10 MARCH 1906, Page 2

We shall return next week to Mr. Haldane's speech, but

may note here one or two of his chief points. In the first place, there is to be a wise reduction of unnecessary expenditure on such things as the Dorking or North Downs defences, on useless Colonial garrisons such as the hundred soldiers set to guard five thousand tons of coal at St. Helena* and the native regiment that has hitherto defended the Imperial watering place at Wei-ha.i-wei. Another most important point was Mr. Haldane's declaration that the Army would cease to live on borrowed money. It was going in the future to pay its way. As to the Auxiliaries, Mr. Haldane very pertinently declared that you could never reduce your striking force in this country unless you provided the power of expansion behind it. In other words, Mr. Haldane knows that for great emergencies be will have to trust, like other Secretaries of State before him, to a system of improvisation. He does not intend, however, to leave the creation of the system under which that improvisation is to take place till the ,,last moment, and when the need is imperative, but to prepare' a skeleton organisation in peace and beforehand. Finally, Mr. Haldane adumbrated a system of decentralisation for our Home or Auxiliary Forces, and touched upon a possibility which we have often dwelt on in these columns,—the possibility of the Universities giving degrees in the military art, which will help us to create a register of Reserve officers, who will be needed in large numbers when next we are called upon to improvise an additional army for war.