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which change has raised the wages paid Prince. His sagacity anticipated the on board a first-rate line-of-battle ship by revolution with which his success must an annual sum of 8,5551. To this must be attended. Accordingly, his chief care be added the sums for wear and tear of was directed to build and improve steam the ships. The new method of propul- ships of war; and specimens highly sion is not only itself more expensive, creditable to French skill were turned but, by the shaking of the ship which it out of the dockyards. The revolution occasions, renders the more costly struc- of 1848 put a stop to his maturing his ture the less durable one.
plans; but the policy which he had in this respect, is even worse than the traced was adopted and expanded by paddle. Some idea of the magnitude the government which succeeded him. of this item may be formed from the The commission to which we have before fact that the sum of 14,325l. has to be alluded was appointed. It first reduced spent annually in keeping a first-class to a determined scheme the visions of ship-of-the-line in working order. How- naval aggrandizement which had been ever, it is satisfactory to reflect that these floating before Joinville's eyes, and expenses must be borne equally by sketched the gigantic proportion of the every nation that aspires to maintain a present steam navy of France. To the large steam navy, and must eventually present Emperor has fallen the task of tell most against those whose resources realising the designs of his predecessors; are least able to stand such an exhaust- and it is but bare justice to him to say ing drain.
that he has applied himself to it with So much then for quality. In that great skill and indomitable energy. respect we seem nearly equal.
As far as
Some idea of the way in which he has we have the means of knowing, the me- worked may be formed from the fact chanical contrivances of France are as that, from the year 1851 to the begingood as our own. Let us now see how we ning of the year 1854, France has prostand with regard to numerical strength' duced not less than twenty-four line-ofsince the reconstruction of both navies. battle ships, and that in the course of
The year 1850 was destined to begin the year 1854, thirteen men-of-war a new era in the French Navy. The were launched from French dockyards, commission of inquiry appointed by the nine of which were ships of the line. Revolutionary Government had com- These efforts have produced a very menced its sittings.
It would be a sensible effect upon the relative naval mistake to imagine that the change of strength of the two countries, inasmuch government in France was the cause of as the superiority of four to one in ships its appointment. The policy which its of the line which England had at the existence indicated had already been in- end of the war, was in the course of augurated and steadily pursued by one 1859 reduced to equality. Great as of the Princes of the fallen Dynasty. have been the energies displayed by the As far back as the year 1844 the Prince French government in the construction De Joinville was appointed head of the of ships of war, no less pains have been French Navy. Possessed of consider- taken to man them with efficient crews. able scientific knowledge and patriotism, During the late war it is scarcely posand, from his position, enjoying better sible to conceive anything more clumsy opportunities than any one else for carry- than the way in which a French fleet ing out his plans, he set to work to re- was manned.
On board every ship create the French Navy, and by that were two distinct corps, separately means to restore to his country the officered, neither of which possessed maritime influence of which the unsuc- any knowledge of the duties of the cessful issue of the last war had deprived other—the seamen who navigated the her. The experiments in the construction ship, the artillerymen who had charge of of steam ships of war which this country the guns. A divided command was the had been making were not lost upon the necessary consequence, and confusion
worse, confounded the necessary result. available as possible. The system that This evil has now been remedied, and a has been pursued operates upon the body denominated Corps des équipages de whole of the maritime populations of Ligne, the members of which combine the country. Every Frenchman who the seaman and artilleryman in one, takes to a sea-faring life is obliged by have been substituted in their place: law to register himself. While his name other improvements have been likewise remains upon the register he is allowed effected. Alive to the fact that no certain advantages, and subject to certain small part of English success in the last duties. The advantages are the exemption war was due to precision of aim and the from military service, and right to fish rapidity of fire, special attention has
and navigate in the waters of France. The been directed to all that relates to naval duties are those of compulsory service martillery. A subdivision in the équi- on board the fleet at stated periods. The pages de la ligne has been effected, and whole number of men on the rolls is dia corps of 8,500 matelots cannoniers, or vided into classes. The first class includes picked gunners, has been formed. These
