§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a sum, not exceeding £32,250, 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 Department of Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, including a Grant in aid of certain Expenses connected with Emigration."
§ * MR. SYDNEY BUXTON (Tower Hamlets, Poplar)
About six months have elapsed since we were presented with a Blue-book in regard to South Africa. We now have had two given to us. As regards the first I do not find that it contains much information of any value, although it is a volume of considerable size. It relates to the correspondence between Lord Salisbury and President Kruger which has already been published, and for the remainder it is mainly composed of extracts from newspaper articles and of tittle-tattle. It does not put the House in possession of any information at all as to what is really going on in South Africa. The second Blue-book, I am bound to say, is of a different character. It deals with the constitutional question raised between the Homo Government and the Cape Government with regard to the treatment of the rebels and as to the policy of the future. But even there the information is of a somewhat meagre description, and we have to judge very 1165 much by inference as to what has actually occurred between the Home and the Capo Governments. As to the constitutional question, so far as it is disclosed in the Blue-book, I have no criticism to make. It seems to me that the treatment of rebels is a question both of Imperial and Colonial interest. Besides, apparently the Cape Government did invite the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary to express his view on the question of the rebels and their punishment, and he was therefore fully entitled to give it. But it appears incidentally in one memorandum, and a like inference may be drawn from other memoranda that there has been something behind what appears in the Blue-book— something behind the correspondence carried on on constitutional lines. Certain members of the Cape Cabinet appear to have entertained the idea that, unless they adopted the right hon. Gentleman's view, the Constitution of the Cape might be suspended. I should like to ask whether there is any foundation for that suggestion, because I think that is a matter entirely beyond and apart from what appears in the Blue-book. It seems to me that the Cape Government in regard to this matter—and here I refer particularly to Mr. Schreiner—were almost obliged to adopt the views, or, at all events, some of the views of the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary. And here, in regard to Mr. Schreiner, I should like to be allowed to say that this country and the Gape are to be congratulated on the fact that throughout those troublous times we have had in office at the Cape a man so obviously loyal to Great Britain. He has clearly tried to do his duty as between the Dutch party and the English party out there, and I think he deserves thoroughly well of this country and of his native country. I am not quarrelling in any way with the method adopted by the right hon. Gentleman opposite in putting his views before the Cape Government, but I do desire to offer some words of criticism in regard to those views. It certainly is.a very deplorable thing that, as one of the consequences of the war, we should have to deal with something like 10,000 rebels who have been in arms against the British Crown. But the question is narrowed down to one particular class of rebel. It is generally admitted, both by she Secretary of State and the Cape 1166 Government, that those who may be called the ringleaders must be tried by some special Commission and made to suffer a penalty consonant with their crime. There is another class of rebels referred to by the right hon. Gentleman in his despatch—namely, those who can prove that they acted under strong compulsion; and I do not imagine that anyone would press for their punishment. The only ones, therefore, we have to do with are "willing" rebels, who took up arms and assisted the enemy in districts occupied by the enemy, and of which we had surrendered possession. There is a considerable distinction to be drawn between men who joined the rebels from that part of the Cape still under British control, and those who joined from the districts from which British protection had been withdrawn. To judge from Sir Alfred Milner's despatch, the number of men who gratuitously left different parts of the Cape in order to join the enemy was very small, and I think it speaks very highly for the loyalty of those whose characters have been so aspersed by men who have supported this war throughout. Of the loyalty of the English population nothing is required to be said; but I say it says much for the loyalty of the Dutch population that so very few joined the rebels, except in districts actually in possession of the enemy. I think that fact goes far to demonstrate that' the alleged conspiracy of the Dutch against the English was not based on any solid foundation. I am bound to say there is one interesting despatch, in which it is shown that persons who did join the enemy actually made beforehand an appeal to Sir Alfred Milner and to the Cape Government for protection against the Orange Free State burghers, in order that they might be able to maintain their loyalty to the English Crown. But that protection was taken away, and they found themselves in a very difficult position indeed. One can hardly be surprised, although, of course, it is a matter for regret, that, in districts from which British protection had been withdrawn, and which were invaded by men of the same race, language and blood, the inhabitants were induced to take up arms against the Crown. Of course, they are to blame for so doing. But I think the chief blame for this position lies, not on these unfortunate misguided men, but on the Govern- 1167 ment and the right hon. Gentleman, for not having taken care that such a position should not possibly arise. The opportunity for joining and the temptation to join were given entirely by the action of the Government; it was their absolute want of foresight and preparation which caused the rebellion and made these men rebels. For the first time, I believe, in British history we had English territory invaded by foreign arms; and these persons were placed in the painful position of having to choose between blood and flag. More blame, therefore, attaches to the Government than to these misguided men. I do not desire to say, however, that it is a sufficient excuse for their having taken up arms against the Crown. They will, of course, have to suffer some punishment, and it will be only fair that they should do so, for otherwise they would be in a better position than their fellow-countrymen, who remained loyal to the Crown in the same districts; and who, unfortunately, have suffered very considerably from wanton and, in some cases, I am afraid to say, spiteful confiscation of and damage done to their property—damage which no money can really compensate for, and indeed these men cannot be too highly praised for their loyalty. I therefore quite agree that the rebels in question must undergo some punishment. But I also hold that some leniency may be shown to the rank and file, and perhaps, later, amnesty too. It is obvious that, in considering the question of punishment to be meted out in such circumstances, that punishment should have three qualities. It ought not to be vindictive; it ought not to be tainted with political bias; and it ought not to be continuous, or to leave an open sore for many years to come. What does the right hon. Gentleman propose? What is it he pressed on the Capo Government, and on a very reluctant Ministry? He proposed perpetual disfranchisement for these misguided men, and I venture to suggest that such a roposal contains all the three vices to which I have referred. Whatever may be the object in the mind of the right hon. Gentleman, such a punishment will at all events be looked upon as vindictive as having a political taint, and its memory will rankle and remain for many years to come. Such a punishment as this is, it seems to me the worst that could be inflicted at the present time, having regard to the future of the Cape. 1168 I should like to draw the attention of the Committee to the irony of the situation, We went to war in order to enfranchise a certain number of British subjects. We have been told by the right hon. Gentleman in one of his speeches that he proposes to adopt the system of Crown Colony government in regard to the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. What does Crown Colony government mean? It means that those who have the franchise at present will lose it, and that those not already enfranchised will not receive it. And now he proposes, in order to carry out the policy of a war undertaken on behalf of a policy of enfranchisement, to disfranchise for life thousands of British subjects in other parts of South Africa. That seems to me to be a most curious result. It is one of the many unforeseen and unexpected outcomes of this conflict that the result of a war to increase the franchise is to disfranchise a large number of persons. I am not going to deny that, in some places and under certain conditions, wholesale disfranchisement of this sort may not be the best form, because a lenient form, of punishment that, can be devised. But if ever there was a, time when such a policy was bad, if ever there was a place in which it was unwise to enforce it, that time is the present, and that place is the Cape Colony. I cannot conceive a worse method, moment, or place for such punishment of rebellion, It immediately arouses suspicion as to the motives of the right hon. Gentleman and the Homo Government. I am bound to say that one of the great evils of the whole position in South Africa during the last five years— since the right hon. Gentleman has been at the Colonial Office—has been the unbounded suspicion by certain sections of the community in South Africa as to his intentions and desires. I am not going to say whether those suspicions are right or wrong; that is not the question now. But surely this is. the moment when the right hon. Gentleman and Sir Alfred Milner, who is more or less involved with him, should desire to allay such suspicions instead of accentuating them by widespread disfranchisement. Is there one thing more than another which would increase the suspicion than the present, proposal for unlimited disfranchisement? No doubt the right hon. Gentleman will, when he speaks to-day, disclaim political or personal motives. But we had a speech 1169 the other day from Lord James of Hereford, a member of the Cabinet, somewhat cynical in its nature, and certainly inexpedient, which, to use a vulgar phrase, "let the cat out of the bag." Lord James was talking about the war, and he laid down the proposition that "it would be the duty of the Government to see that those who were loyal, and those who obeyed the law, should be paramount in the exercise of political power." I suppose he calls that "equal rights." He added that "the destinies of these people should no longer be controlled by the votes or political actions of rebels." That may be right or wrong, but, at any rate, it shows the avowed objects and intentions of the Government in regard to this question. This is neither more nor less than political proscription. It appears to me to be a case of jerrymandering the constituencies with the object of turning a minority into a majority. We heard a good deal at one time as to the desirability of "crushing Africandism." Now, we are told that the object is to turn a Dutch majority into an English majority, and, in regard to this matter of punishment, I would like to point out that the punishment will fall less heavily on the person who committed the crime and more heavily on the party to which he lie-longs—on his friends and kinsfolk. It will fall on the Africander party, which has shown singular self-control and great loyalty in a very critical, dangerous, and difficult position. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman will deny that the leaders and majority of that party have exhibited great control in their action during the whole course of these unfortunate events. It seems to me you are going to punish these men, not so much because they are rebels themselves, but because by their assistance Mr. Rhodes' power was broken, the Sprigg Government was turned out, and the policy of the right hon. Gentleman was more or less thwarted. That, at any rate, will be their view of the nature of the punishment inflicted. I heard a good deal about a comparison between the present position and that which obtained in Canada after the Canadian rebellion, at the time of Lord Durham. Personally, I admit I cannot see very much analogy between the two cases. I cannot understand how the arguments applicable to the one can be applied to the other. But in the course of my reading I came 1170 across a letter some sentences in which are certainly applicable to the present position. Lord Durham, in his despatch, was dealing with the question which had been put forward of jerrymandering the Canadian constituencies, and he said:—With respect to every one of these plans which propose to make the English minority an electoral majority by moans of new and strange modes of voting, or unfair divisions of the country, I shall only say that, if the Canadians are to be deprived of representative government, it would be better to do it in a straightforward way than to attempt to establish a permanent system of government as the basis of what all mankind would regard as mere electoral frauds, ft is not in North America that men can be cheated by an unreal semblance of representative government, or persuaded that they are outvoted when, in fact, they are disfranchised.It seems to me that this paragraph is applicable to the present position, and I certainly cordially endorse the sentiments embodied in it. There is another point of some importance. We gather from these Blue-books that two Commissions are to be appointed to try the rebels—one a distinctly judicial Commission to deal with the ringleaders, and the other a quasi-judicial Commission to deal with the question of disfranchisement. It is suggested that the latter should consist of men free from political bias; but I venture to say that at the present moment neither in South Africa nor in this country is it possible to find a single man who could regard this matter free from political bias. However able these men may be, however much they may desire to carry out their duties, I am afraid that from the beginning they will be discredited, the Commission will be looked upon as a political organisation, and they will be subjected to a great temptation in a number of constituencies in which, by disfranchising a certain number of men, they will be able to alter the balance of political power. Therefore, instead of this proposal of the right hon. Gentleman for life-long disfranchisement diminishing the difficulties of the existing position, and being calculated to bring about peace and amity in South Africa, it will do more to accentuate the evils which unfortunately exist. I am not blaming Mr. Schreiner for adopting the suggestions of the right hon. Gentleman. He was acting under great difficulty and was subjected to considerable pressure from the Homo Government. But I am blaming the right hon. 1171 Gentleman for the excessive and provocative proposals which he made to the Capo Government. We here are not in a position to dictate to the Cape Government, but we have a right to criticise or condemn any action which may be taken by our own Government. In a sense, no doubt, it is futile to do so, because at the Cape there is now in office a Government of another persuasion which will carry out such proposals as are made to it by the Secretary of State. But I think this House of Commons has a right to express an opinion on the subject of disfranchisement. I am afraid that the position taken up by the right hon. Gentleman throws some light on the very great feeling of uneasiness which unquestionably exists both here and at the Cape as to the judicial proceedings which are taking place at the present moment. We have asked for information in regard to the civil and military courts and we have been unable to get it; indeed the right hon. Gentleman disclaims all responsibility. We want to know whether justice is being done, and we want to feel that the British power is not now being exercised in South Africa to carry out a system of persecution under the guise of civil and military law. I hope the right hon. Gentleman will be able to give the House some information as to the present operation of the Civil and Military law in South Africa. I do not think the outlook in South Africa is so rosy that we can afford, by disfranchisement or by the exercise of excessive powers, to add to the difficulties before us. The war is lingering on; no further honour or glory is to be got out of the war; the gilt is very considerably off the gingerbread. We have at present to do what we can, not to add to the difficulties that have to be met, but, as far as possible, to diminish them. I have been struck with the view which Sir Alfred Milner himself takes of the situation. The best that Sir Alfred Milner can say in regard to the outlook is that he does not "take a very gloomy view" of it. If the High Commissioner expresses himself thus, surely the outlook must be very bad and very gloomy. I only wish to add one word. It is that I do not desire on the present occasion to discuss the question of the future. It would be premature to do so. South Africa is in a state of chaos, and it is not possible for any person or Government really to decide on 1172 the matter in detail. I feel bound to say, however, that I am not prepared to contest the proposition that there must be some form of effective Imperial control in the future with regard to the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, but in what form it is to be applied it is premature to lay down. The mere fact of the war having lasted so long has made the position a more difficult one. It is obvious now that for a long time to come we must have a military occupation of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The long delay will give time to allow differences to diminish, and to enable us to judge more fully of the sentiments existing at the Cape and here before committing ourselves to the details of the future. We ought to consult Dutch opinion at the Cape as well as English opinion. The longer the Government can delay making up their minds with regard to the details, of the future the better I, for one, shall be satisfied. I am pleading for delay, for I believe it will afford the only chance of a satisfactory solution. I am sure that the hope of every Member of the House is that the war may come as speedily as possible to a conclusion.
§ SIR WILFRID LAWSON (Cumberland, Cockermouth)
I am glad the Government have afforded us this opportunity of discussing their policy in South Africa, and I certainly think that a debate on the salary of the Chief Secretary is quite germane, seeing that if there is one man more responsible than another for the war and all the horrors which are going on in South Africa it is the Colonial Secretary. Of course, the Government, as a whole, is responsible, but the right hon. Gentleman stands out from among them, and therefore I hold that we are fully entitled to discuss the question of his salary. The time has come when we may, so to speak, take stock and endeavour to find out what has been the real advantage to this country of this war policy. In doing so we must go back to the origin of the war. I suppose the only reason why we interfered with the Transvaal was that we thought it was badly governed. But what was the bad government? We said that the franchise was not arranged so satisfactorily as we could have wished. We said also that the rulers were corrupt; and, lastly, we complained that they chose to be governed by an oligarchy—a fact which seemed to 1173 trouble us most tremendously. But, after all, Mr. Kruger is only a typical Tory, and was carrying out the Tory policy in South Africa. Why this country could not stand Tory principles in South Africa I never could understand. It seems to me most extraordinary that we should have set ourselves to check these abuses. We have registration laws in this country which seem to be devised specially to prevent people from getting the franchise. Half the population—the women—are excluded altogether. Then I come to the charge of corruption. We alleged that public money was being devoted to private purposes in the Transvaal, but ever since 1895 most of the time of the House of Commons has been spent in giving public money to private individuals. Then there was the allegation that the Transvaal was governed by an oligarchy. Are not we in this country similarly governed? Is not the real power vested in the House of Lords If we are justified in attacking a corrupt oligarchy in South Africa, then I hope the time is not far distant when hon. Members will join in attacking the corrupt oligarchy which prevails in this country. But remember that the Boers were attached to all these abuses just as hon. Members opposite are attached to similar abuses in this country. I venture to assert, however, that if a foreign army were to come to this country with the avowed intention of sweeping; away the House of Lords, Radicals, Democrats, and Socialists would promptly join in resisting them to the death, however much they may dislike the House of Lords, because we all have an innate love of the freedom of nations. Nations all like to lie governed by themselves, and it is that love of freedom which has enabled the Boers to resist for so long the overwhelming forces we have launched against them. 220,000 of our men have been kept at bay by not more than 70,000 Boers. If military glory is anything more than hypocrisy, than a delusion and a snare, then I think that glory is with the men who have been fighting against us. It has been a case of the weak against the strong, of the oppressed against the oppressor, and of the freeman against the tyrant. Before the war broke out we were told that its object was to defend our colonies, and that it was produced by the ultimatum delivered by the Boers. I believe the real ultimatum was that of 1174 the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary, which was sent several days before President Kruger handed in his. Is this a war of defence, or is it to be one of extermination? How have we been speaking and writing about our enemies? A correspondent of the Morning Post not very long since wrote of the joy he had experienced in seeing the smoke of a rebel's burning house, and he spoke of the Boers as vermin. That is the way in which certain portions of the press are in the habit of talking about the Boers, and yet I find in the Daily News a very different character given to those men. The writer desired to place it on record that, in his opinion, the Boer farmer is clean in his home life, that his domestic arrangements are pure, and that he compares very favourably with the farming classes in Australia, America, and Great Britain. How is it that Englishmen are acting so contrary to all their previous instincts and habits, and are rejoicing in the attempts to deprive these people of their independence? The only doctrine held by the people of this country which would enable this war to go on is that they believe their country must be backed up whether it is right or wrong. That is the opinion held by the man in the street, the man in the pulpit, the man in the newspaper office, and the man in the House of Commons, but the doctrine is as false as false can be, and it strikes at the root of all national religion, honour, truth, and morality. What is this doctrine of "Our country, right or wrong," leading to in South Africa at the present moment? It is leading to the crushing out of two independent Republics. What are the two Republics? One was the Orange Free State; but you have blotted out the "free" now. An impartial observer, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for South Aberdeen, long before this war broke out, said that the government of the Orange Free State was about the very best as regarded freedom and comfort the world had ever seen. You are fighting at this moment to prevent that government being carried on. Such a policy is the policy of the freebooter, the filibuster, the burglar, and the Boxer. Everything is on the debit side; there is nothing at all to our credit. What have we lost? We have lost boundless treasure; we have lost countless men and noble lives; we have 1175 lost our prestige and our position in the world. ["Oh!"] That is why you cannot send anybody to China. We have lost our character. Never again can England pose as the friend of freedom, the protector of the weak, the guardian of the oppressed. She has fallen from her high estate, and thinks now of nothing but supremacy, and paramountey, and Empire. We shall be told that this is a vote of censure upon the Colonial Secretary; that, at least, is my object, because no man has done so much to bring about this state of things as the Colonial Secretary. He stands head and shoulders above his colleagues—or, shall I say, his accomplices—in the efforts which have been made to support and carry on this odiousand un-English policy. But I should like to make use of his own words of four years ago in condemning this very policy. They are words well known to the House; but in every debate upon South Africa they out to be read, and also at every public meeting and in every discussion, hackneyed though they may be—A war in South Africa would be one of the most serious wars that could possibly be waged. It would be in the nature of a civil war. It would be a long war, a bitter war, and a costly war, and, as I have pointed out already, it would leave behind it the embers of a strife which I believe generations would not be long enough to extinguish. To go to war with President Kruger in order to force upon him reforms in the internal affairs of his State, in which Secretaries of State have repudiated all right of interference, that would be a course of action as immoral as it would be unwise." *That is the course of action the Colonial Secretary has now taken, and by taking it he has brought discredit, degradation, demoralisation and, probably, disaster upon his country. For that reason I say he deserves the censure of every friend of humanity, peace, and justice. I beg to move a redaction of the Vote by £100.
§ Motion made, and Question proposed, "That Item A (Salaries) be reduced by £100, in respect of the Salary of the Secretary of State."—(Sir Wilfrid Lawson.)
§ MR. ARTHUR ELLIOT (Durham)
said the hon. Baronet had spoken in what he thought were the interests of peace, but there was nothing in the speech which* 8th May, 1896. (See The Parliamentary Debates [Fourth Series], Vol. xl., page 914.)1176 would enable the country to take a better position or to come to sounder conclusions than were to be found in the Blue-books, nor were there in it any suggestions likely to be helpful in the present difficulties. In the speech of the late Under Secretary for the Colonies there were some things with which he agreed and others with which he disagreed. The hon. Member seemed to argue that it was impossible to think of the future, but that was just what the House ought to think of. He had read the Blue-books, and to his mind there never was more painful reading. Neither side seemed to have the slightest power to enter into the difficulties and prepossessions of the other. That was a difficult task, but it was the task the Imperial Government and the country had to undertake. They had to look at both sides, and avoid not only the fact, but even the appearance of being led away by local faction. It was the duty of the Government to see that justice was carried through, and that men did not suffer for having been true to the flag. This was almost the last debate of the present session, and very likely the last debate on the subject of South Africa in the present Parliament. Before Parliament reassembled the constituencies, north, south, east, and west, would have been addressed, and it was important that they should consider the spirit which should animate the policy to be adopted. Members of Parliament were somewhat like a flock of sheep, and the Speech of the Colonial Secretary that day would be all important because, in all probability, it would indicate the line of policy to which the great majority of this House of Commons, when it revisited the constituencies, would address themselves and he said without hesitation that any candidate who thought when he addressed the electorate that he would gain popularity by exciting animosity against the enemies who had been fighting against us, or by beating the big war drum, would be acting a part hostile to the highest interest of the country. He looked with confidence to the Colonial Secretary and the Government to indicate, as they had indicated by some of their despatches, that they were not actuated by vindictive motives, and that they would in anything they said—which would really be addressed to the country—accentuate that line and show they wore true to the policy which they had professed to hold 1177 all through of working steadily, unforget fully, and persistently to build up in South Africa a free and self-governing community. That, after all, was the great object for which they should work, and then Unionist Members who supported them could go to the country feeling they were supporting a noble policy. As to the Blue-books, there wore two points as to which vehement discussion took place between one side or the other —the questions of annexation and the treatment of the rebels. Both were open to differences of opinion on the part of honourable and patriotic men, and to say that those who opposed annexation were the enemies of their country was to talk nonsense. He did not condemn gentlemen who took that view as unpatriotic and untrue citizens, but he did say that those who argued in favour of setting up again two independent or quasi-independent nationalities in South Africa were shutting their eyes to facts. All such ideas must be abandoned; the system had been tried and it had failed. He did not hesitate to say he would have been more patient and have given it a longer trial, but it was gone, and gone forever. In his opinion the only chance South Africa now had of good, free, and progressive government was in a combination under the British flag, but that again was a question on which men differed and might differ as patriotic men. With regard to how rebels should be treated, he supposed everybody agreed that those who had borne arms against the Crown must be punished. On this point there did not appear to be much difference between the two parties in Cape Colony. Both sides had come to the conclusion that it was absolutely necessary, in proceeding against the rebels, to depart from the procedure of the ordinary law. That might be a wise conclusion, but it was undoubtedly an uncommonly strong one. He should like to point out that in the rebellions of 1715, 1745, and 1780 they had never tried persons otherwise than by the ordinary law—trial by jury.
