HC Deb 04 March 1902 vol 104 cc402-67
(7.50.) MR. HUMPHREYS - OWEN (Montgomeryshire)

No one in this House or out of it believes more strongly than I do that we ought to be animated by feelings of admiration for the men who, in the face of great difficulties and tribulations, have been fighting for us in South Africa. I have never concealed my belief that the war was avoidable, and a melancholy blunder, but, though I have always censured the Government for forcing us into the war, I have never done anything to hinder its vigorous prosecution. The country has scarcely realised what the consequences of the war have been to the women and children in the camps. Bringing the figures down to the end of January, I find that 14,284 children and 2,484 men and women have perished in them. This is a terrible loss, but it is still more terrible when you consider the proportion which this mortality bears to the numbers in the camps themselves. Repeatedly the death rate of children has been something like 500 per 1,000 per annum, and even now, in the returns for January last, I find the death rate is 247 per 1,000. Now, when such a tragedy as this is unrolled before our eyes it is necessary—indeed, it is more—it is the duty of Parliament to inquire strictly into what are the causes and what are the remedies which should be provided.

As to the causes for the creation of the camps, I would say that they began by the policy which was adopted of devastating the country as a military measure with the view of making the resistance of the Boers impossible. But the trouble was also added to by another act of policy, namely, the paper annexations, and the insisting upon the taking, by the inhabitants of the country, of oaths, either of allegiance or neutrality, without being able to give due protection to the people for whom we thus became responsible, because it must be remembered that the notion of sovereign and I subject implies the relation of protector, and protected. The result of our action was that we were unable to protect large tracts of country, and the only alternative that was left to our soldiers was to have camps for those for whom we had made ourselves responsible. This was done, I have no doubt, with humane motives on the whole, though I think you cannot read the Blue-books without seeing that what was passing through the minds of some, at any rate, of our authorities out there, was the idea that by keeping the wives and children away from the fighting Boers we should put pressure upon them, and that this would be a humane measure, because it would tend to shorten the war. Now, it has not shortened the war. On the contrary, as my hon. and gallant friend the Member for Central Sheffield has pointed out in the book which he has sent to me, so far from shortening the war, it has lengthened the war. It has strengthened the determination of the Boers in the field, and relieved them from the responsibility of looking after their women folk.

Then, there was a further cause for the failure of the camps. They were undertaken as a military measure, and the camps were fixed by soldiers according to military ideas. This is pointed out by the Committee of ladies in their Report, which has been distributed amongst us. They say at page 17— There can be little doubt that in the first instance the military did not take sufficiently into account the difference necessary between the treatment of women and children and that of soldiers. For instance, we believe it is reckoned that sufficient tent accommodation is given to an Army in the field if one tent is allowed to sixteen men. Experience has proved that more than three times this amount of accommodation is necessary in a concentration camp, and that anything over five in a bell tent means overcrowding. Soldiers in war times are, constantly moving from place to place. A concentration camp when once planted down on a particular site will probably remain there for months or even years. We cannot feel that sufficient care has been exercised to choose only those sites on which a good and plentiful water supply and other vital requirements could be secured. They point out in another part of the report that one of the camps, for military reasons, was placed in a position which would not otherwise have been selected. That was the case of the Orange River camp, of which they say— This camp had been removed in obedience to military orders, and the people transferred to the general camp. The doctors considered this the direct cause of the epidemic of measles. This is not a charge against the officers, but a criticism on their skill for undertaking such work. A further reason of the failure to carry on the camp satisfactorily has been, I think, that public attention was not directed to them in anything like time. It was very unfortunate that, although the camps were visited and reported upon very early last year, there was a very great amount of party spirit excited; it became a matter of party loyalty to say that all was well in them, and in consequence of that, the care was less than it would otherwise have been. A most optimistic spirit pervaded the officials. There is a report of one of the authorities to this effect— Hospitals are established in all the camps, and one medical officer is allowed for each thousand refugees, the hospital establishments being increased in cases of grave sickness. All linen, clothing, and hospital luxuries of every description are without stint. Ample accommodation is provided in all camps for the refugees. Some are in wood and iron buildings, each family having a separate room, some in marquees, while others have bell tents, overcrowding in all cases being strictly forbidden. Suitable latrines for men and women are constructed with corrugated iron and wood. Washing places are provided in the same way for both sexes. That was an official statement sent to the War Office, and, naturally enough, it was accepted, and therefore I suppose no special efforts were taken. But I will ask the House to compare this very optimistic statement with a few extracts from the Blue-book. I have verified them myself, and can assure the House they are accurate. One is an extract from Dr. Kendal Franks' report. He is speaking of the camp at South Irene, and he says— In some of the tents there is a distinct over-crowding. Dr. Pratt Yules' remarks are also important. He says— The recommended number of occupants per tent is five, and every effort is made to reach this standard. Very frequently the numbers per tent are greatly in excess of this, but these instances are being remedied as quickly as possible. If we take the ordinary bell tent as having a capacity of 650 cubic feet, the air space per head is seen to be very small indeed–130 cubic feet to each of five occupants. The ventilation through the canvas may practically be discarded. Impure air has a much more detrimental effect on the health of children than on that of adults under the conditions of camp life. Dr. Turner writes— There is no provision for privacy except that some families hang up rugs between the portions of floor allotted to them and their neighbours. These buildings might be very suitable for barracks used by men only, but nothing less suitable for families could be well conceived. I leave out the question such objections as the want of privacy. Every incident of family life must be carried on coram populo. Then, again, as to inadequate clothing, it is stated— Many of the refugees claim that they were hurriedly removed from their homes, and not given time to collect their belongings, being told by the officer in charge of patrol that they would be clothed and fed in camp. I consider that in some few cases this complaint may be founded on fact, though there is evidence that the majority of families were not only allowed time to collect whatever they desired to bring in with them, but also that considerable transport conveniences must have been placed at their disposal, for some families have brought a considerable quantity of furniture into the camps. Again, I way that the troops carried out this wretched work with every possible consideration. Then there was another case at Heidelburg. There it was stated— The condition of women and children captured on commando and sent into camp is pitiable in the extreme. They arrive here with nothing, and report destruction of even their mattresses and blankets. This, of course, necessitates the issuing of blankets, etc., to them, and considerably increases the expenditure of the department. One of the chief causes of the great mortality is stated by the medical men to have been that a large number of children had no bedsteads whatever, and were obliged to sleep on beds on the ground, with the result that they were frequently wet and miserable. Another fault of military policy was the wretched system of half rations, which, we know, was generally stopped at once when attention was called to it in this House. But the system has not been altogether abolished. Putting people on short rations, or on second-class rations, is still used by way of punishment in some of the camps, though not in all, because some of the superintendents refuse to employ that particular means of punishment, as it is punishing the children for the faults of the parents. But that the system of half rations was continued in one case until it was discovered by the Ladies Committee is shown in their Report. They found as recently as August last that at Vryburg there were in camp Transvaalers and Bechuanalanders. The latter, being technically rebels, were put on half rations, while the Transvaalers were on full rations. The ladies remonstrated, and pointed out that a promise was made in this House that the system should not be continued, and it was immediately stopped by the officer in command. But still there is the fact that the attempt to govern a great number of civilians by military notions is sure to cause trouble, which military men cannot be expected to foresee.

The hon. and gallant Member for Central Sheffield has been good enough to send me his little pamphlet entitled "In a Boer Concentration Camp." When I read it I was reminded of nothing so much as of a learned counsel pointing out to a Committee upstairs the immense advantage of some commercial undertaking, the great profits that would ensue from it, and the public benefits that would be served. One would think on reading this pamphlet that everything was for the best in the best of all possible camps. I should like to read one or two extracts— Let us visit a camp. The site is well chosen —on the sun slope of a gentle hill. In the tents much furniture; on the beds light quilts, clean sheets, many pillows. Meals when they like, cooked as they like, with hot filtered water always available for coffee or tea. That is how it appeared to the hon. and gallant Gentleman, but that is not how it appeared, about the same time, to the Ladies' Committee. They had a very different story to tell. Here are their recommendations, which show that the camps are not so perfect as they appeared to the hon. and gallant Gentleman. On page 10 of the Report they recommend— That an addition to the rations of ½lb. of rice per head per week should be made… That superintendents should be instructed to encourage the making in camps of cheap bedsteads… That every camp should be provided with proper apparatus for boiling and disinfecting enteric linen… That whenever practicable there should be boilers for serving out water boiling, as at Johannesburg, and that tinned milk should be issued to the children mixed in the boiled water, not in the tin. I think that establishes the point that the country at large was misled by optimistic reports, and that it never practically knew the truth until this Report was issued. Nobody could have been expected to read the huge Blue-book which came out in November, and which was chucked at our heads without any index whatever.

There is another grave fault which I charge against the Government with regard to these prison camps. They left us under the impression that everybody who came there came more or less of their own free will, and could go in and out as they pleased. That is not the case. In the last Blue-book there is a very remarkable sentence, which conclusively proves that these people are treated as prisoners. At page 90, op. 934, the Deputy Administrator of the Orange River Colony says— I observe that your Excellency considers that the camps should be fenced in; that you ask the Attorney General to enlist certain persons for a police force to keep order in the camps; lastly, that you prefer military regulations being enforced in the several camps. I wish to bring to your Excellency's notice the fact that in the concentration camps in the Orange River Colony at present in existence, where the camps are not fenced, and where simply camp limits are defined by conspicuous beacons, there is much less trouble in dealing with the people than in those camps where the people are confined within a barbed wire fence such as Kimberley. And at page 125, Captain Trollope op. 853, speaks of refugees that have been taken by the various columns that have been clearing the country, and of 800 refugees who were captured in laager at Graspan.

Even in cases where the superintendents of the camps are willing to allow women and children who wish to do so to go to their friends, the military authorities of the places to which they wish to go are consulted, and if they refuse to let them come they are kept in the camps. I appeal to Members of the House—is it reasonable to suppose that the British Empire is going to ruin because a few noisy-tongued women are allowed to go from one place to another in South Africa? It seems to me that restrictions of this kind are not only cruel, but impolitic. A family writes to say they will be glad to receive so-and-so; the military authorities say she shall not go because she stirs up strife. Such a thing is resented by both her and her friends; it prevents her friends from having the pleasure of looking after her and incenses them against British rule.

Now, the authorities of the camps often excuse themselves for the excessive mortality by saying, first that it is owing to the medicine which Boer women will give to their children; if that is so, what is the use of strict discipline, if you cannot keep out of the camps the medicines they are supposed to take? secondly, that they are so dirty and insanitary in their habits. It may be true that some are dirty, but it is only a certain section. There are many passages all through the Blue-books which say the tents are clean and tidy. I will just quote one passage on page 50 of the last Blue-book-— In dealing with this question it should be borne in mind that the populations of the camps are composed chiefly of the families of the most indigent and ignorant class of Boers. The camps thus contain families many of which are highly respectable and of the best type of Boer, but by far the greater number of those that have sunk lowest in the social scale of the people. It is the latter description that has given the most trouble in the camps, that defies all laws of hygiene. How cruel it is to charge indiscriminately the whole nation with faults which are obviously only the faults of a certain section.


Who has?


Constantly throughout the Blue-books you speak of the dirty habits of these people.


It is perfectly clear there is some misapprehension. Over and over again a distinction is made between the better class, who are as civilised as ourselves, and the poorer class, who give the greatest cause for anxiety. There is no charge against the whole.


I was speaking of the popular impression.




The general impression of the people is a very powerful factor in this matter, and so long as the nation is allowed to believe that the Boers are nothing but a set of idle, dirty, and lazy people, so long will there be this indifference to their sufferings to which I desire to call attention. I find it difficult to read the Blue-books, because there is so much to find fault with. I find it difficult to make a selection. There is one more point I must refer to; it relates to the same question. Here is what the Report of the Ladies Committee says of one of the South African camps, p. 57— Sanitation: On the trench system and very rough. No proper seats (except in the school latrine) for either men, women, or children, but simply logs thrown across trenches. Anybody who has read the Blue-books at all knows that there are other sanitary arrangements as bad.

The Resolution speaks of the delay that took place in carrying out the improvements. It is admitted that improvements have been made, but the delay has been extreme. These Reports of the Ladies Committee shew how much still remains to be done. Miss Hobhouse called attention to these abuses early in last year. She was met with animosity by all sorts of persons, who, I venture to say, had not read her Report, or they would not have been so ready to attack her in this House, or on the platform, and go so far as to stir up violent mobs to prevent her being heard. If they had read Miss Hobhouse's book, they would, I believe, from shame, have refrained from making those accusations. I have the book here, and I challenge you to find in it any violent or intemperate language. All she does is to point out, with some vigour, admitted defects; and those defects have remained unremedied until just now, and there are still defects to be remedied. The treatment of Miss Hobhouse by a large section of the people of this country is one of the saddest instances of the evils of political party spirit. We who know Miss Hobhouse have the highest opinion of her, and feel the greatest gratitude to her for what she has done.

