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trades, under the supervision of the pioneer-sergeant and his assistants; and a suitable allowance should be granted to cover the losses suffered on account of materials spoiled by beginners.
(15) All ordinary repairs, or alterations of barracks and other Government buildings should, as far as possible, be executed by soldier-workmen at the normal rate of civilian wages, subject to a deduction of 40 per cent. on account of the cost of upkeep of the regimental shops, in which the men learn or practise their trades. In existing conditions soldiers can have few opportunities of working at trades; but with the Reserve section available to ease the pressure in respect of employments and fatigues, the principal difficulty would, to a large extent, be removed.
(16) The normal proportion of the rank and file permitted to re-engage for the completion of twenty-one years' service should be raised from 10 per cent. to at least 25 per cent., and no really good soldier should in any circumstances be refused permission. The proportion of the married establishment should be raised from 3 per cent. to 4 per cent. The latter increase would be worth its cost, owing to the correspondingly increased numbers of the best of all recruits-soldiers' sons born in the regiment; and the former is vital to the efficiency of the Army.
(17) Army Reservists of good character who wish to rejoin the Colours should be free to do so, temporarily or permanently, whenever their unit is below the authorised establishment, provided that they make their applications before the expiration of two years from the date of transfer to the Reserve, and that temporary returns are for not less than six months.
(18) No soldier should ever go to prison. Conviction by court martial or civil court of a crime for which a period of 'detention' would be insufficient punishment should carry with it summary dismissal from the Army; so that the prisoner would have already reverted to civil life previous to receiving sentence of imprison
(19) Soldiers convicted by the civil power of minor offences, for which sentences not exceeding two months are awarded, should be handed over to their commanding officers, on demand, and by them committed for periods of detention' corresponding to the original sentences of imprisonment. But should the commanding officer decide, with the approval of the general officer by whom district courts martial are locally convened, that the offence committed is one involving disgrace to the Army, the civil conviction should take its course, and thus include dismissal from the Service. The Army has no use for men of blemished character, whose presence in the barrack-room is distasteful to selfrespecting soldiers.
The present writer is firmly convinced, as the result of much
study and inquiry, that if the conditions specified in this article were conceded by the authorities, the ranks of the British Army would very quickly be filled to overflowing with young men of fine physique and unimpeachable respectability. If the Army is to obtain recruits of the class required, in sufficient numbers, it must furnish a career of which military service forms, as a rule, only a part; and the period spent with the Colours must, although very strenuous, be also pleasant. Life cannot be altogether pleasant to men of superior class when it has the following disadvantages:
(1) Association with wasters,' often dishonest as well as filthy in their persons and habits.
(2) Liability to clean out privies and drains, and to perform a variety of other uncongenial tasks not even remotely connected with soldiering.
(3) Chronic uncertainty as to the hours of work and of recreation.
The above and other less serious disadvantages that irk the soldier would almost or entirely cease to exist under a new system reformed as I have already suggested.
In conclusion I will add evidence to show how seriously 'fatigue work' interferes with training, as well as with the pleasantness of life in the Army.
In September 1900 I joined-as a reserve officer-the 'details' of my old regiment attached to the 3rd (Militia) battalion at Devonport. I was full of zeal, and most anxious to devote myself to the training of the 250 young soldiers who were being, I had imagined, strenuously prepared for future service in South Africa. The morning after my arrival I attended parade at 7 A.M., and, to my horror, found less than a dozen men. On one occasion during the period September 1900 to April 1901, during which I remained at Devonport, there were seventeen men on an instructional parade, but on no other as many. The garrison fatigues and duties, including very large fatigue parties for the dockyard and the gun-wharf, daily took nearly all the men we had. The explanation of this is that, while the duties' were detailed as usual, the garrison was, owing to the war, abnormally small. Of real training there was none at all. The regimental officer cannot train his men if he is not allowed to have them at his disposal for the purpose. We sent to South Africa in October 1900 a draft composed of men absolutely untrained and who had never so much as fired off a rifle! A little later, in December I think, we despatched a draft which had performed a 'modified course' of fourteen rounds, in accordance with an order received as the result of our protests on the previous occasion, but otherwise equally untrained.