§ * MR. ARTHUR ELLIOT
said he was taking the troubles in this country onwards from the Revolution, and Judge 1178 Jeffreys was before the period he referred to.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
said surely the hon. Member did not advise them to follow such a precedent in this case. He knew what was the justice that was meted out to the rebels on the occasions of which he spoke. Surely he did not suggest that they should mete out similar treatment to the rebels in this case.
§ * MR. ARTHUR ELLIOT
said he certainly did not. His argument was that both sides, as represented by the arguments in the Blue-books, had come to a very strong but also to a right conclusion, but he desired to point out that even the Dutch in South Africa were willing to go lengths which the Government of this country had not gone in the case of the rebellions referred to. He thought in that they were proceeding on the only lines on which some sort of reasonable justice could be meted out. Before he left the subject of the war he desired to refer, for the sake of obtaining an explanation, to Lord Roberts's despatch of 1st June, containing his proclamation warning the inhabitants of the Orange River Colony that after fourteen days those who were found in arms would be liable to be dealt with as rebels. He would like to have a legal explanation as to how it was that one of the belligerents could turn armed enemies in the field, by issuing a proclamation, into rebels. Supposing a war broke out between France and England, and the island of Jersey fell into the hands of the French, would it be maintained that by issuing a proclamation annexing the British territory the French, in consequence of the proclamation, turned those who had been enemies into rebels? He could not understand how, in accordance with the ordinary usages of warfare and the ordinary doctrines of international law, the terms of Lord Roberts's proclamation could be justified. The Committee had not on this occasion to deal with the policy before the war; they had to look ahead. He was glad to think that, before very long, peace would be established. Then would come their difficulties and trials. Whatever Government was in power would be faced with those difficulties, but hon. Members had not indicated in any degree how they should be met. To think that without any exceptional 1179 coercive and punitive means everything would come right was to blind themselves to existing facts. He did not see how they could get a very much better Minister than the Colonial Secretary to introduce and give effect to the working of a system of local government in South Africa. There was nothing in the right hon. Gentleman's career to show that he set less value than the rest of them on local institutions. As to Sir Alfred Milner, he did not know whether he would be the Minister who was to restore peace and build up a system of local government in South Africa, but Sir Alfred Milner would be the first to recognise that the energies and qualities and abilities necessary to conduct a great war to a successful issue were of a different kind from those qualities required to build up a peaceful system of government among jarring nations. Without tact, judgment, and the exercise of very considerable patience, what was the result they should bring themselves to? He did not think there was any harm in mentioning it, for everyone must know that the result would be the suspension of constitutional government in Cape Colony. That was a disaster which he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would keep them clear of, and he trusted that he would lead them to the building up of free constitutional government throughout South Africa.
§ SIR ROBERT REID (Dumfries Burghs)
I believe that if the spirit which has characterised the speech of my hon. friend who has just spoken had been more apparent in the House and in the country during the last twelve mouths, this wretched war might have been averted, or, at all events, the difficulties in which we now find ourselves would have been considerably reduced. As a matter of fact, I do not think anyone who remembers the reckless methods which have been adopted, and almost countenanced by those in high authority, in regard to public meeting and free speech throughout the country, can say that they have been conceived in the spirit of the speech of the hon. Member. But I am glad to believe that there is now obtaining a more sober view in regard to this public calamity and the intense danger of the situation in which we have been placed than was the case a few months ago. I can assure the House I shall endeavour 1180 to do nothing to diminish that sobriety. This is the first opportunity we have had for some time of considering the policy which has landed us in our present position, and it is the last opportunity we shall have during this present session of Parliament, and it may be during this Parliament. It is therefore our duty, without bitterness and, at all events, with frankness, fearlessly to consider the position in which we find ourselves, and to criticise the policy which has led to it, with a view, if possible, of diminishing the dangers which are to come. It is said that it is useless to criticise, and in some sense that is true. If we ask questions I do not think the answers are always very full. When we wished to raise a discussion on the proper terms of settlement before they had been concluded by the absolute declarations of the Government and the actual annexation of the Orange Free State, we were prevented by a blocking notice which the Government did not think it proper to take steps to remove. If we blame the policy of the Government, we have until recently been told what is absolutely untrue—that we are the enemies of the country, or that we are animated by some personal spirit towards the Colonial Secretary, which also is untrue. If any Members on this side of the House venture to agree with the Government, their position is still more unfortunate, because I find that Lord James of Hereford, the other day, spoke of my hon. friends in terms which I will read to the Committee. He said—Who are the Liberal Imperialists, and what do they mean? They come as candidates before the constituencies, and they way, 'We are Liberals, and we support the policy of Her Majesty's Government in relation to that question which in the coming election must be the only question before the people of this country.' I object to Unionist candidates being opposed by men who have nothing to say but that they think the Government is right in what they are doing. I want to have the light fairly fought. Unionists do not want to see the white flag hoisted, and then to be fired at from under its protection.I am not one of those Liberal Imperialists; I have a very imperfect conception of what Liberal Imperialism means. But I must say that it is a very curious political situation, in which the chief offence which can be perpetrated from this side of the House against a Government is to express a sincere belief in the wisdom of the policy of the Government. I regret, with all goodwill and perfect frankness, 1181 the differences on this side of the House: they have gone far to paralyse the usefulness of the Liberal party and of the Opposition. I regret the position most deeply; I hope it will he of short duration; but I am perfectly certain that the misfortune will not be diminished or the period of its duration shortened by maintaining silence in regard to the opinions we hold. The hon. Gentleman opposite said we ought to look at the actual facts and circumstances. I will look at them, and I shall confine myself to looking at them simply from the point of view of the interests of our own country and of the British Empire. If any questions of ethics obtrude themselves, let the Government settle them with their own party. The war has now lasted for nine or ten months; we have occupied the capital of both the enemies' States; we have established beyond question the military supremacy of this country. If anybody doubted—as it was said the Boers doubted, although we always knew better—the courage of the British soldiers, that doubt has been removed by the uncomplaining courage of our troops—a courage which has never boon surpassed in the annals of the world. What are the losses? What is the present diminution of the effective force in South Africa? In killed, captured, and those invalided home, I believe the total amounts to 35,000 men.
§ SIR ROBERT REID
You have to add to that number those who are at present in hospital in South Africa. I do not know what that number is, but I believe it is something like 20,000. That is to say we have sustained a diminution of our effective force after nine months fighting equal to 55,000 men. There is no man in this House who does not feel the deepest sympathy with the men who have exposed themselves and suffered as these men and the bereaved relations have done. And what has been the cost of this policy? Including the temporary force for home defence, I make it that the cost amounts to something like £60,000,000, and I am afraid we cannot absolutely say the war is yet over. It is uncertain how long it may last. I hope most heartily that the enemy will soon desist from an unequal 1182 struggle which can lead to nothing but further bloodshed and further misery. We cannot, however, yet pronounce the war ended; I wish we could. There is another accomplished fact which deserves, attention. There has been an intense bitterness created in the Cape Colony and Natal—a reign of hatred and suspicion between the two races. There are complaints, to which my hon. friend alluded —complaints of the abuse of martial law. I cannot enter upon that matter; I have no materials for the purpose. I am not prepared to accept newspaper statements as sufficient ground for making so grave an indictment. But this I say: while martial law during time of war and in the areas occupied by the fighting forces is often and probably in this case necessary, there is nothing more liable to abuse, and there are some precepts which ought to be observed with the greatest possible care. There never ought to be a refusal to allow legal advice to be taken; there never ought to be detention for an undue space of time before trial; there never ought to be—in law there never can be—in regard to civil offences a martial court sitting alongside a civil court. From the moment the civil power is able to re-assert itself martial law in regard to civil offences, becomes unlawful and is one of the gravest crimes that can be perpetrated. There has been complaint of that, but that is for the Capo Parliament primarily to inquire into; the responsibility is theirs, and they have the means for active inquiry which we have not. But the fact remains that a population which has hitherto been living in perfect harmony, whatever their ulterior designs may have been—about which much that is foolish has been said—are now divided into hostile camps corresponding with racial differences—a most grave and dangerous condition of things. Let me look for a moment at the future. Soon, I trust, peace will be re-established. I am afraid it will be re-established only by such a destruction of life among the adult population of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal as will make further military resistance impossible, but it will be restored, I hope, soon, and then will begin the duty of the Government of governing those countries in the name of the Queen. Let mo look first at the conquered territory. To govern that country will be an experience absolutely unique in 1183 the history of this nation, and, I believe, in the history of the world. The two colonies taken together comprise a country nearly the size of Franco, 6,000 miles away from you by sea, and many hundreds of miles inland. The population, whose extraordinary bravery and military capacity no one can deny, is a white population, a population kindred to ourselves, with a degree of kinship with which only the curious are really acquainted. The British population is insignificant except near Johannesburg. I assume that disarmament will of necessity follow—so far as we can effect disarmament. It cannot be wholly effected, because the native population very greatly outnumbers the white. It is not a very easy task to disarm a population occupying a territory the size of France, very far away from our immediate control, with the enormous border the country has, and a very scant white population. For some time, no doubt, the Boers will be so stunned by the terrific blow that has been levelled against them that they will be quiescent and unable to take any active hostile part. That may be so, but there is too much reason to fear, from the lessons of history, from the history of the Dutch race itself, that they will not long acquiesce in their conquest. A great army must be maintained there, with long lines of communication through existing colonies which are by no means likely to acquiesce in the subjugation of their fellow-countrymen. We know what guerilla warfare means, and how dangerous it is in a difficult country a long way from your base. How many troops will be needed in the two conquered Republics for the purpose of maintaining the authority of the Crown, and how long will they be required? If it is the opinion of the Colonial Secretary, as quoted from his speech by the hon. Baronet the Member for Cockermouth, that the feeling of hostility which would be created by a war with South Africa will last for generations, what is the prospect for us? We have a vast Empire which it is supposed we care for; the love of this Empire is supposed to be confined entirely to the hon. Gentlemen opposite with whom we have the misfortune temporarily to differ. What is the prospect for anyone who takes a pride in the Empire? What is our position in China, and what are our duties all over the world? Is it possible that this should be overlooked by 1184 anyone who seriously approaches the problem? This great military force which will be required at the Cape will have to be maintained at the cost of the people of this country. We cannot place the charge on Cape Colony or Natal, and if we want to get money from the Transvaal it will have to be from the mines and the minerals, and you will find that you will not get more than enough, if enough, to pay the interest on some part of the loans you have raised for the purposes of this war. What is the prospect, too, in Cape Colony itself? The population there is, at all events, four to three, perhaps three to two, Dutch as against British, and you have only to road Sir Alfred Milner's own despatches to see that they have the keenest sympathy with the Boers, and the keenest desire that you shall not extirpate the last vestige of a nation in which they take so great an interest. Disfranchisement is threatened. The Colonial Secretary threatened it in his despatch as a penal necessity. Personally I do not at all think that disfranchisement for a period of five years, for example, having regard to what the old laws of treason were, is a punishment of very undue severity; but looked at from the point of view of the hon. Member for Poplar it will be a method of disturbing the constitutional balance of that country. Is it likely to affect the balance? Ten thousand is stated by Sir A Milner as being the number which will be affected by this abolition of the franchise. I do not know if they are all voters, but even if they are, it is a very small method of trying to affect the constitutional balance of the country, and it cannot be effective because the effect will only be short. But we have to consider more than that; we have also to consider the possibility indicated by the hon. Member for Durham—the possibility of being called upon to suppress the Constitution of Cape Colony. We were much relieved by the observations of Lord James of Hereford, who has been kind enough to speak plainly on this subject. After formulating the principle which he thought ought to prevail, he proceeded to say that, if it were necessary to enforce this simple plan, oven though the Constitution were suspended, he believed there would be a strong note of disapprobation not only in this country, but in every colony enjoying free government. If any such 1185 necessity arises it will be the most complete and decisive condemnation that could be conceived of the policy which has been pursued towards South Africa. The secret of the unity of the British Empire is that we do not attempt to govern our white fellow-subjects. No one has described more eloquently that feature of the British Empire than the Colonial Secretary upon the Australian Commonwealth Bill. But if we were to violate that essential condition of our Empire in South Africa, must not everyone feel that, quite apart from the question of South Africa, the most gloomy forebodings might be raised among other colonies as to the tenure of their freedom resting upon a precarious basis? If the Government are going to suspend the Constitution in Cape Colony they will find that there will be opened a bottomless pit into which they will have to throw the blood and treasure of the people of this country, which it is the primary duty of the Government to protect. These are the dangers of this policy, the results of which are visible to all men's minds. They cannot much longer be concealed by complacent newspapers. There is one chance only, and that is that under an absolutely just and beneficent Government the angry and rankling feelings created in South Africa by the war may gradually subside and be replaced by peace and progress. Those who favour the Government hope that the nationality of the Boers will be merged in a South African nationality, and that the devotion they have shown to their own flag may be transferred to us. I most earnestly hope that that consummation may arise. But I wish I could share the belief that it is likely to arise. Of this I am perfectly certain— every harsh exercise of the power of martial law will retard it; every sneering attempt to fix disaffection upon the whole of the Dutch race will retard it. The only chance of that consummation must rest upon the conviction of the Dutch community that the privileges and rights of the English in the colonies will be extended on an equal footing to the Dutch also, provided they do not transgress the law. The situation in South Africa has been created by the policy of Her Majesty's Government. I am not going to trouble the House by going over the ground again, which has already been traversed. The situation has been created by the policy of the Government, and 1186 it is on that ground that I am going to vote for the Amendment of my hon. friend. I have always held that the Boer ultimatum and invasion of the British territory were wholly indefensible. But these were the outcome of the menacing and harassing course pursued by the Government, and principally by the Colonial Secretary. The evil can only be cured by the healing virtue of moderation and forbearance; and I trust that the Colonial Secretary, who is a man of extraordinary intellectual powers, will show in his treatment of the situations that he possesses these qualities.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
The hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down fulfilled the promise of his opening-remarks by the propriety and sobriety of his language and the sweet reasonableness of his arguments, and it may be convenient that at this stage I should say a few words— they will not be many—in reply to what he has advanced. I confess that I looked forward to this debate with great interest and great eagerness. I regretted that it was necessarily postponed by the greater urgency of other matters which have had days of Supply devoted to them. I was anxious, for this debate, because I desired in this great controversy to secure a clear issue. There is room, no doubt, for differences, of opinion, even for extreme differences of conscientious opinion, and if once differences exist there is only one tribunal, we can appeal to to settle them. But in order that that tribunal may settle them, and settle them satisfactorily, it must be in possession of the whole case. It must be in the possession, therefore, not merely of the views of the Government, which I think have been fully and frankly expressed, and which I am prepared to repeat, but it must also be in the possession of the views of the Opposition. To this debate, then, I have looked in order that we may gather for the information of the country the views of the Opposition upon this matter, so that when the time comes we may obtain a fair decision upon it. An Amendment has been moved by the hon. Baronet the Member for the Cockermouth Division to reduce the salary of the Secretary of State. The hon. Baronet has himself explained to the House the sense in which he understands the vote on his Amendment will be taken. If there be other 1187 matters upon which it is desired to censure the Secretary of State, it is possible, of course, to move reductions in the Vote upon which those other questions can be raised. But it cannot lie in the mouth of those who vote for this Amendment to say, "I did not vote because I am opposed to the war. On the contrary, I am a Liberal Imperialist. I only voted because I think the Colonial Secretary did not act discreetly with respect to the complaints of some official in Ceylon or Barbados." That will not do. I do not conceive for a moment it would suggest itself to the minds of any hon. Gentlemen opposite that they should adopt such a course as that.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
Very good. So far we are entirely agreed. Then, what is the issue upon which we are going to take a vote? Let me say that I think also those who refrain from voting will find themselves in a difficult position. They will have something to explain. After all, this is, as the hon. and learned gentleman said, a most serious discussion. We are engaged in the greatest war of our generation. The cost of life and treasure has been tremendous. The whole question, then, of the policy of the war, of the continuance of the war, and of the results of the war — all that is the greatest question which this House has had to consider. And upon that there can be no neutral ground. There must be a vote on one side or on the other. Nothing could be more contemptible in politics than that in such a case as this, where the existence, the security, and the honour of the nation are at stake, anyone present in the House should run out of it on the division.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
So far, then, we are agreed. We shall get the issue which I have no doubt both of us desire. The issue raised by the hon. Baronet the Member for the Cockermouth Division is that the whole policy of the war is wrong; that the war is wrong, and as a consequence—the only logical and necessary consequence—that the annexation of the two Republics is wrong, and that their 1188 independence ought to be restored. That, also, is the view frankly expressed by the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down. In fact, I can conceive of no other that can be taken by any man who honestly and conscientiously believes that this war is an unjust and an unrighteous war. To say that the war is unjust and unrighteous, and then to vote for punishing the innocent and giving something to the guilty—allowing the guilty to profit by their guiltiness—that is a most illogical and immoral doctrine, and on that issue we are very glad to challenge the judgment of the House. What is the position taken by the hon. and learned Gentleman? He laid a great deal of stress on, and spoke with much feeling of, the misery which has been caused by this war—the loss of life and money, and so forth. But surely the hon. and learned Gentleman must know as well as everyone else that all that is absolutely irrelevant. It is an appeal to sentiment which has nothing to do with the issue we are trying. Of course it may be an argument against all war.
§ SIR ROBERT REID
Really, it is a new method of controversy that the right hon. Gentleman is adopting— [Cheers, and, as Mr. Chamberlain refused to give way, loud Ministerial cries of "Order, order!"] I wish to correct a statement of the right hon. Gentleman, but, of course, if he will not allow me to do so I will sit down.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
If the hon. and learned Gentleman has any correction to make I will give way at once. But he was making a new argument.
§ SIR ROBERT REID
I have a correction to make. My reason for voting for the reduction is that I believe that his policy has been disastrous to his country.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
I have no doubt. That was also the statement of the hon. Baronet as well as of the hon. and learned Member who followed him. But that is not a correction. That is what I have been pressing upon the Committee from the beginning as the issue. I have also incidentally defined what that policy is to which the hon. and learned Gentleman is entirely opposed. But the hon. and learned Gentleman's interruption refers to an earlier part of my speech. 1189 What I was saying at the moment was that all these statements made by him or by anyone else with regard to the terrible fruits of war are not relevant to the question whether the war is just and righteous or not. Assume that we were all agreed that it was just and righteous — still it would be equally true to say that there would have been great loss of life and all these terrible results which the hon. Gentleman puts before us in such moving language. It is irrelevant language. You must not judge the war by the loss of life and limb incurred, but by other considerations altogether. The greatest war of our times— a war in which thousands lost their lives where in this war only units have done so—the great Civil War of America, even Mr. Bright defended as a just and righteous war. Yet the loss and suffering caused by it was infinite in comparison with that of the present war. But the hon. and learned Gentleman went on to say that as a result of this war— which, I suppose, we ought to have taken into account when the policy which led to the war was entered upon— there has been a creation of race hatred in South Africa which it will take generations to cure. We can claim that we were not unaware of that. The very paragraph which has been quoted, and with which substantially I entirely agree, shows that we were fully aware that if we did enter into this war it would be a great calamity, and, therefore, we had every reason to avoid it. Our contention, which is part of the issue on which the Committee will vote, and which the hon. and learned Gentleman honestly and conscientiously disputes, is that we could not avoid the war, that the war was inevitable as well as just, and that we have to take these consequences, terrible as they are, as a result of a war which we believe to be just. I must, however, be permitted to say that the hon. and learned Gentleman takes no account of history at all when he talks of the creation of race feeling. It would be very difficult to fix the exact time at which that race feeling began to develop itself. The one thing we can say is that its appearance was synchronous with the activity of the Afrikander Bond. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Poplar spoke in rather large terms of the necessity of doing justice to the loyalty of the Dutch, of a recognition of the loyal position taken up by the leaders 1190 of the Afrikander Bond, and of the necessity of consulting them in regard to any future settlement. Sir, let us understand one another. I observe that hon. Gentlemen opposite very often talk of the Dutch as though the race difference were a race difference alone. It is not so. There are Dutchmen and Dutchmen. There are the Dutch who have been disloyal, and the Dutch who, with every difficulty in their way, incurring thereby the hatred and persecution of many of their own people, bravely stood up for us. They have been loyal to the flag which protects them, and recognise the advantages which they enjoyed under the British Crown. Why did not the hon. Member make that distinction clear? Which of the Dutch is it that we are to consult? What section of the Dutch is it? That which has been loyal?