all seamen between twenty and forty, as men undergo a special training. Every- well as officers of the merchant-service thing relating to the manning of the under forty-five; the second class, men French fleet bespeaks the most careful who have served above four years; the organization, and every improvemeut third class, men above six years. Six years' which could be derived from our own men are exempt from ordinary levies. navy, or that of any other nation, has Men who have served three years are been sedulously adopted.—“The équi- free till their turn comes round; and so pages de la ligne," numbering in the by means of this machinery, in the course whole rather above 60,000 men, are of nine years, the entire body of French stationed at the five great naval ports of merchant seamen must pass through the France, - Brest, Toulon, Cherbourg, Imperial Navy and learn its duties, Rochefort, and Lorient. This, however, is while, in case of sudden emergency, it by no means the only force available for enables the Government to know the manning the fleet. Besides these, there whereabouts of these seamen, whether is the corps de l'artillerie de la marine, they are at home or in port. Thus engaged in the manufacture of ordnance France not only possesses a fleet of and ammunition, who number above enormous strength, perfectly equipped 6,000 men; the infanterie de la marine, and manned, but also a powerful reserve, who are 20,000 strong ;' 400 gend- easy of access, by which she may at armerie maritime stationed at Lorient; pleasure recruit or increase her power. 1,600 gardes maritimes ; 500 corps Im- We'have, before proceeding to inquire périal du Génie Maritime or engineers ; into the state of our own navy, spoken to say nothing of a body of shipwrights
, of and examined into the resources and riggers, and other workmen employed condition of that of France, because about the dockyards, who may be col- it is, with reference to it, and it alone, lectively reckoned at 3,500. The sum that the efforts we are now making can of these figures presents a total of 92,000 be explained, or their efficiency tested. men, which represents the effective Nothing can be so mischievously misstrength of the French navy. The learling as any attempt to estimate our number of French merchant-seamen, present strength by retrospective comaccording to the returns of last year, parisons; and we confess we trembled was 102,000 men. Like that of this when we heard our First Lord of the country, the merchant-service in France Admiralty state, with evident satisfacforms the body of reserve, from whose tion, “that at NO TIME were our naval ranks the navy must be recruited. But preparations in so forward a state as at unlike ourselves, the French for a “present.” Let us proceed briefly to long time past have done their utmost investigate what are the naval necessities to make their reserve as efficient and of the country; how far they are at pre
sent supplied, and what are the reserve resources available for recruiting them. 32 Ships-of-the-line afloat, and 5 building. The necessities of this country are not
34 Frigates afloat, and 13 building. confined to the means of self-defence.
5 Iron-cased ships building.
17 Corvettes afloat, and 2 building. A large commerce and numerous colo- 39 Gunboats afloat, and 29 building. nies make large demands upon us. In 5 Floating batteries afloat, and 4 building. the year 1858, the total force thus em- 31 Transports. ployed, exclusive of the Mediterranean
86 Avesus. fleet, was 139 ships, manned by 21,928, This is better, but terribly bad. If or something very like half our effective both nations had finished their frigates navy for that year. With France, the we should again be inferior, and in the reverse of this is the case; her trade is very arm calculated to harass our comnot a quarter the amount of that of this merce, especially our gold ships. We country; and with the exception of look, however, for better things; GoAlgeria, which, so to speak, lies at her vernment proposes in addition 8 line-ofdoor, and her settlements on the South battle ships, 12 frigates, 4 iron-cased American coast, she is destitute of colo- ships, and 4 corvettes. When this adnies. This would enable her to concen- dition is made (supposing France sudtrate what forces she possesses, whilst denly to leave off ship-building) we shall ours must necessarily be dispersed : a be again superior, though not comfact which is alone sufficient to convert fortably so. Let us now turn from ships a numerical equality in the fleets of the to men. two countries into a practical inferiority The prospect here is far from satisfacon the part of this country. But in the tory, though, like most things in these early part of last year such an allowance days, mending Previous to the year need not have been made, as in the 1853, men were only hired nominally larger and more important ships France for eight years, but generally paid off in not only enjoyed a practical but even a four, or thereabouts. The fruits of this numerical superiority — both nations system were seen in the difficulty we having 29 first-rate screw line-of-battle had in manning the Baltic fleet, and in ships, while the French frigates were 34 the quality of the men we got together to our 26. It is true that this alarming with such infinite trouble. According disparity has been somewhat diminished to Sir Charles Napier, they were by no by the efforts of the late and present means first-rate. Now, however, the Governments, so that the following lists Duke of Somerset tells us that he can of the relative strength of both powers afford to pick and choose, and that he present a more reassuring aspect.
takes none but able or ordinary seamen.
