4 APRIL 1914, Page 13


[To vas Zones OR TIM ..13PECTATOR.'7 SIR,—In a note appended to Mr. Greer's letter on "The Soldier's Duty" in your issue of March 28th you say: "A propos of the refusal by soldiers to salute 'idols,' did not an Evangelical servant of the East India Company once refuse to order the customary salute to be fired to Juggernaut P " You must, I think, refer to the action of Sir Peregrine Maitland, who in the year 1837, when he was Commander-in-Chief of the. Army in the Madras Presidency, deliberately chose to resign his office rather than to sign an order for the punishment of two private soldiers who would not pay military honours to an idol. His action shows that there are extreme circum- stances in which an officer has refused obedience to lawful commands. It shows, too, that such a refusal may be justified; .

for the issue of Sir Peregrine Maitland's resignation was that the custom of saluting idols in India was abandoned, and has

not been revived.—I am, Sir, &c., J. E. C. WELLDON. The Deanery, Manchester.