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objects be strictly defensive—and we hope England will never have any but a strictly defensive war—must be carried on by offensive operations, or it will be interminable. Now, what an aid wonld the harbour of which we speak be in an offensive war. A steam fleet in such a harbour would have the whole of the coast of the continent from Rotterdam to Brest at its mercy for a day's run. This is an advantage which would more than double, treble, or quadruple the military power of Great Britain. Let men only look back to the weeks, nay, months, lost in the embarking and transporting expeditions to the Helder, to Walcheren, &c, and they will feel that we do not overrate this prodigious augmentation of power which Providence has given us, if we will only secure the means of exercising it. It is not too much to say, that a rendezvous harbour in the narrow part of the Channel would render necessary an army of at least 200,000 men to protect the opposite coast from invasion by less than a tenth part of the number,— would enable Great Britain to clear out in succession every port from Rotterdam to Brest.
"Sir Robert Peel plainly sees this, though he considers that in his peculiar circumstances it better becomes him to recommend the capacious harbour, which he approves of as a harbour of refuge than as a military post. It is quite true, as Sir Robert said, that a harbour of refuge upon a gTeat scale is what is wanted—and that one such harbour is worth fifty small harbours, and is proved to be worth fifty small harbours by the demands made for the improvement of the latter. Why are such demands made? Because in certain winds or states of the tide these small harbours are of difficult, or dangerous, or impossible access; but give them a capacious refuge harbour in the neighbourhood, and vessels entering such a harbour under all circumstances of wind, weather, or tide, can choose their own opportunity, whether of wind, weather, or tide, to approach the smaller harbour. The question of expense ought not to be weighed for a single moment when such an object as that under consideration is to be obtained—call it 2,000,000 (1,500,000;. has been named)—call it two millions, three millions, four millions. Why, as regards the safety of trading vessels, to say nothing of the lives of their crews, the harbours would repay the whole in ten years. The advantages in war would repay it in half ten months. As to the value of the harbour, we have the honour of concurring in the opinion of Sir Robert Peel; but we must respectfully differ from the right honourable baronet as to the time of commencing to provide what is so valuable. Sir Robert hesitates to press it now, in consideration of the expense and the state of the public finances. We think that no consideration ought to delay the pursuit of an object so all important.
"Whatever may be the state of the public finances, the multitude of our railroads proves that the private finances of the country are not in a state of exhaustion. We are not sure that a refuge harbour scheme in shares might not turn out a better speculation than most of the railroads, more particularly if the government would engage itself to pay liberally for the use of such a harbour whenever its use might be required as a rendezvous harbour for her Majesty1 vessels. In this way the whole cost might be raised in a few days without imposing any burthen upon the finances of the country. But, however provided, the harbour ought to ba provided, and provided at once. War, should war come, will bring its own expenses, and if the harbour be not in progress before the commencement of a war, there is too much reason to fear that it may be delayed another forty years.
"In conclusion, we shall briefly explain on what grounds we think Dover the preferable place. The position of Dover, besides being opposed at about equal distance to the principal western ports of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, is a salient position near the French coast, and in the very narrowest part of the Channel; secondly, at Dover you get at once into deep water, free on both sides from banks, an advantage which Dover possesses in an eminent degree over all the ports to the north, and in some degree, though in a less degree, over all the ports to the west—the western ports being otherwise objectionable on account of the expansion of the Channel westward. In the third place, a great deal has already been done for the military defence of Dover, both by nature and art. We know of no position in the Channel suitable for a rendezvous harbour (and such a harbour must be strongly defended), which could be made as strong as Dover now is, except at an enormous expense, an expense probably equal to the expense of the harbour itself. Fourthly, the railroad now in process of completion, and which would of course, be finished before the harbour, will bring Dover within three hours of the seat of government—within three hours of London, whither all the railroads of the island converge, and where, in consequence, the whole military strength of the island might be collected in a day or two. With a rendezvous harbour and a steam fleet at Dover, no camp would be necessary to menace the opposite coast—all Great Britain would be the camp. Have we trespassed beyond our province in treating this matter so much at large? If we have, it is because we have a deep sense of its immense importance; and in any case, if our views are false, the public will be the wiser for having the subject fully canvassed."
Notices To Mariners.
Hydrographic-office, Admiralty, March 25th, 1841.
Gottenburg Lishts.—The Board of Admiralty at Stockholm has given notice, that;
1. A light-house of stone has been erected on the island of Winga at the entrance of Gottenburg inlet, which will be lighted in the course of next summer. It will shew a fixed light of the third order, and visible from all parts of the horizon at the distance of twelve miles. The light-house stands in latitude 87° 37' 30" north, and in longitude 11° 39' east of Greenwich.
