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Again, the population of the Empire is increasing very rapidly—that is, to the extent of about 850,000 annually. The necessity, indeed the inevitability, of Germany's expansion beyond the seas is therefore perfectly obvious, and, from the economic point of view alone, a strong navy is an arm which Germany cannot possibly dispense with. If Germany now possesses, as can easily be demonstrated on the strength of some recently published official statistics, the second largest Mercantile Marine in the world, it becomes therefore incumbent upon her to take the necessary steps for the purpose of raising the status of her navy to such a position as betokens a powerful nation and the name of Germany, and as becomes the rôle which she plays in what is usually called by German politicians Weltpolitik. Moreover, the Fatherland has in this matter to bear in mind the old truismusually ascribed to Napoleon, but which, as a matter of fact, can be traced as far back as two centuries ago, namely, to an eminent German (Dessauer)—that ‘Providence is generally on the side of the big battalions. In connection with this, one is also reminded of what the present First Sea-Lord, Sir John Fisher, said, in regard to the historic Hague Conference. “After all,' remarked that naval delegate to the Conference in question, a strong British Navy is the strongest argument for peace.' A further point to be taken into consideration is that since 1900 the economic progress of the world, in which Germany has shared, has advanced considerably, and this has caused an increase of the general desire to afford adequate protection to commerce. The United States gives us a good example of this. American commerce has increased rapidly of late, and the Imperial spirit has grown stronger in the great Republic; and, consequently, although there are few colonies to protect, the United States Navy is being so increased that in a few years it will be much larger than that of Germany. Then there is the case of Russia. Previous to the outbreak of the present war Russia found herself in a position as she does now, for that matter-of being able to convey her troops overland to any point where she was likely to be attacked, and a fleet, therefore, was unnecessary for the purpose of protecting transports ; yet Russia, at the beginning of the present century, adopted a naval programme which was intended to increase very largely the Tsar's power at sea. Great Britain, also, since 1902, has considerably increased her naval expenditure, the estimate for this year amounting to the enormous sum of 34,450,0001., as against an actual outlay of 31,170,0001. in 1903. This increase in the British naval programme is often attributed in Great Britain to the adoption in Germany of a bold naval policy; but in German political and naval circles, as it might not be out of place to record here, a quite different view is held, it being more or less generally thought that the reason for the increase lies in the fact that in the course of the naval manoeuvres held, comparatively speaking, quite recently-some three years ago (1901)-in which, as it is well known, the French fleet participated—the British Navy was shown to be less efficient than was generally believed to be the case. So much so, indeed, that an examination of the comments published at that time in the foreign, especially French, Press will clearly show that the issue of these naval maneuvres was received in France with what may be called undisguised and quite general satisfaction. As a matter of fact, certain well-known French naval authorities went even so far as to say that the prestige of the British fleet was destroyed, at least for a considerable time to come; that there was a chance of the Mediterranean and Channel coming under the supremacy of the French Republic; and, further, that in case of war between the two countries 'a disembarkation of French troops on the south coast of England was by no means unattainable or beyond the bounds of possibility.'1
The enormous reaction which thus ensued in this country in regard to the state of the national fleet as a consequence of the not too fortunate issue of the naval manœuvres in question, German politicians are inclined to regard as the sole and direct cause of the more or less immediate and considerable increase in British naval expenditure. How far this view is correct—that is, as far as actual history is concerned—would be out of place to discuss here. But, as I have already pointed out, the fact deserves to be particularly emphisised that German politicians, taking them as a whole, decline to bring the present British naval policy in any relation with the naval programme recently adopted in the Fatherland.
I have endeavoured in the course of this article to demonstrate that the German naval policy in general, and that of the Navy League in particular, is very far from being aggressive, as some publicists in this country are fond of putting it, but is of a defensive character in the truest sense of the word. Briefly stated, the Imperial Navy is to be developed along the following lines: The first is strictly for home defence; the next is for service in foreign waters near the colonial possessions; the third is for protection and furtherance of the interests of commerce in general.
When the Reichstag passed the Navy Bill in 1900, it course, not aware, nor could it be, as to what the increase of the fighting strength and power of foreign navies would be in the years to come, and, further, it could not very well foresee what political and economic changes would take place meanwhile so as to provide for such eventualities. As will be seen from the figures given below, which are based upon recently published official statistics, both German and foreign, the Imperial Navy, at present the fourth on the list, will, in a few years hence-namely, 1907—occupy the fifth position among the navies of the Great Powers.
See also Die Internationale Revue über die gesammten Armeen und Flotten, October 1901.
The position at about the end of 1907 will be :
Hence there is sufficient reason why the Reichstag should be called upon to reconsider its decision of four years ago, and revise and enlarge the programme then approved, so that the German Navy may ere long be made strong enough for the purposes enumerated above, and rendered equal to the great tasks which unforeseen circumstances may place before it.
