From the March 1911 issue of the Socialist Standard
Avast there, comrades! Haul in your slacks while I shiver my timbers.
The Navy, sirs, is going to the dogs. Senior officers are now expected to know something, and a special instructional course began at Portsmouth on Feb 13, with fifty rear admirals, captains, and commanders as pupils. How George must congratulate himself upon his shore appointment!
Feel for a proud flag officer like W. B. Fisher, fifty-seven years old and second in seniority, having to study gunnery and torpedoes. It is related of a distinguished admiral, who sometimes neglects to eat between drinks, that he once rolled up on deck and, gazing wildly at the far horizon gasped “Say, is that a sea-serpent?" He was told that it was. “Thank heaven!" he exclaimed, with relief. “I thought 1 had 'em again." Now, so absurd a position could not have occurred had the great man learned at a special instructional course for senior officers to recognise submarines at sight.
Cato studied Greek long after he became entitled to the old age pension — at eighty, I believe. But Greek is less undignified than signals and naval war, through a course of which Admirals F. T. Hamilton and Herbert Lyon, aged fifty-four. are compulsorily fagging. Waterloo was won in order to advertise the playing fields of Eton and Harrow. Let us hope the Government won't get up another Trafalgar in order to star their special instructional course for senior officers.
Seriously. this speeding-up is a national menace. While it affected only the productive working class, it did not much matter. But if it spreads to the upper ranks of employment, it may reach the Civil Service and compel the bureaucrats to work. In winch case the "end of all" is a safe prediction.