§ 1. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £45,501, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the 457 charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1901, for the salaries and expenses of the Department of Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs."
§ *SIR CHARLES DILKE (Gloucestershire, Forest of Dean)
Some hon. Members may take the view that it is possible and useful on this occasion to discuss our foreign relations in the ordinary sense of the word, but I confess it would be difficult for me to imagine an occasion more unsuitable than the present for a general discussion on the state of our foreign relations. Our relations with foreign Powers have been described to us very recently by the Prime Minister in language to which reference was made in the debate yesterday in the remarkable speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Monmouth. I agree that if we had a serious discussion on the alarming state of things revealed it might not conduce to the continuation of those good relations which now exist in the neighbourhood of Peking, and to the advance towards Peking to which the country attaches so much importance at the present time. But although this is not an occasion on which we can properly discuss our foreign relations generally, still we may usefully ask questions in order to elucidate the policy of the Government. To discuss that policy, to try and probe it to the bottom, and to try and throw the responsibility where ultimately it will be thrown would not conduce to those good relations between the allied Powers which we all desire to have continued, especially at the present moment, when we are executing allied operations in China under circumstances of the greatest gravity. A Blue-book which was lately laid before the House shows certain symptoms of difference on certain points, and indicates certain temporary divergences between the allied Powers; and for us to insist on taking advantage of any rifts that may appear would be, I confess, a task which I for one should not attempt to undertake, and which would not be to the interest of the country. Of course, in China, as generally, it is impossible to avoid seeing the obvious fact that our foreign relations are at this moment coloured by our colonial affairs, and that the war in South Africa must have a 458 marked effect on our diplomacy throughout the world. There are only two questions to which I will call the attention of the Committee before I come to a matter on which I wish to ask the judgment of the Committee. These two matters appear to have grown out of our situation in South Africa. A statement has been made during this session by the Government with regard to Corea which may have the gravest consequences in the future, and which I think ought not to pass without some statement on the present occasion, which is the first occasion on which the Foreign Office Estimates have been taken since that statement was I made. There was not in actual words any great difference between what was said by the present Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs and what was said some years ago by the hon. Baronet for the Berwick Division; but there is a difference in tone which I confess appears to me to be marked, and I shall be very glad indeed if the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs is able to-day to remove the impression which has been produced in the minds of a good many hon. Members on both sides of the House. The Committee will remember that at the time when this country evacuated Port Hamilton, long negotiations took place in which Her Majesty's Government were concerned, they not being negotiations between China and Russia alone. As a result of those negotiations, there was laid before the House of Commons a Parliamentary Paper which showed that Russia had made a promise to China—which we noted and informed Parliament of—to the effect that Russia would not occupy at any future time any Corean territory. The late Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs was asked questions at various times as to whether, under the altogether I changed circumstances, that promise was still binding, and he made a distinct, statement which it is unnecessary for me to quote—he is present and will correct me if I am wrong—that that promise was in the middle of 1895 still binding, and there was no reason to suppose that down to the present year it had in any way ceased to be binding. But when the present Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs was asked not very long ago a question on the matter, I confess I thought he went rather out of his way, in a manner which the form of question did not render necessary, to state that the assurance 459 given by Russia was not an assurance given to Her Majesty's Government, but an assurance given to another Power; and although I still hope he may be able to remove the impression which these words created, he will not deny the fact they did create an uneasy impression, and that they in some degree weakened the position as it was left by the Parliamentary Paper and the assurances of the hon. Baronet. He seemed to imply that an assurance given to China under the circumstances was not an assurance given to us, and did not form in any sense a guarantee to us as regards the future. It was called a guarantee in the "Map of Europe by Treaty," which is generally looked upon as a semi-official publication. I need hardly suggest to the Committee the notorious fact that most of our Far-Eastern guarantees, both territorial and for our trade, depend upon assurances of this kind which have been given to other Powers, and which we have always treated as being substantially given also to ourselves. The other of the two matters I wished to mention in this connection concerns the recent agreement with Germany, known as the Samoan Agreement. There also South Africa has played a very leading part. The Samoan Agreement is one which at first sight appears to be satisfactory to Australia and New Zealand as regards their trade, because the islands named are covered by an extension of the Free Trade provisions which have previously concerned islands subject to an arrangement between Germany and ourselves. But that feeling of satisfaction is not entertained in Australia and New Zealand—for this reason. This freedom of trade has been broken down in practice by a licence system. These licences are nominally given to the subjects of all Powers, but in practice Australians and New Zealanders engaged in trade in the islands have found that the licences are refused, for one reason or another, to firms in which there is not a German manager. Unless firms, nominally New Zealand or Australian, have German managers or German capital it is very difficult for them to obtain these licences, and the freedom of trade provisions are thus rendered nugatory. The Prime Minister of New Zealand has made a very important declaration on this point. He shares the view I have put before the Committee 460 that it is our South African embarrassments which have caused us to conclude this agreement, and he has said that there can be no doubt that had a council of the colonies been held it would have averted what he believed was inimical to Australia and New Zealand—namely, the Samoan Agreement. In that agreement the Germans give up something to which they had no right. They give up their rights in Tonga, where they have never had any rights at all. The worst point in the agreement, in my opinion, is that which concerns the two Solomon Islands which are picked out as our share and given by Germany to us. These islands are inhabited by a population probably always ferocious, but the feelings of which toward Europeans have not been improved by the kidnapping of their people through the help of bribes to chiefs, which has been carried on for many years partly by our own countrymen, but largely by the subjects of other Powers. The bad point to which I wish to refer is that under the agreement the Germans are to continue to enlist labour in these islands, although they are nominally under British protection, and to carry on this practice of kidnapping. I have now finished these general remarks. If I were dealing with the matter more widely I should endeavour to convey to the Committee my sense of the crudity of these attempts to patch up our relations with the German people by little sacrifices of this kind. The whole Government policy towards Germany, with its occasional proclamations of an alliance which does not exist, and occasional attempts to secure an alliance in a mode calculated to defeat its own object, might be made matter of remark, but I prefer to confine myself to these two cases, in which I cannot but think our South African embarrassments have gravely influenced our policy in a way which is open to the comments I have made. I will now pass to a matter upon which I wish to take the judgment of the Committee to-day. It is a matter which several of us mentioned last year, and upon which we should then have taken the judgment of Parliament but for the fact that at a late period in the debate a complete surrender, as we thought, to our views was made by the Government. It did not enter my mind that it would be necessary to raise the question this year. It seemed to me that we had accomplished 461 our object, and obtained all we asked for. No doubt I interpreted the words of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in a wide, but still in that generous sense in which we always interpret declarations of Ministers in this House—generous, that is, in the sense of seeing in those declarations a little more than the words actually used, and believing that when the probability of a settlement is announced in cheerful tones a settlement is really and closely in view. It is the matter of Waima to which I refer. It is a case in which there has been dreadful delay, and under circumstances which reflect upon the national honour. It was the case fourteen months ago, and, therefore, still more is it the case now, that the time had come for a settlement. Personally, I feel that, unless we can settle this matter tonight, it is useless for us to bring it before the House of Commons year after year. It is a small matter, but it is one of great importance from its bearing on the manner in which statements in Parliament are to be interpreted——
*THE UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS (Mr. BRODDRIVK,) Surrey, Guildford
Perhaps I can save the right hon. Baronet going further into the matter. I have a statement to make with regard to Waima which I think will be satisfactory to the whole Committee.
§ *SlR CHARLES DILKE
I am very glad to hear it, and I will not go into the details of the matter. I will simply say that last year the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the debate on the 9th June, used these words—the Committee will by them be able to judge whether the statement of the Under Secretary tonight is of a sufficiently definite character to render it unnecessary to continue the debate on this point—This is a case in which compensation has been demanded from the French Government, but until the last few days we have had no real reason to suppose that the request for compensation would be favourably considered by the French Government.And then he made an announcement in the following words—I am happy to be able to say that very recently we have had reason to believe that this matter may be favourably considered by the French Government.I hope we shall have to-night an absolutely definite statement that this matter has been arranged. After that debate 462 £200 was given by the Chancellor of the Exchequer—£80 to the family of one of the officers, and £60 each to the families of two others who were killed on that occasion—but I do not know that any relief has been given to the dependents of the sergeant-major of the West Indian Regiment or of the seventeen non-commissioned officers and men who were killed or severely wounded. However that may be, the sum of £200 was given, and now there has been these fourteen months further delay. On the 17th May the Under Secretary was asked how matters were progressing, and he then stated that we had sent a note to France, but had had no reply. On the 28th June the hon. Member for the Leek Division asked for a copy of the despatch of the 29th March which had been addressed to the French Government on the subject; but that despatch was not given. What I gather has occurred is this: In January we had already reached the point of having said there should be arbitration on this question, but another case, that of the detention of a ship on the Niger, had been mixed up with it. In January we accepted the principle of arbitration on that case also, and £5,000 was fixed as the lower limit of the amount of money we might be called upon to pay. In March the upper limit of £8,000 was accepted, but I believe in the despatch asked for it was found that again another case, that of Lieutenant Mizon in 1892, had been mixed up in the matter. I wish the Under Secretary to make it clear to us whether this case is now to be considered by itself or mixed up with other cases. I hope a definite announcement will be made that the matter will not be left as it has been, so that we may not feel that, while we paid more or less cheerfully and at once £10,000 in connection with Uganda in regard to a matter which occurred much later than this, and in which we have never admitted we were in the wrong, yet this matter is allowed to drag on from December, 1893, notwithstanding the statement of last year to which I have referred. I beg to move the reduction of the Vote by £100, but, of course, I shall withdraw the motion if the statement of the hon. Gentleman is satisfactory.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A (Salaries) be reduced by 463 £100 in respect of the salary of the Secretary of State."—(Sir Charles Dilke.)
