§ Order read, for resuming adjourned debate on Question [21st March], "That this House disapproves the conduct of His Majesty's Government in advising the Crown not to disallow the Ordinance for the introduction of Chinese labour into the Transvaal."—(Sir II. Campbell-Bannerman.)
§ Question again proposed.
§ SIR FREDERICK MILNER
When the Sitting was interrupted I was pointing to the extraordinary unanimity with which all classes of the Transvaal not only supported this Ordinance but pointed to the absolute necessity of its immediate passage, and I was just saying that the 322 opinion of the religious bodies of the Transvaal ought to have some influence with this House. The Bishop of Pretoria wrote expressing his regret at being unable to join the deputation, and stated that the introduction of Asiatic labour was the only solution of the present difficulties. The Rector of St. Mary's, Johannesburg, stated that not a word of protest had been uttered by any of the religious bodies on the spot, Church, Roman Catholic, or Nonconformist. The Witwatersrand Church Council, embracing members of the Baptist, Congregational, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan Churches, by thirty votes to one passed a resolution deprecating the agitation against the Ordinance by their brethren of the Free Churches in England. Whilst even the Salvation Army sent men to the deputation which waited on Lord Milner. Mr. Strong, a working man, in a very forcible speech, pointed out the disastrous effects of the present stagnation in the interests of the white working man. I would specially point out to hon. Members opposite one sentence in his speech, which some of them might well take to heart—The misrepresentations at home,he said,are almost unbearable to those who know the true conditions of things in the Transvaal.Lastly a petition was presented to the: Council, signed by 45,078 white male j adults, in favour of the importation of indentured coloured labour. Sir George Farrar, in presenting the petition, said he was satisfied from personal knowledge, as well as from the sworn affidavits of the canvassers, that it was an absolutely bonâa fide document. In the face of all this evidence how could the Government refuse their sanction?
Now there are three principal accusations which have been made by the Radical Party against the Government in connection with this matter. We are told that the Government and Lord Milner are truckling to the German Jews and Rand capitalists, and that it is in their interests we support this Ordinance. This accusation is so ridiculous, so outrageous, that it seems to me it should be treated with the 323 contempt it deserves. I do not believe there can be many hon. Gentlemen opposite who really believe in it themselves, and they must have singularly distorted imaginations. I do I not believe there is one hon. Member in this House who would dare get up and assert that Lord Milner has been guided in his decision by any personal motive. I would go further, and say I doubt if any Member would assert that he has been guided by any but the most patriotic motives and by a sincere desire to serve the country in which he has laboured so earnestly and so assiduously. I do not think that even the Leader of the Opposition, notwithstanding the low estimate he places on some of his fellow citizens, would endorse this monstrous allegation as regards the Prime Minister or any member of his Cabinet. No, Sir, it is but a base electioneering cry, raised by a Party who, after many years of starving in the wilderness, are hungering for office. Personally, I have but little sympathy with the capitalists. I think they undoubtedly aggravated the situation by their meanness in trying to cut down the wages of the blacks. But I am not prepared to wreck the country in order to punish the capitalists. As a matter of fact, they will suffer, for it has been computed that they will have to pay £200,000 for every 10,000 Chinamen they import. Then we are told that by consenting to this Ordinance we are shutting out the white workmen from South Africa. This accusation is almost as absurd as the other. The exact opposite is the case. It is because trade is at a standstill, firms are being forced to retrench, and hundreds of able-bodied Europeans are out of work, that the necessity for more unskilled labour is so urgent. It is this fact that has weighed with Lord Milner more than any other. Let me quote his words to the deputation who waited on him this month, he said—If one thing is an intense object of my desire, a paramount object of my policy, it is to increase the white population of this country, and to increase the opportunities of the white working class to earn a fair wage. An increase in the supply of coloured labour is not only necessary to the prosperity of the whole population already here, but it is a necessary preliminary to a large increase of that population. Without that supply of coloured labour, the present white exodus must continue. I reckon, and am prepared to stake my reputation on the 324 estimate, that for every 10,000 coloured labourers introduced, there would, in three years from this time, be 10,000 more whites in the country.Now, I do not think I shall be making a very bold assertion if I say that in this matter Lord Milner, with all his great experience, is likely to be a better judge than the Leader of the Opposition. I might almost, I think, venture to assert that he is a better judge than even the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (Major Seely). Undoubtedly the principal object of importing Asiatic labour is to increase the white population, and to give them greater facilities for making a decent living. Hon. Members who talk about shutting out white: labour might turn their attention to | the injury done to white labour in this country by the dumping down of 80,000 foreign aliens, the riff-raff of Europe, many of them criminals, who compete at starvation wages, and in many cases take: the bread out of the mouths of our struggling working men.
Now I turn to the accusation that by consenting to the importation of Asiatic labour we are going back to the bad old days of slavery, that Britain will cease to be the mother of the free, and other I balderdash of that kind. The hon. Member for Battersea grew so extravagant I on this subject in the recent debate that it struck me that he must have forgotten that he was addressing Members of this House, and imagined himself on the top of a tub addressing an audience out for a Sunday holiday in Hyde Park. I Sir, I submit slavery must necessarily involve compulsion. Where is the compulsion here? Lord Rosebery in another place told us if in doubt to consult a dictionary, so I turned up slavery in a fashionable dictionary and found the; following—Slavery is a status implying perpetual servitude to the master or owner upon whom it confers the complete control and dominion over the labour, actions, acquisition, and person of the slave and his offspring.I was particularly struck, in reading the report of the proceedings of the Legislative Council, with the care that was taken in defining the exact position that the labourer would be in, and in taking precautions that he should know the details of his contract before he consented to come and 325 again on his arrival. Every labourer will be an absolutely free agent, the exact terms of his contract will be explained to him. Every care will be taken for his comfort on the journey. Villages suitable to his mode of life will be erected for him prepared by those who know Asiatic customs and habits. Incase of ill-treatment he has the same remedies at law as the white man, and the wages for which he contracts will be paid to him, and at the end of his service he will be taken home again free of expense and with a nice little pile of savings to add to his comfort at home. If he does not like his job he can give it up, but in this case he will have to pay a penalty as compensation, just as an English labourer has to pay for it if he breaks a contract he has entered into. Again I ask, where does the slavery come in? Was not Lord Milner justified in saying to the deputation that waited on him, that it was a cruel thing that the whole British population of the colony, standing on the same level of culture and civilisation and animated by the same love of freedom and justice as people at home, should be wrongly and absurdly accused of a desire to introduce slavery. It was a monstrous abuse of language to apply such a term to the arrangement made to introduce unskilled labour. Some hon. Members seem to think that a Chinaman cannot look after his own interests. If they knew as much about Chinamen as I do, they would realise that it would take a very cute Englishman to get the better of even a Chinese labourer in a matter of business. Talk about slavery, I could take hon. Members to some of the sweating dens in their own country where they would see something like slavery. The life of a Chinese indentured labourer will be a paradise to what some of our own fellow-citizens go through. It would be well, I think, if hon. Members opposite, instead of casting foul aspersions on their own kith and kin in South Africa, would look nearer home and try to do something to better the lot of the white slaves in our great cities. In the last debate on this question the Colonial Secretary, to make assurance doubly sure, and to guard against any possibility of injustice, gave pledges to this House that every Chinaman who contracts shall fully understand the nature of 326 his contract and the arrangements for his comfort, and that at the port of entry the conditions of service shall be again fully explained to him; that a village carefully prepared by those who know Asiatic habits and customs shall be prepared for him; that no transfer from one employer to another shall be without his consent, and that a labourer may break his contract subject to making good the cost incurred and a reasonable penalty for pecuniary damage caused thereby. In the Paper presented to us to-day, we see that all these pledges are now embodied in the Ordinance. Nay, more, that in the event of the labourer breaking his contract, all the penalty demanded will be that he should refund the money expended on him and pay his journey home. Everything that human ingenuity can suggest has been done to safeguard the interests of the labourer. In the face of all this evidence, I say again it is childish and ridiculous to apply the term slavery to the employment offered the Chinese under this Ordinance.
I would say one word about the capital which has been made of the protests by the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand. They would have done better, like Canada, to have attended to their own affairs. Mr. Karri Davies, an Australian who did splendid service throughout the war, in his letter to The Times states that his efforts to build up business relations between the Commonwealth of Australia and South Africa have been greatly imperilled by this unwarrantable interference on the part of the Australian Premier, to whom he offers some salutary advice, in bidding him to mind his own business. I know that no arguments on this side will avail with hon. Gentlemen opposite. With them it is a Party question, and, as some of them have remarked in my hearing, it is the best, card they have played yet. So it may be for a time, but misrepresentations have an unpleasant habit of coming home to roost, so that they may yet lose more than they have gained. I cannot help hoping that some of those Members on our side who abstained from voting on the last occasion, not because they disagreed with the Government, but because they feared their constituencies, 327 will vote straight this time. We are told that any of us who support the Government would not do so if we could vote by ballot. I resent this insinuation, and I do not believe it is true of any single Member of our Party. For myself, lean say that if I conscientiously differed from the Government on a great national question I should not for one moment hesitate to record my vote according to my convictions. It is because I believe from my heart that the Government is right in advising the King to sanction the Ordinance, because I believe if they did not do so they would be guilty of a grievous blunder if not a crime, because I believe that by this means and this means alone prosperity can be restored to South Africa, by which alone we can reap the fruit of the hardly won victory which has cost us so many valuable lives and such a wealth of treasure, that I now give my enthusiastic support to the Government.
