HC Deb 26 July 1897 vol 51 cc1093-182

rose to move:— That this House regrets the inconclusive action and Report of the Select Committee on British South Africa, and especially the failure of that Committee to recommend specific steps with regard to Mr. Rhodes and to immediately report to this House the refusal of Mr. Hawksley to obey the order of the Committee to produce copies of certain telegrams, which he admitted were in his possession, and which he had already submitted to the Secretary of State for the Colonies at his request in July 1896; that Mr. Hawksley he ordered to attend at the Bar of the House upon a day appointed for the purpose, and then and there produce the aforesaid telegrams. He said that, with the majority of Members, he was unconscious that a difficulty was likely to arise in connection with the division of his Motion into two parts. He had understod that the Motion was in accordance with the Rules of the House and with ordinary practice, and it was set down without his solicitation on the Paper in this form. It would be in the recollection of most hon. Members that, from the early stages of this controversy there had been in an influential portion of the Press and also in other influential circles, a campaign in favour of bunking inquiry and stifling all discussion on this most important matter. ["Hear, hear!"] He was bound to say that, when on the 15th of this month he addressed a question to the First Lord of the Treasury on tins subject, receiving a reply that no useful public purpose would be served by a discussion of the —Report ["hear, hear!" from Mr. BALFOUR, and Ministerial cheers]—he had been led to believe that even the right hon. Gentleman himself was in sympathy with that campaign. But he thought that the right hon. Gentleman would find as time went on that, outside the House at all events, there was a most decided desire to sift fins matter to the bottom—[Opposition cheers] and when the Report and the evidence given before the Select Committee were circulated this desire would increase and the public excitement with regard to it would become augmented. It would be necessary for him to ruler to the very earliest stages of this controversy, to the period when the raid took place. When the news of that event came to England it would be remembered what consternation it created and the anxiety which prevailed as to its consequences in South Africa itself, and even on the Continent of Europe. Inasmuch as he would have to criticise, and criticise sharply, the action of the Colonial Secretary, he wished at this point at all events to say that the action of the right hon. Gentleman on receipt of the news of Dr. Jameson's raid, was prompt, effective, and courageous. [Cheers.] It received at the time the sympathy, and, be believed the concurrence, of every Member of the House. Its immediate effect was, he thought, to prevent the outbreak of hostilities with the Transvaal and to enable a period of calm to supervene in which we might be able to settle our difficulties in South Africa. The first consequence of the raid was that Dr. Jameson and the officers who accompanied hum were handed over by President Kruger to the Imperial authorities for trial in England. An assurance was at the same time given by the Colonial Secretary that a public inquiry would be held into the circumstances of the raid, and that public inquiry was demanded not only by President Kruger, but by most people in this country. At the opening of the Session last year it was announced in the Speech from the Throne that a searching inquiry would be held into the origin and circumstances of those proceedings, and in the Debate which subsequently took place many important statements were made. The Leader of the Opposition on February 11 said:— The position of the Chartered Company is a very anomalous one; it is one of limited liability for themselves and of unlimited liability for us"; and then the right hon. Gentleman used these most suggestive words:— It is obvious that the charter of the Chartered Company must be revised, but it must be revised under the superintendence and authority of Parliament. ["Hear, hear!" from Sir WILLIAM HARCOURT.] The First Lord of the Treasury gave practically a general assent to this view, and, consequently, although at that moment the proceedings at the trial of Dr. Jameson rendered it impossible to hold an inquiry, the House remained content with that assurance, and it was not until Dr. Jameson and his associates were found to be guilty on July 29, that next day the Government made a proposal to the House for the constitution of a Select Committee to inquire into these matters. On July 30, in making this proposal to the House, the Colonial Secretary said that a preference had been shown for a Committee— because the proposed reference, he thought, could not be submitted to any body in the nature of a Judicial Committee. We could not ask a Judicial Commission to investigate all the details of administration of the Chartered Company, or ask them to give us their advice on matters of policy, which are matters entirely for the Executive Government and the House at large. The Leader of the Opposition gave a complete concurrence to that. Then a question was raised as to whether the terms of reference included an inquiry into the raid. The original terms of reference simply suggested an inquiry into the circumstances of the Chartered Company and into the constitution of the Chartered Company; but they made no specific reference whatever to the raid itself. A further question was raised by the hon. Member for East Mayo as to— whether the wording of the reference would leave the Inquiry open to consider the question connected with the raising of capital and distribution of the shares of the Chartered Company and their manipulation. To that the Colonial Secretary said:— Undoubtedly the word 'administration' is a wide word, and it will cover that. It was important, now that the Report was before them, to point out that the first and paramount object of that Committee was not so much to inquire into the circumstances of the raid as to inquire into the circumstances of the Chartered Company—[cheers]—and as to the fitness of that company to perform the great Imperial duties which it was now fulfilling in South Africa. The report dealt at great length with the circumstances of the raid, but it entirely left out of consideration the circumstances of the Chartered Company either as to its past action or as to its present position. No inquiry at all was held into the alleged stock-jobbing, or manipulation of shares, which had been expressly promised by the Colonial Secretary in Parliament, and indeed one member of the Committee who proposed to enter upon the matter was summarily stopped by the Committee and informed that these subjects belonged to the subsequent branch of the Inquiry, a stage at which the majority of the Committee knew that they never intended to arrive. In a concluding paragraph the Report stated that the examination and consideration of these most material points would be extremely lengthened, the period of the Session was late, and it would be better to leave to the Executive Government to deal with this grave matter of the constitution of the Chartered Company. [Sir W. HARCOURT dissented.] The right hon. Gentleman dissented, but here were the words:— This part of the Inquiry would require a lengthened investigation which it would be impossible to deal with at this period of the Session. This, however, should not, in the opinion of the Committee, affect any action which the Executive Government may deem immediately necessary under the circumstances. [Cheers.] What was this but leaving to the Executive Government to deal with the paramount matter with which the Committee was originally appointed to deal? He had no doubt that the House would hear that the Colonial Secretary was to have a free hand given to him, by his colleagues to deal with this matter. They were accustomed to the right hon. Gentleman having a free hand; and he knew no snore entrancing spectacle than to see the right hon. Gentleman in his free and easy way making hay of the most sacred principles of the Tory Party. [Laughter and cheers.] But before the right hon. Gentleman began to deal with that free hand which, no doubt, would be given to him in this matter of the Chartered Company, he should like to ask him a few questions as to the line which he proposed to take. The Session was about to close, the House would have no further opportunity of dealing with this matter, and he thought they ought to have from the right hon. Gentleman distinct declarations on these points. He would ask, in the first place, did the right hon. Gentleman adhere to the views he entertained on this matter at the beginning of the year? On January 29 last the right hon. Gentleman, speaking of the Chartered Company said:— The company, he believed, would be able to mate out a very good case for itself …. it had done its duty in Rhodesia with great energy and great public spirit. [Cheers.] He would advise hon. Gentlemen opposite who cheered to master the report of Sir Richard Martin, and they would find that the administration of the Chartered Company, which was so much lauded by the Colonial Secretary, had been one succession of seandalous maladministration. ["Hear, hear!" and cries of "Oh!"] He assumed that they had not yet the full answer of the Chartered Company—["hear, hear!"]—but, at all events, they had sufficient extracts from Sir Richard Martin's report to prove that practically a system of slavery existed under the company, that cattle of the unfortunate natives were improperly confiscated, and that when they protested or resisted they were mown down by Maxim guns. That was the administration which the right hon. Gentleman eulogised at the beginning of the year; and the House had a right to claim from him a distinct declaration whether he approved of it now. [Cheers.] The right hon. Gentleman stated, in answer to the hon. Member for Belfast, that he was in negotiation with the directors and with Her Majesty's Commissioner and the Governor of Cape Colony as to the changes that were to be made in the administration of affairs. The Committee's Report showed that the directors of the Chartered Company could be divided into two classes—the ornamental and the detrimental. [Laughter.] The ornamental class consisted of Dukes and other people of high social position, who were generally attractive to the gullible investor. [Laughter.] But these Gentlemen, by their own confession, looked with almost lofty contempt on the proceedings of the company they were supposed to administer, and by power of attorney conferred their whole authority upon Mr. Rhodes, leaving him to work his will without interference. The detrimental class were agents of Mr. Rhodes, were cognisant of the raid, and were active instruments of Mr. Rhodes in the whole matter. Which of these classes was the right hon. Gentleman negotiating with? Was he negotiating with the ornamentals or with the detrimentals—with men who had proved to be grossly negligent or quite inefficient, or with men who had been proved guilty of conniving at a criminal raid, and who, in his opinion, were unfit to have anything to do with the administration of affairs in South Africa? [Cheers.] He would ask the right hon. Gentleman several questions. Had he, or had he not, entered into any engagement—direct or indirect—with Mr. Rhodes or anybody else for the maintenance in its integrity of the existing charter? If he had decided to modify the charter so as to remove the justification of the criticism of his right hon. Friend the Member for Monmouthshire—that it was a system of limited liability for the company and unlimited liability for ourselves—what forms did he propose the charter should eventually take? Then, what guarantee would he give the House and the country for the future government of the Company's territory in South Africa so that the scandals revealed by Sir Richard Martin might not be possible under the new order of things? ["Hear, hear!] Coming now to the Report, it would be seen that the Committee dealt in very stringent and severe terms with the most dishonourable conduct of Mr. Rhodes. It. was constantly said that Mr. Rhodes was a patriot—["hear, hear!" from the Ministerial Benches]—and, as a patriot, he was not amenable to the laws affecting ordinary persons. [A laugh.] He did not wish to dispute Mr. Rhodes's patriotism. All he could say was that one's knowledge of patriots in history was not associated with the acquisition of millions by those patriots. ["Hear, hear!"] and cries of "Oh!"] In these days, of course, men had a somewhat different conception of patriotism. There was what he might call a fin de siécle patriotism, which had its nursery on the Stock Exchange. ["Hear, hear!"] But he did protest that no past services on the part of Mr. Rhodes, whatever they might be, could justify the Committee and the Government in not recommending and taking punitive measures against Mr. Rhodes. ["Hear, hear!"] Dr. Jameson and his associates—the men who had been punished by imprisonment and loss of Her Majesty's Commission—were, after all, merely the instruments of Mr. Rhodes—[cheers]—and he protested that, if these men were properly punished, it was the duty of the Government to suggest some kind of measure to mark their disapproval of Mr. Rhodes's dishonourable conduct, and of his course of action in South Africa. [Cheers.] It was said that Mr. Rhodes was outside the jurisdiction of our Courts. That was a legal question on which he expressed no opinion. But Mr. Rhodes was at this moment a member of Her Majesty's Privy Council; and, having been proved guilty by a Committee of the House of Commons of acts as a public man of which he ought to have been ashamed, why did not the Government propose to remove him from that position? There was another principal—there were practically only two principals in this matter—and the second was Mr. Beit. He supposed Mr. Beit also was a patriot, but he was only a German patriot, and he did not know that German patriots were held in as much honour in this country as British patriots. Why, if these other gentlemen were found guilty by a British jury, was not Mr. Beit proceeded against? They would be told, perhaps, that it was a long time after the event; and the right hon. Gentleman might suggest that the sooner they forgot these things the better. ["Hear, hear!"] He might be told, also, that Mr. Beit was a man of great wealth, and that, perhaps, was the best reason, after all, in conjunction with the fact that he had been adopted by London society, why he was not the sort of man who should be proceeded against. ["Hear, hear!" and "Oh!"] With regard to the non-production of the Hawksley telegrams, the first point he would make was this—that the existence of these cablegrams had been known to many people for a long time. It was known during the Jameson trial; and he would like to ask the Attorney General whether he did not during the trial actually see these very cablegrams which they could not obtain the production of to-day. At all events, they were seen by a large number of people at the Colonial Office and out at the Cape; and eventually the Colonial Secretary himself began to think that it might be worth while troubling himself about them. Because in his statement before the Select Committee the right hon. Gentleman used these words: — In the May following, I think it was, I heard rumours were current in London about the existence of these telegrams and about their containing something very important indeed; and I then determined I would see exactly what was in them. Accordingly on June 6 they were communicated by Mr. Hawksley to the Colonial Secretary with a covering letter. He believed—and would ask the right hon. Gentleman if it was not so—that copies of the telegrams had been retained in the Colonial Office. At all events, the covering letter must have been retained. Why was not that covering letter submitted to the Committee? On June 17 the right hon. Gentleman, having mastered the contents of the telegrams and having come to the conclusion that they were very much (as he said) on the same lines as the previous telegrams, returned them to Mr. Hawksley with another letter. Indeed, he would ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it was not a fact that when he returned those telegrams there was a correspondence—not confined to a single letter—between himself and Mr. Hawksley. And, if so, why was not that correspondence laid before the Select Committee? If the right hon. Gentleman was not able to deny the fact of that correspondence the House ought to call for its production. It was materially important that they should know what that correspondence contained. The right hon. Gentleman was asked by the hon. Member for Northampton, "I suppose you would like these telegrams to appear?" He should have thought that, having regard to the very damaging rumours afloat, the right hon. Gentleman would have been glad to see the telegrams appear, but what was the right hon. Gentleman's astounding answer. He said, "I really ant quite indifferent." [Ministerial cheers.] The right hon. Gentleman admitted himself that, in May, damaging rumours were afloat about certain incriminating telegrams—[Mr. CHAMBERLAIN: "No; I never said that!"]—well, telegrams that might be incriminating. The right hon. Gentleman said that he was so far moved by the existence of the rumour that he called for the telegrams, and he must be conscious that as long as these telegrams were not produced suspicions—possibly quite unfounded—but suspicions of the gravest kind would continue to exist, and he was astounded that the right hon. Gentleman—[Ministerial laughter]—was not more careful of the honour of his Department than he showed himself to be when he said that this was a matter of indifference to him. The right hon. Gentleman might be indifferent, but his indifference would not be shared by the people of this country. ["Hear, hear!"] The feeling of the people would be, as long as this matter was not probed to the very bottom, that there was possibly some one concerned whom it was important to screen from public criticism, that there was some scandal which had yet to be unearthed. What he called upon the House of Commons to do was to take steps to scatter these rumours to the winds, and not to allow the subject to remain wrapt in mystery and darkness. Two questions were involved of supreme importance. There was, first of all, the vindication of our national honour and the good name of Englishmen throughout the world. [Cheers.] It was the duty of the Government to court the fullest publicity, and then to mete out punishment to offenders, however highly placed; it was their duty to act with equal justice and impartiality, to redress the grievances which had resulted from this maladministration in South Africa, and to take absolute and certain guarantees that maladministration would not continue in the future. There was still one other question to be disposed of. It was the vindication of the authority and dignity of Parliament—[cheers]—which had been set at nought on this occasion. Only the other day another Committee of that House, dealing with a much less important matter, reported to the House a money-lender of the name of Kirkwood, who had proved recalcitrant, but whom, in comparison, he would call a humble witness, and the House did not hesitate a moment to exercise its authority and to compel that witness to appear at the Bar. But in this case the Select Committee had hesitated, and the Government seemed to hesitate too. He trusted that the House of Commons would take a juster and truer view of its responsibility and duty, and would insist that its authority should be respected, and with that object in view would accept the Resolution which he submitted to the House.

CAPTAIN NORTON (Newington, W.)

seconded the Motion.


having read out the terms of the Motion, and no Member rising from either of the Front Benches,


said that he was really surprised at the conspiracy of silence which went on and in which apparently both Front Benches were involved. [Laughter, and Sir W. HARCOURT: "Wait a minute!"] His right hon. Friend said "Wait a minute!" He had waited a minute, expecting anxiously to see the Colonial Secretary or his right hon. Friend bound to his feet to continue the discussion. When he rose the Speaker was on the very point of putting the question. The Committee had found that Mr. Rhodes was gravely guilty in regard to the raid, and the Report showed that not only was he guilty of conspiracy against the Government of a friendly State, but that he had acted with the grossest treachery towards the Colonial Secretary—[cries of "Oh!"]—towards the Government of which he was Prime Minister, towards a number of the directors of the company, and towards the persons engaged with hint in the raid. There were, it was obvious, two parties concerned. On the, one hand there was the party that wished to obtain reasonable reforms in the Transvaal, and, on the other hand, there was Mr. Rhodes, who wanted to put an end to the Republic and to establish the flag of England in the Transvaal. As a rule he was in favour of revolutionists, because when a revolution took place it was generally justifiable; but revolutions which he wanted to see were revolutions in support of the rights of a people, not revolutions in favour of a certain number of capitalists. He thought that almost evrybody would agree with him that as a revolutionist Mr. Rhodes was guilty of base conduct. When Mr. Rhodes came to this country he was prepared, he said, to make a clean breast of it; but when he gave evidence he refused to reply to a large number of questions on the ground that they might compromise other people. It was a great mistake on the part of the Committee to accept that view; but in regard to the cablegrams the Committee decided that they ought to be produced; but they were not produced, and why? Mr. Rhodes's solicitor said that he had telegraphed to Mr. Rhodes for permission to produce them, and that Mr. Rhodes had replied that he would not give permission. Mr. Rhodes had thereby shown himself to be contumacious against the Committee intrusted with powers by that House. The First Lord of the Treasury laid down a strange doctrine when he suggested that Mr. Rhodes's offences ought to be condoned because he had shown himself to be so great a patriot on other occasions. Could any one draw a distinction between Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Beit in connection with this matter? If it was contended that Mr. Rhodes was such a patriot that he ought not to be punished, it must equally be held that Mr. Beit, a German citizen who brought out companies, ought to be protected from the consequences of his connection with the invasion of a foreign State from English territory. If Mr. Rhodes had not been connected financially with the prospects of this company, if he had not obtained for himself a large number of what were called free shares, and practically sold the greater number of them to the public, he would be quite ready to respect Mr. Rhodes, as he respected Garibaldi, the late Mr. Parnell, and many gentlemen who had been engaged in revolutionary objects. ["Hear, hear!"] But what would have been said of Garibaldi if it had been found that he had established a company in Sicily before he went there, out of which he was making a profit of millions?—["hear, hear!]—or what would have been said of Mr. Parnell if it had been shown that his advocacy of Home Rule involved large financial advantage to himself? ["Hear, hear!"] He was quite ready to admit that Mr. Rhodes might have been actuated by mixed motives, of which his desire to found a great Empire might have been one, but as Mr. Rhodes himself admitted before the Committee, although he was actuated by this great ambition, he was also actuated by financial and commercial motives; and he did think it lowered the standard of British public men when they heard of a gentleman, a Prime Minister, engaging in a revolution by which, among other things, he would derive great profit to himself. ["Hear, hear!"] Surely there was nothing monstrous in the Resolution of his hon. Friend when he regretted that the Committee did not suggest some sort of action against Mr. Rhodes. ["Hear, hear!"] He could understand that it was not desired to punish Mr. Rhodes. One reason would be that the time had gone by. It might also be asserted that Mr. Rhodes, when invited to appear before the Committee, admitted his legal guilt, and that it was somewhat hard to prosecute him after that; but still, Mr. Rhodes was a Privy Councillor, and as such had taken an oath to reveal anything against the interests of the Queen. That oath Mr. Rhodes had violated. [Cheers.] Surely, therefore, he ought not to remain a Privy Councillor. [Cheers.] If that advice were tendered to Her Majesty by Her Ministers, she would, no doubt, agree to it. People at home, when they found that the subordinates of Mr. Rhodes were put in prison and that nothing whatever was done against Mr. Rhodes, would take it as showing that there was one law for the great and another for the more humble. ["Hear, hear!"] But what would be the opinion entertained abroad? We should be regarded as the vilest hypocrites in that we punished the subordinates, but when it came to a rich man like Mr. Beit or an important political man like Mr. Rhodes, we passed on and did nothing. ["Hear, hear!"] Suppose a raid took place from the United States into Canada, and it was found that the Secretary of State had got up the raid without the knowledge of the President, and an appeal was made by the Government of this country to the United States because Canadians had been killed, should we be satisfied if the Secretary of State were only blamed? No, we should demand that he should be deprived of his office—[cheers]—and he doubted whether for a moment the United States would refuse to satisfy that demand. His hon. Friend declared the Report of the Committee to be inconclusive, and he pointed to statements made in the House by the Secretary for the Colonies and his right hon. Friend the Member for Monmouth. Not only did those two right hon. Gentlemen declare that it was desirable that the Committee should investigate the administration of the company, but they were ordered by the terms of reference to investigate it. The House knew perfectly well that the Committee had not done so; therefore, on that point alone, the Report was inconclusive. He went a good deal further. He considered that the Report did not probe to the bottom the relations of the Colonial Office to Mr. Rhodes. He frankly believed that the Colonial Secretary was not informed of anything in connection with the intentions of Mr. Rhodes in regard to the plan of the raid—["hear, hear!"]—speaking in the broadest language; but undoubtedly there were specific charges made against the Colonial Office by Mr. Harris, Mr. Hawksley, and Mr. Rhodes. Front the very moment the Committee met, for some reason he never could understand, the Conservative side of the Committee did their very best to evade those matters being looked into. ["Hear, hear!"] Mr. Rhodes told the Committee that these telegrams passed between himself and his agent. Common sense immediately told him that when there was certain documentary evidence in existence the first thing to do was to get hold of it, and he urged again and again that these cablegrams should be produced, but the Attorney General said there was an international difficulty. It was a great question whether under the international telegraph law the Committee could claim them, because they had touched at Madeira.


said that no question on the international convention ever was raised except by the telegraph company.


said he would refresh the hon. and learned Gentleman's memory. After two discussions on the matter the hon. and learned Gentleman said he had made a mistake, and the fact that the hon. and learned Gentleman had made a mistake produced an effect upon him. [Laughter.] Then the hon. and learned Gentleman started another hare, that it was very doubtful whether the Committee could obtain these telegrams without the permission of the sender. Did the hon. and learned Gentleman deny that?


