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ITWO IDEAS OF ARMY REFORM.

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TWO IDEAS OF ARMY REFORM. Mr WATKIN WILLIAMS, who has been addressing his constituents at Wrexham, and Mr OSBORNE MORGAN, at Abergele, both referred to the necessity of military reform, and brought forward arguments whose force nobody can fail to apprehend. We have an army that costs us double the sum which Prussia spends upon her military forces, and yet is declared to be inefficient! We lavish 214,000,000 or JE15 000,000 every year upon our troops, but only a comparatively small proportion of that vast sum goes di- rectly to promote the fighting power of the British soldier The remainder is spent in supporting wealthy sineciirists, or "muddled away," nobody seems to know how. This is nothing new. For years and years the patient British public has grumbled and paid, shaken one fist at the tax-collector, but put the other in its much attacked pocket to pull the money out, for the support of those glorious forces over which so much oratory is ex- pended after dinner. But we are all beginning to grow a little impatient of the easy eloquence which describes the army as invincible, and is never tired of assuring us that England is great, glorious, and free." We want to know, first of all, that the army is really able to secure our greatness and freedom against attnck; and next, whether it is necessary to spend £ 15,000,000 for the sake of the glory, &c. Cannot the greatness, and glory, and freedom, all be had for something like half the money? There are ardent patriots who will look upon these ques- tions as mean and un-Englishâwhatever that may be; but we intend to press them, in spite of the criticism of those who appear to think that extravagance and efficiency are convertible terms, and that the military organization of this country can only be improved in one direction, that of an increase in money and men. There are two reasons for the clamour which we have lately heard against Mr CARDWELL. The continental war, by proving the mar- velous capacity of the Prussian army, has naturally di- rected public attention in this country to our own short- comings but there is another reason which it is impossible to overlook. The conservatives, long at a loss for a good party cry, think they have found one at last, and shriek at the top of their burly voices at the liberal government in general, and poor Mr CARDWELL in particular, because they have carried on the same system which conservative ministers carried on before them A hollower cry was never raised, and the public is not quite so gullible as to be caught by it. Why, these gallant colonels and con- servative squires, who arc making so much fuss about the inefficiency of the army, are the very men who will bend all their energies to op- pose the only reform which, without a perfectly ap- palling expenditure, can make our military forces capable of defending our liberty and upholding our rights We are not going to apologize for Mr CARDWELL. He has been abused unjustly, but that is the common fate of liberal ministers at the hands of conservative critics, and the writer who noticed all the attacks upon Mr GLADSTONE, for instance, except to laugh at them, would be laughed at himself in his turn. But Mr CARDWELL, although quite equal to his conservative predecessors in the same office, ciuld easily be replaced by an abler and more useful minister, and we shall be glad if the PREMIER sees fit to call to that important post a man of courage and talentâlike Mr TREVELYAN, for instance, startling as the idea may be to some of our eminently respectable readers. For what we want is a radical reform of the present system, a re- form which, we are afraid, Mr CARDWELL, painstaking and conscientious as he may be, has neither the pluck nor the originality to accomplish. The reform, however, must begin from below. It is foolish to blame Mr GLADSTONE'S Government for not effecting a military revolution, as long as the country is silent. It is the function of Government to carry out the wishes of the country; and as soon as the desire for a real reform is felt and expressed by the public, Mr GLADSTONE may be trusted to accomplish it thoroughly and satisfactorily. It is encouraging, there- fore, to observe a disposition to give the question of military reform a prominent place in the liberal pro- gramme. Mr TREVELYAN'S addresses in various parts of the country are exciting public opinion; the leading liberal organs are endorsing his demands for reform, de- mands which come with all the weight of official experience and mature judgment; and liberal members, like Mr IV, ILLYAIII; and Mr MORGAN, are following in the same line. The abuses are so great, and the interests at stake so immense, that the campaign, if it is promoted with any energy, will be a short one. It is true that the old system has many powerful friends-a prince of the royal blood at the head of them, and a host of official personages who will not let their cherished privileges disappear without a disperate struggle. But the people can easily be persuadedâbecause it is trueâthat they are shamefully taxed for an army which might be much more efficient at much less cost; and when once that idea is fixed in the' British mind, the opposition of the conservative party will be as powerless as it was in the face of the corn-law agitation. The purchase system must disappear, so that we may have the ablest officers which the Ration can produce and, above all, the Horse Guards âthat citadel of sinecures, which draws its millions from the nation and gives back inefficiency in return !-must be swept away. That is the only real reform and when conservative alarmists call for an increase of the force3 upon the present basis, let them be asked why there are 10,000 officers for our little army, while 12,600 are sufficient for 600,000 Prussians? Why we pay £ 365,000 a year, in half pay; t73,000 to generals, most of whom do no ser- vice 2162,500 to useless honorary colonels; and R40,000 to equally useless army agents ? And more than all this, why we pay R15,000,000 a year, and after all, get the work badly done? Some people want compulsory service as it exists in Prussia, but that great evil, we trust, will never come and some clamour for an immense standing army, which is more often the cause than the preventive of war. In neither of these directions does the true reform lie. A standing army, unfortunately, we must have, and one sufficient to maintain our position as a great, free tate but it should bear proportion to the necessities of England, and not of Prussia, as some people seem to sup- pose; and the reserve forces, the militia and volunteers, and perhaps even the well-abused yeomanry, must be utilized far better than they are now. All this is involved in the reform of the army but the two watchwords with which we must commence the campaignâa campaign upon which so much depends-are Death to the Purchase System, and an End to the Horse Guards. Oswestry Advertizer.

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