§ MR. HAVILAND BURKE (King's County, Tullamore)
In the course of this debate, as in the course of others, I have been struck by the unreality of many of the arguments used. I remember the time—only three years ago—when we were told that the Transvaal was groaning under an intolerable and corrupt oligarchy, that the mining industry was ruined, and that the only hope of saving it from ruin was the supremacy of British rule. But what have we now? At the present time, according to the Johannesburg special correspondent of the Pall Mall Gazette, there is no security for life or property in that place; there is sandbagging, garotting, robbing with violence in broad daylight, and this under the enlightened rule which you have substituted for that of the poor Dutchmen whom you have trampled out, but who at least kept things going there. Down to the eve of the war the mines were paying good dividends and there was an abundance of labour; but during the war you armed the natives against the Boers and gave them war medals and much money, and when after the war you attempted to reduce their wages, they struck and said they were not going to work for less. That is the natural and inevitable outcome of what was done as regards 328 the Kaffirs during the three years of war. I do not think that the Chinese can be permanently kept as menials, as mere hewers of wood and drawers of water. That is against the experience of all the Colonies. No one claims that the Kaffir is fit for much more than menial work, but the Chinaman is one of the finest craftsmen of the whole world. Wherever he has got, under no matter what pretences, it has never been possible to confine him to any particular place. He can live down and starve out any English working man; he is thrifty, he is hard working, and he never dreams of the scale of living upon which the humblest unskilled labourer in this country very properly insists. I heard with immense surprise to-night the assurance with which we were told that this Ordinance was approved by an overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of the Transvaal. What proof can the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary for the Colonies give for that assurance, but what he calls the Legislative Council? Any hon. Member of this House can be ordered to leave South Africa at twenty-four hours notice if Lord Milner so pleased, as can be shown by referring to page 18 of the appendix, and if he refused he is subject to penalties ranging from a £500 fine to a term of six months or one year's imprisonment with hard labour. Lord Milner is a Satrap with powers as absolute as any placed in the hands of police inspectors in Odessa, Moscow, or St.Peterburgto-day. I remember the right hon. Gentleman talking with cheap pathos and cheap bathos about the members of this Legislative Council working themselves to the bone. I think they are in a better way to work the Transvaal and the British taxpayer to the marrow, and I think as regard* the Legislative Council it would be better to dispense with the hypocrisy and humbug of bringing it to the House as in any degree representing public opinion. Anyone who looks at that Council and its constitution should treat it with General Botha's honest scorn, and not acknowledge it in any degree as being a representative tribunal of any sort or kind.
There is another question in this matter, and hon. Gentlemen opposite have caused me to refer to it by having pumped up their indignation. They repudiated 329 the notion of all this business being the work of foreign financiers. One hon. Gentleman said we were opposing our kith and kin, but anyone looking at the patronymics of the distinguished capitalists who promised the late Secretary of State to underwrite the loan for £10,000,000, which they did not underwrite at all, must know they want to run a British colony, not only on the cheap, but on the dirt cheap. The trail of alien financiers is slimed all over the map of South Africa. They are a horde of hook-nosed, beetle-browed, and beady-eyed foreigners, who tell us that places like Canada and New Zealand ought to mind their own business. Then the Secretary of State for the Colonies endorses that sentiment and also tells us that places like Australia and New Zealand should mind their own business; that they are good enough to supply money and men; to supply food for powder for the Boer war, but that they must mind their own business if they object to Chinese immigration. I object entirely to the statements of hon. Gentlemen opposite who talk about destitute aliens when there are so many affluent aliens in South Africa, and I say that all the poor Poles, or Russian and German Jews landed annually in London have not done one fraction of the harm to the honour and credit of this Empire that has been done by men who have no country, and no flag, whose only horizon is the Stock Exchange, whose ledger is their only conscience, and who have no other thought, from the rising of the sun to its going down, but to make money out of the country they have dragged in the mire and exploited all the time.
I want now to say a few words as to the ethics of the case. We have heard a great deal too much about £.s.d., and I decline to admit that a great public question like this is to be judged by whether money is to be gained or lost. There are two points of view when we come to the ethics of the case. The first is the Chinese point, and here I should like to coin a word after the fashion of the late Colonial Secretary and ask the House to think "Chinesally." I want to ask what living creature on the face of God's earth can you imagine to be more absolutely helpless than a wretched Asiatic brought 330 from goodness knows how far, without anything but a smattering of our language, without a trace of knowledge of our laws, and without any power of appeal to any influential man of his own race? You do not even grant him the right of signing for a week, but hedge him about with the most cruel regulations to which he has to put his own translation or interpretation. And what does that mean I Let us consider that only last year the great Land Bill introduced by the Government was going through this House. Let us remember the way we all interpreted one of the chief clauses, dealing with the "bonus" for the owner for the time being, and which was made "pie" of by a Dublin Court in such a manner that an amended Act is necessary to remedy the defect. Are we to understand that the Chinese labourers are to be at the mercy of any interpretation put before them? I say that this Ordinance is a slavery Ordinance. Hon. Gentlemen opposite may not like the name, but it is always best to call a spade a spade, and I look upon this Ordinance as slavery pure and simple. One clause in it enables the Chinese labourer to be transferred from one employer to another without his consent being asked or obtained. That is a thing that you would not allow in the case of a boy apprenticed in England. It is "cattle trading" pure and simple. I must say that I prefer honest slavery to snuffling cant. If I had the disposal of a slave I would rather hand him over to anyone than a mining corporation, because in the case of an individual slave you can frame laws to safeguard his person to a certain extent, but when you get a network of officials, and a man has no one to deal with directly, but has to go from pillar to post, and weeks elapse before he can make his claim heard—let alone make it good—you have no guarantee whatever for his humane treatment. I say that the old days of slavery in America, as portrayed in "Uncle Tom's Cabin," were better, purer, and more honest than those which the Colonial Secretary now seeks to thrust upon us.
The right hon. Gentleman talks about these wretched Chinamen bringing their wives and families with them, but he knows very well that if any man on 331 these Benches were to tackle that problem —as it will have to be tackled—in straightforward and plain English language, the ladies' gallery would have to be cleared. The right hon. Gentleman knows that such a thing as a Chinaman taking his wife and family to any English colony is practically unknown, and that the exceptions are so rare that they are not worth mentioning. The compound system would never have been tolerated for one moment in the Southern States of America. Let us lay no flattering unction to our souls about indentured labour and freedom of contract. It is intended that the Chinese shall be slaves, and slaves they will be unless you allow them the alternative of being free men, and in that case they will starve out the best English working man. To make them slaves will mean the introduction of a cancer into your political system. One argument is that they will get better wages in South Africa than they can obtain in China. Exactly the same argument was put forward by the slave traders of South America, who contended that negroes were on the whole far better off in the States as slaves than in their native Africa, were they were so liable to be tortured and massacred every now and then. I hold with the view expressed by the most enlightened and patriotic citizens of the United States of America that when you come to talk about slavery or anything approximating to it, it is not so much the suffering inflicted on the slave as the moral degradation inflicted on the man who does the slave driving that has to be considered. A great statesman has well said that despotism is a power which corrupts both heart and understanding, and great as may be the cruelties which will be endured by the Chinese imported into South Africa they will work infinitely more harm and havoc on the whole moral character not only of the people of South Africa but of hon. Members of this House who vote for it. If this question could be decided by my private vote, and if I wished to inflict an indelible stain on the records of a great Empire and a great Parliament, I certainly should vote for introducing slavery into South Africa.
§ SIR HARRY SETON-KARR (St. Helens)
The hon. Member has appealed to class prejudices, and his remarks would have been rather more effective if he had occasionally wandered from the realm of fancy into fact. I am not prepared to accept his statement that the Transvaal is in a state of anarchy.
§ SIR HARRY SETON-KARR
I am bound to say that all the speeches from the other side have been either imagination or prophesy, and have entirely lost sight of the two essential facts that half the stamps in Johannesburg at present are standing idle, and that the manual labour in the mines has been performed absolutely and entirely by half-naked blacks at wages no white man would accept. To my mind these facts are an answer to the imaginative arguments brought forward this afternoon. If white labour can be employed to advantage in the Transvaal mines, why is it not so employed at present, and why, if it is wrong to import Chinamen, who are willing at their own price to work the mines, has it not been wrong to employ the natives? Why have the Opposition not raised the question of cheap native labour before? I cannot understand the logic of their position. This question of Chinese labour has now been raised several times in this House— it was raised on the Address and again on the Motion for Adjournment. On each occasion the policy of the Government has been vindicated and the Opposition have been defeated, and since then the King has given his approval to the Ordinance. Surely there is no reason for having again raised it. Yet it has again been brought forward in such a manner that if it is carried it will involve the resignation of the Government and of Lord Milner. But they are not going to be defeated. Why should the House of Commons disregard the expressed wishes of the colony and interfere in its domestic affairs? The Transvaal is supposed to be a self-governing colony? Why is it not considered to be fit to manage its own affairs? Because the Opposition have discovered that the subject is one which, if they throw a little romance over it and 333 idealise a little, forms a very good Party cry. A well-known Radical has recently done me the honour to visit my constituency and in addressing a meeting of about 2,000 miners has argued that there is no difference between introducing Chinese labour into South Africa and introducing it into Lancashire. Will anyone seriously argue that in this House? [OPPOSITION cries of "Yes."] Well, would they expect anyone to believe them? Reference has been made to the opinions of trades union leaders. I know something of their views and I have great confidence in the intelligence of my own constituents. I do not for a moment believe that the most responsible Labour leaders accept the kind of argument to which we have listened to-night. Scorn has been thrown on the contention that this is a money question. We know perfectly well that the industries of this country and the wage-earning capacity of its inhabitants are, to a considerable extent, dependent on the prosperity of the Colonies. The working men know that the prosperity of the Transvaal is absolutely dependent on the prosperity of the mining industry, and that by the circumstances of the case the mines cannot be worked except by native labour, now largely imported from Portuguese Last Africa, or by labour corresponding to it—Chinese labour. I am not in the least afraid of the use which is being made of this question throughout the country; I have desired to take this opportunity of expressing my firm conviction that this vote of censure and this opposition to the wishes of one of our Colonies are simply items in what is nothing more nor less than a Party move. Why did we lose the American Colonies? Because we tried to govern them from Downing Street. But this is a great deal more than a money question. In it is involved the self-governing idea of this great Empire.