One thing more. Many officers of the District and Garrison staff were in the habit of lunching at our mess, always in great haste owing to the pressure of work which kept them busy, from early morning until late at night. On one occasion, when the severity of everybody's daily task had been dilated upon, I asked the following question of the nearly thirty officers present: 'Is there,' I inquired, any officer in this room who can say that since he got up this morning he has done, or expects to do before he goes to bed, anything whatever to promote, directly or indirectly, the fighting efficiency of the British Army?' Not an officer of them all could make the desired reply, nor could I myself. It was in the very bitterness of my soul that I had asked the question, for the hopeless impossibility of so much as attempting to do any work of the nature suggested was to me a daily source of passionate vexation. The barracks were full of young soldiers sorely needing to be trained, but as they were continually occupied in other ways, by order of superior authority, nothing could be done to prepare them for the war in which they were soon to play their inefficient part. A few thousands of pounds, a mere drop in the ocean of expenditure on the war, devoted to employing civilian labour for the performance of civilians' work would have made all the difference. Truly, improvident economy' is an hereditary vice of British Governments! Might not even mediocre intellects be reasonably expected to understand that soldiers cannot be trained for war unless kept available, as a general rule, for training; and that many men who would gladly enlist in other conditions decline to do so while so-called 'soldiering' means playing the parts of scavengers, housemaids, navvies, or dockyard labourers? The Advantages of the Army' are few in number, and chiefly illusive; but the disadvantages, immediate and reserved, are many and real. Meanwhile, the military authorities flatter themselves that they are doing their whole duty by altering mess-waistcoats, interdicting green whistle-cords and reintroducing, for rifle regiments exclusively, a convenient method of carrying the rifle (when skirmishing through thick coppice, marching in file, or walking in and out of barrack-rooms), which a previous exercise of reforming activity had universally abolished!
A. W. A. POLLOCK.
THE TERRITORIAL FORCES
I HAD the good fortune to be sent to South Africa to give a helping hand to General Smuts in the formation of a citizen army, and now I am back again seeking for information regarding the four-year-old Territorial Force which was brought into the world under such great expectations during the latter part of my tenure of the Eastern Command. I have little or nothing to do with politics, I have no axe to grind, but I have the same love for my country that others have, so it was with anxiety that I asked those best qualified to give me an opinion as to the state of health of this four-year-old child.
I did not go to the parents, for parents are generally rather too optimistic regarding the growth and capacity of their firstborn. Nor did I go to the man in the street, with whom little ever seems to agree, but I did go to the men who have no reason for speaking anything but the simple truth, who had attended this prodigy as experts, and their evidence is discomforting. I am not alluding to the Imperial Yeomanry, for their position does not seem greatly affected by the change.
In one respect the Territorial Force can, without doubt, claim a great advantage over the old Militia and Volunteers, for instead of willing amateurs, the divisions and brigades are now in the hands of professional officers, assisted by an up-to-date staff. Had the Militia and Volunteers been afforded the same advantages and the same encouragement, they would naturally have proved a far more efficient force.
My wish in this article is to give a helping hand to the Territorial Army, not by shutting my eyes to its failings, but by pointing out quite shortly some of the reasons why its growth in size and efficiency seems to me to be retarded.
I have many a time, when speaking in South Africa, quoted two paragraphs from Lord Kitchener's admirable report on the Australian Defence Force. They are as follows:
The first principle is that the Citizen Force cannot be efficient unless the nation as a whole takes pride in its defenders, insists upon the organisation being real, and designed for war purposes only, and provides for properly educating, training, and equipping their officers and men.
The second principle for a successful Citizen Force is a complement of
the first. The force must be an integral portion of the national life. The citizen should be brought up from his boyhood to look forward to the day when he will be enrolled as fit to defend his country. He should be accustomed to practise those habits of self-devotion to, and emulation in, the execution of his duty, of reticence, and of prompt obedience to lawful authority, which are essentials to the formation of patriotic and efficient soldiers.
If we in the Mother Country are willing to learn anything from our Colonies, it is that we should do all that lies in our power to encourage with money, by word and deed, such voluntary movements as are the Cadet Corps, the Church Lads' Brigade, the Boy Scouts, and others.
In South Africa we have made the cadet force our bed-rock, on it we build our citizen force, out of it comes, and will come, love for their country, discipline, knowledge of the rifle and how to make the best use of it. The cadets in Natal, where cadet corps are compulsory, are the equals in marksmanship of a good shooting battalion in the Regular Army. In officers and men the cadet Corps, I feel sure, will give of their best to the citizen army, and I believe the same may be said of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
Can we honestly say the same for the Mother Country? Have we done as much as we could have done for the present and future protection of our country by giving support to our lads? Have we done one quarter as much as our Colonies have done and are doing? Are our needs less or more than theirs are?
Then as regards the Territorial Force. Have we given it the same generous and loyal support that South Africa has given to the citizen army?
It is perfectly true that in England and South Africa alike the party in opposition have given their loyal support to the Government, otherwise no Bill could have passed either in England or in South Africa, or supposing it had done so, it must have proved a failure later on. But have the colleagues of the late Secretary for War given him the same support that General Botha and his Ministry have given to General Smuts? Have they made the country feel as General Botha has made South Africa feel, that the Territorial Force has their loyal support, and that they mean to do all they can to make it a success?
The Labour party is child's play to the Bush Veld party that General Botha gained over to his side. Without General Botha's aid and that of his colleagues General Smuts could never have carried his Defence Bill through the House, or at any rate, have secured the support of the Dutch and Boer.
Of course, there are difficulties in the way in South Africa as there are in England; but one and all, English and Dutch,