What is going to be done? We call upon the Government to state the provision they intend to make for the coining South African winter. It is not for us to make constructive recommendations, but to call attention to the matters that require remedy, and which, if attended to, will have the effect of preventing the next South African winter being so disastrous to the camps as the last winter. The first thing the Government should consider is the personnel of the administration. Almost everything depends on the superintendents; the difference between a good and bad superintendent means the difference between the life and death of hundreds and thousands of children, and I hope the Government will tell us what is the scheme of the pay and allowances that they give to the superintendents, and what precautions they take to assure themselves that those persons who are unfit for the position will not be appointed in the future. There is an interesting paragraph in the last Blue-book, 934, page 52— The greatest difficulty has been experienced in obtaining the services of good doctors and good nurses. An almost continuous procession has been maintained of nurses and doctors going to one or other of the camps from the coast, and another of nurses and doctors going from one or other of the camps to the coast. This circumstance has greatly added to the difficulty of maintaining an adequate staff at the camps, and has given rise to much irritation, expense, and loss of efficiency with consequent damage to the welfare of camps concerned. What is the reason for this procession? There are plenty of good doctors and good nurses to be obtained. I suppose the fact is that the Government do not choose to pay for them.


There is not the slightest foundation for that statement. If the hon. Gentleman had read the Blue-book he would have seen that I said expense was not to be taken into consideration in the slightest degree.


I remember that, and I accept it. At the same time, that is quite recently, and everyone hopes the instruction has been acted up to. But it is evident from these Blue-books that it is necessary for the officials out there to be carefully looked after; it is no use sending circulars without seeing that the work is done. I will do the right hon. Gentleman the justice to say that he has done that; he has looked after them, and got into trouble with Lord Milner in consequence.


Certainly not. Really the hon. Gentleman is not entitled to make these insinuations. In the first place, he insinuates that the Government, having declared that no expense was to be spared, were perhaps insincere, and he "hopes" the officials will carry it out. Now he declares that I have got into a quarrel or into difficulties with Lord Milner. There is not the slightest foundation for either of those insinuations.


The right hon. Gentleman is rather hasty. I made no insinuations. What I said was that unless officials out there were looked after, it was no use sending circulars; he must see that they carry out the work. There is no insinuation in that. I went on to say that the right hon. Gentleman had done so, and that Lord Milner had not seemed very well pleased at it. I will give the reference to what Lord Milner did say. [The hon. Member looked through his notes, but was apparently unable to find the reference.†] At all events, it was just an allusion in passing. I made no serious charge. The right hon. Gentleman simply caught up the point, and tried to make something out of it.

Then there is another point, and an important one, I think, viz., that of the rations. On this subject I consulted a lady, a housekeeper of experience, and her opinion of the rations is very adverse. Then I have a letter which appeared in the public Press from a gentleman who had worked out from the Blue-books the †The reference is to [Cd. 853] p. 24. A. C.H.O. cost of rations in the month of October, and these varied from about 3d to 5d per head. These are costs which unquestionably are nothing like sufficient for any but the very poorest of food. I remember when I was a visitor of a gaol it was thought we had done very well if we fed the inmates for 2s. 6d. a week. In the workhouse the charge is about 5s. When that is compared with the costs which appear in the recent Blue-books, it is evident that the latter must necessarily be less than sufficient for a proper living allowance.

I have now placed before the House my reasons for calling attention to the camps and for expressing a strong hope that the Government will take steps which will save the country from the misery of looking on at a continuance of the terrible death rate. The right hon. Gentleman, if he reflects, will recognise that I have carefully abstained from making any personal charges or imputations whatever. I have simply criticised, as it is the duty of any Opposition to criticise, the administrative action of the Government through its servants, and I trust that, for the credit of the country itself, we shall have a most effectual reform of the unfortunate state of things described in the Bluebooks. I beg to move the Amendment standing in my name. (8.40.)

*(9.10.) MR. CHANNING (Northampton, E.)

I rise to second the Motion, which has been moved with great ability and with still greater moderation by my hon. friend. On a question of such gravity, affecting the reputation and the honour of the whole nation, any man with a sense of responsibility will wish to speak with the utmost self-restraint and circumspection. The case we lay before the House, the plain facts, are more eloquent than any rhetoric. The position is this. In a war unexampled in many of its aspects, we have been placed in a position in which we have, either by choice or compulsion, taken a whole people captive and have inflicted upon those who have done us no harm—the non-combatants—the most serious and terrible consequences. My whole case may be summed up in the following words from Miss Hobhouse's Report:— To keep these camps going is murder of the children. Whatever the authorities do, and they are, I believe, doing their best with very limited means, it is only a miserable patch on a great ill. By more judicious management they could do more, but do what you will, you cannot undo the thing itself. The deaths of 14,000 children lie at our door, and the vast majority of those deaths are the direct result of our policy. An effort has been made to explain away the mortality in the camps by saying that the ordinary death-rate among the Boers in the country districts was abnormal and appalling. There is no evidence of that. The Governor of Cape Colony has reported that he could obtain no information of the supposed high mortality. The medical officer of the Cape Government, when appealed to, gave the death-rate among children under one year in thirty-two Cape towns in 1889, the year before the war, as 147 per 1,000 births; whereas in twenty-eight chief towns of England and Wales it was 162 per 1,000 births. If that proportion holds good as applied to children of all ages, it would be seen at once that it was impossible to maintain the idea that there was an enormous normal mortality among the Dutch children, between one and twelve, as suggested.

The right hon. Gentleman somewhat brusquely interrupted my hon. friend on the question of cost and expenditure in the camps. He very naturally boasted that he had directed that no cost should be spared. But he gave those directions after the ghastly mouths of September and October, which would always remain black pages in the history of this business. In the first Blue-book the most careful instructions were given in the Circulars to observe the strictest economy. We are asked now to believe that there has been a great improvement in the camps. But, taking the figures for the Transvaal and Orange River camps, the camps really in question, I find that the death rate of children in these camps in October last was 601 per annum per 1,000; in November it was 499; in December, 388; and in January, which month we are told marked such splendid results, it is still 262 per 1,000. At the October rate the whole population would have gone in twenty months, and at the January rate in forty-four months. Is that a result which would satisfy the national conscience? The mortality has been highest amongst children between the ages of one year and twelve years. It has been estimated that the rate at which children of these ages have been dying in the Transvaal and the Orange River camps is no less than fourteen times the mortality of children of the same ages in the city of Manchester, which is not one of the most healthy cities in England. Taking the whole white population of all the camps, the rate of mortality has only sunk from 339 per 1,000 to 189 per 1,000 in January, or in other words these people are still dying ten times faster than the population in England, and four times faster than in the most congested and unhealthy slums of Glasgow and Manchester. And it must be remembered that this is a business which cannot be completely repaired by one or two important reforms at the present time. This grim and appalling record must go on. One of the most serious points laid before the country by Lord Milner was that in two months time, with the greatest efforts, he could only transfer 6,500 persons from these camps to the coast, and at the end of four months apparently only 9,800 had been moved down to Natal. And Lord Milner went on to say that probably as much as could be done altogether was to transfer one-fifth of the whole population from the camps to the coast. His Lordship drew attention to the fact that this question of the camps was likely to last for years. we have to consider that the housing and keeping alive of this large number of women and children in these camps is not for a few weeks, but for months and months, and, perhaps, for years and years. It seems to me that that deepens our responsibility enormously. Reference has been made by my hon. friend to the recommendations and suggestions made by Miss Hobhouse. I wish to support what fell from the Secretary of State for War in regard to the Lady Commissioners who have recently reported on the condition of these camps. I do not believe that for works of mercy and tender ministrations to the sick and the distressed, there is anything in the world to be compared with an English woman, with heart, and brains, and energy. The Ladies Commission fully deserve everything that has been said as to the thoroughness and exhaustive nature of their inquiry, and the fearlessness with which they have exposed every fault. But what is the upshot of this inquiry? My hon. friend has dwelt on the optimistic character of the first Blue-book, but in that I cannot agree with him. What struck me chiefly in the first of the Bluebooks on the camps was the extreme frankness and honesty of the camp officials in the complaints they made of the terrible distress they had to meet, and the want of means they had to deal with their difficulties. They appealed to Lord Kitchener and authorities of all kinds to help them to get out of the position in which they had been placed. I cannot go through the details regarding all the camps; but I have analysed them with the utmost care, and, while I wish to pay the highest honour to the devoted officials for the manner in which they endeavoured to discharge their duties, there are from the first, again and again, the plainest intimations of the most serious sanitary faults in the camps, corroborating all that Miss Hobhouse had said. The Blue-book is a vast record of the ghastly inability of those well-meaning ad ministrators to overtake the evils with which they were confronted, and to remedy them after they had been exposed. I wish to give the highest honour to the officials who tried to cope with the difficulties, but the Government ought never to have embarked on a policy which was not justifiable in view of the very serious dangers and risks, and ought never to have undertaken a task which was wholly beyond their powers.

My hon. friend has referred to the fact that, even in these later months—eight or nine months after Miss Hobhouse's visit—there was still no provision for the disinfection of the sheets used by typhoid patients. In every page of the Report there were protests against the heaps of dust and filth which had been allowed to accumulate in nearly every camp throughout the whole of there areas. The question of water is, perhaps, the most serious that could arise in South Africa. One of the most frequent complaints of the Ladies Commission is that, even for the camp hospitals, water is still neither boiled nor filtered; and that after ten months. At Middelburg "the water in the new tanks outside the hospital kitchens was the colour of pea-soup." One section of this camp got water from a polluted "furrow supplied from a dam four miles off, and many sickly beasts had died at the water's edge." In another case, at Potchefstroom, 4,900 people, after a year, still depend for their water supply on a trench half clogged with foul rubbish, and receiving the surface drainage of the camp. Miss Hobhouse recommended a supply of vegetables, but the Ladies Commission found several outbreaks of scurvy owing to the still scanty supply. I would like to quote one passage which shows Miss Hobhouse's impartiality. She insisted on having stretchers to lift the people from the earth, and wrote in January last. The damp of the ground, the occasional streams of rain that run through the draughty night air beneath the flap of the tents, combine to lower the health of the children. But writing of the camp at Norval's Point, she was evidently under the impression that every tent had been supplied with bedsteads, so that the women and children could be raised from the ground. But Mr. Bowen, the superintendent at Norval's Point, the one man who tried to work on this point, reported to the Commission in September, I have not many sleeping on the ground, but more than I like;" and he added that he "had lost more children from their sleeping on the ground than from any other cause." And in nearly every camp the Commission state that last autumn there were half, two-thirds, four-fifths, of the people still sleeping on the ground. The overcrowding in the tents Miss Hobhouse had found appalling. But the Report of the Ladies Commission was full of instances showing it still too frequent. Take the camp at Kimberley, where they found overcrowded tents. In one, five children were prone on the ground, on mattresses, all down with illness. In another, where there was a family of eight, one was lying dangerously ill with pneumonia. And the Commission said of this camp— The people are too thick on the ground; the medical and nursing staff are insufficient; there is no organised system of tent-to-tent visitation with the object of discovering early cases of sickness and removing them to hospital; there is no central kitchen for making beef-tea and other invalid food; and the hospital accommodation is quite inadequate. What wonder, then, that the death rate ran up to 335 per 1,000 in August. The suggestions of the Commission were carried out very largely, but they found that in November the mortality was still at a rate about six times that of London. We should not be satisfied with these results. Take another camp, Mafeking, where there was an appalling record. In August the Commission made a long series of recommendations and complaints which practically covered every detail of sanitary administration, and when they came again in November, they said— We found the camp a prey to a terrible outbreak of disease—measles, enteric, pneumonia, malaria, chicken-pox, and whooping-cough, which was undoubtedly fostered and aggravated by the insanitary conditions of which we had complained on our previous visit. Little or nothing had been done; the conditions had in some respects deteriorated, and till the arrival of Dr. Morrow no real effort had been made to prevent or to cope with the sickness. This had steadily increased until 2,000 cases of disease in about 4,000 people were registered at one time; twenty nine deaths had occurred in one day, and over 500 lives had been lost during the ten weeks since we left. The list of the items of stupid neglect is appalling; it ends with— Milk still being issued unmixed with boiling water. No boiling of water or disinfecting arrangements were even started till the epidemic was at its height. There was no garden, though the soil conditions are suitable, the need for fresh vegetables more urgent than ever, and the spring far advanced. I venture to quote detail those points, because they appear to me extremely pertinent to the issue we wish to lay before the House. We have to ask ourselves one of the gravest questions it is possible to put to ourselves. What have been the true causes of this terrible mortality? The General Superintendent of the Transvaal camps, Mr. Tucker, in one of the last Blue-books, has given a clear indication of the two main causes of the terrible mortality. Mr. Tucker has expressed his grounds for thinking that possibly the camps would rapidly improve in the near future in these words— The weak and emaciated have largely died out. and— Very few new arrivals from the veldt are expected to come in. There we have two sign-posts of the causes of this ghastly tragedy. Why should one of the toughest and most out of door races still left on earth come to be thus emaciated and weak on our hands? I wish hon. Members would read the Blue-books and see the way in which these poor people, in their thin cotton dresses, were dragged from their homes, exposed to all weathers, worn out, ill-fed, swept in in these enormous numbers day by day, and month by month, by the columns that were carrying out this wholesale devastation. That was the reason they were exhausted, weak, and destitute of all suitable equipment to enter into camp life. I have referred to the scarcity of beds. At the outset there was a scarcity even of blankets. What must it have been for these people, dragged from their warm homes and placed in tents upon high ground with an icy temperature at night, and thereby exposed to these great risks? Then there was the food. Take the meat. The ration recommended now by the Commission was 51b. a week of meat. But the Transvaal camp ration was only 21b. of meat a week, leaving utterly out of consideration the plan of half rations for the families of men on commando. The meat ration in Natal was 41b. a week, and that—then too lean—was supplemented by bacon and other things; in the Transvaal the 21b. ration was taken from sheep which were worn out, which sometimes dropped dead before the butcher's knife could reach them, and which sometimes only weighed 151b. apiece. It was not a ration of meat, but of skin and bone. But even this ration ceased in August, and they had had to fall back on tinned stuff, and it was only in November last that arrangements enabled the managers of the camps to have one ration a week of cold storage meat, imported from Australia. It is not the case that farm burning and driving in has ever ceased. Throughout the Blue-books, right down through November to the heart of December, there is evidence that the people were being swept in from their homes to these camps by the columns, in batches of 100 to 1,000 at a time, and between July and the middle of December my estimate from the figures is that at least 27,000 people had been brought in. I think this was to incur a tremendous responsibility. It was obvious to the military authorities in South Africa months before, from the reports of their officials, that the risk to life was very great. These camps were so crowded that they were obliged to place these wretched children in tents which they knew were steeped in infection, and thus the new set of children were exposed to the most serious results. These people were unprotected in these tents from either wet or cold. Miss Hobhouse, in one of her letters, had described the condition of the tents in one of these camps; how the dew was so saturating that it came through two hut covers and saturated her clothes with wet. Let the House, then, reflect upon the condition of these poor women and children — three-fourths of them were children—who were in these camps for months, through the whole southern winter, without beds to lie on, or any provision to lift them from the ground.