I have not heard a single argument based on any authoritative statement which convinces me that it is not the opinion of a large majority of the people of the Transvaal that the importation of Chinese labour is an absolute necessity. If the Opposition could show that this desire was in any way based on a misconception they would go a long way towards convincing Members on this side of the truth of their contentions. If I thought the Ordinance 334 was going to bring about a state of slavery or that the importation was not really desired by the white men of the Transvaal. I would not support the Government on this occasion. But I am absolutely convinced in the opposite direction. Let me state briefly why I propose to support the Government in this matter. In the first place, because I believe that it is absolutely necessary to save the Transvaal from practical insolvency that further cheap labour should be imported to work the mines. I also believe that it is absolutely necessary for the economic prosperity of the colony, that the colony really desires it, and that if it is done it will lead to the employment of more white men. We are told that for every 10,000 Chinamen imported 5,000 white men will have to be employed in the higher classes of labour. ["Oh."] I do not bind myself to the exact proportions, but I am convinced that if Chinamen are imported a much larger number of white men will have to be employed. A great deal has been said about the competition with white labour and the necessity for employing white labour. I have seen some of our Colonies, and I believe not only that it would be impossible to employ white men there because it would not pay, but that it would be a very unwise thing to do. Where we have native and coloured races under our control it is necessary that we should preserve our racial superiority. No self-respecting white man will work at a job alongside a coloured man, partly because he cannot afford to accept the same rate of wages, his standard of living being higher, and also because he would thereby be dragged down to the level of the black man, who wears no clothes, and who is only too glad when he has earned enough money to buy two or three wives to live for the remainder of his life on his wives' earnings. Hon. Members appear to suggest that white men could go and work amongst these men and still preserve their superiority. If such an idea as that was carried out it would do very great harm to our rule in all the dominions of this Empire, and it would attract into the mines a class of white men who are most undesirable, whom I think the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition alluded to as always being at variance with the local authorities. That land of man we do not 335 want to encourage in any of our industries, and that is the only kind of man who would work in our mines under the conditions I have described. These are some of the reasons why I propose to support His Majesty's Government to-night. I believe that if this vote of censure is carried, as I feel perfectly certain it will not be, the effects would be far-reaching, and we should have inflicted another blow upon our supremacy in South Africa. By adopting this Motion we should only be showing how blind we are to the real opinions and feelings of those people in South Africa we are going to rule, and telling them practically that we are going to rule them from Downing Street. I shall take no part or action of that kind, and I heartily hope that this vote of censure will be rejected by a large majority.
§ MAJOR SEELY (Isle of Wight)
If I take part in this discussion it will be for only a very few moments because I have detained the House upon this question on a previous occasion. [Cries of "Hear, hear!"] I think upon this question we misunderstand each other in a way that I have never seen paralleled since I entered this House. It is a strange thing that the Imperial Party, to which I thought I belonged [Loud MINISTERIAL cheers]—I quite accept the sneer—should be the first to howl down one who pleads, as I loudly plead, against adopting a course in the Transvaal which will be most hateful to Australia and New Zealand, the two colonies that have rendered most invaluable aid in the acquisition of that country. This is an aspect of the case which I know does commend itself to a large proportion of those who are opposing this Ordinance, and I sympathise with their views. I sympathise with the view of those who believe that this importation of Chinese labour will render the making of South Africa a white man's country impossible. The point which appeals to me and makes me appeal to hon. Members is that after all Australia and New Zealand did render us invaluable help in winning these new colonies in South Africa. [MINISTERIAL interruptions.] I am sorry that my own Party should be the first to refuse to listen to a voice uplifted in loud 336 protest against the course which the Government have chosen to adopt. I have said there is a misunderstanding. [Renewed MINISTERIAL interruptions.]
§ MR. WINSTON CHURCHILL (Oldham)
Mr. Speaker, I rise to order. I am quite unable to hear what my hon. friend is saying owing to the vulgar clamour maintained by the Conservative Party.
§ MR. SPEAKER
I appeal to hon. Gentlemen of all Parties to preserve quiet, whether they agree with the argument or not.
§ SIR GEORGE BARTLEY (Islington, N.)
Allow me to say, Mr. Speaker, that the vulgarest expression came from this hon. Gentleman (pointing to the hon. Member for Oldham).
§ MR. SPEAKER
I did not refer to the nature of the expressions, whether vulgar or not. I referred to the clamour.
§ MAJOR SEELY
I deeply regret chat I should be the cause of any dispute in this House between hon. Members. I do ask my hon. friends to believe me when I say that this Ordinance is not a wise one. I did think hon. Members on this side would be generous enough to listen to a very few brief words which I desire to say in order to justify my action. I wish at once to make plain the special claim I have to speak to-night, and it is that while my hon. friends think that I suppose I may gain largely by my opposition to the importation of Chinese labour—[MINISTERIAL cries of "Hear, hear!"] I am glad they say "Hear, hear"; I may say that I believe my opposition to the importation of Chinese labour will be the cause of my leaving this House. [MINISTERIAL cheers and OPPOSITION cries of "No, no."] I have this day tendered my resignation to my constituents [MINISTERIAL cheers and OPPOSITION counter-cheers], because I do not think it is fair that I should continue to oppose the Government with all my power without giving them an opportunity of turning me out if they disapprove of my action. From what I can hear I gather that I shall be opposed from so many quarters that I shall probably not return to this 337 House, and, therefore, as this may be the last time I shall address my hon. friends I trust they will listen to me for five minutes.
My right hon. friend the Secretary of State for the Colonies has accused me of ignorance in this matter. ["Hear, hear!"] It may very well be that the accusation is a just one, but it seems to me that the right hon. Gentleman does not seem to know some of the things which would lead one to form a just estimate of the truth in this matter. We are told that, in point of fact, the importation of Chinese labour will increase the number of white skilled labourers in the Transvaal. I notice that some of my hon. friends cheer that remark. It is presumed that that will be a reason why the voters in this country will accept this proposal to which on other grounds they are opposed. I have to point out to my right hon. friend that this statement is totally at variance with the facts of the case, because, although he may suppose that his assertion in this House will induce hon. Members behind him to believe it, I assure him that in every meeting I have addressed—I have addressed many, and if I live I shall address a great many more—I found the opposite to be the case, and at one meeting I was informed by a gentleman in the audience that there are more white men employed in the mines at the present time than there were before the war. That is in point of fact the case, and I challenge my right hon. friend to deny it. He does not deny it, because it is true. If more white men are employed now than before the war, although there are fewer natives, does it not look as if the tendency of natural causes was to put more white men into the positions of working machinery where black men worked before? [Cries of "Oh, oh!"] I notice that this view does not commend itself to some hon. Members, but they had better make haste and find an answer to that question, because if they cannot find one, I can assure them that the strongest argument they have will fall beneath their feet. Can my right hon. friend explain why more white men are now employed in the mines than was the case before the war? There is nothing 338 but misunderstanding in this matter If you try to prove, as I have proved, and as I think hon. Members admit—[MINISTERIAL cries of "No, no!"] Does any hon. Member deny that there are not more white men employed in the mines now than was the case before the war? And when I am trying to prove that statement I am told that I know nothing of this subject. When I try to show that our Colonies have seriously protested against this Ordinance, I am told that I am doing it for electioneering purposes. I would plead to hon. Members not to tell Australia and New Zealand that this House considers that their protest was made solely from electioneering reasons. I assure hon. Members, from what I know, that the protests of our self-governing Colonies were not based upon electioneering reasons, and you bitterly injure their feelings, and you may do harm which you can never redress, if you refuse for one moment to listen to their voice in this matter. If you try to prove that it is wrong to barter liberty for a time in a way which any Englishman is not permitted to do, or even for any British Indian subject to do, you are told that you are a sentimentalist. Can anyone here deny that the Government of India have refused to permit British Indian subjects to submit to the terms of this Ordinance? [An HON. MEMBER: Do not answer him.]
§ MAJOR SEELY
Then why did the right hon. Gentleman on 16th January telegraph Lord Milner in these words?—The provisions of this Ordinance, if applied to British Indian subjects, would probably be objected to.
§ MR. LYTTELTON
This Ordinance does not purport to deal with miners coming from India, because India does not provide miners.
§ MAJOR SEELY
What, then, is the reason of the telegram? As a matter of fact the British Indian Government did object to allow British Indian subjects to submit themselves to terms far more favourable than those of this Ordinance. 339 They insisted that British Indian subjects should not go to any country where they were deprived of the rights of citizenship. That is the reason of the right hon. Gentleman's telegram. It is, after all, a proud boast for England that wherever the British flag flies there all persons who set foot in that territory shall have the ordinary rights of citizenship. It may be necessary that this thing should be done, but I wholly deny it. In any case it must be admitted that it is deplorable to do this, for it outrages the sentiments of the people of this country and of the self-governing Colonies, and it is disgraceful that it should be adopted without any attempt being made to ascertain the real feelings of the people of the Transvaal. The late Colonial Secretary in the most solemn way stated that he would not sanction the introduction of Chinese labour unless he had reason to know that the people were in favour of it. But no effort has been made to ascertain their opinion. Why did the Colonial Secretary telegraph to Lord Milner only a month ago asking how long it would take to have a referendum? It was because he felt it was impossible to say that the people of the Transvaal were in favour of the scheme. [Cheers, and some interruption from MINISTERIALISTS.] The only constitutional way of ascertaining the wishes of the people is through the ballot box. My hon. friend may laugh, but after all there is something in the argument, and if you are going now for the first time to absolutely refuse to allow the people of a white colony to have a say in regard to what race shall live there, then I say you will bitterly regret the day. [MINISTERIAL interruptions.] Hon. Members behind me may think that in endeavouring to prevent me addressing the House they are serving their cause. [An HON. MEMBER: Go over to the other side.] An hon. Member behind me says, "Go over to the other side." If there is any consistency in hon. Members it is they who should sit on the other side. [MINISTERIAL interruptions.] The two gentlemen who wrote my election address for me in my absence have told me that had I supported the introduction of Chinese labour they not only would not have nominated me, but would have voted against me. Though hon. Gentlemen 340 behind me may now endeavour to howl me down, I know very well that the time will come when possibly they may remember that when one appeals to the voice of the Colonies and the voice of the country one sometimes appeals to things which endure. If I should be returned to the House again I will continue to endeavour in my humble way to uphold the cause of justice and of freedom.
§ MR. ROBSON (South Shields)
We have had a good many references to-night to Party feeling, but I do not believe we have ever had in this House such an exhibition of Party feeling, as that which has been shown by the Party opposite, during the observations of the hon. Member who has just sat down.
§ MR. SPEAKER
May I suggest that hon. Members on both sides of the House should endeavour to preserve order, and allow the debate to proceed.
