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indicated. Army Service cannot of itself be made to furnish a life's career for all and sundry ; because not only economy but also efficiency forbids this. But if a few years with the colours were included among the obligations undertaken by those who enter the general service of the State, good conduct would be the only condition requisite for the enjoyment of permanent employment, and that employment would only be the more attractive on account of its variations.
Condition 1 has now been satisfied, for we have shown how Army service might be made to offer a career leading to definite advantages in it and after discharge.' Not only so, but the solution proposed involves no additional cost to the State. Superannuated Civil Servants already receive pensions. In case of war, the places of mobilised Reservists could easily be filled by recalling pensioners, and by temporarily engaging men thrown out of other employments.
The formation of a reserve of officers, under similar conditions, is equally practicable, and would be equally inexpensive.
We will now pass on to the consideration of condition 2.
* Life in the Army must be rendered as pleasant to the soldier as the achievement of the highest efficiency will permit.'
People who imagine that 'work' is distasteful to officers or men are quite wrong; that which causes all ranks to become 'fed up' is not work, but worry and uncertainty. Perhaps I may be pardoned for the introduction of a personal experience which will probably serve to explain my meaning, and in comparatively few words.
During the training of the Spectator Experimental Company' my subaltern and I were talking one evening, just before dinner, about recruiting. Mr. Walsh, when he went to his room to dress, had the subject on his mind, and asked his soldier-servant (a' man of the Somerset Light Infantry) what he thought would do most to bring recruits and keep soldiers contented. 'Well, sir,' replied the servant, you needn't look far for the answer to that; you've got it across the square.' What do you mean?' said Mr. Walsh. The reply was instructive. Them fellers is worked mortal hard,
* far harder than we are in the regiment, but they always knows when they're “for it,” or when they're “not for it."
I will interpret this : The men of the ‘Spectator Experimental Company' began work daily at 7 A.M. and usually finished at 4.30 P.M., but Wednesdays and Saturdays were both half-bolidays, and all Bank Holidays were observed. Thus the men knew when they would be free, and could make their private arrangements accordingly. Neither officers nor men in the Regular Army are similarly situated, for although the average number of hours of actual work done during each week seldom or never amounts to VOL. LXXII-No. 427
more than three-fourths (usually less than half) of the hours worked by the Spectator' men, they never know with certainty when they will be ' for it’ or when ' not for it'; and as surely as they count on the one or the other, some 'surprise-packet' is almost certain to be sprung upon them. Captain Jones, for example, has obtained leave for shooting or hunting, from his commanding officer, and goes off this afternoon with leave until to-morrow night. But a brigade or divisional parade is suddenly ordered, and a wire recalling Captain Jones is handed to him on arrival at his destination. This is what the officer calls being messed about.' The private employs a more forcible and rather obscene expression. The above is an example that may be taken as representative of a variety of occurrences that are quite common.
We will now quote a very glaring case, not supposititious but an actual fact.
The general commanding a Military District in Ireland appeared unexpectedly at a winter exercise of one of his brigades, and the general situation at the time of his arrival having been explained to him by the brigadier, it instantly occurred to him that the operations might be rendered still more interesting by the participation of a cavalry regiment. Accordingly he wired to a cavalry barracks some miles away, ordering instant march on a place and for a purpose named in the message. It was about 9.30. A.M. on a hunting morning, and half-a-dozen or more officers had already started; mounted orderlies were sent in pursuit, and meanwhile the regiment paraded. Thirty-five minutes after receiving the order the regiment marched, the officers who had at first been absent catching it up en route to its destination, where a message was delivered to the commanding officer on his arrival, informing him that the operations for the day were over! Comment is needless. The general knew what was going to take place days before, and if he desired cavalry co-operation could have ordered it accordingly. Then there would have been no grumbling, and good work might also have been done. Actually if the general had looked more carefully at his map, and considered the problem of time and distance,' even he could have discovered that arrival in time was a physical impossibility. What was perpetrated in this case was an act of criminal lunacy, yet the guilty person is, I believe, still at large.
People do not always realise that the soldier is to the end of his service in a state of pupilage. Boys and girls at school are given holidays and half-holidays. Why not also soldiers? It was well said : ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.' Actually, soldiers of all ranks are given, in respect to total quantity, an ample amount of leisure ; officers get leave and other soldiers furloughs; but the fact remains that the non-working
hours of ordinary days at headquarters can seldom be turned to useful or pleasant account, owing to the irritating capriciousness of the responsible authorities. Much more work might easily be accomplished, and this reconciled with entire contentment, if only the work was done in accordance with programmes subject to alteration only in cases of real emergency. In a word, it is necessary that officers and men shall know exactly when they are to be at liberty to amuse themselves, if enjoyment of leisure hours is to be proportionate to the number of them. Even in the case of emergencies, moreover, the consequences might be rendered far less disturbing than is usually the case.
Suppose, for example, that the King, or some other high military authority, has suddenly announced his intention of inspecting the troops at whatever station, and that Major Atkins or Captain Brown, of one of the units concerned, has obtained forty-eight hours' leave in order to attend the marriage of his sister, or even to enjoy a first-rate day's shooting. Is not the commanding officer of the unit reasonably entitled to decide for himself whether he can or cannot spare the officer in question? Is it not, moreover, educationally advantageous to Lieutenant Smith that he should have an opportunity of proving, in the absence of the commander of his squadron or company, that he is practically as well as theoretically competent to discharge such abnormal responsibilities? On active service Lieutenant Smith would be required to assume command in case of the death or sickness of his captain ; and it is therefore difficult to understand why he should not be trusted to make the attempt at a' mere ‘Field Day.' This aspect of the matter is, of course, far more important than that of interference or otherwise with the personal convenience of any officer, senior or junior; and if such convenience were sacrificed only in real emergencies, there would be no grumbling.