§ *SIR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT (Sheffield, Eeclesall)
I have heard with great pleasure the announcement that this Waima case is in course of settlement. It is a very serious case, and has dragged on for a very long time. I brought it repeatedly before the House myself from 1893 to 1895. I am glad to know now that that is going to be settled in a satisfactory way. With regard to the conditions which very seriously affect British commerce and manufactures in the Ottoman Empire I should like to say a few words. We go very far afield in search of commerce. Our difficulties in China are practically caused by the commercial enterprise of our people, and yet for a long period of years we have been neglecting, and I am afraid we are still neglecting, a very large field which is much nearer and far more easy of access for British commerce and manufactures. There are two or three cases that I should like to bring to the attention of the House which are of great interest to British manufacturers at the present moment, as showing the difficulties with which they have to contend. One case I have endeavoured to bring to the attention of my right hon. friend by the unsatisfactory method of question and answer, but without much success. I refer to the re-armament of the Turkish fleet. The history of this case in itself summarises the difficulties with which British traders have to contend. The Ottoman Government invited tenders for the re-armament of a certain number of Turkish war-ships. The English tenders were £80,000 below the German tenders, and our guns are said to be better, longer, and to carry further than German guns—I may say that I am not connected with this business and have no interest whatever in it—although that tender was made and the Turkish Minister of Marine was strongly in favour of giving that contract to the British firm, great pressure was brought to bear upon the Turkish Government by the highest influence in Germany. The decision was held over and an opportunity given for the German firm to tender again. The German firm reduced their tender, and the English firm reduced its tender, with the result that there was the same difference 464 in the tenders. The English tender was still £80,000 lower. In spite of that the British firm was unable to get the order, and the last I heard of it was that tremendous pressure was being brought to bear upon the Turkish Government to give their order to the German firm. It is not fair that British manufacturers should be subjected to this kind of political competition, and if it is continued I hope the British Minister at Constantinople will be asked not merely to make one casual representation, but to make constant and vigorous representations upon this subject. I make no complaint as to the action of our Ambassador at Constantinople, who, I believe, is fully alive to the course of events. I merely wish to call the attention of the right, hon. Gentleman to the fact that this unfair German pressure is being continued. In connection with railway construction there is an enormous field open to British manufacturers; there is, perhaps, no other country in the world which offers such an opening for railway construction that would so benefit the people of the country itself and outside communities as the Ottoman Empire. There is no country in the world where railway construction would do so much good to improve the condition of the people at large and those interested in commerce. There is a railway which everybody has heard of for years—the Bagdad Railway, or the Euphrates Valley Railway. The competition for the Euphrates Railway has been going on the last thirty years, and lately has been renewed. British contractors undertook to construct that railway on terms which would have been advantageous to all concerned. What is the result? The English offer was far more advantageous than the German offer, but, owing to the great political pressure which Germany brought to bear, the British firms were pushed entirely out of the field, and the Germans obtained the concession. And what did they do? They took advantage of their position to double the former estimate for the railway, and they have demanded of Turkey an enormous kilometric guarantee amounting to £1,000,000 a year. This is twice as much as is needed, and is only asked in order to swell the profits of the: German financers. Such demands as the successful Germans are making are impossible for Turkey to bear, and only render the construction of the railway 465 practically impossible, and cause great injury to trade and greater injury to British manufacturers. I hold that the influence of our Government ought to have been more strongly asserted in support of the British capitalists who were endeavouring to obtain that concession. After Germany had obtained this concession, what else happened?—and this is a far more serious matter. The Russians, not to be outdone, came down and put more political pressure upon the Turkish Government in order to obtain the monopoly to construct all the northern lines in a large district of Asia Minor, and by the mobilisation of an army of 100,000 men upon the Turkish frontier, they succeeded. They have obtained the monopoly for railway construction in the whole of northern Asia Minor, where there are districts of great wealth. It would be an enormous boon to the people if railways are constructed; but the Russians have no money to construct them, and do not intend to do so. Everybody else is debarred, because of the monopoly which has been created, and a great injury will be inflicted upon Turkey, and upon British commerce and manufacture. There is railway construction to the amount of from £20,000,000 to £50,000,000 to be done in Turkey, and it is all being lost to British manufacture. I have ventured to go into some detail, because these are questions of great importance; but the question upon which I wish to trouble the House to-night—and it is a question which excites universal interest in this country —is the condition of affairs in China. We have indeed reason to be grateful that the news which has reached this country during the last few days is of a more satisfactory and cheerful character than most people could have anticipated a few weeks or even days ago. There is not a Member of this House who will not rejoice to know that the Ministers of the Powers at Peking are, so far as we know to-day, in a state of comparative safety. But, although we are relieved from the immediate and most grievous anxiety with regard to their condition, yet the position is still serious and is not likely to diminish in gravity as the allied or British forces go up to Peking. Many of us have been surprised during the past eight weeks at the delays which have occurred at taking active measures for the relief of the beleaguered 466 Ministers and Europeans in Peking. This is the 2nd of August. Eight weeks have now elapsed since the world knew that the situation was one of extreme seriousness, and certainly seven weeks have now elapsed since it was known that the position of the Legations was one of extreme peril; still no serious attempt was made for their relief, although now at last it seems possible that a forward movement has begun. Why has this long delay taken place in the expedition for the relief of the Legations and the Europeans in Peking? Why were not steps taken earlier to seek the active help of the only Power who could send a force immediately to their relief—Japan? The first distinct request to Japan was made on the 25th of June. Why was not that request made three weeks earlier, when the gravity of the position was known, and why was it not pressed more actively? We are now over five weeks from that date, and, so far as we know, no considerable Japanese force is yet on its way to Peking. It would have been possible, if the Government had made clear representations to Japan that she would have been sure of support from this country in case of her taking action, for the Japanese forces to have reached Peking at the outside within four weeks. The British despatch of 6th July, guaranteeing support to Japan, ought to have been sent on 8th June. As it has turned out, the most awful and terrible catastrophe which we feared had taken place has been most mercifully avoided, but the question of delay is one which I feel justified in pressing upon the attention of the House, and one with regard to which we are entitled to have some explanation. The right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean in his speech deprecated any reference to the difficulties of the political position in China for reasons which he did not explain in detail, but in general terms he dreaded the endangering of the-so-called Concert of Europe. The right hon. Baronet has a very good reason for trying to defend "the Concert of Europe," because that interesting fiction originated at the period when he was Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the Government of Mr. Gladstone. Then we heard for the first time of what I call the mischievous fiction of the Concert of Europe put forward as a serious item of political belief. I hold that what is 467 called the Concert of Europe is the curse of all our dealings with those Eastern questions, and is likely to prove a still greater danger than it has been in the past. I hold it for this reason: "the Concert" is a chimera. It does not exist. There is no real concert, and there can be no real concert. To suppose that British policy in China can be identified with Russian policy, or even French policy, is to blind ourselves to the essential conditions of the whole Chinese problem. History in the past has shown the absurdity of this effort. Whenever we have tried to adapt our policy to the Concert of Europe we have failed. Between 1880 and 1885 Mr. Gladstone's Government failed in everything through trusting to this fictitious Concert. Again, we have had examples in recent times under the Government of Lord Rosebery and under the present Government, from 1893 to 1898, when the same Concert was tried with the same result of failure. We saw what happened in regard to the Armenian policy, the Greek policy, and the Cretan policy of the British Governments. All these were based upon the alleged Concert of Europe, which never existed, and which led to infinite trouble and suffering to our protégés, a great deal of disgrace for England, and to war. It was only when the Government cut themselves adrift from the will-o'-the-wisp of a Concert that we achieved the real successes of Fashoda and South Africa. I say deliberately that if the Government are basing their policy in China upon the supposed Concert of Europe, which does not and cannot exist, they are bound to end in grievous danger, and probably in war. No other result can happen. Ministers may blind themselves for a time. They may blind a large number of the Members of this House and a great proportion of the people of this country by a phrase which is always agreeable and tickling to the palate. Representatives of either Front Bench are fond of deceiving themselves with it, and especially the right hon. Baronet, who always says ditto to the Front Bench on any question of the Concert of Europe. However much Ministers may blind themselves and the country they are bound to end in disappointment and disaster. The position of affairs in China shows that we have come to the parting of the ways in our policy towards that country. It will be impossible after this present revo- 468 lution or rising is put down for this country to allow affairs to go on in China in their old course of drift. There has been nothing but drift in our policy towards China for the last seven years. It will be necessary for the Government to have a policy in China—a clear and defined policy. They will have to adopt a policy based not on the supposed Concert of Europe, which does not exist, and never will exist, but upon all the support they can get from the Great Powers whose interests are the same as theirs and whose views coincide with theirs. We began the policy of drift in China in 1893, when gentlemen on that bench allowed Japan to be driven out of the Liao-Tung peninsula. That paved the way for the present troubles. I believe some of the then Ministers agreed with reluctance to allow Russia to have her way; but they actually did permit Japan to be driven out of the strong positions she had so gallantly conquered. Russia actually expelled Japan from Port Arthur on the hypocritical excuse that it was dangerous for any other Power than China to have possession of Port Arthur. The next crisis came under the present Government, and it was when the Russsan Government requested that our men-of-war should be removed from Port Arthur. This Government allowed our men-of-war to be removed. The Russian Government solemnly stated that they had no design upon Port Arthur, a pledge soon to be deliberately broken by the Czar. That was the second stage in the great policy of drift. It has been going on since. Everyone who looks to what has happened in China must realise that Her Majesty's Government have had no real, determined, and defined policy with regard to that country. Unless the Chinese question is to be opened up in all its vastness and dangers, and unless we are to have throughout the length and breadth of China 400,000,000 people rising against every form of European civilisation, and certain Great Powers struggling to get a hold over China which will keep our commerce out of the country, the British Government must have a clear policy in this matter. What is that policy to be? I venture to say that the time has come —and herein I differ from the right hon. Baronet—for Members of this House who have clear views upon this subject to express them, and to try to induce the Government to adopt a policy which seems 469 to them to be wise in the interests of this country, and for the maintenance of the general peace of the world. There are only two policies, I venture to say, possible in China for the future. I put on one side the policy of drift as hopeless and as unworthy of consideration. The two policies which I venture to describe as possible with regard to China are, firstly, deliberate partition, and, secondly, the maintenance of the independence and the integrity of the Chinese Empire. There are various phases of the partition policy if you like. You may call it a sphere of influence or occupation, but sooner or later it is bound to result in a partition policy. I know that such a policy, in a modified form, is advocated by certain hon. Members. The hon. Member for Chester and his friends have been, in a sort of tentative way, advocating a policy of partition in China. I hold that that policy is most inadvisable and most dangerous. I want to deal at as close quarters as possible with the difficulties into which those hon. Members, I think from want of knowledge, are gradually drifting. They are advocating what they call a Yang-tsze-Kiang Protectorate or sphere of influence. They want us to treat northern China as lost, and they say, "Make up for the loss of northern China by getting possession, so far as we can, of the great central valley of China, which lies around the Yang-tsze river." If that policy were practicable there might be a good deal to be said for it, but it is no use proposing to yourself a policy which you are unable to carry out. Let me ask my hon. friends one or two questions on this subject, and see how they are prepared to deal with the practical difficulties. What you would have to do would be to establish a protectorate over nearly 200,000,000 people. You would have to be prepared to set up in central China another India, and to have an army of 250,000 men to maintain your power there, or to try to maintain your power. I do not think you would lie able to maintain that policy. It is a policy that would set the whole of China against you at once. It is most dangerous, therefore, on that account. It would unify China against this country, and perhaps against all the Powers of Europe. The United States is against such a policy. It is a policy that would set the United States against us, because the United 470 States have made declarations against any territorial partition of China. I doubt very much whether it is a policy for which you would get the support of the German Emperor, and without German support you could not undertake a policy of that kind. The most serious difficulty in relation to this policy, and one with which I have never seen any attempt to deal——
§ MR. YERBURGH (Chester)
I am sorry to interrupt my hon. friend, but I have never advocated the partition of China.
§ *SIR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
I dealt with that contradiction of my hon. friend in my opening remarks with reference to him, but I am afraid they did not receive from him the attention which I hoped they might have done. Though my hon. friend may not use the word "partition" of China, and may even repudiate it, as he has just now done, yet his policy of a sphere of interest or influence, or whatever you like to call it, in the Yang-tsze valley must in the long run, if it means anything at all, and if it is not mere empty verbiage, come to a protectorate. If the hon. Gentleman can get out of that difficulty, I shall be very glad to hear how he does it. He cannot get out of that. He can only indulge in vague generalities. Perhaps he does not mean partition, but in order to maintain a sphere of interest or influence, or practical British commercial preponderance in the Yang-tsze valley, which is what he means, he can only maintain it by a great army and an administrative organisation. I do not think this country is prepared yet, at all events, to sot up a second India in the heart of China. The point I wish to put to the House is that the Yang-tsze-Kiang valley is, from the military point of view, very indefensible. There are no effective strategical positions from which you can defend it against attack from the north. What does a protectorate over the Yang-tsze valley mean to us? It means that the north of China, with a population numbering anything from 50,000,000 to 100,000,000, is to lie abandoned to Russia. What will Russia do then? The first thing that Russia does in any country over which she gets control is to introduce conscription. She will make the Chinese of northern China into 471 splendid soldiers, and we have seen that the Chinese can fight when they are pushed to it. The north of China will be turned into a great recruiting ground for Russia, and in the course of a few years we shall have to face an army of half a million Chinese, disciplined, armed, and led by Russia. What will become of my hon. friend the Member for Chester and his school then? Where will they set up their line of defence? How will they guard the Yang-tsze valley against these vast forces from the north? These are the practical questions which everybody who wishes to regard the future of China from a practical point of view must consider. You cannot divide China without setting up an enormous organisation and army in the centre of China if you intend to hold it. Even then you will not be able to hold it, because the military power of Russia in the north will be so much greater than your own, and will be more unscrupulously directed and worked than you can ever hope to work your defence. For these reasons I hold that the policy of partition, protectorate, sphere of interest, or whatever you like to call it, is impracticable, and ought to be resisted by this House. Now I come to the alternative policy—that of maintaining the independence and integrity of China. The House is committed to this policy already. The hon. Member opposite smiles. Why should he laugh?
§ MR. HEDDERWICK (Wick Burghs)
If the hon. Member wishes to know why I laughed, it was because that policy has already been abandoned.
