17 MAY 1879, Page 3

Already a new Commission is to be appointed to inquire

into the working of our Military system, and especially its effect in securing a sufficient number of effective soldiers. We spend in England and India thirty-three millions a year upon the Army, and nevertheless, we have not the strength to send 15,000 men to South Africa without disorganising the whole system. The regiments sent to Lord Chelmsford were filled up with volun- teers from other battalions, and it is stated that it has been found difficult to recruit for these weakened battalions, so diffi- cult that men are being tempted into them from the Militia. The Times even proposes the embodiment of the Reserves, and declares that the war with Cetewayo creates "a strain upon our resources of no ordinary kind." As we are usually en- gaged in some little war, the summons to the Reserves would be equivalent to a warning that they might always be called out when convenient to the Government, and would very speedily empty their ranks. Old officers still say that the cause of the mischief is short service, but the authors of the system aver that it has not been fairly worked. Mean- while, in the Navy, which is a Parliamentary department, and of no interest to "society," there is no trouble whatever. Sup- pose we abolish " service " altogether, and engage men as we should for a factory, only forbidding resignations in actual war time ?