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enemy." Hitherto, however, it has not tion of armaments. On the other hand, been the practice of Liberal Ministers the Lee formula binds this country not to rely on purely arithmetical calcula- merely to an absurd mental re-arrangetions of strength. Sir Henry Camp- ment of the map of world-power, but bell-Bannerman refused to do so in to a boundless extravagance in arma1907, when he declared that it would ments, in which we must always have be absurd for us to build against enormous lead, thus forcing the strong naval Powers with which we pace for ourselves and exposing every were in alliance. Mr. Asquith took British tender of disarmament to all the same line when, in March of this overwhelming retort, while we commit year, he declared as Chancellor of the our people to a practical doubling of Exchequer that “the standard we have the sea-power of the richest and most to maintain is one which would give us formidable nation in the world, with a complete and absolute command of the population twice as large as our own. sea against any reasonably possible In a word, this unhappy form of words, combination of Powers." And, a few first framed to meet a not impossible, days later, Lord Tweedmouth, then or even improbable, union of France First Lord of the Admiralty, was pre- and Russia, is now being used to pile sented by Lord Cawdor with this same burdens on our shoulders and those of notion of building against the two our neighbors at a time when the disstrongest Powers, and rejected it. He position of those Powers towards us preferred, he said, to base the two- has completely altered, and when a new Power standard on "any reasonable and European situation, incomparably probable combination.” The same lan- more favorable to ourselves, has arisen guage, we observe, was used on Thurs- in its stead. It is even employed to day night by Sir Edward Grey.

drag us into competition with America, Here, therefore, would seem to be a when the diplomacy of the two counreal distinction of policy, based on a tries has completely altered the disdifferent interpretation of facts. For position of the British fleets, when we example, the old Bannerman-Asquith profess to have ruled America out of formula would certainly exclude a Ger- the possible range of war, and when, man-American combination. The Caw- as we know, American shipbuilding, dor Lee formula must as certainly in- serious as it is, does not carry even clude it. The earlier Liberal reading a remote reference to ourselves. of the two-Power standard would not It seems necessary, therefore, to ask call upon us to build against Japan and for explanations, and we hope they will France in combination, or Germany be forthcoming. We are not thinking and France, or Japan and Germany, alone of the shipbuilding programme in union. In fact, and in view of the for this and the coming year. That, course of European politics as modified indeed, must undergo extension if the both by Liberal and Conservative hardening of the formula of the twostatesmanship, it would merely bind Power standard is more than a verbal us to keep well ahead of the German slip. But the whole political position navy and of any inferior naval Power, seems to us to have had a disquieting such as Austria or Italy, which might shift. The common calculation in be drawn by her into an anti-British the “Naval Annual" of anti-British alliance. Such a course was measur- strengths is precisely that combination able, fairly definable, and consistent of Germany and the United States to with some degree of success for the which the Prime Minister's adoption of great Liberal aim of a common reduc- the Lee formula, on the face of it,

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seems to apply. For this year America ships? And how can these vessels, stepped into the position of second Na- when they are duly tabulated, be val Power, with Germany close behind, pitted against each other in these rigid and likely to overtake her. Against mathematical proportions? What “perthe two fleets the authorities now as- centage” are we to set aside for charsure us that we have a superiority of acter, discipline, seamanship, engineer three “capital” or battle ships. But ing, gunnery, the disposition, availthree years hence we shall be slightly ability, and handling of ships, the skill behind these "two next strongest Pow- of admirals and officers, the character ers."

Are we, or are we not, to add of a conflict, the spirit in which one these two Powers together, one of nation or another enters upon it, its which is probably building against the material resources and financial reother? And supposing they construct serves? The old formula, in its “rough

“Dreadnoughts,” and comple- and ready" shape, was a poor enough ments, are we, irrespective of the po- equivalent for the many moral or semilitical aims of these Powers, and of moral calculations that enter into wartheir relations to us, to lay down eight fare. What does this new turn of or nine?

words represent more than the exagThe Government which has to an- gerated fears and the political ignor

this not unimportant question ance and scepticism of our “experts"? may be a Conservative or a Liberal Ad- Was it even presented to the Governministration. If it is Conservative, its ment with any sincerity of aim? We answer is not doubtful; if it is Liberal, doubt it. Certainly its reaction on the the pressure from naval and Conserva political situation, the value to the Protive sources to fulfil the letter of Mr.

