29 SEPTEMBER 1906, Page 13



is to Le hoped that our popular War Minister has watched with interest the progress and result of the Spectator Experimental Company, and, more particularly, that he will have read and pondered the powerful article in your issue of September 15th before he commits the country to a new programme for the Militia. To me your proposition to constitute it in the form you advocate—namely, of a six months' perfect training in the first instance, and afterwards "on Volunteer conditions "—would "give us much more efficient soldiers, and, what is equally important, wiuld enable a far better class of man to enter the Militia." Your short supplementary article on "Universal Training" is equally admirable, and, I am glad to see, supports Lord Roberts's views and those of the National Service League, of which he is the president. You have suggested bow, by voluntary effort in the first instance, and quite apart from its value from a military point of view, the moral and physical tone of our population would be improved by a few weeks' or months' training on the model of the Spectator Experimental Company. By a curious coincidence, on the same date as your admirable articles appeared, I find one in the Speaker conceived in the exactly opposite spirit, and reproaching the Board of Educa- tion for having enlarged the curriculum of certain Voluntary schools so as to include rifle-shooting. And, a further coin- cidence, five days later the news arrives from Australia of Mr. H. C. Watson, the leader of the Labour Party and late Federal Prime Minister, advocating the adoption of a system of universal service on Swiss lines, on the ground that it is suicidal to neglect preparation for defence against aggression!