§ MK. ROBSON
I was alluding to the hon. and gallant Member opposite, who I think has a unique claim, not only upon this House, but also upon the country for the services he has performed in South Africa, and the courage he has shown as a Member of this House, and the Party opposite. The hon. and gallant Member, at any rate, is willing to do, and has sufficient courage to do, that which other Members of his Party are extremely nervous about doing, that is, he is willing to face his constituents. He is willing to meet his constituents, and to take the opinion of the country upon a matter as to which the country has certainly not been consulted, and what is his reward? He is refused a hearing by his own Party, upon the last occasion upon which he can address the House. His reward is to have withheld from him the ordinary courtesy which is extended to hon. Members of this House—[Cries of "Question"]—and I think it would be a misfortune if this fact were not observed by the country. [Renewed cries of "Question, Question."] We have been told that this is a Party move on our part, but we see plainly now on which side the Party feeling lies.
I propose to make a few observations upon this question, and I will cease when it is intimated to me by the 341 right hon Gentleman below me that I have exhausted the time placed at my disposal. There are one or two observations, which I should like to make, which may clear the ground a little before I deal with the general argument. I do not propose to devote much time to the point which has been dealt with in nearly the whole of the speeches of the hon. Members opposite, which is, that the Government in this case are merely following precedent and are only doing what has been before. If it be the case that on previous occasions and under other Ministries we have had white labour displaced by alien labour which is submitted to the degradation and wholesale imprisonment involved in the system of compounds, then it is high time that the people of England knew what has happened; and hon. Members ought to do all they can to stop it. The Colonial Secretary is very indignant because people have applied the name of slavery to the system which he proposes to establish, because let the House remember it is the right hon. Gentleman who proposes to establish it. Do not let us be carried away by the idea that the responsibility for this Ordinance lies mainly with the Transvaal, because it lies with us. Some hon. Members have spoken of the impropriety of our interfering with the internal affairs of the colony. At the present time we are responsible for the government of the colony and it is this House which is actually the governing body of the Transvaal. Therefore it behoves us to be very careful as to the system which it is proposed to establish there. If these men who are going to be imported are not slaves, does the right hon. Gentleman call them free men? Are they to be free during their period of indenture? It is idle to contend that they are to be anything of the sort. It is true that every Englishman parts with his freedom so far when he signs a contract, but he does not part with his general liberty. Those in the neighbourhood of these compounds will not be subjected to the same pains and penalties. These are features, although they may not be extreme forms of slavery, which partake of slavery. The Colonial Secretary is wrong in supposing that slavery is confined to these extreme forms of servitude which he has mentioned. The right 342 hon. Gentleman will now see why it is that this system of Chinese servitude is described as slavery. The Slavery Abolition Act was extended from the known forms of permanent servitude to all kinds of servitude wherever workmen parted with their general liberties. That is a true definition of slavery, so far as it has been made out, and that test undoubtedly brings the methods now proposed within the fair and honest definition of slavery. [MINISTERIAL interruptions.] It is quite true that this form of slavery is free from some of the objections which were applied to other familiar forms of slavery, but this form of servitude of which I complain is now to be established whether we like it or not. [Cries of "Divide, divide."] This form of slavery is to be established because experts have declared that you cannot go on working the mines at a profit in South Africa unless you have cheap labour.
It is also a question of the class of labour, and upon this point we are told that the opinion of the mine-owners in South Africa is practically unanimous. [MINISTERIAL cries of "Oh, oh!"] If that is not the case then the whole argument fails. I do not propose to give hon. Members my opinion, but I will read the opinion of mine-owners themselves. They say that Transvaal mining is a thing by itself and that it cannot be properly compared with mining elsewhere where white labour is used and profitably used. I will tell the House what was said on behalf of these mine-owners before the Commission appointed by the Boer Government in 1897. In 1896 the Boer Government inquired into the shortage of labour, and the Johannesburg Chamber of Mines arranged for evidence to be given before that Commission just as they have done in regard to the more recent Commission. The Johannesburg Chamber of Mines sent to give evidence the consulting engineer of the great firms in the Transvaal, and he declared that the United States Mines were similar to those on the Rand, more especially those in California, where the veins were similar, and the mines were of great depth. He stated that the cost of working such mines as these could with all fairness be 343 compared with the mines on the Rand. This gentleman went into detail, and he said that the wages paid to the Californian miners were less than the wages paid to the miners in the Transvaal, and he further stated the salient feature was to be found in the fact that notwithstanding the employment of white labour, mines which just about paid on the Rand were made to yield a large profit in California. I think that disposes of the argument upon which the Government rest their case, because undoubtedly the mining industry of South Africa has reached a point at which it must make a choice. White men will not work with the black men, and it is essential that the mine-owners should make up their minds whether they will choose white or yellow labour. I think it is the duty of this Government to insist upon the mine-owners choosing as their alternative white labour. If there is a place in the whole of our dominions where white labour is necessary for the safety of the colony it is the Transvaal. There is only one means of getting white labour, and it is for this House to sternly refuse any sort of State aid to mine-owners for procuring alien cheap labour. Instead of taking this course the Government has chosen to adopt the discredited evidence of mine-owners, evidence which is discredited by their own testimony of seven years ago, and we are now to have a great colony worked with cheap labour instead of securing our own position there, and adding to the prosperity of our own working classes. I am sorry I have detained the House so long, but I thought it was worth while giving a piece of evidence which I hope hon. Members will keep in their minds.
ME. A. J. BALFOUR,
who was received with loud cheers and cries of "Divide," said: I was glad to be in agreement with one sentiment which I heard from the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just sat down—namely, that one of the great objects which this House should have in view is the augmentation, if possible a great augmentation, in the amount of the white population in South Africa, as compared with the population of any other race, be they black 344 or be they yellow. I believe in that sentiment everybody will agree although I admit that some of the arguments which I thought I caught from the hon. and learned Gentleman opposite appeared to me to savour more of protectionist views than I should have expected to hear from the unimpeachable orthodoxy of the other side of the House. I understood that their view was that everything should give way to buying in the cheapest market and selling in the dearest market. I had thought that, following those whom they claim to be their acknowledged ancestors, they believe that labour, like other commodities, be the country of its origin what it may, should be sold in any other country at the highest price, and bought by the employers of labour at the cheapest price. [OPPOSITION cries of "Oh" and continued interruption.] I had erroneously supposed that the doctrine undoubtedly held by Mr. Cobden and his predecessors that there was no distinction to be drawn between nation and nation, between those who had to sell labour and those who had to sell goods, and the doctrine of free exchange and free imports, was of universal application. [Cheers and NATIONALIST cries of "Divide."]
§ MR. SPEAKER
I would appeal to the House to give the right hon. Gentleman a hearing. No one can suggest for a moment that he gave any encouragement to hon. Gentlemen to interrupt the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight. It was because considerable provocation was given. I trust that hon. Members will now allow the First Lord of the Treasury to proceed.
ME. A. J. BALFOUR
I can say that my hon. friend the Member for the Isle of Wight is the last Gentleman who desires this particular form of interruption, and I think hon. Gentlemen opposite will do me the justice at all events to say that, whoever be the speaker, on 345 whatever side of the House he speaks, and whatever sentiment he gives utterance to, I have invariably, during my long career in this House, done my best to obtain for him a fair hearing.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Is the hon. Gentleman prepared to deny that? I am sure he will, on reflection, come to the conclusion that his denial is unjust, and he will admit that he belongs to a Party whose opinions have often been unpopular with the majority of the House, and never in any circumstances have I failed to exert such small influence as I possess to obtain for him and his friends a hearing.
§ MR. WILLIAM REDMOND
said his complaint was that the right hon. Gentleman did not appeal to his followers.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The hon. Gentleman is mistaken. I did make an appeal to the best of my ability, and every Gentleman in the House who was a witness of what occurred knows that what I now say is strictly within the mark.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I accept the hon. Member's explanation. I am sorry lie did not hear it. Before coming to what is more strictly relevant to the subject before the House, I venture earnestly to point out to the House that tactics of interruption never can be successful, because even the smallest minority in the House can make any debate impossible if they choose. I am to be followed by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for East Fife, and it would be the easiest matter in the world for hon. Gentlemen on this side of the House not to allow a single word to be heard. It is also perfectly easy for hon. Gentlemen opposite to prevent a single word of what I desire to say from being heard. I am convinced that every Gentleman, on whatever side he may sit, desires that this House should remain a deliberative Assembly, and, being a 346 deliberative Assembly, the arguments on each side should have a fair hearing.
I will proceed briefly to summarise I what appear to me to be the leading points in this debate. I do not think it is denied, except by a few speakers, certainly not by the learned Gentleman who preceded me and by others who I have spoken from that Bench, that the economic crisis in the Transvaal is of a serious character. There are those who think that if you do nothing the situation will cure itself, that if you do not; provide cheap labour some happy inventor will come forward with a labour-saving machine which will prevent the mine-owners requiring either Chinese labour or black labour to exploit the mines. But even the most sanguine believers in the power of invention hardly hold the view that this revolutionary discovery can be made, developed, and applied to the mines within a time which would not make it absolutely vain to hope that it would prove anything like a remedy for the serious and immediately impending evils with which that industrial community is threatened. We, therefore, I will not say by universal consent, but by almost universal consent, have got to deal with a great and immediate difficulty, which may conceivably find its own cure in the course of years, but which certainly cannot be cured in the course of months except by the bringing to the mines of some form of labour which is to replace the unquestionable shortage which now exists. [An HON. MEMBER: No.] Well, some hon. Gentleman there, I am too blind to see who it is, doubts my statement, but I do not think he can know much about the present condition of South Africa. Even those who have been most violent against the proposals of the Government have been ready to admit that those proposals, at all events, are not intended to redress a purely imaginary and illusory difficulty, but, for good or for evil, are intended to meet an actual and practical difficulty. Then the only question is, supposing the introduction of Chinese labour would really; meet the difficulty, whether the remedy is not worse than the disease—whether, in other words, it is our business to compel the Transvaal to undergo a great 347 commercial crisis rather than admit the Chinese under the conditions proposed by my right hon. friend who sits near me. That is the actual problem which this House is asked to solve to-night.