Many of them had beds.


said the hon. Member would not deny that the Ladies Commission found that a majority still had to lie on the ground. With regard to the attempted explanation as to the origin and object of these camps, the Colonial Secretary had told hon. Members in February in the debate on the Address that these camps would never have come into existence but for the threats of the Boers to burn the farms of those who deserted their ranks. But Lord Kitchener's reply to that threat was, he stated in his despatch, given in the interview with General Botha on the 28th of February, 1901. Farm burning had been in full swing many months before the date in February when Lord Kitchener said he would be compelled to sweep the women and children into camps. Captain Phillips, in his book "With Rimington," shows that farm-burning had been going on, and people carted away, some time before he went into hospital in August, 1900; therefore it is clear that a large population had been turned loose right up to the end of the year. Were the people whose farms were burned during that time left to perish on the veldt, or were camps provided for them at that time? The date of the formation of these camps had been withheld throughout the Blue-book. What was the date when these camps were first formed? If these camps were not formed till some time in the year 1901, then Lord Kitchener did not provide reasonable provision for the wants of shelter and food for the unhappy people turned out of these farms. If, on the other hand, these people were provided for and shut up in these camps during those months, the argument of the Colonial Secretary that these camps were formed after the conversation with General Botha five months afterwards falls to the ground. The Colonial Secretary cannot escape from that dilemma. We are asked to regard the establishment of the camps as a matter of protection, and to talk of these people as refugees. The real origin of this camp system was given with perfect frankness by the Administrator of the Orange River Colony. They were formed expressly on military grounds. The whole intention," he wrote, "of the Commander-in-Chief presumably was to remove from the outlying districts persons who by their presence there could have rendered aid, voluntarily or compulsorily, to the enemy in the field. Their concentration in these camps, therefore, was clearly an essential part of his scheme of operations against those still fighting. We have, therefore, this terrible responsibility. I have wished to honour to the full the men who have tried to overcome the difficulty of this terrible position, but when it is shown that all this suffering and death have resulted from our determination to get the better of this little people, who are fighting for their independence, I think it is a case where the Opposition has a right to challenge the Government. When historians in the future come to consider the policy which underlay the formation of these camps, they will regard it as one of the saddest chapters of English history.

Amendment proposed— To leave out from the word 'That' to the end of the Question, in order to add the words, 'this House deplores the great mortality in the concentration camps formed in the execution of the policy of clearing the country in South Africa; and, while recognising the improvements in the administration of those camps, condemns the delays which have occurred in effecting them; it calls on the Government, especially in view of the approach of the African winter, to state what further measures they intend to take for the preservation of life, and for the protection of the health of the inmates of the camps.'"—(Mr. Humphreys-Owen.)

Question proposed, "That the words proposed to be left out stand part of the Question."

(9.50.) MR. LYTTELTON (Warwick and Leamington)

Without the least impugning the motives of those who have brought forward this Motion, I can only deplore it. Having given a great deal of serious thought to this matter, I have arrived at the conclusion that to attempt to criticise the action of the Government in South Africa, at a time when the war is raging, without a substantial chance of altering its policy or conduct, is in itself to be regretted. I entirely accept and welcome the criticism which has been directed against those who sit on this side of the House, however severe and painful it may be to those who receive it, if there is a genuine belief upon the part of those who apply it that they can alter the conduct or policy of the Government by the application of that criticism. But it is impossible to suppose there is the slightest chance of altering that which has happened months ago. There cannot be any question of altering the policy of these camps. I think they have been humane and merciful. But, putting myself in the position of the hon. Gentlemen opposite who do not hold the same opinion, what profit can be gained? You can gain nothing by criticising what is over and past, and been carried through. I have had the pleasure of seeing Mrs. Fawcett, who is the President of the Ladies Committee, since her return from South Africa, and one thing will be a satisfaction to every Member present. She told me that the Committee had visited thirty-three camps, and that the method they employed was that each lady should go separately, by herself, unaccompanied by any official of the camp, in order that she might interview the Boer women, and freely talk with them without the slightest fear of duress or criticism. It is an extraordinary thing that after visiting these camps in this manner, Mrs. Fawcett was able to assure me that not a single complaint was made by any Boer woman, out of the thousands who had been interviewed, of the behaviour or conduct of the soldiers who were in charge of these camps. I submit that this is a magnificent tribute to the people who have guarded and taken care of these women and children in these difficult circumstances.

MR. PIRIE (Aberdeen, N.)

You have no right to claim that admission from your side of the House, Sir.


If the lion. Gentleman had done me the honour to listen to what I said, he would have heard me say "every Member present." Now I wish to make good what I said in the beginning of my remarks, and I venture to appeal to Members opposite, because what I have to say may, I think, bring this discussion to a close. Work is being done at the present moment in these camps—many Members are not aware of it—which will go far, if uninterrupted by hostile criticism of the past, in the future to cement the relations between the Dutch and English populations who have to inhabit that country. I refer to the education of the Boer children which is now going on in these camps. I think we ought to give honour where honour is due for the initiation of this scheme. It is not due to a civilian, but to that gallant soldier, Lord Methuen. He conceived the project when in command of the North - western district. He could see that, while it was his duty to be fighting the Boer parents in the field, a great stroke of policy might be achieved by educating the children in the camps, and certainly, primary education has never been initiated under more romantic circumstances.

MR. LLOYD-GEORGE (Carnarvon Boroughs)



I prefer to say romantic. Children were brought in from the farms and placed under the care of the people in the camps, and the Orderly of the General brought them into the school, and there they have been taught by the very best teachers which this country could supply, especially women teachers—100 or more of the most excellent teachers, out of the thousands who volunteered, have been sent to those camps to teach the children. The policy of education has been conducted under Lord Milner, and Mr. Sargent, the Director of Education in the Transvaal— a man who may be described as a man of genius, and a man whom the House will recognise as one who has approached this question in a most beneficent spirit, when I read the extract I am going to read. [The hon. Member read Mr. Sargent's address to the teachers who had gone out from England.] I say that is a noble word of welcome to the teachers, an inspiring word as to the way in which they should engage in this task; and that that has been carried out I have not the least doubt, from the information Mrs. Fawcett was good enough to give me with regard to these camps. She said wherever they went in these camps there was one bright spot, and that was where the Boer children were being taught. It is certainly one of the strange paradoxes of South Africa that the Boer children were bright, pretty, and keen to learn, and, though their parents are ignorant, they have endeavoured to avail themselves to the full of the chances of education that their children had.

How have the teachers replied to the appeal made to them by Mr. Sargent? They have, in the first place, with rare wisdom, managed to combine the teaching of English with the learning of Dutch. English is the medium of instruction after, I think, the second standard, but for religious purposes, for the reading of the Bible and the singing of hymns, Taal is used. You, therefore, find that the Boers are willing to accept the education given to them in English, as long as their religious convictions are respected by their children receiving religious teaching in Dutch. The teachers have not only preserved the fullest degree of toleration of Boer opinion, but also the individuality of the children, as will be found by an extract in the Blue-book, according to which a little Boer child, who had just been taught to write by an English teacher, was asked to put her first ideas into writing, and she wrote— I will begin to learn English, so that I can say 'Hands up.' A relative of mine told me that, in order to illustrate or enforce a lesson in mental arithmetic, he asked the children to put their hands up, with a view to some enumeration. But the very moment he uttered the words "Hands up" to these little children, forty pairs of hands were deflected in the downward direction. That is a fact which, undoubtedly, has two aspects. I do not mind conceding the toughness of the race, and possible difficulties in the future may be illustrated by it; but at the same time, how splendidly it illustrates the free, tolerant education which is being administered by the teachers to these little children, and how fully that education recognises and preserves their individuality and their rights. If this be so, what object can be secured by interrupting the splendid work of conciliation—as it is the very finest form of conciliation—which is going forward in these camps? What object can be served by recriminations as to the past, untrue, as I believe, —even assuming there is something in them, certainly mis-timed, stale and ungenerous—but, as I say, in the main absolutely untrue? I do not deny that some mistakes have been made. How in the world can 150,000 women and children be added to the gigantic burdens which the Colonial Office and the War Office have had to sustain without a few mistakes having been made? I do not for a moment contend that some have not been made, but they have been splendidly redressed. Even hon. Gentlemen opposite do not deny that every possible measure has been taken, by the sending out of Commissioners, by injunctions of the. War Office and by injunctions of the Colonial Secretary that no expense should be spared—and nothing has been spared —to place, if possible, these poor creatures in the most absolute sanitation and comfort.


I urged in the strongest possible way that the facts recently reported by the Ladies Committee, in November, show that the greater portion of these things have not been redressed.


I think that is an unfortunate interruption.


It is not unfortunate; it is true.


I think it is unfortunate. The hon. Gentleman thinks that facts which were discovered in November are not redressed in March. Does the hon. Gentleman think he has established his point? Recommendations were made by the Ladies Committee to the Colonial Office; the Colonial Office has given an absolutely free hand to Lord Milner, and enjoined him to spare absolutely no expense; and yet the hon. Gentleman imagines he has scored a point by saying that recommendations were made in November, and he does not in the least know whether or not they have been carried out. Of course, when these ladies, who had been entrusted with the full confidence of the Government, and of whom the Secretary of State for War has spoken in the highest terms, made recommendations, and when the authorities in South Africa had not merely the authority, but the absolute injunctions of the Colonial Secretary to spare no expense in carrying them out, it is absolutely ridiculous to say in March that those recommendations have not been carried out.

But I pass from that, and I ask again, what object can possibly be served by raking up the past, when you have at the moment this work of conciliation going forward? I say with absolute conviction that if they were left alone, if they were undisturbed by these stale and sour criticisms about the past, it would be impossible for the Boer mothers in these camps to rear the coming generations—who have received the education I have described, and the innumerable kindnesses which have been lavished upon them—in the belief that the British are an inhumane people. On the contrary, provided we can only—I wish to say it without offence—shut the mouths of this stale and sour criticism of the past, I believe there is at present going forward in South Africa a work which will do much for the conciliation of the two races, and which it would certainly be most deplorable to disturb.

(10.9.) MR. THOMAS SHAW (Hawick Burghs)

The House always listens with interest and attention to anything which falls from the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just spoken, but tonight, as his speech proceeded, I felt disappointed in two particulars. I could gather no generalisation from his remarks, except that there was something essentially wicked in criticising what had been done in connection with these concentration camps. In an Assembly such as this, we are bound to nave in consideration the object lessons produced by the policy of the Government, and brought to the notice of the House by the historical record contained in voluminous Blue-books. I, for one, entirely deprecate the abnegation of the function of the House of Commons to deal with those recorded facts on the ground that our words will, by some reasoning or other, be construed as criticisms of the administration, and secondly, in some way which I was not quite able to follow, as an encouragement to those in arms against us. A great deal has been said on the question of education. My hon. and learned friend there touched on a point than which none is dearer to myself. There is no topic on which we could with more advantage address ourselves than the question of bringing these two races together by a policy of education. But one unfortunate phrase fell from my hon. and learned friend. He said it was a system of education which preserved the individuality of the taught. Ah, it may do so educationally, but does it do so in mortality? The last records are not for November, but for January. The children are dying there at the rate of 262 per thousand per annum. I say that it is beside the question to talk of preserving the individuality of children who are dying at the rate of one in four.


