the Triple Entente be more than likely to assure itself of the permanent support of these states whose adherence is absolutely essential to Pan-Germanism? Would the Pan-German Confederation, even if actually created, be proof against such offers, when the Triple Entente could without exaggeration promise to every one of those states such privileges as the price of their support, with the certainty that their desertion would so completely destroy the confederation and weaken Germany and Austria as to make actual war impossible? Truth to tell, the Triple Entente would prefer to keep all it has; but is it not a purely gratuitous assumption to suppose that they will be so blind as not to see that by parting with some of it they might easily insure their possession of the remainder for another couple of generations?

While the Germans have correctly read the history of the British Empire and have appreciated to the full the importance of the assistance of the native races in creating the present position held by England, they seem to believe that the English power at present has no other basis than that which it possessed in the beginning. They forget the ability with which the English have ruled India, the undeniable benefits which they have conferred upon the Hindu, the fact that the common people have for the first time been treated with what we should call decency, accorded justice, and allowed to retain a sufficient proportion of their produce to live upon. However true may be the tales of oppression in India that Germany and Russia have industriously collected and spread, they are certainly insignificant compared to the oppression and suffering visited upon that unhappy land since before the time when history was. The wave of democracy, which is sweeping on into the Orient, has not escaped the Hindus; but a most careful investigation of the question by disinterested students has yet failed to reveal any very considerable number of Hindus who believe the varied races huddled together in India capable of governing themselves. The English have appreciated (and so far as we can tell with absolute justice) the fact that the democratic movement in India is the work of one race and one religion, which would be glad to rule over the other races and the other religions. It is not, therefore, difficult to demonstrate to the Hindu of the Brahmin caste the undesirability of being ruled by the Mohammedans, while the latter are by no means enthusiastic about being ruled by the Brahmin. Each is zealous about obtaining for his own sect the right to govern India; each is as unwilling to be ruled by other Hindu sects, who do not agree with him in religion, as he is to have the present English rule continued. When it is simple to demonstrate to them all that the departure of the English will certainly not result in the government of India by any native race or sect, but in its conquest by Russia or Germany, the desire of the Hindus and Mohammedans for the expulsion of the English is necessarily much modified. So clear have the English made these facts to those natives who alone are capable, either from their ability or from their position, of undertaking such a movement, that the likelihood of any revolt against the English in India is small and the faithful support of the native princes firmly assured, at any rate, so long as the present international situation continues. Suppose that the international situation should suddenly change, that, for any one of fifty reasons, the expulsion of all foreigners from India should seem probable, would not the English then be in a position to offer the natives, in exchange for the trade monopoly they have always had and to which the native does not apparently seriously object, their assistance in securing and maintaining actual autonomy? Would not the Germans or the Russians be met by a very different sort of a force than the beggarly thousands of Englishmen whom they affect so to despise? In fact, to snatch India from a few thousand Englishmen with the assistance of the Hindu is one thing; to conquer India from the English and the Hindu combined, in the face of a century of admirable administration by England and the promise of practical autonomy for the native states in the future, would be a very different thing. If one is eminently feasible, the other is exceedingly improbable; and the facts of the situation, so far as they can be learned, seem to indicate with precision that the latter is the truth.

The Germans have made much of the lack of common economic interests between England and her self-governing colonies because of the distances which sunder them. As a matter of fact, it is easier to-day to carry on trade with New Zealand at a distance of over twelve thousand miles --- it is possible to send that distance commodities that until the last half-century were never shipped at all ---than it was before the year 1850 to carry on trade overland between Berlin and Munich. Nor are the freight charges in one case probably much in excess of those in the other. Certainly the time consumed does not so greatly differ. Most people forget with ease the common facts of history concerning the length of time consumed by journeys undertaken without the aid of the railway. While the analogy must not be too closely pressed, it is substantially true that the economic tie between England and her colonies is probably quite as close to-day as the economic ties between different parts of the German Empire previous to the Zollverein. To be sure, this argument does not presage great strength for such relations, but it does show that the mere fact of the existence of the Atlantic Ocean is not sufficient to prove that there is not and never can be a substantial identity of economic interests. But waiving that, assuming that the only bond there is or can be between England and her self-governing colonies is that of blood, it will be difficult for the student to deny that the racial tie is more than likely to be sufficient to hold the Empire together, and to secure actual support from the colonies in ships and troops.

Enthusiastic response to the recent appeal of the mother country for assistance shows conclusively that there is a good deal more likelihood of the tie between England and her colonies being sufficient to hold them together than that the present political tie will be sufficient to prevent the complete dismemberment of Austria-Hungary. If we take the most unfavorable statement possible of the British Empire and the most favorable statement of the actual situation in the Dual Monarchy, it will be difficult to deny that the British Empire possesses all those qualities of unity of race, of language, of religion, of economic interest, of policy, of loyalty, which the Dual Monarchy conspicuously lacks. And the continued existence of the Dual Monarchy is a good deal more important to Pan-Germanism than the assistance of the English colonies is likely to be to the Triple Entente.

In regard to the economic weapons upon which Germany places so much reliance, the truth of the facts alleged is not possible of denial, but the inferences drawn from them seem to be enormously exaggerated. Unquestionably, Germany does possess the reality, and other nations possess paper evidences of their investments, and if Germany should decline to pay her loans, and if she should be able to maintain herself in war, disastrous results might be produced. The possibility of the confiscation of the English investments in other parts of the world does not seem to be probable. It has always been true that the strong man could rob the weaker, that the strong nation could rob the smaller; but the experience of men throughout the centuries seems to have demonstrated pretty effectively, that, even when the thief is not punished by the arm of justice, there are economic laws which somehow seem to prevent the attainment of the degree of benefit he expected to derive. So radical a disavowal of the strength of the feeling in favor of commercial and national honesty is far removed from the general opinion of the financial world, and it seems probable that the Germans have very much underestimated the strength of the moral obligation which binds the commercial world together.