Now, surely everybody must admit after the debate to-night, in spite of what fell from the hon. and learned Gentleman who preceded me, that after the speech of my right hon. friend the Colonial Secretary, that admirable speech, the accusation that we have initiated a system of slavery in British colonies falls absolutely to the ground. I know that colonial opinion, Australian and other opinion, has been brought before us showing the iniquity of our proceedings. Well, I confess I sometimes wish that hon. Gentlemen would consider colonial opinion a little more than they do. There certainly have been questions on which I understand the Colonies were even more unanimous than they are on this when but scant attention has been paid to their views. But, however that may be, let us consider whether there is indeed the smallest ground for this amazing charge that Lord Milner, that Sir Arthur Lawley, that the leaders of public opinion in the Transvaal, that my right hon. friend, and other English gentlemen have been deliberately conspiring to introduce slavery into one of His Majesty's colonies. It may be true, but I think some proof is required. And I ask what that proof is. Surely this use, or misuse, of terms is becoming rather a serious blot in our political controversy. It is almost pathetic to think that if hon. Gentlemen, opposite were always compelled to use words in their habitual significance, they would be reduced to absolute silence upon platforms. If, for example, they were obliged to use the words [OPPOSITION cries of "Pro-Boer"]—I am not sure I have not seen traces of pro-Boerism to-night, but that is not what I was thinking of—if they were obliged, for example, to use the word "political test" as every historian has used it, how would they deal with the education question? Suppose they were obliged to use the words "Free trade and protection" as every political economist has used them, how would they be able to deal with the fiscal question? And if they were obliged to 348 use the word "slavery" as every publicist has used it, how would they deal with the question of Asiatic labour? It is almost melancholy to think of the unhappy straits to which they would be reduced. And their situation becomes the more difficult when the House, now fuller than when my right hon. friend spoke, bears in mind the previous coarse of previous Governments, Liberal and Conservative, in the matter of imported labour into British colonies. We have heard the word "slavery" and all that it implies used about this proceeding. My right hon. friend has explained that, with insignificant differences, precisely the same regulations have been used by British Guiana, Trinidad, British Columbia, Australia, and other British colonies. Of course, I do not deny there are differences. All I am anxious to know is whether the differences are relevant. I understand that in the British colonies to which I have referred an imported labourer was obliged to reside on premises. There was a penalty if he was absent from those premises or from his work without leave. There was a penalty if he deserted his work. There was a penalty on anybody who harboured a deserter. When I say "was" I ought to say "is." It is in force. And he may be transferred, without his consent, from employer to employer.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Not at all. The hon. Gentleman, I am afraid, was not present when my right hon. friend made his speech, or he has not got the subject up. These peculiarities in the regulations which I have mentioned represent the whole of the peculiarities which constitute slavery in the eyes of hon. Gentlemen opposite. [OPPOSITION cries of "No."] Well, is there any other? If anybody can suggest another, I should be grateful for the purposes of argument.
§ ME. A. J. BALFOUR
Not in compounds. Well, nobody has a greater respect than I have for a highly-sensitive conscience; but a conscience which yields so rapidly to treatment that it views with horror as slavery the conditions I have described which will obtain in the Transvaal in the future and those which prevail in British Guiana—a person who can perceive in this the whole difference between slavery and freedom surely has a most strangely constituted mind. You can confine a man to the premises. Call them premises, it is freedom. Call them compounds, it is slavery. Was there ever such a preposterous pretension when you recollect that the men who started the theory that such labourers should be confined in compounds, that they could not be absent without paying a penalty, and that those who harboured, them should be subjected to a penalty, are those Gentlemen opposite? They are the exemplars of this precious system of slavery which, as they truly say, is producing so great a sensation throughout the country. [OPPOSITION Cheers]. And a double title have they to be proud of it. They produced the evil and they are now reaping the benefit of it. It was their happy privilege to initiate this slavery and to make us lose elections for following in their footsteps. I feel myself far below the height of the ethics or the casuistry of the right hon. Gentlemen; and I pass on to other branches of the subject. But let me remind the House that that branch of our industrial system of which we are most proud, namely, the mercantile marine, would seem to the superficial observer—although I admit I am no expert in the matter—to have some of the elements to which hon. Gentlemen opposite object in the case of the Chinese labourers. Are they ready to dub the mercantile marine as slavery? I understand that in the mercantile marine any sailor may make a contract for an unlimited number of years in 350 which he is obliged to serve one employer I believe that in practice the habitual number of years is three. [OPPOSITION cries of "Only for each voyage."] I am informed that in the case of a ship going to the East the ordinary contract is for three years, during which, I believe, desertion constitutes a criminal offence, under which the sailor is bound to serve one master; and remember that within the narrow compass of a ship there is not and cannot be that constant effect of public investigation which will be, I hope and believe, an adequate safeguard for any abuse within the limits of a British colony. I rather regret the necessity for this practice in the mercantile marine, but it is the necessity of the circumstances of a particular trade, and is any man going to describe our sailors as having the status of slaves? If they are slaves I hope we will always produce many persons of that kind to keep up the British Empire.
If I may pass from what I cannot help regarding as one of the most preposterous charges ever brought against a British Government, the next point, after the slavery point, which has attracted public attention is the effect of Chinese labour in South Africa on the British workman I notice an extraordinary discrepancy between the arguments which hon. Gentlemen opposite bring forward on one aspect of the question and the arguments which they bring forward on another aspect of the question. When they are holding out a wholly illusory picture of a great field of employment in South Africa for the unemployed of this country, they are all in favour of protecting the British worker against the foreign competitor. But when it comes to consider the position of the British skilled workmen in the Transvaal against his foreign competitor, then there is no language which they are not ready to use against the restrictions to be employed against the Chinese. They are perfectly ready to say in the one case, "You must not go to the cheapest market for your labour, you must adhere to British labour, you must not follow the ordinary principles of free trade." But when it comes to protecting the foreman in the mines, then they say "How outrageous to allow the 351 Chinese to come into South Africa and not to give them every privilege of British citizenship." How can they reconcile that?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
The hon. Gentleman, in the interests of the Chinese, says: "Do not bring them in unless you treat them as we treat our Indian coolies in British Guiana and other places." But in whose interest does he say that? In that of the Chinese?
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
Now, does anybody seriously think that it is in the interests of the Chinese that you are going to exclude them from South Africa? Is it to please the Chinese labourer that you deprive him of the chance of earning fifteen times the wages he now earns? Is it for his benefit; is it to raise him to a higher social level. Really I confess that part of the argument of hon. Gentlemen opposite hardly seems to me, and I think is hardly considered by themselves, as worthy of a very serious answer. The truth is there is behind all this a much more important problem than we have perhaps been considering in the course of these long debates. Modern developments have reached a point at which a problem, I believe wholly new, has arisen. We are familiar in history with the imposition by a conquering race of its civilisation upon a conquered race; but we are not familiar in history with the alternative phenomenon of, I will not necessarily say inferior, but, at all events, a wholly different culture gradually percolating into society and profoundly modifying its effect. And I frankly admit that in the face of that new problem I think new doctrines ought to be expected; and I sympathise with the Australians and with the New Zealanders, not, indeed, when they promulgate purely protective views—[OPPOSITION ironical cheers]—purely protectionist views about 352 British labour—[MINISTERIAL cheers and counter-cheers]—and the immigration of British workmen, but when they say they will not tolerate the unlimited immigration of Chinese or other alien labour, I entirely sympathise with their view. It is a new problem to be met only in that way. But then Australia and New Zealand are colonies of white men which can be permanently made and retained as colonies of white men. Is there a man in this Assembly who thinks that is true of South Africa? It may be a white man's colony in the sense that the white man can thrive there, can bring up families there, can become a permanent citizen of the colony. But can it ever be a white man's colony in the true sense of the word—that the white man is to be the greater part of the population in that colony? [An Hon MEMBER on the OPPOSITION Benches: Yes.] Did I hear any hon. Gentleman answer that question in the affirmative? [An HON. MEMBER on the OPPOSITION Benches: Why not?] I will tell hon. Gentlemen why it cannot be done. In Australia, for instance, the black races have died away in front of the white race—I am afraid for reasons not always creditable to the white races. But, at all events, the fact is there, and, even if I am charged with inhumanity, I cannot find it in my heart to regret it. But no such phenomenon is occurring or can occur in South Africa. The proportion at this moment in South Africa is roughly about eight blacks to one white. The blacks not only show no signs of diminution, they are steadily increasing, and they are increasing faster than the whites. They have a resisting power which neither the Red Indian in North America nor the Aboriginal in Australia has been able to show. They are there; they are going to remain there; and the problem before South Africa in the future, which, perhaps, none of us will live to see, is one which has never yet presented itself, so far as I know, in the history of mankind—namely, the problem of a great white population living there, having families there, becoming permanent residents, and yet with an incomparably larger number of a wholly different race, who of necessity, from the very nature of things, will have to do the coarse and 353 rough labour of the community. I believe the problem will present incomparable difficulties in the future. The right hon. Member for Aberdeen said the question of the negro in the Southern States of North America was a serious difficulty.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
What is the difficulty of the relatively insignificant negro population in the United States of America compared with the difficulty which will present itself to South African statesmen when they have got to face this enormous black population and when you have a great community of whites of all classes, who, nevertheless, are, as it were, an aristocracy over a proletariat class? I do not envy those who have got to deal with that situation of the future. But how is that situation injured or affected in the smallest degree for evil by the policy of the Government? I agree that if you were to allow an unlimited importation of Chinese—if you were to allow Chinese immigration into all the colonies of South Africa and into all the trades of South Africa—a problem already sufficiently difficult would become almost impossible; for you would then have, no doubt, the white aristocracy, as I have described them, you would have the intelligent, able, thrifty, competing Chinese, and, in addition to these, you would have the thousands and millions of the black population. That serious complication is wholly avoided by the ^regulations of my right hon. friend. Nobody can pretend that Chinese introduced under the terms of these regulations are Chinese who are going to take any great part, after they have done their term of service, in the industrial evolution of the country. It is not so: and, difficult as the problems of the future in South Africa are, they are not going to be complicated by the introduction under these regulations of Chinese labour; and we who have got to consider not merely the remote future, but the immediate present, would be fools indeed if we were to allow all the disasters immediately consequent on a deficient supply 354 of this labour because we feared another danger against which we have amply safeguarded.