§ *SIR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
Then the laugh of the hon. Member is based on want of information. I deny that the policy of maintaining the independence of China has been abandoned by Her Majesty's Government. There may have been some signs of abandonment and some mistakes committed, but if the hon. Member will examine what has been done by this country and by Germany, and even by France, in regard to China, he will find that at all events the formal integrity of China has been recognised, because all the occupations of territory have been in the nature of leases. The same safeguard applies less to the action of Russia at Port Arthur, although even there the form of lease has been 472 observed. Our great mistake was, of course, in allowing Russia to establish herself there, and that action will continue to have a disastrous effect in China until it is undone. Her Majesty's Government have not yet abandoned the policy of maintaining the independence and integrity of China, and I sincerely hope they will not abandon it. They are committed to it, and it is the only policy in which they can hope to succeed. It is a policy which will bring to their support the 400,000,000 people of China; it is a policy which will get for them the support of Japan, which is all important, because Japan holds the key of the position; it is a policy which will get for them the support of the. United States, which also is important; and it is a policy which will, I believe, get for them the support of the German Empire and of its great ruler. No. Power could upset such a combination as that. We have been told that Manchuria is absolutely lost, that Russia has it already. I deny it. Recent events show that Russian military control over that province is comparatively slight, and that it rests upon a very precarious foundation. A distinct statement on the part of Her Majesty's Government that further inroads upon the integrity of China would, not be permitted would have the effect of at once stopping this aggression on the part of Russia. There is one other subject to which it is necessary to refer in dealing with this question, and that is the influence which a certain Great Power has for some time exerted in China, and which, I believe, is responsible very largely for the present unfortunate revolution in that country. The policy of our great rival in China is exactly the policy that it has been for many years pursuing in Turkey. Russia desires to maintain. China in a state of bad government and rottenness. That is a fact which the Government have to deal with in any arrangements they make for the future. I shall probably be denounced for making; this statement; it will be called a provocative statement; but it is well the truth should be known. This Boxer movement in its initiatory stages has been encouraged; one of the objects of this Great Power being to break up Sir Robert Hart's wonderful organisation, which is one of the great civilising influences in China. The object—I do not say of the Russian Government itself but 473 of the emissaries of our great rival in China—has been to break up that organisation of 8,000 subordinates, who have been by degrees trained under that distinguished Englishman to a service which is unique in the East and which has conferred great benefits upon China. With the object of breaking up Sir Robert Hart's organisation this revolutionary agitation was for a considerable time encouraged. If any hon. Member thinks this impossible or improbable I beg him to read over again the history of the Armenian troubles in Turkey, where he will find that exactly the same influence was used that is now being used in China. The whole of the Russian press of late has been denouncing any interference with Chinese government, except only in the relief of the Legations. It has been saying that China is more important to Russia than the whole of Europe; it has been advocating a refusal to co-operate with this country in any attempt to improve the government or to alter the conditions of life in China. These are very serious facts, and they are facts which I hope the Government will bear in mind. Another point to which I wish briefly to refer is the question of missionaries. Much undeserved opprobrium has been cast upon the action of missionaries in China. I believe they have done, and are doing, a great work in China, although, no doubt, there may have been some indiscretions. If the truth were known I fancy it would be seen that Chinese jealous is directed against our traders quite as much as, or even more than, against our missionaries. I regretted to read the sort of lecture which the Prime Minister gave to missionaries at St. James's Hall, and I am bound to say that if I had been a missionary I should have been disposed to retort that the withdrawal of our men-of-war from Fort Arthur at the dictation of Russia was a far more serious blow to British influence and to civilisation in China than any action of missionaries possibly could be. I hope in the movement now being made towards Peking by our troops great care will be taken to dissociate our soldiers from any acts of violent inhumanity towards the non-combatant Chinese. I sincerely hope that the words of "no quarter,' which have been attributed to the German Emperor, have boon attributed to him in mistake, and that no such spirit will lie allowed to 474 animate our troops. I say this not merely on ground of philanthropy and humanity, but because the influence of similar cruelty on the part of Russian troops in China has already been most disastrous. There is evidence to show that fearful barbarities have been displayed towards Chinese non-combatants, and if we make this a war à outrance similar practices will be continued. I sincerely hope Her Majesty's Government has taken special care to instruct the British generals in command to see that nothing of this kind is done by their troops. I apologise for having taken up so much of the time of the House, but I trust that what the House has given me the opportunity of saying may have some good result. I hope, above all, that not only will our Legation and the Legations of Europe be relieved as soon as possible, but also with as little loss as possible, and I hope this terrible outbreak in China will prove to be a turning point in the history of that country, and in the policy of Her Majesty's Government towards China. I hope that policy will be a clear and distinct policy of reform, based upon maintaining the independence and upon checking the partition of China.
§ *MR. YERBURGH
said he was one of those who thought that while matters were in such a critical condition the less that was said about China the better. After the very pointed attack made upon him by his hon. friend, and the extraordinary manner in which he had misrepresented his views, perhaps the House would allow him to say a few words in reply. In the first place, he wished to say that he had never heard a more mischievous speech than that which had fallen from his hon. friend. So far as he understood it, the speech of his hon. friend was a deliberate and venomous attack upon Russia. Those who had read the Blue-book on China which had just been issued were aware that Russia had behaved in a manner that must receive the approval of everybody. Russia was approached in reference to the sending of Japanese troops, and she raised no objection whatever, although it was known that there must be a certain amount of jealousy subsisting between Russia and Japan. He thought the sentiments upon this question which were contained in the speech of M. Del- 475 casse expressed the views of the majority of the British nation. That was the spirit in which he would ask his hon. friend to approach this question. His hon. friend had misrepresented the views which he and others held by saying they advocated the partition of China. That was not the case. Their argument had been that if China was to be divided we must see that that portion of the country which contained the largest portion of our interests should not be allowed to pass under the control of any other Power, but should remain under the control of China herself. In these conditions it was quite possible that a reformed China might issue from those central provinces, and might in time be able to recover the provinces taken from her. When the Powers got to Peking they would have to decide what indemnity was to be exacted from China for the various crimes that had been committed, and for the attacks made upon property, and other matter of that kind. An indemnity could only be obtained in two ways. One was by territory and the other by money, He hoped that no Power would ask for indemnity in the shape of territory. Then came the difficulty. How were they to get money from a Power which was practically bankrupt? Her revenues were mortgaged up to the hilt, and there was no surplus, and to raise the money would be the most difficult thing in the world. The whole crux of the question was the reform of China. Under a system of reform there would be a very large margin of revenue left, which might be applied to the payment of the indemnity. He thought he was correct in saying that there was at least a leakage of £25,000,000 per annum in the taxes, which ought to go into the Imperial Treasury, but which made its way into the pockets of the Mandarins and other officials. That money could only be obtained by reform. The whole question was bound up in reform. No doubt his hon. friend would say that England would find Russia against her, and that other countries would be opposed to these reforms. He remembered M. Delcassé said that China should be left open for the free play of the capital and the intelligence of the world. We had also recently had the pronouncement of the German Emperor upon this question. He had long hoped that the time might arrive—and he believed this crisis would 476 help it on—when we would see reforms carried on throughout China which would give a new life to the Chinese Empire and revivify the corpse whose approaching dissolution had been productive of the greatest danger to the peace of the world. He apologised for having addressed those few observations, but in conclusion there was one urgent matter with which he should like to deal. In regard to the sufferers in the Waima case, he had heard with the greatest satisfaction that his right hon. friend would be able to say that an arrangement had been arrived at for the payment of compensation. He wished to remind the right hon. Gentleman that the relatives of those sufferers, although they did not come forward as a question of charity at all, were in many cases in a position more or less of destitution and want, and this was a state of things which he was sure the House would be sorry to see. He did not think he was using too strong language in describing this position, and he would ask his right hon. friend whether he could not see his way to get an advance made to those people from the Government, in view of the somewhat lengthy time which must elapse before the compensation was paid. An immediate advance would greatly assist all these poor people. Amongst the sufferers in the Waima case were several native soldiers. They were members of this Empire, and their lives had been taken in the service of the Queen. He thought, therefore, that compensation ought to be given, and he hoped Her Majesty's Government would not lose sight of this fact.
§ *SiR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
I quite agree with my hon. friend in regard to the question of reform. I had this question on my notes to deal with more fully, and I thoroughly agree as to its-vital importance. I wish to couple the reform and independence of China together.
§ Sir EDWARD GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)
Sir, I rise merely to associate myself with a good deal of what has fallen from the hon. Gentleman the Member for Chester who spoke last. On the subject of Waima I share his satisfaction in the statement which has already been promised by the right hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. He told us that he was sure his 477 statement would be satisfactory to the whole House. If that is so, it means, of course, that it is a statement which assures the prospect of some relief to those who suffered in the Waima case; and if that is so, I associate myself with the appeal of the hon. Member for Chester to Her Majesty's Government to take into their most favourable consideration whether, if the prospect of relief, though assured, is delayed by further discussion, they cannot expedite at any rate some portion of the relief in this case. I also agree, Sir, that this is not a very good time for reviewing the field of politics with reference to China. The hon. Member for the Ecclesall Division always speaks with such boldness on foreign affairs that he covered a great deal more ground than I am disposed to follow him upon. He seemed to provide some amusement for the hon. Member below the gangway when he alluded to the integrity of China. I think I share the amusement of the hon. Member below the gangway, because I think the amusement was caused not at all by the absurdity of the phrase, but by the recollection of the past history of this question and of language which has been used in previous years from the Government Bench. We have heard in previous years a great deal said about the integrity of China, and a great deal also about Port Arthur, about the withdrawal of our own ships, and about our right to scud our ships there again whenever we pleased, which has come to look very pale in the light of events. When one thinks of the past history of this question, one cannot but feel how enormously wrong has been the estimate of the state of affairs, with regard to China, which has been made, I do not say by Her Majesty's Government alone, but by all the Governments who have been mostly concerned with the question. At any rate, I do not think it can fairly be said that the previous Government was responsible for anything that has been the cause of the present rising in China. The causes of the present rising in China are undoubtedly to be found in what has occurred in recent years. I do not blame Her Majesty's Government for that, because they have not led the way in this matter. The causes are now surely obvious to everybody. One cause has been the wrong estimate that has been formed of the condition of China—the idea that 478 China was ripe for partition, that great liberties could be taken, and that large slices of territory could be acquired. That has brought its own Nemesis. I think we ought to remember also that it is not solely the territorial changes in China which are probably responsible for the present rising. There is a great deal not only of anti-foreign, but also of real anti-Christian feeling, at the bottom of the present trouble. There will always be difficulties in connection with missionary enterprise in China. Directly the missionaries acquire an official status, and directly the Chinese feel that the Christian converts cease to. Sympathise with the needs and customs of the village communities in which they live, there will always be difficulty and friction. I do not think the blame lies with our own missionaries in this respect, but we ought to bear in mind that missionary enterprise in China must be carefully conducted without breaking up the local feeling of Chinese communities in the country. As to the punishment which should be exacted for what has occurred, we have been greatly relieved during the last few days as to the prospects at Peking when the allied forces get there. I assume, no doubt the advance towards Peking will be proceeded with as speedily as possible and, without unnecessary delay. But when the advance has been successful the question of punishment will present great difficulties. Territorial indemnity, I hope, is out of the question. Pecuniary indemnity to be anything like adequate must be on an enormous scale, and I think our first object should be rather to discover who in high places have been responsible for the damage done, and make the punishment a personal punishment, in the first instance. Beyond that, surely our hope will be that the outcome of the present troubles may be a better Government for China in the future; and, if there is to be a better Government there will be great difficulty in getting reform and seeing it has a fair chance. It is to our interest that the Government of China should be independent and strong, and a better Government than it has been in the past. But it is not our business, nor the business of the other Powers, to attempt to set up that Government. It must be formed by the Chinese themselves as the outcome of,' their agitation. If it is to be formed by- 479 any foreign Power it will be dependent on that Power, and will not be successful. The other point is that I trust the Government will be successful in keeping themselves free from any further inland territorial acquisition in China of any kind, and may be successful in co-operating with other Powers in accepting that point of view. The hon. Member for the Ecclesall Division deprecated my defending the policy of the Concert of the Powers. The hon. Member has constantly in this House advocated a good understanding with Germany. Here is the policy of the German Government as explained by Count von Billow himself—The object we have in view is the restoration of security for the person and property and the work of subjects of the German Empire in China; the rescue of the foreigners besieged in Peking; the re-establishment and the safe-guarding of law and order under a proper Chinese Government; and retribution and satisfaction for the barbarities which have been perpetrated. We desire no partition of China, and we have no separate advantages for ourselves in view. The Imperial Government feels convinced that the maintenance of an understanding among the Powers is the preliminary condition of the restoration of peace and order in China, and the Imperial Government for its part will continue to attach in its policy the first importance to this standpoint.That is the policy of maintaining the Concert, and if the friendship of Germany is to be preserved we should all proclaim that we desire to preserve the Concert; therefore the hon. Member for the Ecclesall Division of Sheffield when he complains of the Concert is really defeating his other object, which is the maintenance of the friendship of Germany. The hon. Member goes so far as to advise that the Concert should be broken up.
§ *SIR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
Certainly not; what I object to is basing your policy on a supposed Concert which does not exist.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY
I always envy the hon. Member for the Ecclesall Division, because ho is so perfectly clear that foreign policy is a comparatively simple matter. He has a perfectly distinct policy of his own, and he is always certain that, if adopted, it would lead to successful results. I wish the matter were so clear and simple, because it seems continually that the hon. Member's real policy is not a Concert but an alliance with certain Powers to be entered into, maintained, strengthened, 480 and enforced at the expense of some other Power. That is a policy which I think should only be adopted under extreme circumstances and never until a policy of general Concert has failed. I believe the Government desire to preserve the Concert, and I trust the other Powers are more agreed as to their aims in China now than in the past. The two hopeful things I see in the present situation are, first of all, that the result of this agitation and disturbance, after accounts have been settled with the Chinese Government, will be that something better may come to the top in China itself than has existed for some time past. If there are any signs of that—I do not think Her Majesty's Government should make themselves responsible for what any Government in China may do—I hope Her Majesty's Government will do what they can to encourage those signs and get a fair field for them. The second thing in which there is hope is that the lessons of the past two years may be taken to heart by the Powers interested, that the disintegration which people thought was proceeding apace may be arrested, and that all the Powers interested in China may be disposed to leave China to herself after adjusting accounts with her. Surely the lesson is obvious that there has been complete miscalculation with regard to the condition of China. Everyone must now be aware that, inert and helpless as China may be, she possesses a power of resistance and exasperation. If that be so, we may not be able to look for great improvement in China. If the various Powers interested are agreed, and will concentrate their minds on the agreement with each other—which means not merely that they should be agreed, but that they should trust each other—then they may concentrate their forces on the preservation of China, and developing peaceful and open trade in China. Trade is not to be promoted by territorial acquisition. The obstacle to trade has been the likin duties. If they were placed under an administration similar to that which deals with the maritime duties, the trade of China would be developed enormously. Internal reform is the direction in which the Powers should work, and I hope one result will be that peaceful and open trade may be promoted in this way, and that the idea of furthering political ambitions and exclusive possession may be laid aside entirely.