Above all, this talk of confiscation as a last resort, of taking possession for nothing of Germany's development, is all based upon the supposition that it will be as easy to keep it as it is to get it, and upon the equally peculiar notion that the financial situation will remain what it was some years ago when these notions were first promulgated. They are no longer secret, nor have the foreign investors failed to take account of the fact that, even should Germany take no steps to repudiate her debts, the coming of war would for the time being at any rate rob them of their incomes. They are not investing to-day at the rate they did before in German securities; they will no longer advance loans to the German and Austrian Governments without pledges in regard to the destination of the money of such a nature as to make treachery improbable; they have already been at work for some years exchanging their investments in Germany for other securities. American investors are inclined to greet such a supposition as repudiation with incredulity, and the small European investor, who is not informed in the details of current politics, is apt to suppose that the German or Austrian Government is necessarily trustworthy; but the great financial heads do not seem to be of that opinion. An Austrian war loan, offered in December, 1912, at 97, was not subscribed with alacrity. None of the Germans seem to remember that after the war is over, after they have succeeded in destroying France and robbing England, they will be forced to have relations with the rest of the world and with each other. The effect of the wholesale repudiation of their debts, private and national, however crushing it might be at the moment to their creditors, and whether or not it was intentional or involuntary, would almost certainly react upon themselves in the future so unfavorably as to render the whole operation scarcely to their advantage. With such a record, how could they expect to obtain the confidence of the Hindu and of the Chinese, to say nothing of maintaining that belief in each other's honesty and faithfulness upon which the whole structure of Pan-Germanism rests?

Their economic weapons, about which the Germans talk so glibly, the starving of England, the depriving her factories of raw materials, the cutting-off of her supplies for the maintenance of a fleet, these depend one and all upon the ability of the German navy to outmanoeuvre the English and get possession of the Channel in such fashion that a pitched battle would be necessary to dislodge it, or upon its ability to defeat the English fleet in the first place in so decisive a manner that assistance could not come from the Mediterranean and from America in time to avert the catastrophe. It is perhaps well to remember in this connection that the Germans are not a nation of sailors, and that their navy has thus far been used only for manoeuvres like those of the King of France when he marched up the hill and then marched down again. It is true, as the Germans say in defense, that the English have never used the present type of ship in actual warfare; but it is surely exceedingly important to remember that the English invented and designed the present type of ship, and in all probability know more about its use than the Germans are likely to. The latter seem to lay more stress upon the size of their fleet than they do upon its efficiency, and seem to suppose that, if it were more numerous than the English, victory would be assured. The Spanish Armada, to cite one familiar example from many, was reputed at the time to be so powerful, and certainly did so largely outnumber the English fleet, that Europeans supposed no resistance would be possible; yet in this action, as in many others, the English demonstrated conclusively that knowledge of seamanship and the efficiency of the individual vessel was of vastly more consequence than numbers. While at the present day there is no great sailor of conspicuous fame in the English navy, it is difficult to believe that the nation, which produced in moments of danger men like Drake, Blake, and Nelson, would be incapable in a similar crisis of producing as suddenly from the ranks some man of equally conspicuous talent. It will be early enough to assume the defeat of the English on the sea when that event occurs.

The German army is probably more efficient than the fleet, but is very likely not as efficient as the Germans think it is. Military critics have declared it bound too tightly with red tape, filled with unintelligent officials, too stiff and mechanical in its evolutions to give much of an account of itself in battle. Certainly, it cannot compare in point of size with the army Russia could put in the field, and competent judges have declared it far inferior in quality to the French army. To be sure, none of these armies have recently been under fire except the Russian army, whose experience was perhaps not a desirable preparation for another war. The condition of the English army in England is admitted on all sides to be bad, though the actual deficiencies have no doubt been exaggerated by the eager advocates of universal conscription. But while the Anglo-Saxon race has invariably not shown to advantage in the field before the war, nor indeed during the first years of a long war, they have usually won. From the point of view of strategy, the Duke of Wellington was hopelessly beaten at Waterloo; according to all the rules of tacticians, his thin line of redcoats could never hold such a position; but the critics have since been compelled to admit that the English soldiers possessed some qualities, which other troops did not have, that enabled them to hold that position despite the odds and win one of the decisive battles of history. No doubt all Anglo-Saxons are prejudiced, but they will not credit the supposition that the descendants of the men who fought Napoleon and the men themselves who won the war in South Africa, when they meet an invader upon their own soil, will be unable to give a satisfactory account of themselves.

The really doubtful factor in the present situation is Russia. She, far more than England, holds the scale. She is likely to gain in the long run whichever side wins. Should Germany overthrow England and France in Europe and take possession of the Mediterranean, Russia would certainly reach India first. If she should join Germany, the downfall of England and France would be assured, and the victors could divide the world at their leisure. But she could not join Germany without renouncing her ambitions in the Baltic, without permitting the Germans to overrun that sea and throwing herself back upon Asia and making it the centre of a new empire. The likelihood of such a renunciation of her position in Europe is exceedingly small. The probability that Germans would believe in her sincerity, if she offered them an alliance on such a basis, is infinitely smaller. Germany is so exposed that the treachery of Russia would be fatal. As the situation looks at present, nothing short of the breaking of the alliance between England, France, the United States, and Russia can permit the German scheme to obtain anything more than a temporary and partial success. The first three of these allies cannot leave the alliance without endangering everything they hold dear. The .fourth can do so only by the renunciation of ambitions which have been the very backbone of Russian policy ever since Russia herself emerged upon the plane of European politics.