Does my hon. and learned friend think that fewer of these children would die if these camps were not formed?


I am going to show, if my hon. and learned friend will do me the honour to listen while I develop my argument, that the fault is that these camps are not better managed, in the essential particulars recorded as needing reform. It seems to be on the brain of the Party opposite that every kind of criticism is, by some fatality, a complaint against the soldiers. Who could complain against the soldiers? Not one word has been said on this Motion in complaint of the soldier. What we do complain of, and what in my brief observations I shall endeavour to prove, is that the policy and system have produced conditions against which our humane soldiers and camp superintendents have laboured in vain for months past. There is a general sense of uneasiness in the country on this subject. That uneasiness has not been allayed. This Report has helped to allay it, but the uneasiness is not yet stilled, because behind the question as to the condition of the women and children in these camps, there is the larger question as to the reason for the camps being there at all and in those particular spots. Farm-burning had its consequence—it must have had its consequence; and our complaint against the Government is that, quite apart from any evil intention, which no one in his senses would charge any Member of the Government with—["Oh, oh!"]—surely I may be permitted to speak for myself. I say that the evil of the situation in Africa is that it is paved with good intentions. The Government had to consider the position of a population so dispossessed by the ruin of homesteads—a population non-combatant, who were at least entitled to the same privileges as prisoners of war. What are these privileges? According to well-known elementary military maxims, such a population is entitled and bound to be treated in a manner suitable to their condition. Our complaint against the Government is that they neglected to foresee and to provide for the claims of the people so dispossessed, and in so doing have neglected our national and due obligations. If people are deprived of food, shelter, change of clothing and bedding, we ought to take care of them in those circumstances, and we are bound to make provision which will protect them from want and danger.

My first proposition is that we made no provision for locating the camps away from the infected area. This question of the infected area is dealt with by these ladies in the very Report now under criticism, and if the people of this country want to know upon what evidence that Committee reported upon this death and desolation, then they should read this account of the infected area in which those camps were placed. The Report says— The whole country in which fighting has taken place is poisoned. Horses, mules, and oxen are killed during battles, or die of overwork and exhaustion, and their carcases are left to putrefy, poisoning earth, air, and water. Thousands of other animals are infected; Rinderpest, horse sickness, and every kind of disease claim their victims; the sick beasts crawl to the nearest stream and die on its brink, and the water supplies of a whole country become tainted; or they die in the open country, the dust returns to the earth, and the dust storms for which South Africa is famous scatter disease-laden particles over the length and breadth of the land. This illustrates the death, desolation, ruin and decay which this war has produced, and my own point is that within that infected area the Government ought to have seen, first, that they should not locate those camps in such places; and secondly, if they did locate them there it was a case where extra precautions against disease were necessary. That is the cardinal and vital blunder which underlay the initiation of these camps.

My next point is the difficulty consequent upon the transport of food. By locating the camps in those quarters you have undoubtedly created many of the difficulties with which our soldiers and transport officers have so manfully contended. All those difficulties ought to have been foreseen, for the simplest of all reasons, mentioned in the Report itself on page 18, where these ladies say— It should be absolutely necessary to move the inmates nearer to the coast, where an ample supply of cold storage and other fresh meat will be available. And they add— If the meat cannot be brought to the people, then the people should be brought to the meat. It stands to reason, and the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary had fully admitted it, that if people brought up amidst country surroundings are gathered together in densely-populated localities, there will be discomfort, and consequent disease will arise. There is one testimony which we cannot get over, and it is that there is a large balance against the account of our policy on the simple ground of neglect in providing proper sanitary conditions. This has never been expressed more clearly than by Dr. Haldane himself, who gives statistics for the last three months. He says that, under normal conditions, ninety-six grown-up women and 272 children would have died in these camps, whereas the number of deaths due to insanitary surroundings were 510 women and 2,973 children in three months. In those circumstances, I cannot understand the point of view which has been presented to the House by an hon. and learned Member who has preceded me. We do not bring these statistics up merely because they are past facts. We think they are past facts which are applicable to a system which has not yet been remedied, and that is why I am anxious, as soon as possible, to give place to my right hon. friend the Colonial Secretary, in order that we may have some reassuring declaration in regard to the matters affecting these camps. The Government should have considered all this before. When they located these camps, they should have known the consequences of the burning of farms and the location of camps in an infected area, and it will never do for this House to cease criticising a policy which has caused so much havoc in South Africa. It is not only the cardinal and vital blunder of the location of the camps, but I charge the Government also with supineness of policy, instead of promptitude of action, in regard to the remedy. I wonder what would have been done in regard to these camps if in this country we had been content to adopt the doctrine of saying nothing and leaving everything in the hands of the Government. Miss Hobhouse wrote to the Secretary of State for War, and she wrote in these terms— Will nothing be done? Will no prompt measures be taken with this terrible evil? Three months ago I tried to place the matter strongly before you, and begged permission to organise immediate alleviatory measures based on the experience I had acquired, in order thus to avert a mortality I had plainly seen was increasing. My request was refused, and this experience, which I could not pass on to others, rendered useless. The repulse to myself would have mattered nothing had only a large band of kindly workers been instantly despatched with full powers to deal with each individual camp as its needs required. The necessity was instant, if innocent human lives were to be saved. Instead we had to wait a month while six ladies were chosen. During that month 576 children died. The preparation and journey of these ladies occupied yet another month, and in that interval 1,124 more children succumbed. In place of at once proceeding to the great centres of high mortality, the bulk of yet a third month seems to have been spent in their long journey to Mafeking, and in passing a few days at some of the healthier camps. Meanwhile, 1,545 more children died. In those circumstances I maintain that I have made clear my point that instead of there being promptitude of action there was a supineness of policy pursued, which resulted in the loss of human life. Until the other day, when the Colonial Secretary spoke, I understood that these camps were part of military measures necessitated by our policy of clearing the country. ["No, no."] That was my understanding. Over and over again I think this policy has been defended on the ground that it was necessary as a military measure. The Colonial Secretary committed himself to the proposition that the formation of the camps was due to the action of General Botha in threatening to dispossess burghers with whose conduct he was dissatisfied.


Order, order! The hon. Member will not be in order in discussing the policy which led to the formation of the camps.


With regard to the mode in which the camps have been conducted, they were formed at the end of the year 1900 and in the beginning of the year 1901. But the position was acute long before that, for Miss Hobhouse had then been for two months investigating the state of the camps. We stand today responsible for the entire situation. I bow to your ruling, Mr. Speaker, that I am not allowed to check this statement as to the origination of the camps. I will pass on to a further point. We stand responsible by our location of these concentration camps, because they are a consequence of the policy we have initiated and carried through with such havoc and devastation in the country. As regards the future of these camps, I say with all sincerity and good will, and I believe the Colonial Secretary himself will believe me when I say that I think that the best day seen in connection with the camps was the day when that right hon. Gentleman took the matter into his own hands. It is the ordinary case. When the other doctors have failed, the Colonial Secretary is cal ed in, and, with the instinct of the profession in view of a not very well managed case, he praised the old advisers and promptly proceeded to change the remedy. We wish him well. [Cries of "Oh, oh!"] I say so in all sincerity. [Ministerial laughter.] We accept the change, but in the circumstances we do a little discount the praise. To turn these people out on the veldt never was an alternative for a nation bound by international law. Our duty is to protect any population where we have dishoused them. I do not think that this is a side issue, but even if it were, our duty is to see that the surroundings of these people in the camps are clean and wholesome. This is no small matter of education, for it is a very serious matter, the issues being life and death. Innocent human lives are at stake, and if this Amendment quickens the hands of those who are alleviating these horrors, I am quite sure that no one will be entitled to complain, and I shall not have moved this Amendment in vain.


I gladly recognise the unaccustomed compliment to myself which has come from the other side through the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down. I have no doubt of his good faith, though I cannot help thinking he is trying to use me as a stick with which to beat my colleagues. For myself I accept the compliment; for my colleagues I repudiate the attack. In the remarks I have to make I think I shall show that no blame attaches to those who preceded me in responsibility for the concentration camps, and all I take credit for is the carrying out energetically of the policy they commenced. I confess I was very much surprised when first I saw the Resolution, which is nothing more nor less than a Vote of Censure, put down on the Paper. I could very well have understood, when the terrible accounts of abnormal mortality in the camps reached this country, that Members of the Opposition, or Members on this side of the House, should have called attention to the subject, and have asked the Government for assurance or proof that they were doing all in their power to put an end to such a state of things. But now, after the publication of these three Blue-books which the hon. Member who introduced this Resolution says are so profuse and so lengthy that he has not had time to master them, I confess I cannot understand the object, the purpose, or reason for the Motion. Here are the Blue-books, and I must say this is the first time I have heard the Government called to account for giving too much information. They are not really so very lengthy.


I did not say I had not had time to master them. I said when the right hon. Gentleman twitted me about reading them that I was so embarrassed by profusion of material that I found a difficulty in selecting.


Well, I do not know where the difference is. The House will understand these Blue-books give month by month, November, December, and January, the fullest reports from all the concentration camps. The hon. Member complained that they were not indexed. They have the table of contents usual in Blue-books, and I defy anyone of the most ordinary intelligence to look at these three books for half-an hour without seeing, first, that the mortality in the camps has been reduced with extraordinary rapidity; and, secondly, that through page after page there is evidence and proof that everyone concerned, from Lord Milner downwards, every superintendent of the camps, every doctor, every nurse, and a large proportion of the civil and military administration in South Africa, are occupied day and night in doing their very utmost to meet this terrible calamity, which we all deplore; and hon. Members choose this time, after this evidence and proof of what has been done, to ask the House to pass a Vote of Censure on the Government, and, of course, by implication, on all those who had the direct administration of the camps. I suppose the uneasiness about the mortality must have been considerably allayed by the promise which these figures give. Anyone will see that the reduction in mortality is progressive, and there is no reason to suppose that it will not be continuous. It is, then, not because of anxiety lest the evils of these camps should not be remedied and the mortality not reduced; it is because hon. Gentlemen opposite have become entangled in their own exaggerations. Here they have been the whole of the last two or three years, because, forsooth, they disapprove of the war, abusing, slandering, calumniating everybody who has been connected with it. They simply gloat over iniquities of their own countrymen they have themselves invented. It is on that ground, at this late period in the history of these camps, that the attention of the House is again called to the matter by the hon. Members who moved and seconded the Resolution.

Now, let me say that never in the whole history of the world, so far as we know it, have there been such gigantic efforts made by any nation to minimise the horrors of war. War is cruel. The hon. Member who has just sat down spoke of certain features of the situation in South Africa, of the unhappy condition of the country, of the devastation that has taken place, and, he said, here you have evidence of the horrors of war. Of course we admit the horrors of war, and if you go to war you incur the responsibility for that state of things. But we are not discussing now the origin of the war. What I say is we have done more than anybody has ever done before to as far as possible minimise these horrors. Now this debate is conducted under difficulties caused by our Rules. The hon. Member who moved the Amendment, and the hon. Member who seconded it, especially the latter, went at great length into the origin of these camps, and questioned my statements in regard to them; but, Sir, you have ruled that we cannot go into this point in any detail.


said when the hon. Members who proposed and seconded the Amendment were dealing with that point he did not restrain them, but now a different Question was before the House.


Of course, Sir, I quite understand the ground of your ruling, which I accept. I was going to say the Amendment reads— "This House deplores the great mortality in the concentration camps formed in the execution of the policy of clearing the country." Now I take issue on that I say they were not "formed in the execution of the policy of clearing the country."


If the right hon. Gentleman proposes to enter upon that, I think he would be going contrary to my ruling.


I do not, Sir, intend to do that. I think I understand your ruling, and I do not think I am going to go against it. I might, I think, correct, one point made by the hon, Gentleman opposite. He said, before he was stopped by you, Sir, that farm-burning, not the clearing of the country, was the reason. Now let me put an arithmetical point to the House. I have not the Blue-book before me, but I believe some 600 farms were burnt. [An HON. MEMBER: Oh, no, thousands.] Well, give your own number. [Cries of "A thousand."] Very well, what I ask of hon. Gentlemen is that they will follow the process of reasoning. They can take their own number. You may take on the average five persons to each farm. Therefore multiply the number of farms burnt, whatever it is, by five, and that gives you the total number of persons for whom you would be made responsible by the burning of farms. Now, as we have to deal with something between 120,000 and 130,000 people, the House will see how small a proportion of them could in any circumstances be due to the burning of farms. This, at all events, I may say. When the guerilla warfare began—because the difficulty did not arise until then—this country was placed in face of a most terrible alternative. We found that, from one cause or another—I am not going into the matter, but I will only say that if the cause was the clearing of the country, the clearing of the country was believed to be a military necessity—we found vast numbers of Boer women and children would be left unprotected on the veldt. It was not merely a question of supply for them, although that was most serious. It was also a question of their natural protection. Their husbands were away fighting against us; they were in the presence of a large native population; and there was reason to believe that, if they were not protected, they might be subjected to grievous outrage and abuse. However brought about, that was the position—130,000 women and children were in this unprotected condition. What ought we to have done? The hon. and learned Gentleman says truly that we could not as a Christian nation leave them on the veldt. [An HON. MEMBER: Why destroy their food?] We are not permitted to discuss the causes. [Interruption, amid which Mr. BRYN ROBERTS rose, and remained standing, though Mr. J. CHAMBERLAIN did not at first give way.]