§ *MR. BRODRICK
A considerable number of questions have been raised in this discussion beyond those to which the hon. Baronet who has just spoken referred. With regard to the Waima incident, I quite admit there has been unfortunate delay, and I quite agree that small matters ought not to long in settlement between Great Powers. The French themselves have a saying, "Les bons compter font les bons amis," which is not inapplicable in the present instance. But I am glad to tell the hon. Gentleman and others interested in seeing that British subjects who have suffered should not go without compensation, that we have, in the last few hours, received from the French Government the acceptance of immediate arbitration in respect of compensation for the Waima incident. The French Government admit that compensation is due, and the arbitration is simply to settle the amount. On the other hand, Her Majesty's Government have admitted, with regard to the sinking of the ship "Sergent Malamine," that compensation is due from them, and arbitration will take place simultaneously as to the amount of compensation due, the minimum being £5,000, and the maximum £8,000 which the French Government were willing to accept. Compensation for relatives of the coloured troops who were killed in the Waima incident has been provided for. With regard to the temporary necessities of those who lost their relations, the Government will find means of giving some small further assistance pending the result of the arbitration. With regard to Korea, the right hon. Gentleman tried to establish some difference of opinion between the treatment of the subject in the present year and the treatment by the representatives of the Foreign Office in the past. The position is an easy one to state. I said the other day that the promise in regard to the occupation of territory in Korea by Russia was not given to Her Majesty's Government, but to a third Power—namely, China. That is so. The promise was given before the war, at a time when China was suzerain in Korea. After the war that suzerainty passed away from China; and Korea has had the power to give concessions to other Powers. She exercised that power and gave a concession to Russia, but not exclusively to Russia, because in almost identical terms, a similar concession was made to Japan. 482 Japan was the Power chiefly concerned, and I think that, so far from the right hon. Gentleman calling on me to explain why Her Majesty's Government did not intervene, the onus lies on him to prove why we should intervene.
§ *Sir CHARLES DILKE
I did not call upon the Government to intervene. I did not suggest that for a moment. I asked with the view of obtaining a reassuring statement. I did not call for any action at all, and I do not know of any circumstances where action is needed.
§ *MR. BRODRICK
The difference between us is as to what occurred. It was a perfectly natural concession on the part of Korea, quite within her power; no international rights were affected by it, and in such a case Her Majesty's Government hold that they had no reason to intervene. Then my hon. friend the Member for the Ecclesall Division has brought up the old question of Turkey, and he made two propositions. He laid down that, both in the matter of concessions for railways and in the questions arising out of contracts with the Turkish Government, Her Majesty's Government have shown some remissness. I confess that I think, on these questions, my hon. friend is on rather dangerous ground in invoking continually the influence of Her Majesty's Ambassador. I would point out to him that the question of the contractors to whom a Government should give its contracts is really a question for that Government. Has it ever occurred to a foreign Government to ask my right hon. friend the First Lord of the Admiralty, if he gives a contract for a certain number of guns to one foreign contractor, that he should give a contract for an equal number to a contractor of theirs? I think that beyond friendly representation it is impossible for Her Majesty's Government to go. In the same way with regard to railway concessions. It is quite true that a concession was given to Germany, and Turkey, by a self-denying ordinance, we are informed, though we have no official information, decided that 483 such railways as she may not make herself in Asia Minor she will give to Russia the preference of making. I am not going to argue the point; but, at all events, to represent, as my hon. friend did represent, this as a desertion of British trade and British manufactures by Her Majesty's Government——
§ *Sir E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
My point was that these concessions were not given as fair bargains, but were wrung from the Turkish Government by strong and unjust political pressure on the part of other Powers. And that I am prepared to prove.
§ *MR. BRODRICK
I have no information on that, nor have we any information as to the 100,000 men which Russia has, according to my hon. friend's statement, massed on the frontier of Turkey.
§ *MR. BRODRICK
Nor is it our business to interfere in matters of that kind. We are not the custodians of any concession which may be given by foreign Powers all over the world, but we desire to do the best we can for our own interests.
I should like to answer at greater length the points brought forward with regard to the situation in China. I may say at once that I fully appreciate the consideration shown by right hon. Gentlemen opposite in their desire not to embarrass the Government at a very critical time. I do not think that it would be possible for any man to speak from this bench on a question such as that now proceeding in China without falling into difficulties on one side or the other. We have at this moment before us the not unprecedented, but still humiliating, fact that some 200 Englishmen, mostly at their post in the discharge of duty, have been asking for several weeks for that relief which up to now we have not been able to afford them. We have also the knowledge that, although the forces now massed at Tientsin are very large, they belong to six different Powers; they are not provided, having been hurriedly sent there, with the whole equipment of a warlike expedition; and their advance must be impeded by the difficulties of the locality and the state of the roads and the 484 weather. But, so far as we can judge at the present moment, there has been no lack of co-operation on the part of the commanders and no avoidable delay. My hon. friend asked me several questions with regard to the intervention of the Japanese which I cannot pass over. My hon. friend said that if, early in the day, we had strongly invited the co-operation of the Japanese they would long ago have been in Peking, and that, at any rate within a month from the time when they were invited, they would have found their way to Peking. He complained that the invitation was not sent until 25th June. I will recapitulate the dates in a few words. Two or three days before 6th June we received a strong expression from Sir-Claude MacDonald as to the critical nature affairs were assuming in Peking. On 6th June Her Majesty's Government gave power to the Minister and to the Admiral to take any steps at their discretion with the forces at their command in order to relieve the position. On the 8th June Sir Claude MacDonald, by the wish of Her Majesty's Government, informed our representative at Tokio by telegraph of the position in order that he might bring it under the consideration of the Japanese Government. On the 13th of June Mr. Whitehead reported that the Japanese would be ready to send troops. On the 15th they were informed of what Her Majesty's Government were doing, and Mr.Whitehead, was asked to discover what steps Japan contemplated taking. Various reports came from them as to the troops they were prepared to send. On the 22nd Mr. Whitehead was instructed by telegraph to ask whether Japan did not intend to send further forces, it being then well known that Her Majesty's Government were already sending a large body, of troops from India. On the 25th, after an interview with the Japanese Minister, Lord Salisbury instructed our Ambassadors in Berlin and St. Petersburg to discover whether any objection would be raised, either by Germany or by Russia, to the despatch of 20,000 or 30,000 Japanese troops. They were able to report very shortly that no objection would be raised, but on 2nd July, before Japan mobilised troops and made up its mind to despatch them, Mr. Whitehead was told to ask whether Japan would not be prepared to take additional measures. One 485 4th July Mr. Whitehead was told to bring the extreme gravity of the situation to the notice of the Japanese Government, and to point out to them their responsibility, as the only Power able, owing to their geographical position, to deal with the situation. On the 5th Mr. Whitehead reported that the Japanese wished for an exchange of views on the part of the Powers concerned. As it was apparent that up to that moment—although it was four weeks after the Admiral had started on the expedition which proved abortive, owing to the superior forces he encountered—no considerable body of troops had been landed, and as it was felt that even then further inducement might enable the Japanese Government to go forward and relieve the situation, on 6th July the Government proffered financial assistance, with the special object of relieving the Legations and enabling the Japanese Government to take action. On the same day, a few hours afterwards, we received a telegram from the Japanese Government that they were now prepared to send 20,000 troops. I have ventured to trouble the Committee with this detailed statement in order that it may be made perfectly clear from first to last—not merely by example and the evidence which we had ourselves given, by calling up ships from every part of the world, by making matters smooth with foreign Powers with regard to any scruples which Japan might entertain, and even by proffering financial assistance—we have, I venture to think, shown that Her Majesty's Government have left no stone unturned—either by persuasion, by the use of our own power or the power of the purse of Great Britain—to assuage any jealousies which might exist, and to clear the way for action and to take care that every Power knew that our sole object was that a large number of troops should in the very shortest period of time be sent to Tientsin to meet the common enemy and an overwhelming danger. As the turn the debate has taken has been greatly influenced by what has taken place in the past, the, Committee will pardon me if I dwell for a time on the point that, while the Government have not undervalued the crisis in China, they may also claim that no action of theirs has precipitated that crisis. I think that in the adjustment of credit that is not the least important con- 486 sideration. It is very easy to be wise after the event. It is to some extent easy with the power of Great Britain at your back to provide for an emergency. But with respect to the other point I think great force attaches to what fell from the hon. Baronet opposite, when he said, and said truly, that four years ago, by the sudden collapse of China before the onslaught of Japan, a very poor estimate was formed of Chinese power. I am sure he did not mean, any more than I do, to cast any reflection upon the valour shown in that war by the Japanese soldiers, or upon their military organisation or skill; but as a matter of fact, which the House may have forgotten, the actual total loss in the whole of that war on the Japanese side only amounted to 3,300; and of those less than one-quarter died of wounds received in action. It is, therefore, obvious to those who know the vast extent of China and its power, that what the Japanese had to do with in that war was an inexperienced body of Chinese soldiers, and not the resistance of the Chinese nation. There has been, undoubtedly, on the part of the Powers, on the part of certain people in this country, and I must say also, on the part of a great many of those who advised us, and who have spent long periods in China, the belief that the Chinese Colossus was prostrate and therefore fit for dismemberment. China is a Colossus without nerves; but she is not, therefore, impotent. I remember a remark once made by Sir Robert Hart that China, the aged man, was aged but not sick. I think we have learned by the events of the last few weeks how greatly the defensive power of China has been miscalculated, and that has reacted upon this country and upon this House. During the last two or three years I can truly say there never has been a Chinese debate in which most of the speeches have not contained something like an impeachment of Her Majesty's Government for want of forwardness and for want of vigour and persistent dictation to the Chinese Government. In the matter of outrages there has not been one case in which we have not secured the punishment of the offenders and compensation for those who suffered; but I can hardly recall a single case in which we have not been attacked for not either forcing China to maintain a system of police which you might expect in a Western nation, or punishing the 487 absence of that system with Oriental severity. What has been the case with regard to outrages has also been the case as to pressure put on us to undertake administrative and executive work in China. The hon. Member for the Ecclesall Division has not only peculiar views with regard to our action in North China as against Russia, but he has also pointed out the desirability of training large bodies of Chinese troops, and subsidising them if necessary, in order to keep back Russia from Manchuria. That is not at all surprising to any one of us. During all the years the hon. Member has sat in this House I have never known him to put himself on a peace footing with regard to Russia. I do not think I ever heard him make a remark complimentary to Russia, except on one occasion. I remember a time, when the right hon. Gentleman opposite was Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, that the hon. Member said something very handsome of the impartiality of a Russian newspaper in which he found an allusion to the imbecility of Mr. Gladstone's Government; and, if I recollect aright, the right hon. Gentleman opposite, in replying, said he fully agreed as to the impartiality of the Russian newspaper, because he found upon the very next page a reference to "les insanity de Sir Ashmead-Bartlett" To-night the hon. Member has stated that one of the follies we have been guilty of in the past is entertaining the belief that the Russians were strong enough in Manchuria to overrun China. That was one of the suggestions which the hon. Member himself made a few months ago.
§ *Sir E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
No, no; the right hon. Gentleman is making a very serious misstatement. In the speech to which he refers I deprecated placing too much importance on the actual strength of Russia in the north of China at present. I said the military strength of Russia there was very much exaggerated; but I said, as I repeated to-night, that if you allow Russia to get control of the northern provinces of China and to organise them, in the course of a year or two she will have by conscription a very large military force there, which she could use against the rest of China.
§ *MR. BRODRICK
If my hon. friend makes it a matter of credit I am quite 488 ready to withdraw that from amongst the numerous attacks he has made upon us, and to give him the fullest credit for his prescience. But there are other Members holding views, of which the hon. Member for Chester is an admirable exponent, almost as pressing upon the Government as those of the hon. Member for the Ecclesall Division. Pressure was brought to bear upon us only last year by Lord Charles Beresford to undertake the policing of the Yang-tsze valley and the garrisoning of the Yang-tsze by Chinese troops controlled by British officers, and the hon. Member for Chester urged us to undertake even the financial administration of that district.
§ MR. YERBURGH
What I suggested was that officers acceptable to the Viceroys should be offered to them to assist them in carrying out those reforms.
