Skip to Content

From The Archives

From the archives

4 October 2014

9:00 AM

4 October 2014

9:00 AM

From ‘Voluntary and compulsory service’, The Spectator, 3 October 1914: We do not suggest that the voluntary principle should be abandoned during this war. The system is being worked for all it is worth; it is answering well, thanks to the splendid spirit of the country; and it would be absurd to change it mid-way for another system. But we cannot help reflecting that if we had had the scheme of National Service — of compulsory training for home defence, which is a different thing from conscription — recommended so earnestly and powerfully by Lord Roberts we should not now be in the throes of painfully improvising an Army… When the war is over there will be a steady demand for the surest, cheapest, and most beneficial method of military defence—compulsory training for the youth of the country.


Show comments
Close