Sir, I do not know that it has been done seriously, but more than one speaker on the other side has hinted that the statements made by us to show that you cannot get the white man and the black man to work together on equal terms are statements made in the interests of that mysterious locality, Park Lane, and have no relation to the facts of African life. Unfortunately the theories of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, that all men were born equal, have been refuted in this, as in many other instances, by the advance of science. Men are not born equal. They cannot be made equal by education extending over generation after generation within the ordinary historical limit. The differences between one family and another of mankind lie deep in the remote and unfathomable past, and it is folly to suppose that your petty educational regulations, be they what they may, can obliterate distinctions deep-seated under the laws of nature. And that being so, you will not get the white man and the black man to work together as equals; and if you could effect the impossible you would injure not only the white man but the black man, and not only the black man but the white man. Do not let us suppose that this is the ideal, as I should almost have guessed from the speech of the right hon. Member for Aberdeen.
§ MR. A. J. BALFOUR
I will not quarrel with him about that. At all events, we are agreed—happy be the day —that this unbridgable abyss separates the two races. Do not let us aim at an impossible ideal, and do not let us sup pose that any conceivable scheme of immigration of white labour is to turn South Africa into a place where the rough work of industrial organisation is to be done by the white instead of by the black. If I be right in these views, what are we to say as to the course pursued by hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite? The 355 right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the Opposition was asked in an interjection what he would do if he were suddenly returned to power. He very wisely said he would wait and see. The answer was a prudent one, but I will be a more communicative oracle than the right hon. Gentleman. I know exactly what the right hon. Gentleman would do, or try to do, if he were returned as the result of to-night's division. He would do exactly what we are doing at the present time. He would then suddenly discover that there is something more to be done than to make vague and irrelevant speeches about slavery. He would feel that he had to deal with an immediate and practical problem; and what is that problem? It is one of the most difficult and one of the most important problems with which this Assembly and this country has got to deal. It is how we are to use our illimitable technical power over our dependencies for their advantage and for ours. Let us for a moment consider what we should think of another Assembly sitting, let us say, at the Cape, some body not responsible to us, not elected by us, who were to turn round to us and say to us: — "Your staple industry, the industry on which your prosperity depends, is one which no doubt is in a very bad way; but devote your mind to labour-saving machinery, alter, repudiate the policy you think would succed in putting it on a sound basis—do all this, not in obedience to any fundamental moral law, not in conformity with any standing traditions of the British Empire, not even to bring it into harmony with one political Party more than another, but in order to bring it into conformity with a transitory Party necessity of the moment." I venture to think that if such a course were taken with regard to us and our great interests, which right hon. Gentleman propose while they are that side of the House, the course they propose to take with regard to the root industry of the Transvaal, I confess I think a feeling of bitterness would arise in this country 356 which it would take years to displace. I beg the House not to take upon itself any such appalling responsibility. I plead here not merely, not chiefly, for the capitalists, be they large or small, who have invested in the Transvaal mines; I plead for the great white population, agricultural and mining, who depend, and so far as I can see will depend for an unlimited time, on labour other than white labour; I plead for the artisans, I plead for the shopkeepers, I plead for the great body of the population of European blood whose fate in the colony depends on your decision. I ask the House whether in face of the opinion of Lord Milner — a name received with respect and admiration by everybody but the hon. Gentleman who interrupts me—I ask whether, in face of the advice of Lord Milner, of Sir Arthur Lawley, and of the great body of officials, admirable officials, who are carrying out our work in South Africa, in face of the great body of opinion of the white population, are Members of the House going to be so foolish as in a reckless moment to take an action, to initiate a change, that can have no other effect than to destroy an industry or retard the prosperity of the Transvaal and bring with it unknown and possibly irremediable evils on the constituents of society there?
§ ME. ASQUITH (Fifeshire, E.)
The right hon. Gentleman, in the concluding part of his speech, sought to score a dialectical point, and I suppose to terrify those who sit here by asking the Leader of the Opposition what he would do if this Motion were carried to-night. It is a simple question and it admits of a very simple answer. If the Motion were carried to-night the effect would be that the Ordinance would be disallowed and we should hear no more of it. The Prime Minister, as we all know, is a master of paradox, but I confess I have never heard him carry that enviable faculty to a greater extreme than in the opening sentences of his speech to-night. He told us that those of us who have embraced the doctrine of free trade must apply 357 that doctrine to human beings exactly in the same sense, exactly to the same extent as we do to commodities, or that Mr. Cobden has said so. Poor Mr. Cobden! How many fallacies are now enumerated in the name of Mr. Cobden! According to the Prime Minister, if I understand his argument rightly, in Mr. Cobden's view, at any rate, slavery was a legitimate deduction from the doctrine of laisser faire.
§ MR. A.J. BALFOUR
Mr. Cobden's doctrine was that every labourer, be his country what it might be, had the right to sell his labour in the dearest market, just as every manufacturer had the right to sell his commodities in the dearest market.
§ MR. ASQUITH
Is the Chinaman who is going to be brought into South Africa under the conditions of this Ordinance the free labourer of Mr. Cobden's imagination, who, forsooth, is selling his labour in the dearest market? I am going to deal very briefly with one or two of the arguments of the Prime Minister, but I think I can do so most conveniently by summarising in a sentence what it seems to me are the real contentions that we on this side of the House have advanced in favour of this Motion. I believe we all start—even the Prime Minister himself, though I did not hear him make the admission—I believe we all start with the admission that the steps proposed by this Ordinance are prima facieto be regarded with regret and even with repugnance. But is it not also conceivable—I hope I shall carry hon. Gentlemen opposite with me so far—that in order to justify these steps it must, at any rate, be shown, first, that they are 358 demanded by the clear and overwhelming body of local opinion—that is essential; next, that the steps are needed to meet a case of actual and proved necessity; and, lastly, that no one can suggest any practicable or, at any rate, any less objectionable alternative? So far we are agreed. Now, we deny on this side of the House that any one of these propositions has been made out. What is the case as regards local opinion? We have heard about the decisions of the Legislative Council, memorials, and so forth. I wish to point out that as regards local opinion the difficulty we are in is not merely that the Transvaal is not a self-governing colony with the machinery of representative institutions. There is this further difficulty—that, I suppose,, of all places in the world, this is the one in which it is for the moment the least easy to get any clear and trustworthy criterion of the genuine view of the whole of the community. Why is that? Because, first of all, a considerable section of the population, including, I suppose, the bulk of the Boers, as a consequence of the war, are to a large extent for a time inarticulate. And next, what I must say I regard as a still more serious disturbance of our power to ascertain the real opinion of the community, there is no place in the British Empire where a comparatively small, but rich and highly-organised, interest possesses the same facilities, I will not say for manufacturing, but, at any rate, for manipulating, the expression of what passes as public opinion. And if that were not so, if these difficulties did not exist, and if they were not felt to exist by His Majesty's Government, why was it that the Colonial Secretary thought it right to telegraph to Lord Milner and 359 ask whether it was not possible, by a referendum or other means, authentically to ascertain the views of the community? I need not point out to the House that the step contemplated by this Ordinance is a step which, if once taken, though it may not be irretrievable—I trust it will not—will be very difficult to retrace. How is this House to-night going to justify it without the fullest and the most authentic and the most unmistakable evidence of the consent of every section of the community, the whole course and colour of whose future may be determined by what is done here?
I cannot think that in such conditions we ought to turn a heedless ear to the feelings and remonstrances of our own self-governing Colonies. I quite agree that in ordinary circumstances Australia has no business to interfere with Canada, or Canada with Australia. But the case we are dealing with is one that is absolutely unique in our history. These Colonies came to our aid in the moment of stress and of necessity. They spilled their best blood on the soil of South Africa in the name of freedom, and, as they believed, for the purpose of enfranchisement. That gives them a title to speak. But have they not a special qualification to speak in this matter? They have had experience, a close and direct experience, which happily we have been spared, of the contact of yellow immigrant Chinese labour with the daily life of a white community. Having, as I have said, both that title gained by their co-operation and that qualification derived from particular experience, I think we should be acting very rashly if, in a matter of this kind, where the local opinion, to put it at the highest, is not authentically ascertained, we disregarded the practically 360 unanimous sentiment of every self-governing community.
§ MR. ASQUITH
I should like to see a plebiscite taken in Canada. It is quite true that the Canadian Government have not associated themselves with the Australian Governments in the protest which they have made, but the overwhelming opinion of the people of Canada is in the same sense. The right hon. Gentleman told us just now, in an eloquent passage in his speech, of the difficulty which arises where you have white and black people necessarily living side by side and where the blacks are more numerous than the white. But I do not assent to the right hon. Gentleman's argument that under normal conditions the black population of South Africa is always going to be incomparably more numerous than the white. But whether that is so or not, and assuming it is likely to be so, you cannot do anything more likely to injuriously prejudice the future of South Africa as a community in which white people and where white ideas are to be ultimately predominant than to introduce a third race, a yellow race—as to which I am not going to make any charges, but which you are going, by the conditions under which they are introduced and under which they are to live, to put in a position of permanent debasement and degradation. I believe that in South Africa some branches of the Kaffirs show a great capacity for rising in the social and educational scale, and that with proper treatment, humane and civilised treatment, on the part of the authorities, that general elevation of the Kaffir population may be expected 361 to go on to an indefinite degree. But this new element you are going to introduce is going to be permanently debarred from any of the civilising or humanising influences of the white population.
I want to deal with one other point— the question of necessity and the question of some practical alternative. The right hon. Gentleman has told us that the economic condition of the Transvaal is a serious one. I agree that it is. He has told us that there is a shortage of labour. So undoubtedly there is. But when you look at the economic situation of the Transvaal, and particularly when you are considering how best to deal with it and to remedy it, you must not confine your attention to the mines. So far as the mines are concerned I will venture to say that, having regard to the desolation and the cost of the war, they have shown a wonderful power of recuperation. They are producing now at the rate of £14,000,000 sterling a year — in fact, they have already got back to the level of 1898, the year before the war broke out. For a country which has been devastated for three years by war, and by all the attendant horrors of war, that seems to me a not unsatisfactory result. The seriousness of the economic situation in the Transvaal does not lie so much in the mining industry. You have got there—I agree it was started in good faith but with unduly sanguine expectations of an expanding industry— a costly Administration which at this moment, I believe I am not exaggerating when I say, costs twice as much a year as the old Administration. Is not that a circumstance which ought to be taken into account when you are thinking of the future? Then, again, through a variety of causes, the raw material and 362 all the necessaries of life are exorbitantly dear; and as regards those black labourers themselves, who, you say, come in insufficient numbers to the mines, I saw a very remarkable passage which was quoted to-day from the evidence given by Mr. Grant, who was Native Labour Commissioner to the Johannesburg Chamber of Mines, before this very Commission. What he said was this—The action and blunders of the past year,that is, the year after the close of the war,distinctly alienated the natives, and no proof whatever has been afforded that the number of men required cannot be made available providing that the conditions of service are satisfactory, not only to the employers, but to the employed.I confess, after studying the evidence carefully, nothing appears to me more probable than that if you avoid hurried and precipitate action, if you allow the natural operation of the healing forces now at work, but above all if fair wages and good conditions are secured to the labourer, both white and black, the most serious features in the economic situation of the Transvaal will soon be removed.
