Letter: Quick march into the past

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Sir: There is a strange belief current that soldiers and military cadets are better behaved than ordinary people .

On parade, the average soldier is a model of discipline, respect, and mindless obedience. Off duty, however, he and his loyal team-mates have been known to cause unseemly disturbances, to speak disrespectfully of their betters, and to nick whatever is not nailed down.

Some of the arguments advanced in favour of persuading adolescent boys to pretend to be soldiers are redolent of the Thirties.

In the new world of peaceful negotiation under a nuclear umbrella, Britain needs schools full of army recruits as much as Switzerland needs an expanded navy.

MAURICE HILL

Javea, Spain

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