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AT SALISBURY PLAIN   285

generosity towards the inhabitants were frequently deliberately imposed upon, and in such cases the men were carried beyond any personal intentions of wrong-doing. Cases of wilful damage and misdeeds committed by the more unruly members of certain units were summarily dealt with by the men themselves, the culprit being punished and forced to make restitution. The spirit of rivalry between the various units was keen, and any appeal to the men not to bring disgrace upon the particular unit of the Division of which they were members invariably met with a ready response.

Slanderous stories of crime and misconduct were spread by unfriendly critics and enemy agents and gained remark-able credence, not only in England, where at that time the word "Canadian" conjured up a picture of red Indians and cowboys, but at home in Canada where the subsequent contingents then in training were impressed with the necessity of living down the bad name gained by the First Contingent in England. Any city which was of such size as to number among its inhabitants thirty thousand, fit, adventurous, and active men and in which there was no record of crime or drunkenness, would indeed be utopian. Such a condition is by no means claimed, but drunkenness and lawlessness were the exception and not the rule.

At first the canteens of the Canadian Expeditionary Force were "dry," and if the Minister of Militia and Defence, Lieut.-General Sir Sam Hughes, had had absolute control of the troops after their arrival in England they would have remained "dry." The change to "wet canteens" has been the cause of much controversy, and many worthy, but not always well-informed, men and women have made bitter attacks on the authorities for the change. On November 30th, 1914, the Canadian Government stated that:

"The complete abolition of the `wet canteen,' so-called, resulted in excesses and disorders among a few of the men when they obtained leave of absence and resorted to


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