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face of it. It is well recognized that we have not enough auxiliaries; but because we have not enough auxiliaries, does not make that we have enough battleships.
Suppose we had but half as many battleships and were proportionately weak in auxiliaries: would weakness in the comparatively easily-provided auxiliary be a valid reason for failing to provide the necessary battleships,― which, to be provided, must be built, they cannot be bought or improvised.
The proposition to authorize a suitable number of cruisers, colliers, ammunition ships, supply ships, etc., is an excellent one; but why couple it with a decrease in our battleship strength?
The strength of a navy is, after all, measured by its battleships. Take these away and there is no navy. Reduce their number, and you weaken the national defense. The failure in past years to provide for the necessary force of cruisers, destroyers, submarines, and auxiliaries to give us a well balanced fleet is no excuse for neglecting, at this critical juncture, the provision of battleships needed to maintain our fighting strength.
For those in Congress whose desire to economize is sincere, and whose sense of responsibility to provide for the national defense is not limited by mere local consideration, a practicable means of economizing has been pointed out by the abolishing of unnecessary navy yards, and not in foolishly weakening the nation's most potent arm of defense.
THE MANOUBA AFFAIR
The capture of the French steamer Manouba, in the Mediterranean, by Italian destroyers, while on a passage from Marseilles to Tunis, with, it is stated, a party of members of the Turkish Red Crescent Society, opens up a question that has no exact parallel in diplomatic history.
The precedent to be established in the solution of this matter will be of interest and value for the future, both because of the question of the interference with the passages of neutral mail steamers, and also because of the status of physicians and nurses identified with Red. Cross or Red Crescent Societies traveling on neutral
The regularity of the schedule alone is a matter of importance, its disarrangement affecting the promptness of mail delivery, the time of future voyages, and the convenience of passengers and shippers. The tendency of the times is to reduce the delay incident to a necessary visit and search; and especially to avoid the more serious detention arising from a seizure and taking into a belligerent port, with the deliberate judicial investigation on the part of the captor. In the case of the Manouba, that has been sufficient already to cause great annoyance and considerable excitement in France.
Article 10 of the Second Hague Convention for the adaptation of the principles of the Geneva Convention to maritime warfare, provides for the inviolability of the medical and hospital staff of a captured ship,— meaning a ship of the enemy. If this phase is thus provided for, how much more should the inviolability of such a staff be, when upon a neutral vessel en route to a shore destination, there to serve the interests of humanity.
President McKinley stated, in his proclamation of the 26th of April, 1898, that "The voyages of mail steamers were not to be interfered with, except on the clearest ground of suspicion of a violation of law in respect of contraband or blockade." Great Britain observed a similar practice in regard to general mail steamers during the Boer War.
Under these circumstances and practices, all doubts as to the guilt of the steamer should be solved in favor of the neutral carrier. As I have just quoted from President McKinley, the interference should be only on the clearest ground of suspicion. The Turkish Red Crescent Associations are manifestly on the same status as the Red Cross of Christian nations, and Turkey has always provided in international conferences for such equal recognition.
C. H. Stockton,
Rear Admiral, U.S.N., Retired.
THE ADMIRALTY WAR STAFF
The Naval War Staff, just created by the British Admiralty and outlined in a memorandum by the First Lord (Winston Churchill), is peculiarly interesting to Americans, as our navy has been working under Mr. Meyer's reorganization for two years. Both the War Staff of the British and our Aids have been grafted on old and welltried systems of administration. Both are designed for better preparation for war, for better conduct of war, and to better supply the demands of the fleet both in peace and in war. The methods are as unlike as the old systems on which they are grafted.
The duties of the four Sea Lords are similarly divided. to those of our Aids; but the former both advise and execute, the latter only act in an advisory capacity. In both, the sea-going officer of experience advises the head of the navy. This has been a long established custom in the British Navy; but since the time of the Naval Commissioners until the creation of the Aids, the Bureau Chiefs have been the advisers of our Secretary as well as the executives in their own Bureaus. With a small navy, there was not much difficulty, but as it increased the Bureau Chiefs had sufficient work to occupy their time and matters of policy were settled without deliberation. The Fleet and the Department were divorced. The British, whose existence depended on their fleet, could not afford to fall into the same error, and the administration was conducted by officers going to the Fleet or returning from it.
The necessity of the study of war was realized about the same time in both nations, and intelligence offices, that not only collected information but studied war plans, were created in both services. Next grew up war colleges; and then there was a variation, in the evolution of a war staff, in the two services. For many years the British Navy was satisfied with their Intelligence Office and War College, and only within the last few years established a War Council, with the First Sea Lord at the head.