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
If the right hon. Gentleman asks me, I will tell him. What I said is that the Afrikander Bond as a whole, leaders and members, had, in spite of enormous difficulties, remained loyal and had not taken part in this rebellion.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
On what authority does the hon. Gentleman make that statement? What justification has he for standing the guarantor of the loyalty of the leaders of the Afrikander Bond? I want the Committee to remember that this debate is addressed to two audiences. It is addressed to England, where any vagaries of the hon. Gentleman will be estimated at their true value. But what is to be the effect of such a statement as that in South Africa at the present time, where you have one of the leaders of the Bond, a late Minister of Her Majesty's Government, Mr. Te Water, addressing a meeting of the Bond and saying that the only fault of the Ministry was that they had allowed the Cape Colony of Her Majesty to be used by British soldiers? Is that the opinion that the hon. Gentleman thinks it would have been right and wise for us to consult? What word has he used in the whole of his speech to recognise the loyalty of those other Dutchmen and of that vast majority of British colonists who, as I say, have held to the British Crown and flag in circumstances of the greatest difficulty? Not a word of recognition. Not one atom of sympathy for 1191 their sufferings. The hon. Gentleman palliates rebellion. He condones rebellion. He thinks that five years disfranchisement is an excessive punishment for a rebel, for a man who, having absolutely no grievance of any kind, but enjoying the utmost liberty and freedom, has taken up arms against Her Majesty, shot her soldiers, and looted the property and outraged the persons of Her Majesty's loyal subjects.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
I do not like to interrupt the right hon. Gentleman, but I did refer to the loyal colonists. I spoke of them as deserving well of their country. I said it more than once. I distinguished between them and the rebels, and I said I was not arguing that five years disfranchisement was too great a sentence. I was referring to the right hon. Gentleman's proposal of a life-long disfranchisement. I did not refer to it in regard to its leniency; but I said that at the present time that form of punishment was the worst that could be chosen.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
I do not remember the observation of the hon. Gentleman; what I do remember was that he said that Mr. Schreiner deserved well of the country, but I do not remember he said a single word in favour of any of the—
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
Then of course I accept his statement. Now I come to the point which the hon. Gentleman has just referred to. He occupied, I suppose, twenty minutes in denouncing a proposal for lifelong disfranchisement, which was only put forward by me in answer to a request from the Cape Government to state what might, in my opinion, be what would be right and proper. It was not pressed, as the hon. Gentleman says. It has been abandoned in favour of the still more moderate and still more lenient proposal for five years disfranchisement, which was not made by me but which was made by the Attorney General of the Cape Government before they knew what my opinions were, and which has been adopted by the present Cape Ministers.
§ MR. COURTNEY (Cornwall, Bodmin)
Has the abandonment of the life-long disfranchisement your approval?
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
No abandonment was necessary. I had no right to dictate to the Cape Government, and I never attempted to. They asked me for suggestions, and I made my suggestions; and lot me say now with regard to those suggestions that I think they wore the most lenient, the most moderate, the most reasonable that could possibly have been administered. Personally, I still consider-that it would have been very much better that the penalty for the class of rebels who are under consideration should have been life-long disfranchisement, of course leaving it open to Her Majesty's Government or to the Capo Government at any time to re-enfranchise the men if they found the circumstances would justify it. A life-long disfranchisement is considered to be a considerable punishment—an excessive punishment the hon. Gentleman called it. I wonder whether he knows what the Cape law is. The Cape law is that a man who is convicted for treason may be sentenced to death, may be imprisoned for life or any shorter term, may be fined to the full extent of his fortune, but he must be disfranchised for life. My hon. friend the Member for Durham spoke about an extraordinary proceeding we were lending our support to for establishing a Special Commission. He quoted cases in which rebels had been tried by the ordinary law of the land. Interrupting him I inquired whether my hon. friend wanted to press upon the Government the adoption of the plan adopted in 1715 and 1745.
§ * MR. ARTHUR ELLIOT
said that he approved altogether of the substitution of a special Commission for trial by jury.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
What I was going to say was that the Special Commission was the proposal of the late Cape Ministers, and was assented to by the gentlemen who afterwards resigned from the Ministry on the point of disfranchisement. To have had all the men, perhaps thousands in number, tried by jury would have been impracticable; certainly it would not have conduced to a just verdict in all cases. Considering the heat and feeling which undoubtedly pre- 1193 vailed I think it might have been possible to predict what the verdict would be, and I think the Cape Government took a proper course in deciding to have a special tribunal. Then there is no difference of opinion either between the late Cape Government or the dissentient Ministers and Her Majesty's Government as to the treatment of the ringleaders. I imagine that as to persons who have committed acts contrary to the usages of war, or who have otherwise behaved in an exceptionally bad manner, it is agreed by all that they must be brought to trial by the Special Commission. Then there remain those who have either been willing to join the rebels, or who have been able to show that they joined under compulsion. The hon. Member for Poplar assured the Committee that very few have willingly joined. I take exception altogether to that statement.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
What I said was that Sir Alfred Milner's despatch showed that very few had willingly or gratuitously joined.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
I entirely misunderstood the hon. Member. But I differ from the hon. Member still with regard to the inference he draws from Sir Alfred Milner's despatch. As certain as anything can possibly be, what happened was this — the Cape Colonists who sympathised with the rebels, sent word to the rebels inviting them to come, and promised that if they came in they would rise and join. They wanted an excuse— an appearance of compulsion at any rate— but the despatches which we have been able to obtain, the despatches from the Boer officers themselves, show that when they came in they were heartily welcomed. They had no difficulty whatever in commandeering those who afterwards joined. After the Boers had commandeered the willing colonists they dealt with the loyal colonists. In most cases they gave them eight days notice to quit—sometimes less —unless they would join them and fight against their own flag and their own country. That was the treatment which was meted out to loyalists, and now the assumption is, according to the arguments of hon. Gentlemen opposite, that we are to take no account whatever of that—that the men who have so behaved, who have willingly rebelled against the flag, are to 1194 come back, are to find their farms preserved for them, in many cases by British soldiers, and are to be able, if they so please, to taunt those who were loyal with the loss of their property and the injury to themselves and their families. I say that is an intolerable state of things. But, as I have explained in one of my despatches, the policy of Her Majesty's Government is not a vindictive policy. Revenge does not enter into our minds, nor, as I believe, does it enter into the minds of any reasonable people in this country. What we want is prevention. We do not want rebellion to be made so easy and so profitable that if any difficulty at any future time recurs, the same men may again go out in arms against us. What do we propose in the case of the men who have behaved as I have described? We do not propose to submit them to the death penalty or to imprison them; we do not propose to even fine them, but we propose to disarm them politically for five years. This is the whole punishment. It was said we should disarm them as far as possible. Is it not illogical to say you are to take away the rifles which these people have used for certain purposes injurious to the British Empire, and that you are going to give them votes in order to do the same thing by other means? I will not attempt to quote the words of the hon. Member for Poplar, but the whole implication of his speech was that a punishment was being imposed for the rebellion which ought not to be imposed.
§ MR. SYDNEY BUXTON
I did not say that five years disfranchisement was an excessive punishment, but I said that, under the present circumstances of the Cape, disfranchisement was the worst and most inexpedient form of punishment that could be imposed.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
I have just found what I put down while the hon. Member was speaking. He said disfranchisement is the worst method, taken in the worst place and at the worst time. Then he says he did not object to that punishment. That was the whole argument of the hon. Gentleman. One reason, he says, why we should not have done this is that it raises suspicion about the Colonial Secretary. I am quite aware there are many suspicions about the Colonial Secretary. Whom have I to 1195 thank for that? The suspicions are all derived from the speeches of hon. Gentlemen opposite; they are not derived from fact. They are not derived in the least from fact, they are not derived from anything I have said, from anything I have written, from anything I have done, but they are derived from ignoble motives which hon. Gentlemen have imputed to me, from articles in the press, from Conciliation Committees, and Stop-the-war Committees, and from their literature, which I do not read, hut which I see when it comes back to me from South Africa as having been quoted and repeated by some of the leaders, I will not say of the rebellion, but I will say some of those who are hostile to the British position in South Africa. Yes, I know what the suspicions amount to, and I do not hesitate to say what was the object of hon. Gentlemen. They have undoubtedly seriously embarrassed from the beginning to the end the very hard and difficult work in which I have been engaged. At the same time I have taken one course, I have spoken plainly, I have endeavoured to say exactly what I moan, so that no one could misunderstand me, and I believe, in the long run at any rate, that that will prove to have been the best course. I think I have really dealt with most of what has been said. I would, however, refer to one expression of the hon. Baronet the Member for Cockermouth, or of the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, who complained that people called him and his friends the enemies of their country. Well, Sir, I really do not know of any one who has made any such charge against either the hon. and learned Gentleman or the hon. Baronet the Member for Cockermouth. But, when the hon. Baronet the Member for Cockermouth says of his countrymen that they are "freebooters," "burglars," and "Boxers," it is very difficult indeed to represent him as a friend of his country. The hon. and learned Gentleman opposite, although I do not think he defined his position very clearly, as I understand is against the annexation of the two Republics. If so, will he bear this in mind, that in the first place he is opposing himself to the unanimous opinion of all the great self-governing colonies who have assisted us in this matter. That is one point on which through all their Governments they had officially communicated their opinion before we came to a decision. He is 1196 going against the opinion of every loyal Englishmen and Dutchman in Natal and in the Cape Colony. He is going against the opinion, I believe, of nine out of ten of his own countrymen. It is true the hon. Baronet says the country has gone mad. Well, we know that frame of mind; there are a good number of people who hold that opinion, that all the rest of the world is mad, but then they are generally shut up. But, although hon. Gentlemen are perfectly at liberty to hold their opinion, and to press it upon the House, I do ask the Committee to consider what would be the result of adopting it. What would be the position then of these loyal colonists, whoso desires you would have rejected? Might you not then be accused of having "flouted" them? You would be doing that, and at the same time you would be doing worse than that, you would be discouraging all your loyal subjects in South Africa. The hon. and learned Gentleman in the concluding words of his speech reverted to the rôle of prophet, which is always a favourite one on occasions like this. It is so easy to prophesy, and it is so impossible to say whether or not the prophecy will come true, and when the prophecy has been proved to be untrue then all the interest in the matter has disappeared. He might quote mo in the same sense, because in the speech to which the hon. Baronet the Member for Cockermouth referred I did no doubt say, four years ago, that a war in South Africa would create feeling which might take generations to allay. Well, that was a prophecy. I should like to say now that, with greater knowledge. I am more hopeful. I do not conceal from myself the terrible divisions among families, among peoples, among races, among religions, which exist at the present time in South Africa. But it seems to me that those who know most of the country are of opinion that hitherto those divisions have been based upon a misunderstanding on the part of the Boers of the English character and the English power, and that now that that misunderstanding has been removed by the war the probability is that after a short time they will settle down to a condition of things in which certainly they will not have anything to complain of. We have publicly declared it to be our desire and intention to give to them at 1197 the earliest possible moment self-government similar to that enjoyed by our own colonies. When hon. Members in this debate have spoken of disfranchisement and other punishments, and have said that, while the object of the war was to enfranchise the Uitlanders, the result of the war would be to disfranchise the Boers, they ignore the fact, which they know perfectly well, that while for a period, which I hope may be brief, it is absolutely necessary that the country should be governed with large military forces present in it, yet we regard that as only a temporary situation, and one which we hope will be altered at the earliest possible moment. I have been asked by my hon. friend to say something about the future. The hon. Gentleman the Member for Poplar urged delay. Well, I think delay has been a colonial policy for too many years. I do not entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman. No doubt we must not proceed too hastily, and we shall have to proceed step by step. But there are some things which are very clear. The first thing is the announcement which has been made that the two States will be annexed to Her Majesty's dominions and no political independence will be reserved to them in the future. Let me say that if you want authority for that you will find it in the writings and speeches of one of those men to whom all appeal in South Africa as a representative of judicial impartiality and moderation— I mean Mr. Rose-Innes. Mr. Rose-Innes has declared in the strongest terms that to give back to the Boers any kind of independence would be merely sowing the seeds of further trouble and inviting future difficulty. That is the first thing. It does not follow that the future government of the two States should be exactly the same, or that the grant of self-government which will ultimately be made to them should be made to both at the same time. It is possible that we might find that the Orange Free State would more rapidly be in a position safely to enjoy these privileges and liberties than the Transvaal. The right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition in a speech which he made in the country used, I think, an expression which rather surprised me. I am not quoting his words. I have not them in my mind, and he will no doubt tell me if I am wrong in interpreting them. Their meaning was to the 1198 effect that, in his opinion, there should be a military administration until such time as full self-government could be given, and that there should be no interval of Crown Colony government.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
My idea was, and is, that as long as your military occupation of the country continues, of course the government of the country, which is not a regular government, will be in military hands, and in that sense a military government. But if you proceed from that to take a further step, and constitute a regular form of Crown Colony government, it appeared to me when I spoke, and it appears to me still, that you commit yourself to a definite kind of autocratic government which would be more difficult to get rid of, and which would rather indicate that you would expect it to be a long time before you got another form of government. I hope I have made myself clear.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
I think I correctly understood the right hon. Gentleman, though I did not represent him with so much fulness. Practically, I think, we are agreed as to his moaning. I wish to say that I take issue. It is not the intention of the Government to maintain indefinitely a military administration in the two conquered States. We hold that that would be one of the greatest mistakes that could possibly be made in view of our desire for an early and pacific settlement. We remember what happened when the Transvaal was annexed on the last occasion; we remember how difficulties were created by military administration; we believe that there are difficulties essential to military administration, and that without in any way implying blame to the military authorities. But the military authorities are not trained for the purposes of civil administration, and certainly, in our opinion, at the very earliest moment civil administration must be set up, and a civil administration as opposed to a military administration is what we call Crown Colony government. But the fact that we establish such a government with a view to make the condition of the country as easy as possible, to make as few breaks as possible with the past, is not to be taken as an indication that the government will last for long, or indeed as any indication whatever on the subject. The 1199 question of the length of such an administration must depend on many circumstances which we now cannot anticipate, but especially, of course, on the way in which the Boers take to the new government which we shall set up. I am advised by those who, as I say, are most intimate with the country that it is the most improbable thing in the world that anything like continuous guerilla warfare will be maintained, that it is not in the habits of the Boers at the present moment. It must be remembered that although we sometimes speak of what is going on now as guerilla warfare, yet they are operations conducted by very large bodies of troops, numbering in some cases as many as 8,000, and in all cases having a very substantial number of guns and all warlike appliances. That is not guerilla warfare. What is meant by guerilla warfare, as we understand it from our knowledge of the Peninsular War, in which the Duke of Wellington commanded, I am, at all events, informed and advised we have not probably to fear. In sitting down I can only say that, although I recognise the enormous difficulties of the task which has been imposed upon us, I am hopeful, I am sanguine, that we shall bring it to a successful conclusion if we have the clear, the undoubted support of the nation behind us. If we could have had the warm authoritative support of the Opposition in this House, that is what I would have been best pleased to have had; if we could have shown that there was absolutely no party in this country on the question, I firmly believe, as I am standing here, that the war would have been brought to a conclusion before now. I believe, and I have some evidence to justify it, that the hops of reaction has prolonged the war, just as in the earlier stages of the war the Boers were encouraged to greater efforts by the hope of intervention. There may be no ground for accusing anybody, but there is ground for wishing, in the interest of this county, that, at all events, we shall have substantially a unanimous House behind us, and substantially a unanimous people behind us, in the difficulties we have still to face.
§ MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)
There was one portion of the speech of the Colonial Secretary with which I find myself in cordial agreement 1200 —namely, that in which he declared that he could not conceive it possible for any honest man who conscientiously believes that the war is an unjust and unrighteous war to do otherwise than think that the annexation of the two Republics is wrong, and that their independence ought to be restored. As to the rest of the speech, I think it is one of the most extraordinary speeches I ever heard in this House. For my part, I rather admired it for what I would call its audacity. The right hon. Gentleman held up his hands in holy horror, and exclaimed that he could not imagine how anybody could regard his conduct with regard to South Africa with suspicion. He could not conceive how it was possible that his attitude should be so misconceived. "Suspicion!" he said. "On what basis of fact is this suspicion built?" Surely the right hon. Gentleman cannot have forgotten the Hawksley letters, the concealment of facts in the South African Committee. He cannot have forgotten the promotion of one of the men implicated in the raid — Sir Graham Bower — and the reinstatement of another of the conspirators — Mr. Newton. Indeed, the history of the last four or five years in South Africa is simply one record of facts, each and every one of them affording good, solid, substantial ground for suspecting the attitude of the right hon. Gentleman in everything that he does in South Africa. But there was another sentence which fell from him which was interesting as indicating one of the numerous changes of mind affected by the Colonial Secretary in the course of his brilliant career. Four or five years ago he considered that a war in South Africa would be a protracted war, a costly war, and would create endless bitterness and strife there; and he came to the conclusion that it would be an immoral proceeding. To-day, recanting these, amongst a good many other opinions formed in the course of his life, he declares that he has changed his mind, that he has had further knowledge since then. He has seen men who know the country. [HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!] That is perfectly true; but he had seen these men "who know the country," then, and it is rather curious that these men "who know the country" perfectly, thought that they could take Pretoria, the capital of the Transvaal, with 600 men! These were the men who had been living in the country all their lives, who were the 1201 sources of information to the Imperial Government, upon which information the Imperial Government based their whole policy. These were the men who knew enough about the country that they thought they could do with 600 amateur soldiers that which it has taken an army of 250,000 men eight or nine months to do. These were the men who informed the Imperial Government that President Kruger would climb down. Why, there are people in this country who have never seen South Africa who have shown greater knowledge about South Africa than these other men who have lived in it all their lives, but who were blinded by local and racial feeling, and who could not be trusted in a matter of this kind. That is the unfortunate part of the whole business. The right hon. Gentleman has been studying the question possibly, but from what I can see, his mind is biassed by other considerations. Anybody who listened to his speech knows perfectly well that that speech had nothing whatever to do with South Africa. It was not a speech directed to South Africa, or having any connection with South Africa, and it was not intended to deal with the South African business. It was a speech intended purely for the hustings. It was an electioneering performance. I venture to say that there is no worse eye-glass than the ballot box; and it was through that glass that the right hon. Gentleman has been looking at all these facts. When he came to deal with disfranchisement, he misrepresented—I do not say that he did so wilfully—what was said by the late Under Secretary for the Colonies and my hon. and learned friend the Member for Dumfries Burghs. It was perfectly palpable what their proposition was. Their proposition was that disfranchisement may not be a severe form of penalty, but that it was the worst you can administer now. I would ask the supporters of the Government whether disfranchisement would ever have been thought of in this wholesale fashion had it not been that the parties in the Cape are so close, that the Dutch majority in the Cape Parliament is so small, that the disfranchisement of a few hundreds will transfer the domination from one party to the other? It is a purely political move, and that is what has vitiated the whole policy of the right hon. Gentleman. He is so essentially a 1202 political manager that he is always electioneering. He is a kind of political agent, and so permeated is he with that instinct that he has made up his mind that if this war cannot be a military success, at any rate he will make it an electioneering success. So in South Africa the right hon. Gentleman just manipulates the settlement in such a way that the Dutch Ministry shall be turned out. and an English Ministry substituted. And in this country he is determined that this war should have one result—that is, a Chamberlain Ministry in the next Parliament. That is electioneering; it is not statesmanship; and it is not the way to settle the peace of South Africa. The worst of the whole business is that these are the considerations that have directed his entire policy, instead of considerations of statesmanship and conciliation which might have settled the whole thing without war. With the permission of the House, I should like for a moment—it is relevant to the motion for the reduction of the salary of the Colonial Secretary—to invite attention to the state of things which exists in South Africa, and contrast it with the position when the right hon. Gentleman came into office. In Cape Colony what was the state of things when he took office? It is true that they had an Englishman at the head of affairs. The right hon. Gentleman has just been denouncing the Afrikander Bond practically as a treasonable conspiracy. He said, "I have evidence." There has been too much so-called evidence which is kept back. Why should the right hon. Gentleman be the sole depository of all these confidences? This is, after all, nominally a democratic country. What has become of the right hon. Gentleman's rooted policy of taking the people into his confidence? Here is evidence which, according to him, is sufficient to ground an indictment against the people of South Africa, and yet he withholds it from Parliament. I have looked carefully into the Blue-books, and so far from finding any evidence of a conspiracy I only find that Sir Alfred Milner has filled them with the shavings and sawdust of the South African League workshop— clippings from newspapers and society gossip in South Africa. As a serious bit of evidence, there is a conversation with a gentleman called Schreiner, seventeen years ago, at a dinner party. Gentlemen who reveal the 1203 confidences of a dinner party are the men on whose evidence you are going to indict a whole nation! This gentleman met a Mr. Wright at this dinner party. I have read the whole conversation, and Mr. Wright said nothing whatever to Mr. Schreiner about a conspiracy. But it was said that his countenance was stern with self-confidence, and that he wore a self-satisfied smile. Therefore that means that he wanted to expel the British flag from South Africa. If a self-satisfied smile and a countenance stern with self-confidence are sufficient to expel the British flag from South Africa, I cannot understand why there should be a Union Jack left within a hundred miles of Birmingham. And that is the sort of evidence on which we are asked to believe in this great conspiracy in South Africa! But the right hon. Gentleman says— "This is true; it may not be in the Blue-books, but I have evidence of it. It is within my bosom." It is time, I think, that we should get all these facts before the British public. It is the same thing in regard to the Boer treatment of the natives. What were we told in July last? The right hon. Gentleman said—We had charges against the Boer Government in regard to their treatment of the natives, but we kept them back.To return to my main argument. I was pointing out what was the state of things in South Africa when the right hon. Gentleman came into office. There was an English Prime Minister, supported by a Dutch majority. What was the policy of this Prime Minister who was in office with the help of the Afrikander Bond? It is thus described by the right hon. Gentleman—Mr. Rhodes has told us here that it was his own view or idea to secure the union of the States in South Africa, leaving to the other States a Republican form of Government, but at the same time the whole to be under the British flag so far as foreign relations were concerned.The right hon. Gentleman whose policy was this was Prime Minister of the Cape, kept in power by this treasonable conspiracy known as the Afrikander Bond. His desire was to see a Confederation of the States of South Africa under the British flag. What was the attitude towards the Transvaal? Shortly before the right hon. Gentleman came into office, or shortly after, there was prac- 1204 tically a quarrel between the Government of the Cape Colony and the Government of the Transvaal. The former was on the point of declaring war against the Transvaal, and were only waiting to get the consent of this country to do so. And that was the Government that was put in office with the support of the Dutch majority in Cape Colony. What is the position now? It has been described by the right hon. Gentleman himself. The very men who had supported Mr. Rhodes, and four English Prime Ministers in succession, are the people now indicted for rebellion, whoso leaders are imprisoned or expatriated, and whom it is proposed we should deprive of the elementary rights of citizenship, because they cannot be entrusted with those rights so far as the British Empire is concerned. That is the change in the position in the Cape Colony; and the change in the Transvaal is quite as bad. In the Transvaal when the right hon. Gentleman came into office matters were progressing favourably, so far as reform was concerned. There was a strong Reform party in the Transvaal at that date. The head of the Liberal party came within 500 votes of being elected President. And it must not be forgotten that General Botha himself moved a resolution in the Volksraad in favour of reducing the period of qualification for the franchise to five years, and came within four votes of carrying it. [An. HON. MEMBER: How many voted on each side?] There were ten for and fourteen against. That shows the progress the Reform party was making at that time. The Reform candidate for the Presidency came within 500 votes of being elected over President Kruger. Now all these men are endued with hostility to Great Britain. As for the Orange Free State, when the right hon. Gentleman came into office, it was perfectly friendly. Now it is so hostile that its forces are in the field against us, and you have been mean enough to wipe out the word "Free" from the very name of that Colony. When you come to the effect of your policy in South Africa upon the Empire at large, it is found to be most disastrous. We have been obliged to drop all those great proposals for domestic reform of which the right hon. Gentleman claimed to be the apostle. And when you come to consider how it has paralysed the power and arms of Great Britain abroad 1205 the policy might very well be described in the phrase of the right hon. Gentleman himself as calamitous. One thing has struck me. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite are wont to congratulate themselves upon the fact that the European Powers have not offered to intervene. But has it never occurred to them to consider what is the reason why those European Powers which are hostile to us, who hate us, and are willing to strike a blow at the very existence of this Empire, have not intervened and have not talked of intervening? The only offer of mediation has come from the one Power in the world which is perfectly friendly to us—from that State the Government of which is so friendly to us that it has imperiled its existence owing to its sympathy with Great Britain. The reason is that the Powers that hate and dislike us do not want to stop the terrible exhaustion of our power going on in South Africa. There is nothing that suits them better. You have simply to look at China and get your answer there. What is happening there? We are the Power which has the greatest interest in China, Our trade with China is greater than the aggregate trade of all the other Powers; and formerly we were the foremost Power in settling Chinese affairs. But what is the position now? We have been reduced to the position of a third-rate Power in the settlement of the affairs of the Chinese Empire. [An HON. MEMBER: No.] I will give the hon. Member the facts. Russia and Japan have each got in China more troops than we have; therefore in that respect we are a third-rate Power. But not only that. Why is it that in order to protect our own Minister and our own people we have to appeal to an Oriental Power? Why is it that we have to appeal to a Bhuddist Power to protect our own missionaries? It is because the whole reserves of the Empire have been pledged in this terrific struggle going on in South Africa. Let these two facts rest in the mind of our great Imperial statesmen who are so proud of the Empire. I venture to say that if the House of Commons, if the Cabinet, if the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary himself, had foreseen twelve months ago the condition into which this war would have brought us, they would not have rejected President Kruger's terms in August and September last. The 1206 right hon. Gentleman, in answering the speech of my hon. and learned friend, said that to talk of suffering was irrelevant. That is an extraordinary declaration to make. He said, "What is the loss of 8,000 men killed on the one side and 3,000 or 4,000 on the other; what is the maiming of 40,000 for life?—and that is only the beginning of it. All that is perfectly irrelevant!" Surely in a question of this kind the suffering undergone is more or less relevant. Does not the price you are to pay come in when you are considering whether you should go to war? At least the Prime Minister thought so. We had a perfectly good case for war against France in regard to Madagascar, but Lord Salisbury came to the conclusion that British trade in Madagascar was not worth the immense suffering and sacrifice of life that would be produced by a war with France. It was because the right hon. Gentleman did not foresee what would happen, because he was misled by his own prejudices and prepossessions and by the men "who know the country" that he went into this terrible war in South Africa. I would ask the Committee what is it we have gained by this war? Taking the facts as they are at the present moment I venture to say that as far as regards all the objects we set before ourselves when we entered into the war, we are worse off now than before it began. We entered into the war in order to establish equal rights between the white races in the Transvaal. That was the avowed, open, and declared object. How do we stand now, even according to the declaration of the Colonial Secretary? Equal rights! Not at all. The first thing is that you have got to conquer the territory, and that will take at least a year. And then there is to be a military occupation. Afterwards you will set up a Crown Colony, which is to last according to the behaviour of the Boers. But, taking the right hon. Gentleman's own previous declaration, this feud may last for generations. Does he believe that if he annexes these two Republics he will restore peace and amity in ten or fifteen years, so that you can trust them with self-government? And what does a Crown Colony mean? A Crown Colony does not mean giving votes to anybody. You cannot set up self-government in the Transvaal and enfranchise the Uitlanders alone. The right hon. Gentleman knows that 1207 perfectly well. He deprives everybody of votes, and governs that State by means of nominees of the Crown. We started the war in order to obtain the franchise for everybody, and we end it with the franchise for nobody. It is true that you establish a kind of equality between the white races there, but it is not equal rights, but equal wrongs. They are all to be deprived of the franchise. Now, what would have happened if there had been no war? President Kruger offered a seven years franchise, or a five years franchise on conditions—nine-tenths of which the right hon. Gentleman himself considered satisfactory. Supposing the Bill granting the seven years franchise had been unsatisfactory—although it is not for the right hon. Gentleman to assume that it would be; President Kruger offered to refer it to an inquiry, as suggested by the right hon. Gentleman himself—assuming that it would have been unsatisfactory, it would not have lasted for ever. It is perfectly true that the reform leaders in the Transvaal were the men of real power in that country. Who were the leaders of reaction? President Kruger and Commandant Cronje—both old men. In the ordinary course of things they could not have lasted long. Their power was a diminishing and dwindling force in the Republic. Who were the leaders of the reform party? General Botha, the two Generals De Wet, and Lucas Meyer, and others—all men who have bee n brought to the front by this war. They are young men, and were pledged to reform and to granting the rights of citizenship to the Uitlanders, while the men who were pledged to reaction and denying the rights of citizenship to the Uitlanders were old men with diminishing influence. The young men pledged to free franchise were of growing influence in the State. All this means that if we had not gone into this wretched war, we would have had the franchise and equal rights in seven or ten years at the outside; and what would have been spared to humanity? Eight thousand and more of our own soldiers dead! And the worst of a war like this is, that it is not the guilty persons who are punished, but the innocent. I know not who is responsible for this war. President Kruger? It may be; but he is not the man to be punished. It may be the right hon. Gentleman himself—as I believe—but he is not the man to be punished for it. 1208 What had these 8,000 British troops who had been killed done? What had the 450,000 men, women, and children who have been turned out of their homes and are roaming over the veldt in the Transvaal done? Yes, or even these poor burghers in the field? They, at any rate, had profited nil by the corruption of President Kruger and his Hollander gang. That is the worst of it. If we had only waited with patience all would have come out well in five or ten years, and the suffering, the detestation, and the stain on the name of Great Britain would have been spared. [HON. MEMBERS: Oh!] Yes, all that would have been saved. And I will tell the Committee what more, in my opinion, would have been gained. We should have gained the confidence and loyalty of those men in Cape Colony. [Laughter.] Why should hon. Members laugh at the loyalty of 250,000 of their own fellow citizens of the Empire in South Africa, who never, until provoked by this war, had given the slightest indication of disloyalty, but sup-, ported the British Ministry? That is what we would have gained, but we made matters worse instead of improving them by this war. What else have we set ourselves to accomplish? The peace of South Africa. That is an argument I have heard in this House and outside it. It was said that the war was necessary in the interests of peace in South Africa, and that it would put an end to those causes of disturbance in the Transvaal. What have you gained so far as peace is concerned? The whole fighting prior to the war, and the whole disturbances, were purely local. There was no bloodshed in Cape Colony or Natal, or in the Transvaal or the Orange Free State —none after the Jameson raid on Johannesburg. Only a little disturbance which the police could settle. But what have you done by this war? You have covered South Africa with the blood of the bravest men which our own country and their country could provide. That is how peace in South Africa has been restored. But it is said that we want to establish the paramount of Great Britain. That was unnecessary. There are two things which I think the Committee ought to take into account in this respect. President Kruger did two things which showed that, however he might object to the name of suzerainty, he recognised the paramountcy of this country. First of all, he discussed his 1209 own internal affairs, and the very Bills which he submitted to his own Parliament, with the Imperial High Commissioner. What country in the world would have done that? Would Switzerland have discussed its own Bills regarding internal reforms with this country? Certainly not. Another thing he agreed to, and that was that in the matter of arbitration between this country and the Transvaal he was perfectly willing that no outsider should be introduced. Is that not a recognition of the paramountcy, real and effective paramountcy, of Great Britain? The right hon. Gentleman was not satisfied until he could get not merely the reality but the shadow of paramountcy, and he has got it. But, again, it was said that this war was entered into to re-establish British prestige, which had suffered at Majuba. The Prime Minister has declared that we entered into this war to revenge the humiliation of Majuba, and to restore the proper credit of this country. I ask hon. Members, will they venture to say that this war has re-established British prestige in South Africa or elsewhere? A force of 250,000 of the picked and trained men, not only of this country, but of the colonies, is required to crush 35,000 peasants. [HON. MEMBERS: Oh!] Well, I am taking as my authority Mr. Cecil Rhodes. At the present moment I do not believe that anyone would even assort that there are more than 20,000 Boers in the field. How does that re-establish our prestige or avenge Majuba? It is with regret that I speak of it; there is a sense of humiliation in it. My own countrymen have been captured, and who can think of that without a sense of shame? But in this war during the last ten months we have been beaten in battles in which the loss was greater than all the men engaged on both sides at Majuba. Why, we have had a dozen Majubas. Revenging Majuba! You have overshadowed Majuba with the ghastlier tragedies of Magersfontein and Spion Kop. You may have destroyed the Conventions of 1881 and 1884; you may have wiped out the humiliation attached to the memory of Majuba, but you have substituted for it a proclamation which turned women and children in the depth of winter from their own homes into the African desert; and you call that restoring British prestige in South Africa. On the contrary, British prestige has suffered, and no one will deny 1210 that this great war has done nothing more than to multiply grief and poverty. As for our military reverses, it is not for me to dwell upon them; but, at any rate, there is in them no restoring of prestige. I remember perfectly well the great cry at the last General Election was "Support home industries," and the Government, and above all, the Minister who got his party into power on the prohibition of foreign brushes, is now engaged in the task of restoring British prestige with guns made in Germany, soldiers fed on French vegetables and South American meat, Hungarian horses provided with American saddles, and foreign fodder carried by Spanish mules. That is how we are restoring British prestige and the credit of the country. The fact is that this war was based on a gross miscalculation—upon a series of miscalculations. It was calculated that with 47,000 men we could conquer these two Republics. It is rather unfortunate to consider what that miscalculation was based upon. It was not a miscalculation of the Intelligence Department. It was not that we were taken by surprise by the military preparations of the Boers. The Under Secretary for War declared that they knew perfectly well at the War Office the number of men that the two Republics could turn out, the number of their guns, and the amount of ammunition they had; in fact, that they rather exaggerated the power of the Boers than otherwise. The miscalculation was a miscalculation of statesmanship—a miscalculation as to the character, disposition, ideals, and tenacity of the men with whom we had to deal. And that miscalculation must rest entirely on the shoulder's of the right hon. Gentleman himself. He has led us into two blunders. The first was the war. But worse than the war is the change that has been effected in the purpose for which we are prosecuting the war. We went into the war for equal rights; we are prosecuting it for annexation. That is a most serious change in the tactics of the Government from any point of view. There may be something to be said for a war so long as it is entered upon for an unselfish purpose. The influence of a war must always be brutalising, at best; but still, if you enter upon it for an unselfish purpose there is something which almost consecrates the sacrifices, bloodshed, and suffering endured. But when you enter 1211 upon a war purely and simply for the purposes of plunder, I know of nothing which is more degrading to the country or more hideous in its effects on the mind and character of the people engaged in it. Anyone who looks at the illustrated papers must see the horrible presentments given of incidents which were formerly relegated to prints like the Police Gazette—details which I cannot give to the House without a gross breach of good taste. Incidents of that kind are not given for the purpose of producing any disgust in the minds of the people, but with every circumstance of indication that they are there to invoke admiration. And all these are circulated broadcast in every household throughout the country. The right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary in a speech quoted by the hon. Member for Cockermouth said that a war in order to impose internal reforms upon President Kruger would be an immoral war. If that be so, I ask the right hon. Gentleman or any of his friends to find an adjective sufficiently expressive of the character of a war entered upon for the purposes of annexation. The right hon. Gentleman admitted that we had no right to meddle in the affairs of the Transvaal, and that there was only one possible justification for it—that our motive was an unselfish one. We have thrown that justification away now. It is exactly as if you had entered into a man's house to protect the children, and started to steal his plate. You entered into these two Republics for philanthropic purposes, and remained to commit burglary. In changing the purpose of the war you have made a bad change. That is the impression you are creating abroad. Our critics say you are not going to war for equal rights and to establish fair play, but to get hold of the goldfields; and you have justified that criticism of our enemies by that change. But, worst of all, a change has been effected in the character of the war. Up to a certain point it was conducted with considerable chivalry, and, so far as war can be so conducted, with apparent good temper on both sides. A war of annexation, however, against a proud people must be a war of extermination, and that is unfortunately what it seems we are now committing ourselves to — burning homesteads and turning women and children out of their homes. The telegram received from Pretoria, and 1212 which had passed the military censor, stated that fact, and I do not think he would have let it come unless it was true. It is also confirmed from Lorenzo Marques by information that 600 women and children have been turned out and sent to the hills. There has been the burning of the homesteads of the rebels, and this war will brutalise the people, and the savagery which must necessarily follow will stain the name of this country. It seems to mo that in this war we have gradually followed the policy of Spain in Cuba. The action of the Spaniards in Cuba produced such a feeling in America that they could not tolerate it, and we know how that war degraded the name of Spain. This is the state of things into which the right hon. Gentleman has brought us. During nine or ten months warfare we have lost between 40,000 and 50,000 men, there has been enormous expense, and the end is not yet in sight. And this Government, the advent of which we were told would terrorise all other governments abroad, has been reduced to the necessity of appealing to Japan to protect its own Ministers in China. The right hon. Gentleman has made up his mind that this war shall produce electioneering capital to his own side. He is in a great hurry to go to the country before the facts are known. He wants to have the judgment of the people in the very height and excitement of the fever. He wants a verdict before the pleadings are closed and before "discovery" has been obtained. He does not want the documents to come, but he wants to have the judgment of the country upon censored news, suppressed despatches, and unpaid bills. The right hon. Gentleman may not be a statesman, but he is an expert electioneerer, and in his desire to go to the country before the country realises what the war means he is the one man who pronounces the deepest condemnation upon his own proceedings.
§ * MR. EVELYN CECIL (Hertford)
I have been very much struck with the extreme poverty of the arguments used by hon. Members opposite in regard to the past, and the extreme timidity with which they have touched questions about the future. The hon. Gentleman who has just sat down has given us one of his eloquent and bitter speeches, but it does not take us very much further. He has told us 1213 that the Colonial Secretary is really electioneering. I do not know whether his own speech was intended also as an electioneering speech, but I have my doubts as to whether it will be very highly appreciated as such. He has used arguments to try and show that in China we have been reduced to a third-rate Power in consequence of this war in South Africa. The sophistical nature of this argument is apparent. He has also told us that President Kruger admitted the paramountcy of Great Britain. Was the hon. Member bearing in mind that several of the leaders of the Boers claimed that the Transvaal was a sovereign international State, and that Mr. Reitz deliberately used this phrase in his despatch of May 9, 1899? He also stated that the war was not unselfish, but that we had simply been watching for an opportunity to acquire the gold mines. Everybody knows perfectly well the imperial system of colonial Governments, and as soon as we can in this case, as in others, we intend to grant responsible governments to the colonies, and therefore it is the colonies and the local territory that will really reap the benefit which is to be obtained by the taking over of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. We have had a speech from the hon. Member for Poplar. That speech did not add very much to the practical solution for the future, and his arguments were chiefly to assert that we went to war to obtain the franchise for the Uitlanders, and the result of the war was to disfranchise the Boers. The answer to this he supplied himself, for not very long afterwards he stated that the war has lasted so long that it has made the whole position a very different one. Of course war always alters the situation, and you cannot expect that the conditions will be precisely the same after the war as they are before, and it is idle to draw arguments of that description from the circumstances that have arisen. The hon. Member has also told us that Her Majesty's Government by their want of preparation for this war have practically made these men rebels. This, again, is an extraordinary statement which shows the nature of the speeches to which we have been listening. The hon. Member last year told us that our preparations were too many, too extensive, and too great, and it is almost childish now to turn round and assert 1214 that it is want of preparation that has made these men rebels. Even if the Government had made more preparation I suppose it can hardly be denied that their feelings would have been just the same. I will now come to a more practical consideration of the South African problem. We have to consider the question of the future government of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. It has been suggested that there are two immediate courses, either that we should rule the two Republics like a Crown colony, or else place them under military government. I venture to think that in the particular case of South Africa the two terms "Crown colony" and "military government" are practically synonymous. If you have a purely military government you will be subject to the same disadvantages as occurred in the Transvaal, in 1877, when Sir Owen Lanyon was at the head of the annexed administration, and if you are to have a really successful Crown Colony government it will require a military force behind it. It is also largely a question of the length of time for which this kind of government will be required. I think we are all agreed that after the war is over we must have a responsible government as soon as possible. I take issue here with the hon. Member for Poplar, the whole tone of whose speech was to urge that we were jerry mandering if we did not grant a responsible government at once. I deny in toto such an accusation, and those who are in favour of a responsible government being established at once should remember that there are many practical difficulties in the way of that course being adopted. How can you grant responsible government until, at any rate, the question of the indemnity tax is settled?—for otherwise you would be putting the regulation of the payment of that tax into the hands of those who have been openly fighting against us. It ought to be remembered, too, that you are incurring a very grave risk in this respect, for you may be sure that Dr. Leyds and his Hollanders will take the earliest opportunity as soon as a responsible government is restored of coming back to the country and agitating to produce the same condition of unrest and inequality again, and make the whole settlement impossible. That would be a fictitious agitation showing vindictiveness against the success of British arms, and against the freedom 1215 of British government, but it is only too likely to occur. These are matters which deserve serious consideration, and I have no doubt that, in spite of the jeers of hon. Gentlemen opposite, her Majesty's Government will take great care to successfully overcome the difficulty. No doubt there are other difficulties. The hon. and learned Member for Dumfries has referred to the question of disarmament. Personally I do not see how any policy but that of disarmament can be adopted at the present time. We have had too many examples of the results of leniency during the present war to come to any other conclusion than that leniency must be tempered by judgment. I am anxious to be as lenient as possible, but when you have firing on the white flag, and Boers returning to their lost farms, and then going over to the enemy again and taking up arms afresh, notwithstanding that they had promised under parole not to do so, it is very doubtful whether there is very much sense of gratitude in the Boers. There is, of course, much to be said with regard to the attitude of the natives. We must bear in mind that it is only just and it is necessary also that the white man should be armed against any native attack. In consideration of this fact, it might be ultimately possible, having now partly reduced the number of rifles in the hands of the Boer population, still further to reduce the amount of ammunition they are given. I only only throw that out as a suggestion in view of the native difficulty. There is another difficulty in regard to the taxes in connection with the indemnity. I am confident that when there is a just administration it will be found that the illegal and irregular taxes and monopolies are sufficient when they have been removed to enable just taxes to be put in their place, which will, without offence, largely contribute to the indemnity. I refer, for example, more particularly to the tax which has hitherto been imposed by the Transvaal Government in connection with the dynamite monopoly with foodstuffs and the enormously high railway rates which have been charged by the Netherlands Railway. There is a another aspect of the situation, and it is one which has been touched upon by my hon. friend the Member for Durham. We are all anxious to do the best we can for the future of the country. We are all anxious 1216 as soon as the war is over to show what British energy, and science and development can produce, for we know that it will bring real advantages to that unfortunate country.
