29 JULY 1905, Page 3

We deeply regret to record that the disturbance caused in

the Volunteer Force by the Government's injudicious policy does not tend to diminish., Apparently a feeling is growing up that the examination ordered by the Secretary, of State is preliminary to making the Volunteers liable to foreign service. This, of course, is a misunder, standing. It is clear that the original intention of the examination was simply to reduce the strength of the Volunteers, and to find a plausible excuse for driving a certain proportion out of the force. It may be remembered that Mr. Arnold-Forster defended his original scheme for. reduction by saying that we had no need for such large numbers as we now have, since they could only be used for home defence. For home defence a force of more than a hundred and eighty thousand would be redundant. We fear, however, that the notion that the terms of Volunteer service are being altered is spreading, and will have a very bad effect. As we showed last week, there is not the slightest doubt but that the Volunteers will offer their services in large numbers in case of a war, but very naturally they will not pledge themselves in any way to such action in time of peace. The Volunteer must feel absolutely certain that no pressure will be put upon him to make him go on oversea service. But when the need comes those who are in a position to fight abroad may be depended upon to give a response similar to that which they gave in 1900, when seventy-five thousand Volunteers offered their services to their country.