Page images

Gwalior troops attacked him at Punniar, where he totally defeated them, and marched on the capital from the south, while Sir Hugh Gough advanced from the north. Thus the troops, who, a few days before, when marching out of Gwalior had informed Colonel Sleeman, the Political Resident, that they intended to drive the British across the Chainbul, were broken and huiniliated. These victories placed the Kingdom of Scindia at the feet of the GovernorGeneral, but he left it entire, and simply suppressed its indepen. dence. The Ranee was deposed from the management of affairs, and pensioned off with three lacs of rupees a year.

Other changes were made in the executive of Gwalior which we need not specify here, and the army, the fruitful source of misery and poverty, was reduced to 9,000 men with thirty-two guns, and the British Contingent, known to readers of the events of the Indian Mutiny in which they played so prominent a part, as the Gwalior Contingent, was increased to the numerical strength of 10,000 men. In the splendour of its uniforiniiy, and the superiority of its discipline and efficiency, it eclipsed every other native force, and was called the Model Corps of India.

Captain Durand was by the side of the Governor-General throughout the short but decisive campaign in Gwalior, and received in common with the rest of the army, the bronze star for Maharajpore. In the latter part of 1844 he was appointed to the Commissionership of the Tenasserim Provinces, where his energy and hatred of corruption raised against him a storin of official anger. In 1846 we find that Captain Durand proceeded to England on furlough, where he remained for nearly two years, returning to India in time to share in the stirring events of the second Sikh War.

(To be continued.)


There is an old adage, much quoted, which asserts that “ selfpraise is no recommendation.” We trust that we are not in the habit of infringing this wise advice; bui, in the present instanee, we are prepared to run the risk of having this ancient saw cast in our teeth. When a man has said a wise thing, he is somewhat given to run the risk of repetition, even though he may give bis enemies the chance of calling such repetition "vain.” But we are prepared to run the risk of incurring such obloquy, for we feel that what we have said will bear reperition, and that we have done good service to our readers and the public at large, by placing before them a true picture of whet has been done in the Navy, and by foreshadowing how that good may be carried on and perfected.

In the January number of this Magazine, we called attention to

the present state of the Navy, and while allowing that the forcible etforts of Mr. Childers had, in spite of almost unparalelled opposition, really reforned the most striking abuses and errors in Naval Administration, the writer went on to shew how those efforts required still to be exercised, and vigorously pointed out the blots which still marred the perfection of the Admiralty system. The article to which we refer bas since been published in a separate form,* and has, as we expected, excited considerable remark in the literary world. One journal made it the subject of eulogistic notice, another of abuse, but all considered it worthy of notice. One inportant point, however, in the hurry of events, appears to have been overlooked, and that is, that Mr. Main seems to have written in anticipation of the resignation of Mr. Childers. Otherwise the tone of the pamphlet would not have been so easy to understand. Supposing that Mr. Childers would have remained in office, we must have acknowledged that some parts required nodification. But viewed in the light, which we have indicated, the real signi. ficance of Mr. Maiu's remarks becomes apparent.

Mr. Childers took office under circumstances of peculiar difficulty. Mr. Gladstone, his chief, had pledged himself, and as a natural consequence, his subordinates, to carry out reform and retrenchment-two things, be it understood, not neeessarily going band in hand. For instance, Sir John Pakingtou reformed the Navy after a sense, by adding to its effective strength, but he was not tied by his chief as to expense, and Parliament voted liberally and cheerfully the sum required to make good the existing deficiency. Money was no object. But in the case of Mr. Childers, expense was a considerable object. He was required to see not only that the country had good and fair value for the money entrusted to his eare, but to remedy the defects of judgment and administration of his predecessors, numerous as they had been. Thus he was heavily weighted at the starting, and that he has been able to effect so considerable amount of reform, and to put our navy into so fair and satisfactory a condition, entitles him, in our opinion, to the highest credit.

We find in pursuing our investigation, that in the first place the wbole matériel of the Navy has been put on a serviceable and reliable footing. We have none of those delusive returns which used to satisfy the mind of the British rate-payer, and lull him into those somnolent woods of easy gratification about John Bull and his bulldog and all that sort of thing, from which he was so paille fully aroused by Sir John Pakington's note of aların, when he stated that he had not sufficient serviceable ships to furnish the required reliefs for foreign stations. On the contrary, those "paper" ships, fit only for the ship-breaker ; have been sold and cleared off, thus saving a large expense in the employment of men to look after this useless lumber. All the men in the Service have been made * The British Navy in 1871. By Robert Main. (Smith, Elder and Co.)

distinctly to understand that they must be prepared to take their full share of sea service, and will no longer be allowed to evade it by getting “harbour” or “ long shore” billets.

Ships and men have been placed in a thoroughly serviceable and efficient state, and after careful study and consideration, a minimun annual rate has been determined on, at which ship-building for the Royal Navy should be maintained. This is to build about 20,000 tons of shipping every year, divided between the armoured and unarmoured classes, in the proportion of 12,000 tons of the former, and 8,000 of the latter. This increase to the fleet would indeed be an important one, as it represents three new ironclads, a frigate, a corvette, and six smaller vessels annually.

We feel we must not leave the consideration of Mr. Childers' work of reform without referring to his scheme for the retirement of naval officers. It is of course premature to say much about the results of this scheme so urgently required, so earnestly longed for by all, and so vigorously praised or abused by those whom it has benefited, or the reverse. · So with his work still unfinished. Mr. Childers is compelled to relinquish his high office, and rumour is already busy with speculations as to his possible successor. Probably by the time these lines meet the eye of the public, that successor will have been appointed. One thing only is certain, that whoever he may be he must be a man prepared to carry on the good work. He must not shrink back into the old easy paths of divided irresponsibility, but must put his hand to the plough with the firm resolve of finishing and perfecting the good work of his predecessor, which has been, as we have said, so painfully and energetically carried out.