2. Two Channel lights for the guidance of vessels up to Gottenburg are also preparing, one of which will be placed on Buskar und the other on Botto.
Further particulars of all these lights will be published hereafter.
The following are from Lloyd I.
LioHT-nousr. At Hobson's Bay, Port Philip. The following notice to mariners has been transmitted to Lloyd's by the harbour-master at Melbourne, Port Philip:—
"After the 1st of August, 1840, a plain stationary light will be shown from sunset to sunrise from a light-house erected on the extremity of GellibrandsPeint, W illiam's Town, Hobson's Bay, visible five leagues in clear weather from any safe position to the southward.
"From the north end of the Western Channel the anchorage at Williams Town bean north 14° east.
"From the north end of Symonds Channel the anchorage at Williams Town bears north 6° east.
"From the north end of the Pinnace Channel the anchorage at Williams Town bears north 5° east
"From the north end of the South Channel the anchorage at Williams Town bears north 6" west.
"The courses indicated will give vessels a fair berth from the shoal off" Gellibrands Point. Care must be taken after bringing the light-house to bear north 67" 30' west, not to stand into less than four fathoms water on the westem shore, and also to guard against a bank which lies off the eastern beach, bearing from the light-house from about north 22° east, to north 67° east, one mile and a half. After rounding the light and bringing it to bear about south, 40° west one mile, the anchor may be dropped in four fathoms water in good holding ground of stiff clay and mud." The bearings are all by compass.
Water At Port Praia, March 16th.—" For the information of the shipping proceeding to the south, we beg to acquaint you that water of the best quality is now brought down from the mountains to the beach in iron pipes, at the harbour of Porto Praia St. Jago in these islands, the cost of which is only 320 reis the hogshead. Vessels can take in a supply of water in a few hours."
Patras, February 25th.—The Candiot refugees in Greece having resolved to return to their own country, to raise an insurrection against the Ottoman authorities, have seized upon several vessels in the Modena waters, and taken them to Carabusa, in Candia, whether for this or piratical purposes is unknown. An English schooner was taken off Sapienza by a boat full of armed men, and taken to Candia. The British Consul at Navarino warns all vessels to give the Sapienza isles a wide berth, as the isle of Schieza is the place where the CandiuU lurk.
Cactiok To Mariners Enterino Patras. From several vessels having grounded on a bank of soft mud about J a mile west of St. Andrewschurch at Patras, mariners are hereby cautioned of the spot, it not being very generally known.
In our volume for 1834, we gave Sir John Franklin's remarks on Patras, in which the position of the above shoal water is pointed out.—See p. 464.
Biographical Memoirs. The Late Vice-admiral Sir Thomas Dundas, K.c.b., (see obituary,) had been in the navy sixty-three years. The deceased admiral had seen much service and was one of the heroes of Trafalgar, at which glorious victory he commanded the Naiad, when he repeated Lord Nelson's signals. Previously, when in the command of La Prompte, he destroyed a Spanish vessel-of-war of superior force. His commission bears date, lieutenant 15th July, 1793; commander, 2d September, 1795; captain, 9th July, 1798; rear-admiral, 27th May, 1825; and vice-admiral, 10th January, 1837. For his eminent services he was nominated in September, 1831, a K.c.b., and was one of those naval officers who had an honorary reward from the Patriotic Fund.
Commander William Swinet, (see obituary,) entered the service in early fife, and served under Howe, St. Vincent, Nelson, Keith, &c.; was junior lieutenant of the Leander, in the battle of the Nile, and also in the desperate action that she fought with the Genereux; was actively engaged in the landing in Egypt; and subsequently commanded small craft in the Mediterranean, coast of Africa, West Indies, &c.
The Nelson Memorial.—There is so much good spirit, and downright worthiness of purpose in the publication of Colonel Drink water Bethune's account of the Battle of St. Vincent, which we have already notified to our readers, that we are induced to take another leaf out of the worthy Colonel's book, with the view of pointing out to their attention that the proceeds of it (after defraying the expenses) are to be added to the fund for the erection of the column in Trafalgar square. This cannot be too widely known, and as a further specimen of the style in which it is " got up," as the booksellers say, we annex the following spirited cuts of some of the effects of the action. We are glad to find that the work is added to the list of books to be found in our Naval Libraries.
H.M.S Captain In Tow Op The Minerva.