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The Ashanti Expedition

Volume 91: debated on Tuesday 19 March 1901

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said he ventured to think that this Vote was one not to be lightly considered. It affected the credit and interest of this country, and he thought, therefore, the Committee should have more informa- tion from the Colonial Secretary as to what made the war necessary. Many of them listened on the previous evening with a great deal of attention to what had been said by the Colonial Secretary on the subject, but they listened in vain for any precise statement upon this matter. They did not want to be told in general terms what were the, difficulties of the position in South Africa and what were the difficulties and aims of the Colonial Office, but they wanted to know the particular reasons that made this particular war necessary or justifiable. On the previous night the Colonial Secretary indulged in vague generalities and fell foul of the late Government. He told them that the British Government had undertaken responsibilities in Africa and it was only when he came into power as Colonial Secretary that an adequate sense of the position demanded was shown by the Government. The hon. Member thought the Colonial Secretary did certain injustice to the late Government in that matter. He did not think the late Government were so blind to the interests of this country or to our obligations as the right hon. Gentleman represented. It was perfectly true they did not go to war with anybody. That was perhaps the reason why the Colonial Secretary found fault with them. He believed the late Government entered into negotiations with Germany which settled some I outstanding difficulties with Germany; but the Colonial Secretary seemed to think that wars of this kind were absolutely necessary, and it was that which made his speech so unsatisfactory. We had no guarantee that we should not be embarked on a series of wars of this kind. The Colonial Secretary seemed to indicate that if we did our duty we were bound to go to war with one of these nations after another. That required a little explanation. The right hon. Gentleman had also told them that we were called upon to suppress slavery and the slave trade and human sacrifices; but these obligations were not new. They extended to all spheres of influence, and no doubt there had been an increase in our obligations as compared with what they were formerly. What he wanted to know was, what was the particular justification for this war in which we were now engaged? It was to that the Committee ought to direct their attention. It was pretty obvious from the Blue-book that we drifted into this war at a time when our forces were engaged to the utmost in South Africa. The first telegram in the Blue-book was an inquiry from the Colonial Secretary asking what was up. The Colonial Secretary found that there were disturbances, and he had not the slightest idea what led up to them or what they were all about. We entered upon this war and seemed to stumble and blunder along without any adequate preparation, and we were only extricated from it by the extraordinary gallantry of the soldiers and officers in command. What led up to the war? Sir Frederick Hodgson went to Coomassie, apparently under instructions from the Colonial Secretary, and put forward demands, the most provocative he could put, to the Ashantis. He informed them positively that King Prempeh would never come back. They were in hopes that he would come back. Not satisfied with that, he told them they would have to pay a heavy tribute. The Colonial Secretary made light of the amount of it, but £12,500 was not a small amount for a people to pay who were impoverished by the destruction of their commerce. Beyond that, Sir Frederick Hodgson made a demand for the Golden Stool, which was the emblem of authority in Ashanti. If they surrendered the Golden Stool it meant that they ceased1 to be a nation, and became a scattered number of tribes. If that was to be done, it should be done with an adequate: force and after proper preparation. If we were going to take away the liberties of the people it ought to be done deliberately and founded upon a thoroughly thought out policy. Nothing of that kind was done. The expedition was undertaken without any knowledge of the feelings of the Ashantis, and it was undertaken at the worst time of the year. The Colonial Secretary ought to have given them a little more information as to the reasons which made a step of that kind necessary, and as to the necessity that existed for entering upon a war which involved such bloodshed and such immense loss to the colony and the Ashantis themselves. They were told that a policy of this kind was rendered. necessary by our obligations. They were told that we were bound to put down slavery. There was no question of putting down slavery or human sacrifices in this instance. It was a question simply of raising tribute and getting hold of the Golden Stool which was the symbol of authority. If we were going to govern these countries we ought to endeavour to do so by entering into a friendly understanding with the chiefs. The French managed to get on better; they did not engage in these little wars.

said the hon. Member was quite mistaken. In the last few months the French had had wars with two of the principal chiefs.

