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recede. We may depend upon clusiveness. On the other hand, it that the Governments of it is a commonplace of colonial those two countries, if they politics that Great Britain is attach any value whatever to the only colonising Power which their South African possessions, proclaims the open door, and are keenly alive to the fact that which offers no impediment in whatever the unreasoning pre- any part of the world to the judices of their people and press, traffic in our dependencies of their permanent interests are our trade rivals. bound up in the success of our It is undoubtedly an unhappy
As far as European controversy to which we stand politics are concerned, our fail- committed. It is due, however, ure in South Africa and con- as much to our own negligence sequent loss of prestige would and indifference, our unhappy not promote the permanent in- party conflicts at the close of terests of Europe. It would Lord Beaconsfield's Administrarelatively increase the power, tion, and to the exigencies of or rather the prestige, of France Mr Gladstone's political posiand Russia. That would, as the tion in 1881, as to any skill or Cologne Gazette' points out, resolution on the part of our “bode no good for Germany.” antagonists. We have got into “It cannot be denied,” that this scrape by allowing foreign paper argues, “that a power- policy to be made the subject ful England as a counterpoise of party strife and platform to the Franco - Russian dual demonstrations. As a rule, alliance—if it only be a passive Lord John Russell and Lord counterpoise-cannot very well Palmerston, amongst Liberal be spared, or we also might leaders, abstained from so perilhave one day some very sad ous a pastime. Mr Fox in the experience ourselves.” That Napoleonic wars, and Mr Gladsad experience is not likely stone during the hated ascento
Our fleet is far dancy of his rival, set no limits too formidable and our power to their political animosity, and is too widely established to flung prudential considerations admit of such a contingency. to the winds. The Boers were And as for commercial envy, encouraged to insist upon the which is really at the base retrocession of the Transvaal, of this international spite, were defied into taking up arms, a very little reflection would and then were yielded to in a show them that our ascendancy manner which meant, in the
no trade-loss to them. eyes of South Africans generDutch colonial trade-policy is ally, both white and black, a remarkable for its inhospitality repudiation of the rights and to the foreigner; and the Trans- obligations of ascendancy, and a vaal Boer accentuates in his surrender to the victorious arms repugnance to all commerce of the Boer on our own soil. whatever the worst features of From that time to this their his ancestral and national ex
grown, and we—that
is, successive Governments at The tendency abroad when home—have done nothing to military reverses occur is to check it, or even to prepare for accuse the generals of treachery an eventual trial of strength. and the Administration of corSo ingrained in our political ruption. The English never go natures has been this supineness, so far as that. But they are that we cannot single out the very ready to believe that present Ministry for special they are attributable to the blame. On the contrary, they grossest carelessness, and to are the only Ministry who have the neglect to take the most acted: they have secured a re- obvious precautions and markable uprising of patriotism pedients. In the fervour of and resolution both at home and the wisdom which comes after in the colonies on this subject; the event, we refuse to estimate they have cleared the ground the position and surrounding for action by friendly arrange- circumstances of both Ministers ments with all Foreign Powers; and generals at the time when they managed to get Indian they are called on to decide. reinforcements in time; they We make no allowance for exwere ready with a magnificent ceptional difficulties, and overexpedition in a very short space; look what has been achieved in they will eventually assert the
our eagerness to censure them. challenged ascendancy of this We had much better adjourn country. The great want of the consideration of those this country, the political ex- matters. The great thing to pedient which must be made attend to now is to remedy ready to our hand, is a force of mistakes and secure the sucsay 30,000 or 40,000 men which cessful prosecution of this war, can be despatched at once when and for that purpose to appoint circumstances require it, with and rely upon our best generals. out the necessity of elaborate We must go through with it; mobilisation, calling out of re- and whatever it costs in men, serves, and summoning Parlia- money, and resources, we must ment. These things, when they see it to the end, and the are resorted to, are a menace of end must be successful and war, and fatally handicap a triumphant. The Boer collapse Government which merely wants may come any day, and we to show that at the back of dip- believe that it will come within lomatic representation a mili- a reasonable period. But even tary force is ready for action. if the struggle is prolonged, we A power analogous to that of must accept it, in loyalty to sending forth a flying squadron, the colonies which have stood which was exercised a few years by our side, to the South ago with significant expedi- African British whom we cantion, is one which ought, from not desert without infamy, motives of public safety and to the blacks whom we prudence, to be intrusted to the bound to protect after conMinistry of the day.
quering and disarming them,
to the permanent interests of which jeopardises our empire the South African Dutch, who is entirely our own fault. The have everything to lose and struggle will not rank as one nothing to gain from the as- of the great enterprises which cendancy of the Transvaal have made our empire. It is Boers. A century ago our
the Nemesis of Mid - Lothian grandfathers were bearing the oratory and of a popular statesbrunt of a deadly struggle with man's portentous blunders. But Napoleon and his colossal power. such as it is, we owe it to the Three centuries ago we had generations which have gone just closed a mortal conflict before us and to those which with the whole power of Spain, will succeed us to carry it to at the zenith of its greatness, a successful end, and worthily under Philip II. To-day we maintain the empire which cenhave only President Kruger turies of our ancestors have and a limited force of peasant built up, and which it is our farmers to deal with; and that task not merely to enjoy but we are so engaged in a way to defend and uphold.
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WHAT is to be done with ward. There is a condition South Africa ? How is that subject to which all human degreat territory to be governed signs and plans are conceived when peace has been established and laid. No wise man defers by the sword ? That is the on that account to prepare himquestion of the day, and not self for circumstances that may Home Rule, or Old Age Pen- arise, and which he is striving sions, or another. It will be to bring about. No one but said that it is too soon to enter the conventionally pious deems upon such a discussion at the it necessary to be for ever propresent time, when our armies claiming the limitation. are held in check and victory Moreover, apart from the seems so far off. It will be difficulty of the problem, there condemned as arrogant and pre- are many strong reasons against sumptuous, and not in accord delay in this matter. with that spirit of self-humilia- thing to conquer a country and tion which is inculcated as destroy its Government. It is necessary to national salva- another thing to devise and tion. To us, however, it seems establish a new system of adnone too soon to begin the con- ministration to replace it. And sideration of a problem which unless the scheme has been needs long and careful thought, thought out and prepared benor is it in any spirit of undue forehand, there must necessarily confidence or assumption of occur an interregnum of consuccess that it is put for- fusion and uncertainty, even if VOL. CLXVII. —NO. MXIII.
positive anarchy does not follow. Asia and in Africa the answer With the final defeat of the has been, “ Yes. So long as the Boer armies will fall not merely sun rises in the heavens, the the power of Mr Kruger and British flag shall fly in the Mr Steyn and their councillors, Transvaal. So long as the but also the whole fabric of the earth endures, the British Govpresent constitution, with the ernment will never leave Kanpolice and courts of the Re- dahar.' Such promises, sinpublics. There must be some cerely made no doubt, have in recognised authority to take the past induced many to come the reins. At first, no doubt, to our side and help our cause. that will be the chief military How have they been fulfilled ? officer in command of her How have those fared who, Majesty's troops and his subor- trusting to them, have become dinates in the various parts our friends and given us help? of the conquered territories. What was the lot of those This, however, is only a tem- British subjects who, believing porary makeshift, and must be that England would keep the replaced as soon as may be by Transvaal, or, when that failed, a well-organised system of civil that she would control it, made administration. The sooner that their homes there?
What was system is in working order the the fate of such Afghan notbetter for the
ables showed themselves perity of the country. The friendly to the English in interests of vast industrial 1878 ? undertakings, in which the There are undoubtedly some capital not only of our own but at least of our own kindred of other nations is embarked, who have been compelled to depend upon the finding of the take up arms against us, and right solution.
who would gladly lay them Then again it is of great im- down if they were sure of our portance that no room for doubt intentions. There are probably as to our intentions, and as to many in the Orange Free State, the nature of the government even of Boer blood, who have which is to follow the assertion no personal quarrel with Engof British supremacy, should be land, and no rooted dislike to left in the minds of the Boers, live under her rule, who might of the white inhabitants of our lay down their arms if they own colonies, or of the various knew that the power of Engnative tribes and races.
land would protect them. As The first question that has our armies advance into the been put to the commander of enemies' country and the hopean invading force more than lessness of their cause becomes once in our history is, “ Are you apparent, this class will become going to remain ? Many of us more numerous. If they have would welcome the Queen's reason to think that the repubGovernment and the Pax Bri- lican government will be maintannica. But have you come
tained in any form, they will to stay?” More than once in fight on, preferring the chance