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to his companions under any circumstances but to a much greater extent in a confined space like a ship-the captain of the trainingships should be instructed to bring before the Commander-in-Chief any case where a boy, by gross misconduct, or by idle worthless habits, had shown himself unfit for the Navy, in order that he might be at once removed and sent home by the first opportunity.
By this system there would thus be one training-ship returning to England every year with her complement of lads ready to join the service as well-trained and educated and most valuable officers. They would then be from fifteen to seventeen years of age, and might be at once made commissioned officers. At all events, three years' service only as midshipmen should be required before the final examination for lieutenant, with the minimum age of nineteen as at present. This further examination, however, would scarcely be necessary after such a training as we have described.
There can be little doubt that this mode of training naval cadets, if it could be carried out, is the one calculated to produce the best officers, and therefore to bestow the greatest benefit on the service. It combines the advantages of the Naval College with those derived from going to sea at an early age; it habituates the cadet at once to the ways of a sea life, and enables him to learn every branch of his profession in actual practice, as he will experience it afterwards. Not a day passes at sea without something occurring which is worthy of note and full of instruction to the young sailor; he has constant working experience in seamanship under every varying condition; he learns at once the theory and the practice of navigation, taking observations both at sea and on shore, the rating of chronometers, and keeping a ship's reckoning. He has opportunities for gaining a knowledge of and a taste for astronomy, for familiarising himself with the various ce
lestial phenomena of every region. He learns practically the art of marine surveying, so extremely valuable to a naval officer; and indeed, in this respect, the training-ships might be turned to good account by surveying harbours which are imperfectly known. He also acquires a thorough knowledge of the physical geography of the sea-of that wonderful system of the circulation of winds and currents, of atmospheric and climatic changes, which are so closely and beautifully interwoven one with another, and which, though of paramount importance to the mariner, as well as to science in general, had been but little noticed until Fitzroy and Maury, with methodical research and inductive reasoning, had shown at once the comprehensiveness of the system, and the great value of properly understanding it. He will have made acquaintance likewise with every quarter of the globe, with foreign nations and languages, which, if circumstances should eventually prevent his following up his profession, will prove of the greatest advantage in after - life. Indeed, it is difficult to say in what situation of life such a training would not be valuable. Working aloft, rowing, swimming, fencing, the gun and small-arm drills, and gymnastics, will afford him healthy exercise; he will find opportunities at the various places he visits for riding, shooting, and fishing, as well as cricket, foot-ball, and other sports and a well-supplied library, with chess, draughts, &c., drawing and painting, will give him plenty of employment in his leisure hours on board.
system out of working, at the very time that the demands of the service for the supply of young officers would probably be much increased. We cannot see, however, that any other objections could be raised to the above plan; yet, since the one we have pointed out is perhaps serious enough to prevent such a scheme being adopted, we must turn to some other, less open to objection, if inferior in the result producible by it.
We have seen that a College for the training of young naval officers was for more than a century in existence, and that the same principle has been revived in the Britannia, though under another form; the main cause of the several failures of the old Academy and College being, that it was only a partial system, the number of cadets trained there being limited; and there were, therefore, two distinct classes of officers in the service, those who had been educated, and those who had not. It is not likely that this error will be committed again; and the immediate re-establishment of a Royal Naval College for the training of cadets, on a scale and footing worthy of this great maritime nation, is on all sides, and among all classes of naval men, strongly urged. In the evidence taken before the Select Committee on Naval Promotion and Retirement during the last session of Parliament, very decided opinions in favour of this measure were expressed by the Duke of Somerset, and by each one of the distinguished officers who were examined upon this point. The Committee in their Report recommended the subject to the consideration of the Admiralty, it not being one which they were called upon to decide, though they intimate pretty clearly their opinion in favour of it. And indeed the Admiralty would seem to have made up their minds on the subject, for they have on several occasions announced that they contemplate establishing a College; and very probably, before these pages are published, they will have asked
Parliament for a sum of money for that purpose.