THE following speech was delivered by Premier Borden in the Canadian House of Commons on December 5, 1912, and was received with the utmost enthusiasm by a crowded assemblage. The House rose to its feet, cheering and waving handkerchiefs for many minutes, and sang "God save the King" at the conclusion of a very remarkable demonstration. This speech and the official memorandum communicated to the House prove the extent of the anxiety in England over the progress of Pan-Germanism. The text of the speech given here is that printed in the weekly edition of the London Times for December 6, 1912; the text of the Memorandum is that printed by the Times from the official Parliamentary Paper, Cd. 6513. Actual official copies could not be procured in time for publication: --

During my recent visit to the British Islands I ventured on many public occasions to propound the principle that the great Dominions, sharing in the defence of the Empire upon the high seas, must necessarily be entitled to share also in the responsibility for and in the control of foreign policy. No declaration I made was greeted more heartily and enthusiastically than this. It is satisfactory to know to-day that not only His Majesty's Ministers, but also the leaders of the opposite political party in Great Britain, have explicitly accepted this principle, and have affirmed the conviction that the means by which it can be constitutionally accomplished must be sought, discovered, and utilized without delay.

The present Government assumed office on the 10th October, 1911, and met Parliament on the 17th day of November following. It is hardly necessary to point out that there was no opportunity until after the close of the Session to visit Great Britain, or consult the Admiralty in any effective way. Shortly after the Session closed I went to England, accompanied by some of my colleagues, and for several weeks we had the opportunity from time to time of conferring with the British Government, and consulting with technical and expert advisers of the Admiralty, respecting the whole question of naval defence, and especially the conditions which confront the Empire at present and in the early future. I desire to express my warm appreciation. of the manner in which we were received by His Majesty's Government, who took us most fully into their confidence regarding great questions of foreign policy and defence, and who accorded to us all the relevant information at their disposal. A portion of this is, necessarily, of a very confidential character which cannot be made public, but the important part will be communicated to the House in a document which I shall lay on the table this afternoon.

I now proceed to submit to the House the information which we have received from His Majesty's Government which, in the form of a memorandum, is as follows: --

1. The Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada has invited His Majesty's Government through the Board of Admiralty to prepare a statement of the present and immediately prospective requirements of the naval defence of the Empire for presentation to the Canadian Parliament if the Dominion Cabinet deem it necessary.

The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty are prepared to comply and to supplement, in a form which can be made public, the confidential communications and conversations which have passed between the Admiralty and Ministers of the Dominion Parliament during the recent visit to the United Kingdom.

The Admiralty set the greatest store by the important material, and still more important moral, assistance which it is within the power of Canada to give to maintaining British naval supremacy upon the high seas; but they think it necessary to disclaim any intention, however indirect, of putting pressure upon Canadian public opinion, or of seeking to influence the Dominion Parliament in a decision which clearly belongs solely to Canada.

The Admiralty therefore confine themselves in this statement exclusively to facts, and it is for the Dominion Government and Parliament to draw their own conclusions therefrom.

2. The power of the British Empire to maintain the superiority on the sea, which is essential to its security, must obviously be measured from time to time by reference to the other naval forces of the world, and such a comparison does not imply anything unfriendly in intention or in spirit to any other Power or group of Powers. From this point of view the development of the German Fleet during the last fifteen years is the most striking feature of the naval situation to-day. That development has been authorized by five successive legislative enactments, viz., the Fleet Laws of 1898, 1900, 1906, 1908, and 1912. These laws cover the period up to 1920.

Whereas in 1898 the German Fleet consisted of:

9 battleships (excluding coast defence vessels),
3 large cruisers,
28 small cruisers,
113 torpedo-boats, and
25,000 men,---

maintained at an annual cost of £6,000,000, the full Fleet of 1920 will consist of: --

41 battleships,
20 large cruisers,
40 small cruisers,
144 torpedo-boats,
79 submarines, and
101,500 men, ---

estimated to be maintained at an annual cost of £23,000,000. These figures, however, give no real idea of the advance, for the size and cost of ships has risen continually during the period, and, apart from increasing their total numbers, Germany has systematically replaced old and small ships, which counted as units in her earlier Fleet, by the most powerful and costly modern vessels. Neither does the money provided by the Estimates for the completed law represent the increase in cost properly attributable to the German Navy, for many charges borne on British naval funds are otherwise defrayed in Germany; and the German Navy comprises such a large proportion of new ships that the cost of maintenance and repair is considerably less than in navies which have been longer established.

3. The naval expansion of Germany has not been provoked by British naval increases. The German Government have repeatedly declared that their naval policy has not been influenced by British action, and the following figures speak for themselves: --

In 1905 Great Britain was building four capital ships, and Germany two.

In 1906 Great Britain reduced to three capital ships, and Germany increased to three.

In 1907 Great Britain built three capital ships, and Germany built three.

In 1908 Great Britain further reduced to two capital ships, and Germany further increased to four.

It was not until the efforts of Great Britain to procure the abatement or retardation of naval rivalry had failed for three successive years that the Admiralty were forced in 1909, upon a general review of the naval situation, to ask Parliament to take exceptional measures to secure against all possible hazards the safety of the Empire. In that year eight capital ships were laid down in Great Britain, and two others were provided by the Commonwealth of Australia and the Dominion of New Zealand respectively --- a total of ten.

4. In the spring of the present year the fifth German Navy Law was assented to by the Reichstag. The main feature of that law is not the increase in the new construction of capital ships, though that is important, but rather the increase in the striking force of ships of all classes which will be immediately available at all seasons of the year.