I understand the hon. Member rises to a point of order.

MR. BRYN ROBERTS (Carnarvonshire,) Eifion

I wish to ask whether the right hon. Gentleman is not infringing the Rule imposed on Gentlemen on the Opposition side of the House that discussion as to the causes of the concentration camps is out of order.


I do not think that was the tendency of the right hon. Gentleman's observations. He is dealing with the sudden difficulties which had arisen at the time when the camps were formed.


The hon. Gentleman interrupted me to ask, "Why did you destroy their food?" I said in reply that I was prevented from going into that question. I am sorry for it, because I should like nothing better than to take up the challenge of the hon. Member. I cannot deal with causes, but only with effects; and I say that the effect was this question, "How are we to deal with these 130,000 unprotected women and children?" It is agreed that we could not leave them unprotected on the veldt. We had to take care of them; and there was absolutely no other way than to bring them into camps.


When were those camps formed?


What has that to do with it? Some hon. Gentlemen opposite are peddling over the exact period when the offer was made to General Botha by General Kitchener. Before these camps were anything like filled, Lord Kitchener offered to General Botha to leave the women and children on their farms, and even to supply them with food—[Cries of "No"]—if General Botha would allow them to observe the oath of neutrality. They were not asked to fight for us or to assist us in any way, but only to give a pledge that they would not fight against us. General Botha refused that offer. That policy of the leaders of the Boers has been pursued throughout, even down to a very late stage indeed. Only the other day, comparatively, Lord Kitchener again offered to Mr. Schalk Burger that if the Boers would take charge of their women and children they were all at liberty to leave the camps, and would be delivered at any point appointed. You may take what view you please of that action. Some people say it was admirable and heroic, other people say it was cruel and selfish, but never before have men done the same. Often before has one belligerent Power endeavoured to bring another belligerent Power to submission by refusing to allow the exit of the women and children from a besieged city. But never before has one belligerent tried to work on the feelings of the other by exposing its own women and children to death and famine, to suffering and disease. They it was who forced upon us this terrible alternative, and forced us to make provision suddenly for this immense addition to the burdens of the country. Just think what it means. At that time there was not a railway line in the country which was safe. Every line had to be guarded. Engines had to be sent before the trains, and even then scores of trains were upset, the supplies taken, and the people in charge killed In these circumstances suddenly the military authorities were called upon to provide for 100,000 people, while they could barely supply the ordinary necessities of the Army. That they did it, was a wonderful testimony to their ability and to their humanity. It is not once or twice, but again and again throughout this war that the civilians and the soldiers themselves have gone with half rations in order that the refugees, the women and children in the Boer camps, might share the rations with them. Suppose we had left them on the veldt, there can be no doubt as to what the result would have been. I observe here a letter front the Rev. J. Botha, a minister of the Duch Reformed Church. Writing to the Civil Commissioner, he says— My conclusion is that these camps are not only absolutely necessary, but are a real kindness. That was written when the mortality was highest —in August, 1891. If peace were declared tomorrow and the people were sent away, hundreds would starve. They know and acknowledge that. Then we must never forget that these people are fed and clothed where necessary by their so-called enemies, against whom their relatives are still fighting. I very much doubt whether any other nation in the world would have done the same. I wish all our own countrymen were as just to our motives as is this minister of the Dutch Reformed Church.

Now, the difficulty of having to deal with this mass of people, in itself gigantic, was thrown upon the military authorities and the War Office at a time when their hands were otherwise full of work. But that difficulty was enormously increased by the state of the people. How did these people come to us? The hon. Member for Montgomeryshire said that it was very cruel to accuse the whole nation of dirty habits and ignorant customs. I have not heard of any living person who has accused the whole Boer nation of anything of the kind. The hon. Gentleman spoke several times in his speech of popular opinion, and the hon. Gentleman who spoke last said that popular opinion had not been allayed by the production of this Blue-book. What do they know about popular opinion? They only represent an infinitesimal minority of the country. Nobody has accused the whole of the Boer people, or even a majority of the Boer people, of this. What we have said is—and we have said it on the best authority, the authority of the doctors who were in attendance in every one of these camps—that a great number of the people who came into the camps came in in the first place emaciated, half-starved already by their position on the veldt, deprived, as they had been, of the protection and assistance of their male relatives. They came in ignorant, bigoted, unaccustomed to a civilised life. [Nationalist laughter and Ministerialist cheers.] I see that there are hon. Gentlemen who think that that is a laughable fact. I do not think it is laughable. [A NATION ALIST MEMBER: It is not a fact.] I am not making a joke of these concentration camps. The fact is, as 1 have said, that you have only got to turn over half-a-dozen pages of any one of these Blue-books and you will see the evidence startlingly presented with regard to every camp in every part of both colonies. I say they were incapable, from their education and bringing up, of recognising necessary sanitary provisions.

The hon. Member for the Border Burghs complained that the camps were placed in an infected area. The area was not infected when the camps were placed there, but in many cases the area very soon became infected, and the explanation of the infection is given in the medical reports. I do not want to enter upon what really is a distressing account, but one knows perfectly well that if thousands of people who are unaccustomed to sanitary arrangements are suddenly brought together, as I have shown it was necessary that they should be in the present instance, of course the result is an infected area and an infected camp, and the only remedy is to move the camp to some other situation.

Of course all these facts enormously increased the difficulties of those who had to deal with the camps. I am going to read a statement here which, I think, everyone must accept as a thoroughly impartial authority. It is the statement of the Rev. F. J. Williams—I do not know whether it is so or not, but from the name I should say he is a countryman of the hon. Member opposite—a Wesleyan missioner, and he writes as follows of one of the camps— In their management there is no cruelty, no neglect, no unkindness. Regarding supplies, if the transport prove a difficulty it is not the Boers who suffer. He says— The Boer habits, men and women alike, are indescribably filthy. [Some Opposition cries of "0h."] He is describing a particular camp. Potchefstroom, he says, possesses the best water supply of any town in the Transvaal, but persons are admitted to the hospitals there to whose bodies turpentine has to be applied to displace the outer crust of dirt ere the water can be made effective. And he goes on to say—I must quote this at the same time— The arm-chair critics who rave about cruelty know not of what they speak. I quote another authority. Mrs. Fawcett has been quoted by hon. Members opposite with the respect which is due to her acquirements, known impartiality, independence of thought, and judgment; but they picked out here and there a particular observation, which, in itself, is unimportant, in order to, make a case of neglect, while every general statement from Mrs. Fawcett's Report is scrupulously ignored by hon. Gentlemen who attack the Government. But here is what Mrs. Fawcett says at page 15, paragraph 59— More is being done for the children in the camps—ten times more, in the way of skilful doctoring, food, and nursing, than could have been done for them bad they remained on their fathers' farms. Then I say there is no question, after that, of cruelty, of neglect, of indifference. The only question is whether anything more can be done than has been done to secure that the diminution of mortality which has taken place shall continue. To people of the position I have described, brought into the camps under the circumstances I have described, there comes one of the most deadly of epidemics, and as a natural result the mortality goes up. But that is not to be attributable to the cruelty, or the neglect, or the indifference of anybody concerned. It may be one of the deplorable consequences of the war. That I allow, but it is not due in any other sense to action of which we need be ashamed. I admit that, in spite of all the care that was taken from the first, and has been taken, the death-rate in these camps at certain periods was terrible. But do hon. Members really believe, or is it only for Party purposes that they express or insinuate the belief, that we are without heart or feeling in this matter?


I never said so.


I am not speaking of the hon. Gentleman. Somebody from those Benches, in an earlier part of my speech, said, "You rejoice in it." Does anyone believe that we could hear of these terrible accounts of disease and suffering and mortality without being sensibly affected by them? But in the statements that have been made there have been grave and wicked exaggerations. There has been attributed to us deliberate starvation of the people in the camps.


Does the right hon. Gentleman refer to me?


The hon. Gentleman has not been the only speaker in this debate. He need not take everything to himself. Nor is he the only person who, out of the House, has spoken in this manner. I am not dealing with the hon. Gentleman now. I am dealing with the general accusations that have been brought against the Government. There is one illustration I must recall to the mind of the House. I daresay every Member of the House has had sent to him from abroad a photograph of a poor little girl in the last stage of emaciation. It has been sent to me in quantities, and it is described as a murder by the English —one from the "smoking hecatombs of slaughtered babes," in the phrase which Mr. Birrell, in his desire to use fine language, applied to the deaths of these unfortunate children. What is the ease in regard to this little girl? Her picture was taken by the doctor in the camp as an illustration of the state in which people came to the camp. She came in that state to the camp, and it was only in the camp that she received every possible attention and comfort that her case required. That is, perhaps, an extreme experience, but the expression I have quoted from Mr. Birrell, the expressions I have heard from others about the "murder" of these children, are quite discreditable to those who utter them. I come back to the hon. Member for Montgomery-shire. Nothing more trivial than his accusations could possibly have been made. What was his case? I will not use an offensive word. He turned over the pages of his Blue-book and here and there picked out a recommendation, or a suggestion, or a statement of some defeat ill some particular camp, and, without inquiring for a moment whether these defects had been remedied, or the recommendations adopted, said, "Look at that! I charge the Government with the dreadful state of things here described."


My argument was that there was great slackness in remedying the mischiefs which everybody admitted existed earlier in the year, and I pointed to the different statements in the ladies' Reports as evidence that, at all events at that time, the mischiefs were not remedied, and further, I expressed the Trope that they would be remedied.


The complaints to which reference is made in the Blue-book have been remedied. There has been no delay. It is absolutely unfair and inaccurate to say that defects of this kind were allowed to remain after attention was called to them. If you look to the character of these defects you will see that some of them were inevitable in the circumstances. You cannot expect to find in camps formed hurriedly, and in the circumstances. I have shown, every luxury of a London hospital, within a week or two after their formation; but as soon as possible, and as far as transport arrangement allowed, every one of these complaints was remedied. Possibly there are more complaints to come. They will be dealt with as they arrive.

Sir what I complain of is this. While every trivial defect has been; seized upon as a means of damaging the Government, we hear, I will not say one word, but at all events no sufficient recognition of the ceaseless labour, self-sacrifice, and devotion of everybody concerned in the work of these camps. One hon. Member sneered at Lord Milner. Why, Sir, Lord Milner, who has gone back to undertake the most gigantic task ever placed on the shoulders of a great civil official, who has wholly to recreate and to reconcile races, as far as that is possible, in a new administration, to make a new series of laws, had suddenly thrown upon him, in addition, this gigantic task, demanding weeks and months which perhaps might have been more useful y devoted to the primary purpose of his official life. Long before Mrs. Fawcett's Committee went out, long before the Colonial Office undertook the; formal charge of these matters, Lord Milner and Lord Kitchener together devoted weeks and months to doing the best that was possible in the circumstances in which they found themselves with regard to these camps. And who could have done it better? I cannot stop to express all I feel in regard to their services in this matter. And it is not to them alone that recognition is due. The action of Major Goold Adams, the Administrator of the Orange River Colony, has been admirable. He has done everything that man can do, and his wife has given him most valuable assistance. And so throughout; although here and there in the great work of the administration of these thirty-three separate camps there might be an incapable superintendent, or a nurse not quite up to the mark, yet, speaking of the vast majority of those employed, they have done honour to the name of the country to which they belong. I have said that in spite of all we had done the death rate was high. The hon. Member for Montgomeryshire put the total number of men, women and children who had died in these camps at 18,000. Now it is, to my mind, a most extraordinary thing that, taking that as the basis and foundation of his whole speech, he never said one word about the number of deaths which, in a population of this magnitude, would have taken place under any circumstances. What is the grievance, what is the evil, which you have to remedy? It is the abnormal death-rate. Now, what would have been the normal death-rate in a population of 100,000 during the year? I have explained the difficulty of getting anything in the nature of accurate figures. Mrs. Fawcett and the Ladies Commission made a serious endeavour to obtain some conception of the ordinary death-rate in the Transvaal in normal times, and I am sorry to say she failed to secure it. But we have some indication. For instance, at my request the Governor of Cape Colony has taken out the death-rate of thirty-two of the principal towns round Cape Town. Now, remember, that is in a colony which is practically under normal conditions, and it is in a colony which is more advanced in sanitary science than are the majority of the people of the Transvaal or of the Orange River Colonies. He found in 1900 that the infantile mortality was 214 per 1,000, an enormous mortality. [An HON. MEMBER: What age?] Infantile mortality. Hon. Members may congratulate themselves, but I am concealing nothing from them. The infantile mortality was 214 per 1,000, and that is an enormous mortality under ordinary conditions, very much larger than anything in this country.

SIR JOHN BRUNNER (Cheshire, Northwich)

May I tell the right hon. Gentleman that the infantile mortality in the Scotland Division of Liverpool during July, August, and September last year was 369 per 1,000?