§ * MR. EVELYN CECIL
I have every hope that the Inter-Departmental Committee, which is to consider the question of the settlement of colonists and soldiers, will produce a scheme which will be of real benefit to the country. The climate is generally excellent in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony. More markets are needed and more skilled labour is wanted, as against the unskilled labour which is to be obtained from the natives. A greater development of railways is needed, without which you cannot bring the produce to the markets, and without which you will find produce grown without there being any convenient markets for it. You will be able to develop industries in new portions of the country. You will be able, I am certain, to grow more wheat in the Orange River Colony, which is a very good wheat-growing land, especially near Basutoland, where I am informed only about one-fifteenth of the wheat is grown that could be grown under proper management.
§ * MR. EVELYN CECIL
You will be able to develop fruit growing as well. One of the most noticeable things in times of peace in South Africa is that nearly everybody is supplied with tinned food. That shows that insufficient attention has been paid in the past to the possibilities of the country for growing the ordinary necessaries of life. I have every confidence that the inquiries to be made by the Inter-Departmental Committee which has been promised will result in great good to South Africa. I have not mentioned such industries as the making of bricks.
§ * MR. EVELYN CECIL
The hon. Member is mistaken, for there is plenty of straw there. Brick-clay exists in many places. I also venture to think that this 1217 interruption is dictated by ignorance, because nearly all the buildings there are made of corrugated iron, which is extremely hot under a tropical sun. Really, I think many hon. Members opposite from Ireland are animated more by a desire to sneer at the policy of the Government than to listen to practical facts about South Africa. Gold, diamond, and coal mines are already worked, and my object has been to show that there are plenty of other industries which the colonists can undertake with advantage and profit. I know the difficulties are not small, and I do not wish to minimise them, but I am certain that they can be overcome. Difficulties arise in regard to the supply of water, but are largely remedied by storing rain-water in tanks, by sinking wells, by irrigation, where possible, from the rivers. By new scientific inoculation and other means we can get rid of many of the troublesome animals—
§ * MR. EVELYN CECIL
Such as locusts, which exist there. And various districts which have already been open to civilisation in South Africa show by experience that there is less malaria in those districts now than before. I have intervened in this debate partly because I wish to show that the speeches of hon. Gentlemen opposite were extremely unpractical, and were perhaps dictated by some feeling of electioneering anxiety, and partly because I believe that much practical good can be done to South Africa through the medium of British rule, and of the energy which has been hitherto wanting.
§ MR. LABOUCHERE (Northampton)
I do not quite follow the argument of the hon. Member who has just sat down in favour of this war, but so far as I understand him, he is of the opinion that after we have spent £100,000,000 and lost thousands of the lives of our fellow countrymen, the inhabitants of the Transvaal in future will be able to live in houses made of bricks instead of iron. I can hardly think that that is a fair justification of the war. He also told us to draw our experience from Ireland. It appears that we have treated Ireland well and nobly, and yet the Irish Members are not grateful. Now we find that the 1218 Transvaalers are not grateful, and I should like to know why they should be grateful. Admitting that we are right in this war, is it likely that the Transvaalevs would think so themselves? Can they be expected to be grateful to us for shooting them down, burning their houses, and dragging their women into the desert? We are told that we ought to pursue the war to the bitter end. My hon. friend behind me said the speech of the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary was rather addressed to England than to South Africa. I will go a step further and say that it struck me that the speech of the Colonial Secretary was rather addressed to his own side than to our side. We know that on the other side there are some hon. Gentlemen who are anxious for a speedy election, and there are others who are not so desirous. The right hon. Gentleman himself is in favour of a speedy election, and the gist of his speech seems to be that we ought to have an election at once if the Opposition dared to differ in one single word from the Government. The Government has a large majority and can vote down our opposition, and yet, although they can vote us down, if we dare to express an opinion that the Government is not entirely right in the settlement they suggest in regard to the future of South Africa, at once Parliament is to be dissolved and the Government is to appeal to the country on the subject. That is a new doctrine not known to any of the predecessors of the right hon. Gentleman. When Mr. Disraeli came home from Berlin with his "Peace with honour," he was urged to dissolve at once, but he had a great respect for the Parliament of England and the Constitution of the country, and he did not think it right and legitimate merely upon a snap dissolution to get a snap majority, and so he put the election off. It is perfectly true that when the election took place a little later he was defeated, but at any rate he had the satisfaction of knowing that he had behaved as an honest and honourable statesman. The right hon. Gentleman considers that anybody who votes in favour of the reduction moved by my hon. friend the Member for Cocker-mouth must agree with every single word which has been said by the mover. Did anybody ever hear of such a doctrine? This is the Colonial Office Vote, and 1219 a motion has been made to reduce the salary of the right hon. Gentleman by £100. Personally, the only hesitation I have in voting for this Amendment is that I am implying that I think the right hon. Gentleman ought to have £4,900. That is my own feeling, but I have got a dozen other reasons for voting for this Amendment. I think it is through the action of the right hon. Gentleman that we have this war at all, and I object to his interference with military commanders. But even if I admitted that the war is perfectly just I should have voted for this Amendment, because I am opposed to the action which the right hon. Gentleman intends to take in regard to the future settlement of South Africa. Then there is another extraordinary doctrine. The right hon. Gentleman said he considered it was a mean and despicable thing to do for anyone who did not vote either "aye" or "no" upon this question. I hope that every hon. Gentleman on this side will vote against the salary of the right hon. Gentleman. I am bound to say that the views expressed by the right hon. Gentleman are singularly unfortunate, because I remember not long ago his action when the present Lord James, an eminent leader of the Liberal Unionist party, moved a resolution in regard to the Indian cotton duties. But where was the right hon. Gentleman when the Vote came on and the question was put? Everybody looked round for him, but he was not there. Certainly the right hon. Gentleman does not practise what he preaches. The right hon. Gentleman told us that there was a certain amount of suspicion felt in South Africa with regard to himself, and that it was not due to his own action, but was owing to the speeches of hon. Members on the Front Opposition Bench, who had absolutely told the people of South Africa that they ought to suspect him. I do not think there is anything ignoble about it if the late Attorney General did say that there was cause for suspicion. The facts are all there. We know perfectly well that the right hon. Gentleman went out of his way to laud up Mr. Rhodes, although at another time he practically stated that Mr. Rhodes was a most dishonourable man. Surely statements like those are enough to lead to some sort of suspicion on the part of the Afrikanders in South Africa. Surely there is still some ground for the belief 1220 that the right hon. Gentleman is taking some partisan interest in Mr. Rhodes. But this is not a question so much of the particular speech of the right hon. Gentleman. I am one of the great admirers of his eloquence from a rhetorical standpoint. The right hon. Gentleman always takes up two or three of the weakest arguments used, and he assumes that these are the only arguments, and then he proceeds to misconstrue them, he shrugs his shoulders, and when the hon. Member attacked gets up to put the right hon. Gentleman right he refuses to give way. The right hon. Gentleman's speech is a proof of the great rhetorical ability which he possesses, but it is more fitted to come from below the gangway than from a responsible Minister of the Crown. The real question is, what ought we to do now under the present circumstances? We know that a war has taken place, and we know that you cannot put things precisely in the same position as they were before the war. What we ought to devote ourselves entirely to is, what is the best thing to be done now in the permanent interests of South Africa and the Empire. I want to put an end to this racial feud which now exists, and which the right hon. Gentleman tells us existed for generations before the war took place. I should have thought that the war would have tended to increase this racial feud, and I was sorry the right hon. Gentleman did not state the reasons why he had altered his opinion. He said it was a prophecy, but I do not believe in the prophecies of the right hon. Gentleman either before or after the war; in fact, I do not believe in any prophecies whatsoever from anybody. What are we to do in regard to these two Republics and in regard to Cape Colony? We have had two Blue-books issued on this subject. The first book was full of newspaper cuttings, but the second book is interesting reading, because it shows the intentions and the views of the right hon. Gentleman, and what was passing in his mind, much more clearly than the speeches he has made in this House. The Cape Ministry did not ask the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman. My hon. friend said his opinion was asked by the Cape Ministry, but I cannot find anything in these Blue-books which said that anybody asked for the opinion of the right hon. Gentleman. I have read a long letter from Sir Alfred Milner in which the Cape 1221 Ministry represent to Her Majesty's Government their views in regard to the treatment of rebels. They say that they wish their views to be represented to the right hon. Gentleman, but they did not ask him what his views were. We know that his views were different to those of the Cape Ministry. The Cape Ministry proposed to indemnify all except the ringleaders, but the right hon. Gentleman was indignant at that, and he started a very curious doctrine. He said he objected to it because it was unjust to the loyalists. The right hon. Gentleman suggested that there should be a roving Commission to smell out the rebels and to get evidence against them, I presume from the loyalists, and this was to be the basis of the action brought against the rebels. It was proposed also that those rebels who had provided food for the Boers should be punished. For these offenders it was proposed that they should be punished by being deprived of their votes for the rest of their natural lives if they pleaded guilty. But if they did not plead guilty they might be punished in many ways as well. A sort of pressure is to be put upon these people. They are to go before a judicial Commission. It they plead guilty they will only be punished by their vote being taken away, but if they do not plead guilty they will be liable to many other additional penalties. It has been said that it would be almost impossible to try such men by a jury. And so you are to bully and tease these men into pleading guilty, on the understanding that if they do so they will have no punishment beyond being disfranchised. We are told that some 10,000 of these rebels took up arms against us. We will suppose that there are 10,000 who aided and abetted, and who will be brought under the purview of this law. The right hon. Gentleman has now given up the life disqualification, and he says they are to be disqualified for five years. We know what the object of this is, and it is a jerrymandering object. The real reason for this proposal has slipped out in the course of the right hon. Gentleman's speech. You have two parties—one of them was in power, and the other got in power at the last election, and they happen to have a majority in the country. Now the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary wants to lay hold of about 20,000 of these persons to disfranchise them in order to put in power 1222 the other party. And who is the other party? Why, it is the right hon. Gentleman's own particular friend, Mr. Rhodes, who was defeated at the last general election by the votes of these persons. These men are to be disfranchised simply to put out of power those who have a majority at present, and in order to put in power those who are in a minority and who were defeated at the last general election. By the proposal of the light hon. gentleman the property of these 20,000 people is, in many cases, to be confiscated, and to whom is it to go? It is to go to indemnify the loyalists. When there are two parties in the Cape like this, the loyalists will be the people who administer justice, and if these loyalists know that the amount of money they are to receive by way of indemnity is to be exactly the amount they are to get from their political opponents, heaven help those political opponents. The right hon. Gentleman told us that a great many members of the Dutch community were loyal. Have we not always said so? I believe they were perfectly loyal. There wore exceptions to the rule, but these loyal men have now to be put out of power—it is these loyal Dutch who are to be deprived of power. The Cape Ministers protested against the action of the right hon. Gentleman, and Mr. Schreiner proposed some sort of compromise. His party protested against his action, and Mr. Schreiner resigned, and he has now gone over bag and baggage to the enemy. Sir Gordon Sprigg has now been put into power, and he is a gentleman who was defeated at the last general election. And who is Sir Gordon Sprigg? He is simply the: dummy of Mr. Rhodes. The right hon. Gentleman does not seem to understand anything about the game, and he does not understand the personal element in this question. The right hon. Gentleman told us that Mr. Rose-Innes is known for his impartiality; but he is known as a sort of Liberal Unionist who is ready to join one party one day and another party the next. Is Mr. Rose-Innes an impartial man? Why, anyone in South Africa would laugh at the suggestion, just as we would laugh at the notion of impartiality in some hon. Members of this House. Let the right hon. Gentleman and the Cape Ministry agree on some sort of amnesty. I cite the case of Canada. 1223 Canada was on all fours with Cape Colony. There were two races, the French and the English. The French were anxious to join with the United States, and they confederated with certain leaders in the United States. What happened when the war was over? There was first a policy of revenge, confiscation, and disfranchisement proposed. But Lord Durham protested against it, and thanks to him an amnesty was declared. Some of the leaders were punished, but there was no general disfranchisement. What was the result? Canada is now one of the most loyal of our Colonies, and all friction between the two races has disappeared. Will the right hon. Gentleman inform the Cape Ministry that Canada is an analogous case? He will not, because he does not think, and never will think, that anything that is contrary to what he wishes can be analogous, or right or just. In some things I admire the right hon. Gentleman. He has a peculiar mind. He does know what he wants, and, unlike some other people, he takes the best step she can to attain it. No doubt the right hon. Gentleman struggles to be impartial, but God has made him in such a way that it is absolutely impossible for him to be impartial. He must either be on one side or the other, and he is ready to do anything to attain the end he has in view. Very likely he thinks his own opinion is right, and he is right in standing by it; but what the right hon. Gentleman cannot understand is how any one can think that his opinion may be wrong, and he is perpetually jeering and sneering and abusing hon. Members on this side because we think that he may be in the wrong and not in the right. As regards rebellion, there is a good deal to be said for it on general principles. Who would now be called the greatest man in the history of the United States? Why, Washington. And who is known as the greatest man in England? Hampden. I remember the right hon. and gallant Gentleman the Member for North Armagh making a speech in which he complained of our unpatriotic conduct in thinking that there might be some excuse for rebellion. But I remember when we were discussing the Irish question that the right hon. and gallant Gentlemen gloried in the fact that if Home Rule were granted he would himself be a rebel. Some hon. Gentlemen opposite said that in that event they 1224 would "die in the last ditch," but the right hon. and gallant Gentleman was more practical. He said he would not die in the last ditch, but that he would kill all of us in it. As to the question whether a person is right or wrong in being a rebel, I cannot see that a rebel must necessarily be wrong, though I think it would have been better for these people in South Africa if they had kept quiet. They had, however, sons and brothers who were fighting on the Boer side, and it was natural and human that they should strongly sympathise with their own race. Moreover, they did not rebel in any part of the colony where the Republicans were unable to go. It was only where the Republicans had occupied a district that they broke into rebellion and joined them. But that was the fault of the Government in not defending the colonies. The Government thought that the war was to be a sort of cheerful picnic to Pretoria, and they sent out an insufficient number of men. The Boers invaded our territory, which they ought never to have been able to do if the Government had realised what the difficulties were. I put it that it is infinitely more the fault of the Government than of these individuals that they were forced into a position in which they had to choose between the actual forces in command of the district, forces which represented their own kith and kin, and the Government with which they had ceased to have any sympathy after what had taken place. For it must be remembered that the Government of Cape Colony proposed that the colony should remain neutral, and so far as I know there was no protest from the right hon. Gentleman as to that. It seemed to me that the right hon. Gentleman recognised the difficult position of the colony itself, and was perfectly agreeable that it should remain neutral. Under these circumstances, if England is at war, and it is understood that a colony is to remain neutral, the position of the people in that colony is undoubtedly very exceptional and difficult, and should be taken into consideration when all is over. I do not put it on high ground; I put it on the ground of mere expediency. You have never yet gained over a people by maintaining a policy of confiscation and disfranchisement after a civil war. I defy anyone to show where such a policy has ever succeeded. What we ought to do, 1225 apart from all questions as to whether the rebels were right in rebelling or not, is as soon as the rebellion is actually over to punish the ringleaders, and to grant a general amnesty to the people. How can you possibly suppose that you will get good feeling in South Africa when you have 20,000 men—equivalent to about one million here—who cannot vote, whose property has been confiscated, and who will see other people living on that property? You will never get by that policy the peace and harmony which we all desire in South Africa. We have not alluded to Sir Alfred Milner in this debate, though we have got a great deal from him in these Blue-books. It is curious that Sir A. Milner's despatches, whether sent by post or cable, always arrived in this country at a favourable moment to influence public opinion. We remember when his "helot" despatch arrived, though I could never understand why he should have telegraphed that rigmarole, except that it was to influence public opinion. Whenever a discussion is coming on in this House a despatch from Sir A. Milner backing up the policy of the Colonial Secretary is suddenly published. On 6th May Sir A. Milner wrote a despatch stating that at that time there was a conciliation party in South Africa. I should like to see a conciliation party in every country, composed of men who take a strong view, and who regard the interests of their country first. Sir A. Milner states that the term of conciliation party was a misnomer, because their policy was a direct negative to the policy of Her Majesty's Government, not a direct negative to the policy of the Cape Government, but a direct negative to the policy of the right hon. Gentleman. Sir A. Milner thinks that it is practically a criminal thing that the inhabitants of Cape Colony should dare to express an opinion contrary to the policy of Her Majesty's Government, but such a doctrine would do away with all opposition in this country. If it were a crime to differ from Her Majesty's Government, a set of men would have only to get into office to remain in for the rest of their natural lives. As Lord Randolph Churchill stated, though perhaps he put it too broadly, it is the duty of an Opposition to oppose, and if they believe that the policy of the Government is a wrong policy they are only fulfilling their duty as members of this House in opposing it. 1226 That Sir A. Milner should accuse these men of committing a crime because they opposed the policy of the right hon. Gentleman is really making the right hon. Gentleman a kind of dictator not only in this country, but throughout the whole Empire. Then Sir A. Milner goes on to say that the conciliation party was produced by politicians. How is any party produced in this country? It is not produced by the politicians or by their followers, but by politicians and followers together entertaining the same views. Sir A. Milner tells us in his despatch that for any exasperation of feeling that might result from the discussion of burning questions the conciliation party were to blame. Are they not to discuss burning questions? If the war is a burning question here, it is a far more burning question in South Africa, where it is a most vital question, and surely it is not a crime to discuss it as Sir A. Milner thinks. Here is an instance of the "impartiality" of Sir A. Milner, and I cannot help calling the attention of the House to it. Sir A. Milner may be a very excellent man; he may have many excellent qualities, but he is certainly not a man endowed with an impartial mind. Sir A. Milner complains that the language of the conciliation party was very strong, but he also admits that the language of what he calls the Loyalists was very strong as well. But he does not blame them. The Loyalists may use what language they like, but the other side are to be blamed if they use any strong language at all. Why should he protest against, one side using strong language and not the other? I think all parties are united in believing that a policy of conciliation would be a desirable policy in South Africa, not only on grounds of fairness and justness, but also on the ground of expediency. Now, as to the Republics, themselves, it is admitted that the Government of the Orange Free State was a most excellent Government, and it is admitted that President Steyn did his very best to prevent this war. [Some HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!] That is the distressing part of this subject. I really do not believe that two hon. Gentlemen on the other side of the House have ever read the Blue-book. If they took the trouble to do so they would see that President Steyn has been praised again and again by Sir A. Milner and by the Colonial Secretary because he did his 1227 best to bring about an amicable arrangement and to prevent war with the Transvaal. He had a treaty with the Transvaal, and when the war broke out he was bound by that treaty. That is the position of President Steyn. Suddenly we have a proclamation announcing that the Orange Free State had been annexed to the Empire. We did not have any statement that that was done by Her Majesty's Government, and we were left to suppose that it was a military action by Lord Roberts. But we now see in these despatches that it was the right hon. Gentleman himself who directed Lord Roberts to annex the Orange Free State. For my part, I have always held that when we annex a country we ought not to do it by the action of the Executive, but ought to give Parliament an opportunity of expressing its views on the subject. We were not given any opportunity of expressing our opinion. We were not told that Her Majesty's Government had annexed the Free State, and whether that was right or wrong, I think it was very wrong for the right hon. Gentleman and the Government to prejudice the case as before Parliament. What would I do with the Orange Free State? I would give it back to the Free Staters, but I do not think there is the slightest probability of that. I have always observed that when we do lay hands on any territory, whether rightly or wrongly, the last thing we think of doing is to give it back. Therefore I will not urge that on the Government, because it would be a waste of time. But we have still to deal with the Transvaal, and the question is what shall we do with it. Why, surely it would be reasonable to submit to President Kruger some terms that he could possibly accept. The terms of the Government are absolute surrender; you tell him that he must give up his country, and that his country is to be annexed. If that were absolutely necessary for the safety