Yes, Sir. That question was never raised by me directly or indirectly till it was raised by Mr. Pender.


said he seemed to live in a world of delusion. [Laughter.] Then the hon. and learned Gentleman started a fresh hare—[laughter]—namely, "How do you know who were the senders? You must specify clearly who they are." And the hon. and learned Gentleman urged that as a reason why the Committee should not at once ask for the telegrams and should get the witnesses to tell them about them. What did he imagine he did? [Laughter.] It was strongly borne in upon his mind that he produced a list of gentlemen and said that the telegrams must have been sent by some of them in Africa to others in England. The Committee did not know then that the Colonial Secretary had seen these telegrams. He did not think he was under any delusion there. [A laugh.] He supposed it was about the middle of their proceedings when they learnt to their surprise that the Colonial Secretary himself hall seen them. Mr. Harris told the Committee most distinctly that he had himself told Mr. Fairfield of the objects and intentions of Mr. Rhodes; and he told them in the most direct manner that he had told the Colonial Secretary. Mr. Harris declared he said— We shall be here (pointing to a spot on the map), and if a rising takes place in Johannesburg, of course we should not stand by and see them thrashed. The Colonial Secretary said, and he fully admitted that he was borne out by Lord Selborne, who was present, that neither he nor Lord Selborne heard those words, but that they did hear Mr. Harris say, "I could tell you something in confidence," and that he protested against being told in confidence as a private individual what he might not hear as Secretary of State. [Ministerial cheers.] He put these statements forward because they were absolutely antagonistic. It could not be a defect of memory on the part of Mr. Harris that he told Mr. Fairfield and subsequently the right hon. Gentleman himself. If the Colonial Secretary had heard the words spoken by Dr. Harris, they would have made a great impression upon him. He would have said, "You are keeping back something, and it is only reasonable that should know before I continue these negotiations in regard to this territory." ["Hear, hear!"]


said it would be found in the evidence that Dr. Harris referred to the rising in Johannesburg.


Surely he must have known that the rising in Johannesburg would be the signal for action in the territory. [Cries of "No!"] The telegrams which had been produced had confirmed the statement of Harris that he had told Mr. Fairfield, and practically Mr. Chamberlain. Mr. Hawksley, when asked to produce the telegrams shown to the Colonial Secretary and the Attorney General, declared there was absolutely no privilege; what did the Chairman then say? "We shall not go on with you, Mr. Hawksley, to-day. We shall report to the House." What was his surprise when he attended the next meeting of the Committee to find that it was not intended to report Mr. Hawksley to the House. Why was Mr. Hawksley's examination not proceeded with? Because he was going to be reported to the House. His hon. Friend (Mr. Blake) and himself moved that he be reported. Only he and his hon. Friend voted for that.

MR. JAMES O'KELLY (Roscommon, N.)

Where was the Leader of the Opposition? [Laughter and cheers.]


He was in the room. If Mr. Hawksley had appeared at the Bar, one of two things would have happened—he would have produced the telegrams, or he would have been sent to Holloway or Newgate. The Committee then discovered that Mr. Hawksley was not the man to proceed against; it was Mr. Rhodes who was the proper man. If that was so, why had they threatened to report him to the House? ["Hear, hear!"] Mr. Rhodes, however, was outside the jurisdiction of the Speaker, and if he had been summoned, he would probably not have come. Now it happened that Mr. Rhodes had a counsel in the Committee room, and after the evidence had been finished, Mr. Pope addressed the Committee for his client. We might fairly assume that Mr. Pope was speaking according to his instructions, and what did he tell them? That it was for State reasons that these telegrams were not produced. Did this bear out the reasons given by the Committee why Mr. Rhodes did not produce the telegrams? Mr. Rhodes had stood to his guns from the beginning. He would not have any questions put to him; they must ask others. But were these the only copies of the telegrams that existed? Had the Attorney General seen them? He did not complain that he had seen them; it was certain he had seen them. Then the Attorney General did see them. How did he get them, and whom did he get them from? He could not get them down from heaven or from his opponents. He must have had them from the Treasury, who had them from the Colonial Office. If the Attorney General did see the cablegrams it was clear and obvious that there must be other copies in existence than those in the possession of Mr. Hawksley. But if the Attorney General did see the cablegrams, then he ought to have told the Committee of it. When those cablegrams were sent back by the Colonial Secretary to Mr. Hawksley they were sent back with a simple covering letter. He wished to ask the Colonial Secretary whether there was any further correspondence between himself and Mr. Hawksley; and if there was, was it in regard to Mr. Hawksley's statement that the Colonial Office knew what Mr. Rhodes' intentions were? If the cablegrams could not be obtained, then the correspondence ought to be produced. Would the Colonial Secretary be good enough to read the letters to the House? If he would not, had he, as one of the parties concerned, any objection to Mr. Hawksley producing the correspondence or publishing it? He maintained that Mr. Hawksley was the right man to apply to for the cablegrams. If Mr. Rhodes had been in England, he would have been the right man. Mr. Hawksley admitted that he had the cablegrams in his possession; he was told by the Attorney General that he had no privilege and was bound to produce them? and yet, after the Committee had ordered him to produce them and had threatened to report him if he did not, he was allowed to set the House of Commons at defiance. ["Hear, hear!"] There was another remarkable point in connection with Mr. Hawksley's examination. When Mr. Hawksley was dismissed from the witness chair, he (Mr. Labouchere) said to the Chairman, "I presume that Mr. Hawksley is still a witness," and the Chairman assented. Why, then, was not Mr. Hawksley's examination proceeded with? Mr. Hawksley had given very remarkable evidence and had put in two important letters between himself and Mr. Fairfield. The witness was in a very communicative turn of mind, and the Committee would have got a lot out if him. It was a recognised right of any Member on a Committee to claim to ask any question of a witness; though the Committee might decide that the question should not be put. That right was violated with reference to the examination of Mr. Hawksley, in his own case and in that of other hon. Members. This was unfair; and, apart from whether the suspicion was right or wrong, such action created the suspicion that it was prompted by fear lest Mr. Hawksley should be too communicative. The Resolution which had been submitted to the House was a most, proper one. It had been urged that it was in criticism of the conduct of his eminent and respected Leader. ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.] As a matter of fact, it was not a question of leaders at all on a Committee. He fully recognised the right hon. Gentleman as his political Leader in that House. [Ironical cheers.] But he was not going to follow the right hon. Gentleman in every question of what ought or ought not to be done when he found himself serving on the same Committee as the right hon. Gentleman. If that theory were to hold good, it would only be necessary to put on a Committee one right hon. Gentleman from the Treasury Bench and one from the front Opposition Bench to deprive the House of all control over the Committee. If two of these Brahmins [laughter] were put on the Committee the House of Commons would be powerless. With the greatest respect to the right hon. Member for West Monmouth and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer—for whom he entertained a distinguished respect and regard—he would never consent to such a doctrine, because it would be contrary to the primary control which the House had over its Committees, and because it would make the creature superior to its creator. There was no question of leadership here. It might as well be contended that he was not faithful to his Leader if he complained of the right hon. Gentleman not being able to play cricket. [Laughter.] He commended this view of the case to hon. Gentlemen opposite. He did not know how his right hon. Friend the Member for West Monmouth was going to vote—perhaps the right hon. Gentleman was going to say, "I was wrong." [Laughter and dissent, from, Sir W. HARCOURT.] If he had the pain of going into the opposite Lobby to his right hon. Friend he should endure that pain for the sake of the independence of the House. [Laughter.] He invited hon. Gentlemen opposite to pursue the same course with regard to the Colonial Secretary and the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The latter right hon. Gentleman was one of the fairest men in the House, and he was sure he would say that he would not wish a single hon. Gentleman behind him who believed that the action of the Committee was wrong to vote against his conscience simply from fear of bringing pain and sorrow to the right hon. Gentleman. But he thought that the members of the Committee ought not to vote at all. He was ready himself not to vote. [Laughter.] The conduct of the Committee was called into question; and it was the rule that when an hon. Member's conduct was called into question he should withdraw from the House. He suggested that all the members of the Committee should withdraw from the House. [Cheers.] If other members of the Committee wished to speak let them; but they should not vote. If the House, after knowing how Mr. Hawksley had set its Committee at defiance, were to vote that Mr. Hawksley ought not to be brought before the House, then one of the most serious blows would have been inflicted on the dignity of the House as a High Court of Justice; and after this Committee of investigation had been turned by the fault of the House itself into ridicule and contempt, it would be better never to have a Committee of investigation again. [Hear, hear!"]


who was received with cheers, said: I entirely agree with one of the observations of the hon. Gentleman. It is quite unnecessary for him to make any apology for being in opposition to his Leader. [Cheers.] Since I have sat on the opposite side of the House to the hon. Member I do not remember any single occasion on which, when it was at all possible for him to do so, the hon. Member did not oppose the Leader of his Party. [Cheers and laughter.] I have listened very carefully to the speech of the hon. Member for Burnley, as well as to the speech of the hon. Member's Leader, who sits below him. [Laughter.] I do not ever remember a more singular Motion presented to this House, or supported by more singular speeches on the part of the Mover and Seconder. Six months ago the House, with practical unanimity, agreed to appoint a Committee to inquire into this very important subject of the raid and the future of the Chartered Company; and, of course, care was taken—perhaps special care — in the selection of hon. Members to serve on the Committee. It may be that the best Members were not chosen. [Mr. LABOUCHERE: "Hear, hear!"] I myself have wished all along that my name had been omitted. But the names were accepted with unanimity by the House; and the House intrusted to this Committee a most laborious and difficult Inquiry—an Inquiry which would have been less laborious and less difficult if the hon. Member for Northampton had had the same regard for the dignity of the Committee as he has just now expressed for the dignity of the House. [Cheers.] That Committee has reported. It is open to the hon. Member or to anybody else to agree or disagree with its Report. It is open to the House, if it chooses, to remit the subject for further investigation by that Committee or appoint another Committee to consider it. But this, I will venture to say, is most unusual, if not unprecedented, that the House should be asked to do neither of these things, but that it should be asked by the two hon. Members who have addressed it to pass a Vote of Censure on the proceedings and the Report, or part of the Report, of its own Committee, who, after all, I will venture to say on their behalf, have conducted this Inquiry at great cost of time and trouble to themselves in the best way in which they knew how to do it. ["Hear, hear!"] That would be a very poor reward by this House to the Members of the Select Committee, who certainly did not seek the duty which was imposed on them. What are the grounds on which we are asked to pass this Resolution? I expected to find them in the speech of the Mover, but he at once turned that speech into an attack upon the Chartered Company, Mr. Rhodes, and my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary, and the main purport of his speech, so far as I could gather, was to ascertain from my right hon. Friend what would be the policy he would pursue or the action he would take with regard to Mr. Rhodes or the Chartered Company. But, Sir, neither of those matters is contained in the Motion of the hon. Gentleman. [Cheers.] The Motion relates to something entirely different, the conduct and proceedings and Report of this Committee.


Its inconclusive character.


I will come to that. The hon. Member for Northampton, in dealing with the subject, confessed to be living in a world of illusions on this matter, as I am sure we have all known for some time past. [Laughter.]


I did not quite confess that. I said I seemed to be.


He seems to everybody else to be. [Laughter and cheers.] The hon. Member for Burnley calls the proceedings of the Committee inconclusive. If I may say so, with all due respect, he does not know the meaning of his own language. [Cheers.] Why does he consider them inconclusive? Because they did not deal with the question of the administration of the Chartered Company? They might have been called inconclusive if they had not come to a definite conclusion upon the matters reported upon, but what was the fact? There were two matters referred to the Committee. The first was the origin and circumstances of the incursion into the South African Republic by an armed force; the second was the administration of the British South Africa Company.

MR. T. BAYLEY (Derbyshire, Chesterfield)

And to Report thereon.


Of course. We agreed to divide our Inquiry into two parts, and we inquired first into the origin and circumstances of the raid. We conducted that Inquiry, as it has often seemed to me, at much too great length, and at the close of the Session we have made a Report upon it which I will venture to say goes fully into the whole subject, and, whether hon. Members agree with it or not, comes to a definite conclusion upon all the most important points. We had no time to enter into the question of the administration of the Chartered Company. That is not our fault. The matter rests with the House. If it should think fit to do so, as I confess I hope it will not, it may re-appoint the same Committee or appoint another Committee to inquire into that matter; but at all events, with due respect to the English language, our conduct and Report cannot properly be called inconclusive. The hon. Member complains, next, that we failed to recommend a specific step with regard to Mr. Rhodes. Why, it was net our business. ["Hear, hear!"] We should have been going beyond the order of reference; but we did express our opinion clearly and definitely of the conduct and action of Mr. Rhodes. On this point, I submit, the hon. Member for Burnley differs with his Leader who sits below him. No doubt the hon. Member for Northampton in his Report did express a further opinion that the conduct and action of Mr. Rhodes was deserving of severe punishment, but he took very good care not to specify what that meant. ["Hear, hear!"] Our ideas of severe punishment may differ. My idea of severe punishment is sitting for 35 days on a Select Committee with the hon. Member for Northampton also as a member of it. [Loud laughter.] The hon. Member may consider that Mr. Rhodes ought to be prosecuted.


No, I said he ought not.


Or he may consider that Mr. Rhodes' name ought to be removed from the Privy Council.


That is what I said.


That is a matter for the consideration of the Government, for of course it is for the Government to decide what action should be taken—if any action should be taken—on the Report of the Committee; but this I will venture to say, that in considering the case of Mr. Rhodes we must have regard not only to the conduct of which he has been reported to be guilty, but also to his services generally to the Empire. Then there is a further complaint, and this is the real head and front of the offending of the Select Committee—that we did not immediately Report to this House the refusal of Mr. Hawksley to obey the order of the Committee to produce copies of certain telegrams which he admitted were in his possession. Now, anybody who looks at our Report will see why we did not report Mr. Hawksley's refusal at once to the House. Of course, any such Report would, in accordance with the usual practice, suggest that some proceedings should be taken by the House. Well, in our opinion, as we stated in the Report, the person against whom proceedings ought to be taken for refusal to produce these telegrams was not Mr. Hawksley but Mr. Rhodes. Mr. Hawksley was acting solely as solicitor for Mr. Rhodes and under the instructions of his client. It may be—it is not for me to say, I am a layman—that no privilege could properly be pleaded in Mr. Hawksley's defence, and that therefore the House would be technically justified in sending Mr. Hawksley to prison if he still refused, against the instructions of his client, to produce the telegrams. But this I will venture to say, as an old Member of this House, that I think the House of Commons cannot be too careful in proceedings of this kind to proceed against the right man. [Cheers.] and that where any doubt could possibly arise proceedings in the nature of sending a man to prison are extremely dangerous and not likely in the end to result to the credit or dignity of the House. [Cheers.] In our opinion Mr. Rhodes was the person against whom proceedings ought to have been taken. He, of course, was in South Africa, and if he had consented—because I do not believe any compulsion could have been exercised—on the receipt of the Order of this House to direct the telegrams to be produced it would have been quite impossible, owing to the delay, for us to have completed our Inquiry during the course of the present Session. Now, in our opinion, that delay would not have been justifiable. I can understand it might have been justifiable in certain circumstances. It might have been justifiable if there could be anything in those telegrams which would exonerate Mr. Rhodes, or those who were blamable for similar action, with regard to their grave responsibility for the raid. But as Mr. Rhodes himself had declined to produce those telegrams I think I may say it appeared to the Committee that such a contention could not be sustained. It might have been desirable to delay our Report for their production if there could have been any reason to attach the importance to them with regard to the past action of the Colonial Office and of my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary which is suggested by the hon. Members for Burnley and Northampton. I should like to say something on this matter. The hon. Member for Burnley spoke of what he was pleased to call damaging rumours. He spoke of a scandal that required to be unearthed. Well, the term scandal implies a lie, if I understand what English means. He said he claimed to speak for the people of this country. If the people of this country have followed the proceedings of this Committee, I think they know that over and over again the most gigantic bubbles have been blown upon this subject of the responsibility of the Colonial Office. [Cheers.] At the very moment when they have got to their greatest size they have exploded and disappeared as completely as bubbles in the air. [Cheers.] Does any one believe that my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary or the Colonial Office were implicated in this matter? Does the hon. Member for Northampton himself believe it?


I said I did not.


I should just like to read a passage from the draft Report of the lion. Member for Northampton. He says he does not believe these rumours, as they are called. Then why does he go on inflicting them upon the House and country? [Cheers.] In his own draft Report the hon. Member states plainly his opinion that it can hardly be supposed that Mr. Harris ever did make the communication which he alleged he made to my right hon. Friend as to the connection between the unrest at Johannesburg and the desirability of having a police force near the border. And he goes on to say that the evidence in no way shows that the Colonial Office was aware that Mr. Rhodes contemplated under any contingencies using the strip of Bechuanaland and the police to invade the Transvaal in order to afford aid to the Johannesburghers in any revolutionary outbreak. Still the hon. Members for Northampton and Burnley consider the production of these telegrams essential. Why? For the sake of weaker brethren?


was understood to say that he had indicated the sooner they were produced the better.