In our navy, the General Board, with Admiral Dewey as President, was established in 1900, and had for its principal duties the study of all questions relating to war. It was always closely associated with the Office of Naval Intelligence and the War College, and, with its ex officio. members, was kept in fair touch with the Fleet. The General Board's duties were purely advisory; and, owing to the uncertain policy of the Department, its advice was sometimes overridden, after receiving the approval of the
Secretary, by some Chief of Bureau. The Aids, acting as advisers to the Secretary, serve to unite the Department with the Fleet; and also, being members of the General Board, secure the opinion of the Fleet and insure attention to the advice of the General Board.
The British, after much agitation for a War Staff and finding that the Council already established was not satisfactory, have established the present Naval War Staff, consisting of the heads of the Departments of Information, Operation, and Mobilization, with a Chief of Staff at the head. This body of officers is directly under the First Sea Lord. The memorandum of the First Lord states:
A proper staff, whether naval or military, should comprise three main branches, namely, a branch to acquire the information on which action may be taken, a branch to deliberate on the facts so obtained in relation to the policy of the State, and to report thereupon, and, thirdly, a branch to enable the final decision of superior authority to be put into actual effect.
These may be shortly described as dealing with war information, war plans, and war arrangements, respectively.
The three divisions will be combined together under a Chief of the Staff.
At the same time, the French have decided to create a "Chef d'Etat - Major Général," with authority over all departments, as well as over all commanders afloat, whose chief business will be to think of war and to adapt the means at hand, and the strategy of the fleet, to the requirements of the naval situation. Also an "AmiralDirecteur du Matériel," who is to centralize under his authority the Naval Construction and Ordnance Depart
It is Mons. Delcasse's ambition to introduce in the central administration a more robust professional structure, similar to the British Naval Board, and to place the "bureaucrats" of the various departments under the effective supervision of energetic flag officers fresh from sea commands and imbued with the military spirit and the value of disciplined action.
Thus it will be seen that our system for the administration of the navy is gradually being approached by both Great Britain and France, the main difference being the lack of executive authority conferred on our Aids. It would seem as if our system would permit logical scrutiny and is in accord with sound military management: — The General Board, with several experienced officers of high rank as members, with the addition of some of the Aids as ex officio members, to deliberate on war
In the past 34 years the increase in tonnage under the American flag was 41 per cent, while the increase under foreign flags was 214 per cent.
To find an explanation for this state of things, so humiliating to American pride and patriotism and impoverishing to the American pocket, two conditions must be considered, viz:—
First: That such important bodies as Chambers of Commerce, Boards of Trade, etc., exercise an almost controlling influence upon the President, Congress, and the general public.
Second: That such bodies represent conditions as they are now, not as they were one hundred years ago, when the American flag covered more than 90 per cent of our foreign commerce. The Chambers of Commerce represent the steamship companies of to-day, which, as shown above, are 90 per cent foreign.
The high regard in which the New York Chamber of Commerce is held throughout the country gives to that body a great power for evil, if it should fall or has fallen under the control of the foreign rivals of American commercial interests.
We must look at the situation as it is, and realize that a Chamber of Commerce is mostly composed of men who are engaged in commerce. That the companies so engaged to-day in the City of New York are not American companies is evident from the New York Hreald's chart showing the positions at sea, at noon of each Sunday, of the trans-atlantic steamships of the regular lines running from and to New York. On December 17 the chart contained the names of 66 steamships of 17 foreign lines and 1 American line, which are grouped according to the flags under which they said, in the following table:
Total steamships of 17 lines under 9 foreign flags.
Total number of steamships at sea..
In addition to this number, there are many steamships that run from and to New York, which were in port on both sides of the Atlantic at the hour mentioned, and also numerous steamships not scheduled above, many of which we allude to as "tramps." This latter class are seldom seen in New York harbor under the American flag.
The New York Chamber of Commerce, therefore, judged by its steamship interests, has few interests to guard and promote
that are not apparently foreign, and I submit the proposition that the advantage that those foreign seamship companies have taken of the opportunities aorded to their representatives as members of that Chamber, has enabled them to conceal from the members of Congress the fact that their interests were foreign. Congress has thereby been misled into enacting, and refusing to appeal, those statutes the operations of which have produced conditions so destructive to American interests.
As business enterprise is regarded in these days, it is perfectly natural for the people of all friendly nations to take fullest advantage, as they have done, of such opportunities so generously offered by the American government.
This is a situation entirely beyond the realm of political placiples; it is, rather, a matter of national defense.
A Bill recently introduced in Congress, which provides discriminating duties in favor of American owned vessels, is a step in the right direction, and therefore should have the support of all. It is a return to the American policy as set forth in the first Tariff Act, passed on July 4, 1789. In those days the great men of America-Washington, Jefferson, and Hamilton— stood together for American interests against the aggressive policy of European countries.