of the Empire I could understand it, but does any hon. Gentleman opposite mean to tell me that if we were to take Johannesburg and leave the Transvaalers some sort of "reserve" as they call it in America, where their own flag might fly, where they might call themselves a Republic and live under their own habits and customs with every restriction as regards armaments—is it possible to conceive that that would be any danger to 1228 the Empire? I believe there would be no danger in it, and I believe that if we submitted such terms to the Transvaalers, though at first they might want more, they are in such a position now that they would accept them. Hon. Gentlemen opposite, if I am to judge by the newspapers, seem to put forward most extraordinary views as to what other people not English ought to do. They say that these Transvaalers ought to be very glad to become Englishmen because Englishmen enjoy the most excellent government possible, and a better government than the Transvaalers can enjoy in their own country. If we adopt that view we would be justified in annexing any country on the face of the globe. There are many countries worse governed than England, and if you say you will annex them because the people would be happier under British rule, you might annex the whole world. Never was such a doctrine known. Hon. Gentlemen must realise that whereas their love of England, in which we share, and their loyalty, in which we share, does them credit, at the same time even the inhabitants of a poor miserable country love their independence just as much as we love ours in this country. Love of country is not dependent on the country being rich or even being well governed. It is a natural and a noble sentiment, and if we crush it out in regard to the Transvaal, how can we protest against any species of annexation or against the crushing out of any nationality such as, by the Turks, in Armenia? I can understand after a war a country taking a province, as Germany did after the Franco-German war, but I do not know of any instance since the final partition of Poland of any independent nation being crushed absolutely out of existence in consequence of a successful war. We know perfectly well that the feeling of the whole world is against us. Even those countries which are friendly to us and admire us stand aghast at our professing this doctrine, and refusing to make peace until the Transvaalers have surrendered their nationality. We on this side are twitted with having no policy and with dealing in generalities. I am not dealing in generalities, and I have a policy of conciliation. If you will not give the Orange Free State back you will not, but I trust you will put an end to this war, and that you will allow these unfortunate Transvaalers to have 1229 some district in Africa where they can still call themselves a Republic. There are two other things we might also do with advantage. I honestly do not think that the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary is anything but a very able man, and if you want to have this country at war the right hon. Gentleman is the very best man to have at the head of affairs, but after the war is over and you want to adopt a policy of conciliation I can conceive no man less fitted to bring it about than the right hon. Gentleman. I would therefore suggest that the right hon. Gentleman would do well to devote his exceptional talents to some other department of the State, and that we should have a new man at the Colonial Office. I would also suggest that Sir Alfred Milner should be appointed governor somewhere else, and that we should send out to South Africa a statesmen thoroughly independent and impartial, and tell him he is placed there to do his best for the Empire and to bring about good feeling in South Africa. I really believe you would do a great deal towards putting an end to the ill effects that must exist after this war if you would substitute for Sir A. Milner some other man. I am not suggesting that he should be a Liberal. Take one of your own men. There are plenty of men on your own side of the House, and plenty of eminent officials who might be sent out, and if you do this, and give the Transvaalers this "reserve," you will go very far in adopting a policy of conciliation, and removing the ill effects of the war, which must exist if you pursue a policy of confiscation; and what is more, you will go very far to putting an immediate end to the war.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
The most interesting and remarkable episode in this debate occurred at a time when there were not so very Members present—I think about two or three o'clock—and when the right hon. Gentle-man the Secretary of State for the Colonies made an electioneering speech. It no doubt was quite foreign to the intention of the right hon. Gentleman, but it so happened that his observations, which were strong, took that form. In fact, that part of his speech might almost have been made by a member of a 1230 Government which thought that the patriotism of the country might be used for party purposes, if only the necessary stroke was given when the iron was hot, and who, not having obtained his way with his own colleagues, was trying whether he could do anything to raise a feeling in the House of Commons. It almost looked like that, but it was the speech of the Secretary of State for the Colonies in defending his ownVote—one of the most serious occasions of the year; and I am sure the right hon. Gentleman would be the last man in the world to prostitute such an occasion for party purposes. What the right hon. Gentleman said was that the verdict of the country would shortly be taken, and that that required not only a knowledge of the policy of the Government but a knowledge of the views of the Opposition, and he implied that in this particular instance the views of the Opposition were not known. It is an odd thing, but I should have put it just the other way—namely, that the country does know the views of the Opposition and is not acquainted with the ultimate policy of Her Majesty's Government; and I think I can appeal for confirmation of that view to the fact that a few minutes afterwards in the course of his speech the right hon. Gentleman took exception to some statements that I made in the country as to the proper course to be pursued after the war was ended, statements connected with the possibility of Crown Colony government being applied, and he quoted my words and argued against the argument that I used, thereby showing that he was not altogether ignorant of the views that I, at all events, entertain. But the right hon. Gentleman went further, and proceeded to dictate to us what we mean. He did not leave us to our own interpretation, but put his interpretation upon it. I wonder by what authority he assumes the right to tell us what we mean. He said that anyone who voted with my hon. friend the Member for Cockermouth was declaring that the whole policy in South Africa was wrong, that the war was wrong, that it should be stopped, and that annexation was wrong. Well, I do not know on what possible ground the right hon. Gentleman includes all those points, which are disconnected with each other, in this one vote. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say that everybody here was 1231 bound, if he was anything of a man at all, to vote either for it or against it, and that anyone—and I think he looked in my direction when he made this observation—who declined to vote on so serious a matter as he had considered it to be—no one else said it was—was really unworthy of consideration. I do not think the right hon. Gentleman should be so hard on those who occasionally refrain from voting in a great division. I remember an occasion when the right hon. Gentleman did not vote in a division, although he was the main agent, at any rate, in preparing the debate, on the Indian cotton duties. [Mr. CHAMBERLAIN dissented.] At the time for voting where was the right hon. Gentleman? It is not he, of all men in the House, who ought to speak lightly and unfeelingly of those whose conscience compels them to abstain from, voting on either one side or the other. Therefore, I am not disposed at all to take the right hon. Gentleman either as the interpreter of my meaning or conduct or the judge of my action. We are in this position. Coming, as we have come to-day, to discuss, as I hope quietly, this most important matter, coming as I did, I confess, mainly for the purpose of obtaining information from the right hon. Gentleman as to things that are now going on in Cape Colony, of which the people of this country are almost entirely ignorant, of which even those of us who have endeavoured to inform ourselves remain considerably ignorant, we thought that this would be an opportunity at all events for ascertaining something from the right hon. Gentleman, who, as I said the other day, is responsible even on a higher plane, if not in so intense a degree, as the Ministers of Cape Colony for the civil rights of Her Majesty's subjects in that part of the world. But my hon. friend the Member for Cockermouth has moved an Amendment. I will say at once that it occurs to me that my hon. friend takes a very strong view on the whole of this question. He goes to lengths in which I have never been able to accompany him; he has, I believe, again and again, if not always, voted against supplies for the war —that in itself shows how strong a view, how extreme a view, he takes of the war and all its circumstances. I do not agree with him in that extreme view; therefore, I cannot vote with my hon. friend, this being the mode he has adopted of bringing his 1232 opinions to book. I cannot vote with my hon. friend, and I will venture to tell him and those who are acting with him that I think they confuse the point considerably by raising a partial motion of this kind. I think that we should be better employed in seriously discussing the events that are happening than in endeavouring to pass a summary judgment in this way, which, as the right hon. Gentleman himself has shown, is capable of being misinterpreted even by so acute a discerner as he is. On the other hand, when I look to see what would be the position if I voted against my hon. friend, I am bound to say I should then apparently be expressing a degree of confidence in the right hon. Gentleman which I am very far from possessing, and in the policy to which from the first I have taken exception in the strongest manner. Therefore, if my hon. friends think it right to go to a division—1 hope they will not, especially as it comes on an entirely unprepared House, and was not expected by anyone on this side—
SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNEEMAN
Oh, notices on the Paper. There are always notices on the Paper to reduce the salary of every Secretary of State, but at any rate if my hon. friend goes to a division I shall follow the example of the right hon. Gentleman on the occasion to which I referred—to some extent, at all events—absent myself when the division is taken, and not record a vote on the question. I have said that I do not entertain the degree of confidence in the right hon. Gentleman's policy which would induce me to give a vote in his favour. If the right hon. Gentleman and hon. Gentlemen will cast their minds back to this week last year, I think they will be rather struck by the difference of the position in which we find ourselves. On that occasion—it was the last debate we had before separating for the holidays— the right hon. Gentleman made a most interesting and useful speech, in which he said that he hoped a reciprocal basis to the long controversy as to the franchise grievance was within sight. How completely all the provisions and calculations 1233 of that time and of some months following have been falsified! It is the easiest thing in the world to be wise after the event, but the right hon. Gentlemen who have control of the business of the country must be aware that they are expected to be wise before the event, and that what is harmless ignorance on our part is a want of full performance of duty on theirs. What were the chief errors that they were indulging in this time last year? In the first place, there was the expectation of a peaceful arrangement. That failed. Then there was the idea that the Transvaal would not maintain their case to the point of war. That was proved to be an entire illusion. Then there was the idea that a very moderate increase of our forces would be sufficient. That was an entire miscalculation. And lastly, the last that I will name, there was the idea that the struggle would be sooner over, and that the submission of our enemies would be secured. On each one of these cardinal points the Government have been proved to have been altogether out in their reading of the probabilities of events in South Africa. It amounts to a lamentable find discreditable misjudgment of the facts of the case. For a time the case for the Government was based on the revelation to the country of the great armaments of the Boers, and on the stories that were put about of a conspiracy to drive the British into the sea. That only lasted a short time, however, because although the great armaments of the Boers were unknown to us, to those who had no official means of information, we find that they were known to the Government, who were acquainted with those great armaments. And as to the conspiracy, no proof of it whatever has been to this day adduced, and some of the extremest politicians even in Cape Colony have disclaimed belief in it. That is broadly what has happened since last year. I will put a plain question, and ask, if the consequences that we have seen had been foreseen at that time: if we had known that all this sacrifice of life, suffering, and waste of money, not to speak of other evils that may be in the background, were to follow, is there any man here who would not have gone a great deal further than the right hon. Gentleman showed a disposition to go in order to prevent an open rupture? There is not such a man among us. And can anyone say that the attainment of the 1234 ostensible object—namely, the remedy of the Transvaal grievances—was worth all it has cost 1 No, Sir. That is, no doubt, a thing of the past, but it leads to the position in which we are now. The war is drawing near to a conclusion, slowly, but let us hope certainly, a war which has been from the outset a war of disenchantment. Two things only stand out of which we may well be proud—the constancy and patriotic spirit and equanimity under trial of the British people in this island and throughout the world, and also the bravery of our soldiers. But many of us have never looked upon the war itself, terrible as it is, as the principal calamity: the principal mischief is the condition of things which the war will leave afterwards. I will not repeat for the hundredth time the very admirable sentence in which the right hon. Gentleman predicted the result of a war in South Africa. Someone spoke of it today as a hackneyed quotation, and it well deserves that character. As to the state of things after the war, I am not one of those, if there are any, who ever believed that after the war, such as it is, you could put back things as you found them. At the beginning of the session my right hon. friend the Member for East Fife laid down four objects which he thought ought to be kept in view for the end of the war: —(1) that there should be vindicated and established beyond controversy the supremacy of the Imperial power in South Africa; (2) that we should make the recurrence of this catastrophe impossible; (3) that there should be an equality of civil rights; and (4) that there should be no ascendency. In order to show how completely I agreed with my right hon. friend I repeated this formula on a subsequent occasion. Let us look to see how we stand, and whether we are in the way of attaining these objects. I direct special attention to the question of equality of civil rights and no ascendency. Let us consider whether the events now proceeding in Cape Colony are going towards the equality of civil rights and no ascendency. Are we sure that civil rights are being dealt with in such a way as to pacify the fears and give encouragement to all those, whether Dutch or British, who seek to revert to the quiet, peaceable, and harmonious conditions of life from which they were driven and disturbed by recent events? After the war is over, as far as the subjugated States are con- 1235 cerned, I have already stated in an interruption that in my opinion the military occupation must be continued for some time; but that is not in itself an ideal system. I think that the attention of the people of this country should be drawn to the fact that the force to be maintained will be a great burden on the resources of this country, not only in money but in men, and on that ground this is not a matter that only affects the people of South Africa, but it also very closely affects the taxpayers and people of this country. But, leaving for a moment the two States, and coming to Cape Colony, the right hon. Gentleman is mixed up by the appeal made to him from the Cape in the settlement of this matter. The right hon. Gentleman cannot hold himself altogether aloof and irresponsible from all proceedings that have taken place under martial law. I am aware that martial law is administered by military officers, and that the reports on the subject may come to the War Office; but the proper view of martial law was laid down in 1867 in a circular emanating from the Colonial Office when the present Chancellor of the Exchequer was Colonial Minister, and which very clearly shows that it is not to be treated as an absolutely military matter. This circular said, among other things, that it was the plain duty of the Governor to secure that the officers commanded to enforce it should be alike supported and controlled, and that the Governor should issue written directions to the officers in command of troops, that even Her Majesty's Government could not evade the duty of framing standing orders and regulations. The circular also lays down what appears to me to be at variance with what we have heard. It states—The primary object of employing troops under martial law is not the punishment of offences, but the suppression of revolt. Martial law ought not to be enforced beyond the strict limits of the district in which it is proclaimed.Then it goes on to say that martial law should not be proclaimed over a wider district than the necessities of public safety require, and it should be withdrawn from the whole or part of the district at the earliest moment compatible with public safety. Those were sensible and wholesome regulations, 1236 but it appears that the Governor of the colony is responsible for seeing that they are enforced. In a self-governing colony those to whom the Governors are primarily responsible are the Parliament of the colony, and it is not a matter in which we can in one sense directly and in the first instance interfere. I am not making any assertion, because of that state of ignorance in which we have been kept —it may be necessary—that breaches of those regulations have been committed; but there are being circulated reports which do a great deal of mischief among the populations in South Africa, and which it would be well to have contradicted if they can be. This was the object of the many questions addressed to the right hon. Gentleman to which we have received no answer. What is the reason? It may be partly because of that system of censorship about which we shall hear more on Friday, and which has been applied far beyond the range of military facts and communications. In some instances it has gone to the extent of interfering with the expression of political opinion and the conveyance of public and political facts, just in the same way as would before by the autocratic Government of Russia or the Sultan of Turkey. With regard to those who have been taken up under martial law, what is alleged is this, and I want some explicit answer. It is alleged that a man who is merely suspected of having been favourable to the invaders is looked upon as a rebel. He is apprehended, taken away from his farm and family, put in gaol without trial, not allowed to see a legal adviser or to communicate with his wife, not allowed to take part in any money transactions necessary for his farm; and this state of things goes on apparently indefinitely. I admit that I can give no substantial proof or sworn evidence of those facts having occurred, but there are so many cases reported in the newspapers that I cannot help thinking that some of them do happen. I should like to know from the right hon. Gentleman whether his attention has been called to the circumstance, and what steps he has taken to prevent this horrible scandal being committed under the authority of Her Majesty and the free people of this country. If the people knew that these things were being done under their name they would, I believe, 1237 be filled with indignation. There is another side of this question, and that is the punishment to be inflicted. The right hon. Gentleman has been appealed to by the Cape Ministry to give his views of what ought to be done, but I will not enter on that now, as it has already been referred to. I cannot help saying that in many letters on this subject, even while repudiating anything like vindictiveness, there breathes a certain vindictive spirit in them all. It seems to be an exceedingly delicate duty for us to encourage and interfere on any considerable scale with the disfranchisement of persons in Cape Colony, seeing the great value we attach to those civil rights in this country, and seeing the narrow majority that exists in the Cape Parliament. It has been alleged—I merely mention the fact to be contradicted—I do not allege it— that the actual majority of the Cape Parliament being only half-a-dozen, the arrest of some of those six members under suspicion and put in gaol and not allowed to sit and vote, reduces the majority or turns it into a minority, though this majority will have as its first duty the passing of the Bill to disfranchise the rebels. If that was the result in any degree, I think it would be a most unfortunate circumstance. Then as to the disfranchisement of those who took part with the invaders under compulsion. Surely it is not intended by the right hon. Gentleman and his advisers that disfranchisement should be applied in any wholesale manner to them. I do not wish to put this disfranchisement question too high. If they are to be disfranchised for five years, at the end of the five years the effect of what is now done will be over; and if that is the effect just now, it will redound to the future strengthening of the party who support them.
§ MR. J. CHAMBERLAIN
The right hon. Gentleman seems to forget that this was the proposal of that party whom he says we are going to disfranchise. It was proposed by the Attorney General and Mr. Schreiner.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
But not agreed to by the other party. I do not know what influence was brought to bear in the matter, but there has been a feeling to this effect—" Let us accept this, 1238 bad as it is, because the alternative is the suspension of our rights altogether." If there was anything said or done which in the least degree should give occasion for that belief, I think it a most unfortunate circumstance. Why do I dwell on these things? In order to get information in the first place, and also because, if these things are done, the mischief occurs not only in relation to these things in themselves, but in the reflex effect of these things on the action of the whole Dutch population. You say there are things we have done or have not done that have tended to prolong this war—I do not suppose you mean the free granting of supply; we have never failed in that respect, at any rate; but it is not in that sense you mean prolongation of the war— but has there been anything in what we have said more likely to prolong the war than proceedings such as I have mentioned? Every burgher will see that this is the fate in reserve for him, and seeing this he will have the less disposition to yield; he will feel himself in the position of a man with his back to the wall, and therefore he will fight to the bitter end.
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
The fear of being treated with scant respect for his civil rights. They will naturally say—"If this is the boasted regard of Englishmen for civil rights, especially for Parliamentary rights, where shall we be, although they say if we only consent to give up our arms and surrender we shall become colonists and enjoy the full freedom of Englishmen!" That is, I think, a feeling most certainly not desirable to encourage. Therefore I shall be very glad indeed if the right hon. Gentleman can say anything on these points, apart from the question of punishment, and enable an authoritative contradiction to be given to the rumours that are current.
§ THE FIRST LORD OF THE TREASURY (Mr. A. J. BALFOUR,) and Mr. COURTNEY Manchester, E.
rose together, and there were cries for both right hon. Gentlemen.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I will not stand between the Committee and the right hon. Gentleman for more than a few minutes, but I must say a word or two of comment upon the strange doctrine of constitutional freedom which the right hon. Gentleman opposite has just promulgated. It will be in the recollection of the Committee that at this time last year and for some months preceding that time we were all anxiously considering the refusal of votes to the Uitlander population of the Transvaal, but I do not remember that the right hon. Gentleman showed himself a protagonist in their cause or anxious to give them the valued liberty of which he now speaks. But when we come to depriving rebels in arms of the franchise for five years, then the right hon. Gentleman is shocked, and describes that as a fate so terrible, that it will not only keep discontent seething in the colony, but will keep the population permanently or for a long period in arms fighting against this country, whereas otherwise they might have been satisfied to accept the inevitable results of unsuccessful warfare. A more amazing doctrine I have never heard presented to this House. The right hon. Gentleman thinks it is an outrage that they should be deprived of the franchise for five years; but does he propose that they should go unpunished, or what alternative does he propose to what he describes as such a terrible fate?
