Topic: Canadian Militia
What the militia want is a full dress uniform which will be ornamental and a working uniform which will be useful.
Ottawa Citizen, 8 February 1902
The Canadian Militia Gazette, commenting on the opposition in militia circles to the continuation of the practice of the Canadian authorities blindly following the perennial chopping and changing of uniform and equipment by the British war office, says:—
That practice has been one of the most insane of our practices—insane, because it is not suited to the condition of our organization; insane, because it is not suited to our climatic conditions; insane, because under it the officers of a regiment are never "uniformed," though they may be dressed; insane, because it is inordinately expensive. Not today, nor yesterday, but for years, observing militia officers have seen the folly of it. The recent war office letter of warning to which our correspondent refers (it is not yet a regulation to be acted on) has created an unwonted furore in Canada. Why this is I fail to see, for the change which it foreshadows cannot apply to our militia unless it is adopted by the Dominion authorities. The mere publication of the letter (for general information) is not an adoption.
The reason the system has been pursued is because the militia has never been consulted on the subject and had to blindly submit to orders. There would have been no "unwonted furore" in this instance if the Citizen had not lifted up its voice against it, and the Gazette knows quite well that the changes foreshadowed in the "cautionary order" would have gone through. As a matter of fact some of the changes have already been made. The sabretache has been abolished, though it is decidedly ornamental in full dress and much more useful than the sword and belts because you can carry despatches and other papers in it. What the militia want is a full dress uniform which will be ornamental and a working uniform which will be useful. The minister should put his foor down.