12 JUNE 1920, Page 2

We rejoice to record the success of the protests that

have been raised against the proposal to extinguish the Irish Guards and the Welsh Guards, or else to merge them with the Scots Guards In a composite third Regiment of Foot Guards. That, we are convinced, would be a fatal error. We would very much rather see a second battalion of Welsh Guards raised. Our reason is not that we are careless about expense or that we want any unnecessary increase in our Corps d'Elite, but because we hold that the maintenance of a competent number of regular troops with a really short service, and a home service, is essential to an economical volunteer regular army. The Guards with their three years' service and large reserves enable a great many men, who for various reasons do not want to leave the country or to remain soldiers all their lives, to do a bit of service when they are young and see whether they like to make the Army a permanent profession or whether, again, they prefer to go into the Police, a vocation which is always open to young Guardsmen who have served with credit Thus the Guards widen the recruitable area. If we had a Guards Division of short service wen we should find our difficulty in keeping up the rest of the regular army—i.e., our imperial gendarmerie—lessened and not increased.