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of to-day. It is obvious to any fair-minded and unprejudiced man that in making a comparison between the armed strength of the Army at two different dates credit must be taken both for the old Militia and the Special Reserve, or for neither. On no other basis can a correct appreciation be come to. It is a debtor and creditor account, so many men on one side (no matter what you call them) and so many on the other. Now, what is the Special Reserve? It is merely the old Militia under a new name, with the obligation to serve abroad. At the present moment it is 25,000 men short of what the Militia was in 1905, and it has an annual training of fourteen days instead of twenty-eight, as in the case of the old Militia. In what I may call the pre-Territorial days it was the established custom when calculating the armed strength of the country to include the Militia, and the War Office always relied on two-thirds of the Militia volunteering for service abroad. Granted that this obligation of the Special Reserve to serve abroad is a good one, which I am quite ready to admit, I maintain that this is no reason for robbing the Militia of three years ago of all military value. The Militia never failed to come forward when asked. They fought in very large numbers in the Peninsula, they were present in force at Waterloo, and during the Crimea they occupied the garrisons in the Mediterranean. Their services in South Africa are so recent that I need not allude to them. The Militia establishment in 1905 was 130,000 men, and its actual strength, irrespective of the permanent staff, was 90,000. The Special Reserve establishment is 80,000, and its present strength somewhere about 65,000, so that even if it were up to its establishment it would still be 10,000 below the Militia of three years ago. Even supposing that the organisation is better, I maintain that you cannot, by wiping out 90,000 men and replacing them by 65,000, claim to have increased your numbers. In reality we are in a far worse position as to numbers than we were three years ago. With 75,000 fewer men in the Territorial Army than we had in the Yeomanry and Volunteers, 20,000 less men in the Regular Army, and the balance of loss of 25,000 beween the Militia and the Special Reserve, there remain, after taking into consideration 40,000 extra men of the Reserve of the Regular Army, 80,000 less men in the country to call upon in case of need. That is to say, we are worse off by 80,000 men than we were three years ago. .
Speaking later in the City, Mr. Haldane is reported to have said : There was no greater fallacy than to suppose that the Government had reduced the Regular Line.' They had far more than compensated for any changes by providing the Special Reserve. To me this is a most astounding statement. It was the Militia who were replaced by the Special Reserve. The Regulars who have been done away with have never been replaced at all. The fine battalions which were sacrificed to redeem election pledges and to inaugurate an era of retrenchment, which has since given way to an expenditure undreamed of by any former Government, consisted of seasoned troops with adequate officers, and were besides large Reserve-producing units. A Guards battalion alone provided a Reserve of 950 men. On the other hand, the contention that the men of the Special Reserve, with an annual training of fourteen days, are to be counted as Regular soldiers can hardly be meant seriously. I do not think even the British public will swallow so grotesque an assumption. The Special Reserve consists of so-called units of 550 men with, as I have said, a training of fourteen days per annum. It is composed largely of very young men and has to feed the Line, and it has been computed that not 50 per cent. of what will be left will be fit from age and physical defects to take part in a campaign. So much for the Special Reserve. Then I come to the Army Reserve of 140,000 men. I am quite willing to admit that these numbers are an advance on former figures. This rise is not, however, due to the Government scheme, though Mr. Haldane is perfectly justified in counting the extra men. The numbers are, however, abnormal and due to exceptional circumstances, the result of the three years' system established by Lord Midleton. When these men begin to leave the Reserve the numbers must go down, because their places will not be filled up, owing to their Reserve. producing units having been destroyed, and it is doubtful whether the normal figures will reach more than 110,000 to 120,000 men. Before the War we had an Army Reserve of 80,000 and a Militia Reserve of 30,000, so that when the present exceptional circumstances cease to prevail the Reserve will probably be little above what it was in 1899.
A word as to the Expeditionary Force. It is claimed that this Force, which should be ready to leave the country at short notice, consists of 169,000 men, and that the Army Reserve is now 140,000. I think this would convey to the non-military mind the impression that we had 169,000 men plus 140,000. But it is nothing of the sort. Owing to the attenuated condition of our Regular battalions and the deductions which will have to be made for physically unfit and men under twenty, it will be necessary to fill up the ranks with two Reserve men to every serving soldier--that is to say, that to mobilise the Expeditionary Force, 100,000 men of the Army Reserve will be absorbed at once, since, after the deductions alluded to above, there are not more than 70,000 Regular soldiers in the country. It is probable also that the equivalent of two divisions, say, 30,000 men, would have to be sent to India on mobilisation.
I believe that the Regular Army (what there is of it) has never been more efficient than it is at the present moment, and it is the more regrettable that just at the time it is wanted its efficiency should be impaired by swamping it with Reserve men, many of whom will not have had a day's training for six or seven years. The percentage of Reservists to serving men will be greater than in the South African
War, as the establishment of our battalions has been cut down to 720 from 800. I am aware that the same thing happens in Continental armies, but it must be remembered that the Reserves are called out for drill and maneuvres annually, and that, whereas we have 36,476 men in our Regular Army under twenty years of age,' Foreign Armies have not one.'
