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A NATIONAL LOSS.

The death of Mr. H. 0. Arnold-Forster could hardly be expected to evoke so much public interest to-day as it might have aroused three years ago, when he was Minister for War in Mr. Balfour's Cabinet. But though politically _\lr. Arn-old-Forster and his colleagues have been for some time past under a cloud, his services to his country and the Empire were too valuable to be long forgotten or permanently ignored. Though only fiftyfour years old, Mr. Arnold-Forster had not only filled a large space on the political stage for many years, but he had got through an amount of literary work that would have made a great reputation for many a less busy and public-spirited man. As an administrator he will be remembered chiefly for his attempt to reorganise the Britsh army; and though his scheme broke down, he did not fail so completely as his predecessor, Mr. Brodrick, and he certainly faced the position with a fuller sense of his responsibility for the safety of the country than his successor, Mr Haldane. In connection with the other branch or Imperial defence. Mr. Arnold-Forster was always conspicuous as an advocate of naval efficiency, and his term of office as Secretary to the Admiralty was marked by many important reforms. As a publicist, he was an indefatigable writer on naval, military, political, and Imperial questions; and his latest contribution to social .literature was the able criticism of "English Socialism of To-day," which appeared last year. In preparing this work, the author had taken' the wise precaution of applying to tbe Fabian Society and other Socialist organisations, for official and authentic pronouncements o" their views; and the result is that whatever be the value of Mr. Arnold-Forster's criticism, it can at least claim to state the Socialist case in the terms that its own adherents and advocates 'themselves employ. As a matter of fact, it is a temperate and well-argued reply to the extreme Socialist propaganda, though probably, too Conservative in tone to secure the sympathy of most colonial readers. But the rathfr rigid and unadaptable form, in which Mr. Arnold-Forster's opinions were sometimes cast, should not blind us to the sound judgment, the clear discriminatioi-, and the obvious honesty of purpose that his writings always dieplay'—qualities which were no less manifest in bis political speeches and his public career, and which leave the na-

tion and the. Empire the poorer by his untimely removal from the arena, oi public life.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19090316.2.37

Bibliographic details

A NATIONAL LOSS., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 64, 16 March 1909

Word Count
413

A NATIONAL LOSS. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 64, 16 March 1909

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