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of a British bullet to the certainty of the persecution that will await them at the hands of their own people when peace has been made.
will in either case leave things much as they were, it is idle to expect the colonial Dutch to give active help to England, or even to refrain from aiding the cause of the enemy. They
must be made to understand that the result of this war—a result irrevocable and inexorable as fate will be to wipe off these pestilent oligarchies from the face of Africa and to establish a British Government, under which the Queen's warrant shall run in every nook and corner of the land.
Then, as to our own colonists. The considerations set forth above are applicable even with greater force to the Dutch in Natal and the Cape Colony. If they believe that the result of the war will be the maintenance of the Republics under conditions much the same before, they will feel that they can always rely on finding a safe refuge, even if the British Government or the Cape Ministry, with whom it will technically rest, thinks fit to prosecute them for rebellion. With an Afrikander Ministry in power and the constitution of the Cape Colony as it is now, their chances of escaping prosecution or finding refuge from its effects would amount to certainty. Their obvious and safe game is to continue to fight in the ranks of the enemy. If the Boers win, they are sure of their reward in being allowed to appropriate the farms and the stock of the British or loyal Dutch settlers. If the British win and traitors are threatened with punishment, they will have a city of refuge in the Transvaal or the Orange Free State. They know well, moreover, that a British Government which would use the victory won by the blood of its people to reinstate the Republics, would hardly have the face to move for the punishment of its own disloyal subjects. If they are allowed to hope that the war Mr Chamberlain, gives his
If a consideration of the influences bearing on the conduct of the disloyal renders a speedy settlement of the matter advisable, from the view of the loyal colonists even stronger arguments can be adduced. The British in the Cape Colony and Natal have thrown themselves with all their heart into the conflict on the side of the mother country. They have exhibited a loyalty and patriotic devotion beyond praise. Their lives and their property have been given to England without reserve. They ask what is to be the state of things after they have helped us to conquer the Boers, and they have a right to a straight and unequivocal answer from the British Government and nation. It is well worth while to quote the following passage from Mr F. S. Tatham's letter to the Governor of Natal, written on the 11th September last. Mr Tatham is a member of the Legislative Assembly; and Sir Walter Hely-Hutchinson, in sending the letter to
to the Transvaal and the Orange Free State is explained by Sir
opinion that the views expressed by Mr Tatham shared by a large body of his Walter Hely-Hutchinson in his fellow-colonists in Natal.
"Spurred on," he writes, "by the strong declarations publicly made by Mr Chamberlain and other members of her Majesty's Government, and by their strong sentiment of loyalty to the Crown, the people of Natal have unhesitatingly ranged themselves on the side of the Imperial Government; and by resolutions at public meetings and in Parliament, passed in the firm belief that her Majesty's Government intended to carry through a final settlement of the question, Natal is so deeply committed that she will be at the mercy of the Transvaal oligarchy if that
Government be allowed to continue.
The loyalty of the people of Natal, intense as it is, might be tried beyond breaking-point if we should be abandoned to the tender mercies of the Transvaal; and though the events of 1881 rudely shocked the British sentiment of the people of this colony, they would be as nothing weighed against such an abandonment now of England's supremacy. The franchise matter is dead. The issue now is British supremacy or Boer supremacy; and upon a definite settlement of that issue hang the lives and fortunes of those who have stood by Great Britain in this controversy. Natalians live in daily dread of news that a settlement is contemplated which will fall short of a complete safeguard of Natal's interests and the interests of those who have taken so strong a stand by the side of the mother country in this matter. Such a dread may be quite unjustifiable; but that it exists cannot be truthfully
If these were the sentiments of the Natal English before the war, what has taken place since the strife began has strengthened and accentuated them. They have now burnt their ships, and depend on English firmness for the future of their colony. The position of Natal with regard
letter to Mr Chamberlain of the 15th September on the state of public feeling and the situation in his province. "I need scarcely remind you," he writes, "that in her relations with the
Transvaal Natal is in a very vulnerable position.' He goes on to explain that of the Natal loan of £9,000,000 seven-ninths have been invested in a railway which derives the bulk of its revenue from the overberg trade. She has also spent more than £1,000,000 on harbour works to accommodate the railway traffic. way competes with the CapeFree - State system and the Delagoa Bay system. All three lines centre in the Netherlands Railway, over parts of which all the overberg traffic must pass.
The Natal Rail
The Transvaal Government and the Netherlands Railway, different names for the same thing, can fatally injure the commerce of Natal, and by starving the Natal Railway make it difficult for the colony to pay the interest on her debt. For the interest is derived from the railway revenue. can doubt what the Transvaal oligarchy will do if it is left in power. Of Boer malice and ill-will to every South African colonial who has fought for England there is abundant evidence.
There is another, and in respect of numbers a very important, portion of the population in South Africa, on whom uncertainty regarding the future policy of Great
Britain must have a very misehievous effect. The native tribes, who number in Natal alone about three-quarters of a million, are, it is well known, closely watching the present struggle between Boer and British, and any doubt regarding the issue of it must have an immediate effect on their conduct. The suspicion that another surrender by England may be contemplated, would assuredly incline them to lean towards the Boers.
