The Sea Cadet, No. 10, Vol. 2, June 1945

The Sea Cadet Corps What of the Future ?(*)By VICE-ADMIRAL J.G. P. VIVIAN, C.B. (Admiral Commanding R e serves) I have been asked to give some answer to the questions which I imagine many of you are now be­ginning to ask: “What will happen to the Sea Cadet Corps after the war? ”and “Will the Admiralty continue its interest in the Corps? ”Well, first of all let me remind you that the war is not yet over. Certainly by knocking out the first two of the Axis Powers, Italy and Germany, we have gone along way towards victory but there can be no final peace while vast areas in the Far East, including large areas of British territory, are instill Japanese hands and millions of United Nations’ subjects are still the victims of Japanese aggression. Even the most casual glance at the map of the world will indicate to you the tremendous part that sea power must play in this phase of the war, and so it may well be that some of you now serving in the Sea Cadet Corps will yet have a chance to show your mettle in the Royal Navy or the Mer­chant Navy under conditions of war. Therefore, my first message to you is that this is no time to relax your efforts, which, as the First Lord of the Admir­alty has said, must be continued at full steam ahead until peace is at last finally restored. IMPORTANCE OF S.C.C. But, of course, we in the Admiralty, in consultation with the Navy League, are devoting an increasing amount of our time and thought to the position in the Sea Cadet Corps when peace does come. We have never considered the Sea Cadet Corps as being purely a war­time organization. Just as in war sea power is to an ocean Empire and Com­monwealth such as ours the basis on which our whole war effort depends, so in peace the basis of British pros­perity is our overseas trade which must be carried by British merchant ships, while the Royal Navy, always ready for war, is largely engaged in showing the flag and thus furthering our foreign trade and protecting British subjects living in foreign lands. The Merchant Navy, as you well know, has suffered terrible losses both of men and of ships during the past six years and must be built up again in every section—liners, tankers, cargo ships, coastal and fishing vessels—and I believe that in the years to come there will be great opportuni­ties for young men who wish to make their career in this Service. Moreover, if we are to maintain the peace for which we are fighting now, the Royal Navy must be of sufficient strength not only to ensure our own safety but also to play its part in any form of collec­tive security which maybe devised by the Allied statesmen who, as you know, have been working on this problem at San Francisco. SEAMEN STILL NEEDED Through the long centuries of our history the need for seamen of the highest quality, and by the word “sea­men” I mean all men who operate on, over and under the sea, has been of primary importance to the safety and prosperity of the Empire. There is no justification whatever for thinking that modern inventions have decreased that need: it has always been met in the past and you Sea Cadets will, I know, meet it in the immediate future. I am not suggesting that in the peace­time Sea Cadet Corps every boy .who joins the Corps will eventually make his career at sea. But, as the bitter ex­perience of the last two great wars should have taught us, there will also abe great need for large numbers of partly trained reserves who, if un­happily war should ever breakout again, will be ready to reinforce the Royal and Merchant Navies on mobi­lization. And where better should we look for such men than amongst those who, with a love of the sea in their blood, have been members of the Sea Cadet Corps and have had their sea-sense developed, their aptitude for a life at sea tested, and have received valuable training in the art of seaman­ship? ADMIRALTY SUPPORT All these things are very well recog­nized at the Admiralty, and several statements have recently been made in Parliament in regard to the future of the Corps. Let me quote two of these statements. First, Capt. Pilkington, the Civil Lord of the Admiralty, speaking in the debate on the Navy Estimates in the House of Commons on 7th March this year, said that several Members of Parliament had “stressed the role which Sea Cadets had played in this war and asked for the future support of the Admiralty,” and he continued:“ I can assure them that that will be forthcoming.” As recently as the 2nd of this month, in reply to a question by Sir Patrick Hannon, M.P., Mr. A.V. Alexander, First Lord of the Admiralty, said: “It is the intention of His Majesty’ Governments to main­tain the pre-Service cadet organiza­tions (of which the Sea Cadets is one) after the European War.” Those statements, made with the full authority of the Government, make the Admiralty position perfectly clear. Of course there are a great many details as to how these promises shall be outworked yet to be settled, be­cause obviously we have to consider conditions very different from those under which we have been working since the Admiralty overtook control of the Sea Cadet Corps rather more than three years ago. But in many ways there is reason to believe that the change to peace-time conditions will make it possible for the Admiralty to give even greater help to the Corps than has been possible in these war years. We may expect, for example, that there will be more equipment available, and more facilities for direct contact with the Royal Navy and Naval Establish­ments. And so I conclude by assuring you that it is the intention of the Govern­ment that the Sea Cadet Corps shall continue with all the help that can properly be given by the Admiralty. 291
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