Then, why in the world make such a fuss about them? [Cheers.] It is too ridiculous. [Cheers.] The Committee, by a majority of 13 to two, in my opinion rightly and properly, declined to suggest to anyone that there could be any charges against the Colonial Office in those telegrams which would be more worthy of belief than the statements in the previous telegrams submitted to them which they had unanimously rejected. Let me state a few occasions on which these rumours were tested by the Committee. First of all, there was the evidence of Mr. Rhodes. The hon. Member for Northampton thought, with many people, that he would be able to extract from Mr. Rhodes some evidence very damaging to the Colonial Office.


No, I did not.


Then I do not know why Mr. Rhodes was asked the questions.


I was on the Committee to investigate. I wanted to get the facts from the various witnesses. I say with frankness that I did not believe at the commencement that the right hon. Gentleman was cognisant of what occurred. I do not believe it at the present moment, but I do think it was a very great mistake that the Committee got into the habit, especially hon. Gentlemen on the other side, of evading the question, not going to the bottom of it, but being ready to run after all sorts of redherring tracks.


I deny that there was any such habit; and, as to the waste of time, if anyone looks at the questions asked, and the persons by whom they mere asked, he will see that for every question asked by Members on this side, there were at least 50 asked by hon. Members opposite. What was Mr. Rhodes's answer in reply to a suggestion of that kind? He said he was sure that he had not stated directly or indirectly that the Colonial Secretary knew anything of the Jameson plan. Then there WAS a great deal of excitement about the letter of Sir John' Willoughby to the War Office. It was difficult to obtain that letter. Sir John Willoughby declined to produce it, and when it was produced by die War Office it stated the honest and bonâ fide belief of the writer "that the steps were taken with the knowledge and assent of the Imperial authorities," and that he was informed by Dr. Jameson that this was the fact. But what followed? Dr. Jameson immediately came into the box and denied that he ever told anyone that he haul the Government at his back, and then it was discovered that this precious letter was written by Mr. Hawksley and not by Sir John Willoughby; he simply signed it without properly reading it—[cries of "Oh, oh!"]—as he said, with the object of postponing the taking away of the commissions of his friends, and he was compelled to admit that he could not justify the statement he had made. Then there were the telegrams that were ordered to be produced by the Eastern Telegraph Company. They were expected to contain all kinds of datum-rim, revelations about the Colonial Office and my right hon. Friend. There was never a greater mare's nest on that particular subject than the contents of those telegrams. [Cheers.] Then came the telegrams sent or received by Miss Shaw, which the hon. Member was particularly anxious to see, and which, if he will remember, I myself aided him in the Committee in obtaining. What did those telegrams come to? One of them contained this dreadful passage,— I have special reasons to believe that Mr. Chamberlain wishes you must do it immediately. But when the Committee asked leer what she meant by the phrase, Miss Shaw said that she hail not derived this front anything whatever that may right hon. Friend hall ever said; and when the telegrams were produced from Mr. Rhodes or Dr. Harris directing her to make certain communications to my right hon. Friend, she told the Committee that she had never made those communications. All those rumours which the hon. Men doer considers were so damaging were exploded by this Committee as fast as they were produced; and now the House is asked to censure us because we declined to make ourselves parties to the further propagation of those malignant slanders [cheers] at the hands of those who are disappointed because they have been unable to show that complicity with this raid with which they were too ready to credit my right hon. Friend. My right hon. Friend can defend himself. It may be that these slanders will still continue; it may be that nothing would stop them. Does the hon. Member censure us for not satisfying persons who are not satisfied already? Whom does he want to satisfy? Does he think that anything will satisfy those foreigners, with whom it is a cardinal and perpetual article of faith that this country is always perfidious and anxious to appropriate what does not belong to it? [Cheers.] Does he think that anything will satisfy those among ourselves who are worse than flue foreigners in their readiness to believe any evil of their own countrymen? [Cheers.] Painful as those slanders may be, my right hon. Friend may still have to bear them; but there was one thing of which the Committee was thoroughly convinced, and it was this—that in the interests of peace in South Africa, in the interests of the removal of those unhappy differences and disputes between the two great white races which live together in that part of Her Majesty's dominions, it was essential that this inquiry into the Raid should come to an end. [Cheers.] We believed that we had sufficient and ample evidence on which to report, and we arrived at definite conclusions. As far as I am concerned, and I believe that I am speaking for every Member of the Committee, we submit ourselves readily to the judgment of the House. [Cheers.]

*SIR WILLIAM HARCOURT (Monmouthshire, W.)

The hon. Member for Northampton seems to have doubts as to whether I was willing to accept the responsibility of the proceedings of the Committee and to state the reasons why I did so to the House. My hon. Friend was quite mistaken, and I hope in a few words to state to the House, as far as I understand it, what was the course taken by the Committee, and to leave it to judge. As to the censure proposed by my hon. Friends, it is an unusual proceeding to find that a. member of the Committee who is in a minority should propose to the House of Commons a Vote of Censure on the rest of the Committee. [Laughter and cheers.] The hon. Member for Burnley says that the Committee have been inconclusive in their action on the Report. Inconclusive may be rather an ambiguous term, but the hon. Member for Northampton was good enough to explain it, and he said that "inconclusive" was something that did not contain everything that it ought. [Laughter.] I should be disposed in these circumstances to apply that adjective to the speeches of the Mover and Seconder of this Motion. They seem to contain nothing that they ought in support of the conclusions at which they have arrived. [Laughter.] The Chancellor of the Exchequer has pointed out that the Motion has nothing to do with the policy of the Government with reference to the charter; all that had to do with another part of the inquiry. We agreed unanimously to devote ourselves in the first instance to the consideration of the question of the Raid. It did happen that one or two witnesses who came here from South Africa were asked questions on other points, because they might be useful hereafter for the inquiry which it was intended to continue into the administration of the Company. The hon. Member for Burnley said that the Committee had abandoned the motion of inquiring into the other parts of the reference. They have done nothing of the kind. They found themselves in a situation where there was a very large inquiry upon which they were called upon to enter at the end of July. They could not enter upon it then; but they saw that there might be inconvenience in suspending any action in the present state of South Africa in matters affecting the administration of the Company. If my hon. Friend the Member for Burnley will make a recommendation that the Committee should be reappointed next Session, I shall support him; but it is for the House to consider. If the Committee should pursue this inquiry in February next there is nothing said in the Report to exclude it. I demur altogether to its being said that the Report is not conclusive. It is conclusive on all the important points with reference to the Raid. Let us see what is reported upon. It has reported upon the responsibility and conduct of Mr. Rhodes. I think it is a conclusive Report on that point. It has reported upon the responsibility of the directors of the Chartered Company, and has indicated very plainly that in their opinion the Board should not remain as it at present exists, and must be reconstructed. It has reported on the responsibility of the Imperial officers at the Cape, Sir Graham Bower and Mr. Newton, and it has found that they were guilty of grave dereliction of duty. It has reported clearly that Lord Rosmead had no knowledge of Mr. Rhodes's project; and it has reported distinctly on the knowledge of the Colonial Office. You may say that these conclusions were wrong and were not supported by the evidence. ["Hear, hear!"] Yes; but the charge that the Report is inconclusive is absolutely unfounded. I come to the next point —that the Committee ought to have made recommendations as to the action to be taken against Mr. Rhodes. If we had attempted to do anything of the kind we should have gone beyond the order of reference. ["Hear, hear!"] I call attention to this—that my lion. Friend the Member for Burnley, who censures the Committee, has made no recommendation himself. ["Hear, hear!"] Why did not he come forward and make a recommendation as to what should be done with Mr. Rhodes? There was a Resolution upon the Paper in the name of my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton which made the recommendation alluded to by my hon. Friend the Member for Burnley and by the hon. Member for Northampton. But why did that Resolution disappear from the Paper for today, and why was an inconclusive Motion —[laughter—on that subject substituted


I asked the First Lord of the Treasury to give me a day for that Resolution.


You have had your day, and you elected not to move that Resolution. [Loud cheers.] And now comes forward my hon. Friend the Member for Burnley with his inconclusive Resolution, in which he fails to recommend specific steps with regard to Mr. Rhodes. ["Hear, hear!"] That is a very remarkable circumstance, considering the fact that the Committee are blamed for not making a specific recommendation. Why, my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton drew up a very elaborate report, and, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer has pointed out, he made no specific recommendation, not even the one which he put upon the Paper the other day, and which is not upon the Paper to-day. ["Hear, hear!"] Why did he not make a specific recommendation?


I said he deserved punishment.


Yes, but that is not a specific recommendation. [Cheers.] A specific recommendation was made in the Resolution which has disappeared; but it was not made in the Report which he drew up for the Committee—["hear, hear!"]—and therefore we are to be blamed in this Resolution for not waking a specific recommendation which was neither made by my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton in the Committee, nor is it made by my hon. Friend the Member for Burnley when he comes to this House. ["Hear, hear!"] Well, now, we come to the main charge—for, of course, all this is "leather and prunella"—["hear, hear!" and cheers]—all this about an "inconclusive" Report, about there being no specific recommendation, and so on. I suppose the main charge, after all, is the dealing with Mr. Hawksley and the cablegrams. The Committee have stated very plainly in their Report why they did not deal with Mr. Hawksley and the cablegrams. I admit, of course, that it was an exceptional proceeding on the part of the Committee. What I desire is to state the grounds upon which the majority of the Committee took that exceptional course. The Committee state in their Report that they would not suspend their proceedings until they could obtain the cablegrams, and they made their Report on the ground that if they had proceeded in the ordinary course in this matter, a Report this Session would be improbable, if not impossible. ["Hear, hear!"] Now, that was the ground upon which the majority acted. I wish to call the attention of the House particularly to this matter, because it is upon that that the whole question rests. In my opinion it was of infinite consequence both abroad, at the Cape and in this country, that the Committee should come to definite conclusions on the subject of the Raid, and should come to them this Session. ["Hear, hear!"] That was of consummate importance, in my opinion. It would never have done to have left the matter with which the Committee dealt hung up till next February. [Ministerial cheers.] It would have been of infinite mischief in every quarter. That was in the mind of the Committee, and nothing else. I say to this House—and I am sure they will believe me—[loud cheers]—that that was the ground upon which they acted. Now, there was also another ground. The Committee desired to report upon this matter to the House in time to give the House an opportunity to consider this matter if they desired. I have always been of opinion, and I have always wished, that the House should have every opportunity of considering this Report. I confess I am rather satisfied that, when the House comes to consider it, it is all reduced to this narrow point of Mr. Hawksley and these telegrams, with which I now propose to deal. The Committee are not challenged on any other part of the Report. These other allegations against the Committee I have already dealt with. In my opinion, to have proceeded then and there against Mr. Hawksley would have led to interminable delay. There were people, no doubt, who had it very much hi their interest to prevent a Report being presented this Session. ["Hear, hear!"] But it is quite obvious that if what is called the Rhodes group could only have thrown sufficient obstacles and delay in the way of the Committee to get rid of the Report this Session, they would have accomplished that which they desired—that is, to postpone the conclusion which this Committee has formed upon the subject of the Raid. ["Hear, hear!"] The majority of the Committee were determined that should not be the case. [Cheers.] All was subject to this. They had in their possession and before them what they regarded as the material and indispensable evidence for founding the conclusions at which they arrived. Of course the Committee could not form conclusions unless they believed the evidence they had got was sufficient as a basis for those conclusions, and the majority of the Committee did believe that they had got before them ample and sufficient materials for arriving at the conclusions which they did arrive at with regard to the knowledge of the Colonial Office. ["Hear, hear!"] Who differs from that? Not the hon. Member for Northampton. He has come to the conclusion—


On the evidence; on the evidence.


On the evidence! Yes, on the evidence. In what other way could you arrive at a conclusion? [Cheers.] Has he said that the evidence is not sufficient? Not at all. He says there may be some private persons "who may erroneously believe." But if any tribunal is to be put off from a decision because somebody, somewhere, may erroneously believe something—[laugher]—you would never have conclusive decisions arrived at by any tribunal. ["Hear, hear!"] The question is, Was there anything material left behind? What is my hon. Friend's view on this question? He first of all quotes, and very properly quotes, the answer of the Colonial Secretary upon this matter. Just let me ask the House to consider what these telegrams are, between whom they passed, and how far they were material. They passed between Dr. Harris and Mr. Rhodes. [An HON. MEMBER: "All of them?"] All—so it is stated by Mr. Hawksley, [An HON. MEMBER: "No."] Yes. I can give you the question and answer, where it is distinctly stated by Mr. Hawksley that they passed between Dr. Harris and Mr. Rhodes. Well, I must ask the House to take it from me. [Cheer.] I pledge myself that that is so—that they passed between Dr. Harris and Mr. Rhodes. Now what did Mr. Rhodes say? He was asked, Have you stated to anyone, directly or indirectly, that Mr. Chamberlain knew anything regarding this matter? He replied, "No, I am sure I have not." Now, mark, these were telegrams sent by Dr. Harris, which, it is surmised, informed Mr. Rhodes that Mr. Chamberlain did know, and that it was communicated to other people by Mr. Rhodes. Now it is distinctly stated by Mr. Rhodes that he never said so to anybody. ["Hear, hear!"] Very well. So much for Mr. Rhodes. Next as to Dr. Harris, it is supposed, surmised, that these telegrams contained something suggesting that the Colonial Secretary had knowledge. Well, we saw a good many of those telegrams. It is said that we conspired to keep these telegrams back. Why, the fact that these telegrams were accessible at all depended on the fact that, I think in October last, I wrote to the Chairman of the Committee, then and there to give notice to the telegraph company to keep back these telegrams so that they might be available to the Committee next year. And yet we are charged with conspiring together on the Committee to keep back this evidence. Why, Sir, I am ashamed even to be called upon to refute such a suggestion. [Loud cheers.] What is the hon. Member for Northampton's view of this question? He says: — It seems, therefore, probable that Dr. Harris, either acting in collusion with Mr. Rhodes according to a predetermined arrangement, or acting on his own initiative, did send Mr. Rhodes cablegrams utterly inconsistent with the facts that they purported to relate, and designed to convey the impression to all to whom Mr. Rhodes might show them that the Colonial Office was more or less privy to his designs; and that this course was followed by Miss Flora Shaw when she succeeded him as Mr. Rhodes's confidential agent in London. That is my hon. Friend's version of what was done by Dr. Harris and Mr. Rhodes. Then he goes on:— Whatever may have been his precise object, and whoever may have been the person for whose benefit the cablegrams were submitted to the Colonial Office, it failed, because Mr. Chamberlain declined to yield to this blackmailing attempt upon him. These are the words of my hon. Friend, not mine. He suggests that Dr. Harris and Mr. Rhodes combined together by false telegrams to blackmail Mr. Chamberlain, and menaced the publication of the telegrams. That is to say, the Colonial Secretary, being "blackmailed"—according to the hon. Member for Northampton—by these telegrams, refused, as every English statesman would have refused, to submit to such menaces. [Cheers.] Now that is the statement of the Member for Northampton. He says that Dr. Harris was reduced to either admit that he sent these telegrams without foundation or else to maintain that in conversation he had said something of the kind, and he said that he chose that course. Mr. Hawksley acted as solicitor for his client; and his action, though not to be commended, was, to a certain extent, excusable; and for that of Mr. Harris in sending these imaginative telegrams, and that of Mr. Rhodes, if he was aware that they were untrue, your Committee can see no excuse. That, mark, is a Report drawn up in the absence of these telegrams which Mr. Hawksley did not produce; and, consequently, my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton found no difficulty whatever in arriving at the conclusion that suggestions, whether contained in the telegrams produced or surmised in those not produced, were untrue. The view of my hon. Friend is that they were used for blackmailing purposes, and thus he has had no difficulty in arriving at the conclusion that the Colonial Office knew nothing at all about it. [Cheers.] Then the Committee had to consider whether or not they had before them ample and sufficient and exhaustive evidence of the ignorance of the Colonial Office upon this matter. Is it true that we did not examine into this subject to the bottom? We had the very persons who sent these telegrams before us. I have read what Mr. Rhodes says. What did Dr. Harris say? He said that he made a "guarded allusion"? And did we fail to examine him upon this "guarded allusion"? No. Dr. Harris has given his account of what he alleges he said, and we have the contradiction of the Colonial Secretary and Lord Selborne, and in Committee I said—and I say it again in the House of Commons—I believed the Colonial Secretary and Lord Selborne. [Cheers.] I have no doubt at all upon the point. Then there is the interview with Mr. Fairfield, who unfortunately is dead. But I will take the answer of Dr. Harris upon the subject of Mr.Fairfield. I will read his words, because it is suggested that Mr. Fairfield knew something, and that what he knew the Colonial Secretary must have known. Dr. Harris said,— I would say this, and I wish to say it most strongly, that Mr. Fairfield was absolutely innocent of the Jameson raid, and of any preparations leading to it. That is absolutely the case within my knowledge. What could be more conclusive than that? [Cheers.] When Dr. Harris gets no farmer than what he calls "the guarded allusion" which is contradicted by the persons before whom the allusion is supposed to have been made, and when he says that Mr. Fairfield knew nothing whatever about the Jameson raid or the events leading up to it, what evidence is there against the Colonial Office? How could any telegrams have altered this matter? How could they have altered what Dr. Harris told the Committee on the subject of his communications? We have been told by the Colonial Secretary that by far the larger number of these telegrams were before the Committee, and that those that were not before the Committee were of the same character. Wherever, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said, we were able to deal with suggestions of this kind face to face with witnesses, they turned out to be absolutely unfounded. ["Hear, hear!"] Then there is Miss Flora Shaw, of whom so much has been made, and who, it was believed, had some information which compromised the Colonial Office. Miss Shaw distinctly states that she never gave any information to the Colonial Office except on one occasion, and that was after the Raid, when the news of the Raid came. She says that she could not have declared that the Colonial Office thought it desirable that the Raid should come on at once, and as she was in communication with the Colonial Office, and it might have been suposed that Dr. Harris derived information from her, she explains that she never communicated information to Dr. Harris which he could communicate as being the views of the Colonial Office. Having that evidence before us, did we not go to the bottom of the case? We had these persons before us and examined them, and obtained from them absolute contradictions of all these suggestions and rumours that have been put about, and we came to a conclusion which I venture to say any tribunal must have come to. We should have been guilty of the grossest injustice to the parties concerned, and I believe would have done great injury to public interests, if we had delayed delivering a verdict upon this portion of the subject, upon which no man on the Committee, including the hon. Member for Northampton himself, entertained any doubt whatever. But if you got these telegrams tomorrow, and if they contained all that the most malignant mind could suggest—if I found that Dr. Harris had telegraphed to Mr. Rhodes, saying "I went yesterday to Mr. Chamberlain; I told him all about it, and he approved of it altogether," and if the Colonial Secretary and Lord Selborne said that nothing of the kind took place—I, who have seen the witnesses, would believe the Colonial Sectary and Lord Selborne. [Cheers.] But if any further confirmation were wanted — which I do not want — I should find it in the conduct of the Colonial Secretary when the Raid took place. Is it possible that any man who had been a party and an accomplice in these transactions could have acted upon the spur of the moment as the Colonial Secretary acted? [Cheers.] There is no jury in the country that would believe it possible. I say that there was not the smallest ground upon which the Committee were entitled to entertain a doubt upon that subject, having regard to the character of the evidence and the character of the witnesses who were before them. These telegrams—those which were produced and those which were not produced—were all of a piece with the whole of the rest of the transactions. You remember how the letter about the women mid children was dealt with; how it was obtained upon one pretence and used for another; how the very men who were parties to these other telegrams dealt with the letter which was not to be published, which was not to be used, as the men who signed it said, except for two purposes—to deceive the Chartered Company, and to beguile the officers. All this will give you a specimen of the manner in which these men behaved. Take the case of Lord Rosmead. They go and talk with him, and then they say that they believe that if there is a revolution Lord Rosmead will act on their side. They endeavoured to deal with the Colonial Office as they endeavoured to deal with Lord Rosmead. The whole thing was of a piece from the beginning to the end. And now they go and mutter these things about to deceive the unwary. [Cheers.] They did not deceive the hon. Member for Northampton; it is not easy to deceive him. He does not believe all these suggestions, but says that there are people who erroneously do believe these things. Yes; there are many people who erroneously believe things which they have not examined into as the Committee have examined into this question. ["Hear, hear!"] But we have some right to expect the House of Commons to attach some importance to the opinions of those who have heard the evidence, who have seen the witnesses, and who have come to a conclusion. [Cheers.] The question of how Mr. Hawksley ought to be dealt with is a distinct matter, and I should be glad if there could be a distinct Resolution upon it. For the Committee to have delayed their report in order to hunt after Mr. Hawksley or Mr. Rhodes might have defeated the whole object, which was to have a conclusive report at once. For my own part, I should be perfectly willing to call upon Mr. Hawksley to give an account to the House of his contumacy towards the Committee. But as it stands, the main part of this Resolution is a censure upon the Committee of the House of Commons. There have been allegations—not indeed brought forward in this House, but bruited about in the country, in speeches and in the Press—that this Committee was actuated by some sinister motives in the course which it pursued. The Committee, I think, was an average sample of the House of Commons—[cheers]—and if the House of Commons is going to pass judgment upon that Committee, it is going to pass judgment upon itself. Is it suggested that a Committee of the House of Commons—aye, even if containing a certain polluting element gathered from the two Front Benches—[laughter]—were engaged in a plot to suppress evidence and hush up charges? In my opinion charges of that character are worthy only of disdain and contempt, they hardly reach a level which merits indignation. [Cheers.] I hope, at least, I shall not live to see the day when the House of Commons is prepared to declare by a majority that it does not trust the word of its statesmen, and that it has no reliance or confidence in the good faith of its Committees. [Cheers.] That will be an evil day for the House of Commons, and an evil day for the country—[cheers]—and if my hon. Friend thinks that that is the way to raise the character of Parliament or of the country in the estimation of foreign States, I confess I cannot agree with him. [Cheers.] I believe that the course taken by the Committee, which consisted, I venture to say, of men of honour and of men of experience, after a patient and painstaking and impartial inquiry, was a wise and just proceeding, and I believe it has reached conclusions which were worthy of the occasion; and I am sorry my hon. Friend the Member for Burnley should have thought it his duty to bring forward a motion which can only have the effect of weakening the authority of that Committee and of setting aside conclusions which I believe are necessary for the peace of South Africa, and which are necessary also for the vindication of the honour of this country. [Loud cheers.]