Some generals allow wide discretion in all things to regimental commanding officers; but others do not, and will even demand reports of all punishments awarded to men apprehended by the garrison police! The present writer has been summoned to produce, at a brigade office, the conduct sheet' of a man whom the general considered to have been too leniently dealt with in respect to a 'garrison crime.' The explanation was a 'clean sheet,' and this was, of course, accepted, though with a very bad grace, as sufficient. But by such proceedings the independence as well as the authority of commanding officers is liable to be impaired. The 'guard reports,' which are examined at inspections, should afford to inquisitive generals all the information they need as to the manner in which commanding officers administer justice; and the general behaviour and performances of the corps will always faithfully reflect the success or failure of the disciplinary system
in use. The real condition of a unit—that is to say, the competency of its commander--can be rightly judged only in reference to the following considerations : (1) Efficiency in tactical exercises, (2) smartness and precision at drill, (3) good order and cleanliness of quarters, (4) behaviour and appearance of individuals when walking out on duty or for pleasure. If in these four respects a corps is fully up to the mark, it may be taken for granted that though the guard reports happen to record many very severe punishments, those punishments have been justly awarded ; or, if punishments are few and light, that serious crime is not screened or condoned, but is veritably absent. Judgment, in short, must be passed according to results, and not be based upon paper evidence. So also in respect to the granting of leave to officers, and furloughs and passes to the men; the state of the corps will show whether the indulgences granted are deserved by those who receive them and warranted by the general conditions in which they are granted. In a word, the commander of an efficient unit ought rarely to be interfered with by his general, and the commander of an inefficient one should give place to another who is competent to run alone. The proper rôle of a general is first to be a wise Mentor, and secondly a just judge; but in no circumstances to act the part of a Martha.
The following are conditions which the present writer considers indispensable to reconciling general contentment with strenuous training :
(1) No drills, training, or inspections, nor any duties not absolutely unavoidable, should be performed on Sundays or Bank Holidays; nor after 12 noon on Wednesdays and Saturdays, except during Divisional or Army manoeuvres.
(2) No private soldier in receipt of 'proficiency pay 'should be taken for ordinary ‘drill parades,' except
(a) As a punishment for ' slackness.'
(6) To assist in the tactical drills of young soldiers. (3) Regimental commanding officers should be at liberty to grant 'short leave' to officers, or passes to other ranks, at their own discretion, even though absence from a parade ordered by superior authority must consequently result.
(4) Divisional and brigade commanders should not, between the 15th of October and the 15th of April, have power to order any parades not included in a programme of work previously issued, unless in emergencies created by higher authority.
(5) A proportion of Reservists, say, forty in the case of an infantry battalion, should be attached to each unit in order to set free for training and other services soldiers who are now 'employed' as servants, waiters, cooks, etc., etc. The men of this reserve section’ should perform a modified course of
musketry, and be in the ranks of their companies during the concluding week of the annual field training. The active service outfits of these men should be kept in the quartermaster's stores of their unit, instead of being retained at the depôt. In normal circumstances only the canvas working dress would be worn by employed Reservists, but they should draw clothing allowance to the value of one suit of Service dress and a pair of boots annually, and be supplied with 'part-worn 'greatcoats.
(6) For any 'employments' not filled by Reservists, and for orderly-men and fatigue work, soldiers of at least four years' service should, as far as possible, be utilised. These men should be permanently detailed for their duties, with their own consent; they should be excused all parades, except on very special occasions, and as a rule be in the ranks only during company and battalion training. One man who has no parades to hinder him can get through more work in the day than three ordinary fatiguemen detailed from the duty-roster.
(7) There should additionally be attached to every garrison a certain number of Reservists and ex-soldiers for garrison employment and fatigues.
(8) Coals should be delivered at barrack rooms by Army Service Corps wagons, or by the regimental transport, and be carried in by men of the Reserve section.
(9) All cleaning of latrines to be performed by 'barracklabourers.'
(10) Ankle-boots, of superior quality and of light weight, should be supplied to soldiers, on payment, to be used by them as they please, except on parade.
(11) Every soldier who is in possession of a 'permanent pass should be permitted to leave barracks dressed in plain clothes when not on duty.
(12) A permanent pass should entitle the holder to go away for 'week-ends' and Bank Holidays when not on duty, provided that every man shall attend Church Parade at least once per month. But absence from Church Parade by any man who remains without special permission within the area of the garrison, shall involve forfeiture of the permanent pass.
(13) A certain sum of money, calculated at the rate of, say, one shilling per man, should be entrusted to the commanding officer of each regiment or battalion for expenditure at his discretion, in order to promote efficiency by the award of prizes for skill at arms, scouting, and signalling. Such encouragement is especially needed in the case of signallers, to whom no appreciable inducements are now offered.
(14) Larger buildings should be provided for regimental workshops in order that soldiers may be enabled to learn, or keep up,