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Volunteer force must not only be the nucleus, the stock on which all other defensive organisations must be grafted, it must be the very life and soul of the force, and of the many and most important duties that will have to be carried out. From the present Volunteer force must of course first be assigned to our fortresses and coast defences the units in the immediate vicinity of those places. To the remainder falls in their localities primarily the auxiliary defence work already sketched in this article. And as to the result. Take one illustration only. The Ordre-de-Bataille army is concentrating, say, near the capital or in rear of the Surrey Hills, and between it and the disembarked invader on the South-Western coast is the barrier formed of the local Volunteer forces of Kent, Sussex, and Hampshire, with those of Berkshire on one flank and Essex on the other. And if at any other point or points on the coast, already to a certain extent guarded by their own local auxiliary defence, reinforcements are wanted, General Maurice would come trooping down in his motor bath-chair, with his thousands of cyclists behind him, from the hitherto undisturbed Midland counties. It seems impossible to imagine any plan which would utilise more fully and effectively the valuable elements in the Volunteer force than by assigning to it those duties in war which it could most effectually and most thoroughly prepare for in peace. What an incentive to Colonel Walter and his Berkshire corps, or to Colonel Sturmy Cave and his Hampshire corps, to devote their time and labour to study and practice of the defence of the important lines of communication running through their respective districts, if they knew that the custody of those lines would fall to them in case of invasion! In Glasgow there are, I believe, two corps of Volunteers whose withdrawal from that city for the general scheme of defence would, owing to the civil employments of the corps, mean disruption of business at that great commercial centre. Under the proposed scheme every hour they gave to learning how to keep at arm's length from Glasgow an enemy making a dash at that city would contribute to prevent any disruption at all. Moreover, a feint is of value in proportion to its chances of withdrawing attention from elsewhere. With thoroughly prepared local defence the military authorities would have more time to scrutinise the attempt and to judge its real value. Almost any part of this island would offer some valuable prey even to a small party of raiders, but the bait loses much of its attractive power if it is known that its surroundings are a sound local defence. But yet another advantage accrues from the presence of the local forces. Colonel Crichton's Hampshire brigade has already, I believe, attained a fair standard of military efficiency as a brigade, but with fairly definite aims before them groups of units such as this could very soon become capable of taking the offensive, and attacking the invader when favourable
opportunity for doing so offered itself. In course of time a veritable auxiliary second army of defence would emerge from the Auxiliary 'Defence forces.
It has already been laid down as part of this scheme that the Volunteer force should act as a parent stem on which all other defensive organisations in existence, or coming hereafter into existence, should be grafted. That these defensive associations will eventually be formed seems certain; and most desirable is it that the policy originally adopted as regards the Volunteer force in 1859, the date of its origin, should not be repeated. The Volunteer movement was allowed to grow and develop of itself; the successive Governments did not trouble themselves with the control of the development, and to that laissez aller course of conduct the comparative smallness of the results of a great idea is due. The isolated efforts of the manhood of the country to form organisations for Home Defence-whether as rifle clubs, cyclist clubs, or, as the most recent form, the Glasgow Burghers of the Queen'-must give place to a combination of those efforts organised by the Government of the country.
Dr. Conan Doyle's armed mob of brave men with rifles in their hands and behind hedgerows would thus give place to an organised and fairly trained and disciplined force sufficiently organised and prepared to utilise to the utmost the defence of the hedgerows. But the foundation on which not only this Auxiliary Defence, but also the National Defence rests is the well-trained, well-disciplined manoeuvring Ordrede-Bataille army, able to cope with the invader on equal terms, or rather at an advantage, battered and worn out as he would have already become in breaking through the barrier which had been interposed between him and the final battlefield. And the extra cost to be paid by Great Britain, when thus armed to the teeth? What is it? Simply and solely a ballot-raised, well-trained, well-disciplined, well-officered, and well-staffed Militia. Nearly all else is already provided or lies latent in the manhood of Great Britain, ready to come to the front at the first summons; and then, until our fleets are swept off the sea, and consequently the 'united hosts of Europe' can pour, without let or hindrance, on to our shores, we shall be able to rest in security at home while the main body of our regular army and of our navy defends our possessions abroad.