MR. LEONARD COURTNEY (Cornwall, Bodmin)

I think we shall all be glad to have heard the speeches and to have received the information of the Chancellor of the Exchequer and my right hon. Friend the Member for Monmouthshire. I am myself very glad they have taken part in the Debate, and I can only express my strong surprise that one of them did not rise to take part in the Debate immediately the hon. Member for Burnley sat down. ["Hear, hear!"] But though I am glad to have heard those speeches, and though I recognise the force of what has been urged by my right hon. Friend, I must point out to him that in his arguments he is altogether overlooking the main point of the accusation. ["Hear, hear!"] He has received the cheers of the House for declarations which have nothing to do with the Motion before the House. [Cheers.] There is no question of the honour of the Committee. There is no attempt to assail that honour. [Ministerial cries of "Oh!" and cheers.] I hope there is no Member in the House who doubts the honour of my right hon. Friend the Colonial Secretary. I acquit him. [Ministerial laughter.] I am ready to use any other word that will more amply express my faith in the Colonial Secretary as having been entirely free from any knowledge or complicity in the intentions or designs of Jameson or Rhodes in South Africa. But that is not the question. The question is not as to the honour, but as to the wisdom of the conduct, of the Committee. The question is not as to the freedom of my right hon. Friend, but whether the Committee have taken every step to make that freedom evident to all parties. They have not done that, and that is the ground on which this judgment is called for. I have been very much disappointed at the action of the Committee. I have never thought very much of Parliamentary Committees—["Oh!" and laughter]—as judicial tribunals. We are too much warped by party bias to find in the judgment of a Parliamentary Committee that which will command instantaneously our assent as a judicial tribunal. That is the reason why a great many of us opposed the reference of this inquiry to a Parliamentary Committee which could not be trusted with such an investigation; and I have always thought that a Parliamentary Committee was composed by methods which cannot command our respect when examined into. It does set two parties in opposition to one another to find out what may be concealed and to make it patent to the world. The fault of the present Committee is that they have not done so. ["Hear, hear!"] I find no fault with the Committee for not inquiring into the organisation or conduct of the Chartered Company. They had not time to do it, and it was imperative that it should be put off; but I do find fault with them because, departing altogether from customary procedure, they have left to the House the question whether the order of the House should be revived. They did not recommend to the House I heir reappointment for that purpose. Undoubtedly they pronounced incidentally a small judgment with respect to the directors at home, but they intimated that they could not undertake the work this year—they said nothing about next year—and went on to say that the Government might take the matter in hand. The Leaders on both sides thought it convenient to take away the reference put on them and remove it from the House of Commons and trust it to the Executive Government. They leave it to the House to find out why they abstain from making the recommendation that the inquiry should be resumed next Session. The fault of the Committee unfortunately is that they leave too many things to be explained—that they have not uncovered anything which might be made open. ["Hear, hear!"] Much was said about the ability and experience of the members of the Committee, and, of course, it would be very impolite on my part if I were to disparage their abilities; but let us remember how Committees are appointed. The whips on each side draw up their lists of men, and it is a natural consequence that neither side puts in these lists any person who would be troublesome to themselves. That is a great temptation, and is too often acted upon, though there are some men who cannot be shut out, having made themselves so prominent in connection with the particular subject to be inquired into that they cannot be left out. [Cries of "Oh, oh!"] Hon. Gentlemen murmur at that suggestion, but that has been the habit of the House of Commons for many years past. I have often heard it murmured against, and the House of Commons has not infrequently' taken the matter in hand and refused to sanction the appointment of a Committee so selected. One consequence of our experience may be that in grave matters of this nature we shall in future have to follow something like what was done in the Cape House of Assembly when they appointed their Committee of Inquiry, which did extraordinarily good work. They left it to Mr. Speaker himself to select a Committee of investigation. I do not want to throw additional burdens on the Chair, but it may be that, through the operation of the Committee of Selection or Mr. Speaker, we shall have to introduce into our Select Committees some element which would not be spontaneously put upon them in the way Members are now appointed. As to the ability of this Committee, I feel rather constrained to repeat an observation made, to me by an acute Judge soon after the appointment of the Committee. He looked through tire list and he said, "Good heavens! What a Committee! Two-and-a- half men on one side, and one-and-a-half on the other!" [Laughter and cries of "Name!"] Like this particular Committee, I suppress the answer to an inconvenient question. I do not inquire who the two-and-a-half men were. My right hon. Friend the Member for Monmouthshire says that this Committee has done its work completely in the investigation of the conduct of Mr. Rhodes. I am not disposed to follow him. They took up the position as it was left by the Committee of the House of Assembly. That Committee examined into the Raid as it affected the Colony, and they were able to acquit everyone in the colonial service except Mr. Rhodes, and some wretched underling whose name I do not remember and who is a person of no importance. The Cape Assembly held that the colonial servants were acquitted except those two persons. They did not know how far Mr. Rhodes was committed. They could not tell, and they could not tell what authority there was for the extraordinary telegram the London Times published. Mr. Rhodes was notified of the appointment of that Committee, and took no notice of it. Dr. Harris was invited to come and give evidence before that Committee, but he said he could not leave London, as he might be required to give evidence before the Committee here. So that the Cape Committee came necessarily to imperfect conclusions, and those were the conclusions which this Committee had to take up and complete. ["Hear, hear!"] They had to go beyond the inquiry of the Cape Committee, which investigated the matter in respect of the Colony, and to find out further what was the complicity of Mr. Rhodes or any other officers in the service of the Crown who were at all engaged in the matter. They had Mr. Rhodes before them. He came to make a clean breast of it, but he did not tell the Committee anything they did not know before. The Committee, found out things about Mr. Rhodes which other; had found out before. What were the facts? Mr. Rhodes deceived the Commissioner—there is no doubt about that. He deceived his own colleagues in the Cape Assembly. He deceived the Board of Directors, or the majority of them. He deceived even the Johannesburg plotters. He deceived up to the last moment; for when Mr. Schreiner saw him after the whole thing was discovered, he was found in a confused condition, unable to say anything except to bemoan what his unfortunate agents hail dons. Yet the very next day he was able to sent home a telegram to Miss Show telling her to see my right hon. Friend. He was able to remonstrate with the High Commissioner on his proclamation. He deceived everyone, from first to last. [Opposition cheers.] What is the consistency of my right hon. Friend the Member for Monmouthshire who has heaped all these things on Mr. Rhodes's head—and rightly—and yet now before all the world he avows his belief in his honour and nobility? He avows his belief in the honour of this man steeped in deceit.


(who rose amidst cries of "Don't!") said: My right hon. Friend did not hear what I said—that these telegrams to which you attach such great importance. passed between two men—one Dr. Harris and the other Mr. Rhodes—and that, as we had the evidence of these two men before us it was much more important than these telegrams.


Knowing the character of the men who gave the evidence! [Opposition cheers.] You do not produce the telegrams, but you believe the statements of the men. That is the point of all that I have said, and am here now to repeat it. I admit that it is not for the Committee to recommend steps with regard to Mr. Rhodes. As we shall have no other opportunity of speaking and I would remind my right hon. Friend that we should not have had this opportunity but for unusual circumstances ["hear, hear!"]—I would remark with respect to Mr. Rhodes that he is still open to a prosecution, not only here, but in South Africa. ["Hear, hear!"] I do not dwell, but I do emphatically say that we should be wanting in our duty if some one did not support the proposal that Mr. Rhodes should be struck off the Privy Council. He has violated every canon of political ethics. I add to the last of his deceits the fact that he corrupted Sir Graham Bower and the unfortunate Newton. But it is said, "You cannot do this with regard to Mr. Rhodes on account of his name and fame in South Africa." I think that every reasonable consideration for the political situation in South Africa should urge us to do it. It is necessary that we should clear ourselves absolutely of the past. Whether he has found a valuable possession or not in Rhodesia remains to be proved. If you wish to establish the reputation of this country, if you wish to make unsullied the honour of our statesmen, you ought to show that in the judgment of this House and of this nation it is not to be tolerated that his frame should remain on the Privy Council. He may in the future atone for the past; he may possibly recover in station and office his position in South Africa. If so, the future can take care of itself. The duty now is plain for us, not merely in our regard, but in respect to developing and maintaining good feeling and reconciliation with the Boer population—it is to show to that population how little sympathy we had with this conduct, the attempt to deprive them of their liberties. It may be said that I omitted from the charges the attempt of Mr. Rhodes to levy blackmail on my right hon. Friend. It was not necessary to bring that in. It may be asked where is the evidence that he attempted blackmail. He suggested that he and my right hon. Friend consulted together and told one another things that were not in evidence.


"Blackmail" was not in our Report. [Ministerial cheers.]


The words were not there; they were in the Report of my hon. Friend opposite. [Laughter.] The Report states that Mr. Rhodes was unjustified in saying that the telegrams committed the Colonial Office, or that the office had any complicity in the Raid; and if this be in the Report it implies that he must have made the statement. What happened on February 4th? Mr. Hawksley declares in the Colonial Office that he has got smite papers, and the next day he is asked by a letter from Mr. Fairfield to send them. I admit that, except for Mr. Fairfield's letter, there is no evidence that blackmail was attempted. I was in the Colonial Office myself 15 years ago, and I knew Mr. Fairfield, and I am sure that he would have nothing to do with any such expedition. I maintain my full conviction of the innocence of my right hon. Friend up to this day; but when I look at the point of view of foreigners—I know the Chancellor of the Exchequer will not listen to foreigners—[cheers]—that is a very British way of regarding it—[renewed cheers]—I have heard it said that the judgment of foreigners is the judgment of posterity. [Laughter.] I say I believe in the entire innocence of my right hon. Friend, but I am bound to say that his own acts and the action of the Committee were calculated to encourage the suspicion of those who have not that knowledge of his character that we have. On February 4 Mr. Hawksley goes to the Colonial Office and says he has some papers, and on February 13 my right hon. Friend came here and astonished many of us by declaring his belief, after full examination of the statements of these persons, that Mr. Rhodes was on the same level of innocence with the High Commissioner and the Colonial Government. It is an extraordinary statement. He had seen Mr. Rhodes in the interval also. But we learn afterwards that there had been no conversation between my right hon. Friend and Mr. Rhodes at all. And then the foreigner—to whose opinion I direct attention as that of a person to be considered—[ironical cheers]—asks, What is the explanation of this extraordinary statement I do not know. It was most uncalled for, and I do not know what animated my right hon. Friend in making such a declaration—a declaration which we all thought was made after conversation with Mr. Rhodes. [Opposition cheers.] Then came these telegrams which Mr. Hawksley held and refused to produce. The Chancellor of the Exchequer admitted that it was unusual not to report Mr. Hawksley's refusal to the House; but said that if that had been done, the Committee could not have reported to the House, and that it was most desirable that they should report this Session. But afterwards the right hon. Gentleman said that the Report could have been given in a complete form with the exception of the reference to these telegrams. Everthing in the Report could have been reported just the same, leaving that question open if it were necessary. For my part, I do not believe that it would have been in the least degree necessary. The Chancellor of the Exchequer says that, in his judgment, the House ought to have gone for Mr. Rhodes and not for Mr. Hawksley. So we should have done if we had them both here. But it happens that Mr. Hawksley is here, and has got the telegrams that the Committee itself declared that Mr. Rhodes could have no privilege, nor Mr. Hawksley either, who was the person whom we could order to produce the telegrams and who must obey our orders. I am sure that if he had for five minutes been placed at the Bar as the wretched Kirkwood was—[laughter and cheers]—he would have produced the telegrams. Then if we had had the telegrams we should have seen what a bubble it was, and how Harris had added fabrication to fabrication. We should have seen lie upon lie—none of which would have affected my right hon. Friend—and we should have cleared our own character, and should not have shown this hesitation, timidity, and fearfulness which would not bring Hawksley to the Bar to produce the telegrams and to shame the suspicions of an evil-thinking world. [Cheers and ironical laughter.] That was an error. [Opposition cheers.] Everything you did report could have been reported. You might have had Hawksley there at the Bar even if he had not given these telegrams up, but his responses seemed to me to indicate that he only wanted pressure. But even if he had not produced them and you had to commit him to Newgate or Holloway you could have gone on with the Report. The Committee could have made this Report, reserving the other question for further investigation. Surely a great error in judgment had been committed. [Opposition cheers.] The more flimsy these accusations the more we ought to hold up the people who traded upon them to be wretched dealers in blackmail—the more necessary to have them out. It is not too late now to have them out. Let the House of Commons order Mr. Hawksley to come to the Bar and we shall then have them out, and can face the world with the consciousness that no ground of suspicion has remained unexplored, and no attack has been made which has not been met with exposure. It may be that this Resolution will be defeated by a large majority. [Ministerial cheers.] That will not affect the judgment of posterity. [Opposition cheers.] Nor will it affect my judgment. [Ironical cheers. Nor will it affect the judgment of many hundreds of thousands and millions of your fellow-countrymen here. [Opposition cheers]. Nor will it affect the judgment of those foreigners abroad—[Ministerial laughter]—of whom the Chancellor of the Exchequer speaks with British contempt. [Cheers.] These things will not be determined by the Vote of this House. That Vote is compromised, of course, by the action taken by the Committee. My right hon. Friend the Member for West Monmouth has spoken, and has used arguments how inconclusive and contradictory the House has seen. Party loyalty and the force of political association will bind some to go with him into the Lobby and commit others to a painful silence—[ironical laughter]—a silence which they will regret, and fain would be delivered from. If one has the pain of isolation, one may at least have something of its reward and freedom. I for my part shall have no, hesitation, whatever the numbers against no, in going into the Lobby in support of the Motion of the hon. Member for Burnley. [Opposition cheers and Ministerial ironical laughter.]