A third squadron of eight battleships will be created and maintained in full commission as part of the active battle fleet. Whereas; according to the unamended law, the active battle fleet consisted of seventeen battleships, four battle or large armoured cruisers, and twelve small cruisers, it will in the near future consist of twenty-five battleships, eight battle or large armoured cruisers, and eighteen small cruisers; and whereas at present, owing to the system of recruitment which prevails in Germany, the German Fleet is less fully mobile during the winter than during the summer mouths, it will, through the operation of this law, not only be increased in strength, but rendered much more readily available. Ninety-nine torpedo-boat destroyers, instead of sixty-six, will be maintained in full commission out of a total of one hundred and forty-four; seventy-two new submarines will be built within the currency of the new law, and of these it is apparently proposed to maintain fifty-four with full permanent crews. Taking a general view, the effect of the law will be that nearly four-fifths of the entire German Navy will be maintained in full permanent commission; that is to say, instantly and constantly ready for war.

So great a change and development in the German Fleet involves, of course, important additions to their personnel. In 1898 the officers and men of the German Navy amounted to 25,000. To-day that figure has reached 66,000. The new law adds 15,000 officers and men, and makes a total in 1920 of 101,500.

The new construction under the law prescribes the building of three additional battleships --- one to be begun next year, one in 1916 --- and two small cruisers, of which the date has not yet been fixed. The date of the third battleship has not been fixed. It has been presumed to be later than the six years which are in view. The cost of these increases in men and in material during the next six years is estimated as £10,500,000 spread over that period above the previous estimates.

The facts set forth above were laid before the House of Commons on the 22d July, 1912, by the First Lord of the Admiralty.

5. The effect of the new German Navy Law is to produce a remarkable expansion of strength and readiness. The number of battleships and large armoured cruisers which will be kept constantly ready and in full commission will be raised by the law from twenty-one, the present figure, to thirty-three --- an addition of twelve, or an increase of about fifty-seven per cent.

The new fleet will, in the beginning, include about twenty battleships and large cruisers of the older type, but gradually as new vessels are built the fighting power of the fleet will rise until in the end it will consist completely of modern vessels.

The complete organization of the German Fleet, as described by the latest law, will be five battle squadrons and a fleet flagship, comprising forty-one battleships in all, each attended by a battle or armoured cruiser squadron, complete with small cruisers and auxiliaries of all kinds and accompanied by numerous flotillas of destroyers and submarines.

This full development will only be realized step by step; but already in 1914, two squadrons will, according to Admiralty information, be entirely composed of what are called Dreadnoughts, and the third will be made up of good ships like the "Deutschlands" and the "Braunschweigs," together with five Dreadnought battle cruisers.

This great fleet is not dispersed all over the world for duties of commerce protection or in discharge of Colonial responsibilities; nor are its composition and character adapted to those purposes. It is concentrated and kept concentrated in close proximity to the German and British coasts.

Attention must be drawn to the explicit declaration of the tactical objects for which the German fleet exists as set forth in the preamble to the Naval Law of 1900 as follows: --

"In order to protect German trade and commerce under existing conditions, only one thing will suffice, namely, Germany must possess a battle fleet of such a strength that even for the most powerful naval adversary a war would involve such risks as to make that Power's own supremacy doubtful. For this purpose it is not absolutely necessary that the German Fleet should be as strong as that of the greatest naval Power, for, as a rule, a great Naval Power will not be in a position to concentrate all its forces against us."

6. It is now necessary to look forward to the situation in 1915.

In the spring of the year 1915 --

Great Britain will have twenty-five " Dreadnought " battleships and two "Lord Nelsons."

Germany will have seventeen "Dreadnought" battleships.

Great Britain will have six battle cruisers.

Germany will have six battle cruisers.

These margins in new ships are sober and moderate. They do not err on the side of excess. The reason they suffice for the present is that Great Britain possesses a good superiority in battleships, and especially armoured cruisers, of the pre-Dreadnought era.

The reserve of strength will steadily diminish every year, actually because the ships of which it is composed grow old, and relatively because the new ships are more powerful. It will diminish more rapidly if new construction in Germany is increased or accelerated. As this process continues greater exertions will be required by the British Empire.

Four battle cruisers and four armoured cruisers will be required to support British interests in the Mediterranean during the years 1913 and 1914. During those years the navies of Austria and Italy will gradually increase in strength, until in 1915 they will each possess a formidable fleet of four and six Dreadnought battleships respectively, together with strong battleships of the pre-Dreadnought types and other units, such as cruisers, torpedo-craft, etc. It is evident, therefore, that in the year 1915 our squadron of four battle cruisers and four armoured cruisers will not suffice to fulfil our requirements, and its whole composition must be reconsidered.

It has been necessary within the past decade to concentrate the fleet mainly in home waters.

In 1902 there were one hundred and sixty British vessels on the overseas stations against seventy-six to-day.

7. Naval supremacy is of two kinds: general and local. General naval supremacy consists in the power to defeat in battle and drive from the seas the strongest hostile navy or combination of hostile navies wherever they may be found. Local superiority consists in the power to send in good time to, or maintain permanently in, some distant theatre forces adequate to defeat the enemy or hold him in check until the main decision has been obtained in the decisive theatre. It is the general naval supremacy of Great Britain which is the primary safeguard of the security and interests of the great Dominions of the Crown, and which for all these years has been the deterrent upon any possible designs prejudicial to or inconsiderate of their policy and safety.

The rapid expansion of Canadian sea-borne trade, and the immense value of Canadian cargoes always afloat in British and Canadian bottoms, here require consideration. On the basis of the figures supplied by the Board of Trade to the Imperial Conference of 1911, the annual value of the overseas trade of the Dominion of Canada in 1909-10 was not less than 72,000,000 l., and the tonnage of Canadian vessels was 718,000 tons, and these proportions have already increased and are still increasing. For the whole of this trade wherever it may be about the distant waters of the world, as well as for the maintenance of her communications, both with Europe and Asia, Canada is dependent, and has always depended upon the Imperial Navy, without corresponding contribution or cost.

