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money [laughter], but it is not so if you will only conceive for yourselves the agony of mind with which in former times the Chancellors of the Exchequer or financial members of the Council have received from time to time accounts of brilliant victories, knowing all the time what a terrible effect upon the ultimate balance of the budget those victories will entail. [Laughter.] It is a hazardous thing to say, but I am almost inclined to believe that the Sirdar is the only general that has fought a campaign for £300,000 less than he originally promised to do it. (Laughter.] It is a very great quality, and if it existed more generally, I think that terror which financiers entertain of soldiers, and that contempt which soldiers entertain for financiers would not be so frequently felt. [“ Hear! Hear!” and laughter.]
Well then, the Sirdar has another great quality: he is a splendid diplomatist. It would require talents of no small acuteness and development to enable him to carry to so successful a result as he did that exceedingly delicate mission up the Nile which conducted him into the presence of Major Marchand. The intercourse of that time has ended apparently in the deepest affection on both sides (laughter) certainly in the most unrestricted and unstinted compliments and expressions of admiration and approval. I think these things show very much for the diplomatic talents of the Sirdar. He recently expressed his hope that the differences which might have arisen from the presence of Major Marchand would not transcend the powers of diplomacy to adjust. I am glad to say that up to a certain point he has proved a true prophet. [Cheers.] I received from the French Ambassador this afternoon the information that the French Government had come to the conclusion that the occupation of Fashoda was of no sort of value to the French Republic. [Loud cheers and some laughter.] And they thought that in the circumstances to persist in an occupation which only cost them money and did them harm merely because some bad advisers thought it might be disagreeable to an unwelcome neighbor, would not show the wisdom by which I think the French Republic has been uniformly guided, and they have done what I believe the government of any other country would have done, in the same position—they have resolved that that occupation must cease.
[Cheers.] A formal intimation of that fact was made to me this afternoon and it has been conveyed to the French authorities at Cairo. I believe that the fact of that extremely difficult juxtaposition between the Sirdar and Major Marchand has led to a result which is certainly gratifying and, to some extent, unexpected; and that it is largely due to the chivalrous character and diplomatic talents which the Sirdar displayed on that occasion. [Cheers.] I do not wish to be understood as saying that all causes of controversy are removed by this between the French Government and ourselves. It is probably not so, and I daresay we shall have many discussions in the future; but a cause of controversy of a somewhat acute and dangerous character has been removed and we cannot but congratulate ourselves upon that. [Cheers.]
I will only say that alike in his patient and quiet forethought, lasting over three years, in his brilliant strategy on the field of battle, in his fearless undertaking of responsibility and his contempt of danger, and last but not least in the kindness and consideration which he displayed for men who were for a moment in a position of antagonism to himself -in these things he has shown a combination of the noblest qualities which distinguish the race to which he belongs and by the exercise of which the high position of England in this generation in the world and in her great Empire has been won. [Loud cheers.]
WILLIAM THOMAS SAMPSON
VICTORY IN SUPERIOR NUMBERS
(Speech of Rear-Admiral William T. Sampson at a banquet given in his honor by citizens of Boston, Mass., February 6, 1899. Hon. Richard Olney presided on the occasion.)
MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN:- I rise to thank you for your most generous greeting for myself, for my friends, and for all of the Navy that you have included in the various remarks which have been made. I want you to understand that I do not take it all to myself, but that this is divided with all the men; and while with great hesitation I attempt to make a speech at all, I feel that this is an opportunity which should not be thrown away. I do not propose to say anything, as you might expect, about the battle of Santiago, but I would like to say a few words about the lessons which we have learned, or should learn, from that battle.
First, I would say that neither that battle nor any other that I know of, was won by chance. It requires an adequate means to accomplish such a result. That battles are not won by chance, you have only to consider for a moment a few-one or two_of the principal battles of the world. Not that I mean to class the battle of Santiago as one of the great battles of the world—but just as an illustration. You will see the result of adequate means in the case of the battle of Waterloo, for instance. When we remember that Wellington fought that battle with 130,000 men opposed to Napoleon's 80,000, we are not surprised that it was Wellington's battle. Take another decisive battle Sedan. When the Germans had 125,000 men opposed to 84,000, it does not seem possible that the result could have been anything else.
So we might go over a long list. The sea fights furnish many instances where it was found that the most powerful fleet was the one that was successful. Nelson was always in favor of overwhelming fleets, though he did not have them always at his command. Our own war of 1812 furnishes numerous instances where our victories depended upon the superior force. It seems unnecessary that such self-evident truths should be stated before this assemblage of intelligent gentlemen, but we are apt to forget that a superior force is necessary to win a victory. As I said before, victory is not due to chance. Had superior force not been our own case at the battle of Santiago, had it been the reverse, or had it been materially modified, what turned out to be a victory might have been a disaster; and that we must not forget.
The second lesson, if we may call it so, is closely allied, perhaps, to the first. Shall we learn the lesson which is taught us in this recent war? Shall we rest on the laurels which we may have won, or shall we prepare for the future? Shall we not imagine our foe in the future, as might well be the case, to be superior to the one over which we have been victorious? It is a question that comes home to us directly. On July 3d, when Cervera was returned, on board the Iowa," to the mouth of the harbor at Santiago, he requested permission to send a telegram reporting the state of the case to Captain-General Blanco. Of course, no objection was raised to this, and Cervera wrote out a telegram and sent it on board the flagship to be scrutinized and forwarded to Blanco. He stated in this telegram that he obeyed his (General Blanco's) orders and left the harbor of Santiago at 9.30 Sunday morning, and “now," he said, “it is with the most profound regret that I have to report that my fleet has been completely destroyed. We went out to meet the forces of the enemy, which outnumbered us three to one."
I had so much sympathy with old Admiral Cervera that I did not have it in my heart to modify or change in any respect the report which he proposed to make to CaptainGeneral Blanco. I felt that the truth would be understood in the course of time, and that while I would not now, or then, under any circumstances, admit that he was outnumbered in the proportion of three to one, I still felt that he should be at liberty to defend himself in that manner.
The fleets that were opposed to each other on that Sunday morning were, as regards the number of the ships, about six to seven. Leaving out the torpedo-destroyers and the “ Gloucester," which may be said not to have been fighting ships, the proportion was six to four. The fleet of the Spaniards consisted of four beautiful ships. I think I am stating the case within bounds when I say that they were—barring their condition at that time, which, of course, we did not all know, in many respects—that they were all our imaginations had led us to suppose. We outnumbered them, but this is only another illustration of the fact which I wish to bring before you, that it is necessary to have a superior force to make sure of victory in any case.
It seems to me that you, gentlemen, who are so influential in deterinining and deciding what the Navy of the United States should be, should bear this emphatically in mind-that we must have more ships, more guns, and all that goes to constitute an efficient navy. I am not advocating a large navy. I do not believe that we should support a large navy, but that it should be much larger than it is at present I think you will all concede. The increased territory which we have added to our country will probably produce an increase in our chances for war by at least one hundred per cent.—not that we need increase the Navy to that extent-but probably will.