MR. G. WYNDHAM (Dover)

said that he would not attempt to reply to the greater part of the right lion. Gentleman's speech, as this was not the time for a panegyric of Mr. Rhodes or for an apology for him. He could not understand how the right hon. Gentleman, holding the views which he had expressed thought that the Motion before the House did not attack the honour of the Members of the Committee. He held that it did; and as a man of honour he thanked the Leader of the Opposition for having cast back that aspersion with such spirit and loyalty to his colleagues. The Committee in the Report said, "It cannot reasonably be doubted, having regard to the use already made of these telegrams, that they would have been produced if their contents could in any way have relieved Mr. Rhodes or his subordinates from the responsibility attaching to them." That was to say that Mr. Rhodes would have produced the telegrams if they could have relieved him from responsibility, no matter how mischievous the publication might have been from any point of view less mean or selfish. It was that passage which made him vote against the Report as a whole; because he felt that it was a mistake for the Committee. which had otherwise confined itself to finding of fact, to draw inferences and make imputations. [Cheers.] By their action in refusing to report Mr. Hawksley the Committee had precluded itself from drawing inferences, or from even entertaining them. Tracing what took place upon the Committee, he maintained that any one who would read the evidence and the minutes would come to the conclusion which he had arrived at—namely, that they were not forced to choose between the personal honour of the Colonial Secretary and the only other possible alternative, that Mr. Rhodes made use of these telegrams in a manner which was base, or petty, or discreditable. It was ridiculous to endeavour to fix a large and sensational importance upon the refusal by Mr. Hawksley to produce the telegrams. Why? Because the residuum Mr. Hawksley refused to produce was small, and in the opinion of the Committee insignificant and of no value whatever. Among other reasons there could not well have been in the accidental remnant of six, seven, eight, or nine telegrams, ane one of a more unfortunate character, on the face of it, than one they did get—he meant Miss Shaw's celebrated telegram: "Have reason to believe that Mr. Chamberlain wishes you to do it immediately." They had an explanation of that telegram from Miss Shaw, who, said that what she had in her mind was the insurrection at Johannesburg. He believed that was the natural explanation. He believed that to anyone in London in November 1895, and even to those persons in London like Miss Shaw and Dr. Harris who were in the confidence of Mr. Rhodes, the primary thing, the immediate thing, was the possibility of an insurrection at Johannesburg., and that the idea of the troops on the border co-operating was contingent and secondary. In the second place Miss Shaw pointed out that her telegram, however unjustifiable, was founded on a casual remark in a conversation by Mr. Fairfield to the effect that "if these people are going to revolt the sooner they do it the better." That again, was a natural explanation. For his part he found it difficult to believe, on any evidence before them, that either Dr. Harris or Miss Shaw would have done more than attempt tentatively to elicit the kind of attitude which any English Government might be supposed to take up supposing an insurrection broke out spontaneously in South. Africa. It seemed to him that when any great disaster happened we were so anxious: to hang somebody that we were not content with a simple explanation which in any other ease we would receive that there ought to be some proportion or symmetry between the catastrophe and the moral turpitude of the people who brought, it about. There was no such, necessity whatever. In Dr. Harris's evidence there was nothing which was not compatible with the view that these telegrams were the impress of a conversation referring only to the, insurrection at Johannesburg. There was nothing to show that any telegram was ever shown, to any person in South Africa with the view of leading to the impression that the Colonial Office were at the back of Mr. Rhodes. Dr. Harris had sworn that that was: not the case. When they had got to the remote ramifications of all this mystery it was found there was not the slightest tittle of evidence for the statement that they were used in South Africa at all for any such purpose. He, did not propose to make any apology for Mr. Rhodes, but apart from, that he should like to urge his reason for trusting that when, the Government did come to consider whether any punitive steps should be taken they would pause long before coming to the decision suggested in the Motion. [Cheers.] He was not actuated by any personal feeling in favour of Mr. Rhodes, but, in his opinion, whether the station of a man was high or low it was unjust to withdraw rewards from him for past services. He hoped that one effect of rejecting this Motion which contained a punitive recommendation would be to show thereby our respect for the right of the South Africans to repose in Mr. Rhodes exactly that measure of confidence which they might feel. It was for them and not for us to balance the consequences of the raid against the services which Mr. Rhodes had rendered in the past. [Cheers.]


who spoke amid loud Ministerial cries of "Divide!" said that the Chancellor of the Exchequer spoke about bubbles having been raised in connection with the Colonial Office. He pointed out that the Imperial Secretary at the Cape knew of the raid in October 1895, two months before it took place, that Mr. Newton knew of it a month before, that Dr. Harris informed Mr. Fairfield of the prepjarations for the Raid in August, and that the Colonial Secretary said that he could not deny the statement which had been made.


said explicitly that Mr. Fairfield never gave him the slightest hint that anything of the kind had taken place, and, speaking from his knowledge of Mr. Fairfield, he was perfectly certain that he would have done so. [Cheers.]


amid renewed cries of "Divide!" next, dealt with the telegrams, and asked why they should not be produced? Their production had been twice ordered, and the Colonial Secretary had insisted on their production to himself in June. This being so, it surely became the Committee to insist on their production. Why should not the House make an order for their production? These telegrams were already known to Mr. Rhodes, to Mr. Hawksley, to Dr. Harris, to the Colonial Secretary, and to others. They were known to eight people at the least, seven of whom were alive, and it could not be supposed that they would for ever be concealed. If they were to be brought to light, as some day they must, it would be far better they should be brought to light in consequence of the determination of that House. If they were to be still kept from the public ken, not merely foreigners or ill-disposed people but many others would be led to believe there was something in them that would not bear the light of day. For his part, he did not believe, that something would affect the Colonial Secretary, though it, might affect persons whom he would wish to shield. But since he had himself insisted on their production, had himself seen them, and the Committee had twice ordered their production, the country ought not to be content, until they were made public, whatever they contained. ["Hear, hear!"]

*MR. C. P. SCOTT (Lancashire, Leigh)

said a good many hon. Members on his side of the House: would think themselves bound to vote for the Motion of the hon. Member for Burnley. At the same time they had been just told by the Leader of their Party, for whom they had the greatest respect and regard—["hear, hear!"]—and to whom they would desire in all things to be loyal—that by so voting they would be understood to be casting a slur upon himself and upon the Committee. That was a painful position to put them in, and it was not altogether fair. ["Hear, hear!"] He thought this was a matter in which differences of opinion might justly exist; and he found that there were differences of opinion on the other side of the House as there were on his own side, and every man of them who went into the Lobby in favour of this Motion should have the credit of desiring to act conscientiously and with a desire to cast no slur upon anybody, least of all upon the right hon. Gentleman who was their Leader on that side of the House. ["Hear, hear!"] There was a. motive which, he thought, should determine them to cast aside any doubts and difficulties, and that was the consciousness that the credit of their country was at stake in this matter. The Chancellor of the Exchequer spoke with a good deal of contempt of the opinion of foreigners. But they could not, and they did not, stand done in the world. They were members of the great family of nations, and they could no more afford to disregard the opinion of civilised Europe than could any Member of the house of Commons afford to disregard the opinion of other men in that House. He did not say that they should shape their conduct according to the canons of other people, or according to other people's consciences. But he did say this, that as a nation we should be careful of our honour, flint we should be careful to do nothing and to leave nothing undone by which the honour and credit of this country might incur suspicion. ["Hear, hear!"] There were many things in this. Inquiry which were doubtful and which might be open to dispute; but there were some things which were admitted and he thought that even if they did not travel beyond the things which were admitted, they would find very grave reason indeed for probing this matter to the very bottom, and for leaving nothing—certainly not an essential matter of this kind—undiscovered which could be discovered. ["Hear, hear!"] It was not disputed that persons of great experience and of great responsibility had been parties to this nefarious conspiracy. It was not disputed, for instance, that Sir Graham Bower was cognisant of the intention, to make this Raid. It was not disputed, further, that being in possesion of that information, he concealed it from his official superiors. Now, Sir Graham Bower had held a high position in South Africa for a great number of years, having been for twelve years secretary to the High Commissioner. As secretary he was bound to report everything to the High Commissioner—bound both in honour and in duty. Then why did he not? The inevitable question would be asked, why did a man in that position and under an obligation of that kind fail to discharge an obvious duty? There was only one answer, and that was that Sir Graham Bower believed, and thought he had reason to believe, that the High Commissioner was cognisant of these things, and that he did not wish him to speak about them, that he wished bout to wink at them, and did not desire them to be brought too prominently before him. That was the legitimate inference, the inference that would inevitably be drawn by others, and which it was difficult for themselves to resist. The, there was the unfortunate Mr. Newton. He was in a similar position to Sir Graham Bower, only that he held a less responsible place, and therefore his case was not quite so strong. Then there were the officers of Her Majesty's Army who engaged in this Raid. Did anyone for a moment believe that those gentlemen would have risked their commissions, and that they would have entered on an enterprise—a scandalous enterprise—of this kind if they had not thought there was a power behind them that would screen them? ["Hear, hear!"] If they had not thought that there were men in the highest positions in this country who wished them to do what they were doing, although they would not order it, and that these men would shield them from the consequences? ["Hear, hear!"] He thought that was a legitimate conclusion to draw from the known facts of the case. Take even Mr. Rhodes himself. Was it credible that a man like Mr. Rhodes should have planned this scheme—and he did plan it, it was admitted that he did plan it; he was the, author of it and was a party to it up to the very last moment. Was it conceivable that a man like Mr. Rhodes, with so much at stake, should have gone into an enterprise of this kind unless he thought he had backing at home? ["Hear, hear!"] And the fact that he thought he had backing at home was shown by the telegrams, by the confidential telegram he sent to Miss Flora Shaw immediately after the Raid had taken place, in which he asked Miss Shaw to go straight—to whom?—to the Colonial Secretary. ["Hear, hear!"] He thought he had a friend in the Colonial Secretary, and he thought the Colonial Secretary could be worked upon by Miss Shaw. Whatever Mr. Rhodes might be, no one had as yet accused him of being a fool—["hear, hear!"]—and Mr. Rhodes would be a fool of the most unqualified description had be entertained a belief of this kind without having any ground whatever for it. ["Hear, hear!"] Then, what inferences might be legitimately drawn from these undisputed facts? In the first place it seemed to him they could only judge that these things were thought to be possible by persons who were not fools, by men who were not inexperienced, and who had been conversant with affairs. That in itself seemed to be a very serious matter. Indeed, the fact that persons in the position of Mr. Newton, of Her Majesty's officers in South Africa, of Sir Graham Bower—yes, and even Mr. Rhodes— that these persons should think it possible that they should receive countenance and support from the Colonial Office, or from persons in Her Majesty's Government, in an enterprise of this kind, that seemed to him a. terrible thing. Yet it was undisputed, it was patent, it was plain to all the world. And he asked whether, in the presence of these undisputed facts, they were to treat as of no account the suspicions which might arise in the minds of foreign statesmen, the suspicions which would arise in the public opinion of foreign countries? He asked whether, in the face of these facts, they ought not, at least, to prove to all the world that they had exhausted every possible means of getting at the truth, that they had shirked nothing whatsoever, that they Lad nothing to conceal, that they were determined to bring out all the facts, and that on those facts they were prepared to be judged. [Cheers.] That appeared to him to be an absolutely conclusive reason why that House should not consent to the suppression of any portion of the information, which might or might not be important, but which unquestionably would be regarded as important the more they determined to suppress it and to prevent it coming out into the light of day. But there was no need to go abroad for a sufficient motive to this course. They had their own consciences to consider as well as the opinion of foreign nations. He could not help thinking that there had been a progressive demoralisation of public sentiment and opinion in this country—["hear, hear!"]—that we should have come to this point, that such things should be possible. ["Hear, hear!"] He could not help thinking that there had been going on, and was still going on, a kind of depravation or degradation of public feeling in these matters which made it possible that the authors and abettors of public crimes of this kind should think that they had only to come to their fellow countrymen and show them just a little bit of success—a bit more territory won, huge possessions of this country made a little bit huger—and then they would at once have all their offences condoned and themselves accepted as heroes by their country. ["Hear, hear!"] It seemed a terrible thing, as he had said, that men should be prepared to stake their fortunes, character, everything, upon enterprises of this kind. And that was another reason why they should take stern and uncompromising measures to show that the British House of Commons was no party, and would be no party, to anything of this kind. [Cheers.] That, he thought, was a sufficient reason why they should make it clear to all the world that, they in that House at least would not consent to the suppression of any evidence which could even be supposed to implicate the Colonial Office. [Cheers.] Why were these telegrams not to be produced? If the House of Commons determined that they should be produced, produced they would be. He believed himself that a little suasion would be sufficient to induce the holders of these telegrams to produce them, but whether much or little suasion would be necessary the telegrams ought to be produced. Until they were produced a slur—a reflection—would be cast upon every person connected with this transaction in an official capacity. There was no one who believed more confidently than he did that the Colonial Secretary was incapable of connecting himself with a crime of this sort, but unless these telegrams were produced a slur would undoubtedly rest upon the right lion. Gentleman and his Department, andthrough them upon the Government and the nation as a whole.

On the return of Mr. SPEAKER, after the usual interval,


moved an Amendment:— That this House regrets the inconclusive action and Report of the Select Committee on British South Africa, and especially the failure of that Committee to recommend specific steps with regard to Mr. Rhodes and to immediately report to this House the refusal of Mr. Hawksley to obey the order of the Committee to produce copies of certain telegrams, which Le admitted were in his possession, awl which he had already submitted to the Secretary of State for the Colonies at his request in July 1896. The only part of the speech of the hon. Member for Bodmin which he regretted to hear, was his censure of the Select Committee. One thing to which they all objected was intellectual arrogance. [Cheers and laughter.] They were all, or some of them, humble men, and he saw no reason why distinctions should be drawn between one Member and another. The Committee was a very fair representation of the general character of the House. As to Mr. Hawksley and the telegrams, they could obtain them by a process well known to the House. He could not see that the right hon. Gentleman could justify the failure of the Committee to report Mr. Hawksley to the House. Until the House had taken a step always taken in any step of importance, a step well known and recognised, it really was not free from imputation in the matter. It was all very well to say nobody cared twopence about these telegrams. The House had not seen them, and it was impossible to say whether they were of importance or not. At all events, they were thought of sufficient importance by the Committee to call upon Mr. Hawksley to produce them. He saw no reason why the ordinary procedure should not be set in motion in this case. There were letters and telegrams which were in Mr. Hawksley's possession. It was astonishing the number of persons one met who seemed to be conversant of their contents. You meet people who wag their heads and give you to understand that if they have not actually seen those telegrams they are acquainted with their contents. Without desiring to reflect upon any one, he did not approve of the conduct of persons who, having in their hands documents which they refused to give up, nevertheless availed themselves of the opportunity of dropping hints and innuendoes of what was contained in them. The House was entitled to see those documents. All the insinuations and innuendoes which were going about ought to be put a stop to, and could ho put a stop to, indeed, none of this talk would ever have taken place if this Committee had adhered to precedent—to iron rule and sacred precedent which saved a great deal of trouble. What reason was there in this case to depart from the ordinary rule which requires a witness summoned to produce documents relating to the matter in question when called upon to do so, and punishes him if he contumaciously declines? He begged to move the Amendment which stood in his name.


seconded the Amendment. If the Motion were to stand in its present form, the House would be foolish to allow themselves to be drawn to vote for a general condemnation of the Committee simply because they had made a mistake in some secondary matter. There was not a tittle of evidence to support the primary charge that the Report was inconclusive. The Member for Burnley had produced no evidence of the kind, and the hon. Member for Northampton had by his own action shown that the charge was not true. The hon. Member had produced a Report which was a more conclusive one than the Report of the Committee. No one who had spoken, not, even the Aristides of the House of Commons, had given any evidence of this general charge. They must observe some proportion and therefore Members on the Opposition side must decline to vote for a Motion which was a condemnation of the Committee for which no evidence had been produced. He had had some difficulty in making up his mind because he knew that amongst many people there had been a dramatic contrast which had driven home a serious lesson. They had had Mr. Kirkwood at the Bar. It seemed as if this House would drag weak men but was afraid to drag strong ones, and therefore for the credit of the House of Commons, no matter what the telegrams contained, and for the credit of the Committee, whose authority had been flaunted, he hoped the Amendment would be carried.


I do not propose to address the House upon the particular question of policy which has occupied our attention during the evening.. I shall confine my observations to the actual question of procedure which is now immediately before the House. The suggestion of the hon. Member for Fife is that the first paragraph of the Resolution should be withdrawn, and that the House should be asked to come to a decision on the second paragraph. It may be within the recollection of the House that at Question time I put a point of Order to you, Mr. Speaker, and the result of your ruling was that the whole Resolution is to be put as one Motion, and not as two a form which might have been suggested by the duplicate paragraph which appears on the Paper. I would point out to the hon. Member that in one sense he is running counter to the policy accepted by the House. But there is a much stronger reason against the suggestion of the hon. Member. The first paragraph contains a Vote of Censure on the Select Committee, which was modestly described by the Leader of the Opposition as being fairly representative of the average of the House, but which was, as a matter of fact, one of the strongest and most representative Committees ever appointed in this House. ["Hear, hear!"] The proposal of the hon. Member who moved the Amendment is that the Vote of Censure upon this Committee should be withdrawn without the opinion of the House being taken upon it. That is a procedure to which we cannot give our sanction. [Cheers.] The challenge has been thrown down, not by our wish, but against it. I hold the opinion, which I have always held, that no great public object was to be served by this discussion, and that the House would do well, without further discussion, to accept the verdict of the Committee. But it has been otherwise ordained. There was a strong feeling that there should be a discussion. Gentlemen on the other side of the House insisted that this challenge should be thrown down, and all I say, on behalf of my colleagues and myself, is that, they having insisted on throwing it down, we must take it up and insist that the House shall come to a decision upon it. [Cheers.] The hon. Member who has moved the Amendment will feel that our view on this subject is a reasonable view, and that in the interests of the Committee we have no right to withdraw from the verdict of the House the accusation which has been brought forward by the hon. Gentleman below the Gangway. [Cheers.] Therefore, as far as in me lies, I shall insist. that before this subject leaves the House the House shall give a verdict as to whether they are or are not prepared to accept the Motion which, after due deliberation, the hon. Member for Burnley has placed upon the Order Paper. [Cheers.]


I cannot agree with the right hon. Gentleman that the Amendment of my hon. Friend withdraws the proposal from the consideration of the House. The Amendment of my hon. Friend is to negative, quite as much as any other form of Motion, the proposal of censure on the Committee. [Cheers.] The way in which the question will be put from the Chair is that the first part—that is to say, the whole of the Motion which contains the censure of the Committee—shall be left out. Therefore the question of censure will be put fairly and straightly to the House, and the House will be able to negative it.


No; that is withdrawing it.


No; it is to negative it. The words can only be withdrawn by the consent of the House. When you propose to strike out words you negative them. With that proposal all the Members of the Committee will be satisfied. The, other question is whether, apart from the general Report of the Committee, Mr. Hawksley's contumacy having been reported to the House, the House should proceed on that Report. That is a totally distinct question, which never ought to have been mixed up with the other. The question is, whether the Report of the Committee—a part of which is the report of Mr. Hawksley's contumacy—is to be sustained. It will be for the House, when they take into consideration that Report, to decide what shall be done. If the majority of the House is agreed to deprecate the censure on the Committee, and to support the Report generally, they will vote for the Motion of my hon. Friend. [Cheers.]


I very much agree with the view of the right hon. Gentleman that the last sentence of this Motion should never have been included in the Motion itself. But that was not our doing. [Cheers.] It was the doing of the hon. Member for Burnley, as the right hon. Gentleman carefully explained to the House in the extremely able speech which he addressed to us earlier in the evening. But what we are now asked to do presents itself to me in a very different, light from that in which it presents itself to the right hon. Gentleman. He has said that all the members of the Committee might be satisfied if the procedure which has been recommended by the hon. Member for Fife were adopted by the House. I do not agree with that. [Cheers.] I for one shall not be satisfied. [Renewed cheers.] I have served with great trouble and sacrifice to myself and with great reluctance on this Committee.; and I have a right to insist that this House, shall pronounce, Aye or No, upon this Vote of Censure. [Cheers.] What are the terms in which the question will be put to us? That the first part of this Motion stand part of the question. If the House decide that it shall not stand part of the question, is that really an expression of Aye or No on the Vote of Censure? [Cheers.] No more than if the previous question had been moved. Such a vote passes it by, and leaves it on the other side. If I stood alone:, as a member of this Committee I should divide against this Motion. [Loud cheers.]

*MR. C. J. DARLING (Deptford)

said that it was, impossible to disconnect the Amendment Irma the desire of hon. Members opposite to cut this Motion into two parts, as some of them would have a, difficulty in voting for the whole of it. The ruling of the Speaker put an end to that manœuvre—[cheers]—thereupon this Amendment was brought forward and received with the most suspicious friendliness by the right, hon. Member for West Monmouth.


My Amendment had not the sanction of the Leader of the Opposition. He did not see it.


I do not know what the hon. and learned Member means by saying that it is "suspicious." If be means to state that I ever suggested or had anything to do with the original division of this Motion, or have supported the Amendment for any such purpose as the hon. and learned Member has, insinuated, I here contradict him in his presence. [Cheers.]


said that he (lid not for a moment suppose that the right hon. Gentleman had been consulted by the hon. Member for Burnley or the hon. Member for Northampton. [Laughter.] Nor did he suppose that the right hon. Gentleman had any hand in drawing this Amendment What he meant by "suspicious friendliness" were the cheers of those who had been embarrassed by the original Motion. It was obvious that there were a number of Gentlemen opposite who did not know which Leader to follow; they were embarrassed by so many. [Laughter.] They were like the people on some frontiers, who owed two allegiances. The right hon. Member for Bodmin thought that there was something in the telegrams. [Mr. COURTNEY: "No, no!"] Well, that they ought to be produced to satisfy the people of Colney Hatch. ["Oh, oh!"] No reasonable person believed that they would add anything to their knowledge of the situation. The hon. Member for West Fife asked, if they did not contain anything valuable, why were they called for? He could not tell the hon. Member, but in Courts of Law it had often been noticed that documents which were most loudly called for, and whose production was most strenuously resisted, turned out when produced to be immaterial. He pointed out that the House was being asked to summon to the Bar the weakest man of the party, the solicitor to whom these documents had been confided, and in whose hands as a man of honour they were believed to be sacred. Even if the House sent Mr. Hawksley to Holloway he could only be confined until August 7.


