Page images

to his companions under any cir- lestial phenomena of every region. cumstances—but to a much greater He learns practically the art of maextent in a confined space like a rine surveying, so extremely valuship--the captain of the training able to a naval officer; and indeed, ships should be instructed to bring in this respect, the training-ships before the Commander-in-Chief any might be turned to good account case where a boy, by gross miscon- by surveying harbours which are duct, or by idle wortbless habits, imperfectly known. He also achad shown himself unfit for the quires a thorough knowledge of the Navy, in order that he might be at physical geography of the sea

-of once removed and sent home by that wonderful system of the cirthe first opportunity.

culation of winds and currents, of By this system there would thus atmospheric and climatic changes, be one training-ship returning to which are so closely and beautifully England every year with her com- interwoven one with another, and plement of lads ready to join the which, though of paramount imservice as well-trained and educated portance to the mariner, as well as and most valuable officers. They to science in general, had been but would then be from fifteen to seven- little noticed until Fitzroy and teen years of age, and might be at Maury, with methodical research once made commissioned officers. and inductive reasoning, had shown At all events, three years' service at once the comprehensiveness of only as midshipmen should be re- the system, and the great value of quired before the final examina- properly understanding it. He will tion for lieutenant, with the mini- have made acquaintance likewise mum age of nineteen as at present. with every quarter of the globe, This further examination, however, with foreign nations and languages, would scarcely be necessary after which, if circumstances should such a training as we have de- eventually prevent his following scribed.

up his profession, will prove of the There can be little doubt that greatest advantage in after - life. this mode of training naval cadets, Indeed, it is difficult to say in what if it could be carried out, is the one situation of life such a training calculated to produce the best offi- would not be valuable. Working cers, and therefore to bestow the aloft, rowing, swimming, fencing, greatest benefit on the service. It the gun and small-arm drills, and combines the advantages of the gymnastics, will afford him healthy Naval College with those derived exercise ; he will find opportunities from going to sea at an early age; it at the various places he visits for habituates the cadet at once to the riding, shooting, and fishing, as ways of a sea life, and enables him well as cricket, foot-ball, and other to learn every branch of his profes- sports: and a well-supplied library, sion in actual practice, as he will with chess, draughts, &c., drawing experience it afterwards.

and painting, will give him plenty day passes at sea without something of employment in his leisure hours occurring which is worthy of note on board. and full of instruction to the young We believe that such a system is sailor; he has constant working the very best that could be devised ; experience in seamanship under but at the same time we must conevery varying condition; he learns fess there is a serious difficulty in at once the theory and the practice the way of carrying it out. For of navigation, taking observations unless it were held to be a principle both at sea and on shore, the rating of international law, that trainingof chronometers, and keeping a ships are exempt from the usages of ship’s reckoning. He has opportuni- war, the declaration of hostilities ties for gaining a knowledge of and with any powerful maritime nation a taste for astronomy, for familiar- would at once seal them up in ising himself with the various ce- port, and thus throw the whole

Not a

ever, that

system out of working, at the Parliament for a sum of money for very time that the demands of the that purpose. service for the supply of young

The first and one of the most officers would probably be much important questions that arises with increased. We cannot see, how- regard to the future Naval College

any other objections could is the situation of it—one most be raised to the above plan ; yet, necessary condition being, that it since the one we have pointed out should be near enough to a dockis perhaps serious enough to pre- yard to admit of constant access. vent such a scheme being adopted, If there should be two establishwe must turn to some other, less ments, as is recommended by some open to objection, if inferior in the officers, then Portsmouth and Plyresult producible by it.

mouth would naturally be the localiWe have seen that a College for ties that would suggest themselves the training of young naval officers to every one; but if there should was for more than a century in be one only, there can be scarcely a existence, and that the same prin- question but that Portsmouth-our ciple has been revived in the Bri- greatest naval port, with its central tannia, though under another form

