7 MARCH 1970, Page 22

A hundred years ago

From the 'Spectator', 5 March 1870—Mr Card- well presented the Army Estimates on Thurs- day. As usual, he smothered himself in details, but it would appear that under his arrange- ments the United Kingdom at least is well guarded. There are 109,000 men in the Islands, of whom 86,000 are Regulars and 21,000 Reserves, besides 63,000 Militia and 160,000 Volunteers, 332,000 in all; while the cadres have been so increased that in time of danger the Regulars might be doubled in a week. The entire country is to be divided into nine great military commands, in each of which a single man will be supreme over all military forces, so that the Kingdom will in fact be defended by nine armies or legions, each complete' in all arms and 36,000 strong. If the commissariat and transport services of those Legions are complete that force is ample for defence, and its organization reflects credit on the department, more especially as it will cost with She Colonial Services only £13,000,000; equal .to £100 per soldier, but still lighter than heretofore by about £2,000,000. On the other hand, the force in the Colonies has been reduced from 49,000 to 20,941, the reduction being, however, in part, in purely colonial troops.