Further, at the present time and in the immediate future, Great Britain still has the power, by making special arrangements and mobilizing a portion of the reserves, to send, without courting disaster at home, an effective fleet of battleships and cruisers to unite with the Royal Australian Navy and the British squadrons in China and the Pacific for the defence of British Columbia, Australia, and New Zealand. And these communities are also protected and their interests safeguarded by the power and authority of Great Britain so long as her naval strength is unbroken.

8. This power, both specific and general, will be diminished with the growth not only of the German Navy, but by the simultaneous building by many Powers of great modern ships of war.

Whereas, in the present year, Great Britain possesses eighteen battleships and battle cruisers of the Dreadnought class against nineteen of that class possessed by the other Powers of Europe, and will possess in 1913 twenty-four to twenty-one, the figures in 1914 will be thirty-one to thirty-three; and in the year 1915, thirty-five to fifty-one.

The existence of a number of navies, all comprising ships of high quality, must be considered in so far as it affects the possibilities of adverse combinations being suddenly formed. Larger margins of superiority at home would, among other things, restore a greater freedom to the movements of the British squadrons in every sea, and directly promote the security of the Dominions. Anything which increases our margin in the newest ships diminishes the strain, and augments our security and our chances of being left unmolested.

9. Whatever may be the decision of Canada at the present juncture, Great Britain will not in any circumstances fail in her duty to the Oversea Dominions of the Crown.

She has before now successfully made head alone and unaided against the most formidable combinations, and she has not lost her capacity by a wise policy and strenuous exertions to watch over and preserve the vital interests of the Empire.

The Admiralty are assured that His Majesty's Government will not hesitate to ask the House of Commons for whatever provision the circumstances of each year may require.

But the aid which Canada could give at the present time is not to be measured only in ships or money. Any action on the part of Canada to increase the power and mobility of the Imperial Navy, and thus widen the margin of our common safety, would be recognized everywhere as a most significant witness to the united strength of the Empire, and to the renewed resolve of the Overseas Dominions to take their part in maintaining its integrity.

10. The Prime Minister of the Dominion having enquired in what form any immediate aid that Canada might give would be most effective, we have no hesitation in answering, after a prolonged consideration of all the circumstances, that it is desirable that such aid should include the provision of a certain number of the largest and strongest ships of war which science can build or money supply.

Mr. Borden continued: --

Do Canadians sufficiently realize the disparity between the naval risks of our Empire and those of any other nation? The armies of Continental Europe number their men by the million, not by the thousand. They are highly equipped and organized, the whole population have undergone military training, and any one of the countries is absolutely secure against invasion from Great Britain, which could not send an expeditionary force of more than one hundred and fifty thousand men at the highest estimate. Such a force would be outnumbered by twenty to one by any of the great European Powers. This Empire is not a great military Power, and it has based its security in the past, as in the present, almost entirely on the strength of its Navy. A crushing defeat upon the high seas would render the British Islands, or any Dominion, subject to invasion by any great military Power; loss of such a decisive battle by Great Britain would practically destroy the United Kingdom, shatter the British Empire to its foundation, and change profoundly the destiny of its component parts. The advantages which Great Britain could gain from defeating the naval forces of any other Power would be non-existent except in so far as the result would insure the safety of the Empire. On the other hand, there are practically no limits to the ambitions which might be indulged in by other Powers if the British Navy were once destroyed or disabled. There is, therefore, grave cause for concern when once the naval supremacy of the Empire seems on the point of being successfully challenged.

The great outstanding fact which arrests our attention in considering the existing conditions of naval power is this: Twelve years ago the British Navy and the British Flag were predominant in every ocean of the world and along the shores of every continent. To-day they are predominant nowhere except in the North Sea.(24) The paramount duty of insuring safety in home waters has been fulfilled by withdrawing or reducing squadrons in every part of the world, and by concentrating nearly all the effective naval forces in close proximity to the British Islands. In 1902 there were fifty-five British warships on the Mediterranean station; to-day there are nineteen. There were fourteen on the North American and West Indies station; to-day there are three. There were three on the southeast Coast of South America, to-day there is one. There were sixteen on the Cape of Good Hope station; to-day there are three. There were eight on the Pacific station; to-day there are two. There were forty-two on the China station; to-day there are thirty-one. There were twelve on the Australian station; to-day there are eight. There were ten on the East Indies station, to-day there are nine. To sum up, in 1902 there were one hundred and sixty ships on foreign and Colonial stations against seventy-six to-day. Do not imagine that this result has been brought about by any reduction in expenditure, for the case is practically the reverse. Great Britain's total naval expenditure in 1902 was less than $152,000,000 (£30,400,000). For the present fiscal year it exceeds $220,000,000 (£44,000,000). Why, then, has the naval force of the Empire been so enormously reduced throughout the world while at the same time the expenditure has increased nearly fifty per cent? For the simple reason that the increasing strength of other navies, and especially of the German Navy, has compelled Great Britain not only to increase her Fleet, but to concentrate it in the vicinity of the British Islands, and there has been, of course, a substantial increase in the strength in home waters. In short, the strain of meeting changed conditions has been so heavy and unceasing that, in spite of the largely-increased expenditure and every possible exertion, the Admiralty has been compelled by the pressure of circumstances to withdraw or diminish the forces throughout the world which, in time of peril, safeguarded the security and integrity of the King's Dominions, and, in time of peace, were the living and visible symbol of the tie that unites all the subjects of the Crown.

