Lieut.-Commander W.T. Cluverius, U. S. N.—I must take exception to the form of question epitomized in this paper: "Is the present system at the Naval Academy the best one for achieving the purpose for which the government maintains it?"
I fail to find any discussion which establishes the necessity of an inquiry as to the success or failure of the system rather, it appears, this paper deals with the operation of the system chiefly in regard to the proportion of theory and practice obtaining and is an investigation into the curriculum and not the method of instruction. This latter has itself been under fire from time to time and has in its essential characteristics withstood the attacks.
A system in which the student is called upon daily and in which frequent examination—the accepted criterion—is a part is certainly more adapted to the enforced acquirement of the technical foundation of the naval profession than is a system, for instance, made up of lectures or similar means of imparting the knowledge of which the degree of absorption is voluntary.