3 DECEMBER 1904, Page 18

The Times of Tuesday published the contents of the new

German Army Bill, which is designed to increase gradually the strength of the Army on a peace footing until it reaches the number of 505,839 men during the financial year 1909. This involves an addition of nearly ten thousand men, ex- cluding, apparently, officers and non-commissioned officers, and one-year Volunteers. "The German Empire," says the Memo- randum attached to the Bill, "will continue to pursue the policy of peace which has commended itself for more than thirty years," but to this end a strong Army ready for instant action is necessary. The ground of the increase seems to be the condition of France, which, with a population of twenty millions less, has a greater number of men trained to arms. The result of the Bill will be to raise the percentage of the Army on a peace footing to the whole population from 9 to 9.5. The change is not a large one, and it is also claimed that the Bill will improve the organisation of the Army, and facilitate mobilisation; but with the present strained condition of the Imperial finances, and the size of the Navy Estimates, it is unlikely that the measure will pass without opposition.