§ *MR. BRODRICK
The hon. Member's words go a great deal further than that I find on two occasions he urged us to undertake military and financial responsibilities. This view has been hold by a large number of Members of this House. It has been pressed upon her Majesty's Government by some newspapers, and it is the opinion of many of our fellow-countrymen all over the world that we have been remiss because we did not adopt that policy. Other suggestions of the same nature were pressed upon her Majesty's Government, but they all had the same drawbacks —they all assumed the consent of the Chinese Government or our power to disregard their consent. If you look at them by the light of the difficulties that have lately arisen in China they seem very little like practical or common-sense proposals. We have held from first to last that you cannot usurp the sovereign functions of the Chinese Government. For good or evil you have got to work through the Chinese Government; and often as we have been attacked for it, dilatory as their action may have been, we have limited our pressure to the point where we should have had to take the business out of the hands of the Chinese Government and undertake the administration ourselves. I am sure that hon. Members will understand that in that long array of negotiations about concessions which we laid before the House in a Blue-book last March there were 489 ample materials for these who read between the lines to see that the Chinese Government were fully aware of the inconsistent nature of the proposals made to them. At one moment they were told that they were effete, that their Government was corrupt, that they had not got the confidence of European investors, and that they should put themselves into the hands of the Powers. But they might well retort, as indeed they have been inclined to do, that the Governments of Europe were competing against each other in their desire to make them loans on their present security, that the speculators of all the countries of Europe were tumbling over each other in the scramble for concessions, and in the desire to advance money on railways, mines, telegraphs, and every other form of investment which, if all the arguments used as to the unfitness of the country and its need of reform were true, would be advanced on security of no more value than the paper upon which it was written. I agree with the Hon. Baronet in trusting that one solid result of the disturbances in China will be that other Governments, like our own Government, will refuse to be led astray by the idea that by putting on the pace we can really quicken the development of China. I think we must follow the principles of Sir Robert Hart, and by patient endeavour and quiet work, taking China more or less as she is, do the best we can towards her development, or we may find, as I think in the present crisis some of these who have urged the quickening of operations have realised, that premature births do not always give the longest lives. If I am brief in what I say in regard to policy to-night, I believe the House will pardon me. Let it not be supposed for one moment that because I have said, as a warning and as some vindication of the policy of the Government in the past, that caution and patience are wanted in the development of China, that we propose to depart from that leading position in all Chinese affairs which is due to Great Britain, both from our past traditions, from the fact that we have at this moment by far the largest trade in the country, and from the interest which we must have in the development of the Far East. But when we come to put what our policy may be into words, it must be for the moment chiefly of a negative character. Some points are 490 absolutely clear. In the first place, we are bound to press forward, and we will press forward by every means in our power in concert with our allies, the relief of the Legations in Peking. Whatever may be the result, whatever difficulties may intervene, it is absolutely clear that the inviolability of the position of Envoys must be impressed on Oriental peoples; and in the Far East, and upon all subject races, the supremacy of the Western world in this matter must be asserted. Secondly, comes the question of the Yang-tsze valley. Not much attention has been given to that subject to-night, because the debate has been short, but there is no question whatever that in every part of China at this moment there is a spirit of unrest and disquiet. It is our object, as far as we can, throughout the whole of the Yang-tsze sphere, to use Her Majesty's ships and Her Majesty's forces in the endeavour to quiet the present feelings and to assist the Viceroys in the task of preserving order. We have given assurances to the Viceroys in that particular. We have made it perfectly clear that our ships and our troops will be used with that object; but I would not Held out any expectation to the House that we propose to diffuse our troops or our ships over the enormous area of the Yang-tsze. We must limit our undertaking, which once given we shall pursue at all hazards. We are determined, whatever occurs, to defend Shanghai, and, in view of the strong strain which may be placed on our troops in the north, we have thought it wise to order a third brigade from India in order to have more troops available. Thon, the Hon. Gentleman opposite gave his view on the question of the partition of China. Her Majesty's Government are entirely in accord with his views with regard to the partition of China. We set our face resolutely against any partition, which we believe would be fraught with infinite danger to trade interests throughout China, and which it has been our traditional policy to prevent, and we have no reason whatever, judging from the negotiations which have taken place between ourselves and foreign Powers, to believe that we are at variance with any of the Powers of Europe in this respect. I think the Hon. Baronet very rightly said that it is not impossible that in the case of these private individuals who may have cherished an 491 opposite view recent events will have acted as a somewhat salutary lesson. Thon we also agree with the suggestion that whatever government is to be the prevailing government in China after this, whether the central seat of Government remains whore it is, whether the dynasty remains what it is, whether the Government which has been in name at Peking remains so in fact, or whether it be more widely diffused amongst these Viceroys who have now in many respects so independent a position, that government must be, in the first place, by Chinese for the Chinese. We are not prepared ourselves to undertake, nor are we prepared to assist other Powers in undertaking, to Indianise China. We are not prepared ourselves to undertake the responsibility of setting up European administration in these remote parts of China, which would entail upon us responsibilities that we are determined not to be party to. So much has been said to-night about the question of the organisation of the Chinese army that I may say at once that we do not contemplate the idea of organising the Chinese army under foreign officers in order to add to the strength of China as a sovereign Power. If it becomes necessary, as in the case of that regiment which we have ourselves organised at Wei-hai-wei, and which is doing such admirable service in the advance which is taking place—if it becomes necessary for police purposes to arrange for the officering of some native troops, that, perhaps, is a different matter. But to organise a great Chinese army under foreign officers seems to us, in the common interest of all the Powers, a dangerous experiment. Beyond that there is the question of an indemnity. There must be an indemnity. I welcome the Hon. Baronet's suggestion that the indemnity should be laid, if possible, on these who are chiefly responsible either for initiating or for not checking the present insurrection, but what form that indemnity should take is a question which we must relegate to future consideration. I think the Committee will pardon me if I do not go beyond what I have said. I think this is a time when the fewer words used the better. After all, if we do not fully state our views I do not think the house will believe that it is because we are blind to the broader aspects of the questions which nave been opened up, because we ignore them, or because we do not know our 492 own minds. But, Although I do not agree with my Hon. friend's strictures upon our attempt to work in concert with Europe, I do feel, and the Committee will feel, that there are limits, and known limits, to concerted action. It would be unwise for us, dealing with Powers that may have conflicting interests and must have varying conceptions of national duty in respect to China, to tie ourselves too closely to statements which may embarrass us hereafter at a time when, as we believe, it is better to go part of the way in concert with others than to attempt to go the whole way single-handed. But we do not shut our eyes to this fact—that great changes may result from the recent calamitous events. The Chinese government, or the want of Chinese government—the comedy, in some respects, of Chinese government—has almost created the greatest tragedy of the century, and no one can tell whether the result of what has occurred may not put back the clock of civilisation for forty or fifty years. What Her Majesty's Government feel is this— that, though we cannot see the actual stops before us, still we cannot help hoping that the Powers of Europe will discover some foundation on which a Chinese Government may be built up which will not utterly deny the benefit of civilised rule to a population amounting to one-third of the whole of the human race. If that should happen, thon a great crisis would have been made into a great opportunity. Her Majesty's Government cannot look with indifference at what the result may be. For the last century we have been building up a great trade in China which has been mutually advantageous to the Chinese and to ourselves. An Englishman has undertaken the responsibility of the Customs, which is almost the sole guarantee to a Chinaman of an incorrupt administration. We have in our own settlement of Shanghai and elsewhere given the example of the best forms of municipal government, and in our dealings with the Chinese Government we have scrupulously regarded good faith and treaty engagements. To desert all that Englishmen have built up during the last 100 years would be a position which Her Majesty's Government could never take up. Rather we would endeavour within the limits which I have laid down, and which I think have been accepted by the 493 Committee, to continue to use our best endeavours to preserve that civilised government, with extension of Western advantages, the diffusion of which has been the stimulus of British activity and the vindication of British rule throughout the world.
§ *MR. JOSEPH WALTON (Yorkshire, W.R., Barnsley)
congratulated the right Hon. Gentleman on a most statesmanlike and satisfactory speech. He recognised the great importance of using every effort to maintain the Concert of the Powers in dealing with the serious situation which might have to be faced and dealt with in China to-day. This was no time to go over the history of the past few years, though the Committee must agree that many mistakes had been made. Had these mistakes been avoided the position in China at the present time would have been very different to what it was. The correspondence which was contained in the Papers which had just been laid upon the Table showed that, during the last few months at all events, the Government had pursued a wise and vigorous policy in upholding British interests. Everyone rejoiced to know, and everything seemed to point to the fact, that the policy not only of this country, but of the other nations interested in China, was to preserve China for the Chinese, and to maintain that empire open equally to the trade of all nations. That was a just and equitable policy, and had it been maintained and pursued a few years ago, since the conclusion of the Chino-Japanese war, the situation to-day would be very different. We could not, however, recall the past. The policy declared by Count von Bülow, which opposed the partition of China, which sought no advantages for any one nation over others, and which looked to set up in China a better government, was a policy to which the British Government might well give their heartiest support. A statement had also been made by M. Delcassé on somewhat similar lines, and some time ago the United States sought and obtained assurances from other nations interested in the trade of China as to the maintenance of the open door for the trade of all nations. She at the same time urged that efforts should be made to introduce administrative reform into the Chinese Empire. 494 She, therefore, was also in accord with the German policy, and it was to be regretted that the exigencies of the Presidential campaign should have somewhat paralysed her energies at the present juncture. Undoubtedly all classes in Japan took the same view, and if the Government could proceed upon these lines with these other nations, adopting and supporting the same policy, Russia could not Held aloof, and out of the anarchy which now existed in China might come great good not only to the Chinese nation itself, but to all these nations who traded with her. Something had been said with regard to an indemnity. He sincerely hoped the spirit of revenge would be left out of the question in our advance on Peking—than which he could conceive no greater duty on the part of the civilised nations—but that the slaughter of Chinese would be as small as possible consistently with the rescue of the Legations. It should be remembered that China had been greatly provoked, and that unjust aggressions had been made upon her by nations, with the result that concessions were forced from her which enabled them to place themselves in military occupation of portions of Chinese territory. That was a question which, however, could not now be entered into. Our endeavour must be to work in concert with other Powers at present—to put an end to the present state of anarchy, and set up a better government for the Chinese. He reminded the house that among the Chinese he had mot were enlightened and patriotic statesmen; and while, of course, these who were responsible for the attack of the Imperial troops on the Legations at Peking must at the conclusion of hostilities be removed from power, he believed there were many Honest and patriotic Chinese statesmen, such as the Viceroys of the great Yang-tsze regions, and of Nanking and Wuchang, who, with other enlightened Chinamen, might help to form a better government for the country. The question of an indemnity was a difficult one. It would be impossible for China to pay any large indemnity at the conclusion of hostilities in money, and he hoped the Government would seek, rather than a money payment, that arrangements might be come to whereby new commercial treaties should be made with the Chinese Government under which likin would either be abolished or brought under 495 administrative control of an Honest description, and that China should receive largely increased import duties under these treaties. By these means the income of China could easily be increased without serious detriment to the trade of nations dealing with her. Moreover, it should be demanded that the inland waterways of the interior of China should be opened freely to the trade of all nations, that great arteries of the Empire like the Yang-tsze-Kiang and West River should be put under the control of international conservancy beards, and a certain sum of money, derived from the increased revenues, employed in removing the obstructions to navigation and developing the trade on these rivers. With regard to railways, He thought whenever railways were built by foreign enterprise, the Chinese Government ought to have power, under certain terms and conditions, to take over the lines when they were in a position to do so, but that until they could repay principal and interest, the railways should remain, under the control of these who constructed them. If such a policy could be carried out with the free consent of the best elements of China—and the reform party in China was by no means inconsiderable—lie believed it would be productive of great benefit. There was one other point He wished to refer to arising out of some remarks made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a previous occasion. The correspondence showed that Lord Salisbury very promptly and very properly, when approached by the Japanese Government, undertook the financial responsibility for Japan's sending troops to the relief of the Legations at Peking. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said a few evenings previously that no financial responsibility now attached to this country in regard to Japanese expenditure, for the reason that they did not act with sufficient promptitude. The consent of Lord Salisbury to undertake the financial responsibility was only communicated to Japan on the 6th of July, and the Japanese Government immediately prepared an army of 20,000 men to go to China. In his opinion, if the matter was not clear, it would be wise that notice should be given to the Japanese Government that the British Government was prepared to adhere to their promise to bear the financial responsibility of this expedition to relieve 496 the Legations in Peking. It was to be hoped that the rising would not spread to the rest of that vast Empire. He recognised the efforts which were now being made by the Government to protect the lives and property of British subjects in China, but he regretted that what he had urged so long ago had not received more prompt attention. He ventured to press, upon the attention of the Government the advisability, and, indeed, the necessity, of at once undertaking the construction; of suitable gunboats to patrol the upper Yang-tsze, and protect our interests. He would not add more because of the serious character of the present situation. If its seriousness were fully realised by the Government he could only hope that at the end of the recess when the house met again they would be able to congratulate the Government on having in the intervening months dealt vigorously, firmly, and wisely with one of the gravest situations that the Government in the whole of its history had had to face.
§ *MR. BILL (Staffordshire, Leek)
rose to make an appeal to the right Iron. Gentleman that the temporary assistance which it was admitted might fairly be granted, to the sufferers of the Waima incident might be immediate and substantial. It was perfectly true that a small grant of twe hundred pounds was given, last year to the three ladies whose cases were looked into, but that amount must have come to an end, and having regard to the fact that it was seven years since the deplorable occurrence took place, these ladies were now in great straits. He was glad to hear that the black soldiers were to share equally with their white comrades, and he hoped that their families would meet with some recompense. In these faraway regions, whore black and white soldiers were fighting side by side, and whore occurrences like the Waima incident unhappily took place, he hoped they would always be treated alike.
MR. GIBSON BEWLES (Lynn Regis),
said that he had heard with great satisfaction the policy declared by the right lion. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. His satisfaction had been the greater because this was the first declaration of a definite character which had been given to the House. Doubtful statements had been made, but 497 he had never ceased to believe that the Government would come back to the belief which they entertained in 1898, when they accepted the motion of the Hon. Member for the Ecclesall Division, seconded by himself, affirming the necessity in British interests for maintaining the integrity of China. He was rather struck by one phrase used by his right Hon. friend, to which, perhaps, he attached too much literal importance—that one of the main objects of the Government was that the supremacy of the Western world should be established in China.