Let it be put briefly : this is precisely the very object which the Navy League has in view, and to which end, despite the enormous obstacles which have to be overcome, it is now devoting all its energies, making at the same time extensive use of all accessible and necessary resources. As it was the League which, thanks to the personal efforts of its very able and indefatigable president, Prince Otto zu Salm-Korstmar, and of his collaborators in this schemeAdmiral Kollmann, Freiherr von Würtzburg, Dr. Blum, to mention only a few of many well-known names—so largely helped to create, as it were, public interest in the Navy, it now strives to maintain and increase it—a task far more difficult than the primary work accomplished.
LOUIS ELKIND, M.D.
THE RE-FLOW FROM TOWN TO COUNTRY
It is generally accepted as a fact that the purely agricultural districts of England tend to diminish in population—not from any falling-off in the birth-rate, but from the migration of the inhabitants to other parts, and largely to the towns of the country. From this tendency it is sometimes rather hastily inferred that the population of the island is becoming a population of dwellers in close streets and overcrowded quarters, and is consequently diminishing in vigour. It is reassuring to be told by the recent Committee on Physical Deterioration that, even as regard physique, height, chest-measurement, and such matters, there is as yet no evidence of falling-off, and that such evils as can be traced are confined to a very limited class at the extreme end of the social scale. This is only what one would expect, when due allowance is made for other characteristics of the progress of the nation, and in particular for that counter-current from town to country which, though perfectly familiar in the individual experience of most of us, is apt to be overlooked in the general views which are founded on statistics. Who, with the least knowledge of London, for instance, is not acquainted with the prodigious extension of the capital in recent years over the surrounding rural districts ? Not only does London spread as London, but the influence of London affects the whole region within fifty miles or more of Charing Cross. The figures on the subject are most instructive ; but let us take a concrete instance. Everyone has heard of Hindhead and the neighbouring district. Twenty years ago an old inn at the top of the long rise on the Portsmouth Road was almost the only habitation on the high ground, while a few scattered farms and small manors nestled in the folds of the many hills which culminate in the wild spot sketched by Turner. Now every ridge and slope is lined with spacious houses ; there are two hotels, which, in Germany, would certainly advertise an 'air-cure'; there are a street of shops, a church, and all the other indications of a communal life ; and this although the station which serves the district is three miles away, down a long hill. Haslemere, which provides the station, was a quiet country village less than a quarter of a century since-little changed from the days when, as a borough in the pocket of Lord Lonsdale, it returned two members to Parliament. It is now a busy little centre for the considerable residential
district which has grown up around it—a station of sufficient importance to be made a terminus for
trains. Yet Hindhead and Hasle. mere åre more than forty miles from London, and are served by a railway company which does not trouble to develop places by means of fast trains. They are but typical of other places-Oxted and Limpsfield, for example, which have been suddenly created by a new railway. The rural parts of Surrey alone-omitting all urban districts -increased 20 per cent. between 1891 and 1901. Something of the same kind may probably be said of the north and east of the metropolis. Every railway-served district within fifty miles of London is in a sense a suburb.
Now, what does this mean? It means that a large area of open country—field, meadow, copse, and hill—is planted with inhabitants to a much greater degree than it ever was as an agricultural district. In place of the single farm with its attendant labourers is a multitude of houses, each with its family, its household of servants, its coachman, and its two or three gardeners. To serve these communities come the retail traders, each with his shopmen, messenger-boys, and other assistants, places of worship, schools, and all the establishments which a growing neighbourhood brings into existence, and which act and react in the way of hastening the occupation of the country-side. On the immediate outskirts of a town the process is so rapid that the occupied fields cease to have any rural attribute, and become themselves towns—more unattractive sometimes than the older parts, but still not, as a rule, so densely inhabited. But when the process is carried on at greater distances from the centre, very different results follow. Nothing like the close packing of a town ensues. In the nearer places there are broad roads and detached houses with mueh garden ground. At greater distances, while socially and economically the character of the district changes, physically its rural attributes are scarcely affected. Woods, commons, parks, and heaths still abound; fields are still tilled, and meadows grazed. Only dotted over the face of the earth are country houses, and here and there a cluster of smaller dwellings. From the point of view of health, nothing has been lost, and probably much gained. For with the advent of a residential population comes a critical attitude towards water-supply and housedrainage which is not natural to the purely agricultural community.
To a large extent, also, the population thus spreading over the country-side is a population which comes from the towns. The householders and their families would, with very few exceptions, live in or near a town if they did not live where they do. They have come from the town, not from the country. And so with their gardeners and coachmen; some of them might be working on farms, if they were not in private service ; more of them would be servants in or about towns. The community is mainly made up at the expense, i not of the agricultural districts, but of the towns. The very growth