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aminations, serve six months at knowledge of their art, and sea, and obtain a certificate that this was obtained almost from his captain that he is fit entirely from practical experito perform efficiently the duties ence afloat, and not from of a lieutenant. What a com- courses of instruction on shore. mentary on the examinations ! The system now in force in the
The effect of a system of Navy is the very contrary of education based on superficial that which prevailed in the courses and examinations has past. All along the line inbeen to give an advantage to struction on shore has been subminds of a superficial type, and stituted for actual practice and to discourage men who aim at experience at sea. The instrucdeep and solid acquirements. tion in gunnery, torpedo, sigProfessor Main of the Ports-nals, and navigation is centred mouth College foresaw this in in harbour or shore establish1870, and said: "In my opinion, ments. It is now a fundain the higher branches of the mental principle in naval trainservice we have more educated, ing that no officer or man can be thoughtful, and intelligent men "hall-marked” in any of these than we shall have among matters on board a sea-going those who are coming on now. ship. He must obtain a cerI think their schoolboy educa- tificate from a shore establishtion on board ship militates ment. To such a pass have against their naval duties and matters come that a gunlayer, vice versa.” The reader is in- or man who lays and fires a vited to consider whether the gun, cannot be made afloat: recent somewhat sensational he must leave the battleship, policy, with its superficial ex- where every facility exists for planatory memoranda, is not training him, and every one, the natural outcome of from the captain downwards, shallow and superficial educa- is directly interested that tional system.
he should shoot well and It is difficult to understand be thoroughly competent; how men have come to be satis- he must go to a school on fied with such a state of things. shore, where only artificial arThey must have been blinded rangements exist for teaching by the change from sail to him, and no one has any direct steam. Misled by the much interest in his efficiency. Gunmisused word "science,” they nery has been referred to more have come to think that exact particularly, but the argument knowledge is a plant of modern is equally applicable to other growth, and can only be de- branches. The tendency of all rived from books,—that prac- such schools is towards formaltical acquaintance with the ism. At such establishments, thing itself is secondary to a surrounded with “ make-betheoretical knowledge of it. lieve," a great deal of perfectly They have forgotten that the useless matter will inevitably officers and men of the past be taught. These schools are
exact and complete good servants but bad masters.
They should be made strictly possess a practical working subservient to the sea-service. knowledge of their ships and Instead of that they have be- of everything they contain ; come its masters, with the and the leading men should result that they have seriously have not only a complete impaired efficiency by setting knowledge of the “conduct of up false standards. Their evil war," but a wide and thorough influences twofold. All grasp of the principles underquestions from the fleet are lying any particular spécialité referred to them. Human which they adopt. nature being what it is, and These requisites involve going much dependent upon its sur- to sea at an age not later than roundings, their influence is fifteen years and six months, always directed to keeping the and a minimum qualifying sea control of the training in their service for the rank of lieuown hands, and to discouraging tenant of five years. A pracinitiative in sea - going ships. tical working knowledge of As a result, large numbers of the ship and her equipment officers and men are locked up can only be obtained by devotin harbour ships and shore ing the whole time at sea to establishments at the three the practical duties of the proHome ports, instead of being fession. Its soundness can only placed on board commissioned be assured by placing all the ships in reserve, where they examinations in the hands, could not only help to keep not of gentlemen on land, the ships in order, but be them- but of the officers in the selves trained more effectively. fleet, who, being in touch with Not the least serious result of realities, are the best judges of the system is that large sums
what is necessary.
The exof money are expended in aminations should be only for making provision for the shore a "pass,” to ascertain whether training Colleges and bar- the candidate is competent to racks are unduly multiplied, perform the duties of lieuwhile the fighting efficiency of tenant, which involves practithe fleet is not increased. cal ability to work the ship,
her armament and machinery. We are now perhaps in a They should not be competiposition to affirm that, whether tive, because it is not possible ships of war be propelled by to ensure equal opportunity wind or steam, the essential without sacrificing efficiency. qualifications of those who The gunnery, torpedo, and have to manage them are the pilotage courses on shore should same. The lessons from the be abolished, the time now past seem to indicate that devoted to them being much naval officers should be given more usefully employed afloat, the best general education where these matters can be possible before being sent to taught more practically. Those sea ; should become early accus- who pass successfully through tomed to a sea life ; should such a training should be prac
tically familiar with their duties is a pernicious innovation, and and fitted for the ordinary work should be cancelled. of the Navy. Such a practical only foster a superficial knowtraining is not in itself sufficient. ledge of international law, A higher education is necessary strategy, and tactics, than to enlarge the mind, train the which nothing can be more thinking powers, and inculcate dangerous and useless. Such a knowledge of principles. This subjects are to be pondered higher education should be en- over and studied during the tirely voluntary, and might whole professional career of commence at any time after an officer, and not
not hastily completing six years' service in taken up for a few weeks to a ship of war at sea. It should pass an examination. Such be open to all who intend studies can be most effectively serious work irrespective of encouraged by giving officers their ability. The time allotted the most favourable oppormight be one year, extended to tunities for prosecuting them, two years for selected men and and by employing those who reduced for those who make show special aptitude in those unsatisfactory progress.