The present Secretary of the Adiniralty, Mr. Baxter, has teen named as a probable First Lord. He has been intimately connected with Mr. Childers in his reforms, and has largely assisted to make them real and effective; we do not doubt that Mr. Baxter would make a very effective First Lord as far as hard work and earnest devotion are concerned, but perhaps others have higher claims. Mr. Forster is mentioned as having a strong claim to consideration. His Education measure has been ably conceived and ably brought to its present satisfactory condition, and it is suggested that it would be a fitting reward for bis valuable services to make him First Lord of the Admiralty, and a wise measure to give some other good man the chance of distinguishing himself in the cause of education, now that the right steps have been taken and the course lies open, and for the present unobstructed. One other name we must mention with respect and gratitude. We allude to Mr. Stansfeld. He was the first to grapple with the great difficulty of dockyard administration, and he opened out the road along which Mr. Childers followed with such happy results. Mr. Stansfeld's claims on the Government are very great, and we trust that ere long they will be publicly recognized. He has

laboured on in patient devotion to the public service, only the results of his labours being seen, he himself not sounding his own trumpet, and keeping, as we think, too inuch in the background. We think Mr. Stansfeld would carry out the reform at the Adiniralty with an unsparing hand, yet with zeal tempered with judgment.

However, all is yet conjecture, and we can only hope that Mr. Gladstone will select the right inan for this important post.

We will now point out those striking features in the Admiralty reforms which suggest that the work is not yet done, that in fact much remains to be done.

First, we will take the question of the Reserves. The Reserve in our ports, now available, is stated by Mr. Main to be, in addition to the 32,850 men actually serving afloat, about 28,000 men. Thus it is clear that for all the ships that would require to be commissioned in an ordinary way, there is a sufficient supply of men. Indeed for the Navy in its normal state, a force of 60,000 men is sufficient for all practical purposes. But it is stated that the state of the Reserves, for service in the event of an emergency, is not so satisfactory as is desirable. The Royal Naval Reserve and the Royal Naval Coast Volunteers, though displaying an admirable spirit, require to be re-organized on a broader basis and on a more extensive scale. Mr. Childers seems to have fully appreciated this difficulty, for last year he proposed the establishment of a Seamen Pensioner Reserve, and took a small sum under vote No. 4 of the Navy Estiinates for the current financial year, to ineet the preliminary expenses of establishing this new Reserve. This would, it was supposed, meet one part of the difficulty, by offering inducements to men retired at an early age froin the Service to keep up their connexion with it, and would retain them, as efficient gunners and sailors, in the event of their services being required in time of war, thus utilizing their professional knowledge aud capabilities for the good of the country. But this idea, good as it is, requires expanding. What is really required is to provide for an easier flow of men into, and out of, the Service, enabling them to retain for some time after leaving the Navy the practical knowledge they have acquired, and keeping up their interest in, and connexion with the Service. In this lies the only true solution of the problem, how to keep up a close and harmonious union between the Royal Navy and the Merchant Service, and to secure a sufficient reserve, always available in time of need. This important and prominent point ought to be one of the first to be considered and matured by the First Lord of the Admiralty, and we hope to see it receive the attention it merits. The question of manning the Navy is now, we understand, being considered by a Committee sitting for that purpose at the Admiralty, and we think that the subject of the Reserves might, with advantage, be concurrently considered.

Here we would fain pause, but there is one other point to which we must call attention. The Civil Service Commissioners have been expected to descend upon the scene of official incompetence as Gods, from that oft alluded to “ machine.” They have done their work well and ably. They have ensured the entry of efficient men into the Service, but where are those efficient men ? Pressed down beneath the super-incumbent weight of respectable imbecility, or senile indifference. Mr. Main informs us that not more than one man in ten, who had entered the Admiralty with certificates from the Civil Service Commissioners, is now in a position involving the slightest amount of responsibility. All the posts involving responsibility—or at least a inajority of them are still filled by men who were never subjected to any test worth mentioning. The Civil Service Commission has introduced well-trained men into the Service, but they have, with few exceptions, been employed on mechanical work, which it is at last admitted, might as well be done by coarser hands. Who will have the courage to sweep away tbe barriers which yet exist against the proper utilization of abilities which have been so satisfactorily vouched?

THE WAR OF 1870 AND 1871.



The War of 1870, to which we now reluctantly add that of 1871, will be ever memorable in the world's history for a succession of triumpbant campaigns, which throw into the shade the mightiest achievements of military fame hitherto on record; it has not only seen the collapse of a mighty empire, but the raising up of another far more powerful, and of a character totally dif. ferent, both in its views and political principles. In fact, the resurrection of a Germanic Empire must be considered as the triumph of the aristocratic element over its democratic rival. That this event must tend to the establishment of a new order of things, no man can doubt. We sincerely hope posterity will have to chronicle a brighter future than that which has been allotted to its less fortunate rival. At all events, we trust we shall not have to deplore for many a long year a recurrence of those republican outbreaks which have for so long a space of time periodically disturbed the peace of the world, whenever France, the guiding spirit of democracy, thought proper to change her form of government.

Among the European Powers, Italy and Spain, who had been so long held in leading strings by their ambitious neighbour, have been the first to assert their independence, the one by taking

« PreviousContinue »