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GENERAL EDWARDS'S REPORT.

The following are extracts from General Edwards's report to the Victorian Government : DRESS. As so many different uniforms are worn by the military forces of the colonies, it is desirable that one universal pattern should be adopted. The feeling in some of the colonies is in favor of red, but the color is most unsuitable for the Australian bush. When the regiments at Hume proceed on active service they generally discard their tunics for a more suitable dress. As it is impossible for the colonial forces to keep up two different uniforms, it would be better to adopt a dress which would be of use on service. Such a dress is now worn by the Mounted Infantry in all the colonies and by the Victorian Rangers, and it is not only smart and soldierlike, but it is a distinctive national dress. I recommend it for adoption by all arms of the service, with badges and distinctions to show the corps to which the men belong. This dress must also be worn by members of the rifle companies, bo that the men may be clothed when they come forward to join the regiments. THE PARTIALLY PAID FORCES.

Thia system appears to be well adapted to the present requirements of the Australian colonies, giving them a cheap and effective defence foroe without the disadvantages of a standing army and the removal of the population from civil life. The greater part of the colonial forces are termed " partially paid," and the men receive a certain amount of pay to compensate them for the loss of wages when taken away from their employmeat for military instruction. In Victoria and New South Wales it amounts to Ll2 per annum for each man, and in Queensland and South Australia to about LG. It is made up of a certain number of whole or half days or of night drills, calculated at 10s a day in the two first-mentioned colonies, 6s a day in Queensland, and 5s a day'in South Australia. In addition to this they receive, free rations when in camp and when called out for service. This system of pay has many advantages, and provided the conditions of service are sufficiently stringent— Buch as they are in Victoria—it will give the colonies a force sufficient for their present requirements. Under it the forces of Victoria and New South Wales have attained a considerable degree of efficiency; but, if the military forces of the other colonies are to be of equal value, they must be brought up to the same standard. VOLUNTEERS. The services of volunteers have been generally discouraged in all the colonies, as the .system was not found satisfactory, especially in the country districts. The great centres of population—Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Brisbane—might, however, be encouraged to keep up a certain number of battalions. They should only be formed from amongst the members of the rifle clubs, and they should become the 3rd and 4th Battalions of the local regiments. They would undertake the local defence, and free the Ist and 2nd Battalions for service in the field. J

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18891023.2.19

Bibliographic details

GENERAL EDWARDS'S REPORT., Issue 8045, 23 October 1889

Word Count
518

GENERAL EDWARDS'S REPORT. Issue 8045, 23 October 1889

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