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
Now, really I do not know why it is I am always so misinterpreted. It was in answer to a question from the right hon. Gentleman opposite who asked "What fate?" I said it was the prospect they apprehended that their civil rights would be dealt with in the way indicated by proceedings said to have taken place—not only disfranchisement, but the whole manner in which suspected persons had been treated, and the administration of the law.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
And culminating, I suppose, in five years disfranchisement. The right hon. Gentleman has quarrelled not so much with the whole procedure as with this most important part of the procedure, and what I think the extremely moderate punishment imposed upon persons who, without the 1240 slightest provocation and without any grievance which either they or their friends have ever stated, have deliberately chosen the moment of our difficulties to take up arms against this country. The right hon. Gentleman and others desire that these persons should go unpunished or that some different punishment should be awarded to them. Does he or does he not desire that they should go unpunished? Of course, I have not the right to cross-examine him before the House, or to interpret his silence as meaning assent, and I will not take unfair advantage of the fact that I am speaking and he has spoken; but if the right hon. Gentleman does not mean that these persons should go unpunished, then what punishment does he suggest as an alternative, what punishment more lenient, and which would inflict less suffering on them and their families, than that proposed? He would not, I presume, have the extreme penalty of the law inflicted upon them; he would not desire to see capital punishment inflicted, or that they should undergo imprisonment for life or for a long term of years. Nor, I suppose, would he desire to see any crushing fine imposed upon them. Under these circumstances I fail to see what resource is open to the Government of the Cape, with whom the responsibility rests—although, no doubt, responsibility rests also upon Her Majesty's Government in advising the Cape Government—I do not see what resource is open but to inflict the punishment determined upon, and my own frank opinion is that if the penalty errs at all it is on the side of leniency, not of harshness. I say that in no vindictive spirit, but simply because, seeing that the essence of the object of punishment is to prevent repetition of the offence, it is doubtful whether a punishment so light and so temporary will have the deterrent effect all punishments ought to have. I pass from the right hon. Gentleman's remarks on the policy to be pursued towards the rebels generally to his criticisms upon what has been done to two or three members of the Cape Parliament, at the present time. His constitutional soul is shocked at the suggestion that two or three Members of that Parliament, about whose disloyalty I conceive there can be no moral doubt whatever [Hon. MEMBERS: "Oh, oh!" and "Hear, hear!"] —no moral doubt whatever, I do not speak of the legal aspect of the case—are 1241 by the fact of their imprisonment deprived of the power of voting in the Cape Parliament, thereby upsetting the balance of power between the two parties there. The right hon. Gentleman seems to be deeply shocked at that; but may I remind him that the balance of parties in that Parliament is disturbed by another very different cause, upon which he has raised no protest. Some Members of that Parliament who do not share the views of those who are imprisoned are now fighting at the front, risking their lives in the defence of that Empire of which their country forms a part. Their party is deprived of their Parliamentary services, the balance of power is disturbed by their absence, and I should have thought that that, at all events, would have affected the right hon. Gentleman much more than the absence from their places of men who under any circumstances must be admitted to be under the darkest suspicion—to use the mildest language— as to their views and attitude towards the country to which they belong. I do not know that I need say more on the latter part of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, but I must say a word on the earlier part of that speech, when he was engaged in the—I think not uncongenial and certainly not unfamiliar—task of explaining to the Committee why he is not going to give a vote. But I really find it difficult to follow his reasons for that course. He criticised my right hon. friend for assuming that the issue raised by the Amendment now before the Committee was the general policy of the war and the annexation of the two Republics. Well, I think we have full justification for that assumption, for every single speaker who has addressed the Committee from the other side of the House and belongs to the right hon. Gentleman's party, has made the war the sole text of his speech, and directed his criticism to the policy of the war and of annexation. And another hon. Gentleman, who is a loyal supporter of the right hon. Gentleman, has risen more than once with a desire to emphasise the same views. The hon. Baronet the Member for Cocker-mouth, who is no longer in his place, the hon. and learned Member for Dumfries, the hon. Member for Northampton, the hon. Member for Carnarvon—all have taken precisely the same view of the issue before the Committee, and which to-morrow will be before the country as 1242 that which my right hon. friend has given expression to. I do not wish to enter into controversy with the hon. Gentleman opposite, whose speech in point of form was excellent, but in point of substance and matter it was a direct attack on the announcement which my right hon. friend made on behalf of the Government as the policy we are going to pursue. Let me remind the right hon. Gentleman that when my right hon. friend was repeating to the Committee what was the issue, and putting in the plainest language what it was that those who voted for the Amendment would be supporting, and what it was that those who voted with the Government would be supporting, he was cheered, loudly cheered, by the gentlemen sitting behind the right hon. Gentleman opposite and below the Gangway on the other side. They will not deny that. [HON MEMBERS: No, no.] I am sure they will not; their assent was expressed in the most emphatic inarticulate form. Therefore my right hon. friend was amply justified in thinking that the right hon. Gentleman is standing alone in imagining that the issue before us is something more than the powers of prophecy Her Majesty's Government may or may not have shown during the last twelve months. Then the right hon. Gentleman said, taking up a phrase of my right hon. friend, that the country does not know the policy of the Government, but does know the policy of the Opposition. Well, I thought that an amazing statement to make. It almost passes the limits—
§ SIR H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN
I used the observation as quoting a case in which I had been more explicit than the right hon. Gentleman.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Yes; I think the point upon w Inch the right hon. Gentleman was more explicit than my right hon. friend was as to the exact form of provisional administration which should be adopted in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The right hon. Gentleman forgets that a very large fraction of his party do not wish any provisional form of government either in the Free State or in the Transvaal, and do not want these countries to be annexed. The right hon. Gentleman has a perfect right to speak for himself, 1243 and, I presume, for all the members of that bench, except the right hon. Gentleman who sits at the end of it (Mr. John Morley) and the hon. and learned Gentleman who sits next to him (Sir R. Reid).
§ SIR ROBERT REID
My right hon. friend the Member for Stirling is my Leader, and in my opinion the only Leader of the Liberal party.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
That statement, made in the enthusiasm of passion, seems to me to be directed more against people who are not leaders than the distinguished Gentleman who is Leader; but I cannot congratulate the right hon. Gentleman as Leader upon the obedience of one of his principal followers. For, while the right hon. Gentleman will not vote for this Amendment, the hon. and learned Gentleman got up and concluded his admirable oration by saying that he felt bound by all that he held sacred and dear to vote for the Amendment of the hon. Member for Poplar. That is a very curious course to take, in face of his passionate declaration of attachment to his Leader. But I have performed the only duty that is necessary in reference to the first part of the right hon. Gentleman's speech when I have reminded him and shown to the Committee that, when the right hon. Gentleman says he has got a clear and definite policy, that is not the policy of the party which he leads, and that whatever demerits there may be in the policy expressed by my right hon. friend, this merit it at all events has, that it commands the undoubted and loyal support of, I think, with the exception of my right hon. friend (Mr. Courtney), the whole of the Unionist party, and, I believe, the vast majority of the country. So important do I hold it that not the people of this country, or even the people of Europe alone, but our fellow-countrymen in South Africa, in this war, on one side or the other, should know that we speak with no uncertain voice in this matter, and are supported in no uncertain way by the country, that I earnestly trust, in spite of the defection of the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Courtney), the House will show quite clearly on which side its true opinion lies.
§ MR. COURTNEY
This is avowedly the last occasion this session, and, it is 1244 said by many, the last time in this Parliament, on which any issue can be taken on the colonial policy in South Africa of Her Majesty's Government. And although some, no doubt—perhaps a large majority of Members—may return to next Parliament to continue to take part in this discussion, that may not be given to every one of us, and those who have anything to say now had better take the opportunity, even at the penalty of being silenced for ever afterwards. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Stirling Burghs commands my sympathy, approaching almost to commiseration. He is one of that class of men who are said to excite the pity of God—"a good man struggling with adversity "—and, in the position in which he is placed, I am not disposed to contest the propriety of the action which he, as the leader of a mixed party, proposes to take. It has been pointed out that members of the party behind him, quite apart from the obedience ordinarily paid to a leader, may in the present situation, without disrespect to him, exercise their own judgment as to what they will do. I at all events have no hesitation as to my vote and as to the meaning of my vote on this occasion. I shall certainly vote for the Amendment, because I look upon the Colonial Secretary as mainly responsible for the great error of this war, and also as mainly responsible for the great error of policy with which avowedly Her Majesty's Government appear to be about to crown the war. It is upon him the glory—if it be a glory—and the responsibility of this war rest; upon him, as Colonial Secretary, most of all rests the burden of meeting the House of Commons on the question of the policy which is to follow the war. And this is the occasion on which we are to express our opinion as to that policy. The Colonial Secretary, I frankly avow, has, in my judgment, misunderstood the problem in South Africa from the first. If that seems a bold and impudent assertion, I ask hon. Members to reflect on the position we were in twelve months ago. Can anyone who realises the position even then, and the attitude of the right hon. Gentleman then, and sees what has happened since—how the drama in South Africa has unfolded itself and the issues have, been presented—can anyone resist, the conclusion that he misunderstood it 1245 last year? He says he has changed his opinion on some things. It seems to me it is want of comprehension—it is an intellectual question as much as a moral one—of the elements of the problem in South Africa which prevented his forming a sound judgment last year, and which is preventing his forming a sound judgment now. Take the question of the treatment of "avowed rebels," so called. The Leader of the House spoke of this question as involving the treatment of avowed rebels who had no extenuation to offer for the fact of open rebellion. Now look at the six classes of offenders. The last of all were those who were forced into the rebellion by a coercion which over-powered them, and the last but one dealt with those who, under the constraint of the invading forces of the enemy, furnished them with the supplies they wanted when commandeered. Can these two classes be spoken of as men in open rebellion without any extenuating circumstances? With respect to these two classes such language is extremely inappropriate. Here the charge against the Colonial Secretary is that he, not by direct veto, but practically, overpowered the spontaneous proposal of the Ministers of the Crown at the Cape. The Ministers of the Crown at the Cape knew the circumstances of the Cape, yet their policy with respect to the treatment of those different classes of persons was in effect declared to be inacceptable. The Colonial Secretary makes a statement in this connection which I find it hard to justify. He says the leader of the Government out there changed his opinion and deferred to the opinion at home. I can discover no statement justifying that assertion. It is quite true that, after receiving the expression of opinion from home, he communicated, in concert with the Attorney General, a modified proposal for the five years disfranchisement, but he never said he thought it was better than the first proposal. The Colonial Secretary in Downing Street thinks his own opinion wiser than that of the Ministers at the Cape on the spot as to how to deal with those rebels. Does the new Ministry at the Cape take up the position of the Colonial Secretary? I understand to-day from the Colonial Secretary that the Cape Minister has taken up a proposal for five years disfranchisement. That was not the proposal of the Colonial Secretary. His proposal was a disfran- 1246 chisement for life, so we find him really more exacting even than Sir Gordon Sprigg and his colleagues in the present Government. I wish I could make the Members of this House understand in some degree what the position of these unfortunate rebels was on the border of Cape Colony. Cape Colony, in its interior, as is well known, is inhabited almost mainly by Dutch, whose families spread over into the adjacent Free State and still further a field into the Transvaal, establishing, in fact, a brotherhood between the society on the one side and the society on the other. These men when the war broke out were filled with a conviction that the war was an unjust one—that it was forced on the people of the Transvaal and the Free State by the action of our Government at home. It is not necessary at this moment to express an opinion upon that issue. But if these people felt that the war was an unjust one, forced upon those immediately over the frontier by the action of the Government at home, and knew that among those called upon and forced to fight on the other side were their brothers, their nephews, and their cousins, all the male representatives in every degree, is it to be wondered at that they should be overpowered by the sense of brotherhood, and in some cases should have carried their indignation against what they considered to be the provocative action of the Government at home to the length of joining the insurgents? But the majority did not join, they remained quiet. When they gave in they were treated as people in occupation of the country under the control of the new Government, and they were bound to obey the de facto Government in all lawful things, but they were not, of course, bound to bear arms against their own country; and because they, being in this position, gave supplies to the enemy, they are to be treated in the fashion described. To treat these men with undue severity is to create a standing sore upon the border itself, and to inflame the minds of the loyal Dutch in the rest of Cape Colony. It is because the right hon. Gentleman has shown that failure of understanding, that want of sympathy, I am afraid it is, which prevents his realising the actual conditions of life in the country with which he has to deal, that he has fallen into error. He spoke of the loyal Dutch What he meant by 1247 the loyal Dutch was the Dutch who approved of the policy of Her Majesty's Government, as if a man could not be a loyal Dutchman who disapproved of the policy of Her Majesty's Government. Can a man be a loyal Englishman who disapproves of the policy of Her Majesty's Government? Is that impossible? Am I disloyal because I disapprove of the policy of Her Majesty's Government? It is said that I am unpatriotic. I think the tests of patriotism will survive these judgments. The notion that loyalty means support of Her Majesty's Government is one of those things I am not surprised at in the right, hon. and gallant Gentleman below me, because it is entirely consistent with the past policy of the Government of Ireland, but it is not in the least compatible with the idea of the freedom of the citizen in a free country. The Dutchmen who are opposed to the policy of Her Majesty's Government, and are yet loyal, are numbered by tens of thousands, and you are alienating them—the most precious part of your colony, the part without whom you cannot go on and continue your present government—you are alienating them by the policy you pursue. What is the significant language of Lord James of Hereford? Speaking of the future, and describing what many of us hoped would have come about—and might have come about but for the wretched experience of recent years—the establishment of one union of States throughout South Africa, he said that the loyal must be supported in their predominance over the disloyal, and, if necessary, the Constitution must be suspended in order to carry out that. That is to say that the Constitution of Cape Colony, in order to allow the supporters of Her Majesty's Government in Cape Colony to lord it over those who are not supporters, must be suspended. The prospect in Cape Colony itself is one of the darkest. If we carry on our view from there to the Free State and the Transvaal, what is the prospect you have before you there—with your annexation and your consequent action? Among other things with which I charge the Colonial Secretary, I say that he has brought upon us a war which has not only won us no glory, but has brought us great shame. It may be quite true that the consideration of the cost of the war has no logical connection with its policy. We may well qualify our judgment of 1248 the policy of this war when we remember what its history has been and what kind of credit it has brought to our military glory. I see that Mr. Winston Churchill seems to have inherited that courage which distinguished his father, and without which there can be no perception and no statement of truth. He says that now that he has come back, having once said that one Boer was equal, in the conditions of fighting in South Africa, to four Englishman or four Englishmen and a fraction, he is now disposed to say that he understated the case, and that he is more than equal to four, five, or even six. Now I will pass on to the future and the annexation. We are to have military occupation of these States when they are captured—when they are subdued—followed after a short interval by the institution of a Crown colony. I agree with the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Stirling Burghs in preferring that the military occupation should be kept up without a transition stage. A military occupation is essentially and in the nature of things a provisional arrangement, and consequently forces itself on your judgment for revision and improvement, whereas if you establish a Crown colony you may have that form for many more years than you calculated. Let your military organisation remain until you find, if you ever do find, the opportunity of giving free institutions to the States. Then what is the prospect? We look back to 1877–1880. In 1877 the Transvaal was annexed in peace, without armed conflict, with the consent of the then President, and with the consent of many others, and yet at the end of three years we had to restore it after war. Among those concerned in the government of the Transvaal besides Sir Owen Lanyon was Sir Bartle Frere, the High Commissioner, who was the equal in experience, and perhaps in force of mind, to Sir Alfred Milner. Lord Wolseley was concerned in the government of the Transvaal, and Sir George Colley had something to do with the government. When I compare these men with Sir Alfred Milner and the officers who have been acting under Lord Roberts, and from whom it may be presumed that the military commissioners will be chosen for administering the annexed States, I do not see what guarantee we have that we shall not go through the same experience in the future as we have done in the past. 1249 You cannot give these two communities the franchise as long as you are exacting the tribute and imposing the taxes necessary to pay the war indemnity, because you could not get thorn to agree to it. As to getting a united peaceable South Africa such as you have got in Australia, such as you have got in Canada, by these methods, you cannot do it. It might have been got in the other way. It may be asked, what is the alternative? I admit it is a very serious question. You cannot put back things. The right hon. Gentleman says you cannot put back things at the end of an experience such as we have boon going through exactly as they were before. I admit it. My hon. friend the Member for Durham made an able and considerate speech in the early part of the afternoon, in which he dwelt on the unwisdom of not facing the facts. I agree that it would be unwise not to face the facts in relation to the Transvaal; but what is the difficulty which prevents the reconstruction of these states with a greater or less degree of freedom, involving disarmament, involving, it may be, a partial reorganisation of the Rand, but leaving on the whole a substantially free Government to the Free State, and to the pastoral portion, at least, of the Transvaal? Could you not do it by the presence of a Resident who would have authority such as you have seen exercised in an Indian State? What is the difficulty? Is the difficulty in South Africa, or is it hero? What in the difficulty that prevents our accepting and aiming at that solution? I do not say that in the circumstances it is certain to succeed. A man would be rash and foolish after this year of warfare to speak of anything as being certain to succeed. You will have need of the best head and the best heart you can send out to South Africa to grapple with the problems before you. But the difficulty is not there. I do not know how many Members of this House read the draft letter from President Kruger which appeared in the last Blue-book but one. Let anyone in the House or the country who has not read that letter read it. The difficulty is not in South Africa; if we had the temper at home that was shown there, the solution would be easy. It is a question of temper, not a question of facts which cannot be dealt with, with which you have to deal. Is the colonial policy of 1250 this nation towards the States and colonies all over the world to be settled for ever with the issue of the coming election? No, Sir. The inevitability of annexation does not arise from annexation being just or right. Men who admit that annexation is wrong still say it is inevitable, because the British people are determined upon it. But it is a patriot's part, when he sees a policy being adopted which he thinks is wrong now and full of injury for the future, to say so, and try to alter the temper of the British people. [Laughter.] Hon, Members laugh, but the temper of the British people altered in the late seventies and the early eighties, and the temper of the British people will, if I mistake not, be transformed during the years of the next Parliament. We are not going to settle this South African business by the action we are taking to-day. To quote that often-quoted speech of the Colonial Secretary, it will rest with you with its-rankling injuries for years. That story will come home from South Africa, and during the next Parliament the Front Opposition Bench will continually be educated in that story. They will learn what it means, they will discover its significance, and their friends in the country, and even the newspapers, after a time, will learn some scintilla of the elements of the problem of which at present they are entirely ignorant. I have only one other observation to make. This is the first time in the history of the dealings with troubles of this kind that we have had the spectacle of rulers less, wise than those who are ruled. Often before there have been rebellions, domestic troubles, insurrections, disasters, and, after a period more or less prolonged, things have been put right and the presiding ruler, when they have been put right, has had to recognise that unless you get a certain agreement in mind and temper among the bulk of those ruled you cannot go on, however favourable may be the initial moment of your resuming power. So they have always been, in the past, extremely chary of punishing, and have been most reluctant to put a penalty upon those whom they have subdued. In the great American revolution we know that President Johnson was wiser than those, around him, and escaped by only one vote being impeached for a policy which everyone now recognises was right. There is 1251 a phrase which has passed into politics, which in this case is significant. One has read in history of persons plus royalistes que le roi. That King was Louis XVIII., of whom it is said that he never learnt anything and never forgot anything. But he was wiser than his Royalists, for these proscriptions he would not sanction. When I recall what has happened in Cape Colony, and sec that the policy of the Colonial Secretary is not only more severe than that of Mr. Schreiner, but also of Sir Gordon Sprigg, I think I can say with justice, plus royalists que le roi.
§ SIR EDWARD GREY (Northumberland, Berwick)
I trust the House will, for a short time, give me its indulgence, and I will endeavour to confine myself as much as possible to a statement of opinion rather than of argument. I do so the more easily because I had not intended to take any part in the debate. But the hon. and learned Member for Dumfries and the Leader of the Government have both made speeches which render it necessary that some personal explanation should be given. I cannot give to the statement of my own individual position that same force and form which my hon. and learned friend has given to his statement of opinion, but I shall try to do it with the same loyalty and consideration for the leader whom we are both anxious to follow. I am going to take a course which differs from the Leader of the Opposition. I am going to vote against the Amendment. I wish to say that, with the respect I have for him personally, I desire to be in agreement with him, and I differ from him with reluctance. But, at the same time, I feel that as my right hon. friend is not going to vote for the Amendment, it gives, and must necessarily give, a certain liberty of action to those among his followers who hold strong opinions to take their own course. No one can doubt, after taking note of the quarter from which the Amendment comes, what it means. What it does and must always mean can only be gathered from those who supported it, and if anything were wanted to clinch what it means it is the eloquent speech of the right hon. Member for Bodmin, who never intervenes in debate without raising the tone of debate and expressing his views with eloquence. He has stated distinctly that this Amend- 1252 ment raises the whole question of the merits of the war. I prefer to say "the merits" rather than the policy of the war, because I do not think there was any war policy in this country whatever. The strongest point against the Government is that they were taken by surprise and had not made enough preparation. The preparation was on the other side. The policy was on the other side. The policy was Mr. Kruger's, pursued, as I believe after what has come to light, for a long course of years. The want of policy was at home. The Government, or rather some members of it, make it difficult for us to support them, because they endeavour to say that if we support them with regard to the merits of the war, if we do not hold them responsible for having brought about the war, we are bound to refrain from criticism of mistakes which have been made in the conduct of the war. That is the only construction I can put on the extract from the speech of Lord James of Hereford the other day which my hon. and learned friend has quoted. If that was not what Lord James intended, I do not know what he did mean. I say frankly that we do not consider that by this Vote we are bound to abstain from criticisms of mistakes or of the whole question of who was responsible for the "unhappy entanglement at Ladysmith," for the want of preparation, and what seems to us apparent, the want of a guiding, directing spirit co-ordinating the policy of the Cabinet as a whole. Upon such points we cannot keep silence, and it must not be understood that we are going to keep silence upon them. I make that guarded statement because I gather it is designed to put a certain construction upon this vote. The construction I put upon the vote is this: As far as this vote is concerned, it does not deal with the general merits of the war, but it deals with what has been disclosed in the Papers last presented to Parliament—the punishment of the rebels. Lord James of Hereford appears to have made a speech going far beyond anything which appears in the Blue-book, but it is not his speech that we are discussing. The actual proposals in the Blue-book are quite definite. To attempt to maintain disfranchisement in perpetuity might land you in the position of having a Government the nominal representative of the country, but really representative of the 1253 minority, and that would be certain to produce demoralisation of the Government in the long run, and perpetuate exasperation in the country. But when it comes to a question of five years disfranchisement and the other penalties which are proposed in the Blue-book, I cannot say that the penalties are excessive. Clemencies in the past were directed against wholesale executions and irreparable penalties which, once enforced, could never be undone. There is no irreparable penalty proposed here, and there is nothing that cannot be easily removed in the future. Taking the proposals as they stand, I do not think they are excessive. We must bear in mind that the loyalists have also to be considered. We have as yet made no reparation to them, and we are not in a position to do so. Starting, then, from the point that no irreparable penalties are proposed, I think that it will be sufficient that we should accept this as reasonable for the moment, but bear in mind that, if we wish to be more lenient in the future, that will be more effective on the whole state of public opinion in South Africa when we have made some reparation to the loyalists. So much on that particular point. Now, Sir, with regard to the merits of the war. I am really bound by the opinions which I have expressed in the country and the vote I gave last October to vote against the Amendment. This Amendment is in substance the same Amendment. What I think is important is that the Government should have a clear understanding, and that it should be known how far we are prepared to go in giving them support in the future. When we stated at the beginning of the session that we should support the Government in carrying on the war, the Leader of the House said the value of that depended on how far we would go. For myself I support them to the end of the war, and in proclaiming annexation afterwards. If you do not have annexation—if you do not have a clear issue with regard to annexation—you will have again Conventions, and you will have again that weary treadmill of which we have had experience, and the whole country kept in a state of unrest. Although I am anxious that we should advocate what we think necessary, reasonable, moderate, and in a fair temper, we must remember how far the lessons of the past show that 1254 the earnest and conciliatory temper as expressed by the Member for Bodmin runs the risk of being misunderstood in South Africa, and how it has been misunderstood. Let us be perfectly clear on the point of annexation. Annexation seems to me to be synonymous with the end of the war. When the war comes to an end annexation must follow, but we all feel that it is as easy to annex as it is to end the war. We can annex with a mere stroke of the pen. The Government have a right to ask as to the future what support they will have in making a settlement after the annexation has been accomplished. That is a matter which it is impossible to discuss before the end of the war. But, while I am entirely uncommitted with regard to the settlement, I feel, as I suppose everybody feels, that in the long run it is impossible for any large number of white men to be kept within the British Empire without representative Government. What should be the first steps, and how soon they should be taken, must depend upon the condition of affairs with which we have to deal after the war is over. We have had many prophecies, some pessimistic and some optimistic, as to the condition of affairs, but I would not take the opinion of anyone, however well he knows South Africa, as to what the condition of affairs will be, certainly not of persons who have been spending their time in this country while events have been in progress in South Africa. What we shall want is a long, careful, and exhaustive opinion from those in South Africa who have been through the war and who have held responsible positions and are really representative men. When the Government are in a position to give us that, we shall be in a position to discuss the question of settlement. I hope I have made my position clear on this Vote. Having stated, as I have, that, though I deplore the mistakes which have been made in the conduct of the war, and the want of preparation, I have believed throughout that this country has been in the right and that the war has been forced upon it. Under these circumstances I see no reason why I should not repeat the vote I gave last October.
