10 MARCH 1906, Page 2

Unless we are greatly mistaken, Mr. Haldane has the root

of the matter in him. His speech introducing the Army Estimates on Thursday has been highly praised in the news- papers as a remarkable Parliamentary effort. What we value it for is the fact that while the Secretary of State for War rejected, and rightly rejected, any idea of forming a brand- new scheme of Army reform, the tone of the speech showed that Mr. Haldane has grasped the essentials of the problem before him. He sees that the professional Army must be small but, within its limits, as efficient as possible. He sees that the Militia must not be abolished, as Mr. Arnold-Forster wanted, but must be greatly strengthened ana developed on its own historic lines; and those are lines which, as Mr. Haldane puts it, should make us regard it "as a force which is much more akin to the Regulars than to the Volunteers." Finally, Mr. Haldane sees that by means of the Volunteers, which must be expanded instead of depressed, and through other less closely organised institutions, stela as rifle clubs, the manhood of the nation must be trained to arms, and a reservoir created of men well grounded in the elements of the military ark—a reservoir from which in times of emergency large bodies of civilian soldiers can be drawn under a purely voluntary system.