The first and one of the most important questions that arises with regard to the future Naval College is the situation of it-one most necessary condition being, that it should be near enough to a dockyard to admit of constant access. If there should be two establishments, as is recommended by some officers, then Portsmouth and Plymouth would naturally be the localities that would suggest themselves to every one; but if there should be one only, there can be scarcely a question but that Portsmouth—our greatest naval port, with its central situation and its historical associations-should be the place where our future Nelsons should be trained, if a convenient site could be found. The Isle of Wight and the banks of Southampton Water have been suggested as eligible localities; and it was said that at one time the Admiralty were in treaty for a house in Stokes Bay, near Gosport, formerly belonging to Lord Ashburton, with a view to converting that into a Naval College. Each of these situations, however, is liable to objections. It would not be easy to find a suitable site in the Isle of Wight sufficiently near Portsmouth, and land there is exceedingly valuable. Southampton Water is also too far from the dockyard, and its muddy shores are not favourable for boating or bathing. The Stokes Bay situation is likewise objectionable it is in too close a proximity to the town of Gosport, the grounds are on much too small a scale for such an establishment, and there is very little other land available. Moreover, Stokes Bay is an exposed lee-shore, and very ill adapted for boats, except in the finest summer weather.
There is, however, a locality near Portsmouth, which is admirably suited to the purpose, and that is Hayling Island. Any quantity of land could there be obtained at a reasonable rate; it is thinly populated, being simply a congeries of 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 for boat-exercise. A bridge connects the island with the mainland, and a railway is in course of construction, which will join the south coast and direct Portsmouth lines at Havant, the first station out of Portsmouth, so that Hayling Island will be only two hours from London. A floating bridge would form an easy communication with Portsea Island at Fort Cumberland, where there is now a ferry, the distance from there to the dockyard being about three miles. A small steamer-which under any circumstances ought to form part of the establishment of a Naval College would take the cadets round to the dockyard in half an hour; or, when preferred, the distance would be within a walk, and the railway would be available likewise. This situation would also have the advantage of being within the range of the forts which form the defences of Portsmouth; but the principal advantage of this locality, which gives it a special merit, is, that from the peculiarity of the situation, the cadets could be easily kept clear of the dangers and temptations of a seaport town, while, at the same time, they have all the benefit of a close proximity to the dockyard. If this were to be selected as the site for the future College, it would be an excellent plan if an Act of Parliament were passed placing Hayling Island on a somewhat similar footing with regard to the Admiralty, as Oxford and Cambridge are with respect to the University authorities; so that the
The age of entry into the College and the initiatory examination should be the same as at present on joining the Britannia, and as we have suggested for the sea-going training-ships. The period of training should also be three years, with the same privilege for those of marked proficiency to come forward for examination after two years, if not less than fifteen years of age. On passing out of the College, the cadets would, as in the former scheme, be immediately appointed to sea-going ships as midshipmen, in which rating they would serve three years before they would be eligible to pass for lieutenants. The course of instruction should be marked out with special reference to the requirements of the service, and should include mathematics, foreign languages, history, navigation, physical geography, drawing, marine surveying, elementary astronomy, and steam, with gunnery and the small-arm exercises. But there is one point which must be carefully attended to in framing any scheme of instruction for naval cadets, and that is, that the first object to be attained is to make them sailors. Theoretical knowledge is excellent, and indispensable in order to make accomplished officers, but it can only be valuable-either to the service or to the individual-when, as a superstructure, it rests upon a foundation of sound practical seamanship. There will, of course, be vessels attached to the College for this purpose-every naval man advocating the establishment of a College does
so with this reservation-for without this it would be better even that the system should remain as at present. But if these training-vessels are merely to cruise about the Isle of Wight, like those in which the second-class boys are exercised, they will certainly not answer the purposes required. The training ship should be a frigate—the old six-and-twenties, like the Eurydice, would do capitally-and the cadets should go each summer for a cruise of three or four months at least to the Mediterranean. They would by this arrangement derive a portion of the advantages which we have shown would result from the training taking place wholly in sea-going ships. It would not be advisable to carry on the studies to a great extent during this summer cruise; but at the same time there are some subjects, such as navigation and marine surveying, which seem to suggest themselves as being studied with greater facility in the course of a sea voyage to different places. It would be better, according to this scheme, that the training-vessel should be a sailing-ship, as it would be more roomy, and steam could be studied better at the College, and on board the steamer attached to it. The number of cadets admitted into the service annually being about 170, it would of course be impossible to accommodate all that would be at the College three times that number-on board one ship. It would be necessary, therefore, to have several vessels; and perhaps the most advisable plan would be to have one for the cadets of each year, and for each vessel to make two voyages, taking half the annual number each time, which would be as many as a small frigate could properly accommodate in addition to her