It is neither necessary nor desirable in this place to debate or discuss the probability or imminence of war. The real test of our action is the existence or non-existence of absolute security. We cannot afford to be satisfied with anything less than that, for the risk is too great. It should never be forgotten that without war, without firing a shot or striking a blow, our naval supremacy may disappear, and with it the sole guarantee of the Empire's continued existence. I especially desire to emphasize this consideration, (24) for all history, and especially modern history, conveys to us many grave warnings that the issue of great events may be determined, and often is determined, not by actual war resulting in victory or defeat, but by the mere existence of an unmistakable and pronounced naval or military superiority on either side.(24)

The fact that trade routes, vital to the Empire's continued existence, are inadequately defended and protected by reason of the necessary concentration in home waters is exceedingly impressive, and even startling. Even during the present year the battleships of the British Mediterranean Fleet, based on Malta, have been withdrawn and based on Gibraltar, in order that they might become more easily available for necessary aid in home waters. The Atlantic Fleet, based on Gibraltar, has been withdrawn to the vicinity of the British Islands for the same reason. Under such conditions the British Flag is not predominant in the Mediterranean, and with every available exertion of the whole Empire it may be impossible to regain the necessary position of strength in that great highway before 1915 or 1916.(24)

Austria-Hungary, with only one hundred and forty miles of seacoast and absolutely no colonial possessions, is building in the Mediterranean a formidable fleet of Dreadnoughts which will attain its full strength in about three years, and which will be supported by strong battleships of the pre-Dreadnought type, and by cruisers, torpedo-craft, and other necessary auxiliaries. The fleet of Italy in the same theatre will be even more powerful and more formidable.

The withdrawal of the British Flag and the British Navy from so many parts of the world for the purpose of concentration in home waters has been necessary, but unfortunate. Our Navy was once dominant everywhere, and the White Ensign was the token of naval. supremacy in all seas. Is it not time that the former conditions should, in some measure, be restored? Upon our own coasts, both Atlantic and Pacific, powerful squadrons were maintained twelve years ago. To-day the Flag is not shown on either seaboard. I am assured that the aid which we propose will enable such special arrangements to be consummated that, without courting disaster at home, an effective fleet of battleships and cruisers can be established in the Pacific, and a powerful squadron can periodically visit our Atlantic seaboard and assert once more the naval strength of the Empire along these coasts. I do not forget, however, that it is the general naval supremacy of the Empire which primarily safeguards the Oversea Dominions. New Zealand's battleship is ranged in line with the other British battleships in the North Sea, because there New Zealand's interests may best be guarded by protecting the very heart of the Empire.

In presenting our proposals it must be borne in mind that we are not undertaking or beginning a system of regular and periodical contributions. I agree with the resolution of this House in 1909 that the payment of such contributions would not be the most satisfactory solution of the question of defence.

Upon the information which I have disclosed to the House, the situation is, in my opinion, sufficiently grave to demand immediate action. We have asked His Majesty's Government what form of temporary and immediate aid can best be given by Canada at this juncture. The answer has been unhesitating and unequivocal. Let me again quote it: ---

We have no hesitation in answering, after a prolonged consideration of all the circumstances, that it is desirable that such aid should include the provision of a certain number of the largest and strongest ships of war which science can build or money supply.

Upon inquiry as to the cost of such a battleship we were informed by the Admiralty that it is approximately £2,350,000, including armament and the first outfit of ordnance, stores, and ammunition. The total cost of three such battleships, which when launched would be the most powerful in the world, would be, approximately, $35,000,000, and we ask the people of Canada, through their Parliament, to grant that sum to His Majesty the King of Great Britain and Ireland and of the Oversea Dominions, in order to increase the effective naval forces of the Empire, to safeguard our shores and our sea-borne commerce, and to make secure the common heritage of all who owe allegiance to the King.

Those ships will be at the disposal of His Majesty the King for the common defence of the Empire. They will be maintained and controlled as part of the Royal Navy, and we have the assurance that, if at any time in the future it be the will of the Canadian people to establish a Canadian unit of the British Navy, these vessels can be called by the Canadian Government to form part of the Navy, in which case, of course, they will be maintained by Canada and not by Great Britain. In that event, there will, necessarily, be reasonable notice, and, indeed, Canada would not desire or suggest the sudden withdrawal of so powerful a contingent from any important theatre in which the naval forces of the Empire might be exposed to severe and sudden attack. In the mean time, I am assured that special arrangements will be made to give Canadians an opportunity of serving as officers in these ships.

There have been proposals, to which I shall no more than allude, that we should build up a great naval organization in Canada. In my humble opinion nothing of an effective character could be built up in this country within a quarter or, perhaps, half a century. Even then it would be but a poor and weak substitute for that splendid organization which the Empire already possesses, and which has been evolved and built up by centuries of the most searching experience and the highest endeavour. Is there really any need that we should undertake the hazardous and costly experiment of building up a naval organization especially restricted to Canada when upon just and self-respecting terms we can take such part as we desire in naval defence through the existing naval organization of the Empire, and in that way can fully and effectively avail ourselves of the men and the resources at the command of Canada?

