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.'"  Poetry.



London Gossip.I

Foreign and Colonial. -.................-…

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¡ Military and Naval.


¡ Military and Naval. I- THE ARMY AMD NAVY ESTIMATES have been framed on a peace footing. They will be pre- sented at the earliest possible moment, but are susceptible of expansion in the event of emer- gencies invol ving an attack on the national honour and interests. THE REV C. M. RUSSELL, one of the candi- dates for Poly Orders at the recent ordination of the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol, and now curate of Leckhampton, served in the Ashantee war, and rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel. INSTRUCTIONS have been issued by the authori- ties that the whole of the infantry regiments now at home stations are to be supplied with a new and longer bayonet for the Martini-Henry rifle, and a sufficient number will be despatched to the various statioiis.-(tlobe. THE KEQUIKKMENTS OF THE VOLUNTEER FORCE. —A paper on the requirements of the Volunteer Force was read by Lieutenant-Colonel C. E. Howard Vincent, at the Royal United Service Institution on Monday. He said that in these troubled times, it was at least opportune to exa- mine whether the Volunteerforce possessed all the essentials for active service, which might enable it, be the notice ever so short, to perform the ser- vice for which it existed. In estimating the armed strength of a nation, it was absolutely necessary to take into account the unity and co- hesion of the body military. The regular milit- ary, and Volunteer forces of Great Britain made up a total of nearly 400,000 men. Something had been done of late to consolidate and amalgamate these three services, but much, very much, re- mained to be done. There was room for improve- ment in the distribution of Volunteer regiments. Some places and districts were overcrowded, while in others equally well situated, with equal claims to serve the State and to be protected, there was no regiment at all. In stating that numbers constituted the great aim of command- ing officers, lie said he thought this was not other- wise than natural, because l numbers alone were considered in giving the pecuniary grant, and thus the military proficiency and the physical qualities of a regiment were sacrificed. It was a remarkable fact that there was; no reserve field artillery in the country whatsoever, and the Yeomanry was but a fractional cavalry force. There were two hundred thousand volunteer in- fantry practically without a single horseman, or a single field gun, and there were but few situa-! tions in which they could render effective service alone, and none would be likely to occur in the operations connected with a hostile invasion. The volunteer garrision artillery, if accustomed to the guns they would have to use, would doubt- less prove valuable, but could afford no support, whatever to the active operations of infantry, With regard to the want of great coats and field j equipment, the financial resources of a regiment were insufficient to provide great coats, and without them, in this uncertain climate, mm could not be said to possess the first necessary of di ess. Without them, military training was difficult, for it would not do to expose men, to say nothing of the uniform belonging to the corps to those atmospheric accidents, which might re- ward their patriotism and abnegation by per- manent physical evil. Then possibly we might be able instantly to equip one hundred thousand volunteers but could we in like space accustom the men to the equipment ? Emphatically no. I The speaker then referred to the want of pecun- iary support. Formerly individuals subscribed I largely to the force. Little by little there had been a diminution of private subscriptions until now they had almost died out. He did not for a moment say that a volunteer ought to subscribe anything. Indeed, he held very strongly that neither officer nor volunteer should be put to any pecuniary expense whatever. The time and the labour given formed a sufficient contribution. So long as the expense of uniform and equipment fell upon the regimental funds, it could only be with the utmost difficulty that volunteer regi- ments could pay their way. He knew of one commanding officer who owed a sum equivalent to the whole of his capitation grant to the tailor; another, whose regiment was E2,000 in debt, and who was ex officio personally responsible for its discharge. Apart from the subscriptions of the officers. often extremely heavy, the Government found all the funds, and should, therefore, have a right to exercise a control over the expenditure. At present, however, this right was delegated to a general meeting, where all ranks met in plain ekithes on an equality where votes were fre- quently taken, censuring in unmistakeable terms the regimental administration; where bitter feelings were frequently generated, undesirable expressions used, and where all the discipline ac- quired in the year was dissipated in a moment. These general meetings were unnecessary, in- jurious, and unmilitary. After referring to many other subjects of interest to volunteers, Lieut.- Colonel Vincent concluded :—The general con- dition of the force I take to be eminently satis- factory. It remains the most glorious national institution in the whole world-an example of what a contented people is capable of doing for their protection—a force without parallel or equal, which has taken permanent root in the affections of Britain. Yes, and it is as ready for national defence, to fulfil its mission, as circum- stances permit, as it can possibly be with in- ferior organization, with no equipment, with in- sufficient funds, with no drill-grounds. In time of peace the Garde Mobile of France recei ved in a dequate support from the Chambers and the Government. The war came, and this French equivalent to our volunteer force was a danger, not > protection. Will the country not be warn- ed in time ? We ourselves, gentlemen, are powerless to remodel the elefects that have by this meeting been brought to light. They can only be remedied by full inquiry and considera- tion in another place.

IThe Court.

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