Oh, then the Scotland Division of Liverpool is "a smoking hecatomb of slaughtered babes!" Why does not the hon. Baronet call the attention of the House to it, and move a Vote of Censure on somebody? The infantile mortality of the whole of England and Wales was 142 per 1,000. For rural England, which is a more natural comparison, it was 128. These interruptions were quite unnecessary; I say, as I began, that this information showed that even in Cape Colony the ordinary death-rate is very greatly in excess of the ordinary death-rate of this country. Then we have to draw what conclusion we can as to what would be the probable normal mortality of such a population as s in the camps. Remember, it is no ordinary population; almost all the able-bodied men are away, for one reason or another; probably they are fighting against us. This is a population which consists almost entirely of old men, of weak people, of sick people, of women and children; and accordingly the normal mortality of such a population would be very large. In my opinion, the normal mortality in the Transvaal—and I have consulted some experts on the matter—would certainly not be less than 100 per 1,000; that is the information I have obtained. [An HON. MEMBER: What ages?] All ages. That is on the authority of medical experts, on whose authority I am as much inclined to rely as I am on that of hon. Gentlemen opposite. But, again, I admit to the House that I cannot give absolutely accurate information, and in a matter of this kind I would ask them to take their own figures and make their own calculation. For the sake of showing what my meaning is, I will assume 100 per 1,000, but if it is fifty you have only to halve the result. If the normal mortality were 100 per 1,000, on the average of 100,000, out of 18,000 deaths of which the hon. Member for Montgomeryshire spoke, 10,000 must be wiped off, so that those whose deaths are due to the abnormal circumstances of the case would be much less than half the total amount of the mortality. But, although that is an argument against exaggeration, it still leaves a terrible mortality to be accounted for; and that terrible mortality is to be accounted for almost entirely, not by the defects in the camps, although there were defects, not by the evils that we have been endeavouring to remedy, but principally and almost entirely by the epidemic of measles. Anyone who knows anything of the history of measles in a country that is unaccustomed, that is not immune from diseases of that kind, will know that it is one of the most dangerous of children's diseases; and that the mortality may easily rise to any figure you like. If that fact is grasped, if hon. Members will understand that the misfortune which befell us in this case was the epidemic of measles, then they would see that it is not my right hon. friend that should be blamed for the mortality; it is not I that should be complimented [on its reduction; but it is the fact that the disease has worn itself out which accounts for the reduction of the mortality which we are all most happy to observe.

I began by saying that if hon. Gentlemen had any other suggestions to make, they would be considered and adopted. I believe that I am correct in stating that there is not a single one of the suggestions made by the Ladies Commission which has not been adopted, except the change of camp at Merebank, which has not been changed, for reasons which appear to be sufficient, and which are given in the Blue-book; but with that one exception, there is not a recommendation of the slightest importance which has not been adopted.

Now, Sir, the hon. Gentleman the Member for the Border Burghs has made —other Members have not quite risen to that standard—a generous acknowledgment of this improvement in the camps to which I have referred. Then they make the charge against us that the experts whom we sent out discovered detects which had not been found before. Will the hon. Gentleman opposite allow me to ask the question—what are experts for? What is the use of experts? You send experts out to discover things which ordinary people do not find out. I wonder, if into any district of England, even into the Scotland Division of Liverpool, we sent out experts, whether they would not find out many things requiring amendment. Of course we should not, or need not, have sent out experts if those on the spot, and we ourselves, were competent to deal with the matter. We sent them out to obtain the best advice—to find out from their experience whether, in addition to what was being done, we could not still do something more; and it is most unreasonable—it is enough to disgust future Governments from sending out experts at all—to complain that what the experts discovered had not been done before. But such defects as they did find have been completely remedied.

Now one or two words on special points. First, as to the position of the camps. The position of the camps had to be decided by two primary considerations—they must be near a railway, or they could not be supplied; and they must be near a water supply, or a water famine would ensue, with the worst results. The number of sites for camps on a railway line, or close to a railway line, and also close to a water supply, is extremely limited; and even now, within the last few months, the number of alternative sites reported as available by the medical authorities, in cases where mortality shows any signs of increasing, is very small indeed. Therefore, what I wish to show to the House is that we had no choice in taking the camps over in the first instance. Of course, when the camps were first opened, and before the epidemic of measles, there was no adequate supply of nurses and doctors; but the moment an epidemic appeared, nurses in large numbers were sent out. We have sent out ninety-one nurses and four doctors since the 12th of December alone.

Then the hon. Gentleman says we have been, perhaps, too economical. A sneer of that kind appears to me to show a selfish attitude of mind.


said he had no recollection of having said anything of the kind. The only thing that could give the right hon. Gentleman that impression was that he had urged that the superintendents, doctors, and nurses should be well paid.


The hon. Gentleman forgets his speech quicker than I do. The hon. Member said that bad nurses had been sent out, and he hoped that that was not from motives of economy. It is an unfair imputation. We telegraphed to Lord Milner not to spare any expense in dealing with this matter. I wonder whether my fate will be the fate of my right hon. friend. My right hon. friend had, in an emergency, an enormous Army to supply, and he telegraphed out that they were to be supplied at all costs. Now he is accused of lack of economy. He is told that he might have bought meat cheaper if he had waited longer, and that he might have bought better horses if he had made fuller inquiry. Am I to be told that I might have run the camps more cheaply? I am running the camps very expensively indeed. The expense of those camps at the present moment, in which are the relatives of our enemies—whom we are keeping because their fathers, husbands, sons, and brothers will not take charge of them—the expense of keeping these people in those camps is £180,000 a month, over £2,000,000 a year. I do not think that on that ground, at all events, I can be accused of undue economy.

Then, Sir, those hon. Members opposite who have spoken have omitted a point which I am glad was taken up by my hon. friend the Member for Leamington. They had not a word of praise for the work, the gratuitous work, of education which we have undertaken. One hundred and fifty teachers were sent out since the 14th of December, and 150 more are going and I am glad to say 100 are from the self-governing Colonies.

Then, Sir, there comes the question of rations. One hon. Member has got an opinion from a housekeeper. He says the rations were insufficient. In these days, in debate, you never know what witness will be called. Sometimes it is a waiter; now it is a housekeeper. But I have perhaps, a better authority than any anonymous housekeeper. I am very grateful to Dr. Haldane for communicating his impression, after reading in the Blue-book the scale of rations which had been adopted in the different camps. I at once submitted his view of the scale of rations to a gentleman who, I believe, is recognised everywhere is one of the greatest authorities on the subject —Dr. Martin—and he advised a certain alteration in the scale. That alteration, I believe, had been made before my telegram got out, but, at all events, I telegraphed to Lord Milner that the alteration should be carefully considered on the spot, and, if possible, adopted. But I should like to add, in reference to this question of rations, that I think there has been some misunderstanding on the point. The rations are not all that the Boers have to depend upon. Many of them came into the camps with considerable sums of money, and they were able for themselves and for their friends to procure their own rations, and they did make very large purchases. I believe now, in some cases at all events, this money has been exhausted, and a larger number therefore are thrown upon the Government to provide for. But, in the first instance, the rations allowed did not show exactly the amount which was actually distributed amongst the people.

The hon. Member said that it was the general impression that these people were voluntarily inhabiting these camps. I do not think that is the general impression; at any rate, in one sense it would not be an accurate impression. The majority of these people have been brought into camps, no doubt, and brought in in order to save their lives. I do not know that they were unwilling to come in, but it is fair to say that they have been brought in. I am quite certain that if an offer were made to them to go away, a very few of them indeed would accept it, for the best of all possible reasons—if they were to go they could not possibly find sustenance. And therefore, in one sense, you may say they are voluntarily remaining there, although I think it would also be generally accurate to say they were compulsorily brought there. But many have come in voluntarily. I think in Mrs. Fawcett's Report there is a statement that in the Harrismith camp, after the camp had been closed and the General was told that no more inmates were to be received, he was obliged to admit some who had come in in carts from very great distances in order to secure the comfort and security of the camp. The hon. Member went on to suggest that the people should be allowed to go in and out. I do not think he can have considered all the difficulties and inconveniences of such a course, especially where the camps are in the immediate neighbourhood of a soldiers' camp. Confusion would result and disorganisation, and I do not think it would be possible to allow them that kind of liberty. As to their being received by friends, I think the hon. Member seems to be under an erroneous impression. As far as I am aware, very few offers of that kind have been made by their friends, and. I know that in some cases in which they have been made they have been accepted, and the people have been allowed to go when it was quite certain they would be well taken care of. I think that I have dealt with all the details which have been raised in the course of the debate, but before I sit clown I should like to call the attention of the House to the latest figures in regard to the mortality; I am dealing only with child mortality. Of course I could give the figures for the whole of the population, but, after all, the mortality among the children was the most abnormal, and it is there we most desire to see a reduction. Now, in the first fortnight in December—I am taking the Orange River Colony—the deaths of children were at the rate of 550 per 1,000. In the next fortnight they went down to 475, in the next fortnight to 260, in the next fortnight to 190, in the next fortnight to 114, and last week—I have not got the exact figures—they were about 70 or 80.

MR TENNANT (Berwickshire)

What were the ages?


That is the mortality up to twelve. That is not infantile mortality, and therefore, at the present time, the mortality of all children under twelve is very much less than the average mortality of children under one in the United Kingdom. [HON. MEMBERS cheered.] Yes, I hope that that cheer means that hon. Gentlemen opposite recognise that we have done our best to reduce the abnormal mortality which has been so much regretted, and that it is rather late in the day to propose a Vote of Censure against us when we can produce these figures. No one regrets more than I do that this terrible epidemic broke out, and carried off so large a number of young children, and that, at the same time, so many weakly ones among the women and old men also lost their lives. No one regrets it more than I do; but no one can be more certain than I am that any other policy than that which we pursued would have resulted in an enormously increased death rate. If these children had been left out upon the veldt with their mothers and grandfathers, the death-rate would have been very much larger than anything we now record, and, taking it as a whole, I repeat what I said at the beginning—no more gigantic task has ever been undertaken by a nation in time of war, no more humane task has ever been so well fulfilled.

(11.31.) SIR WALTER FOSTER (Derbyshire, Ilkeston)

The right hon. Gentleman, in the course of his speech, said the Government had sent out experts in order to be guided by the information they obtained, and that the object of sending out experts was to receive information for the benefit of the administrators of these camps. In the same sense, the use of debate in this House is that criticism may stimulate the Government to greater efforts than they have made hitherto. After all, the only stimulant to administration is the criticism of the Opposition. I have heard hon. Gentlemen opposite desire a stronger Opposition. The only benefit of a stronger Opposition would be stronger criticism in order to obtain better and more efficient administration. The right, hon. Gentleman prided himself on having reduced the death-rate of children under twelve years of age to seventy or eighty per thousand for a single week. Everyone who knows anything about vital statistics is aware that it is absolutely unfair to take a single week as a test.


pointed out the high death-rate for particular weeks had been taken on the other side.


The right hon. Gentleman cannot accuse me of taking it. I have always protested against the exaggeration of figures as regards the death-rates. But does the right, hon. Gentleman know that in the worst homes of London stable dwellings, according to a book recently published, the death-rate among children under ten years of age—not twelve years—is only forty-one per thousand per annum? So that, on his own showing, the death-rate in the camps is at present double the figure it ought to be, and the right hon. Gentleman is condemned out of his own mouth. He also says he has improved the administration. I give the right hon. Gentleman credit for his sympathies; I accuse him only of incapacity in this matter. I have the greatest respect for the right hon. Gentleman's business capacity, but in this matter he has not been well served, and he is responsible for those who have served him badly. He took over the administration of these camps, both in the Transvaal and in the Orange River Colony, on March 1st, and he says he has improved the death-rate. These ladies in their Report say—and it is a remarkable fact—that in one of the worst of these camps during the first three months there were no deaths. Commencing, however, in June, after the right hon. Gentleman had been responsible for some months, the death-rate for all the camps was at the rate of 159 per 1,000 per annum, and it rose to 296 in July, 354 in August, 433 in September, 572 in October, and fell to 469 in November. About then public attention was called to the appalling mismanagement of these camps, and the right hon. Gentleman put his back into the business, and we had some little beginnings towards the amelioration of the conditions under which these people were living. I give the right hon. Gentleman credit for all that, but he ought to have done it earlier. What we complain of is that from March to October this terrible sacrifice of life was increasing, but the right hon. Gentleman either was not informed of it, or, if informed, did not take proper steps to check it or to improve the administration.