It remains, then, for Congress, to which is committed, under section 8 of the Constitution, the power to "provide for the common defense and general welfare," to enact laws which will defend the commercial interests of American citizens against their foreign rivals in the field of American foreign commerce.
The Congressional Committee that will soon hold hearings on the bill mentioned above, will no doubt be appealed to by the Chambers of Commerce all over the country to report unfavorably upon that proposed patriotic measure; but it is to be hoped that the Committee will apply the test of "ownership by American citizens" to all interests whose representatives ask to be heard against that bill.
The movement to restore the conditions of a century ago, when, in vessels owned wholly by American citizens, passage could be taken and freight shipped from home ports to every country in the world, should have the hearty support of every American; and I look for the coming of the day when our people shall cease to pay tribute to foreign ship owners. Congress has power to change resent conditions, and I believe it will. JOHN L. M. ALLEN.
NAVY RELIEF SOCIETY
To the Editor of THE NAVY :
Following is the Annual Report of Admiral Dewey, President of the Navy Relief Society, read by him at the recent anual meeting of the Board of Managers, December 31, 1911.
The work of the Society is now so systematized that a full investigation is made of the financial circumstances of the family of every officer and man dying in the navy or marine corps: provided his family includes either a mother, wife, or child. During the past year assistance has been rendered in seventyone separate cases; of which seven were in the families of commissioned officers, eight in the families of warrant officers, and fifty-six in the families of enlisted men (navy and marine corps).
Contributions can be made at any time to the Assistant Treasurer, Paymaster-General A. S. Kenny, U.S.N., retired, 1402 Chapin Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. Checks should be made payable to the "Assistant Treasurer, Navy Relief Society," without using the name of that officer.
Annual dues of $1.00 entitle the contributor to "membership"; annual dues of $5.00 to "benefactor membership"; the sum of $25.00, to "life membership," with exemption from annual dues.
Very truly yours,
L. R. SARGENT, Lieutenant-Commander, U. S. Navy, Corresponding Secretary.
ANNUAL REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE NAVY RELIEF SOCIETY.
As shown by the reports of the Treasurer and the Assistant Treasurer, the financial condition of the Society has been materially strengthened during the year 1911. The invested capital now amounts to forty thousand dollars; ten thousand dollars having been added since the date of last report. In addition a substantial sum is available for current purposes. This condition shows an appreciable advance toward the goal which has been consistently striven for since the Society was organized,— namely, an established financial position wherein the income necessary to meet all reasonable demands for charitable work shall be liberally guaranteed by the interest on invested capital and the annual dues of members.
Although such contributions as may be offered from other sources will continue to be gratefully accepted, and the motives prompting them sincerely appreciated, it is none the less fitting that the officers and men of the navy and marine corps should demonstrate that they are themselves not only willing, but able, to provide for the mothers, widows, and orphans left destitute by the death of their comrades in the service. A demonstration of this character appeals to the loyalty and pride of every officer and man to whom the proposition is presented. It remains only to present it convincingly to the service at large to assure a cordial, sustained, and practically unanimous support. There is no man more ready than the sailor to lend a helping hand; and none to whom he lends it more gladly than to the needy and helpless of his own kind. To win his cordial co-operation surely no argument is needed further than the proof that the Society's one desire is to extend the grasp of his hand to those whom he would most wish to help, but who are beyond his individual reach.
In the cause of charity, all who follow the sea are sailors. Every officer and man of the navy and marine corps brought to an understanding of the motive and scope of the work of this Society is an adherent won. It is through effort in this direction that stability and development of this character can be best assured. The total personnel of the combined services (navy and marine corps) amounts in round numbers to sixty thousand. In the case of practically every individual of that total, enrolment as a member only awaits the above-mentioned understanding. With half that total enrolled, the annual dues (one dollar from each member) would provide for the mothers, widows, and orphans in a measure of comfort far beyond the mere relief from absolute destitution which is the best the Society, with its present funds, can afford.
LETTER FROM LONDON
The new battleship Orion has been commissioned, and signalled her entry into service with a couple of accidents. In the first of these, the old battleship Revenge, gunnery tender, broke adrift from her moorings and drifted across the bow of the Orion. The Orion was unhurt, but a hole was made in the Revenge under the water, though the damage was not serious. The next day, the Orion,
swinging at her moorings, fouled the protected cruiser Liverpool, but neither vessel was injured. In consequence of these incidents, active representations have again been made as to the state of Portsmouth Harbor, which modern warships are to a certain extent outgrowing. It is suggested that moorings should be arranged so that ships can be moored ahead and astern, and no longer swing with the tide. It has also been suggested that dolphins should be placed in the upper reaches of the harbor, thus increasing the accommodation and removing some of the