§ *MR. BRODRICK
said he was thon referring solely to the power of the Western world to relieve their Legations in China.
MR. GIBSON BEWLES
was extremely glad to have elicited that explanation, for He confessed the words seemed to him to bear a signification which might be injurious. They might have been understood as implying that it was intended that the Western Powers should exert a paramount and permanent influence over the Chinese. The right Hon. Gentleman had said, and said truly, that the defensive power of China had been greatly underrated—by no one, he was sorry to say, more than by one of the right Hon. Gentleman's predecessors on the Government Bench, who wrote a book to prove that China was a foredoomed and decaying Power. He thought the veracity of the Chinese Ambassador was also greatly underrated, together with that of the Chinese Ministers, who had assorted day after day that the Ambassadors in Peking were alive. These assertions had been received by the press with insulting comments, and even sensational accounts were published of a massacre which did not take place. He had looked in vain to sec some sort of an apology made to the men whose veracity had been impugned. We were, no doubt, committed to common action with other Powers with regard to the relief of the Legations, but he for one would not be prepared to assume the responsibility of acting with them throughout, after the way in which some nations had announced their intentions. He would much deplore anything like a close association in permanent policy with Powers whose conduct he believed had materially led up to what had taken place, Although it 498 might be necessary to join in common action to effect the rescue of the Ministers in Peking. What he wanted to see was that we did not pledge ourselves to anything further than was required to effect that rescue. If we were once tempted to sot up a permanent concert of the Powers, it might have a very prejudicial effect upon the interests of this country. He rejoiced that the Waima incident had been so happily terminated, but He regretted that no attempt had been made to settle the difference between this country and Prance with regard to the Newfoundland difficulty. He believed with a little pressure on the part of the Government and a little reasoning on the part of the British Ambassador in Paris an arrangement could be come to which would make it possible for the subjects of both countries to live in harmony in Newfoundland. Here again he had noticed with grief the assertions made by the English press. He had seen it assorted that France was preparing to make war upon this country, when everyone knew that no one in high position in France had any such idea; that so far from having any intention to make war upon us, they were apprehensive of our making war upon them, which was a notion which never entered our heads. It was a very dangerous frame of mind to get into. Mr. Kruger said that he only made war upon us because he was afraid that we were going to make war upon him. Such a calamity as a war between England and France owing to the apprehension of both countries was a thing which he Hoped would never occur. France was our most necessary friend and our nearest neighbour, and a good understanding between France and ourselves was necessary not only in the interests of the two countries, but also for the permanent security of peace in Europe. He looked, therefore, with the greatest grief on the attempts which had been made recently in the press to suggest the idea that France had the intention to make war upon us, and he would, so far as it lay in his power, reassure the French in that respect. He believed he expressed the feeling of the country when he said that no such idea had entered our heads.
§ MR. MOON (St. Pancras, N.)
desired to associate himself with the Hon. 499 Member for Leek in his appeal to the financial authorities to give rapid, effectual, and substantial help to these who suffered so long ago in the Waima disaster. He also desired to associate himself with the Hon. Member for the Barnsley Division of Yorkshire in the congratulations which he offered to the right lion. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Everyone must sympathise with the Government in the difficulties in which they were involved, and which they had to meet and deal with under the present trying circumstances; not the least of which was the fact that there was a dual Government at present in Northern China. When one Government came to the top he Hoped it would be the reformed Government. This was the first time during the last five or six years that the Under Secretary had shown any sympathy with the reform party in China, and he congratulated him upon that fact. Although the reform party were in no way altogether favourable to Europeans, and there were many who showed strong anti-foreign predilections, if that party was established in China it would greatly benefit Western Powers, with China adequately administered on modern methods. There was one point which these Papers did not throw much light on—namely, the causes of the outbreak and the crisis which had been precipitated. It seemed to him that our representatives at Peking had not had these means of information which they might have had. They did not foresee the coup détat which took place, Although these who followed the affairs of China in the public prints had read statements in an important weekly paper, well known to all Europeans in China, containing most striking predictions. One especially came out as far back as February and another in May, which was quoted in a letter by ex-Consul Jamieson, showing that information was available which might have gone far if acted on in checking or mitigating the outbreak which had caused so much trouble. It seemed to him that we needed an improved Intelligence Department at Peking. He had said that before, but since he last had the honour of speaking on the point no less a personage than the Prime Minister had referred to the neces- 500 sity for a judicious distribution of secret service money. Lord Salisbury said—Information is a mere matter of money and nothing else. If you want much information you must give much money. If you give little money you will have little information.China was a part of the world whore valuable information could be obtained at a cheaper rate than in any other part of the globe. He Hoped that in another year the secret service money might be largely increased. There was only one other point to which he wished to draw attention, and that was the position of our Commercial Attaché, Mr. Consul Jamieson. He had felt that in his intercourse with the Viceroys he was considerably prejudiced and handicapped by the fact that his rank was inferior to theirs. He (the Hon. Member) suggested that our Commercial Attaché should have the rank of a Secretary of Legation.
§ *SIR CHAELES DILKE
said that the declaration made by the Government as to the Waima incident, though tardy, was as satisfactory as could be Hoped for in the circumstances, and he asked leave to withdraw his Amendment.
§ Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.
§ Original Question again proposed.
§ MR. BECKETT (Yorkshire, N.R., Whitby)
said he wished to associate himself with the congratulations which had been expressed on the speech of his right Hon. friend the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs. It was some satisfaction that the policy the Government proposed to adopt met with universal approval. At the same time there were one or two remarks suggested by the speech which he should like to make. The right Hon. Gentleman said that the two qualities required in dealing with China were caution and patience. He would venture to suggest to the Government that they ought to exhibit two other qualities which were equally needed—firmness and perseverance. They knew that the Government had from the first been in favour of maintaining the integrity of China. The means by which they Hoped to maintain that integrity had so far been very effective in resisting encroachments, and in view of what had happened in the past he Hoped there would be a continuance of that policy. At the same time it was 501 impossible to disguise from ourselves the fact that efforts might be made to interfere with the integrity of China which would require the greatest finesse and skill on our part to avert. His lion, friend did not propose that the British Government should undertake the financial administration of the Yang-tsze valley. His contention was that it would be of the greatest advantage not only to the Chinese Government, but to the traders and merchants who carried on business in that region, if some skilled and trained official could be appointed to fill a position similar to that occupied by Sir Robert Hart. If we were to raise an indemnity in China it seemed to him that something of that kind would have to be clone, because at present the feeling was that an indemnity could only be raised by a loan, and the interest on that loan would have to be guaranteed in some way. It would have to be taken out of the likin duties, and therefore he thought his right Hon. friend would see that the suggestion of the Hon. Member for Chester was not very wide of the mark. With reference to the action we were now taking in China, he thought the British Government, and perhaps Governments in general, were inclined to rely too much on Japan. Having been in that country himself, and taken some pains to investigate its powers and resources, he confessed he was not so greatly impressed by them as other people had been, and he did not think, in any case, that the European Concert should allow Japan to take the lead in this crisis. It would not be a wise or dignified course, and we might be sure that Japan wanted something to herself. Japan would not pull the chestnuts out of the fire for nothing. What he would say was— work with Japan, but do not rely too much on her. He agreed with his Hon. friend that it was better to go half-way with the Concert of Europe than the whole way ourselves. He thought England should do all she could at present to work in a friendly way with the Concert of Europe, especially when the feeling of Europe was one of hostility to this country. That might help to mitigate the hostility which was felt on certain parts of the Continent. He wished to associate himself with the Hon. Member for King's Lynn as to the necessity of cultivating friendship with France. Although comparisons were always odious, and he did 502 not wish to make comparisons, at the same time he must say that, if we looked at the feeling exhibited by the journals of the country, it was impossible to maintain that France was more unfriendly than Germany. He thought that, on the whole, the indications were that France was more inclined to be friendly than Germany. It should be remembered that France had good reason to be sore with us at present. We should not try to tread upon her corns in any way. It would be extremely wise to endeavour at this moment to show a friendly feeling towards France, because it was undoubtedly the fact—he had it from an intimate friend of one of the French Ministers—that an impression was being spread abroad that it was the intention of England to declare war upon France. It would be wise statesmanship to do all we could to remove that impression from the people and the Government of France, and certainly we should avoid using any expressions which would wound the susceptibilities of France. A wise, conciliatory, and friendly policy with France and Russia would lie the most advantageous for this country to pursue.
MR. BRYN ROBERTS (Carnarvonshire, Eifion)
said that although he listened with satisfaction to the right Hon. Gentleman's speech, he confessed that it had not removed any feeling of apprehension from his mind, for he had not entertained any apprehension whatever that the Government were likely to embark on any policy with regard to China which would not be safe, easy, and profitable. He was satisfied that, Although we declined to arbitrate in the dispute with the Transvaal, if at the time the war was commenced in South Africa we had known that it would cost us £70,000,000——
MR. BRYN ROBERTS
said he was not going to discuss the war, but he was I going to show that the principle of arbitration should always be adopted when it was an advantageous thing to do so. It was obvious that the moment it was discovered that war with China would not be safe and easy, and that it would be expensive, there was not the slightest 503 chance of this country embarking upon it. He did not think any Blue-book was necessary to ascertain the causes of the war. He would ask Hon. Members what their feelings would be if they were in the position the Chinese had been in. Supposing England had been described as effete and played out and to be safely attacked, supposing we had a weak Government, giving way to unreasonable demands, supposing there were hundreds and thousands of adventurers in the country from the Continent demanding with threats of war concessions, if the Government was unable or made no attempt to restrain them, he ventured to say that there would be a "Boxer" movement in England to clear away the interlopers who were endeavouring to seize the country. The disastrous state of affairs in China at present was owing to the Imperialistic jingo policy which was formerly countenanced and now abandoned by the Government. It was often said that it would never do to introduce into politics the principles of morality which governed private individuals. That doctrine had always been denied by the Manchester school to which he belonged. A close examination of the history of this country showed that whenever we had departed in our international relations from the principles of morality and honesty which ought to regulate the dealings between man and man, it had always brought disaster upon us. If we had acted on these principles we would have been able to dictate in the form of advice any decision China ought to take, and we might have relied upon China following our advice, but we had discredited ourselves by associating ourselves with a gang of robbers who believed that China would be too weak to resist.
§ MR. DAVID MACIVER (Liverpool, Kirkdale)
asked the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs whether he could give the House any information as to the negotiations with foreign countries with reference to the abolition of sugar bounties. This was a most important question to these who used to live by the refining of sugar and the various industries connected with it. The question was in very much the same position now as twenty-six years ago, when he first had the honour to be elected a Member of that House. The 504 first person who gave him any information on the subject was his right hon. friend the President of the Beard of Trade, at a time when he occupied a position of greater freedom and less responsibility.
Order, order! The hon. Member is not entitled to go into the whole question of sugar bounties. He must apply his remarks in such a way as to show that the Foreign Office has done something it ought not to have done, or that it has left undone something, it ought to have done.
§ MR. DAVID MACIVER
said lie wished to show that the Foreign Office had omitted to do that which it ought to have done, and he wanted to know if it intended to do that which ought to have been done. He thought it would be seen that his remarks were germane to his argument. The sugar refineries had decreased from——
The hon. Member must proceed to show malfeasance on the part of the Government in order to bring his remarks into order.
§ MR. DAVID MACIVER
expressed the hope that his right hon. friend would be able to show that the Foreign Office was doing its very best to prevent these bounties, which were ruining, and had ruined, sugar refineries in England. This was a serious matter to his constituency. He wished the Under Secretary to show that He was doing what he could to remedy this state of things in future, so that the sugar industries might be brought back to something like their former prosperity. He did not think he was unreasonable in protesting against the bounty system, and in asking the Under Secretary to tell the Committee what the real intention of the Government was with the view of remedying a state of things so that a valuable trade would be enabled to lift its head and prosper as in the days of old.
The Committee is probably aware that we are carrying on negotiations through diplomatic channels. If there is no definite progress which can be at present noted on the subject of sugar bounties, I know, indirectly, that negotiation and discussion are going on between the Governments of Germany, France, Austria, and, I think, Russia, on 505 the subject. My hon. friend will appreciate that all changes of fiscal policy on the part of any Government are to some extent of slow growth, hut I can assure my hon. friend that the matter has not been lost sight of. So far as the Government are concerned, we will continue to press through diplomatic channels in the direction desired.