I now come to the only remaining point. Suppose you are to resort to outside labour, I repeat the question which has been put several times, but which has never been answered—Why did not the Government go to India? The right hon. Gentleman interjected a remark in the course of the debate to the effect that Indians are not miners. What about the Mysore miners? As far as my information goes both in gold mines, coal mines, and, I think, in iron mines, you will I find among the Indians a most serviceable and handy set of men. Then why did they not go to India? They did not go to India because they knew very well that if they did, and 363 made any such proposition to the Government of that country as they have, made to the Chinese Government, it would have been rejected without a moment's hesitation. The other night the Secretary for India, perhaps imagining that he was still at the War Office, likened the condition of the Chinaman under these regulations to that of the British soldier. But to-night the Prime Minister has gone one better; he has told us that the Chinaman under this indentured labour will only be in the same position as a sailor in our mercantile marine. We little knew how much slavery existed among our soldiers and sailors! But, coming away from India for a moment, I suppose most hon. Members read, I certainly read with very great interest, to-day a paper by Sir Frank Swettenham, who is one of our greatest authorities on this subject. What did he say? Speaking of his experience in the Malay Peninsula, the Straits Settlements, and the Federated Malay States, he told us he there had had a most favourable acquaintance with the Chinese. They came in with perfect freedom, they even entered into partnership, it appears, with those who originally employed them, and even exercised duties on councils and duties of a legislative nature. That is a system which works very well in the Malay Peninsula; but does anybody propose to set up such a system in any of our white communities? You cannot; I am not saying you could for a moment; it is an absolute impossibility. Therefore, all the evidence which is derived from an experience like that is entirely irrelevant to a case like that of the Transvaal. What would you have to do? You would have to take Chinamen, not such 364 as voluntarily emigrate to such places as Singapore, but of an inferior class, subject them to the thousand and one restrictions contained in this Ordinance, and, above all, and this is at the root of the whole matter, prevent them coming into living contact with the community in and for which they work. That is the secret of all these special restrictions.
When the right hon. Gentleman tells us, as he did just now, that he is only I following in our footsteps, that those who sit on this Bench, or previous Ministers, are responsible for the initiation of slavery, I tell him there is one vital and fundamental difference between every Ordinance that exists, I do not care where, throughout the length and breadth of the British Empire and the Ordinance now under consideration, and that difference is this—in all the existing Ordinances such restrictions as there are, they may be too numerous, or too severe, I do not know, but such restrictions as there are are devised and enforced entirely for the purpose of seeing that the labourer executes his contract with his employer. Yes, but what is the reason for the additional restrictions which are put into this Ordinance? It is not to secure the performance by the labourer of his contract that his employer prevents the labourer from getting into free contact or communication with the community; it is to keep him in a situation in which you have never ventured, and never will venture, to keep any subject of the King, however humble he may be or from whatever quarter of the Empire he may come a situation from which he cannot aspire to rise, however frugal, industrious, thrifty, or public-spirited he may be, in which he can never aspire 365 to be a living member of the community. I read in the paper this morning a very remarkable statement by the secretary of the Transvaal Mine-owners' Association in reply to a question whether he thought that the mines could be worked remuneratively by white labour. The reply was that they could not, as the inhaling of sharp particles of dust in the mines produced a deleterious effect on the lungs, which rendered the working life of the white miner not more than seven years. This had not the same effect on the Kaffir, whose lungs were of coarser texture, and who also differ from his white competitor in that they were able to recuperate from the effects of this dust by working only for six out of the twelve months. In other words, the Kaffir preserves his lungs by spending six months out of the twelve in his kraal. But what about the Chinaman? Is the nature of the employment which the Chinaman is to enter into to be explained to him at Hong-Kong? I do not know what exactly is the texture of the Chinaman's lungs, but I assume that Providence has been equally kind to him as to the Kaffir. But the Chinaman is to remain under service for three years, and he cannot leave the compound except with the permission of his employer.
§ MR. ASQUITH
Yes, if the master chooses to refuse him permission he will never be absent at all. I will not quarrel with the Prime Minister about the use of the word slavery; I agree with my right hon. friend the Leader of the Opposition 366 that the important thing is the status which is created, and not the name by which it is described. The Prime Minister says that our talk about slavery is clap-trap. Let me quote a parallel case. What would have happened if this Ordinance had been passed in the régime of President Kruger and the Volksraad, at the instance, or with the consent of, the mine-owners, whose interest for some years was powerful in that quarter? What should we have all said about it? Some of us on both sides of the House were very severe critics of that r—yime. I remember a famous phrase in a despatch of Lord Milner's, which I always thought ought not to have been published, in which he spoke, shortly before war, of the unfranchised Uitlanders as helots. The best of us have our bad moments when we drop into rhetoric. But if the Uitlander could be likened to a helot, how would the same eloquent pen have described the imported Chinaman? Would he, would any of us, have shrunk from using the word "slave"? Is it not morally certain if this Ordinance had been passed by that body under these conditions that President Kruger's attention would have been drawn to the eighth Article of the Convention of 1884, viz.—No slavery or apprenticeship partaking of slavery will be tolerated by the Government of the South African Republic?In view of that Article is it not conceivable, at any rate, that President Kruger would have been asked for explanations? You may call it what you will; it is not a question of names. But the fact remains, and the plain fact is this, that, without any clear mandate 367 from the Transvaal itself, in defiance, as I believe, of the predominant sentiment both of this country and of the Empire at large, you are hurrying and rushing a situation which, if ever there was one, needed a quiet hand and a patient temper, you are
§ by means of this Ordinance putting in jeopardy the whole future of South Africa.
§ Question put.
§ The House divided:—Ayes, 242; Noes, 299. (Division List No. 66.)371
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.)||Edwards, Frank||Lambert, George|
|Ainsworth, John Stirling||Elibank, Master of||Langley, Batty|
|Allen, Charles P.||Ellice, Capt E. C (S Andrw'sBghs||Law, Hugh Alex. (Donegal, W.)|
|Ambrose, Robert||Ellis, John Edward (Notts.)||Lawson, Sir Wilfrid (Cornwall)|
|Asher, Alexander||Emmott, Alfred||Layland-Barratt, Francis|
|Ashton, Thomas Gair||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Leamy, Edmund|
|Asquith, Rt. Hn. Herbt. Henry||Evans, Sir F. H. (Maidstone)||Leigh, Sir Joseph|
|Atherley-Jones, L.||Eve, Harry Trelawney||Leng, Sir John|
|Barran, Rowland Hirst||Farquharson, Dr Robert||Levy, Maurice|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Farrell, James Patrick||Lewis, John Herbert|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Fenwick, Charles||Lloyd-George, David|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Ferguson, R. C. Munro (Leith)||Lough, Thomas|
|Bell, Richard||Ffrench, Peter||Lundon, W.|
|Black, Alexander William||Field, William||Lyell, Charles Henry|
|Blake, Edward||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmund||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Boland, John||Flynn, James Christopher||MacNeill, John Gordon Swift|
|Bowles, T. Gibson(King's Lynn||Foster, Sir Mich. (Lond. Univ.||MacVeagh, Jeremiah|
|Brigg, John||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||M'Crae, George|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Fowler, Rt. Hon. Sir Henry||M'Fadden, Edward|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Freeman-Thomas, Captain F.||M'Hugh, Patrick A.|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Fuller, J. M. F.||M'Kean, John|
|Bryce, Rt. Hon. James||Furness, Sir Christopher||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Buchanan, Thomas Ryburn||Gilhooly, James||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)|
|Burke, E. Haviland||Goddard, Daniel Ford||M'Laren, Sir Charles Benjamin|
|Burns, John||Grant, Corrie||Mellor, Rt. Hon. John William|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Grey, Rt. Hon. Sir E. (Berwick)||Mooney, John J.|
|Caldwell, James||Griffith, Ellis J.||Morgan, J. Lloyd (Carmarthen)|
|Cameron, Robert||Guest, Hon. Ivor Churchill||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Morley, Rt. Hn. John (Montrose|
|Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.||Hammond, John||Moss, Samuel|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Harcourt, Lewis V. (Rossendale||Moulton, John Fletcher|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Harcourt, Rt Hn Sir W (Monm'th||Murphy, John|
|Cawley, Frederick||Harmsworth R. Leicester||Nannetti, Joseph P.|
|Channing, Francis Allston||Harwood, George||Newnes, Sir George|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Hatch, Ernest Frederick Geo.||Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N.)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Hayden, John Patrick||Nolan, Joseph (Louth, South)|
|Cogan, Denis J.||Hayter, Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur D.||Norman, Henry|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Helme, Norval Watson||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Craig, Robert Hunter (Lanark)||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||Nussey, Thomas Willans|
|Cremer, William Randal||Henderson, Arthur (Durham)||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Crombie, John William||Hobhouse, C. E. H. (Bristol, E.)||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.)|
|Crooks, William||Holland, Sir William Henry||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Cullinan, J.||Hope, John Deans (Fife, West)||O'Brien, P. J. (Tipperary, N.)|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Horniman, Frederick John||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan (Cardigan||Hutchinson, Dr. Charles Fredk.||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)|
|Delany, William||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||O'Dowd, John|
|Devlin, Chas. Ramsay (Galway||Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)|
|Devlin, Joseph (Kilkenny, N.)||Joicey, Sir James||O'Malley, William|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Jones, D. Brynmor (Swansea)||O'Mara, James|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Jones, William (Carnarvonshire||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Jordan, Jeremiah||Parrott, William|
