10 MARCH 1900, Page 12

[To THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] SID,—With reference to Mr.

R. F. Cholmeley's suggestion in the Spectator of February 24th that drill and shooting should be made part of the school curriculum, I should like to be allowed to state in your columns that this has been successfully tried at least in one of our Colonies, in which, as we all know, methods are often tested far in advance of any similar action at home. An ounce of fact is worth mach theory. At the King's School, Parramatta, the oldest public school south of the Line and the largest public boarding- school in connection with the Church of England in New South Wales, it has for over thirty years been a fundamental rule that every boarder should be a cadet. Other schools have followed this excellent lead, and within the last decade the boys in the primary and superior State schools (called " public " schools in Australia) have been encouraged by the Minister of Education to become cadets, thus antici- pating Lord Balfour of Burleigh's recommendation to the Scotch Board-schools (vide the Sphere of February 17th, p. 131). Drill and shooting are regularly practised; occasionally a camp for the inside of a week is formed in "the bush"; I have myself twice acted as chaplain to such a combined cadet force ; and once a year several thousand Colonial lads from schools of various grades muster in the Park at Sydney for a review by the Governor and the Officer com- manding the forces of the Colony. I may ad c} that ten years ago Morris-tube practice to supplement work at the butts was introduced. Moreover, in the school which I know best the compulsory military discipline during certain hours of the week has proved of considerable value towards the tone and general management of the school; and so far from games suffering, the schools leading in Cadet Corps also lead in cricket, football, &c. I am sure that the present astonish- ing promptness of the men of New South Wales to rally round the flag, and their evident familiarity with the essentials of military detail, are to a large extent due to their being caught young. Once again, in this matter of developing the spirit and practice of loyalty, old England may learn from her young Colonies.—I am, Sir, &c.,

EDWARD HARRIS, late Head-Master of the King's School, Parramatta, N.S.W.

Bullinghope Vicarage, Hereford. P.5.—In the Times (p. 5), Wednesday, March 7th, it is Stated that on March 6th (yesterday) " Mr. Lyne, the Premier of New South Wales, suggested that the best way to prepare a defence force was to make the drilling of schoolboys com- pulsory. By this system, he estimated, sixteen thousand trained youths would be turned out yearly" in New South Wales.