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due to the prohibitive effect of the new Customs tariff which came into force about three years ago. This decline of trade was anticipated by Mr. Valentine Chirol in his book on the Middle East, and is a matter which calls for the attention of the Foreign Office, for action should undoubtedly be taken to revise the tariff which owes its origin to the surreptitious influence of Russian diplomacy. 2. The chapter on Hong-Kong recalls the recollection of a war—the Opium War of 1840—which was probably the least justifiable war ever waged by Great Britain. Whatever opinion may be held regarding the policy of that war, every right-minded person will join the author of . Imperial Outposts in his outspoken condemnation of the Indian opium tariff with China. That traffic is iniquitous and indefensible, and the sooner it can be suppressed the better for British credit. It is satisfactory to know that both Sir Edward Grey and Mr. Morley are showing a determination to meet the Chinese Government in its efforts to put down the vicious habit of opium-smoking. Care should, however, be taken that no injustice be done to the Indian cultivator, who has been allowed for years past to carry on the opium industry under official sanction, and who now possesses certain inchoate rights which should not be ignored, because there has been a tardy awakening of the British Government to a sense of moral responsibility.
The danger of withdrawing the whole of the English battleships from Far Eastern waters is the
next important point dwelt upon. So long as the other great Powers retain battleships in these seas there ought to be no weakening of our naval strength. The Japanese alliance should not be made use of for the purpose of shifting our responsibility on to our allies. Concentration is a sound principle of strategy both on sea and land, but the multifarious interests of this country, in almost every corner of the globe, require a certain proportionate distribution of naval strength.
I am glad the author lays stress upon the imperial value of Singapore, the gateway into the Pacific.' Although its strategical importance is to some extent discounted by Manila being in possession of a foreign Power, none the less Singapore is one of the most important outposts of the Empire, being as it is the half-way house between India and China, the great trading centre of the Malay Archipelago, and a secure base for naval offensive operations. The value of the place is much enhanced by the friendly relations which now exist between the Government of the Straits Settlements and the federated states of the Malay Peninsula.
Passing on to Shanghai, the writer describes the unsatisfactory condition of affairs in this, the largest of all the Treaty Ports of China, with its 11,000 Europeans dwelling in the midst of an enormous Chinese population of 600,000. Owing to our habitual policy of drift, the British Concession has allowed itself to be gradually absorbed in a mixed settlement made up of residents of every European
nationality, while the original French settlement has always maintained its separate individuality. The affairs of this mixed settlement are administered by an elected Municipal Council which carries on its duties in a somewhat amateur fashion. There is no permanent head of the Government, the Senior Consul-General for the time being the recognized chief and medium of communication with the diplomatic representatives of the Powers at Peking The existing armed force is not sufficient to establish either a sense of moral security, or to safeguard the material interests of the European community in case of a determined insurrectionary movement, of which in the present state of unrest in China there is always a latent risk. Our Government would do well to be forearmed.
The chapters on Japan are written with special reference to the political relations now existing between Great Britain and that country, and are interesting as containing the most recently published narrative of an eye-witness of Japanese post bellum methods of administration. The writer of the volume was fortunate in being allowed to meet some of the most famous men in Japan, among the number Marquis Ito, the grand old man of Japan,' and Marshal Oyama, who was Commander-in-Chief in Manchuria during the war with Russia. Colonel Murray was given by the latter the true secret of the Japanese success—the justice of the cause, and the self-sacrifice of the army.'
Two chapters of the book are devoted to a description of the Japanese army and military organization of the country, attention being specially directed to the complete manner in which the army is nationalized. Although it is, of course, impossible to train the whole contingent of young men (450,000) who reach the age of twenty every year, the names of all are registered for military duty should occasion require their services. Universal liability to service is the corner-stone of Japan's military system, and therein lies the main strength of the fighting power of the Japanese people.
What is specially worthy of notice is the democratic influence which this principle of universal military service has had in Japan: whereas under the feudal system which preceded the Revolution of 1868 the profession of arms was the privileged monopoly of the Samurai caste, to-day the whole population of the Empire is drawn into the ranks of the army regardless of class distinctions. Japan is a brilliant example of a nation in arms.
A notable feature of the higher military organization in Japan is the complete separation of questions of defence from politics. The higher Military Council, which is the supreme council of imperial defence, is composed of Admirals and Generals only, to the exclusion of politicians. The usefulness of the Committee of Imperial Defence, as now constituted in England, is to a large extent neutralized by the inclusion in its deliberations of politicians whose responsibility, as members of the
Government of the day, dominates the counsels of the committee, and prevents the free expression of expert opinion. National defence in Great Britain, as in Japan, should be kept apart from party politics.
In his final chapter the writer dwells on the necessity for co-operative effort throughout the Empire. This is a correct note to strike, and one which cannot be sounded too often and too loudly in this country and throughout Greater Britain. It is greatly to be regretted that England is giving no decided lead in this matter. The deplorable apathy of the present and rising generation of Englishmen in regard to responsibility for defence must be due to the fact that war has never yet threatened the hearths and homes of the British people. But who can say how long this immunity from war and its horrors may last, or what sudden combination of hostile strength may threaten, not only the unity of the Empire, but the very existence of England as a nation? In such a crisis reliance on mercenary soldiers and temporary allies will
prove but a broken reed indeed. Security can only be obtained by the recognition of the principle that national defence is an obligatory duty, of which no individual citizen can rid himself by paying someone else to assume the burden. Universal liability to military service is the first necessity of national defence, without which it is impossible for the country to obtain a potential reserve of trained men to support the regular army when