Later than that if the Debate goes on. [Laughter.]


said that at any rate when the House rose Mr. Hawksley could come out without having produced the telegrams. How would that add to the prestige and the dignity of the House? How would that make the foreigner more disposed to respect us than at present?

*MR. HEDDERWICK (Wick Burghs)

said the Debate was a monstrous futility. Instead of allaying, its only effect would be to deepen the public dissatisfaction that was alleged to exist. The Motion was based on the assumption that because the telegrams had not been produced they must necessarily contain some profound mystery—a mystery of so profound and perilous a nature that the Colonial Secretary was prepared to risk his reputation, rather than see the telegrams produced. It also assumed that the secret had been communicated to the Front Opposition Bench in confidence. Surely the hon. Member for Burnley could not be so simple as to suppose, even if these assumptions had any foundation in fact, that the Colonial Secretary could be induced to purge his bosom of this perilous stuff, or that the Front Opposition Bench would be led to commit a breach of confidence upon such provocation? Nothing was to be gained by the Debate beyond inciting the public to continue to discuss this matter and to harbour the suspicions to which the hon. Member for Burnley had lent expression. The Committee the Motion proposed to censure was composed of men of the most distinguished ability and the most stainless reputation in the House. He denied that the Report was inconclusive, and showed that on the Government and not on the Committee lay the responsibility of punishing Mr. Rhodes. He maintained that Mr. Hawksley was right in the course he had adopted. The telegrams did not belong to Mr. Hawksley, but to Mr. Rhodes. A question higher than one merely of professional privilege was involved; it was a question of honour; and as the telegrams were confided to Mr. Hawksley he did right in withholding them. If Mr. Hawksley were called to the Bar of the House he would still be right in declining to produce them. If any fault were to be found with the Committee it was for not having recalled Mr. Rhodes in, order to get these telegrams. But they were told by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the right hon. Member for Monmouthshire that if they had done so it would have involved keeping the investigation open possibly till next January; and, in the interest of the State, which was a consideration of greater moment than any other in issue, it was of infinitely greater consequence that peace should be promptly restored in South Africa than that we should have Mr. Rhodes over here or Mr. Hawksley summoned merely to answer at the Bar of the House and still to decline—as he would have been entitled to decline as a man of honour—to produce telegrams whose importance had been exploded by testimony which could not be disputed. For these reasons he should vote against the Amendment.


said his right hon. Friend, the Member for Monmouthshire asked them to vote for the Amendment because, he said, as it stood on the Paper it was mixed up with a different matter. Well, he did not see that they on the Government side of the House were responsible for Radical mixtures. [Laughter.] Nobody could ever have imagined that his right hon. Friend opposite would have anything to say to the Amendment. At the same time, he was extremely glad that his right hon. Friend on the Treasury Bench would not accept it, because if it were carried it would be a misfortune, for it would be a slap in the face to one of the most important Committees ever appointed by the House of Commons in modern times. ["Hear, hear!"] He could not quite agree with his right hon. Friend the Leader of the House that it was an unfortunate thing to have had this Debate. He thought it was a most fortunate thing, for the Debate would have the effect of explaining the situation clearly to the British people—he didn't very much care what other people thought about it—[cheers]; but he thought the people of this country, when they read the exhaustive reports of this Debate would thoroughly understand the question and would have sound reason for their final judgment. With regard to the speech of his right hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin, eloquent and able as all his speeches were, he could only say that he was sorry he did not sit on the other side. [Opposition cheers.] The reason why he regretted it was because, if he did sit on the other side, he should he almost sure that he would vote in the same Lobby with himself. [Laughter.] Years gone by his right hon. Friend, when he occupied a very distinguished position in that House—[cheers]—had sometimes the sad necessity of calling him to order, though he never thought it was deserved. [Laughter.] He rather thought that on the present occasion the right hon. Gentleman was consoling himself for those moments of forced inactivity by pouring out a long series of sentences and using terms which, had he himself used them in years gone, would certainly have caused the right hon. Gentleman to order him to resume his seat. [Laughter.] He had called Mr. Rhodes a liar and a deceiver, and he forgot what other epithets. There were a good many epithets in the Report, but he did not think the word "liar" was used in the Report. He did not deny for one moment that, Mr. Rhodes deceived his colleagues. Well, there were various methods of deceiving your colleagues. He did not care who it was, if a man embarked on a revolution—though he did not defend revolutions—he could not tell the man in the street of his intention. If he undertook that on his own responsibility he could not even tell his colleagues; but because Mr. Rhodes did not tell his colleagues that he intended to do this revolutionary deed, he did not think that fact necessitated or justified calling him a "liar." [Cheers.] He was not rising in his place to defend Mr. Rhodes, but there was one section of men who were engaged in this unfortunate transaction in the Transvaal for whom he did wish to say a word. This was perhaps the last opportunity they would have of speaking in that House m this unfortunate episode in the history if South Africa, and in reading, the Report of the Committee it struck him very forcibly that there were some men who were in this unfortunate affair who had been treated very hardly. He alluded to the officers employed—["hear, hear!"]—in carrying out the unhappy commands of their superiors. ["Hear, hear!"] How came it that British officers consented to cross the Transvaal border? If anyone would take the trouble—as, of course, every Member of that House had done—to read the Report of the Committee, he must see that Dr. Jameson felt there would be great difficulty in inducing British officers to cross the Transvaal frontier, and he therefore telegraphed to Mr. Rhodes—he wished to call special attention to this he telegraphed to Mr. Rhodes on the 7th of December, 1895, to the following effect: "If they don't—" that was to say, speaking about Johannesburg, if they did not rise, he meant— "we will make our own floatation with the help of letter which I will publish." Now, what did that mean? It meant that, had it not been for this letter, which was kept in the pockets of Mr. Rhodes's friends for a considerable time, and for which, he thought, there was no shadow of an excuse—["hear, hear!" from both sides of the House]—had it not been for the fact that that letter was published by Dr. Jameson and read to those officers and soldiers, not a man would have crossed the frontier. ["Hear, hear!"] Dr. Jameson's reading of that letter, to his mind, palliated their offence to a great extent. Of course, they all knew that crossing the frontier of a friendly State, arms in hand, was contrary to international law. But there were circumstances which would have justified an Englishman in crossing the frontier with arms in his hands; and had it been the fact that English men and English women were in peril of their lives at Johannesburg the voice of the English nation would have condoned the action these men.[Cheers.] They had every reason to believe, and he firmly believed, that when these officers heard the letter read by Dr. Jameson they believed it was a fact, and that they crossed the frontier under the impression and the conviction that they were going to assist fellow-countrymen and fellow countrywomen who were in danger. ["Hear, hear!"] It turned out that they were misinformed. He did not, as he had said attempt to defend the action of Mr. Rhodes or Dr. Jameson. What he wanted to point out to the House was this—that if it was felt by this country that it would be unnecessary and inadvisable to further punish Mr. Rhodes, in fairplay and justice they ought not to punish severely the officers who, under a mistaken sense of duty, obeyed commands that were given them by their superiors. ["Hear, hear!"] With regard to Mr. Rhodes, he thought the opinion of this country was pretty well formed. They had to consider, first of all, against whom Mr. Rhodes sinned, for, after all, Dr. Jameson was but a. subordinate. Mr. Rhodes had the honesty and the candour to state that he accepted the responsibility of the whole affair—he never attempted to deny it. Mr. Rhodes would be judged by this country. Whom did he sin against? He supposed that he sinned against the Transvaal, but in an infinitely greater degree he sinned against this country, which, he sincerely believed, he himself desired to serve by what he was doing. As to the sin committed against the Transvaal by Mr. Rhodes and Dr. Jameson, he thought that if the people of the Transvaal had any sense of gratitude they would raise a statue in honour of Dr. Jameson in Johannesburg, for since the Raid they had been able to arm themselves to the teeth without interference on our part. Had it not been for the Raid—


Order, order! The hon. and gallant Member is referring to the general question of South African affairs, and is going beyond the question before the House.


said that, although previous speakers had referred to this phase of the question, he would, of course, submit to the Speaker's ruling. Mr. Rhodes having sinned against this country, the country had a right to judge him, and he ventured to say that the judgment of the country would correspond mainly with the judgment of that House. Not a soul in that House had ever attempted to get up and defend the Raid. He did not believe there was a man in England or Scotland who would defend it—or even in Ireland—[laughter]—although it struck him sometimes as rather extraordinary that Irishmen, who were themselves the authors of revolution, had always taken the side opposed to Mr. Rhodes, who proposed to upset the most despotic government of modern times. ["Oh!"] But let that pass. The country would judge Mr. Rhodes, and he ventured to say that the judgment of this country was, and would be, very clear and distinct. They condemned Mr. Rhodes's action in crossing the frontier; hut in weighing his sin against the State against the great benefits he had conferred upon the nation, he ventured to say that the nation, the British people as a whole, had forgiven him. ["Hear, hear!"] They had a perfect right to forgive him, and he believed that the Vote of the House of Commons that night, although it would have no effect in condoning Mr. Rhodes's action, would, at any rate, coincide with the opinion of the vast majority of the British people in refusing—as hon. Gentlemen opposite desired—to give some further mark of their condemnation of his conduct. But at the same time he hoped Her Majesty's Government would see the justice of this —that if nothing further was to be done for the punishment of Mr. Rhodes, it was only fairplay to demand and to consent that the commissions of those officers should be returned to men who had been turned out of Her Majesty's service for obeying what they believed to be the lawful commands of their superiors. [Cheers.] He condemned the action of Mr. Rhodes in connection with the Raid, which was unwarranted, and he would go as far as to say despicable, but he was glad to believe that the inquiry which had been held had blown to the winds the accusations levelled against Mr. Rhodes and his friends of meanness, corruption, and stock jobbing. ["Hear, hear!"] That the constitution of the Committee was absolutely fair was proved by the presence upon it of the hon. Member for Northampton. That hon. Member, after making accusations of stock jobbing, apologised and withdrew what he had said. ["Hear, hear!"] The great benefit resulting from the Committee's appointment was that it had disposed of these accusations of sordidness.


wished to explain that what he withdrew was the I charge that Mr. Harris had been engaged in certain stock jobbing operations; but he had stated, and still thought, that Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Beit were actuated by stockjobbing motives—he meant that they brought out a company, that they gave themselves a vast number of shares, and sold these shares upon the Stock Exchange. He was quite ready to meet an action brought by either of the gentlemen in question and to justify his allegations. ["Hear, hear!"]


said that, whatever mistakes Mr. Rhodes had committed, the opinion of the country would be that they had not been committed from sordid motives. ["Hear, hear!"] Mr. Rhodes had undertaken a foolish and idiotic scheme of invasion; but what he had done in the past in preventing another nation from stepping in between us and the Zambesi in South Africa would be remembered to his great credit long after his puny antagonists had been forgotten. [Cheers.]


thought that the most remarkable speech which had been heard that evening was that delivered by the right hon. Member for Bodmin. He was an old friend and admirer of the right hon. Gentleman, and had sat at his feet even before the right hon. Gentleman entered that House, but: even in his discipular relations with the right hon. Gentleman he had never heard him say so many things with which he so completely disagreed. [Laughter.] The right hon. Gentleman, to begin with, found much fault with the composition of the Committee. As an humble member of the Committee he was quite aware it was not composed so will as it might have been if one hon. Member had been upon it. ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.] He did not imagine himself to come within the scathing rejection of his right hon. Friend, because he was a member of the Committee in his capacity as a Scotch Member, being the only representative of that nationality. His right hon. Friend was anxious above all for two things. He was determined that Mr. Rhodes should be condemned and punished, and was therefore going to vote for a resolution which did not rocommend any punishment for Mr. Rhodes, but censured a Committee which had already strongly condemned him. ["Hear, hear!"] His right hon. Friend also wished to clear the country in the eyes of foreigners; yet he voted for a resolution which could only mean censure on a Committee which condemned, and would be understood by the world as having condemned the Raid and Mr. Rhodes and its other authors. [Hear, hear!"] His right hon. Friend voted for this censure of the Committee because they did not bring Mr. Hawksley to the bar of the House, a technical proceeding which no foreigner would understand. [Cheers.] So small a point, as that outweighed, in the mind of his right hon. Friend, the whole force and value of the almost unanimous reprobation of Mr. Rhodes. ["Hear, hear."] But his right hon. Friend was an old Parliamentary hand and skilled in Parliamentary tactics. What were his tactics? He read into the resolution au anti-Rhodes meaning winch it did not contain, and he loudly proclaimed that he would vote fur it, however small the number of his associates, not seeing that in such a case the effect on the mind of the world and the mind of the public at home, if the Motion were rejected, would be to rehabilitate Mr. Rhodes and set him up again on the pedestal from which the report of the Committee removed him. ["Hear, hear!"] This resolution condemned the Committee because it had not gone over the whole ground and had omitted to deal with the future of the Chartered territory. If the Committee had had the power of stopping the lapse of time or other miraculous attributes, they might have gone over the whole subject in one Session; but it was perfectly obvious from the first that they could not, and clearly the first thing to do was to dispose of the past before they touched the future—to satisfy the country as to the nature and circumstances and authors of the Raid. ["Hear, hear!"] If they were told they were remiss in not pushing questions as they ought to have been pushed, he did not think the Committee was open to that accusation, seeing that through the whole inquiry they had the advantage or assistance of his hon. and learned Friend the Member for Longford and the hon. Member for Northampton, who did not agree with them now in all respects, but who took a leading part in the inquiry—one a lawyer of large practice and experience, and the other having a world-wide reputation for his accomplishment in the art of following up a track. ["Hear, hear!" and laughter.] What did the Committee accomplish with regard to the question of the Raid? They exposed the whole story, the manufactured revolution, the lavish expenditure, with such futile results, and the ludicrous but inevitable collapse. They showed how from first to last it was the creation of Mr. Rhodes and his friends, and how shallow were the pretences by which it was sought to hoodwink British feeling. It must be obvious to every one that, apart from priority of date, it was necessary to go thoroughly into this inquiry for the reason that the very men implicated were the men chiefly concerned in the administration of the Chartered Company. It was therefore clearly their duty first of all to ascertain what manner of men they were by the past conduct of their proceedings. As to the second part of the Inquiry his hon. Friend made a point of saying that the Committee did not recommend its reappointment in another Session. He did not know what particular meaning was attached to the omission of these particular words, but there was one fact clearly before their minds, that already that part of South Africa had been hung up in the matter of administration for a year and a half. ["Hear, hear!"] It was perfectly impossible unit that state of things should be continued. They considered that the chances were greatly in favour of this—that before next Session the Government would nave to take some step or other. ["Hear, hear!"] Under these circumstances it would have been hypocritical to have ignored that fact and talked of the reappointment of the Committee as if nothing might happen in the meantime. The function of the Committee, it seemed to him, was to assist the Government and inform it, but not supersede the Government. For these reasons he would have been disposed to object to the insertion of the usual words. He would not say much as to what should be done to mark the condemnation of the conduct of Mr. Rhodes. While it was their duty to pronounce their opinion of Mr. Rhodes, the duty of say- ing what should be done with him rested with the Government, who had to take into view not only what retributive justice might require, but who had to consider what public opinion would support and what was most expedient in the interests of peace and harmony among the people of South Africa. [Cheers.] As to the telegrams, the reason why there had been so much interest taken in them was the idea, so much engendered by anonymous writers in the Press—["hear, hear!"]—that they would show that a conspiracy had been entered into to shelter the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary. That was the plain English of it. Though repudiated by nearly all the speakers, that was the idea on which the Resolution was based. "Hear, hear"] He could only speak or himself, but he knew he spoke for all the other Members. He had heard of mysterious messages, secret meetings, and so on. He had received no communication: he had entered into no conclusion; no particular consideration had been urged upon him; and if he acquiesced in delay in the production of these telegrams, it was simply because of his desire to fulfil as well as he could the injunctions of the House. ["Hear, hear!"] As to not reporting Mr. Hawksley, how did the matter stand? They had the Colonial Secretary coming into the Chair, and on his oath declaring that he had no part in any connivance with or cognizance of the scheme of Mr. Rhodes. He introduced the words "on oath" not to add force to the word of the Colonial Secretary, but, surely it added to it something of solemnity. And besides him they had heard Lord Selborne, who seemed to be admitted to a familiarity and an intimacy with all high matters not usually enjoyed by Under Secretaries. [Laughter and Mr. CHAMBERLAIN: "Hear, heat!"] He completely corroborated the Colonial Secretary. They might very well have stopped there, but they had other witnesses. What had they against all this? Certain telegrams. They had a large set of telegrams quite as confidential as these. It was a remarkable fact that in the series of telegrams which were recovered there were contained a great number of those which were shown to the right hon. Gentleman. Then they had the telegrams sent or received by Miss Flora Shaw. What was the nature of these telegrams? There were many awkward expressions in them at first sight, but every one of them melted away at the first inquiry. They were telegrams from A to B about C. ["Hear, hear!"] He was not a lawyer or the son of a lawyer, but he was under the impression that that was not regarded as evidence of any worth. The telegram containing the strongest expression in the whole number was that from Miss Shaw, in which she said that Mr. Chamberlain was sound, and that she had special reason to know that he wished the thing done immediately. When the Committee came to inquire into it, what were they told? That there was no special reason whatever for the phrase "special reason," that it was only adopted because it was difficult to find any other code word which would have expressed the word "probable" or "likely," or "in my opinion," or anything of that sort. If there was any special reason at all, it was said to be—and this was said calmly and with a grave face—a casual expression used in the course of conversation by Mr. Fairfield, expressing evidently a sort of cynical impatience of the whole thing, and probably couched in words such as these: "Well, I only wish, if they are going to do it, they would look sharp about it." And this was deliberately sent out to Mr. Rhodes at the Cape as being the special reason for knowing there was anxiety on the part of the right hon. Gentleman. One forgave the lady who sent it in consideration of her zeal and excited temperament, apparently, and from the fact that she probably and certainly did not realise the very pointed meaning which such an expression would have when received in South Africa. [Cheers.] That was a sample—and the very worst sample of all the expressions used. What reason had the Committee to believe that these missing telegrams would be in any degree different from those? He did not blame Mr. Hawksley, but behind Mr. Hawksley was Mr. Rhodes, and as these telegrams had been used for the purpose of intimidating one public Department after another, was it not likely also that they might be used, or their delay might be used, and the difficulty about them might be used, to stave off the publication of a damning Report of the Committee of the House of Commons? There was one general fact which had escaped notice, and that was hat the Colonial Secretary a few days after he had seen the letters himself, in an official letter in which he returned them, directed this to he stated, that "he himself had no personal objection whatever to their publication." Therefore, in those circumstances, it seemed o the Committee that it was most undesirable to wait any further. The best way to defeat the machinations of those who withheld the telegrams was to go on with the Report, notwithstanding that they had not received them. But he said at the time that of course they should report the circumstance to the House, leaving it with the House to determine whether this continuous refusal should not be permitted, and should be visited with reprobation, and whether at the same time it might not be desirable that any lurking uneasiness in the public mind should be removed even though they themselves believed there was no real justification in the documents themselves for that uneasiness. That was the whole plain story about these mysterious documents, and he was quite content to leave it to the judgment of all reasonable and honourable men. [Cheers.] And now a word with regard to the graver question of the policy to be pursued in future. Surely Parliament and Her Majesty's Government had learnt a lesson from what had occurred. [Cheers.] The Government must have learnt how dangerous it was to intrust the administration of a great territory to a trading company—[Opposition cheers]—or rather not to a trading company, but to a speculative financial company—[renewed cheers]—with administrative powers. They had learnt how readily such powers might be abused, and how necessary wag the close supervision of the impartial Imperial authority. They had learnt to see, more and more clearly, that the only hope of peace and prosperity in South Africa was not in the aggravation, but in the extirpation of that miserable spirit of enmity and jealousy which had too much prevailed among the races, and in using the various gifts, qualities, and powers of those races for the common welfare of the country in which they resided. [Cheers.]