§ MR. BRYCE (Aberdeen, S.)
I do not intend to detain the House, because I am anxious to bring this sitting to an end. 1255 I had not intended either to speak or to vote upon this Amendment, but the speech just delivered by my hon. friend has made it absolutely necessary that some of us should say what we think of the position. To my mind this Amendment, which I treat entirely apart from the speeches which have been made in support of it, does not express any opinion as to what the settlement is to be after the war, but it is an expression of strong disapproval and distrust of the methods recently adopted by the Government, and in particular of the attitude of the Colonial Secretary. I will not argue now the merits of the war with my hon. friend beside me. It would be a thankless task to argue with him, but I will repeat what I have said before of this war, that I believe it to be a needless war, and one which leaves us worse off in South Africa as regards the future than we were before. Now, I desire to say a word or two as to what has arisen in the course of this debate. I agree with my hon. friend the Member for the Berwick Division—and I am afraid it is almost the only point on which I do agree with him in the speech he has made—that this is not the time to talk of a settlement, and if my hon. friend feels that it is too soon to ask for the plan of a settlement I think he would have been well advised if he had also abstained from expressing any opinion upon the question of annexation. Public opinion is far too excited, as well as too imperfectly informed, in England at the present time to enable us to deal properly with this question. The justification which I find for the submitting of this Amendment is because it is aimed at the present attitude and the recent policy of Her Majesty's Government. That is a policy which is permeated by a spirit which is utterly wrong and foolish. There was not a word in the speech made by the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary tending to pacify public feeling in South Africa. The difficulties there are enormous. The difficulties of bringing about peace and good feeling there will tax the wisdom of statesmen for generations to come, and yet the right hon. Gentleman never said a word calculated to make those difficulties less. Whenever he delivers a speech, he makes them greater. When offers of peace were made 1256 to the Government, some months ago, those offers were met by a peremptory refusal which cut off all possibility of negotiations, and that decisive refusal has done much to prolong the war. The Government proclaimed the annexation of the Free State before it was necessary to do so, and when they told the Free State burghers and the Transvaal burghers that no better terms would be granted them if they desisted from fighting, they gave them every encouragement to fight on to the end. The right hon. Gentleman ignores the existence of the large mass of well-disposed and loyal Dutch people to whom we have to look in the future if we are to hope to retain Cape Colony in contentment. This is not a question of inflicting punishment on the ringleaders in the rebellion, but it is a question of disfranchising those who may not have done a single disloyal act in districts which the British troops were not protecting. These men ought not to be punished by lifelong disfranchisement, as the Colonial Secretary proposed, because it is plain that they acted under compulsion. I confess that I feel that there must be a punishment for the rebels, and I also feel that we cannot restore the republics to the same state in which they were in before the war. Both these things we must admit, but what I also feel is that there is a great need in a country like South Africa that words of peace should be spoken, that punishment should go no further than is absolutely necessary, and should have no vindictive character, and that when passion runs so high in South Africa there should come from England words to show that we were trying to look at things in a much calmer and wiser spirit, and words that would make for peace and conciliation. Like my hon. friend the Member for the Berwick Division, we all desire a united and peaceful South Africa, but the policy of the Government appears to be calculated to stir up and perpetuate strife between the white races in the presence of a vast black population, which the more it increases and the more it assimilates the arts of civilisation, will so much the more become a most formidable element in the country. In the face of these difficulties we have a right to expect that the Government should try to pour oil upon the troubled waters instead of aggrava- 1257 ting the difficulties that exist, and making it harder to restore that peace which South Africa so sadly needs. Under these circumstances I feel bound to join in the condemnation of the recent policy of the Government, which is conveyed by the Amendment.
MR. LUTTRELL (Devonshire, Tavistock)
rose to continue the debate, when—
§ Question put, "That the Question be now put."
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 109; Noes, 100. (Division List No. 241.)1259
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H. (City of Lond)||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham)|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Goschen, George J. (Sussex)||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Balcarres, Lord||Goulding. Edward Alfred||Penn, John|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Green, W. D. (Wednesbury)||Percy, Earl|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W (Leeds)||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Gall, Sir Cameron||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Halsey, Thomas Frederick||Plunkett, Rt. Hn. H. Curzon|
|Bartley, George, C. T.||Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Purvis, Robert|
|Beach, Rt. Hn Sir. M. H. (Bristol)||Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert W.||Pym, C. Guy|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Bil1, Charles||Henderson, Alexander||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Hoare, Edw Brodie (Hampstead)||Ridley, Rt. Hon Sir Matthew W.|
|Bond, Edward||Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. T.|
|Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn)||Hornby, Sir William Henry||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Brassey, Albert||Houston, R. P.||Saunderson, Rt.Hn.Col. Edw. J.|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Howard, Joseph||Savory, Sir Joseph|
|Brown, Alexander H.||Howell, William Tudor||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Bullard, Sir Harry||Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Butcher, John George||Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies||Sharps, William Edward T.|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||John stone, Heywood (Sussex)||Shaw-Stewart, M.H.(Renfrew)|
|Cavendish, V. C. W (Derbyshire)||Keswick, William||Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.)|
|Cayzer, Sir Charles William||Kimber, Henry||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, E.)||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Spencer, Ernest|
|Cecil, Lord H. (Greenwich)||Knowles, Lees||Stanley, Edw. Jas. (Somerset)|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon J. (Birm.)||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Stanley, Sir Henry M (Lambeth)|
|Chamberlain, J. A. (Worc'r)||Lawrence, W. F. (Liverpool)||Stephens, Henry Charles|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Charrington, Spencer||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Chelsea, Viscount||Leighton, Stanley||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(S'wns'a)||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Colston, C. E. H. Athole||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Long, Col. Chas. W. (Evesham)||Talbot, Rt. Hn J G (Oxf'd Univ.)|
|Cooke, C. W. Radcliffe (Heref'd)||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Lowe, Francis William||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. M.|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E. (Kent)|
|Curzon, Viscount||Macdona, John Gumming||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinb'gh, W.)||Welby, Lt.-Col A C E (Taunton)|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Manners, Lord Edward Wm. J.||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Doughty, George||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W. F.||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Maxwell, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert E||Whiteley, H.(Ashton-under-L.)|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Drage, Geoffrey||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Middlemore, John Thr'gmorton||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H.(Yorks.)|
|Faber, George Denison||Milward, Colonel Victor||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath)|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Monk, Charles James||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Fergusson Rt. Hn Sir J (Manc'r)||More, Rt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Wylie, Alexander|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Morgan, Hon. F. (Monm'thsh.)||Wyndham, George|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Morrell, George Herbert||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Morton, Arthur H. A (Deptford)|
|Fitz Wygram, General Sir F.||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Murray, Rt. Hn A. Graham(Bute)||Sir William Walrond and|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Gedge, Sydney||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)|
|Allison, Robert Andrew||Gurdon, Sir William Brampton||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Haldane, Richard Burdon||Reid, Sir Robert Threshie|
|Baker, Sir John||Harwood, George||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hayden, John Patrick||Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||Hobson, William Snowdon|
|Bethell, Commander||Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth)||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Billson, Alfred||Hedderwick, Thomas C. H.||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Birrell, Augustine||Holland, William Henry||Shaw, Charles Ed. (Stafford)|
|Blake, Edward||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.)|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Jones, David B. (Swansea)||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Kearley, Hudson E.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Labouchere, Henry||Spicer, Albert|
|Burns, John||Lewis, John Herbert||Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.|
|Hurt, Thomas||Lloyd-George, David||Steadman, William Charles|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Lough, Thomas||Strachey, Edward|
|Caldwell, James||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Stuart, James (Shoreditch)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Macaleese, Daniel||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||MacDonnell, Dr. M. A. (Qn's. C.)||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|Clark, Dr. G. B.||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Tennant, Harold John|
|Courtney, Rt. Hn. Leonard H.||M'Hugh, Patrick A. (Leitrim)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Crilly, Daniel||M'Leod, John||Ure, Alexander|
|Crombie, John William||Maddison, Fred.||Wallace, Robert|
|Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal)||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Mellor, Rt. Hon. J.W.(Yorks.)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Wason, Eugene|
|Doogan, P. C.||Molloy, Bernard Charles||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Duckworth, James||Morley, Rt. Hon John (Mortr'se)||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Emmott, Alfred||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wilson, Charles Henry (Hull)|
|Evans, Sir Francis H (South'ton)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Wilson, Henry J. (York, W. R.)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Oldroyd, Mark||Wilson, John'(Durham, Mid)|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||O'Malley, William|
|Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis||Paulton, James Mellor||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Perks, Robert William||Mr. Herbert Gladstone and|
|Gourley, Sir Edward Temperley||Pickersgill, Edward Hare||Mr. M'Arthur.|
|Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Pilkington, Sir G. A.(Lancs S W)|
§ Question put accordingly.1260
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 52; Noes, 208. (Division List No. 242.)1261
|Allison, Robert Andrew||Healy, Maurice (Cork)||O'Malley, William|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth)||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Blake Edward||Labouchere, Henry||Reid, Sir Robert Threshie|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Lewis, John Herbert||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Lloyd-George, David||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Burns, John||Lough, Thomas||Stanhope, Hon. Philip J.|
|Burt, Thomas||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Steadman, William Charles|
|Clark. Dr. G. B.||Macaleese, Daniel||Sullivan, Donald(Westmeath)|
|Courtney, Rt. Hon. Leonard H.||MacDonnell, Dr MA (Queen'sC)||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|Crilly, Daniel||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Wedderburn, Sir William|
|Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal)||M'Hugh, Patrick A. (Leitrim)||Wilson, Charles Henry (Hull)|
|Donelan, Captain A.||M'Leod, John||Wilson, Henry J.(York, W. R.)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Maddison, Fred.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Duckworth, James||Molloy, Bernard Charles|
|Fenwick, Charles||Morley, Rt. Hon John (Montrose||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—|
|FOX, Dr. Joseph Francis||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Mr. Channing and Mr.Scott.|
|Gurdon, Sir William Brampton||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Dowd, John|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M.H(Bristol)||Brown, Alexander H.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Bullard, Sir Harry|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Butcher, John George|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Bill, Charles||Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.|
|Baker, Sir John||Birrell, Augustine||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbys.)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Blundell, Colonel Henry||Cayzer, Sir Charles William|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r)||Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn Gerald W (Leeds||Bond, Edward||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn)||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J (Birm.)|
|Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Brassey, Albert||Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r)|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry|
|Charrington, Spencer||Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Chelsea, Viscount||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Richardson, Sir T. (Hartlep'l)|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Jones, David Brynmor (Swans'a)||Rickett, J. Compton|
|Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Kearley, Hudson E.||Ridley, Rt. Hon. Sir Matthew W|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||Keswick, William||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson|
|Cooke, C.W. Radcliffe (Heref'd)||Kimber, Henry||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Cox, Irwin Edwd. Bainbridge||Knowles, Lees||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J.|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Langley, Batty||Savory, Sir Joseph|
|Crombie, John William||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Cross, Herb, Shepherd (Bolton)||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Seely, Charles Hilton|
|Curzon, Viscount||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Carrie||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan)||Leighton, Stanley||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Sw'ns'a)||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks)|
|Doughty, George||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Smith, Hon. W. F. D.(Strand)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Long, Col. Charles W.(Evesham)||Spencer, Ernest|
|Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Spicer, Albert|
|Drage, Geoffrey||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Stanley, Edward J. (Somerset)|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Lowe, Francis William||Stanley, Sir Henry M (Lambeth)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Stephens, Henry Charles|
|Evans, Sir Francis H (South'ton)||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Faber, George Denison||Macdona, John Gumming||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John. M.|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||M'Arthur, William (Cornwall)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Fellowes, Hn. Ailwyn Edward||M'Iver, Sir L. (Edinburgh, W.)||Strachey, Edward|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manch'r)||Manners, Lord Edward Wm. J||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Massey-Mainwaring, Hon. W. F.||Talbot, Rt. Hon J. G.(Oxf'd Univ.)|
|FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Maxwell, Rt. Hon. Sir Herbert E||Tennant, Harold John|
|Fitz Wygram, General Sir F.||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Mellor, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Yorks.)||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Tomlinson, W. E. Murray|
|Gedge, Sydney||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Middlemore, John T.||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Gibbs, Hn. A. G. H (City of Lond.||Milward, Colonel Victor||Ure, Alexander|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Monk, Charles James||Wallace, Robert|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Walton, John Lawson (Leeds, S.)|
|Goschen, George J. (Sussex)||More, R. Jasper (Shropshire)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Morgan, Hon F. (Monm'thsh.)||Warde, Lt.-Col. C. E. (Kent)|
|Gourley, Sir Edward Temperley||Morrell, George Herbert||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Green, Walford D.(Wedn'sb'ry)||Morton, Arthur H. A(Deptford)||Wason, Eugene|
|Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury)||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E.(Taunt'n)|
|Grey, Sir Edward (Berwick)||Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute)||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Gull, Sir Cameron||Murray. Charles J. (Coventry)||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Haldane, Richard Burdon||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Whiteley, H.(Ashton-under-L|
|Halsey, Thomas Frederick||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord Geo.||Oldroyd, Mark||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. Wm.||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Harwood, George||Palmer, Sir Charles M. (Durham||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H.(Yorks.)|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Parkes, Ebenezer||Wodehouse, Rt Hn E. R. (Bath)|
|Hedderwick, Thomas Chas. H.||Paulton, James Mellor||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Henderson, Alexander||Penn, John||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead)||Percy, Earl||Wylie, Alexander|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Perks, Robert William||Wyndham, George|
|Holland, William Henry||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Hornby, Sir William Henry||Pilkington, Sir G. A. (Lancs S W|
|Houston, R. P.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Howard, Joseph||Plunkett, Rt. Hn Horace Curzon||Sir William Walrond and|
|Howell, William Tudor||Purvis, Robert||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil||Pym, C. Guy|
§ Original Question put accordingly.
§ The Committee divided:—Ayes, 176; Noes, 41. (Division List No. 243.)1263
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Barnes, Frederic Gorell||Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John|
|Arnold Forster, Hugh O.||Bartley, George C. T.||Brown, Alexander H.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir. M. H. (Bristol)||Bullard, Sir Harry|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Butcher, John George|
|Baker, Sir John||Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Cavendish, V. C. W.(Derbys.)|
|Balcarres, Lord||Bill, Charles||Cayzer, Sir Charles William|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J.(Manch'r)||Blundell, Colonel Henry||Cecil, Evelyn (Hertford, East)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. Gerald W(Leeds)||Bowles, T. Gibson (King's Lynn)||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Brassey, Albert||Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J(Birm.|
|Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r)||Hozier, Hon J. H. Cecil||Phillpotts, Captain Arthur|
|Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Charrington, Spencer||Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Plunkett, Rt. Hn Horace Curzon|
|Chelsea, Viscount||Jones, David Brynmor (Sw'ns'a)||Purvis, Robert|
|Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Kearley, Hudson E.||Pym, C. Guy|
|Colstone, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Kimber, Henry||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Cook, Fred. Lucas (Lambeth)||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Richardson, Sir Thos. (Hartlep'i)|
|Cooke, C. W. Radcliffe (Here'd)||Knowles, Lees||Ridley, Rt. Hon Sir Matthew W.|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Langley, Batty||Ritchie, Rt. Hon Chas Thomson|
|Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge||Laurie, Lieut.-General||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Russell, T. W. (Tyrone)|
|Curzon, Viscount||Lawson, John Grant (Yorks.)||Saunderson, Rt. Hon. Col. E.J.|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Carrie||Savory, Sir Joseph|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Leighton, Stanley||Scoble, Sir Andrew Richard|
|Doughty, George||Llewelyn, Sir Dillwyn-(Sw'ns'a)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)|
|Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham)||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Drage, Geoffrey||Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Lopes, Henry Yarde Buller||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Faber, George Denison||Lowe, Francis William||Spencer, Ernest|
|Fardell, Sir T. George||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Stanley, Sir Henry M. (Lambeth)|
|Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edw.||Macartney, W. G. Ellison||Stephens, Henry Charles|
|Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J.(Man'r)||Macdona, John Gumming||Stewart, Sir M. J. M 'Taggart|
|Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||M'Iver, Sir L. (Edinburgh, W.)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Fisher. William Hayes||Manners, Lord Edward Wm. J.||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|FitzWygram, General Sir F.||Massey-Mainwaring, Hn W. F.||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J G (Ox'f'd Univ.)|
|Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Maxwell Rt. Hon Sir Herbert E||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Mellor, Colonel (Lancashire)||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Gedge, Sydney||Mellor, Rt. Hon. J. W. (Yorks.)||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Gibbons, J. Lloyd||Mendl, Sigismund Ferdinand||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Gibbs, Hn. A G H. (City of Lond.)||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||Middlemore, J. Throgmorton||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir J. Eldon||Milward, Colonel Victor||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C E (Taunt'n)|
|Goschen, George J. (Sussex)||Monk, Charles James||Wentworth, Bruce C. Vernon-|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Gourley, Sir Edward Temperley||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.)|
|Green, Walford D (Wednesbury)||Morgan, Hn Fred. (Monm'thsh)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury)||Morrell, George Herbert||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Gull, Sir Cameron||Morton, Arthur H. A (Deptford)||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Halsey, Thomas Frederick||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H.(Yorks.)|
|Hamilton, Rt. Hon. Lord G.||Murray, Rt. Hn A. Graham (Bute)||Wodehouse, Rt. Hon. E. R (Bath)|
|Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Wortley, Rt. Hn. C. B. Stuart-|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath.)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Henderson, Alexander||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Wylie, Alexander|
|Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead)||O'Neill, Hon. Robt. Torrens||Wyvill, Marmaduke D'Arcy|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel (Norwich)||Palmer, Sir Charles M (Durham)|
|Hornby, Sir William Henry||Parkes, Ebenezer||TELLERS FOR THS AYES—|
|Houston, R. P.||Paulton, James Mellor||Sir William Walrond and|
|Howard, Joseph||Penn, John||Mr. Anstruther.|
|Howell, William Tudor||Percy, Earl|
|Allison, Robert Andrew||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||O'Malley, William|
|Austin, M. (Limerick, W.)||Labouchere, Henry||Pickersgill, Edward Hare|
|Bolton, Thomas Dolling||Lewis, John Herbert||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Burns, John||Lloyd-George, David||Samuel, J. (Stockton-on-Tees)|
|Hurt, Thomas||Lough, Thomas||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Caldwell, James||Luttrell, Hugh Fownes||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Macaleese, Daniel||Steadman, William Charles|
|Clark, Dr. G. B.||MacDonnell, Dr. M. A. (Qu'nsC)||Sullivan, Donal (Westmeath)|
|Crilly, Daniel||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift||Tanner, Charles Kearns|
|Curran, Thomas B. (Donegal)||M'Hugh, Patrick A. (Leitrim)||Wilson, Henry J.(York, W.R.)|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Leod, John||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Fox, Dr. Joseph Francis||Maddison, Fred.|
|Hayden, John Patrick||Molloy, Bernard Charles||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—|
|Healy, Maurice (Cork)||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Captain Donelan and|
|Healy, Timothy M. (N. Louth)||O'Dowd, John||Mr. Patrick O'Brien.|
§ Resolution to be reported To-morrow; Committee to sit again To-morrow.
§ Adjourned at half after Seven of the clock.