Let us, however, see what we require, LIST OF ENTIRE STEAM NAVY,
and what we have got. According to
the latest returns of the number of Including Ships fit for conversion, up to men that would be required to provide Peb. 13, 1860.
established or estimated complements
for the whole of our steam vessels afloat, 48 Line-of-battle-ships afloat, and 11 building.
building, or converting, it seems that 12 Sailing line-of-battle ships fit for conver
for the 59 steamships of the line, 50,620 sion.
men would be required; for the 43 34 Frigates afloat, and 9 building:
frigates, 20,055 ; for block ships, 5,535; 6 Sailing frigates fit for conversion.
for iron-cased ships, 1,900; for 21 cor9 Steam block ships. 4 Iron-cased ships building.
vettes, 5,690; for 95 sloops, 13,545 ; 16 Corvettes afloat, and 5 building.
for 27 smaller batteries, 1,987; for 192 80 Sloops afloat, and 15 building.
gunboats, 8,086; for 8 floating-batteries, 27 Small vessels afloat. 169 Gunboats afloat, and 23 building.
1,680; for 61 transports, tenders, &c., 8 Floating batteries.
2,804 ; and for 4 mortar-vessels, 840. 61 Transports.
In all, the total number of men would
be 112,742, or 95,813 officers and sea- An answer to this question may perhaps men, and 16,927 marines. The number be found in the Duke of Somerset's voted in the present year for the navy speech on the 2d of last May, when he is 85,500 men and boys; and this in- stated that one of the reasons for the cludes 18,000 marines and 6,862 coast- little progress made in the enlistment of guards, which latter force is generally men for the Royal Naval Reserve was reckoned as forming part of the re- the fact that Government did not begin serves. These figures show a deficiency to pay the men till last April; adding, of 27,242, which would have to be made by way of making his reason conclusive, good before all our ships built, or in that it was well known that seamen process of construction, could be made were not likely to come forward till pay actually available. We have already, in began. Now the Report of the Comthe course of our observations on the missioners was presented to both Houses French Navy, pointed out that a body on the 9th of February of the preceding of 92,000 men now in the employ of year, and it does not argue any extraGovernment could be made use of for ordinary zeal or alacrity on the part of manning their fleet. It is true that the authorities, considering the matter these numbers comprise artizans work- was so important and pressing, to allow ing in the dockyards, which are not in- a whole year to elapse before any attempt cluded in our own 85,500 men ; but was made to carry out the suggestions allowing for the deduction of these it contained. It is idle to talk of the latter, consisting of somewhere about difficulty of raising money for such a 3,500 men, the result would still show
purpose, when we are spending millions a balance in favour of the French Navy in building ships, which without men to of something like 2,000 fighting men. man them must be useless. Nor are we Were the reserve forces of both nations able to understand the Duke's arguments in an equal state of efficiency, this dis- against increasing the bounty paid to the parity would be of comparatively small volunteers, or the objection to enrolling importance. But this is not the case : an inferior class of men. With regard the inscription maritime before de- to the first of these questions, his arguscribed maintains a reserve of at least ment, when he urges that such an in102,000 men, now employed in the crease would prevent men from regumerchant service. Upon the most mo- larly joining the navy, by making the derate computation, a third of these may Royal Volunteer Corps too popular, be looked upon as immediately available would be a perfectly legitimate one, if should an emergency occur.