The Colonial Secretary then, in appealing against our indictment, says that the death-rate is not, after all, so enormous, considering the circumstances under which these people live. I know the difficulties were very great, and everybody will admit that the Government were actuated by the best of motives in all they did, and that soldiers and civilians were doing everything they could to mitigate the evils. Our complaint is that the Government did not foresee the difficulties so that these things could have been mitigated or prevented. The mortality was not one necessarily inherent in the condition of the camps if proper steps had been taken to prevent it. The indictment, which is borne out by the admirable Report of this Committee of Ladies, is that there was no foresight and no action whereby these diseases might be prevented. Take the most preventible of all diseases, by which thousands have been killed—dysentery and enteric fever. In March last one of the ablest administrators in South Africa, Dr. Turner, went round the camps, and reported— The only way to protect a camp is to boil the water, in order to avoid a prevalence of epidemic disease in the shape of dysentery and typhoid fever. But for twelve months before March last we had been urging the taking of this simple precaution. When the ladies went in September, October, and November, what was their recommendation? That there should be more boilers! So that six months after the chief sanitary authority at Johannesburg, the man whom Lord Roberts sent for at the time of the typhoid epidemic at Bloemfontein, had made his recommendation, it had not been carried out, and on the administration of these camps rests a terrible responsibility for the lives which have been lost in consequence. The right hon. Gentleman takes refuge in an epidemic of measles as the cause of the mortality. But his own Committee of experts are against him, for, speaking of the Klerksdorf camp, they say— We are aware of the epidemic and all its consequences, but it does not account for the immense death-rate of the last four weeks. Therefore that epidemic cannot be held to explain the terrible death-rate. Measles is a fatal disease under certain circumstances. It is most fatal when it falls on virgin soil. But it has been among these people for generations; they are a white race, who have had measles in previous times; therefore they cannot be compared with black races who would be as virgin soil.

Again, this epidemic has been one of the most terrible that has ever raged among mankind. In 1832, many Members will remember, there was a terrible epidemic of cholera, which ravaged the whole of Europe. Cholera is a disease which is infinitely more severe than measles, but what happened in the case of that epidemic? The one thing that scientific men cite about it is that in St. Petersburg, where it inflicted its severest ravages, it produced a death-rate—which is held up as a standard of what an epidemic ought never to be allowed to be—of from twenty-five to thirty per thousand in a month. In this measles epidemic in the camps you have had a mortality over several months averaging from twenty-five to twenty-eight per thousand, so that it is almost equal in its gravity to one of the severest maladies to which mankind is subject. I do not say that in condemnation of the right hon. Gentleman. I only say that the administration was defective as regards foresight. If any ordinary Member of the House or "the man in the street" were asked to provide camps for 3,000 or 4,000 people, what would be the first thing he would do? He would take sanitary precautions to prevent the spread of preventable diseases, he would take care that measles was not brought into the midst of a camp that was free from the disease; he would take care that if measles broke out it should be properly dealt with; he would take care that the soil saturated with the filth of a large camp should not be the place on which people had to take their rest, but that they should have some kind of bed under them. He would take these precautions, because they would occur to his common sense. But all these precautions have been neglected or overlooked by those responsible for the administration of the camps. You cannot read the Blue-book without feeling that the same fault has tracked the administration of these camps which has tracked nearly all our work in South Africa. We have not been prepared with the knowledge we ought to have possessed as to the principles by which our actions should be guided. Just as at the beginning of the war certain people preferred unmounted to mounted men, so other people run entirely counter to all the teaching of sanitary science, and take no steps beforehand to avoid preventable mortality. I say these things deliberately, and not because of any desire to take one side or the other on the 'war question. I have not voted against -supplies for the war, but I am bound, as a Member of the House of Commons, and as one with a special responsibility, knowing something about these matters, to state my opinion on a question affecting public health. I warned the Government months ago, at the commencement of the war, that what was wanted was intelligent expert opinion on these matters. If that advice had been taken, there might have been saved thousands of lives of brave soldiers who now lie buried in South Africa, and probably half of the children who have died would still be living. It is because the Government have turned a deaf ear to suggestions of this kind, and have been blind to the consequences of their actions, that we have this terrible indictment to level against them tonight.

With reference to this matter I want to put two or three practical questions to the right hon. Gentleman. I have shown that suggestions made last March by the highest sanitary authority, Dr. Turner, were ignored, and were found to have been ignored by this Commission of ladies who visited the camps. They found camps where the water was polluted, and where even the medicines were mixed up with polluted water. Such things ought not to occur even among the camps in South Africa. They pointed this state of things out again and again, and this makes us think that the warnings of these ladies have had no more effect than the reports of Dr. Turner. I want to know whether any attempts have been made to break up these camps. Lord Milner has stated that disease was just as likely to break out in a camp of 500 as in a camp of 3,000, but my point is that in a camp of 3,000 the danger is alt the greater. We want these camps made smaller. Some of the camps are located where the soil is saturated with disease-producing products, and there 5,000 or 6,000 people are gathered together. Those camps should be broken up into smaller units and placed upon soil which is not infected by people who are dirty in their habits, and where the soil is not fouled. If these steps are not being taken, I would press upon the right hon. Gentleman the necessity of taking them in order that he may save the lives of those who are left in the camps and lessen the death rate which he takes the credit of having lessened up to the present time. If he would break up these camps into smaller units of 1,500 or 2,000 people and move them on to fresh soil, there would be less mortality amongst the inmates. Although I rejoice in the humane motives that have induced the Government to take these people into camps, it must be remembered that these people are our fellow subjects. We have annexed their territories and we are responsible for their lives, for they live within our Empire. They are in our hands, and once we have annexed these territories—a step to which I have always given my support—we are bound to do as much for them as we should for any other people who live under the King's flag. The responsibility rests with us to take every step we can, by putting them noon fresh soil which has not been polluted by human habitation, and by lessening the numbers in each camp, to reduce this death rate, which has been such a blot upon our administration in South Africa. In the interests of the Government, and also in those higher interests of humanity, and for the good name of this Empire, let everything be done that is possible to bring about a better condition of things.

(11.50.) MR. LLOYD - GEORGE

The Colonial Secretary wishes to know why we selected the present moment to discuss this subject. We selected it because it was the first opportunity we had, and practically the only one, to discuss a very grave matter of administration. What is the proposition laid down by the Colonial Secretary? We contend that owing to mal-administration and owing to our having embarked upon a policy which is absolutely wrong, about 15,000 or 16,000 innocent people have died. We charge that entirely to the bad administration of the present Government. The right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary replies "Yes, that may have been so during the past months, but something has been done now within the last six weeks to remedy that defect; therefore, you ought not to discuss the past at all." Surely that is a very extraordinary doctrine. The House of Commons is gradually having its powers curtailed one by one, and opportunities for discussion are not to be given, and now by this policy we are told that the House of Commons is not to discuss the administration of the past twelve months if it can be proved that that administration has been better in the last month than in the previous eleven months. The right hon. Gentleman has tried to make out that there is nothing very exceptional in the rate of mortality in these camps. He said the rate in the Transvaal under ordinary conditions is 100 per thousand. Upon what evidence does he make that statement?


I said "might be."


I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that in the opinion of an expert the mortality of the Transvaal might be 100 per 1,000. Who is this expert? Does he know anything at all about the Transvaal? Upon what does he base this opinion? Are there any statistics that will enable us to judge of the conclusions at which he has arrived? We have had some evidence incorporated in the Bluebook with regard to the rate of mortality in Cape Colony. The right hon. Gentleman has given us the rate of mortality in regard to infants under one year, but what has that got to do with the rate of mortality among children under twelve? The rate of mortality of infants in Manchester under one year is about 150 per 1,000, but the rate in regard to children under twelve is only twenty per 1,000. According to the Blue-book, the rate of mortality among children under twelve years of age at Cradock—the worst case in Cape Colony—is only fifty per 1,000. Why has the right hon. Gentleman quoted the figures of deaths among infants? There is only one reason for doing so. It has no relevance whatever to the discussion, and it has been quoted simply to create an impression with regard to a matter of fact which is not correct. The right hon. Gentleman could easily have given the rate of mortality amongst children under ten years of age in South Africa. How is it that those figures are not produced? The right hon. Gentleman gave us the case of Malta in the Blue-book, and he quotes this to prove that wherever you get an epidemic of measles the rate of mortality is very high. What is the rate in Malta, according to the right hon. Gentleman's own figures, for the six worst months in the year? It is 124 per 1,000. Now what is the rate for the six months in the Transvaal and Orange Free State amongst children under twelve? The rate in Malta is 124 per 1,000, but in the Orange River Colony and the Transvaal the rate in regard to children under twelve is 416 per 1,000 in the camps.

The right hon. Gentleman has not produced a single figure to show that there is anything here that can be explained by ordinary conditions. It is purely a question of bad administration, upon which we are entitled to arraign the Government. The Colonial Secretary has quoted some figures to show that we are spending a good deal of money upon the camps. He says that we are spending £180,000 per month upon the camps, and that works out at 7s. 6d. per week for each occupant of the camps in South Africa, where the expense of living is high, and where we allow each of our soldiers, who provide for themselves in the Cape, 2s. 6d. per day for rations. Our soldiers are allowed 17s. 6d. per week to cover the cost of rations, and yet the right hon. Gentleman says that it he allows 7s. 6d. a week for each person in the camps it is an extravagant charge.

I rose mainly to call attention to, another part of this Amendment. I am fully aware that by your ruling, Mr. Speaker, I cannot challenge the policy of farm burning, or even the policy which led to the formation of the concentration camps, but I think I am entitled by your ruling to justify the statement. [Ministerial cries of "Divide, divide."] I would remind hon. Gentlemen opposite that this is the first opportunity we have had of discussing this most important matter, and I think we shall be able to prove that our conduct in regard to these camps has conduced to the prolongation of the war more than any other incident. It is, therefore, important that these camps should be made much better, and that the rate of mortality, which is still very deplorable, should be reduced. I wish to justify one phrase in this Motion to the effect that these camps were formed in the execution of the policy of clearing the country in South Africa. I am not going to denounce the policy of clearing the country, or even to criticise it, but as a matter of fact, the explanation given by the right hon. Gentleman as to the way the camps were formed is not the correct one, and he is misleading the House of Commons upon the facts and the history of these camps. Without passing any criticism at all upon the advisability of forming them, I want to have the fact stated that they were really formed in the execution of a policy of clearing the country. [Cries of "Divide, divide."]


It would not come within my ruling to discuss the policy of clearing the country.


I do not wish to discuss that policy beyond saying that these camps were formed as a result of the policy of clearing the country, and were formed in the course of that operation. I am not going to say whether it was a good or a bad policy, and in saying

that I do not think I am going outside your ruling. Upon that point the right hon. Gentleman's explanation is a very curious one, he said the camps were formed because General Botha—[Ministerial cries of "Divide, divide."]

It being Midnight, Mr. Speaker proceeded to interrupt the business.

Whereupon Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."

(12.0.) Question put, "That the Question be now put."

The House divided:—Ayes, 230; Noes, 119. (Division List No. 57.)