; situation and its historical associathe main cause of the several tions—should be the place where failures of the old Academy and ourfuture Nelsons should be trained, College being, that it was only a if a convenient site could be found. partial system, the number of cadets The Isle of Wight and the banks of trained there being limited; and Southampton Water have been sugthere were, therefore, two distinct gested as eligible localities ; and it classes of officers in the service, was said that at one time the Adthose who had been educated, and miralty were in treaty for a house those who had not. It is not likely in Stokes Bay, near Gosport, forthat this error will be committed merly belonging to Lord Ashburton, again; and the immediate re-estab- with a view to converting that into lishment of a Royal Naval College a Naval College. Each of these for the training of cadets, on a scale situations, however, is liable to and footing worthy of this great objections. It would not be easy maritime nation, is on all sides, and to find a suitable site in the Isle among all classes of naval men, of Wight sufficiently near Portsstrongly urged. In the evidence mouth, and land there is exceedingtaken before the Select Committee ly valuable. Southampton Water on Naval Promotion and Retire- is also too far from the dockyard, ment during the last session of Par- and its muddy shores are not faliament, very decided opinions in vourable for boating or bathing. favour of this measure were ex- The Stokes Bay situation is likewise pressed by the Duke of Somerset, objectionable : it is in too close a and by each one of the distinguished proximity to the town of Gosport, officers who were examined upon the grounds are on much too small this point. The Committee in their a scale for such an establishment, Report recommended the subject and there is very little other land to the consideration of the Admi- available. Moreover, Stokes Bay ralty, it not being one which they is an exposed lee-shore, and very ill were called upon to decide, though adapted for boats, except in the they intimate pretty clearly their finest summer weather. opinion in favour of it. And in- There is, however, a locality near deed the Admiralty would seem Portsmouth, which is admirably to have made up their minds on the suited to the purpose, and that is subject, for they have on several · Hayling Island. Any quantity of occasions announced that they con- land could there be obtained at a template establishing a College; reasonable rate; it is thinly popuand very probably, before these pages lated, being simply a congeries of are published, they will have asked farms, with one or two small ham


lets, and a sea-bathing establish- possibility of any improper people ment which was started there as being located in the neighbourhood a speculation some years ago, but of the College could be prevented. which does not seem by its appear- We might in this respect take exance to have been a very profitable ample from the United States ; for investment as yet. The place is at their celebrated Military College exceedingly healthy; the air is pure, at West Point on the Hudson river, for the sea-breezes come in straight the whole of the immediate vicinity from the English Channel ; and an of the establishment is under special unlimited extent of land and common jurisdiction ; the hotels are on the is available for recreative purposes. temperance principle, and no imThe beach for miles presents the proper characters are allowed in the greatest attractions to the bather, place; so that all that legislation and Langston harbour affords a per- can do is done to guard the morals fect shelter from all winds, and is of the students. one of the finest places conceivable The age of entry into the Colfor boat-exercise. A bridge connects lege and the initiatory examination the island with the mainland, and a should be the same as at present on railway is in course of construction, joining the Britannia, and as we which will join the south coast and have suggested for the sea-going direct Portsmouth lines at Havant, training-ships. The period of trainthe first station out of Portsmouth, ing should also be three years, with so that Hayling Island will be only the same privilege for those of two hours from London. A floating marked proficiency to come forward bridge would form an easy commu

for examination after two years, if nication with Portsea Island at Fort not less than fifteen years of age. Cumberland, where there is now a On passing out of the College, the ferry, the distance from there to the cadets would, as in the former dockyard being about three miles. scheme, be immediately appointed A small steamer—which under any to sea-going ships as midshipmen, circumstances ought to form part in which rating they would serve of the establishment of a Naval three years before they would be College — would take the cadets eligible to pass for lieutenants, round to the dockyard in half an The course of instruction should be hour; or, when preferred, the dis- marked out with special reference tance would be within a walk, and to the requirements of the service, the railway would be available like- and should include mathematics, wise. This situation would also foreign languages, history, navigahave the advantage of being within tion, physical geography, drawing, the range of the forts which form marine surveying, elementary astrothe defences of Portsmouth ; but nomy, and steam, with gunnery and the principal advantage of this lo- the small-arm exercises. But there is . cality, which gives it a special merit, one point which must be carefully is, that from the peculiarity of the attended to in framing any scheme situation, the cadets could be easily of instruction for naval cadets, and kept clear of the dangers and temp- that is, that the first object to be tations of a seaport town, while, at attained is to make them sailors, the same time, they have all the Theoretical knowledge is excellent, benefit of a close proximity to the and indispensable in order to make dockyard. If this were to be se- accomplished officers, but it can only lected as the site for the future Col- be valuable—either to the service lege, it would be an excellent plan or to the individual—when, as a suif an Act of Parliament were passed perstructure, it rests upon a foundaplacing Hayling Island on a some- tion of sound practical seamanship. what similar footing with regard There will, of course, be vessels atto the Admiralty, as Oxford and tached to the College for this purCambridge are with respect to the pose—every naval man advocating University authorities ; so that the the establishment of a College does


