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The retirement of Lord Charles Beres- ( ford from the command of the Channel Fleet has revived in a very acute foran the controversy that has long raged over- the conduct of Admiralty affairs at Home. Lord Charles has been inundated with requests to stand for various Parliamentary constituencies, and it is generally expected that now he is free from official responsibilities, he will be prepared to speak his mind on cer-' tain important questions of naval policy, and possibly to give his own version of- the difficulties that have from time to time arisen between him and Sir John Fisher. Hitherto, it must be remembered, "Fighting Charlie" has carefully refrained from expressing any opinion or making any statement about the matter publicly, and he has altogether shown a very creditable degree of selfrestraint under extremely trying circumstances. But the Admiral's reticence, j has been more than balanced by the ingenuity and loquacity of journalists, and the newspaper war that has been stirred up over this unfortunate episode, has been equally derogatory to the dignity of the naval profession and injurious to the discipline and efficiency of England's fleets. According to yesterday's cable message, the "Times," which hitherto has been n devoted adherent of Sir John Fisher, has now joined in the chorus of criticism directed by the "National Review" and many other leading journals against the First Sea Lord. The charge against Sir John Fisher is not that he is incompetent or lacking in energy and enthusiasm, but that he is incurably jealous of aU possible rivals, and -that he has tried to monopolise the control of the navy and concentrate it in his own hands. Whatever the, personal relations between Sir John Fisher and Lord Charles Beresford may be, this much is certain: that absolutely no definite and overt charge has ever been brought against the late Admiral of the i Channel Fleet. As the "Morning Post" puts it, "not a single fact worth thinking about has been produced- by the whole pack of writers engaged in traducing a public servant whose record is one of duty well performed, and whose career has been marked at every turn by devotion to his service and his country." But though personal squabbles of this sort are distressing enough, they would matter little if they did not affect public interests; and even the suspicion that Sir John Fisher has been actuated by personal feeling in reducing the Cnannel Fleet and redistributing other naval commands, indicates all too plainly that this unfortunate quarrel has already assumed the dimensions of a grave and dangerous public scandal.

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Bibliographic details

THE NAVAL SCANDAL., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 87, 13 April 1909

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THE NAVAL SCANDAL. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 87, 13 April 1909