In conclusion, I would say that I am fully aware that in thus advocating, as I do most strongly, the immediate formation of a thoroughly efficient and effective force for Home Defence solely, I come into the category named by the very able writer who, in the Times of the 7th of December last, gives us one of his 'Lessons of the War.' His own proposals as regards the Army Re-organisation include the formation of a great territorial field army (Militia) also provided with a reserve, and fully capable of alleviating the fears of "the old women of both sexes" at home if the whole of
the regular field forces were serving abroad, and ready, as soon as those fears had subsided, to reinforce the army over-sea.' I do not think that applying smart epithets to those who differ from us on matters of opinion really much enforces our arguments. So I merely say that in view of the vastly increased and the actual drain on our military strength, the sudden and unexpected transfer of some 200,000 of our regular forces to a fresh expansion of Empire 5,000 to 6,000 miles away, and the enormous strain to which, for some long time to come, our military forces will be subjected, I regard it as an absolute necessity to secure for our navy increased freedom of movement from our shores, and that can only be effected by the provision of an effective substitute in its absence; and, therefore, I cannot mentally put myself at the standpoint of any one who contemptuously regards and smartly labels people who, on this most difficult and important question, have the misfortune to differ from him. I happen to know that there are plenty of such 'old women' of the stronger sex in this country at the present time, and that I find myself in this matter in remarkably good company.
OUR ABSURD SYSTEM OF PUNISHING
WE justly deplore the barbarity with which past generations treated their criminals. The elaborate folly of our present methods will excite the wonder of generations yet to come. Barbarous the old system certainly was, but there was a practical efficacy about it which none could ignore. In those rough days a convicted criminal, if denied a place of repentance,' was also denied the opportunity of committing further crimes. And when transportation superseded the gallows the same result was in great measure assured; for the cases were few where criminals once shipped to our penal colonies ever reappeared in their old haunts. So far as this country was concerned, their deportation practically closed their career.
In referring to these discarded methods for disposing of criminals my purpose is merely to emphasise the fact that their abolition deprived the community of an effectual means for dealing with men who make crime their profession. For a time, no doubt, penal servitude afforded a reasonably adequate alternative. But at the present day, so far as crimes against property are concerned, prolonged terms of penal servitude are as obsolete as transportation and the gallows. We are thus face to face with a difficulty which has hitherto escaped attention, albeit it claims the most earnest and careful consideration.
It is idle to attempt to burke this discussion by an appeal to the gratifying fact that crimes and criminals are decreasing in number. That such is indeed the fact need not be asserted, for everybody acknowledges it, and the judicial statistics afford indisputable proof of its truth. But it is no less a fact, although most people ignore it, that while crime in general is diminishing, professional crime is on the increase. And this is precisely the kind of crime which is the most serious danger to the community, and the severest tax upon police administration. Great crimes are seldom undetected'; but of course it is one thing to discover the author of a crime, and a different matter altogether to obtain legal evidence of his guilt. And
in this country the evidence must be available when an accused person is placed under arrest. Not so in countries where the police are armed with large despotic powers which enable them to seize a criminal without any evidence at all, and to build up the case against him at leisure, extracting the needed proofs, it may be, from his own unwilling lips.
The peril to the community caused by common crimes, as distinguished from crimes of the first magnitude, will be obvious to the thoughtful. For example, a man who murders his own wife is not necessarily a terror to the wives of other men. A man who kills his personal enemy excites no dread in the breasts of strangers. Or, again, take a notorious case of a different kind, the Whitechapel murders' of the autumn of 1888. At that time the sensationmongers of the newspaper press fostered the belief that life in London was no longer safe, and that no woman ought to venture abroad in the streets after nightfall. And one enterprising journalist went so far as to impersonate the cause of all this terror as 'Jack the Ripper,' a name by which he will probably go down to history. But all such silly hysterics could not alter the fact that these crimes were a cause of danger only to a particular section of a small and definite class of women, in a limited district of the East End; and that the inhabitants of the metropolis generally were just as secure during the weeks the fiend was on the prowl as they were before the mania seized him, or after he had been safely caged in an asylum.
In contrast with this, take the case of a commonplace burglary. Never a night passes that some crime of this kind is not committed in the metropolis. No one can be certain, as he shuts his door and lies down to sleep, that the sanctity of his home will not be thus outraged before morning. And in every instance there is a real element of danger to the occupants, for the burglar is generally ready to resort to violence if disturbed in the commission of his crime.
But this is a digression. What concerns us here is the startling fact, that while in recent years there has been a marked decrease in crime, crimes of the kind which every expert knows to be the work of professionals have steadily increased. But is the fact as stated? The criminal statistics of the metropolis afford the best and safest test by which to settle the question. The 'judicial statistics' would be less suitable for the purpose, because they deal with the country as a whole, whereas professional crime is unknown save in urban populations. Let us then appeal to the statistics.
First, as to the extent to which crimes against property have decreased. Let us, for example, compare the statistics for 1899, the last year for which the tables have been published, with those for 1868, the year after that in which transportation was abandoned. In 1868 the felonies relating to property numbered 22,083, whereas in 1899 the felonies of the same class were only 16,149. And yet during these thirty years the population of the metropolis increased by more