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ance from the Dutch oligarchy As regards their faculty of which has ruined them to independent self-government, it the British Crown. Whatever presents an overwhelming arguMembers of Parliament or con- ment in support of Lord Salisciliation committees may say bury's declaration that her to the contrary, Boer domina- Majesty's Government will no tion must
from the longer assent to their exercisZambesi to the Cape, as having ing it. In President Kruger's been shown by experience to be hands republicanism was a mere equally pernicious to Boer and name, and so was self-governBriton, and to be held in horror ment. The controlling motive by the natives. It has been was hatred and hostility to shown that whatever
whatever their everything British. A foreign good qualities, they can neither oligarchy was established largely govern nor make war. As composed of Hollander Dutchregards the latter, with all the men, preferred to Cape Dutchadvantages of the initiative, as being freed from the and of years of preparation, status of British subjects. Its they have everywhere failed. interests were diverse from those They have been beaten off from of the Boers, who wanted not two, and we hope from three, domination over others but sieges. Their finest force and independence and freedom from best general have by a single the restraints of civilisation. stroke of strategy been driven Through Reitz, and afterwards out of elaborately devised forti- through Steyn and Fischer, fications at Magersfontein, and this oligarchy laid a controlling driven into a nullah on the hand over the Orange Free Modder river, guns and all, State, and for all practical and kept there till Majuba purposes self-government by Day, when they were compelled resident farmers, who lived at to capitulate. No one disputes too great a distance from one their bravery, or,
under com- another to admit of concerted petent leadership, their military action, vanished and was deefficiency; but they have been monstrably impossible. The left behind in the race for civil- two republics, whose
whose racial isation, and are not equipped, animosity to the British was either morally or intellectually, fed by increasing armaments, for the task of dominion which became mere tools in the hands they rashly aspired to under- of a dangerous oligarchy, whose take. There is not trace avowed aim and propaganda of their possessing either the were to substitute their own organisation or the political for British ascendancy. Selfcapacity required either
to government has existed only ensure success or to cope with in name. It was not by selfthe tasks which success would government that tyranny, corhave imposed. Their scheme ruption, and a sanguinary war
of sheer mischief, have been introduced into prompted by hostility to every- South Africa. It was by the thing British and civilised. total failure of self-government
that those results were brought ernment, either municipal or about.
political. That self-government, which An excellent account of the some politicians are so anxious situation, which is worthy of to restore, has turned out to be, attention now it is sought to in the case of both republics, restore it, has recently been a nuisance both to themselves given by Professor Edouard and their neighbours. Every- Naville, a most distinguished thing depended upon what professor of the University of leaders came to the front. Geneva. It is avowedly writUnder President Brand, sound ten from a foreign point of principles prevailed. With men view, the intention being to put like Kruger and Steyn, the before his countrymen "a clear
, permanent interests of the Boers and unbiassed account,” and were lost sight of, that the “to disabuse their minds of the few might prosper.
There is false and distorted views presvery little fitness for independ- ented by the foreign press.' ence discernible amongst the The condemnation of President Free Staters in their wilful Kruger's system, and the vindiblindness to the tyranny, cor- cation of the course pursued by ruption, and oppression which this country, are complete. We it is now admitted on all hands are glad to see that the pamreigned at Pretoria. The Trans- phlet has been widely circulated vaal system of self-government in French, German, and Italian; and misgovernment has been showing that the more respectso completely laid bare, in books, able of our Continental neighin parliamentary papers, and in bours desire an impartial and these pages, that it is unneces- competent statement of a case sary to refer to it in detail, which is interesting the whole except to say that it was ad- civilised world. As the result mitted by themselves in a report of his examination of the quesby their own Industrial Com- tion, he scouts the notion of mission of inquiry. It was not comparing the Transvaal with even government for the people, Switzerland. In what, he asks, let alone government by the does the independent political people. It was an organised life of the Transvaal consist ? system of oppression and spolia- “Only two things: the opprestion of the Uitlanders, who were sion of the blacks, and making regarded by their Government money out of the foreigners. as hostile intruders, and who The great nations which rule were taxed and despoiled in the world will ask, What is the order to buy guns and arma- use of small countries if these ments wherewith to
are the principles they represthem, and received in lieu of ent, and if this is their usefulall this plunder the discharge ness? And what interest have of none of the duties of gov- we in preserving the small
W. Blackwood &
1 The Transvaal Question. By Edouard Naville, Geneva. Sons. Edinburgh and London. 1900.
countries, if they are only the other hand, to quote our stones in the path of civilisa- Swiss champion, “tribunals will tion?” That is the impartial be instituted which will not be view of a foreigner of distinc- in the hands of the executive tion who has carefully studied power: police, schools, municipal the question.