, who was received with loud cheers, said: I hope that the House will now be prepared to bring this discussion to a close. But I have felt that if I were to remain silent—although I do not think I can add much, to what has been said by right hon. Gentlemen and colleagues of mine on the Committee on each side of the House—my silence might be misconstrued. Therefore, I ask the House to bear with me while I say a few words on the question. I ought in the first place to bear testimony—which I do most heartily—to the loyalty with which the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition, and the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, have supported the decisions of the Committee—[cheers]—decisions in which we entirely concurred, and which I believe were taken absolutely independently of any Party feeling, and entirely with a view to the great interests which are at stake. ["Hear, hear!"] For myself, I have felt disinclined to take part in this discussion, because I did not believe that it was my special business to defend the decisions of the Committee, although, of course, I share responsibility for them with all my colleagues. But, as the House well knows, I did not myself think that a Parliamentary Committee was the best tribunal for deciding, at all events, the first branch of the Inquiry. The hon. Member for Burnley referred to statements which I had made on this subject, but they were not complete. What I did say to the House in the early stages of this business was that it was desirable that we should in the first instance decide what, was the nature of the Inquiry which, we desired to undertake. If it were to be an Inquiry into the administration of Rhodesia, probably a Parliamentary Committee, based upon the precedent of the Committees on the government of India, would be the best form of Inquiry. If, on the contrary, it was an Inquiry into the Raid of the nature of a judicial Inquiry, in my opinion a judicial commission would be the best form for that Inquiry to take. But that view was not shared by the Opposition, and the Government and I myself very willingly yielded to the, opinion of the Opposition, because throughout this business, from beginning to end, I have, been impressed with the importance, in the public interest, and in view of what might be said abroad as well as at home, that the decisions of the House of Commons should not be Party decisions. ["Hear, hear!"] That was my first view, and I am bound to say that the experience of the Committee amply justifies my ground. I have come to she conclusion that a, Parliamentary Committee is the worst possible tribunal for discussing a, matter which ought to be he subject of judicial investigation. We have no control over our Members or over the Press; our proceedings are published, and not merely our proceedings but comments are daily made upon our proceedings; attacks are made upon witnesses before the Committee, and upon hose who are to come before the Committee, and we have no power to stop them, while a judicial tribunal would put an end to them immediately. [Cheers.] Under those circumstances I think that the inquiry of the Committee has been considerably embarrassed by the nature of the tribunal. But I have another reason for not coming forward, in the first instance, at any rate, to defend the decisions of the Committee. When the Committee was appointed I did not myself desire to be a member of it. But again I bowed to the right hon. Gentleman opposite, and to other Members of the Opposition, who thought that in my official position I could give assistance to the Committee, and therefore urged upon me that it was my duty to join. In deference to their views I sat upon the Committee. But the moment I found on that Committee that I was there not merely as a judge but also as a witness, and almost in the, position of a defendant, of course my hands were to a considerable extent tied; and I felt that it would be my duty to accept the decision of the majority of my colleagues rather than to influence them in any way. For my part I can say this—and hon. and right hon. Gentlemen will bear me out—I never objected to the continuance of the Inquiry, or to any part of the Inquiry, or to any form of the Inquiry. I was prepared to go on as long as they were unsatisfied, or felt that there was anything further to be inquired into. But whenever they expressed themselves satisfied, I did not feel that it was necessary for me, or competent for me, to press the Inquiry further. The House of Commons is a generous and fair-minded Assembly; and I think I am entitled to ask their sympathy in the position in which I have been for nearly 18 months now. [Loud cheers.] I have been placed in charge of a most important department at a most important time. Every moment, during the last 18 months, all my available time has been taken up in considering those difficult and complicated questions which have arisen in South Africa. I have had to negotiate with the Government of the Transvaal and to consider the position of this country in connection with other countries. During the whole of that time, in all my negotiations and in everything, I have been embarrassed, hampered, and burdened by all that is connected with this Inquiry—by the rumours which have been in the air, by the charges which have been made, not indeed by any responsible persons, but which have been perpetually repeated again and again, and as soon as one has been destroyed, another has sprung up from the earth to confront me. [Cheers.] I rejoice in this discussion; and I hope that at all events from this time I may speak and deal with my work as a free man, and not be confined any longer by the necessity of considering that there are still matters to be inquired into before I can either speak or act. In the present Debate I observe—and I am thankful for the consideration—that every speaker, whether on this side of the House or the other, not only has refrained from accusing me, but has distinctly relieved me from accusation. It is true that two speakers have made qualifications—notably my right hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin—who, although he has been pleased to express his entire conviction of my innocence, still feels on my account a jealousy for; my fame—[laughter]—because some persons, unknown to me, and probably unknown to him, may still retain unpleasant views as to what I may possibly have been guilty of. [Cheers and laughter.] I am perfectly content to leave my honour to take care of itself. [Loud cheers.] It is a great satisfaction to me that my right hon. Friend, who has better means of judging of these anonymous persons as to whose judgment he is so timid, at all events relieves me from the accusation; but I do not thank him at all for suggesting that some further exculpation is required, not to convince him, but to convince these anonymous assailants. [Cheers.] My answer to these anonymous assailants is not in anything I can say. If they do not believe anything that I said before the Committee they will not believe what I say now. My answer is my action. [Loud cheers.] What happened when the Raid took place, when the suggestion was made to me that the Raid might take place? At that moment I could have no knowledge of what would be the success of the Raid. Many persons about me thought it would be successful, that the revolution in Johannesburg would be successful, and that the assistance that would come to it would add to its, success. I had before me what is now known as the "women and children letter," which expressed the fear that English women and children were in danger in Johannesburg. I had no reason whatever to doubt the authenticity of that letter; and I did not know, and none of my advisers knew, that the thing contemplated in that letter might not take place. I had the advice of many persons—I am not speaking officially—interested in South Africa, who called upon me to hold my hand, and I had every excuse for holding my hand. I was alone in London; I had no communication with my colleagues; I had to act at a moment's notice; and I did act in spite of all the temptations to refrain, in spite of the doubts in my own mind, because I felt that the act of Dr. Jameson was wrong, and therefore I felt, as a Minister of the Crown, that I was bound to repudiate it. [Cheers.] Is that consistent with these scandalous accusations? [Cheers.] It is impossible to suppose, if you think me such a fool, that any English Minister could be such a knave as to do what is attributed to me, that I could have taken this step by myself, and in the circumstances described to the House, if I had known about it, was myself a party to the Raid, and approved the policy of which the Raid was a part. [Cheers.] That is the state of the case; and I am content to rest it there, and I have always been so content. The hon. Member for Burnley expressed his great surprise that I was perfectly indifferent to these telegrams. So I am. What nonsense this attempt is to persuade the public that there is some great secret in them! I have seen some most ridiculous statements about the telegrams. I have seen the telegrams myself, and on the first occasion on which the matter was discussed in the Committee I informed my colleagues that I had seen the telegrams. The majority of those telegrams have been produced. They were not selected, and it is not that there have been selected telegrams kept back. No; they were a sample from the bulk, and it was the bulk which was produced before the Committee. What were the telegrams which were produced? They were compromising telegrams. There is no doubt about that. They were telegrams from parties in this country to persons in South Africa which implied the complicity of the Colonial Office. So do a few of the telegrams—they are a very few, so far as my recollection goes; but I have no doubt that among those which were not seen there are also telegrams implying the complicity of the Colonial Office. What then? You have to believe my statement or the statement of those telegrams. But bear in mind these telegrams are only statements, only reports of conversations. I have been long enough in public life to know this—that when you have a conversation with any man and each party makes his own report of the conversation, it is almost impossible that those two reports should agree. In this case there was a special reason why they should not agree, because we at the Colonial Office were conducting the conversation with one object in our minds to secure a proper arrangement for the transfer of the Bechuanaland protectorate which had been promised by our predecessors to the Chartered Company, and we were full of the objects which we hall in view, namely, the securing for the chiefs Khama, Bathoen, and Sebele proper terms with the Chartered Company; and our discussions, which lasted for hours and hours, were occupied almost entirely with the discussion of the details of this transfer. That was what our minds were full of, and it was possible that the vague hints, the guarded allusions which are said to have been dropped in the course of the conversation passed entirely unperceived by us. I say that without charging the other persons who took part in the conversation with falsehood or deliberate fraud. I do not doubt the word of Dr. Harris that in respect of this conversation he made a guarded allusion. All I can say is that he did not attempt, did not profess to give the exact words of that guarded allusion. He said that he said "something of this sort." I pointed out to the Committee that "something of this sort" was a very vague term, and with a slight alteration of the words he might have said exactly what he says he said; and although it meant a great deal to him it meant nothing to us. Whatever those telegrams contained they are not evidence against the Colonial Office. The two parties had totally different objects, totally different thoughts in their minds, and it is quite possible there might have been some expression on the one side or the other without assuming either side was deliberately lying. That being my view of the telegrams, I was in a difficulty when they were first mentioned to me. I asked for them. I thought they referred entirely to what appears in a letter before the Committee from Mr. Fairfield. Though I cannot see that it is important, it will appear that I said I was not aware of his having said anything about the revolution and it did not matter one atom to have it published everywhere. At that time I was under the impression that those telegrams only referred to the revolution, which was a matter in our minds for a considerable period; but later on those rumours grew, and front many sources—I heard from Members of this House—there were reports of this kind going about, in society, on the Stock Exchange, and I know not where, and in other quarters where reports have value. [Laughter.] Then I said that the time had come that I should see them, and I asked to see them. I had no right to compel their production; they were sent to me and I perused and returned them. Inasmuch as the suggestion had been made to me that these telegrams might be required for the defence of Dr. Jameson, Sir John, Willoughby, and his fellow officers, I took care in returning them to say that, so far as I was concerned, I had no objection to their production in the public interest. [Cheers.] I should like to know what more I could have done. Well, Sir, I really think I have dealt with this matter sufficiently, as far as I myself am concerned. ["Hear, hear!"] It has been to me a very painful and a very anxious time, and I hope that even my political opponents will be satisfied that, at all events, the charges which have been made against me have not been justified. [Loud cheers.] Sir, there are one or two matters which have been referred to upon which I should like to say a word. The Committee have, in the strongest language, condemned the Raid and condemned Mr. Rhodes. Now, I do not want in any way to qualify that, as far as I am concerned. I accepted that Report. I agreed with it substantially—I do not mean to say that I agreed with every word of it; in some cases I argued against the language of the Report as it stands, but being overruled by my colleagues I certainly did not consider that my disagreement with them, or any of them, on these points was such as justified me in refusing to accept the Report. ["Hear, hear!"] But, as to one thing, I am perfectly convinced—that, while the fault of Mr. Rhodes is about as great a fault as a politician or a statesman can commit, there has been nothing proved—and, in my opinion, there exists nothing—which affects Mr. Rhodes's personal position as a man of honour. [:Loud cheers.] It is said by some Members who take a different view that he deceived this person and that person. That is perfectly true; but that is part of the original offence. ["Hear, hear!"] If a man goes into a revolution he may be right or he may be wrong. In this case Mr. Rhodes was wrong. ["Hear, hear!"] But if a man goes into a revolution it follows on, as a matter of course, that he must deceive other people. He cannot proclaim his intention on the housetops. There has been a good deal of talk about the Italian patriots. It has been universally admitted that no proper comparison can be made between Mr. Rhodes and them. In that I agree; but, at all events, let us bear in mind that Garibaldi and Cavour and other patriots—whom we all agree were patriots—they all deceived everybody. ["Hear, hear!"] It was an absolute impossibility—it was a military necessity—that they could do no other. ["Hear, hear!"] I wish also to say this—that the most oil charges were brought in this House against Mt. Rhodes, against Mr. Beit, and against Dr. Harris by the hon. Member for Northampton. They were changes if they were true, would render those gentlemen absolutely unfit for decent society. [Cheers.] Let me remind the House of one of those charges. The charge against Dr. Harris was that he had joined a syndicate to "bear" certain stocks in view of the Raid, and, of course, to make a profit when the Raid took place; and that, having entered into this arrangement with the syndicate, which in itself was sufficiently disgraceful, he had then gone off by himself and had a little "bear" of his own—[a laugh]—so that he had sold his own friends, and, as the hon. Member for Northampton said, there was not even "honour among thieves." Now, Sir, can any more outrageous or more atrocious statement be made against the private character of a man than that? ["Hear, hear!"] It is made under the privilege of this House—["hear, hear!"]—and when the hon. Member was called upon by Dr. Harris to make good his words, Dr. Harris saying that his words were false, and maliciously false—["hear, hear!"]—the hon. Gentleman sat silent, and afterwards came forward and said that he was unable to produce any evidence in support of it. [Cheers.] Sir, I say that is abusing the privilege of this House. [Loud cheers.] That, then, is the case with regard to Dr. Harris. And the hon. Gentleman now, in spite of that, gets up in the House and repeats his charges against Mr. Rhodes nil Mr. Beit. I do not believe, Sir, that there is one atom more of foundation for the charges against Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Beit than there was for the charges against Dr. Harris. [Cheers.] Therefore, as far as I am concerned, in considering the position of Mr. Rhodes, I dismiss absolutely these charges which affect his personal honour, and I find myself face to face with a statesman who has done the greatest service to the British Empire, but who has made one gigantic mistake, for which he ought to be punished. ["Hear, hear!"] Well, Sir, has not he been punished? What is the position of Mr. Rhodes now as compared with the position he occupied before the Raid? He has lost his position as Prime Minister at the Cape; he has lost his position as managing director of the Chartered Company; he has lost influence; he has lost reputation political reputation; and he has to a considerable extent lost the opportunity of doing that further service winch he hoped to do when he anticipated the federation of South Africa. Well, that is a great punishment for a -man of that description. ["Hear, hear!"] No doubt that to a man of mean mind, to such a. man as Mr. Rhodes is sometimes depicted a mere stock-jobbing operator—I admit that might be no punishment at all; but to right hon. Gentlemen opposite, to myself, to people here, would it be no punishment to any of us to be condemned by the public opinion of our own countrymen, and to be compelled to give up the career in which we had a laudable ambition? It seems to me that it is ridiculous, in the face of that, to say that Mr. Rhodes has not been punished. ["Hear, hear!"] But there are some persons who think he should be punished still more. The hon. Member for Burnley seems to think that he should be punished, as I understand, because he a rich man. [Laughter.] He said, at all events, that he could not be a patriot because he was a rich man.


I said he would not be punished because he was a rich man.


