We are informed by the daily papers, that the present administration will ask Congress to inaugurate a building program for the navy by which the materiel strength of the fleet will be doubled in five years.
There is a feature, however, connected with any building scheme, which it appears has been more or less neglected in the past, and it is but natural that the auxiliary parts of the navy are apt to be overlooked by those whose conception of a navy is one of a mass of fighting ships and nothing else.
It is hoped that we shall not commit the oversight, and neglect that most important of all auxiliaries to the fleet—efficient bases.
It is not meant to refer to the navy-yards at home as bases, but to those ports in distant waters in which the fleet may have to find all the mass of things required by a fleet in active campaign. Bases must exist for the fleet and not the fleet to provide work for the bases.