so with this reservation for with pected that parents should pay a out this it would be better even fair sum for their sons during the that the system should remain as at period of training. The sum represent. But if these training-ves- quired during the latter years of sels are merely to cruise about the the existence of the old College was Isle of Wight, like those in which £100 per annum for all but the the second-class boys are exercised, sons of naval and military officers ; they will certainly not answer the but this would be too high an purposes required. The training, amount to fix for the future, for it ship should be a frigate—the old must be remembered that in forsix-and-twenties, like the Eury. mer days going through the College dice, would do capitally—and the was optional, so that those who cadets should go each summer for could not afford to pay so much for a cruise of three or four months at their sons and the majority of least to the Mediterranean. They the parents of naval officers could would by this arrangement derive not-sent them straight to sea as a portion of the advantages which volunteers. It has been said by we have shown would result from some that the College ought to be the training taking place wholly in made self-supporting, and no doubt sea-going ships. It would not be it would be quite practicable to advisable to carry on the studies to devise a scheme whereby it would a great extent during this summer be so; but to make a fundamental cruise ; but at the same time there principle of this would, we think, are some subjects, such as naviga- be a fatal mistake. To start upon tion and marine surveying, which this assumption would be to cripseem to suggest themselves as being ple the whole plan ; for the result studied with greater facility in the would probably be, either that the course of a sea voyage to different sum required to be paid by the places. It would be better, accord- parents would be too large, or that ing to this scheme, that the train- the establishment would be upon ing-vessel should be a sailing-ship, a scale unworthy of the country. as it would be more roomy, and The popularity of the naval service steam could be studied better at the is such, that there would no doubt College, and on board the steamer always be found plenty of candiattached to it. The number of dates, were the expense of the educadets admitted into the service cation at the College as great even annually being about 170, it would as at Eton or Harrow ; but in this of course be impossible to accommo- case those classes from whom some date all that would be at the Col- of our very best officers have been lege—three times that number—on drawn would be entirely denied acboard one ship. It would be ne- cess to the Navy. It must not be cessary, therefore, to have several forgotten that Nelson was the son vessels ; and perhaps the most ad- of a country clergyman, and that visable plan would be to have one many other officers of the highest for the cadets of each year, and for distinction have been, and are, sons each vessel to make two voyages, of naval and military men, whose taking half the annual number means are seldom such as to permit each time, which would be as many them to pay a high sum for their as a small frigate could properly children's education. accommodate in addition to her numerous body from whose ranks crew.

the Navy is largely recruitedSince the education which a boy country gentlemen of small fortune, would receive under either of the who have places to keep up and above schemes would be a very many other calls upon their income valuable one for any situation would also be unable to send their in after-life as well as the naval sons to sea, unless the expense of service, it would of course be ex- the College were moderate ; while


That very

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

0 0



0 0



the great body of the clergy would Pay of naval instructors, and chapbe still less able to pay a high sum.

lains acting as such, £12,700 10 The course which it would be most

Pay of the educational worthy for this country to adopt

staff of Britannia, 2,062 0

Pay of naval cadets, 3,830 19 would be, to devise a comprehensive scheme for a Naval College fully

Total, £18,593 9 equal to the wants of the service, According to either of the foregoing and upon a liberal footing; to fix schemes, naval instructors would upon such an annual sum for each be no more required on board ship, cadet as should place it within

as the cadets would have received reach of all those who now send

a thoroughly good education before their sons to the Navy; and then, joining the Navy, and would then if it were found that this was in- be of an age to keep up their knowsufficient to cover the expenses of ledge without such assistance ; the establishment, to charge the therefore the whole of the above balance to the State. Supposing

sum would at once go towards the that the Naval College and training- expense of the College. Supposing, ships were to cost the country even

also, that 100 cadets paid the full £100,000 a-year, that would be but

amount of £70 a-year each, and 50 a hundredth part of the ten millions paid at the rate of £40, leaving which the Navy swallows up an- the remaining 20 free, this would nually, and only one-third of the

amount tocost of a single iron-cased ship like

100 Cadets at £70, £7000 0 the Minotaur. The regulations of 50

at £10,

2000 0 the Britannia require the parents

free, of each cadet to pay £40 for his maintenance during the year he is

Total, £9000 0 on board, and this annual sum is which, added to the former sum, necessary all the time the lad is a

makes £27,593—an amount that midshipman ; so that for five or would go a considerable way towards six years £40 a-year has to be paid, covering the expenses of the Colbesides the cost of uniform, clothes, lege. But the matter is one of &c. But under the proposed sys- such vital importance to the Navy, tem, the midshipman, on joining that questions of economy ought the Navy from the College, being not to be permitted to stand in the a thoroughly-trained and competent way of a thoroughly satisfactory - officer, should at once receive an scheme, upon whatever footing it amount of pay sufficient to main may be based. tain him in respectability, without It has been proposed that the further assistance from his parents Naval College should also be open being necessary. There would, to boys intended for the merchant therefore, be only the three years in service; and no doubt this would the College or training-ship during be highly beneficial to the latter if which the parents would be called it could be carried out, and would upon to pay for their sons, and for tend to draw the two services closer this shorter period £60 or £70 together, which is much to be dea-year would not be too high a rate sired. But the College would be to establish. But there should be quite large enough without this ada certain number of cadetships dition to its numbers; and surely upon a reduced scale open to the in this great maritime country our sons of deserving naval and mili- mercantile navy is able to support tary officers of small means; and an educational establishment of its a few, sons of decea ed officers, own. We question very much, also, should be admitted annually free whether the parents of boys in

tended for the merchant service The present system costs the would care to go to the expense of country as follows, according to an education such as is required the Navy Estimates :

for the Navy.

of all expense.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »