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One of the senior Volunteer officers in Auckland, when asked his opinion regarding compulsory military ' training, said:—"Colonel Davies has, i 10ng ... been very keen on training the rising generation, as he fully realises the importance of the movement, and Colonel JDavies has expressed his : opinions upon • this point on several occasions. He holds that compulsory training is the only economical and effective, method to be : adopted in a young country of the size of the Dominion of -New Zealand., Colonel Davies has spoken: on this pub-' licly on several occasions. 'For. my own r part, I believe in the cadet movement up to a certain point, provided they stick to drill, musketry,. and, discipline. At present the whole of the •training or the cadets .is pretty well lost to the country, because there is no-syltehi of. carrying on. the boys .after .they leave, school until they arrive at ah .age -when they can join the Volunteers. .The re-, suit is that wfien they do reach that age, in most instances -they do-not appear to desire to become Volunteers." "Can you give any reason why "such should be the case?" . : \ ' : . "Yea. The present system takes them, into camps' and leaves not!)ing to their , imagination. Thus they, become blase, and think they have nothing further .to, learn. Then,' to my mind another* evil is putting" boys as "non-coms, and officers, of cadets, because it naturally "has tne effect of preventing them from becomings privates later on in the Volunteers. There is only one company that "will: probably profit from the "cadet trainingj. that is the College Rifles, and that.will only be from the pupils -who "have passed; through., the. three colleges. The reason is because the Riflee "go , "in for -maximgun drill and. signalling, and that l _,give«; more interest to the work. If, on - 'the other handj the Rifles were -an- ordinary infantry' company, they would, not get more than 2 per cent, of the. cadets. If the country wants universal service; the way to secure it would be to make training compulsory up" to 21 years ofage. The .majority of men.and women having votes will he ■willing to ■ vote for such a measure, as it is quite usual to find-jhafc most people think compulsory drill is a good thing for someone else. I think it" would be" a good- idea if all the boys who. are physically fit would be trained and under discipline. It will benefit our lads morally and physically to be under discipline, and ttie'compulsory training wo?ald tend to keep them from loafing about the streets. The drill, .would also teach them to walk , properly, and not to slouch along; in fact, to my mind, the lads would be benefited in many -ways by compulsory training." "Do yoii approve of \the camp system for cadets?"—" No." - ; -' "There is one point about your pro-, posal that requires explanation. If yovu abandon-volunteering and train the lads 21 years of age, does not that mean having only youths instead of men of move experience?" ;, "My idea, would be to put all the Volunteers on the active reserve list, liable to be called out whenever the country has heed for their services until they are about 45 years of age. In-a few years, under my proposal, we should have an efficiently trained population for the defence of our country. There would always be' a few thousand men ready to take the field. In case of immediate trouble, we should have, including men who served in South Africa, 18,000' trained men upon -whose services we could call for defence, and withiin the nest five yeaTs we should have the great bulk of the young men properly trained."

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Bibliographic details

A SENIOR VOLUNTEER OFFICER'S VIEWS., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 80, 3 April 1909

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A SENIOR VOLUNTEER OFFICER'S VIEWS. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 80, 3 April 1909