The lines to work out the numercurricula should be framed on ous questions involved. The the broadest lines. The par- promotion of an officer to the ticular course of study to be rank of commander should defollowed by any individual pend alone on his professional should be left largely to his character and attainments as personal inclination, but would shown by his daily work be regulated to some extent by much more severe test than the particular line he wished any examination. to adopt. The incentive to The foregoing proposals are work would be the appoint- based on the idea of reverting ments for navigating, gunnery, to the well-tried system of the torpedo, staff of flag officers, and past, improved by additions engineering. The examinations and modifications to meet should be competitive in so modern conditions. Comparing far that they should involve them with the new system of “passes ” to reach different entry and training initiated in standards of efficiency, carrying December 1902, certain differwith them different rates of ences will be found.
for entry is
between Officers should be encouraged twelve years and four months to return later to the College and thirteen years, and the to study war or follow further time under instruction at any particular course of study Osborne and Dartmouth is in which they are interested or
Thus the age on proficient. Such officers should going to sea will vary benot be subject to any com- tween sixteen years and four pulsory examination.
months and seventeen years. The examination for the rank This is considered to be too of commander, recently ordered, late.
at Osborne profession, it still continued to College special stress is laid be believed that the manual upon the fact that the cadets work above alluded to receive instruction and do the first essential. To this manual work in the “shops” must be attributed the
reattached to the school. It is peated vacillations in fixing a claimed, and has been gener- course of training for naval ally accepted by the public, engineers. It was seen that that this is giving these boys making parts of an enginetraining in the practical work which alone the necessity of of their profession. It may be subdividing work owing to useful to consider to what ex- variety of parts permitted to tent this manual training is any individual — was a very necessary for those who will insufficient training for manhave to manage machinery. aging machinery on a large
An extended course of manual scale. At the same time, & work no doubt usually forms sound conviction prevailed that part of the marine engineer's the training of the marine entraining. The reason why so gineer must be practical; and much stress has been laid on the only way of making it this is not far to seek. In "practical” that was thought the early days of marine of was to oblige the intending engineering steam machinery engineer, at odd times and in in general was comparatively the intervals between other So rare
was it that courses of instruction, to do a regular profession or call- the work of a “fitter.” ing of what
term The marine engineer's proengineer”
unknown. fession has long reached a stage Many people still living can at which the above idea of remember when naval what is “practical" is quite gineers, who had had some out of date. It is no doubt experience of steam machinery necessary that he should have before going to sea, spoke of a certain familiarity with the themselves as “millwrights, use of tools, but to keep him that being the only term doing now and again small applied to those who as yet jobs of manual work is to lag hardly formed a distinct speci- quite behind the age. .
It is ality. The millwright made the no more necessary for him to “mill” or machine which he become an expert mechanic afterwards drove. It soon came than it is for the architect to to be regarded as a matter of become an expert bricklayer, course that noone could drive an or for the civil engineer who engine unless he had had some directs the construction of an share in the manual work of embankment or of a bridge making one. The belief solidi- to become a navvy or expert fied, and when the management rivetter, or than it was for of marine steam machinery had the naval officer of the past become a thoroughly distinct to be
a skilled rigger or
sailmaker. What the marine to handle the machinery, the engineer requires in the way of guns, the torpedoes, the electric "practical” instruction is fre- lights, as well as his predecesquent and long-continued ex- sors managed the sails and guns perience in the actual work of of the past. driving and running marine Not only does the engines, and in the care, main- scheme sketched in the tenance, and management of Admiralty memorandum of engines and boilers. With December 1902 provide for the actual manual work of re- only three years' sea service as pairing the machinery in his midshipman, but it perpetuates charge he has no more to do the system of examinations than a civil engineer has with and shore courses. The cirthe manual work of repairing cumstances under which this the bridges which are under pernicious system
dehis supervision. It will be veloped deserve particular quite by accident if there is a notice. It was introduced just single engineer in the Navy who at the time when the motive would be capable of repairing power was changing. It grew with his own hands a ship’s with the disappearance of sails, damaged engines. If there are because the time formerly deany engineers who can, it will voted to learning how to be because they happen to be handle them was appropriated specially interested in work of to books instead of being given the kind. If the question is to acquiring a practical knowlooked fairly in the face, it will ledge of the steam - engine. be found that the training of The decadence of practical the engineer is as different knowledge of their ships among from that of the engine-room junior officers was not noticed. artificer as was the training of It is true that a generation the lieutenant of the sailing since sagacious minority era from that of the boat tried to stem the tide. These swain.
saw that a practical knowledge This point has been argued of the motive power, whether at length because it is funda- it be sails or steam, was essenmental.
It is held that the tial to the naval officer. They new scheme of training errs in set the example, and learnt placing too much stress on the practically to manage machinworkshop training and too little ery as they had before learnt on sea-going practice. Three to handle sails. But all was years' sea service
not of no avail. They were beaten sufficient to produce a reliable by the “Collegians,” who were lieutenant in the sailing era, in complete control of the neither is it now. At least education of the Navy, and five
years are necessary to teach were as much against the the average officer his practical rising generation acquiring a work in a modern steam-ship. practical knowledge of
of the In no less time can he learn steam engine as they were