|Dobbie, Joseph||Joyce, Michael||Partington, Oswald|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Kearley, Hudson E.||Paulton, James Mellor|
|Doogan, P. C.||Kemp, Lieut.-Colonel George||Pearson, Sir Weetman D.|
|Douglas, Charles M. (Lanark)||Kilbride, Denis||Pease, J. A. (Saffron Walden)|
|Duffy, William J.||Kitson, Sir James||Perks, Robert William|
|Duncan, J. Hastings||Labouchere, Henry||Power, Patrick Joseph|
|Price, Robert John||Shaw, Charles Edw. (Stafford)||Ure, Alexander|
|Priestley, Arthur||Shaw, Thomas (Hawick, B.)||Wallace, Robert|
|Rea, Russell||Sheehan, Daniel Daniel||Walton, Jn. Lawson (Leeds, S.)|
|Reckitt, Harold James||Sheehy, David||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Reddy, M.||Shipman, Dr. John G.||Warner, Thomas, Courtenay T.|
|Redmond, John E. (Waterford)||Sinclair, John (Forfarshire)||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan)|
|Redmond, William (Clare)||Slack, John Bamford||Wason, Jn. Cathcart (Orkney)|
|Rickett, J. Compton||Smith, Samuel (Flint)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Rigg, Richard||Soames, Arthur Welleslsy||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Roberts, John Bryn (Eifion)||Soares, Ernest J.||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)||Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R (Northants||White, Patrick (Meath, North)|
|Robertson, Edmund (Dundee)||Stevenson, Francis S.||Whiteley, George (York, W.R.)|
|Robson, William Snowdon||Strachey, Sir Edward||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Roche, John||Sullivan, Donal||Whittaker, Thomas Palmer|
|Roe, Sir Thomas||Taylor, Theodore C. (Radcliffe)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Rollit, Sir Albert Kaye||Tennant, Harold John||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Rose, Charles Day||Thomas, Sir A. (Glamorgan, E.)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.)|
|Runciman, Walter||Thomas, D. Alfred (Merthyr)||Wood, James|
|Russell, T. W.||Thomas, J.A (Glamorgan, Gower||Woodhouse, Sir J. T (Huddersf'd|
|Samuel, Herbert L. (Cleveland)||Thomson, F. W. (York, W. R.)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)||Tillet, Louis John|
|Schwann, Charles E.||Tomkinson, James||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Herbert Gladstone and Mr. William M'Arthur.|
|Seely, Charles Hilton (Lincoln)||Toulmin, George|
|Seely, Maj. J. E. B. (Isle of Wight||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cavendish, V.C.W. (Derbyshire||Dyke, Rt.Hn.Sir William Hart|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton|
|Aird, Sir John||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Faber, George Denison (York)|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. A (Worc||Fardell, Sir T. George|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Chaplin, Rt. Hon. Henry||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Chapman, Edward||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst|
|Arnold-Forster, Rt. Hn. Hugh O||Charrington, Spencer||Finch, Rt. Hon. George H.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Clare, Octavius Leigh||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne|
|Aubrey-Fleteher, Rt. Hn. Sir H||Clive, Captain Percy A.||Firbank, Sir Joseph Thomas|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Coates, Edward Feetham||Fisher, William Hayes|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||Fison, Frederick William|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Coghill, Douglas Harry||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Flannery, Sir Fortescue|
|Balcarres, Lord||Collings, Rt. Hon. Jesse||Flower, Sir Ernest|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Colomb, Sir John Chas. Ready||Forster, Henry William|
|Balfour, Capt. C. B. (Hornsey)||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Fyler, John Arthur|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. G. W. (Leeds||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Galloway, William Johnson|
|Balfour, Kenneth R. (Christch.||Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Gardner, Ernest|
|Banbury, Sir Frederick George||Cox, Irwin Edward Bainbridge||Garfit, William|
|Banes, Major George Edward||Craig, Charles Curtis (Antrim,S||Gibbs, Hon. A. G. H.|
|Barry, Sir Francis T. (Windsor)||Cripps, Charles Alfred||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.|
|Bartley, Sir George C. T.||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin & Nairn)|
|Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Gordon, J. (Londonderry, S.)|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir Mich. Hicks||Crossley, Rt. Hon. Sir Savile||Gore, Hn. S. F. Ormsby (Line.)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim|
|Bignold, Arthur||Cust, Henry John C.||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Bigwood, James||Dalkeith, Earl of||Graham, Henry Robert|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Dairymple, Sir Charles||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Bond, Edward||Davenport, William Bromley||Greene, Henry D.(Shrewsbury)|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith||Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)||Greene, W. Raymond (Cambss.|
|Boulnois, Edmund||Dewar, Sir T.R.(Tower Hamlets||Grenfell, William Henry|
|Bousfield, William Robert||Dickinson, Robert Edmond||Gretton, John|
|Bowles, Lt,-Col. H. F (Middlesex||Dickson, Charles Scott||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Brassey, Albert||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Groves, James Grimble|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Dimsdale, Rt. Hn. Sir Joseph C.||Guthrie, Walter Murray|
|Brotherton, Edward Allen||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Halsey, Rt. Hon. Thomas F.|
|Brown, Sir Alex. H. (Shropsh.)||Dixon-Hartland, Sir F. Dixon||Hambro, Charles Eric|
|Bull, William James||Dorington, Rt. Hn. Sir John E.||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Doughty, George||Hardy, L. (Kent, Ashford)|
|Butcher, John George||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers||Hare, Thomas Leigh|
|Campbell, J.H.M. (Dublin Univ||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Duke, Henry Edward||Harris, Dr. Fredk. R. (Dulwich|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.|
|Haslett, Sir James Horner||Maxwell, Rt Hn. Sir H. E (Wigt'n||Samuel, Sir H. S. (Limehouse)|
|Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Maxwell, W.J.H. (Dumfriessh.||Sandys, Lt.-Col. Thos. Myles|
|Heath, James (Staffords., N. W.||Meysey-Thompson, Sir H. M.||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. Edw. J|
|Heaton, John Henniker||Middlemore, Jn. Throgmorton||Scott, Sir S. (Marylebone, W.)|
|Helder, Augustus||Milner, Rt. Hn. Sir Frederick G.||Seton-Karr, Sir Henry|
|Henderson, Sir A. (Staffords W.||Milvain, Thomas||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Hermon-Hodge, Sir Robert T.||Mitchell, William (Burnley)||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Hickman, Sir Alfred||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Hoare, Sir Samuel||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Hobhouse, Rt Hn. H (Somers't E||Montagu, Hn. J. Scott (Hants.)||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Hogg, Lindsay||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Smith, H C (North'mb. Tyneside|
|Hope, J. F (Sheffield, Brightside||Moore, William||Smith, Hon. W. F. D. (Strand)|
|Hornby, Sir William Henry||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Spear, John Ward|
|Horner, Frederick William||Morpeth, Viscount||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Hoult, Joseph||Morrell, George Herbert||Stanley, Edward Jas. (Somerset|
|Houston, Robert Paterson||Morrison, James Archibald||Stanley, Rt. Hon. Lord (Lancs.|
|Howard, J. (Kent, Faversham)||Morton, Arthur H. Aylmer||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Hozier, Hn. James Henry Cecil||Mount, William Arthur||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Hudson, George Bickersteth||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Stock, James Henry|
|Hunt, Rowland||Muntz, Sir Philip A.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Hutton, John (Yorks., N. R.)||Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute)||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G. (Oxf'd Univ|
|Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry)||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Jeffreys, Rt. Hon. Arthur Fred.||Myers, William Henry||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Johnstone, Heywood (Sussex)||Newdegate, Francis A. N.||Tomlinson, Sir Wm. Edw. M.|
|Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Nicholson, William Graham||Tuff, Charles|
|Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Tufnell, Lieut.-Col. Edward|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W.(Salop.||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Tuke, Sir John Batty|
|Keswick, William||Parker, Sir Gilbert||Valentia, Viscount|
|Kimber, Henry||Parkes, Ebenezer||Vincent, Col. Sir C. E. H (Shef'ld|
|Knowles, Sir Lees||Peel, Hn. Wm. Robert Wellesley||Vincent, Sir Edgar (Exeter)|
|Laurie, Lieut.-General||Percy, Earl||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Law, Andrew Bonar (Glasgow)||Pierpoint, Robert||Walrond, Rt. Hn. Sir William H|
|Lawrence, Sir Jos. (Monmouth)||Pilkington, Colonel Richard||Wanklyn, James Leslie|
|Lawrence, Wm. F. (Liverpool)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Warde, Colonel C. E.|
|Lawson, J. Grant (Yorks., N. R.||Plummer, Walter R.||Webb, Colonel William George|
|Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)||Powell, Sir Francis Sharp||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. C. E (Taunton|
|Lees, Sir Elliott (Birkenhead)||Pretyman, Ernest George||Welby, Sir Charles G. E. (Notts.|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Wharton, Rt. Hon. John Lloyd|
|Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.||Pym, C. Guy||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Llewellyn, Evan Henry||Rankin, Sir James||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Lockwood, Lieut.-Col. A. R.||Rasch, Sir Frederic Carne||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Loder, Gerald Walter Erskine||Ratcliff, R. F.||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.|
|Long, Col. Charles W. (Evesham||Reid, James (Greenock)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S.)||Remnant, James Farquharson||Wilson-Todd, Sir W. H. (Yorks.)|
|Lonsdale, John Brownlee||Renwick, George||Wodehouse, Rt. Hn. E. R.(Bath|
|Lowe, Francis William||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge)||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Ridley, S. Forde (Bethnal Green||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart|
|Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Lyttelton, Rt. Hon. Alfred||Roberts, Samuel (Sheffield)||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Wyndham-Quin, Major W. H.|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Robinson, Brooke||Yerburgh, Robert Armstrong|
|M'Calmont, Colonel James||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire)||Rothschild, Hn. Lionel Walter|
|Majendie, James A. H.||Round, Rt. Hon. James||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir Alexander Acland-Hood and Mr. Ailwyn Fellowes.|
|Malcolm, Ian||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Rutherford, John (Lancashire)|
|Martin, Richard Biddulph||Rutherford, W. W. (Liverpool)|
|Massey-Mainwaring, Hn. W.F.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford|