preponderance indispensable to the safety of the Empire, and especially indispensable to the safety of the country from blockade, and from the interruption of its commerce, which would be our ruin. But our position in this respect is apparently not quite exceptional. Less or more our Continental neighbors, and especially Germany, are in the same boat. In the event of war, if they could not make up the loss by traffic over their land frontiers, they would be just as liable to suffer from blockade and interrupted commerce as we are. It is conceivable, moreover, that in certain wars some of the countries might not be able to make up by traffic over their land frontiers for blockade or interruption of commerce by sea. We may apprehend, for instance, that Germany, if it were victorious by sea in a war with France, would insist upon Belgium and Holland on one side, and Italy and Spain on the other side, not supplying by land to France what had been cut off by sea. One or more of these countries might be allies with Germany from the first. Contrariwise France and Russia, if at war with Germany and the Triple Alliance, might practically seal up Germany if they were successful at sea, insisting that the Scandinavian countries and Holland should not make up to Germany by land what had been cut off by sea. Germany in this view, apart from any possibility of rupture with this country, has a case for a powerful fleet. It is not quite so much liable to a blockade as we are, but there is a liability of the same kind. The question of naval preponderance among rival powers may thus become rather a serious one. If preponderance is to be nearly as essential to Germany as it is to this country, who is to preponderate? What our practical action ought to be in the premises is a question that might easily lead us too far on an occasion like this, but the facts should be ever present to the minds of our public men. We may be quite certain that they are quite well known and understood in the councils of the Russian, German, French and other Continental Governments.
New Population and New Markets.
Another idea suggested by the facts appears to be an answer to the question as to how new markets are to be found for the products of an increasing population—a question which vexes the mind of many who see in nothing but foreign trade an outlet for new energies. The point was mentioned in my address at Manchester a year ago, but it deserves, perhaps, a more elaborate treatment than it was possible then to give it. What we see then is that not only in this country, but in Germany and other Continental countries, millions of new people are, in fact, provided for in every ten years, although the resources of the country in food and raw materials are generally used to the full extent, and not capable of farther expansion, so that increasing supplies of food and