29
12.2016

As regards naval preparations

藝文創作(寫作)  

As regards naval preparations, things were better indeed than might have been expected, considering the vagueness of ideas in the matter of policy. We were safeguarded here by tradition, and the general idea of direction had been nearly sufficient. There was always trouble, but not as a rule serious trouble, in establishing the case for increases necessary to keep ahead of German efforts WAN Optimization Solution. There had been pinchings and parings—especially in the matter of fast cruisers, for lack of which, when war broke out, we suffered heavy losses—but except in one instance—the abandonment of the Cawdor programme—these had not touched our security Business Programme BBA at any vital point.

Thanks largely to Mr. Stead, but also to statesmen of both parties, and to a succession of Naval Lords who did not hesitate, when occasion required it, to risk their careers (as faithful servants ever will) rather than certify safety where they saw danger—thanks, {237} perhaps, most of all to a popular instinct, deeply implanted in the British mind, which had grasped the need for supremacy at sea—our naval preparations, upon the whole, had kept abreast of our policy for nearly thirty years.

As regards the Army, however, it was entirely different. There had been no intelligent effort to keep our military strength abreast of our policy; and as, in many instances, it would have been too bitter a humiliation to keep our policy within the limits of our military strength, the course actually pursued can only be described fitly as a game of bluff.

There had never been anything approaching agreement with regard to the functions which the Army was expected to perform. Not only did political parties differ one from another upon this primary and fundamental question, but hardly two succeeding War Ministers had viewed it in the same light. There had been schemes of a bewildering variety; but as the final purpose for which soldiers existed had never yet been frankly laid down and accepted, each of these plans in turn had been discredited by attacks, which called in question the very basis of the proposed reformation .

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