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Royal prerogative it is all based on statute. It is in the Army Act that the soldier (if he ever look) finds his duties and his rights; and that Act is, of course, as good law as any other Act of Parliament. But the status it establishes is a thing apart. Once enlisted the soldier has by law-Act of Parliament, that is—to be where he is wanted. Absence from that place (unlike the absence of the office boy whom the attractions of a Wednesday football match have drawn away from the call of his employer's bell) may entail, upon conviction by court-martial, a punishment of two years' imprisonment with hard labour. The soldier must obey orders of superiors; the result of failure again may differ widely from that of the civil breach of the contract of service which a workman commits when he disobeys his foreman's orders; if committed “in such a manner as to show wilful defiance of authority when on active service, it may indeed entail a sentence of death. The mere display of a lack of moral quality-courage—may in similar circumstances have a similar result. Such results are not imposed upon soldiers by the arbitrary will of their commanders (as is sometimes ignorantly supposed), but by the positive enactment of an Act of Parliament.
Rights as well as duties are dealt with and defined by the same statute. The soldier's pay is a statutory right, and cannot be withheld at the caprice of his commander. His status itself is in many ways safeguarded. A soldier once appointed a non-commissioned officer cannot arbitrarily be reduced. A conviction for an