I think the hon. Gentleman will find that he went considerably beyond that. He thinks that a rich man can hardly enter into the kingdom of Heaven. [Laughter.] That may be so; at the same time I think it would press hardly upon many Members on both sides of the House. [Laughter.] Mr. Rhodes is not the only rich mall, and therefore the only man, who should suffer under the condemnation of my hon. Friend. But if Mr. Rhodes is to be punished further, how is he to be punished? Clearly if he be guilty in the sense in which the supporters of this Motion consider him to be guilty he ought to be prosecuted, and yet neither of the hon. Gentlemen who moved and seconded this Motion has the courage to suggest that he should be prosecuted, and we are not going to prosecute him. [Cheers.] We are not going to have another Warren Hastings trial, which would be a farce where the other was almost a tragedy. We arc told that we should take from him the Privy Councillorship. Are we going to purge the Privy Council? [Cheers.] I believe that there has been no such Motion since the time of Lord Melville, and I believe that in his case it was not very successful, for although he was deprived of the Privy Councillorship because he was accused of having connected himself with some despicable pecuniary transaction, the honour was restored to him after two years' degradation. It would hardly be worth while to take away Mr. Rhodes's Privy Councillorship for two years. ["Hear, hear!"] I take it that the Privy Councillorship was conferred upon Mr. Rhodes for invaluable services which nothing can dim, and I do not see why it should be taken away because he has since made a great mistake. We have got to govern South Africa, and unless we attempt to find out what South African opinion is, and unless we are to a very considerable extent guided by the opinion of South Africa, we may lose South Africa. [Cheers.] Nobody knows but those who have studied these difficult questions how delicate is the situation, how careful we have to be, and how important it is that we should carry with us, I do not say the whole of South Africa, because that is impossible, but, at all events, the majority of South Africa. What would be the opinion of South Africans with regard to a Motion of this kind, a vindictive Motion to take away from Mr. Rhodes the honour which was conferred upon him for services which are recognised in South Africa infinitely more warmly than they are recognised here. Sir J. Gordon Sprigg, the Premier of Cape Colony, called upon me the other day, and speaking of statements which had appeared in the Press asked leave to convey to me what he believed to be the opinion of South Africa upon this question. I was impressed by what he said, and I asked him whether I was authorised to publish his view, and upon his assenting, I asked him to put it in writing. This is what he says:— With respect to Mr. Rhodes, it is my belief that he still retains to a large extent the popularity he has enjoyed in South Africa for some years. Speaking for the Cape Colony, I should say that a vast majority of the English population support him strongly, and I doubt whether more than half of even the Dutch population are really opposed to him. [Cheers.] I observe that a Notice of Motion has been given for the removal of his name from the Privy Council. I am convinced that such action would not be favourably viewed in the Cape Colony. It would indicate a vindictive feeling, and that feeling is certainly not entertained by many persons in the Cape Colony. ["Hear, hear!"] Of course, every one there recognises that a wrong has been done and that punishment must follow as a matter of course. But Mr. Rhodes's punishment has been great. He has lost, for the time at least, the great position that he held. The public generally see and understand that, but what they do not know is the terrific force of the blow that he has received. That can only be measured by those who, like myself, have been intimately associated with him. We would say, "Do not strike him down to the earth. But there is something beyond this. Mr. Rhodes has rendered great services to the Empire in South Africa—services so extraordinary that they should be regarded as a set-off against the one wrong he has committed. That will be the verdict of history; and that, I am convinced, would be the judgment of the majority of the people of the Cape Colony if a poll were taken on the question to-day. The desire is that the errors of the past should be forgotten, and that Mr. Rhodes should be cheered and encouraged—[cheers]—in the great work he has undertaken in the interior of South Africa, so that he may be able to offer the fruits of his labour as a rich atonement for his past offences. Several speakers in this Debate have also referred to the administration of the Chartered Company. My right hon. Friend the Member for Bodmin pointed out that the Committee did not recommend in words that they should be reappointed in order to continue the inquiry into its administration, and then, with a sensitiveness peculiarly his own, he said, "This gives rise to suspicion." Suspicion of what? [Cheers.] What does my right hon. Friend, in his blameless mind, suspect? What have the Committee done to bring upon them this insinuation of evil? They do not recommend that the Committee should be reappointed next year. Well, I think they were very wise. I think he would be a very rash person who would recommend the Government to reappoint this Committee. It is evident that the very persons who call on the Government to, reappoint the Committee are precisely the persons who are censuring the Committee for their past work. [Cheers.] I must say that the statement of my right hon. Friend gives rise to the suspicion that he wants the Committee to be reappointed that, at the end of the next Session he may make another speech denouncing them for their conclusions and insinuating that, although he himself is perfectly satisfied, there will be some one or another outside who will think all evil. Then the Committee have been guilty of another fault. They have said that in the meantime they do not wish to be a bar to the proceedings to be taken by the Executive Government. Of course I am not in the least responsible for that. It does not concern me. It was not a point on which I should have voted or offered an opinion. But that the majority of the Committee are absolutely right in the interests of South Africa I have no doubt whatever. Does the House wish the great enterprise in Rhodesia to go on, I was going to say, in its present anarchic—at all events unsatisfactory—condition without anything being done until a new Committee has been appointed, and 12 months has brought, forward a Report which may be criticised and condemned in this House, or it may be two or three years before proceedings can be taken? Let me point out what has been done. From the moment of the Raid steps were taken to prevent anything of the kind in the future, and the whole military force of the company was taken from it and placed under the control of Imperial officers. In that respect we have nothing more to do. But there remains the whole question of civil administration. The Committee have reported that the board is not well constituted for the work it has undertaken. Can anyone doubt, especially in its present condition, that that is absolutely true? It has lost its strongest man in Mr. Rhodes, its most influential commercial adviser in Mr. Beit; and, of course, it must be clear to everyone that the board must, in some shape or another, be reconstituted. Another thing is distinct. When the charter was first granted the Government, without desiring to take any direct responsibility or to interfere directly in the administration, did insist that the Chartered Company itself should accept as members of its board gentlemen outside merely commercial circles. They were supposed to be placed there to have special regard to national interests. Well, no one would accuse me of bearing hardly on the board when I say that that proviso, has not been particularly successful, and it is perfectly clear that, if in the future the Chartered Company is to continue there must be a more direct, efficient control on the part of the Imperial Government. Are we to wait three years for that, or not immediately to devise some scheme which will give satisfactory control? The Government do not intend to abolish the charter. [Cheers.] So far I may say at once that they do not intend to do it for reasons I have stated and for additional reasons. Every member who came before the Committee and gave evidence on this side—whether, like Mr. Schreiner, friendly to the Transvaal, or certain gentlemen who were members of the Transvaal Volksraad, or whether he was interested in other parts of South Africa—this is the unanimous evidence I have received, that South Africa would not like to have Imperial control established over its territory. And for sufficiently good reasons. They think, probably with justice, that if you have Imperial control and Rhodesia were made a Crown Colony, the development of the country would be delayed, because the English Treasury would never consent to the expenditure of the money requisite for its development. That, I believe, is the universal opinion in South Africa. If the great majority of the people in South Africa are in favour of Mr. Rhodes the whole of South Africa is in favour of the continuance of the Chartered Company as a company until such time as Rhodesia can be made an independent and self-governing State; and it is hoped, I believe, by Mr. Rhodes, and certainly by others to whom I have spoken, that when the railway is complete to Buluwayo, which it will be this year, there will be a great influx of population into the territory, and as soon as it reaches respectable figures self-government will be given to Rhodesia, and it will form part of the ultimate federation of South Africa. Under these circumstances I think it would be folly for any one answerable for the peace and harmony of South Africa to pretend to advise this House to take away the charter. But, undoubtedly, it is our duty to see in the interval which must elapse before self-government can be established that there shall be such control by the Government and by Parliament as will prevent any serious abuse. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Burnley stated that I had made a statement on this subject which was really made by my right hon. Friend the First Lord of the Treasury, and then he misquoted him. What my right hon. Friend said was not that we were negotiating, but that we should endeavour to. frame a scheme, and should in future consult with the Chartered Company, Sir Alfred Milner, and the Government of the Cape Colony. Of course we have not been negotiating. Who could negotiate while this Committee was sitting? ["Hear, hear!"] Negotiations have formed the subject of my own personal reflections for a considerable time, and I think I see my way to the framework of a new scheme, which may possibly form the subject of negotiation; but. I should not venture to put that forward before I had consulted with my colleagues and the, Chartered Company who—after all, have more knowledge of detail than anybody else with regard to the working of their administration—and with Sir Alfred Milner and the Government of Cape Colony. I believe all that nifty be accomplished without any very lengthened delay, and I hope that before Parliament meets we may have established in Rhodesia a form of government which, though necessarily temporary in its character, may be considered to give all possible security against everything of which the House may wish to take cognisance. I have now, I think, referred to all the matters of importance raised in the course of the Debate, and I will only say that undoubtedly the situation in South Africa was made extremely critical by the Raid; but the Raid and its consequences necessarily produced a feeling of suspicion on the part of the Transvaal Government, and under the, influence of that suspicion they had done many unfriendly acts of which it might have been the duty of the Government to take notice under ordinary circumstances. We thought, however, that having been placed in the wrong by the Raid, it was our duty to be extremely patient, and we have been patient [cheers]—and while we have formally asserted our rights and stoutly protested against any derogation of those rights, on the other hand we have, not thought it prudent or desirable, or the act of a friendly Power, to make representations which it might have been our duty to make in other circumstances. ["Hear, hear!"] The result of our policy has been—I am always afraid to speak of these things with any confidence, but I think the result of our policy has been —eminently satisfactory. ["Hear, hear!"] The condition of things at the present time is more satisfactory than at any time since the Raid. The distinguished South Africans who have been over here, the Prime Minister of Cape Colony, the Prime Minister of Natal, the Chief Justice of Cape Colony, and the other eminent South Africans, I have seen and conversed with—all agree with me in that. ["Hear, hear!"] Although there still remains much ill feeling and much suspicion between the two races, the bitterness of feeling has to a large extent been removed, and we may now hope to take up the thread of our South African policy with every hope of weaving it into a satisfactory web. ["Hear, hear!"] In these circumstances all that is necessary is that no fresh irritation should be introduced from any cause, and that we should be allowed to negotiate in a friendly and amicable spirit with the Transvaal Government; and if I may judge from their recent proceedings, by the evident desire President Kruger has exhibited to meet us in the most open manner, I think I am justified in concluding that we shall reach a thoroughly satisfactory result. [Cheers.]


, on rising to continue the Debate, was received with loud cries of "Divide," which were repeated with such persistency on each attempt to make his voice heard that none of the hon. Member's remarks could be heard by the reporters. Cries were raised of "Sing!" "Agreed!" "Divide!" "Shame! and "Name him!"

Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N.E.) Beach, Rt. Hn. SirM.H.(Bristol) Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John
Aird, John Beach, W.W. Bramston (Hants.) Brookfield, A. Montagu
Allhusen, Augustus Henry Eden Begg, Ferdinand Faithfull Brown, Alexander H.
Ambrose, Robert (Mayo, W.) Bemrose, Henry Howe Brymer, William Ernest
Arnold, Alfred Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Bucknill, Thomas Townsend
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Bethell, Commander Bullard, Sir Harry
Austin, M. (Limerick, W.) Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Burdett-Coutts, W.
Baden-Powell, Sir Geo. Smyth Biddulph, Michael Burns, John
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Bigham, John Charles Butcher, John George
Bailey, James (Walworth) Bigwood, James Caldwell, James
Baillie, James E. B. (Inverness) Bill, Charles Campbell, James A.
Balcarres, Lord Blake, Edward Carlile, William Walter
Baldwin, Alfred Blundell, Colonel Henry Carson, Edward
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A.J. (Manch'r.) Bolitho, Thomas Bedford Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)
Balfour, Rt. Hn. GeraldW (Leeds Bolton, Thomas Dolling Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbyshire)
Banbury, Frederick George Bond, Edward Cecil, Lord Hugh
Bartley, George C. T. Bonsor, Henry Cosmo Orme Chaloner, Captain R. G. W.
Barton, Dunbar Plunket Boscawen, Arthur Griffith Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.)
Bass, Hamar Bousfield, William Robert Chamberlain, J.Austen (Worc'r)
Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin Broadhurst, Henry Channing, Francis Allston

eventually rose, and said: The hon. Member is no doubt struggling with great difficulties, and I have listened to him to the best of my ability, but I have only been able to hear one sentence frequently repeated. I hope the hon. Member will not proceed—[ironical cries of "Oh!"]—Order, order!—and will not continue an argument which consists largely of repetitions.


, rising again, attempted to renew his speech, but the interruptions still continuing he resumed his seat amid ironical cheers and laughter. He was only anxious to explain to the House the View he took and upon which he would act, and he had hoped for a fair hearing. As this was denied him, and as Mr. Speaker preferred that he should not Continue the attempt to obtain a hearing, he would sit down and would endeavour by other means to give expression to his opinion.


said if the Amendment proposed by his hon. Friend had received the concurrence of both sides of the House he would not have opposed its adoption, but inasmuch as it had been received with scant favour and he might almost say with hostility by Members on the other side, and after the speech of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he felt there was no course open to him but to vote against the Amendment.

Question put. The House divided:—Ayes, 333; Noes, 74.—(Division List, No. 333 appended.)

Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry Gilliat, John Saunders Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred
Charrington, Spencer Goddard, Daniel Ford Macartney, W. G. Ellison
Chelsea, Viscount Godson, Augustus Frederick Macdona, John Cumming
Clare, Octavius Leigh Goldsworthy, Major-General Maclure, John William
Clark, Dr. G. B. (Caithness-sh.) Gordon, John Edward McCalmont,Maj-Gen. (Ant'm,N
Clarke, Sir Edw. (Plymouth) Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon McDonnell, Dr.M.A. (Queen's C
Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H.A.E. Goschen, Rt. Hn. G.J. (St.G'rg's) McEwan, William
Coghill, Douglas Harry Goschen, George J. (Sussex) M'Hugh, Patrick A. (Leitrim)
Cohen, Benjamin Louis Gray, Ernest (West Ham) McKillop, James
Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Green, Walford D. (Wednesb'ry) Maden, John Henry
Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury) Malcolm, Ian
Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole Greville, Captain Manners, Lord Ed. Win. J.
Compton, Lord Alwyne (Beds.) Gull, Sir Cameron Martin, Richard Biddulph
Condon. Thomas Joseph Hall, Sir Charles Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W.F.
Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth) Halsey, Thomas Frederick Maxwell, Sir Herbert E.
Cotton-Jodrell. Col. Edw. T.D. Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo. Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)
Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leonard H. Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm. Milbank, Powlett Charles John
Cox, Robert Hardy, Laurence Milner, Sir Frederick George
Cranborne, Viscount Hare, Thomas Leigh Milward, Colonel Victor
Crilly, Daniel Haslett, Sir James Homer Monckton, Edward Philip
Cripps, Charles Alfred Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo. Monk, Charles James
Cubitt, Hon. Henry Heath, James Montagu, Hon. J.Scott (Hants.)
Curran, Thomas (Sligo, S.) Heaton, John Henniker Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Curzon, Rt. Hn. G. N. (Lane. S. W Hedderwick, Thos. Charles H. More, Robert Jasper
Curzon, Viscount (Bucks.) Helder, Augustus Morgan, Hn. Frd. (Monmthsh.)
Dalbiac, Major Philip Hugh Hermon-Hodge, Robt. Trotter Morgan,W.Pritchard (Merthyr)
Dalkeith, Earl of Hill, Rt. Hn. LordArthur(Down) Morrell, George Herbert
Dalrymple, Sir Charles Hill, Sir Edw. Stock (Bristol) Morrison, Walter
Daly, James Hoare, Edw. Brodie(Hampstead) Mount, William George
Darling, Charles John Holland, Hn. Lionel Raleigh Muntz, Philip A.
Davies, Horatio D. (Chatham) Hopkinson, Alfred Murray, Rt.Hn.A.Graham(Bute
Davitt, Michael Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Houston, R. P. Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)
Digby, John K. D. Wingfield- Howell, William Tudor Newdigate, Francis Alexander
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Hozier, James Henry Cecil Nicholson, William Graham
Dillon, John Hudson, George Bickersteth Nicol, Donald Ninian
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Hughes, Col. Edwin Norton, Captain Cecil William
Dixon-Hartland, SirFred. Dixon Hutchinson, Capt. G.W. Grice- Nussey, Thomas Willans
Donelan, Captain A. Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Doogan, P. C. Hutton, John (Yorks, N.R.) O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Doughty, George Isaacson, Frederick Wootton Parkes, Ebenezer
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Jackson, Rt. Hn. Wm. Lawies Pease, Arthur (Darlington)
Doxford, William Theodore Jacoby, James Alfred Pender, James
Drucker, A. Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick Phillpotts, Captain Arthur
Duncombe, Hon. Hubert V. Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton Pickard, Benjamin
Edwards, Gen. Sir James Bevan Johnston, William (Belfast) Pickersgill, Edward Hare
Fardell, Thomas George Kearley, Hudson E. Pierpoint, Robert
Farquhar, Sir Horace Kemp, George Platt-Higgins, Frederick
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Kenny, William Pollock, Harry Frederick
Fenwick, Charles Kenrick, William Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Fergusson, RtHn.SirJ. (Manc'r) Kimber, Henry Power, Patrick Joseph
Field, Admiral (Eastbourne) King, Sir Henry Seymour Priestley, SirW. Overend (Edin.)
Finch, George H. Knowles, Lees Pryce-Jones, Edward
Finch-Hatton, Hon. Harold H. Labouchere, Henry Purvis, Robert
Finlay, Sir Robt. Bannatyne Lafone, Alfred Rasch, Major Frederic Carne
Firbank, Joseph Thomas Laurie, Lieut.-General Reckitt, Harold James
Fisher, William Hayes Lawrence, Edwin (Cornwall) Reid, Sir Robert T.
Fison, Frederick William Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.) Renshaw, Charles Bine
FitzWygram, General Sir F. Lawson, SirWilfrid(Cumb'land) Rentoul, James Alexander
Flannery, Fortescue Lea, Sir Thos. (Londonderry) Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matt. W.
Fletcher, Sir Henry Lecky, Rt. Hn. Wm. Edw. H. Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Flower, Ernest Legh, Hon. Thomas W. (Lanc.) Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Flynn, James Christopher Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Robinson, Brooke
Folkestone, Viscount Leighton, Stanley Robson, William Snowdon
Forster, Henry William Llewellyn, Evan H. (Somerset) Rothschild, Baron F. James de
Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk) Lloyd-George, David Round, James
Fry, Lewis Lockwood, Lt.-Col.A.R. (Essex) Royds, Clement Molyneux
Galloway, William Johnson Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine Russell, Sir George (Berksh.)
Garfit, William Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Liverpool) Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)
Gedge, Sydney Lowles, John Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)
Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans) Loyd, Archie Kirkman Sandys, Lieut.-Col. Thos. Myles
Giles, Charles Tyrrell Lucas-Shadwell, William Saunderson, Col. Edw. James
Gilhooly, James Luttrell, Hugh Fownes Scott, Charles Prestwich
Seely, Charles Hilton Tanner, Charles Kearns Whiteley, H. (Aston-under-L.)
Seton-Karr, Henry Thornton, Percy M. Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Sharpe, Wm. Edward T. Tollemache, Henry James Williams, John Carvell (Notts.)
Sidebotham, J. W. (Cheshire) Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray Williams, Joseph Powell-(Birm.)
Simeon, Sir Barrington Usborne, Thomas Willox, John Archibald
Skewes-Cox, Thomas Valentia, Viscount Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Spicer, Albert Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. Howard Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Stanhope, Hon. Philip J. Walton, John Lawson Wilson. J. W. (Wore'sh., N.)
Stanley, Lord (Lancs.) Wanklyn, James Leslie Wodehouse, Edmond R. (Bath)
Stanley, Henry M. (Lambeth) Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent) Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm
Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M. Warkworth, Lord Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-
Stone, Sir Benjamin Warr, Augustus Frederick Wyndham, George
Strauss, Arthur Webster, R. G. (St. Pancras) Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.
Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley Webster, Sir R.E. (Isle of Wight) Wyvill, Marmaduke d'Arey
Stuart, James (Shoreditch) Wedderburn, Sir William
Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier Weir, James Galloway TELLERS FOR THE AYES, Sir
Sutherland, Sir Thomas Welby, Lieut.-Col. A. C. E. William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester) Wharton, Rt. Hn. John Lloyd
Talbot, Rt.Hn.J.G. (Oxf'd Univ. Whiteley, George (Stockport)
Ashton, Thomas Gair Evans, Sir Francis H.(South'ton) O'Connor, Arthur (Donegal)
Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herb. Henry Farquharson, Dr. Robert Paulton, James Mellor
Baker, Sir John Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Pearson, Sir Weetman D.
Barlow, John Emmott Fowler, Rt.Hn. Sir H. (Wol'tn) Pirie, Captain Duncan
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Gladstone, Rt. Hn. Herbert John Price, Robert John
Brigg, John Gourley, Sir Edw. Temperley Priestley, Briggs (Yorks.)
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Griffith, Ellis J. Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Haldane, Richard Burdon Schwann, Charles E.
Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn Harcourt, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Sinclair, Capt. John(Forfarshire)
Burt, Thomas Harrison, Charles Smith, Samuel (Flint)
Buxton, Sydney Charles Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale- Souttar, Robinson
Cameron, Sir Chas. (Glasgow) Hazell, Walter Strachey, Edward
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Healy, Timothy M. (Louth, N.) Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)
Causton, Richard Knight Jameson, Major J. Eustace Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Cawley, Frederick Jones, David Brynmor(Swansea) Thomas,Alfred (Glamorgan, E.)
Clough, Walter Owen Knox, Edmund Francis Vesey Wallace, Robert (Edinburgh)
Colville, John Lambert, George Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.
Cozens-Hardy, Herbert Hardy Langley, Batty Whittaker, Thomas Palmer
Crombie, John William Leese, SirJoseph F.(Accrington) Wills, Sir William Henry
Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal) Lockwood, Sir Frank (York) Wilson, John (Govan)
Dalziel, James Henry Lough, Thomas Woodall, William
Davies,W. Rees- (Pembrokesh.) Macaleese, Daniel Yoxail, James Henry
Dunn, Sir William McArthur, William
Ellis, John Edward (Notts.) Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel) TELLERS FOR THE NOES, Mr.
Ellis,Thos.Edw.(Merionethsh.) Morley, Rt.Hn.John (Montrose) Birrell and Mr. Harwood.
Evans, Samuel T. (Glamorgan) Morton, Edw. John Chalmers

Original Question again proposed.

MR. ALBERT SPICER (Monmouth Boroughs)

said that the whole position had been altered by the speech of the Secretary of State for the Colonies. Previous to the making of that speech he had felt prepared to stand by the procedure and Report of the South African Committee, but the right hon. Gentleman had not only dealt with the procedure of the Committee, but he had practically explained what the action of the Government was to be upon the Report. He had also laid it down that the condemnation of Mr. Rhodes in the Report of the Committee did not affect that gentleman's personal character. Surely if Mr. Rhodes' personal character were not affected the honour of England was at a low ebb. Up to the close of the speech of the right hon. Member for the Stirling Burghs, he had intended heartily to support the Government against the Resolution; but after the speech of the Colonial Secretary he felt bound to vote with his hon. Friend the Member for Burnley.

Main question put.

The House divided:—Ayes, 77; Noes, 304.—(Division List, No. 334.)

The result was received with cheers.