Of all the arguments in favour of a present discussion and prompt settlement of our policy in respect of the Boer Republics, perhaps the strongest may be derived from the British constitution and the caprice of the national character. It is easy to ridicule Lord Salisbury's reference to the British constitution as an for Ministerial laches. It is neverIt is never theless true that a system under which a wave of popular feeling may upset a Ministry, and install successors who will reverse their policy and undo their work, is inconsistent with the maintenance of an empire. It may appear absurd when we see the present bearing of the nation even to hint at the possibility of such an event. This is an age, however, which does not favour steadfastness. The mass of the people are sensation-fed by a cheap press. Popular enthusiasm is strong, but it is short-lived in proportion to its strength. Nothing seems able to hold the attention of the public for more than a few weeks it will become bored with the war,
weary of the "Absent-Minded Beggar,' weary of Kipling, weary even of the Daily Mail' itself. Soon it will be sensitive to nothing connected with the war but its cost and its effects on trade. There lies the great danger. The stern and steadfast will which held England straight through more than a decade of fierce battle in the beginning of the century and led her to triumph is wanting, alas! in our present leaders, and may not be found in the classes that now hold the reins of power.
When the keenness of the excitement has worn off, and the weariness of spent. passion has supervened, then will come the opening for the sentimental literary politician and the Radical who loves to practise a vicarious humility at the cost of his country. It will be so much easier, we shall be told, to let everything be. So much shorter and safer, that is the word, to say to Messrs Kruger and Steyn, "As you were before we began to fight." It will save all the trouble of thinking out a new constitution, and deliver the country from the burden of responsibility inseparable from the annexation of the conquered States. Above all, a conclusion of this kind will be so grandly magnanimous. It will cover this people with a glory of transcendent virtue that cannot fail to excite the admiration, perhaps it may stimulate the hatred, entertained by foreign nations for Great Britain as the exponent of international Christianity. If any one after reading his his morning morning paper thinks that the apprehension of
such revulsion of feeling is chimerical, let him recall how Lord Lytton's arrangements were upset after the last Afghan War; how the annexation of the Transvaal, which was final and irrevocable a year or two before,
was cancelled after Majuba; or how the decision to withdraw from Chitral was reversed before the ink was dry. To the British constitution all things are possible.
There are the usual three courses open to us in dealing with this South African problem. First, the Republics may be left as they are, but with their independence guaranteed to them, and with every claim to suzerainty on the part of her Majesty, or of control over their relations with foreign Governments, withdrawn. This proposition reads like a jest; but it has been solemnly discussed at public meetings, and stamped with the approval of Mr Leonard Courtney and others of his kind. It might be improved by adding the gift of a good port on the east coast of Africa and the payment of a suitable yearly tribute by England to the Transvaal.
once for all the Dutch Republics, to merge them in British territory, and place them under the British flag-to amalgamate them, in fact, with the British colonies, and form one empire or dominion of South Africa.
The first course may be summarily set aside as the imaginings of a lunatic philanthropist, until it is forced upon us by Boer bullets, or until a degenerate nation places its fortunes in the hands of a Ministry composed of Mr Morley, Sir Wilfrid Lawson, Mr Leonard Courtney, and their followers.
The second plan is the one to be feared. It is of the nature of a compromise, and Parliament dearly loves compromises. It has the appearance of imposing our own terms on the defeated enemy, and at the same time of adding nothing to the burden of our responsibility. Time will not be wasted in examining carefully what it means.
It might be carried out in two ways either by maintaining the two Republics in separate independence or by amalgamating them into one State. In order to disarm them and to demolish their fortifications, their constitutions must be suppressed for a time, and a strong and rigorous military rule established. No one can doubt that they would bitterly resent this course of treatment. When their teeth had been drawn, our forces would retire, and leave them to the task of reviving their own Government. It will hardly be denied that they would set about the work in a spirit of bitter hostility to Great The third course is to abolish Britain. They would regard
The second course is like unto it, but not quite so bad. The Republics may be left after the war much as they are, but with certain restrictions on their armaments, with the reassertion of her Majesty's suzerainty and control over their foreign relations, and with a liberal franchise law giving qual rights to white men of all
themselves as practically victorious, for no Boer, indeed for the matter of that no one else, will believe that England would have left them independent if she could have annexed them. Their contempt for the rooi-neks and hatred to them would be as great as before the war. They are a patient people, and can bide their time. It is impossible to leave them their independence and at the same time to ensure that they shall govern themselves in accordance with our wishes.
They will begin again and strain every nerve to prepare for a new attempt to overthrow our power, when in the future, near or distant, fortune gives them the chance. If they are amalgamated, union will increase their capacity for mischief, and for making the lives of other than Dutch settlers impossible. If they are kept separate, the conditions will be little better. They will conspire together and form secret compacts, as in the past. In either case they will be the rallying-point for Afrikander intrigue, and for all who wish ill to British power in South Africa. It will be said that the condition of independence, a liberal elective franchise, has been overlooked. The Uitlanders will have votes, and their numbers in the Transvaal especially are so large that their vote will regulate the policy of the States. This condition will no doubt modify the case materially. It may be doubted, however, whether it will have, on the whole, so great or so favourable an influence as at first sight
might be anticipated. In the first place, the great majority of the Uitlanders are collected in and about Johannesburg. Their interests and those of the Dutch farmers who are scattered over the face of the country cannot always coincide. The oppression of the Boer party by the Uitlander faction may be as evil as the tyranny exercised by the Boers over the Uitlanders. The two classes will be divided not only by different political opinions. They will begin their partnership with all the animosity that race hatred, divergent interests, and the bitterness engendered by recent strife and Boer tyranny, can create in the human mind. Add to this that the Boer minority will be conscious of the possession of greater military strength and martial vigour. The heterogeneous collection of mining and shopkeeping Uitlanders could have no chance against them if it came to blows, and both sides will know this. The whole fabric will depend on the power of Great Britain, and will only be held together by the pressure and exercise of that power. You might as well make the commencement of a happy family by caging together a terrier and a cat who had just been tearing each other. There can be no reasonable prospect of good government for a country under such conditions.
Time, no doubt, might work to reconcile and unite the two races to each other. When they found that escape from the enforced partnership was impossible, a modus vivendi