tectionist Party of having a Liberal Asquith's declaration will be tremen- formula as to the Navy which may be dous. Under the earlier interpreta- used to cover a recourse to duties on tion of the two-Power standard, we foreign goods, is clear enough. The could always put something to the “Daily Chronicle" talks lightly of a credit of diplomacy, and the moral twenty millions deficit next year as a force and the wisdom of our statesman

consequence of an addition of five or ship could be relied on to have an im- six millions to the naval budget. How mediate reaction on armaments, and is Mr. Lloyd George to find this sum therefore on taxation. But if only the in a single year? He may answer with arithmetical table avails, and the justice that he will go to the classes strength of British fleets depends on who have demanded a larger Navy. the doing of a sum in simple addition, A Protectionist Chancellor will have no diplomacy merely plays a set of mean- such recourse; he will bind his burdens ingless games, while reality rests alone

on the mass of the people, and we are with the hammers of our shipwrights afraid he will find his excuses in the and the incessant call of our tax-gath- formula to which apparent, but not, erers. Even on this ground the c:l611- we hope, substantial assent was given lation seems to us a thoughtless and on Thursday week. shallow affair. What are "capital"

The Nation.

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THE LETTER.

He. Well, but-
Scene--The Library of Country She. Not another word. You've

House, as before. Time, 6.45 P.M. been a monster.
He has just come in from shooting He. But
and is alone in the room. After

She. Yes, you've behaved like warming himself at the fire he ap

monster, a male monster in horrible proaches his writing-table. He takes up addressed envelope

gaiters and great muddy hobnailed containing a letter.

boots; and you've behaved like that to

a poor woman whose only faultHe (to himself, in surprise and indigna

(She affects to break down, turns her tion). Well, I'm dashed. She's forgot

head away and dabs her eyes with a ten to take the letter. That finishes

handkerchief.) any chance of getting a game with Tom

He (with a pounce). That's one of my Hargraves on Saturday. However, I've

handkerchiefs. got her this time. (A step is heard ap

She (still dabbing). Is it? proaching the door.) Here she is. I'll

He. Haven't you got any of your

own? play cunning. (He pockets the letter.) (She enters all smiles.)

She (to the ceiling). Listen to him. She. Oh, you're back, are

you?

Here's a man who's simply rolling in Had a good day?

handkerchiefs, and he grudges me one He. Not so bad. Thirty-eight brace

of all his thousands, (To him.) Charles, and a few hares and rabbits. I've

have I been mistaken in you all these brought home three brace.

years? (With a swift change.) Now She. Yes, I saw them in the hall. let's talk of something else. He. Then you must have known I

Не. . By the way, I suppose you took was back.

that letter? She. Yes, I half guessed that my

She (blankly). Letter? What letter? very own had returned.

He. The letter I wrote to Tom HarHe. Then why did you say, "Oh, graves, asking him to play golf on Satyou're back, are you?”

urday. You said you were going that She. Why shouldn't I?

way in the pony-trap and you'd drop it He. Well, if you knew

at the house. She. I didn't say I knew. I said I She (evasively). Oh, that letter. 1half guessed. And then when I saw He(icarming to his work). Yes, it you—no, I mean when I beheld the was most important he should have it, splendor of your face is that Tenny- because he said if he didn't hear from son or you, Charles?-anyhow, when I me he'd take on Harry Collingwood. came into the room and found you there. She. Yes, yes, I remember; you told safe and sound I was too agitated to me all about it. guess the other half, and I just asked He (inerorably). Of course you took it. you so as to make sure. See? And She (after a furtive look at the writingthere's one more thing I'm going to table). Well, it isn't where you left it. say-Charles, I will say it; you can't is it? stop me—and it's this: it isn't at all He. No, it isn't. nice of you to lay really clever traps She. Well, then I suppose somebody like that for a poor weak woman. No, must have taken it. it isn't nice.

He. I agree.

She. Why not imagine it was me dress too. (Reads.) "T. Hargraves, sorry, Charles—I mean, why not im- Esquire, The Larches, Breedon Hollow, agine it was I?

Bucks." It's all quite complete. But He (producing the letter from his pocket I'm not sure I like the way you make and handing it to her). Because here your B's, Charles.

They're too like it is.

R's. Now I always say — She (inspecting it). So it is. What He. You've spoilt my Saturday. a queer thing. Do men often do that, She. No, Charles, I don't say thitCharles ?

never dreamt of it. He. Do what?