§ *SIR E. ASHMEAD-BARTLETT
I might perhaps take a little exception to the great ingratitude displayed towards myself personally by the right Hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the course of his speech, seeing that I have provided Her Majesty's Government with a policy towards China. However, I am satisfied with the fact that the light Hon. Gentleman has accepted that policy to the full now. His declaration with regard to the maintenance of the independence and the integrity of China was as satisfactory as any of us could hope for, and was in thorough accordance with the resolution the House passed in March, 1898, which I had the honour of proposing. What I want to ask my right hon. friend now is regarding his declaration as to reform in China. I very much regret that in the course of the remarks I made I did not dwell sufficiently on the question of reform. That really, as the hon. Member for Chester says, is the basis of the future of China, and it ought to be one of the main objects of our policy to improve and reform China. The hon. Baronet the Member for Berwick, the late Under Secretary of State, made a statement which I thought was very unfortunate, He tried to bind the Government and the House to a formal declaration against using influence in support of any particular government in China. It is perfectly clear that if China is to be reformed—and China must be reformed —the civilised Governments of the world must exert their influence in support of a party or of ministers who are in favour of reform. I would not bind the Government to any particular form of support, but I do hope the statement of the Hon. Baronet is not going to be the policy of Her Majesty's Government. I hope a part of that policy —which we now clearly know to be that of the independence and integrity of China—will lie reform; and the only way in which reform can be carried out is by Her Majesty's 506 Government in some form or other lending their strong moral support to that party in China which wishes to sec reform and good government there established. I think the House has good reason to congratulate itself upon the result of to-night's debate. Very little exception, if any, can be taken to the statement of the Government, and I rejoice that two very serious difficulties in the way of a satisfactory settlement in China have been removed by the statements which have come from both Front Benches. It is perfectly clear that the hon. Baronet at last sees that the British policy cannot be based upon the imaginary Concert of Europe. It is also perfectly clear from the statement of my right hon. friend that the Government intend to have a policy and to carry out that policy whether or not they got the formal support of the Powers. So long as that policy is clearly defined and courageously upheld, they can afford to disregard any opposition they may encounter in Europe or elsewhere, because they will have the support of the strongest Powers with them.
MR. CHARLES MCARTHUE (Liverpool, Exchange)
I wish to associate myself with the hope that has been expressed that the Government will do something definite to bring the negotiations arising out of the Brussels Conference to a successful issue. One reason why these negotiations were not successful at the time was that the British Government sent a representative to the Conference without any definite instructions. There is no use bringing forward a grievance unless you are prepared to suggest a remedy, and the British representative was sent without any definite instructions to propose a remedy for the great evil which is being done to the sugar industry. We are glad to hear that negotiations are still proceeding, but that is not altogether satisfactory. We have heard that for a long time, but nothing; has been done, and meanwhile the industry is being brought to the verge of extinction. Distinguished members of Her Majesty's Government have from time to time stated their belief that the bounty system is altogether indefensible, and that something should be done to put a stop to it. What we ask is that they should have the 507 this question to remain in the air no longer, but really do something to put an end to the iniquitous system which is destroying the trade against which it is directed.
§ MR. T. P. O'CONNOR (Liverpool, Scotland)
I simply wish to enter my protest against language such as that of the Hon. Member for the Ecclesall Division of Sheffield. At this moment, when the lives of not only men but also women and children are hanging in the balance, and when the rescue of these lives is absolutely dependent on perfect accord between the different Powers of Europe who have troops out there, I think the hon. Gentleman was adopting a not very discreet course in discussing the future relations between the different Powers engaged in this work. I will say nothing further on the question of China except to congratulate the right Hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs upon the admirable and eloquent speech he has delivered to-night, a speech which I am sure met with the approval of every Member of the House. I have risen mainly for the purpose of saying a word on the question alluded to by the hon. Member for King's Lynn—namely, the relations between this country and France. Everybody must be delighted with the announcement that the outstanding difficulty with regard to the Waima incident has been at last settled, and that one source of friction has been removed. The Hon. Member for King's Lynn had the courage to protest against the language of certain journals, and, may I add, certain statesmen, with regard to the relations between this country and France. I spent three weeks in France recently, and I made it my business to speak to some prominent French politicians and to study very seriously, so far as I could in that short period, the tone and opinion in that country with regard to this. I can say with perfect sincerity and accuracy that all the stories you find in some of the journals in this country with regard to the warlike feeling in France towards us are absolute inventions. As a matter of fact the feeling is all the other way. So far as I could see, they have got it into their heads that this country is burning with a desire to pick a quarrel with their nation in order to destroy their fleet and cripple their resources. I believe 508 that is an entire delusion on the part of the people of France, but I am bound to say there has been language used with regard to that nation which it was very difficult for a chivalrous and proud people to hear without some feeling of dissatisfaction and alarm. I am quite convinced that responsible men and women who control their voice and temper in both countries are determined, so far as they possibly can, to prevent any such terrible and horrible event taking place as a misunderstanding between two great nations who have many interests in common, and who have no differences which wise and judicious administration on both sides cannot satisfactorily arrange.
§ *MR. KESWICK (Surrey, Epsom)
said that recent events in China must inevitably have a very great effect on the history of that country. They opened a new book, which should have written upon its pages a different record from the horrors and disappointments of the past. But the nature of the record would depend almost entirely upon the Western Powers, with whom rested the character future intercourse would assume. Reform was essential, indeed was the only means by which a recurrence of the troubles: we deplore could be prevented. Whoever was sent out to represent this country in Peking should be strong and vigorous, determined not to partition the country or to interfere with the rights of China, but to make known, and to insist upon China knowing, what were the proper principles upon which the future prosperity, peace, and good government of that Empire should be based. No one desired to see China weakened or her integrity m any way broken, but all desired to see peace and reform. Unless there was reform, however, disintegration was inevitable. Nothing but reform and a new policy, and the sweeping away of past misgovernment could bring the country into a state which would enable it to maintain its independence and to save itself from the grasping ambitions of certain Powers.
§ MR. SWIFT MACNEILL (Donegal, S.)
said he only rose to make a casual observation upon a matter which very properly arose upon the Vote for the salary of the Foreign Secretary. What He wished to criticise was the unconstitutional practice of uniting the two offices of Prime 509 Minister and Foreign Secretary. When one and the same individual held both these offices it was a distinct weakness. The Foreign Minister was necessarily more detached from his colleagues than any other Minister, and he had more separate and individual responsibility. The prerogatives of the Crown had become by constitutional practice vested in the Ministers, and the power of declaring peace and war was vested in the Foreign Minister. Constitutionally this House never needed to be consulted at all, although eventually the Government must come to the House of Commons for supplies. Therefore, the Foreign Minister had a position of less responsibility to the House of Commons than other Ministers in the Cabinet, and in accordance with the constitutional practice he did not need to consult his colleagues as other Ministers did. The Prime Minister had to act with the Foreign Minister, and he exercised a certain control over the Foreign Minister, but of course that control ceased when the two offices were combined. Until Lord Salisbury came into power in 1886 there never had been a union of the two offices, and on no fewer than three occasions had the Foreign Minister on becoming Prime Minister left the Foreign Office. Lord Palmerston, Earl Russell, and later still Lord Rosebery, all vacated the office of Foreign Secretary upon taking that of Prime Minister. The Foreign Secretary had not the support of the Prime Minister when the two offices were combined, and he had to act largely upon his own responsibility. The Foreign Office had so many details, was so complicated, and required so much energy, that it would pass the wit of man for the same individual to occupy himself as he ought to do in his own Department and at the same time to exercise over the other Departments the controlling influence of the Prime Minister. Mr. Gladstone no fewer than three times protested against this arrangement, which was unknown until Lord Salisbury's time, and which was an anomaly absolutely associated with him alone. When the two offices were combined, other members of the Cabinet could take liberties with the Foreign Office, and no later than December last the Colonial Secretary absolutely interfered with Lord Salisbury as Foreign Minister. Of course, it was too late in the day to quarrel with Lord Salisbury's retention of these offices, but it was a 510 practice instituted by him and unknown before his time. He could easily prove that this combination of the two offices had led to the South African War, and he thought this was a precedent which should be guarded against in the future. The relations between this country and the Orange Free State and the Transvaal were formerly directly under the control of the Foreign Office, and he believed, they would have remained under that control if Lord Salisbury had not been over weighted with the cares of the Foreign Office. If these relations had remained with the Foreign Secretary he believed there never would have been a Transvaal War. If Lord Salisbury had been Prime Minister alone he would have exercised, more control than he had been able to do while holding at the same time the office of Foreign Secretary. On these grounds He protested against the union of the two offices as highly unconstitutional. It had been publicly stated by Lord. Salisbury in the House of Lords that the right Hon. Gentleman the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs was not permitted to answer supplementary questions. He thought it was wrong that the right hon. Gentleman should not be permitted. Much of the benefit every afternoon arose from the supplementary questions. There was no doubt whatever of the ability of the right hon. Gentleman to answer them. He thought Lord Salisbury had not dealt with perfect fairness with the House of Commons in asking the Under Secretary to forfeit his Ministerial position. He Hoped that in future the offices of Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary would be held separately.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
§ 2. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £124,483, be granted to Her Majesty, to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1901, for the Salaries and Expenses of the Local Government Beard."
§ *MR. TALBOT (Oxford University)
said he wished to take that opportunity of calling attention to a matter connected, with the administration of the Local Government Beard. He had no complaint to make against the right hon. Gentleman the President of the Local. 511 Government Beard for the way he received former representations from him on the same subject, but he could not conceal from himself that the law relating to the provision of religious services in work houses had not been carried out. The law required that in every union there should be a chaplain, and that Church of England services should be provided for the inmates in some building under the control of the guardians. The erection of a separate chapel was not necessarily required. The inmates of work houses were in some measure in a state of confinement. They were in many cases persons who were aged, infirm, or bedridden, and it was impossible for them to go anywhere outside the walls of these houses. What he complained of was that the ministrations of religion in work houses depended not upon the provision which the law made, but upon the provision which a temporary majority of the several beards of guardians might make. Whore the provisions of the law were not carried out beards of guardians, instead of making provision for the ordinary services of the Church of England being regularly conducted according to the law, made some provision by which ministers of religion of various denominations took turns of providing religious instruction. That appeared to him to be very unsatisfactory. What must be the hopeless state of confusion into which persons might get if they found themselves on one occasion instructed according to the formularies of the Church of England, and next week according to the formularies, or perhaps he should say according; to the tenets, of one body or another of Nonconformists. He was not now speaking in the interest of the Church of England, to which he belonged, but in the interest of religion and the equitable administration of the law. He did not ask for any special favour. He did not ask anything for these of his own conviction and belief which he should not be ready to give others. What he did ask was that the provisions of the law should be carried out. He had a right to ask why this particular branch of the law was infringed with the connivance and assistance of the Local Government Beard itself. He thought a still stronger case was made out when they came to the question of work house schools whore religious instruction was given to the children by 512 the representative of one denomination one day and by the representative of another another day. If this system was unsatisfactory in the case of adults it was still more unsatisfactory in the case of children. What could be more fatal to the enforcement of any religious instruction? He would infinitely prefer children to be taught the tenets of a religion which he did not approve than that they should lie taught in this happy-go-lucky way. When these children went out into the world, it was highly important that they should have some form of religious conviction and worship to which they were attached; but if during their most impressionable years they were allowed to form the opinion that one set of tenets was as good as another, there was no chance, when they left the schools in which they were brought up, of their receiving that definite conviction which was the best protection against the temptations to which in after life they were exposed.
§ MR. STUART (Shoreditch, Hoxton)
said he Hoped that when the right Hon. Gentleman was replying he would also reply on a particular point which He desired to raise, and in which he believed the right lion. Gentleman and the Local Government Beard had a certain amount of sympathy. He did not desire anything like a general discussion, and did not intend to make anything like an exhaustive speech. The subject to which he wished to allude was the education of our pauper children. He had brought the subject before the House on many occasions. On one occasion he found that the Education Beard was entirely with him, and that the Local Government Beard was entirely against him; in the present Parliament He found that the Local Government Beard was entirely of his view, that the education of pauper children ought to be placed under the Education Department; but when he turned to the Education Department he found that the opinion of that body had changed, and that it was no longer in favour of the reform. He said, perhaps rather too hastily, that the opinion of the Department had changed, but as far as he understood there was one man and one man only who stood between them and a much needed reform, and that was the Vice-President of the Council, who was unwilling to carry it out. It was 513 said that they could not transfer the education of pauper children from the Local Government Beard to the Education Department without for some reason or other transferring also the supervision of the life and position of these children. He believed lie could claim the sympathy of the right Hon. Gentleman, and He wished to know what he intended to do in the matter. He believed also that the Local Government Board were sympathetic and that they shared the view that the transfer could be accomplished without any serious departmental difficulty. He saw on the Treasury Bench the Parliamentary Secretary to the Local Government Beard, to whose administrative ability he desired to pay a tribute of admiration. He believed that the Hon. Gentleman, with the aid of the officials of the Local Government Board, could carry out the change. But it was not carried out because they were told that the whole supervision of the pauper children of the country ought to be taken out of the hands of the guardians and put into the hands of some new central body. But even if that were possible and desirable, why should they wait for the accomplishment of a reform which was certainly distant, when they were all agreed it was a real and valuable reform —all except the Vice-President of the Council. The President of the Local Government Board knew that his views were entertained not only on that side of the House, but on the other. He appealed to the right Hon. Member for the University of Oxford to signify that he agreed with them.
§ MR. STUART
said he felt sure that if the President of the Local Government Beard expressed his view to the Beard he so ably represented a reasonable solution of the difficulty would be found. The pauper children of the country were educated under an ineffective system. That was not the fault of the Local Government Beard, because they were not the proper body to educate these children, and he was sure that a very real and important reform might be carried a step forward that evening if the right Hon. Gentleman would express his views on it.