Where shall these ships be built? They will be built under Admiralty supervision in the United Kingdom for the reason that, at present, there are no adequate facilities for constructing them in Canada. The additional cost of construction in Canada would be about twelve million dollars for three, and it would be impossible to estimate the delay. No one is more eager than myself for the development of the shipbuilding industries in Canada, but we cannot, upon any business or economic considerations, begin with the construction of Dreadnoughts, and especially we could not do so when these ships are urgently required within two or three years at the outside for rendering aid upon which may depend the Empire's future existence.(24) According to my conception, the effective development of the shipbuilding industries in Canada must commence with small beginnings and in a businesslike way. I have discussed the subject with the Admiralty, and they thoroughly realize that it is not to the Empire's advantage that all shipbuilding facilities should be concentrated in the United Kingdom. I am assured, therefore, that the Admiralty are prepared in the early future to give orders for the construction in Canada of small cruisers, oil tank vessels, and auxiliary craft of various kinds. The plant required is relatively small as compared with that which is necessary for Dreadnought battleships, and such an undertaking will have a much more secure and permanent basis from the business standpoint. For the purpose of stimulating so important and necessary an industry we have expressed our willingness to bear a portion of the increased cost for a time at least. I see no reason why all the vessels required in future for our Government service should not be built in Canada, even at some additional cost.

These ships will constitute an aid brought by the Canadian people to His Majesty the King as a token of their determination to maintain the integrity of the Empire and assist in repelling any danger which may threaten its security. It is most appropriate that the opportunity should have come when the Crown is represented in Canada by His Royal Highness the Governor-General, who has rendered such valuable and eminent service to the State, and who takes so deep and splendid an interest in all that concerns the welfare and safety of every portion of His Majesty's Dominions. Canada is sending these ships to range themselves in the battle-line of the Empire with those of the Mother Country, Australia, and New Zealand. They will be three of the most powerful battleships in the world, and they will bear historic names associated with this country.

But if we should neglect the duty which I conceive we owe to ourselves, and if irreparable disaster should ensue, what will be our future destiny? Obviously as an independent nation or as an important part of the great neighbouring Republic. What then would be our responsibilities, and what would be the burden upon us for a protection on the high seas much less powerful and less effective than that which we enjoy to-day? Take the case of one nation whose territory, resources, population, and wealth may fairly be compared with those in Canada. The naval estimates of Argentina for the four years from 1909 to 1912 inclusive amounted to $35,000,000 (£7,000,000). No information is available as to the exact proportion of the last-mentioned sum which has been appropriated for naval purposes, but it is understood that the far greater portion is for naval construction. It is safe, therefore, to estimate that during the past four years Argentina has expended for naval purposes not less than from $65,000,000 to $70,000,000 (£13,000,000 to £14,000,000). The Federal and State expenditure of the United States comprises a total outlay for armaments of between $250,000,000 and $300,000,000 (£50,000,000 and £60,000,000), or at the rate of $2.75 per head. Similar expenditure by Canada would mean an annual outlay of some $20,000,000 to $25,000,000, or between $80,000,000 and $100,000,000 during the same period.

From 1853 to 1903 Great Britain's expenditure on military defence in Canada runs closely to $100,000,000.

Has the protection of the Flag and the prestige of the Empire meant anything for us during all that period? Hundreds of illustrations are at hand, but let me give just two. During a period of disorder in a distant country a Canadian citizen was unjustifiably arrested and fifty lashes were laid on his back. An appeal was made to Great Britain, and with what result? A public apology was made to him and £50 were paid for every lash. In a time of dangerous riot and wild terror in a foreign city the Canadian religious community remained unafraid. "Why did you not fear? " they were asked, and unhesitatingly came the answer: "The Union Jack floated above us."

I have alluded to the difficulty of finding an acceptable basis upon which the great Dominions cooperating with the Mother Country in defence can receive and assert an adequate voice in the control and moulding of foreign policy. We were brought closely in touch with both subjects when we met the British Ministers in the Committee of Imperial Defence. That committee is peculiarly constituted, but in my judgment is very effective. It consists of the Prime Minister of Great Britain and such persons as he may summon to attend it. Practically all the members of the Cabinet from time to time attend its deliberations, and usually the more important members of the Cabinet are present. In addition, naval and military experts and the technical officers of the various departments concerned are in attendance.

While the committee does not control policy in any way and could not be undertaken to do so as it is not responsible to Parliament, it is necessarily and constantly obliged to consider foreign policy and foreign relations for the obvious reason that defence, and especially naval defence, is inseparably connected with such considerations.

I am assured by His Majesty's Government that pending a final solution of the question of voice and influence they would welcome the presence in London of a Canadian Minister during the whole or a portion of each year. Such Minister would be regularly summoned to all meetings of the Committee of Imperial Defence and be regarded as one of its permanent members. No important step in foreign policy would be undertaken without consultation with such representative of Canada. This means a very marked advance both from our standpoint and from that of the United Kingdom. It would give us the opportunity of consultation and therefore influence which hitherto we have not possessed. The conclusions and declarations of Great Britain in respect of foreign relations could not fail to be strengthened by the knowledge that such consultation and cooperation with the Overseas Dominions had become an accomplished fact.

No thoughtful man can fail to realize the very complex and difficult questions that confront those who believe that we must find a basis for permanent cooperation in naval defence and that any such basis must afford the Overseas Dominions an adequate voice in the moulding and control of foreign policy. It would have been idle to expect, and indeed we did not expect, to reach in the few weeks at our disposal during the past summer a final solution of that problem, which is not less interesting than difficult, which touches most closely the future destiny of the Empire, and which is fraught with even graver significance for the British Island than for Canada. But I conceive that its solution is not impossible, and however difficult the task may be it is not the part of wisdom or statesmanship to evade it. So we invite the statesmen of Great Britain to study with us this real problem of Imperial existence. The next ten or twenty years will be pregnant with great results for this Empire, and it is of infinite importance that questions of purely domestic concern, however urgent, shall not prevent any of us from rising "to the height of this great argument." But to-day, while the clouds are heavy and we hear the booming of distant thunder and see lightning flashes above the horizon, we cannot and will not wait and deliberate until the impending storm shall have burst upon us in fury and with disaster. Almost unaided, the Motherland, not for herself alone, but for us as well, is sustaining the burden of a vital Imperial duty and confronting an overmastering necessity of national existence. Bringing the best assistance we may in the urgency of the moment we come thus to her aid in token of our determination to protect and insure the safety and integrity of this Empire and our resolve to defend on sea as well as on land our Flag, our honour, and our heritage.



