The question of the distribution and defense of coaling stations is pressing and vital at the present moment, not because the Bureau of Equipment, or the Navy Department itself, is less keenly alive to its importance, but because of the check given to it by the failure of Congress to appropriate money for coal depots for the fiscal year 1904, and the allotment of only $600,000 for the fiscal year 1905. We have no definite policy, and worst of all, in the service itself, opinion seems to be somewhat at sea on the question. As other countries have definite ideas, a frank discussion of our resultant disadvantage is, at least, timely.
Colliers and Coaling Stations
By Lieut.-Com. A. P. Niblack, U.S.N.