With regard to the Territorials I would point out that there are at present only 200,000 out of an establishment of 314,000, and that 83,000 of these have only enlisted for one year. Though the appeal issued by the Duke of Fife and Lord Esher does not look encouraging, it is obviously impossible to prophesy what their numbers will eventually be. At present, however, there are 62,000 under twenty years
The question of officers is allowed on all hands to be of supreme importance to the well-being of our military efficiency. The rank and file may, within certain limits, be improvised, whereas officers to be of any value must undergo a strenuous and prolonged training. The habit of command is not acquired in a day, even if the educational requirements, which are always on the up-grade, could be attained without constant study and hard work. This question has long been felt to overshadow all others, and it is not too much to say success or otherwise in the next war will greatly depend on the number of trained leaders we can put in the field. It will be interesting to consider how we stand in this respect as compared with 1905. The officers were at that time far below the establishment. What has happened since ? In consequence of the reductions made in the Regular Army some 500 officers have been lost to the country. True, they have not all gone yet, but they are in process of absorption and will not be replaced. The Special Reserve have 500 officers less than the old Militia had, and the Territorials possess 2000 less than the Volunteers and Yeomanry. That is to say, that during the last three years 3000 officers have been lost to the country. And yet, in spite of this, the Secretary of State argues that it is a fallacy to suppose the country is weaker than it was three years ago.
We are sometimes told that any criticism of the Government scheme is unpatriotic and to be deprecated. I deny that wholesome criticism is unpatriotic. A scheme which will not bear criticism is not worth the paper it is written on. The public has a right to know what it is paying for and whether it is getting value for its money, and I maintain that when statements obviously misleading are circulated on high authority they should not be allowed to go unanswered. The obligations that we have in all parts of the world make it imperative that our Army should not only be efficient, but sufficient. The Navy cannot finish a war any more now than it could in the days of the Peninsula. We could not, for instance, defend Antwerp from the sea, and its occupation by a strong Power could only be acquiesced in by us
after defeat. The Japanese thoroughly understood this principle, and supplemented their sea-power with a military organisation adequate to their requirements. Would it not be wise for us to take similar precautions. The questions we should ask ourselves should be: Are there no circumstances imaginable in which we might have to send a large force to India ? Is the state of Europe so unruffled that the spring may be looked forward to with tranquillity? Is there not much explosive matter about to which Servia or Montenegro might apply the match and cause a conflagration, the end of which no man can foresee? The merest tyro in Continental politics knows that there is a wave of Slav feeling crossing Russia which the Czar may be unable to control, and which may set the whole of Europe in a blaze.
If we want to go further to look for bolts from the blue, the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the revolt of Bulgaria will furnish excellent examples. All these elements of anrest render it necessary that we should be prepared for eventualities and should not have to depend on partially trained troops. What I wish to impress upon the public is that, if they believe that the Government scheme has provided them with 90,000 additional men, they are living in a Fool's Paradise.' I only wish it had. I should be the first to congratulate them on so substantial an addition. The worst of it is, the exact contrary is the case, and we have really 80,000 men less to draw upon than we had three years ago, to say nothing of a decrease of 3000 officers. The fact is, you cannot increase your numbers by simply changing a name. By improved organisation and an alteration in the terms of service you may increase efficiency, but that fact does not give you more men. Whether the men are called First or Second Line does not affect the total numbers available. In my view such statements as the one to which I have referred are dangerous and misleading, and tend to give the country a totally false idea of its military strength.
THE YOUNG TURKS
The result of the Turkish polls was agreed on beforehand, so the elections themselves were devoted to rejoicing. Processions, arranged with a genius for the effect of green and scarlet banners, blocked the streets. In front came a dozen lancers; the army being the chief support of the Constitution, its participation in the fun was no more than just. Then a section of infantry; then schoolboys shouting till they were hoarse the songs of Hurriet (Liberty)—a word till now forbidden. Then priests, Armenian and Greek, marched with Mohammedan hojas, demonstrating Fraternity. Finally, there came a triumphal car, bearing the ballot-box draped in white, for Equality ; and by its side little girls in white silk, for Happiness.
It is an accurate symbol of the public state of mind in this hitherto blood-stained city. The dignified Turkish ' men in the street,' at the polling place, or at the play, seem never to tire of speeches, flags, and songs. In the Pera Theatre the huge audience, all men, all red-fezzed, applaud every mention of liberty with ceaseless clapping of hands; after four months of delight, they are still like boys just home for the holidays. The sentiment, unabashed, appears even in official life. At no less than three official functions have I seen the company, which had already risen for the old National Anthem, rise again for the new Constitution Hymn,' proudly proclaiming an enthusiasm, where we in England should be too shy to confess even a belief. Strangest of all, this hymn was played on each occasion by the Sultan's own brass band.
When Moslem has joined with Christian in this unheard-of fashion for four months, may we hope that these people are capable of order and peace, or are we deceived ? Is it a ruse, or do miracles happen ? I do not forget the friendly sneer of Europeans who live in the Easttheir warning that the Oriental is inscrutable, that whatever impression the stranger forms is certainly wrong. We are probably mistaken, but we cannot be more so than were most of the men who know.' They also, acting on experience, forbear to prophesy. No one is entitled, since the revolution of the 24th of July, to speak of more than facts. The greatest fact of all is the band of reformers who appear to have saved 'the Sick Man.' These men, my friends and