Since the education which a boy would receive under either of the above schemes would be a very valuable one for any situation in after-life as well as the naval service, it would of course be ex
VOL. XCVI.—NO. DLXXXV,
pected that parents should pay a fair sum for their sons during the period of training. The sum required during the latter years of the existence of the old College was £100 per annum for all but the sons of naval and military officers; but this would be too high an amount to fix for the future, for it must be remembered that in former days going through the College was optional, so that those who could not afford to pay so much for their sons and the majority of the parents of naval officers could not-sent them straight to sea as volunteers. It has been said by some that the College ought to be made self-supporting, and no doubt it would be quite practicable to devise a scheme whereby it would be so; but to make a fundamental principle of this would, we think, be a fatal mistake. To start upon this assumption would be to cripple the whole plan; for the result would probably be, either that the sum required to be paid by the parents would be too large, or that the establishment would be upon a scale unworthy of the country. The popularity of the naval service is such, that there would no doubt always be found plenty of candidates, were the expense of the education at the College as great even as at Eton or Harrow; but in this case those classes from whom some of our very best officers have been drawn would be entirely denied access to the Navy. It must not be forgotten that Nelson was the son of a country clergyman, and that many other officers of the highest distinction have been, and are, sons of naval and military men, whose means are seldom such as to permit them to pay a high sum for their children's education. That very numerous body from whose ranks the Navy is largely recruitedcountry gentlemen of small fortune, who have places to keep up and many other calls upon their income
would also be unable to send their sons to sea, unless the expense of the College were moderate; while
the great body of the clergy would be still less able to pay a high sum. The course which it would be most worthy for this country to adopt would be, to devise a comprehensive scheme for a Naval College fully equal to the wants of the service, and upon a liberal footing; to fix upon such an annual sum for each cadet as should place it within reach of all those who now send their sons to the Navy; and then, if it were found that this was insufficient to cover the expenses of the establishment, to charge the balance to the State. Supposing that the Naval College and trainingships were to cost the country even £100,000 a-year, that would be but a hundredth part of the ten millions which the Navy swallows up annually, and only one-third of the cost of a single iron-cased ship like the Minotaur. The regulations of the Britannia require the parents of each cadet to pay £40 for his maintenance during the year he is on board, and this annual sum is necessary all the time the lad is a midshipman ; so that for five or six years £40 a-year has to be paid, besides the cost of uniform, clothes, &c. But under the proposed system, the midshipman, on joining the Navy from the College, being a thoroughly-trained and competent officer, should at once receive an amount of pay sufficient to maintain him in respectability, without further assistance from his parents being necessary. There would, therefore, be only the three years in the College or training-ship during which the parents would be called upon to pay for their sons, and for this shorter period £60 or £70 a-year would not be too high a rate to establish. But there should be a certain number of cadetships upon a reduced scale open to the sons of deserving naval and military officers of small means; and a few, sons of deceased officers, should be admitted annually free of all expense.
The present system costs the country as follows, according to the Navy Estimates: :
3,830 19 £18,593 9 0
According to either of the foregoing schemes, naval instructors would be no more required on board ship, as the cadets would have received a thoroughly good education before joining the Navy, and would then be of an age to keep up their knowledge without such assistance; therefore the whole of the above sum would at once go towards the expense of the College. Supposing, also, that 100 cadets paid the full amount of £70 a-year each, and 50 paid at the rate of £40, leaving the remaining 20 free, this would
which, added to the former sum, makes £27,593-an amount that would go a considerable way towards covering the expenses of the College.
But the matter is one of such vital importance to the Navy, that questions of economy ought not to be permitted to stand in the way of a thoroughly satisfactory scheme, upon whatever footing it may be based.
It has been proposed that the Naval College should also be open to boys intended for the merchant service; and no doubt this would be highly beneficial to the latter if it could be carried out, and would tend to draw the two services closer together, which is much to be desired. But the College would be quite large enough without this addition to its numbers; and surely in this great maritime country our mercantile navy is able to support an educational establishment of its own. We question very much, also, whether the parents of boys intended for the merchant service would care to go to the expense of an education such as is required for the Navy.