§ MR. H. C. RICHARDS (Finsbury, E.)
said he thoroughly agreed with the views 514 that had been expressed by the Hon. Member for Hoxton with regard to the education of pauper children. As a London Member he had seen something of the surroundings of these pauper schools, and he was perfectly certain that the hon. Member had expressed a view which was in unison with the view entertained by many hon. Members. What he wished particularly to bring Home to the President of the Local Government Board was the grievance which Hon. Members felt against him for not enforcing the law in different parts of the country with regard to the appointment of chaplains. He had steadily perused the accounts of the work houses in which chaplains were not appointed, and whore the religious wants of the inmates were attended to by voluntary chaplains, and a more unsatisfactory condition of affairs could hardly be imagined. Something had been said about the attitude of the Irish Members, but everyone knew that if such attempts were made on their Catholic fellow-citizens as were made on the members of the Church of England they should have the adjournment moved and the matter called attention to by the Irish Catholic Members of the House. One of the Hon. Members for Belfast expressed his surprise when he learned the state of affairs in England, and said that if such a thing happened in Ireland, and if the guardians refused to elect a Protestant chaplain or a Roman Catholic priest to attend to the spiritual wants of the majority or the minority in a work house, a sealed order would be sent down from Dublin compelling them to do it. They who complained of the grievance would like to see the same measure of justice dealt out to their unhappy island as was given to Ireland, which they were told was a downtrodden country. They had complained year after year of infractions of the law. Last year and the year before his noble friend spoke of the deliberate way in which the law was broken in the Field Lane Industrial Schools. He wished to know what happened to the unfortunate bedridden people in the infirmaries who are practically left without any spiritual ministrations. They were left to the gentlemen who came once a week or once a month to see their own people and thon asked, to use a vulgar expression, if there was anyone else worth picking up. The Church of England might or might not 515 be a majority of the population—he was not going to argue that—but even if it were a minority it was at all events a minority which deserved consideration, and he ventured to say that the people who deserved most consideration were these poor people in the infirmaries who were unable to attend church on Sundays or days of obligation. The President of the Local Government Beard really owed his position to members of the Church of England, and it was certainly a poor return for that Church to know that its poorer members were left to such a haphazard arrangement. With regard to chapels he knew Hew difficult it was to provide, especially in largo work houses, accommodation for the duo solemnities of religion. He knew one London work house whore some friends of his were giving an entertainment, and they were shown into the chancel to be used as a dressing-room. He would not mention the name, because the paupers might be deprived of their entertainment next winter, but it showed the spirit of economy on the one hand and sectarianism on the other which prevailed.
§ *MR. STRACHEY (Somersetshire, S.)
said that he desired to ask the right Hon. Gentleman the President of the Local Government Beard whether he had not received a communication from the Yeovil Rural District Council, on behalf of 120 other rural district councils, in the preceding November urging him to take action in regard to further regulations in respect of light locomotives on highways. There had been considerable discussion upon this subject of late, and suggestions had been made to further regulate the speed of motors by reducing it in difficult parts of the roads and at difficult turnings. All motors went at a high rate of speed, and the question was whether they should not have a distinguishing number put upon them so that they could be identified. They went through country districts at a high rate of speed, and when they did damage they might not be identified afterwards. He was informed that though the right Hon. Gentleman had had the matter brought under his notice some nine months previously, no reply had been received from him to the representations of these 120 rural district councils.
§ LORD HUGH CECIL (Greenwich)
supported the right Hon. Member for Oxford University in his protest against the want of action on the part of the Local Government Board with regard to the appointment of chaplains to workhouses. This matter was becoming a great scandal. The law upon the subject was not denied, and it was not fitting that the scandal should go on year after year and no proper effort be made to effect a remedy. If the objection to enforcing the law was due to the fear of wounding the susceptibilities of the Nonconformists, and the Nonconformists had the slightest apprehension that there would be any proselytism, means should be taken to safeguard them. What he contended was that when a law was made provisional for these who were of the Church of England the authorities should not shrink from giving the people an opportunity of worshipping according; to their religious convictions. There could be no defence of the present system. The truth of the matter was that where religion was concerned public departments cared very little about it. If people accepted religion with the same conviction that they accepted the principle of sanitation, for instance, the best provision would long since have been made for religious ministration to the poor in workhouses, and this scandal would not have arisen. There was a no more, ominous thing in the mental attitude of the people of this country than the decay of religious belief, which was at the bottom of the whole difficulty. If it were thought to be an important matter there would be no difficulty in providing forit. As it was it was put a side. But he was not prepared to acquiesce in the indifference which affected the Local Government Board. He should continue to urge the necessity for maintaining that proper provision should be made, and he should continue to do his best to force his views upon the attention of the Government. The interests of the Nonconformist bodies were no less acutely at stake than the interests of the Church of England. They were threatened by the same movement, which, was an irreligious movement; indeed, they would be the first to fall under a decay of religious belief, and he therefore appealed to them to co-operate with the members of the Church of England in defence of the common principles of religion against a common enemy.
§ MR. CHANNING (Northamptonshire, E.)
desired to put a few points before the right hon. Gentleman with regard to a subject in which his constituency was largely interested, the right hon. Gentleman's vaccination policy. He submitted that in the Order made in October two years ago there was a revolution in the policy of the Local Government Board which was quite contrary to the understanding arrived at in Parliament. At the time the Vaccination Act was passed in 1898 a great deal of discussion took place as to prosecutions, and a great many arguments were advanced on both sides. The Order which came out in October, 1898, gave the Local Government Board absolute discretion to decide for themselves what cases should be prosecuted and what cases should not. The right hon. Gentleman was not justified in the action he took. Under the old Order and practice of thirty years there was a right in the board of guardians to control their own officer, but the Order of 1898 had revolutionised that, and given the control to the Local Government Board. He thought ho had some reason to complain that the Return he asked for regarding the expenditure caused by the new law with regard to vaccination had been denied.
§ THE PRESIDENT OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (MR. CHAPLIN,) Lincolnshire, Sleaford
said in the short time loft at his disposal he would endeavour, as far as possible, to deal with the questions which had been raised by the hon. Gentlemen who had preceded him. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford University and the noble Lord had complained that the law with regard to the appointment of chaplains to the workhouses of the country was not carried out, and that it mainly failed because of the inactivity of the Local Government Board. The statement of the right hon. Gentleman was
§ not strictly accurate, because the appointment of chaplains for workhouses was required not by law, but by regulation made by the Local Government Board. As the regulation was made by the Department, it could be changed or revoked by the Department. In like manner the performance of services on certain specified days in workhouses was required by regulation to be observed. No one could sympathise more than he did with the desire that people of all classes and persuasions should hare the advantage of religious worship, but what was the proposal of his hon. friends? In the vast majority of unions in the country chaplains were appointed. There were some in which chaplains were not appointed; and he was now pressed to insist upon the appointment of chaplains for every union. There were many unions in which the inmates were almost entirely of the Nonconformist persuasion. In such cases was he to compel the guardians to appoint a Church of England chaplain? It would be lamentable if the dying were not able to receive the consolation of religious ministration, but at the present time every inmate of a workhouse had a right to the religious ministration he required and, so far as he knew, no workhouse authorities had ever refused to provide it. He was in entire sympathy with the hon. Member for Hoxton that the inspection of poor-law children should be undertaken by the Education Department——
§ It being ten of the clock, the Chairman, in pursuance of the Order of the House of the 15th of February last, proceeded to put the Questions necessary to dispose of the outstanding Votes in the Committee of Supply.
§ Question put.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 208; Noes, 80. (Division List No. 262.)521
|Aird, John||Balfour, Rt Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Rill, Charles|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Blundell, Colonel Henry|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Bartley, George C. T.||Brassey, Albert|
|Arrol, Sir William||Beach, Rt. Hn. SirM. H. (Bristol||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John|
|Asher, Alexander||Beach, Rt. Hn.W.W.B.(Hants||Brown, Alexander H.|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Beckett, Ernest William||Bullard, Sir Harry|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Batcher, John George|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Bethell, Commander||Carlile, William Walter|
|Balcarres, Lord||Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A.J. (Manch'r)||Bigwood, James||Cavendish, V.C.W.(Derbysh.)|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East)||Heath, James||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Hill, Arthur (Down, West)||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)||Hoare, Ed. Brodie (Hampstead||Perm, John|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Charrington, Spencer||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Howard, Joseph||Pollock, Hairy Frederick|
|Coghill, Douglas Harry||Hudson, George Bickersteth||Purvis, Robert|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hutchinson, Capt. G. W. Grice-||Pym, C. Guy|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Hutton, John (Yorks, N.R.)||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Colomb, Sir John C. Ready||Jackson, Rt. Hon. William L.||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Cooke, C. W. Radcliffe (Heref'd)||Jenkins, Sir John Jones||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Jessel, Capt. Herbt. Merton||Ridley, Rt. Hn. Sir Matthew W.|
|Cornwallis, Fiennes Stanley W.||Kenyon, James||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Charles T.|
|Cotton-Jodrell, Col. Edw. T.D.||Kimber, Henry||Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Lafone, Alfred||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Lawrence, Sir E. Durning-(Corn||Sandon, Viscount|
|Curzon, Viscount||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverp'l)||Sandys, Lieut.-Col. T. Myles|
|Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Lea, Sir Thos. (Londonderry)||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Leese, Sir J. F. (Accrington)||Seton-Karr, Henry|
|Donkin, Richard Sim||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Carrie||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Llewellyn, Evan H. (Somerset||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Swan.)||Sidebottom, William (Derbysh|
|Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William H.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Faber, George Denison||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Smith, Abel H. (Christchurch)|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Lowe, Francis William||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Fergusson, RtHn. Sir J.(Manc'r||Lowles, John||Spencer, Ernest|
|Field, Admiral (Eastbourne)||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Lucas-Shad well, William||Stephens, Henry Charles|
|Firbank, Joseph Thomas||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Stock, James Henry|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Strauss, Arthur|
|FitzGerald, Sir Robt. Penrose-||Macdona, John Camming||Strutt, Hon. Chas. Hedley|
|Fitz Wygram, General Sir F.||MacIver, David (Liverpool)||Start, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Maclure, Sir John William||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Flower, Ernest||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Foster, Colonel (Lancaster)||M'Killop, James||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Foster, Harry S. (Suffolk)||Malcolm, Ian||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||Manners, Lord Edward Wm. J.||Verney, Hon. Richard G.|
|Fry, Lewis||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Welby, Lt, Col. A. C. E.(Tauntn|
|Galloway, William Johnson||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.|
|Garfit, William||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Williams, J. Powell- (Birm.)|
|Gedge, Sydney||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.|
|Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (CityLond.||Milbank, Sir Powlett C. J.||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H.(Yorks.)|
|Giles, Charles Tyrrell||Monckton, Edward Philip||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Monk, Charles James||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Wrightson, Thomas|
|Goschen, George J. (Sussex)||Moore, William (Antrim, N.)||Wylie, Alexander|
|Goschen, Rt. Hn G J (St George's)||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Wyndham, George|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Morrell, George Herbert||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Morrison, James A. (Wilts., S)||Young, Commander (Berks, E.|
|Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford|
|Gull, Sir Cameron||Murray, Rt. Hn A. Graham (Bute||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo.||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)||Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Rbt. Wm.||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Hardy, Laurence||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.||Burt, Thomas||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Buxton, Sydney Charles||Doogan, P. C.|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Caldwell, James||Douglas, Chas. M. (Lanark)|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Cameron, Robert (Durham)||Duckworth, James|
|Billson, Alfred||Cawley, Frederick||Edwards, Owen Morgan|
|Blake, Edward||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Emmott, Alfred|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Colville, John||Gourley, Sir Edw. Temperley|
|Bramsdon, Thomas Arthur||Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal)||Griffith, Ellis J.|
|Brigg, John||Dalziel, James Henry||Harwood, George|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Dewar, Arthur||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas. Seale-|
|Hazell, Walter||Morgan, W. P. (Merthyr)||Strachey, Edward|
|Hogan, James Francis||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Holland, William Henry||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Talbot, Rt Hn J G (OxfordUniv.|
|Horniman, Frederick John||Palmer, Sir Chas. M. (Durham)||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|Jacoby, James Alfred||Pickard, Benjamin||Thomas, David Alfred (Merthyr|
|Joicey, Sir James||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Ure, Alexander|
|Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea)||Price, Robert John||Wallace, Robert|
|Jones, William Carnarvonsh.||Provand, Andrew Dryburgh||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Labouchere, Henry||Richards, Henry Charles||Whiteley, George (Stockport)|
|Lewis, John Herbert||Rickett, J. Compton||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|MacDonnell, Dr M A (Queen'sC.||Roberts, John Bryu (Eifion)||Wilson, J. H. (Middlesbrough)|
|MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersfld)|
|M'Leod, John||Runciman, Walter||Woods, Samuel|
|Maddison, Fred||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Molloy, Bernard Charles||Soames, Arthur Wellesley||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Montagu, Sir S. (Whitechapel)||Souttar, Robinson||Mr. Channing and Mr. Steadman.|
|Morgan, J. Lloyd(Carmarthen||Spicer, Albert|