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Doxford, Sir William Theodore
Anson. Sir William Reynell Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich) Duke, Henry Edward
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm. Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin
Arrol, Sir William Chamberlain, J. Austen(Worc'r Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir William Hart
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Chapman, Edward
Charrington, Spencer Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Churchill, Winston Spencer
Bailey, James (Walworth) Clare, Octavius Leigh Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.)
Bain, Colonel James Robert Clive, Captain Percy A. Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward
Balcarres, Lord Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E. Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir J.(Manc'r
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Coghill, Douglas Harry Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst
Balfour, RtHnGerald W. (Leeds Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse Fisher, William Hayes
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon
Banbury, Frederick George Compton, Lord Alwyne Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry
Bartley, George C. T. Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow) Flower, Ernest
Beach, RtHn. Sir Michael Hicks Corbett, T. L. (Down, North) Foster, Philip S. (Warwick, S. W
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Crossley, Sir Savile Galloway, William Johnson
Bignold, Arthur Cubitt, Hon. Henry Gardner, Ernest
Bigwood, James Cust, Henry John C. Garfit, William,
Bill, Charles Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)
Blundell, Colonel Henry Dairymple, Sir Charles Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick
Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Davenport, William Bromley- Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn)
Bowles, Capt. H.F. (Middlesex Davies, Sir Horatio D (Chatham Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)
Brassey, Albert Denny, Colonel Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rH'ml'ts
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John De war, TR. (T'rH'mlets, S. Geo. Gore, Hon. S. F. Ormsby-(Linc.)
Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Dickinson, Robert Edmond Gorst, Rt. Ron. Sir John Eldon
Brymer, William Ernest Dickson, Charles Scott Goulding, Edward Alfred
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Gray, Ernest (West Ham)
Carlile, William Walter Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Green, Walford D(Wednesbury
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Doughty, George Greene, Sir E. W.(Bury St. Ed.)
Greville, Hon. Ronald M'Killop, James(Stirlingshire) Rutherford, John
Groves, James Grimble Majendie, James A. H.
Manners, Lord Cecil
Martin, I Richard Biddulph Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Hall, Edward Marshall Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir HE. (Wigt'n Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Hamilton Rt HnLordG.(Mid'x Maxwell, WJH (Dumfriesshire Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Mildmay, Francis Bingham Seely, Chas. Hilton (Lincoln)
Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashf'rd Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G. Seely, Maj. J.E.B. (IsleofWight
Hare, Thomas Leigh Molesworth, Sir. Lewis Seton-Karr, Henry
Harris, Frederick Leverton Montagu, Hon J. Scott (Hants.) Sharpe, William Edward T.
Haslett, Sir James Horner Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Shaw-Stewart, M. II. (Renfrew)
Hay, Hon. Claude George More, Robt. Jasper(Shropshire) Simeon, Sir Barrington
Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow) Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Heath, James (Staffords. N.W. Morgan, Hn. Fred. (Monm'thsh. Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Helder, Augustus Morrell, George Herbert Smith, HC.(North'mb. Tyns'de
Hogg, Lindsay Morrison, James Archibald Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)
Hope, J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford) Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Hornby, Sir William Henry Murray, Rt. Hn A Graham (Bute Stanley, Arthur(Ormskirk
Howard,John (K'nt, Faversh'm Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Hozier, Hon. James Henry Cecil Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath) St mutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Hudson, George Bickersteth Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens
Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Jeffreys, Arthur Fredrick Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Uni.
Johnston, William (Belfast) Thornton, Percy M.
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Tollemache, Henry James
Parker, Gilbert Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Peel, Hn. WmRobert Wellesley
Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir John H. Pemberton, John S. G.
Keswick, William Penn, John Vincent, Col. Sir CEH (Sheffield
Knowles, Lees Pierpoint, Robert
Pilkington, Lieut-Col. Richard
Plummer, Walter R. Walker, Col. William Hall
Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm. Powell, Sir Francis Sharp Warde, Colonel C. E.
Law, Andrew Bonar Pretyman, Ernest George Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney
Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth) Pryce-Jones, Lieut.-Col. Edwd. Webb Col. William George
Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool) Purvis, Robert Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.)
Lawson, John Grant Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareham Whiteley, H (Ashton-und-Lyne
Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Randles, Robert Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Rankin, Sir James Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Rasch. Major Frederic Carne Willox, Sir John Archibald
Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S. Ratcliff, R. F. Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Lockwood, Lt.-Col.A. R. Reid, James, (Greenock) Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Remnant, James Farquharson Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale) Renwick, George Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R. (Bath)
Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge) Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson Wylie, Alexander
Lyttlelton, Hon. Alfred Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Macartney, Rt. Hn. WG. Ellison Ropner, Colonel Robert TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Macdona, John Cumming Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
MacIver, David (Liverpool) Round, James Sir William Walrond and
M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburo', W Royds, Clement Molyneux Sir Alexandar Acland-Hood.
Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Black, Alexander William Caine, William Sproston
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Blake, Edward Caldwell, James
Allan, William Gateshead) Boland, John Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)
Allen, CharlesP. (Glouc., Stroud Broadhurst, Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.
Ambrose, Robert Brown. George M. (Edinburgh) Causton, Richard Knight
Ashton, Thomas Gair Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Condon, Thomas Joseph
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Crean, Eugene
Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire) Burke, E. Haviland- Cremer, William Randall
Bell, Richard Burns, John Cullinan, J.
Delany, William Leigh, Sir Joseph Rea, Russell
Dillon, John Levy, Maurice Reddy, M.
Donelan, Captain A. Lloyd-George, David Redmond, John E.(Waterford)
Doogan, P. C. Lough, Thomas Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries
Duncan, J. Hastings Lundon, W. Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Runciman, Walter
Edwards, Frank McVeigh, Jeremiah
Esmonde, Sir Thomas M'Crae, George Schwann, Charles E.
M'Govern, T. Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
M'Hugh, Patrick A. Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
Fenwick, Charles M'Kenna, Reginald Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Ffrench, Peter M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Shipman, Dr. John G.
Flynn, James Christopher M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Mansfield, Horace Rendall Spencer, Rt. Hn. CR.(Northants
Fuller, J. M. F. Markham, Arthur Basil Sullivan, Donal
Mooney, John J.
Murnaghan, George
Gilhooly, James Murphy, John Tennant, Harold John
Griffith, Ellis J. Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Nannetti, Joseph P. Tomkinson, James
Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South) Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Hardie, J.Keir (Merthyr Tydvil Norman, Henry
Harmsworth, R. Leicester Nussey, Thomas Willans
Hayden, John Patrick Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale- White, George (Norfolk)
Healy, Timothy Michael O'Brien, Kendal(Tipper'y Mid. White, Luke (York, E.R.)
Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Whittaker. Thomas Palmer
O'Donnell, T (Kerry, W.) Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Joicey, Sir James O'Dowd, John Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.
Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.) O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Joyce, Michael O'Kellv, J. (Roscommon, N.) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
O'Malley, William
O'Mara, James
Kearley, Hudson E. O'Shaughnessy, P.J.
Kennedy, Patrick James TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Partington, Oswald Mr. Humphreys Owen and
Labouchere, Henry Pirie, Duncan V. Mr. Channing.
Leese, SirJosephF. (Accrington Power, Patrick Joseph

(12.13.) Question put accordingly.

The House divided:—Ayes, 232; Noes, 111. (Division List No. 58.)

Agg-Gardner, James Tynte Bhownaggree, Sir M. M. Chapman, Edward
Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel Bignold, Arthur Charrington, Spencer
Allan, William (Gateshead) Bigwood, James Churchill, Winston Spencer
Anson, Sir William Reynell Bill, Charles Clare, Octavius Leigh
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O. Blundell, Colonel Henry Clive, Captain Percy A.
Arrol, Sir William Boscawen, Arthur Griffith- Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex Coghill, Douglas Harry
Brassey, Albert Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John Colomb, Sir John Charles Ready
Bailey, James (Walworth) Brookfield, Colonel Montagu Compton, Lord Alwyne
Bain, Colonel James Robert Brymer, William Ernest Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)
Balcarres, Lord Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)
Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey) Carlile, William Walter Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge
Balfour, Rt.HnGerald W. (Leeds Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.) Crossley, Sir Savile
Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch. Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire Cubitt, Hon. Henry
Banbury, Frederick George Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor) Cust, Henry John C.
Bartley, George C. T. Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)
Beach, Rt.Hn. Sir MichaelHicks Chamberlain, Rt. Hon.J.(Birm. Dairymple, Sir Charles
Bentinck, Lord Henry C. Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r. Davenport, William Bromley-
Davies, Sir HoratioD. (Chatham Joicey, Sir James Ratcliff, R. F.
Denny, Colonel Reid, James, (Greenock)
Dewar, T.R. (T'rH'mlets, S.Geo. Kennaway, Rt. Hon. SirJohnH. Remnant, James Farquharson
Dickinson, Robert Edmond Keswick, William Renwick, George
Dickson, Charles Scott Knowles, Lees Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge)
Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P. Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson
Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph Lambton. Hon. Frederick Wm. Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)
Doughty, George Law, Andrew Bonar Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)
Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers- Lawrence, Joseph (Monmouth) Rolleston, Sir John F. L.
Doxford, Sir William Theodore Lawson, John Grant Ropner, Colonel Robert
Duke, Henry Edward Lee, Arthur H (Hants., Fareham Rothschild, Hon. Lionel Walter
Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead) Round, James
Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir WilliamHart Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage Royds, Clement Molyneux
Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie Rutherford, John
Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.
Lockwood, Lt.-Col.A. R. Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-
Faber, Edmund B. (Hants, W.) Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander
Fellowes, Hon. Ailwyn Edward Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale) Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert
Fergusson, Rt Hn.Sir J.(Manc'r Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft) Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)
Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth Seely, Chas. Hilton (Lincoln)
Fisher, William Hayes Lyttlelton, Hon. Alfred Seely,Maj. J.E.B. (Isle of Wight
Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon Seton-Karr, Henry
Fletcher, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry Macartney, Rt. Hn.W.G. Ellison Sharpe, William Edward T.
Flower, Ernest Macdona, John Cumming Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)
Foster, Philip S. (Warwick,S.W. MacIver, David (Liverpool) Simeon, Sir Barrington
M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh, W Skewes-Cox, Thomas
Galloway, William Johnson M'Killop, James(Stirlingshire) Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)
Gardner, Ernest Majendie, James A. H. Smith, H C (North'mb. Tynseside
Garfit, William, Manners, Lord Cecil Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.)
Gibbs, Hon.Vicary (St.Albans) Martin, Richard Biddulph Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)
Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick Maxwell, Rt Hn Sir H.E.(Wigt'n Stanley, Arthur(Ormskirk
Gordon, Hn. J.E.(Elgin&Nairn) Maxwell, W.J.H (Dumfriesshire Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)
Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.) Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M. Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Gordon, MajEvans-(T'rH'mlets Mildmay, Francis Bingham Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier
Gore, Hon. S. F. Grmsby-(Linc.) Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.
Gorst, Rt. Ron. Sir John Eldon Molesworth, Sir. Lewis Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Goulding, Edward Alfred Montagu, Hon J. Scott (Hants.) Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ.
Gray, Ernest (West Ham) Moore, William (Antrim, N.) Thornton, Percy M.
Green, Walford D(Wednesbury More, Robert Jasper (Shropshire) Tollemache, Henry James
Greene, Sir E. W.(B'rySEdmn'ds) Morgan, David J (Walthamstow) Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Greville, Hon. Ronald Morgan, Hn.Fred.(Monm'thsh.
Groves, James Grimble Morrell, George Herbert Vincent, Col. Sir C. E H (Sheffield
Morrison, James Archibald
Hall, Edward Marshall Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford) Walker, Col. William Hall
Hamilton Rt HnLord G.(Midd'x Murray, Rt. Hn A Graham (Bute Warde, Colonel C. E.
Hamilton, Marq.of(L'nd'nderry Murray, Charles J. (Coventry) Wason, John Catheart (Orkney
Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm. Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath) Webb Col. William George
Hardy, Laurence(Kent, Ashford Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.)
Hare, Thomas Leigh O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd
Harris, Frederick Leverton Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay Whiteley, H (Ashton-und-Lyne
Haslett, Sir James Horner Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Hay, Hon. Claude George Palmer, Walter (Salisbury) Willoughby de Eresby, Lord
Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley Parker, Gilbert Willox, Sir John Archibald
Heath, James (Staffords. N.W. Peel, Hn. Wm.Robert Wellesley Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)
Helder, Augustus Pemberton, John S. G. Wilson, John (Falkirk)
Hogg, Lindsay Penn, John Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Hope, J.F.(Sheffield, Brightside Pierpoint, Robert Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E.R. (Bath)
Hornby, Sir William Henry Pilkington, Lieut-Col. Richard Wrightson, Sir Thomas
Howard, John (Kent,Faversh'm Plummer, Walter R. Wylie, Alexander
Hozier, Hon.James Henry Cecil Powell, Sir Francis Sharp
Hudson, George Bickersteth Pretyman, Ernest George
Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward TELLERS FOR THE AYES
Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies Purvis, Robert
Jeffreys, Arthur Fredrick Sir William Walrond and
Johnston, William (Belfast) Randles, Robert Sir Alexandar AclandHood.
Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex) Rankin, Sir James
Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.) Ambrose, Robert Bell, Richard
Abraham, William (Rhondda) Ashton, Thomas Gair Black, Alexander William
Allen, Charles P. (Glouc.,Stroud Bayley, Thomas Derbyshire Blake, Edward
Boland, John Jones, William (Carnarvonshire.) O'Mara, James
Broadhurst, Henry Joyce, Michael O'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)
Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson Kearley, Hudson E. Partington, Oswald
Bryce, Rt. Hon. James Kennedy, Patrick James Pirie, Duncan V.
Burke, E. Haviland- Power, Patrick Joseph
Burns, John Labouchere, Henry
Leese, SirJosephF.(Accrington Rea, Russell
Caine, William Sproston Leigh, Sir Joseph Reddy, M.
Caldwell, James Levy, Maurice Redmond, John E.(Waterford)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H. Lloyd-George, David Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries
Causton, Richard Knight Lough, Thomas Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)
Condon, Thomas Joseph Lundon, W.
Crean, Eugene Schwann, Charles E.
Cremer, William Randal McVeigh, Jeremiah Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)
Cullinan, J. M'Crae, George Shaw, Thomas (Hawick B.)
M'Govern, T. Sheehan, Daniel Daniel
Delaney, William M'Hugh, Patrick A. Shipman, Dr. John G.
Dillon, John M'Kenna, Reginald Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)
Donelan, Captain A. M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North) Spencer, Rt. Hn. CR.(Northants
Doogan, P. C. M'Laren, Charles Benjamin Sullivan, Donal
Duncan, J. Hastings] Mansfield, Horace Rendall
Markham, Arthur Basil Thomas, Abel (Carmarthen, E.)
Edwards, Frank Mooney, John J. Thomas, David A. (Merthyr)
Esmonde, Sir Thomas Murnaghan, George Tomkinson, James
Murphy, John Trevelyan, Charles Philips
Fenwick, Charles
Ffrench, Peter Nannetti, Joseph P. White, George (Norfolk)
Flynn, James Christopher Nolan, Jaseph (Louth, South) White, Luke (York, E.R.)
Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.) Norman, Henry Whiteley, George (York, W. R.)
Nussey, Thomas Willans Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Gilhooly, James Whittaker. Thomas Palmer
Griffith, Ellis J. O'Brien, Kendal(Tipper'y Mid. Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)
Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny) Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.
O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.) Wilson, Henry J. (York, W.R.)
Hardie, J.Keir (MerthyrTydvil O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool) Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)
Hayden, John Patrick O'Donnell, T (Kerry, W.)
Hayne, Rt. Hon. Chas Seale- O'Dowd, John TELLERS FOR THE NOES
Healy, Timothy Michael O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Hope, John Deans (Fife, West) O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N.) Mr. Humphreys Owen and Mr. Channing.
Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley) O'Malley, William

Main Question again proposed.

Debate arising; and, it being after Midnight, the Debate stood adjourned.

Debate to be resumed upon Thursday.