He (persisting). But you have spoilt She (gaily). Ask their wives to de- it. liver a letter and then carry it off in She. How? their own pockets?

He. By not taking the letter. Tom He. I didn't.

told me he'd take Harry Collingwood She. Charles, how can you? I saw

on if he didn't hear from me this mornyou with my own eyes take it out a ing. moment ago.

She. Did he? Well he told me that He. But I found it on the table here he couldn't play on Saturday, anybow, when I came in.

because he'd got to go to London. She. Now, Charles, that's really He (tumbling off his perch). He told naughty. You know you've been car

When? rying it about with you all day long. She. This morning, just after you'd You really mustn't be such a funny gone. He came on his bicycle. forgetful bear any more.

He. Why didn't you tell me? He (in despair). Then you admit you She. I have told you. didn't take it.

He. But She (oalmly). Admit it? I never She. Never mind your old golf. dreamt of denying it. How could I You'll be able to take baby out in bis take it when you'd got it tucked away perambulator. in your dear old pocket. (She looks at (Curtain.) the envelope.) Such a nicely written ad

Punch,

you that?

A TRANSATLANTIC TELEPHONE.

It is strange that the most practical fresh feelers. Telephony for long dissystem of communication—the tele- tances presents, however, serious techphone-which conveys the actual hu- nical difficulties which are at present man voice, has until lately had only a engaging the time and thought of many limited sphere of action. It must cer- electricians and scientists, students of tainly be admitted that since the time the vast subject of tele-communication. of the Italian Meucci and the Ameri- It might be thought that in order to cans Graham, Bell and Elisha Gray, effect communication over long diswho claim to have been the pioneers tances it would only be necessary to of the telephonic system, great progress manufacture apparatus of greater sen. has been made. The telephone was sitiveness and power. This is how at first only in use in towns for short ever far from being the case, as it has distances, now it stretches from town been discovered that the solution of to town and is every day putting out the problem lies not so much in the

perfection of the apparatus as in cer- dream of telephoning across the seas tain other conditions which are of far can be realized. greater importance. A submarine ca- The question has, by reason of its ble, a telegraphic line, or for the matter importance, attracted the attention of of that a telephonic line, constitutes not a few of the most noted electrical what is technically called a "capacity" scientists, such as Heaviside, Vaschy, in which the electric energy accumu. S. P. Thomson, and the great Kelvin, lates. When this “capacity” acquires who has rightly been called the father a certain volume, as is the case with of trans-oceanic telegraphy. Many exconductors over long distances, the sta- periments have been made during the tic electrical energy which accumulates last fifteen years, but without much in it no lon' er responds instantaneously practical result, and one by one ideas to the modification of the currents pro- have been given up for fresh ones. duced by the human voice, the result Lately, however, success has been atbeing that only confused and incompre- tained by Yeatman, Roeber, and by the hensible sounds are received. This American, Pupin. The latter has sucphenomenon is even more pronounced ceeded, after a long series of experiwhen telephonic messages are sent un- ments and by dint of much research, in der water. This is the chief and only manufacturing a cable which appears reason why telephonic communication to remedy every defect. The invenabove ground has hitherto been impos- tion is said to have been bought by the sible at very long distances, and why well-known German electrical firm of it has not been found practicable to Siemens and Halske for quite a fabu. apply it to more than a distance of

lous sum. The experiments made with about sixty miles under water. To ob- the new invention have exceeded all viate this difficulty created by distance, expectations and it has been put into it is necessary at present greatly to en- practical use for short distances as, large the sections of the conductors in for instance, the telephone across the the great international lines, where Lake of Constance, that from Berlin they measure nearly a quarter of an to Potsdam, etc. The Siemens-Halske inch in diameter. This is the case firm are now perfecting a practical with the telephonic line between Paris system for the construction and laying and Rome, reaching nearly a thousand of long-distance telephonic submarine miles, which, taking into consideration cables. So we may expect in the near the thickness of the wire, is the longest future that a Londoner, without leavdistance possible. When dealing with ing his house, will be able to carry on a lines under water, it is necessary in- conversation with a person, say, in New stead to enlarge the insulating casing York, and to the question which has so of the wire. All these remedies are often been put, “Is the trans-oceanic telhowever only palliative, and, as may be ephone possible?" an answer in the afimagined, very expensive, and some- firmative may now confidently be given. thing better is wanted before

F. Savorgnan di Brazza. The Outlook.

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