On it have been lavished whatever public funds were necessary, and to its efficiency has been devoted the unceasing care and thought of successive Administrations, The result is that when the need came the Navy was absolutely ready—[cheers]—and, as far as we can see from what has happened, thoroughly adequate to the tasks which were required from it. But we have not been in times of peace a military nation. The Army has not had the facility of obtaining the lavish supplies of men and money for its needs which have, in times of peace, and in the past, to our good fortune at the moment, been so freely given to the Navy. And what you have to do now is to make a great Army—[cheers]—and to make an Army under the cover and shield of the Navy strong enough to enable our country to play its full part in the decision of this terrible struggle. The sure way, the only sure way, to bring this war to an end is for the British Empire to put on the Continent and keep on the Continent an Army of at least one million men. [Cheers.] I take that figure because it is one well within the compass of the arrangements which are now on foot, and because it is one which is well within the scope of the measures which Lord Kitchener—[cheers]—has already planned.
I was reading in the newspapers the other day that the German Emperor made a speech to some of his regiments in which he urged them to concentrate their attention upon what he was pleased to call "French's contemptible little Army." Well, they are concentrating their attention upon it. That Army which has been fighting with such extraordinary prowess, and which has revived in a fortnight of adverse actions the ancient fame and glory of our Armies upon the Continent—[cheers]—and which to-night, after a long, protracted, harassed, but unbroken and undaunted rearguard action—the hardest trial to which troops can be exposed—is advancing in spite of the loss of one-fifth of its number, and driving its enemies before it—[loud cheers]—that Army must be reinforced and backed and supported, and increased and enlarged in numbers and in power by every means and every method that everyone of us can take. [Cheers.]
I am not here to make a speech of words, but to point out to you necessary and obvious things you can do. There is no doubt that, if you set yourselves to it, that Army which is now fighting so valiantly on our behalf, and on that of our Allies, can be raised successively from its present figure to a quarter of a million of the finest professional soldiers in the