administration will not be long The Transvaal Boers, as many in being established, and those of them as are capable of it, had liberal institutions which make better reconsider their position colonies like the Cape the freest by the light of this criticism. of countries in the world.” The If they add to it that these Boer may well pause in a now selfish and oppressive oligarchies hopeless conflict and ask himhave been accumulating arms self what he stands to lose by till they have become a standing defeat. It will simply mean, as menace to their neighbours, to M. Naville points out to him, all British subjects, and even to that he will cultivate his farm the British Empire itself, they in peace. "Nothing will be will appreciate the intensity changed in his mode of life, and unanimity of determina- except that he will not be comtion with which the whole pelled to do military service," British Empire, including all its of which it may be added he Colonies all over the world, have has recently had enough to last resolved that Boer domination him for the term of his natural shall cease. The sooner the life, nor will he be allowed to Boers realise it the sooner they maltreat the natives who work will retire from a now hopeless for him.” When one considers struggle. Their liberties are what a career of prosperity was not at stake. The whole prin- before the Transvaal from the ciples on which British empire is opening of their mines, and founded forbid the withdrawal what very little wisdom it reof their liberties, except perhaps quires to govern a number of temporarily, until South Africa people who are prosperous and is reorganised and the public hard-working, the ineptitude peace thoroughly re-established. and folly of Kruger's oligarchy As Professor Naville says, are proved by their mere failure estimating the position by the to understand and pursue it. light of British history and The Boers flung away their character, “as soon as calm chances when they passed under is restored there will be given the yoke prepared for them by to them, not the Raad, but incompetent rulers, and now a truly representative govern- their own safety and prosperity, ment, with a large measure of au- as well as the safety and prostonomy, and having at its head perity of others, demand that a governor appointed by the their domination shall cease. Crown." The Boer will become They cannot reasonably suppose a free British subject : that is that Great Britain would have the total injury which defeat, expended so much blood and however ignominious or com- treasure merely for the pleasure lete, will inflict upon him. On of renewing grants of independ
ence which have been so shame- proclamation that every Boer fully abused.
who signs submission to the Even apart from this war, Power in military occupation the results of Boer domination of his country is a traitor, have been far from advanta- and will be shot. Now that geous to the Boers themselves. the consequences have been According to Mr Fitzpatrick's unfolded, even the Transvaal testimony, Mr Kruger gave Boers may fairly ask themgreat dissatisfaction by his selves whether the
horrors policy of favouring members of of this war worth his own clique, of granting cor- durance, when success would rupt concessions, of cultivating only entail a renewal of Holthe Hollander faction, and lander oppression ; while failure allowing it to carry out its own means that they will be eventuviews regardless of the general ally incorporated as free British interests. He was regarded as subjects within a free British responsible, through himself colony, on the same terms which and his nearest relatives, for their compatriots accept with much of the plundering which satisfaction in the provinces all went
The Progressive round them, and which they party, as it was called, con- themselves, within living memducted a persistent opposition ory, have been known to welto him, only to find the Volks. raad filled with his creatures. The unmistakable delight The hostility was to the methods with which Cronje's force went of administration, the aim to into captivity as escape establish “honest and decent from enforced participation in government."
The Boers did this struggle, was a striking not share in the plunder which incident in recent events. was gained by Mr Kruger's Three-fourths of it were Transclique. They were exploited vaalers; and they were nearly as much as the Uit- joyed at becoming British landers in its interests: as the prisoners, when the only result one set was taxed and plundered, of final defeat will be to make the other was held in readiness them free British subjects. to be commandeered. “And Numerous incidents and
says Mr Naville, “is ports had led to the belief what disgusts us, that under that the Free Staters were not cover of principles so dear to us merely weary of the war, but all, independence and national that, forgetting their own eagerhonour, these brave men
for it, they had become sent to the battlefield to pre- exasperated at the fatuity on
for a tyrannical and the part of their government venal oligarchy the right to which had led them into it. share amongst themselves and Nor can they have failed to distribute as they please the notice that while the ordinary gold which is levied on the burghers have been forced, even work of foreigners." The latest sjambokked, to the front, and, evidence of tyranny is Steyn's notably in the last attack on
Ladysmith, bore the strain of a observed, when bullets are the murderous frontal attack, their only commodity distributable, President, who led them into and the hardships of campingthe war, has on all occasions out replace the luxuries of illwhen fighting ensued been con- gotten wealth. When Bloemspicuous by his absence. Mr fontein was taken, the PresiRhodes has drawn the atten- dent, who had led his country to tion of the outside world to this ruin, had escaped. As danger discreditable circumstance. Mr approached he found that his Steyn has occasionally har- sphere of usefulness lay elseangued and telegraphed to his where. No doubt the Boers are burghers — that is, to unpro- as dissatisfied as Mr Kruger, fessional citizen soldiers, of and many of them may probwhom he himself is one—to en- ably open their eyes to the courage them to battle, but on “true inwardness” (to borrow no single occasion has he placed a phrase much affected at the himself at their head. An present time) of Boer dominaAmerican journalist with the tion. It means that they are Boers sent from Pretoria to the launched upon schemes by which London ‘Times' at the end of others are to profit, and which January a copy of a telegram will not secure to themselves from Mr Kruger to Mr Steyn, freedom from restraint or from who was then in camp about any other of the ills of life ; eight miles from Jacobsdal- while to the Uitlander and to very safe distance from actual the native those schemes have hostilities. In it occurs this all along meant the maximum significant passage : “If we re- of oppression and ill - usage treat, it is owing to cowardice. which is possible in the neighI have noticed that want of bourhood of civilisation. co-operation has caused us to If Boer domination is hateful evacuate our positions. My age to Uitlander and native, and of does not permit me to join my no advantage to the Boer himsons, otherwise I would have self, it is from the point of view been at the front by this time. of British empire so subversive Your Honour's directions and of peace, prosperity, and liberty advice must be before them con- that it must be abolished. The tinuously. .. .. Your Honour almost universal voice of Great must impress upon the officers Britain has pronounced its exand burghers that they must re- tinction. The Colonies, with sist to the death.” And no doubt statesmen of experience at their the old President meant, by ex- head, have joined in that deample as well as by precept. cision. New Zealand, for in
Dr Reitz, Mr Steyn, Mr stance, has declared that it will Fischer, and Dr Leyds are support the mother country to credited with having been well the last. As soon as the posito the fore when the proceeds tion was appreciated, and public of public plunder were being opinion brought to bear upon divided. They are not equally its details, unanimity of resoluconspicuous, as far as we have tion pervaded this world-wide