the recruiting for tħat body was to be reserves, on the other hand, fall far indefinite; but as the number is limited, short of such a number. Exclusive of its competition with the regular navy the coast-guardsmen, which form part could only be temporary, and the effect of the 85,500 men, they are only 7,988, of the increase of bounty, supposing it or little more than one-tenth of the to have any, would simply be that the number recommended by the Commis- Reserve Corps would be filled up first
, sioners. If the men are really pressing and might consist of better men. to be regularly employed in the navy in for the objection that first-class men the manner described by the Duke of would refuse to join the reserve if inSomerset, it seems hard to understand ferior men are allowed to do so, we why-considering that the terms were at cannot help being sanguine enough to first said only to be too liberal, and that believe that any such reluctance might there has been sufficient time to allow of be overcome by the very simple process the men understanding that it is a bond of dividing the corps into two divisions, fide offer that is made—there should be distinguished, if thought advisable, by such difficulty in obtaining men. Mis
pay and dress; the first of which should management there must be somewhere ; alone be open to the best but at whose door ought it to be laid ? the latter should embrace the inferior
class. Thus, without any sacrifice of In the course of the foregoing obserefficiency, numbers might be obtained. vations we have already pointed out But, while we thus boldly examine into what must regulate the amount of our our difficulties, it is satisfactory to re- naval forces. Is there any chance, and flect that they proceed solely from in- if any, what, of the French armaments ability to utilize our resources, not from being reduced ? To this query we must any paucity in the resources themselves. reply in the negative. Fostered by three The mercantile marine is that alone successive governments, resulting from which will sustain a lasting maritime three successive constitutions, there is supremacy. The tonnage of the English nothing in these efforts that can make merchant service is four times that of us hope that they are of a transient France, and the number of men engaged nature. Our navy may therefore now be in it is more than double that of France. considered in its normal condition, and If, with such advantages, we are unable we submit that it is on that assumption to man our fleets as speedily and effec- that any scheme for regulating promotion tually as France can man hers, some- in it should be based. But its want of thing may without injustice be laid at system is not the only objection that the door of official blundering. Second forbids the adoption of Lord C. Paget's only to the difficulty of getting a suffi- plan. The fact that it deals in a difcient number of men to man our ships, ferent way with different orders of is that of getting rid of a sufficient officers, is alone sufficient to condemn it. number of the officers who compete for Why should septuagenarian admirals be the command of them. Two distinct allowed to impede the promotion of schemes for effecting this object are captains any more than sexagenarian now before the public,—that of the late captains are allowed to impede that of First Lord of the Admiralty, and that lieutenants ? With all deference to of the present Secretary to the Admi- Lord C. Paget, we are not quite sure ralty. On the nature of the evil both that this, which to ordinary individuals these gentlemen are agreed. The only appears to be a slight flaw in his plan, question between them is, whether it was not in fact the reason for its adopcan be dealt with by means of a per- tion; and, without imputing to him guilt manent and comprehensive scheme, or of the deepest dye, we cannot help suswhether the remedy must be applied pecting that the thought of having to from time to time as the exigencies encounter the expostulations and reof the case may require. The varia- monstrances of his sorrowing brother tion in the number of officers, accord- admirals has been slightly too much for ing as the navy is on
his official virtue. Even we, to some peace footing, constitutes, according to extent, must sympathise with the weakLord C. Paget, an insuperable objec- ness, if such it can be called, and it tion to dealing with the question sys- would give us real pain to feel that any tematically. A system of retirement mortification had been reflected on a which would only promote a wholesome class of men who have deserved so well emulation when the lower ranks of the of their country. But the public interest service are full, would, when they have is paramount even to such a consideraceased to be so, be imposing a heavy tion as this, and we are bound to say burden on the country without conferring that preference should be given to any corresponding advantages. The force of plan which, while meting out the same such an argument depends materially measure to every rank in the service, upon the probable duration of the present promises to deal with the question sysstate of things. If it can be proved to tematically. In conclusion, although, be permanent, Lord C. Paget's argument as we have before told our readers, there falls to the ground; as the slowness of is everything in the vast extent of our promotion would be a crying evil with resources to inspire a legitimate confithe navy on a peace footing.
dence, there is nothing that authorizes