General Simmons, said to be a man of unusual organizing
ability, has addressed a long letter to the Times, in which he pleads that the Militia and Volunteers should be abolished, and the money wasted on them be expended in keeping up the Regular Reserves. He calculates that we might in this way have 152,000 regularly trained troops besides the active Army, say, a quarter of a million good soldiers in all. Quite true, and very sensible from the military point of view, provided statesmen could trust the House of Commons. But they cannot. The moment the new scheme had been fully arranged, the borough members would begin bidding against each other with reductions, till we should find ourselves with 30,000 troops, 30,000 reserves, and no defensive army at all. General Simmons thinks that British electors understand armies as he does,—a very dangerous mistake. The average elector has an idea that ships are useful, and will pay for them ; but he considers soldiers profligates in red, to be hired when he is frightened, and dismissed when he is making money.