THE daily output of books, pamphlets, magazines, and newspapers upon the present international crisis is appalling; most of it is concerned more or less directly with Pan-Germanism, the great bulk of it is pretty clearly of no permanent value, for such of it as has not been written with a purpose is obviously not based upon a full knowledge of the facts. This, indeed, is inevitable, and is partly a result of the popular demand for "timely" articles and partly a consequence of the very proper determination of statesmen and generals to keep their plans secret. Articles written long enough after the event to contain a careful sifting of trustworthy evidence are rarely printed in the more popular magazines, and never appear in the newspapers and weekly journals, because the lapse of time necessary to write and publish them makes it impossible to get them before the public while the war is still happening or the event fresh in mind, and hence robs them of that immediacy in which "timeliness" chiefly consists. Not only do we know that the war correspondents in Tripoli and the Balkans saw little, and that little of no importance, but the undoubted exaggeration of the brutality and cruelty of the Italian army in Tripoli and the numerous bitter controversies over many details of the campaigns will warn the reader to attach little importance to whatever he sees in such dispatches, either in the newspapers or in book form, until they have been confirmed and generally accepted. Nor has the average citizen yet learned that travelers, foreign army officers, and natives of the country concerned are not ipso facto satisfactory authorities for the policy of European Powers and the strategy of campaigns. A moment's consideration will show the reader the futility of assuming that, because he has always lived in the United States, he is correctly informed about the future policy of the National Government in regard to intervention in Mexico, and will therefore prove to him the absurdity of supposing that Germans necessarily understand Pan-Germanism or that Englishmen are informed upon naval equipment. In fact, there are in every nation many groups of individuals holding very diverse views of policies and conditions, all of which have readily found voice in the press. In Germany, there are administrative, diplomatic, naval, and military views; literary, historical, and philosophical notions; industrial and socialistic propaganda; Ultramontane, moderate Catholic, and Protestant ideas, all held by groups which possess few premises in common, and which therefore reach the most diverse conclusions in regard to the present situation. Of all this literature, the student must beware, for most of it was written to influence his opinions, and very little of it was meant simply to inform him of the sober truth.

The publications of the German Navy League, the naval monthly, Uberall, Harden's magazine, Die Zukunft, are filled with the propaganda of Pan-Germanism, and all have a semi-official status. Undoubtedly, the baldest and frankest statement of Germany's "rights" is to be found in General Bernhardi's Deutschland und der Nächste Krieg, of which a good English translation has just appeared. More comprehensive statements are England's Weltherrchaft and die Deutsche Luxusflotte and Deutschland Sei Wach. The former appeared in February, 1912, rumored to be from the pen of a distinguished Admiral, was extravagantly praised by the press, and reached the fourteenth edition within a few weeks; the latter was issued somewhat later by the Navy League. The best statements in English seem to be the articles published during the last two or three years in the Fortnightly Review, some of which are certainly semi-official. There seems to have been, however, as yet no systematic attempt in Germany or in England to treat the issue comprehensively from the objective and historical point of view assumed in this volume.

The American, who has not grown up in the atmosphere of European politics, finds that the writers of books and articles assume a familiarity with the basic facts of national policy which he does not possess, and often do not even allude to the important premises on which their arguments and descriptions rest. The ordinary compendious accounts of the history of the nineteenth century fail to lay enough stress upon the broader aspects of the situation to render him much assistance. Indeed, he will find indispensable to an intelligent perusal of the European literature on the subject a careful study of the secret correspondence of the last three centuries, in particular that of Napoleon, Metternich, Bismarck, Cavour, Crispi, Gladstone, Beaconsfield, and Salisbury.

The following books comprise those most valuable for the study of conditions and events:--

"VERITAS," The German Empire of To-day. London, 1902. Clearly semi-official; a recognized authority.

G. BLONDEL, Les Embarras de l'Allemagne. Paris, 1912.
A serious study based upon personal investigation of economic and social conditions.

COLONEL ARTHUR BOUCHER, La France Victorieuse dans la Guerre de Demain. Paris, 1911.
A detailed study of military strategy and tactics.

SIDNEY WHITMAN, German Memories. London, 1912.

DR. LUDWIG STEIN, Editor, England and Germany. London, 1912.
The English translation of the series of essays, written by leading English and German statesmen for the magazine, Nord und Sud. They give authoritative expression to the official view, but do not afford much information.

C. SAROLEA, The Anglo-German Problem. London, 1912.
The author is a Belgian, a wide traveler, and close student; he declares the German plans unreasonable and impractical.

LORD ROBERTS'S Message to the Nation. London, 1912.
An authoritative statement of the bad condition of the English army in England.

R. W. SETON-WATSON, The Southern Slav Question. London, 1911.

AUBIN, Maroc. Paris, 1903.
A descriptive work, based upon thorough personal investigation. It was crowned by the French Academy. There is a good English translation.

M. SHUSTER, The Strangling of Persia. New York, 1911.

CHAILLEY, Administrative Problems of British India. London, 1910.
The result of years of investigation.

The most accurate statistics and the most recent record of events will be found in the Encyclopoedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, in the Statesman's Year-Book, in the Annual Register, and in the official publications of the various governments. The American Review of Reviews prints each month a reasonably accurate detailed chronology of the month just past. Its permanent value is lessened by the fact that it is necessarily based upon the newspaper reports.

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