said the policy of France would bear favourable comparison with ours in that respect and in a great many others, he trusted that they were not to understand from the Colonial Secretary that this was the beginning of a series of wars to be undertaken with no more justification than this war, and that our policy in the future might be a little more in accordance with the dictates of humanity than it had hitherto been.

contended that the Colonial Secretary's assertion that the reason for the opposition encountered by the last expedition to Coomassie was the objection of the natives to any interference with their slave dealings was incorrect, as it was conclusively Proved by the Blue-book that the whole of the disturbances were caused by the refusal of the Government to restore King Prempeh. The treatment of that unfortunate man had been perfectly scandalous, and it was no excuse to attack his personal character. In 1896 the Ashantis offered no opposition to the force sent out to Coomassie, and the Government could have imposed whatever conditions they chose, restored order in the county, and securedall they were striving for, through the authority of King Prempeh. Instead, however, of attempting to rule the country through the king, they kidnapped and imprisoned him, and down to the present day no satisfactory explanation of their action had been given. The result of those proceedings was to be found in the shedding of blood, the uprising of the natives, and the trouble for which the House was now called upon to pay. If the Government were going to war and to impose large burdens upon the taxpayers in order to put down savage practices in any part of the world, England would always be at war, and the expense would be untold. But what really was at the bottom of this business was the same thing as was at the root of the South African trouble. There had unfortunately been discovered in Ashanti rich deposits of gold, and almost simultaneously with this expensive and sanguinary military expedition there were floated in the City limited liability companies for the exploration and exploitation of the gold-fields of Ashanti. There never was case in which it was more clearly proved that gold was a perfect curse to the people of the country in which it might be discovered. The Colonial Secretary had said that the war was undertaken to put down the slave trade. That trade, if it existed now, had existed for many, many years past, and why was no attempt to suppress it made long ago by the present or some preceding Government? According to the right hon. Gentleman, the Government had been consideration itself, and had done everything possible to smooth over the difficulties. To disprove that, one case might be cited of the manner in which these people had been treated. They might be called savage people, and no doubt it was a great mistake that the Almighty, when He created the world, did not make all the populations as highly civilised as the English people. The habits and customs of these people were no doubt shocking in many respects, but, after all, they deserved some consideration as human beings created by God, just as were other people. In 1896, when the British expedition arrived without opposition at Coomassie, there was a great ceremony. The troops were drawn up in a square. in the midst of which a species of throne was constructed of empty boxes and so forth. On this throne the commander of the expedition took his seat, and nothing would suit these people, who wished to conciliate native opinion, but that this unfortunate native king should be marched out and made, on bended knee, to kiss the boots of Sir Francis Scott, the British commander. Even this degrading, humiliating, and scandalous exhibition was not sufficient: the poor old aged mother of the king was forced to go through the same ordeal. The only excuse made when the matter was brought forward in the House of Commons was that, according to a native custom, no submission was complete unless the conquered person made this obeisance to his conqueror, and that in order to impress upon the minds of these people the fact that they had been thoroughly conquered it was necessary that the king and his mother should go through this exhibition. That this description was not exaggerated was shown by Baden-Powell's "Downfall of Prempeh," a most interesting book and profusely illustrated, the first illustration being—

I must remind the hon. Member that we are not now discussing the expenditure on that expedition. Upon this Vote the hon. Member must confine himself to the last expedition.

explained that he was endeavouring to show the causes which led to the recent military operations for which the Committee were now asked to pay. He believed that with proper treatment those operations would never have been necessary. He would not labour that point beyond saying that if any person imagined that what he had said about the treatment meted out to the king and his mother was untrue, he referred them to General Baden-Powell's book, and there they would see exactly what he had described. Could anybody imagine that it was possible to deal with a wild and untrained people of this kind if we outraged every feeling that they might have; if we did everything in our power to humiliate them and treat them with contempt; and if we treated their king in a way which must be deeply resented? The recent military operations had cost us many valuable lives, which certainly might have been sacrificed in a better and nobler work, and now the House was asked to pass hundreds of thousands of pounds which need never have been incurred if, instead of attempting to ride absolutely roughshod over those people. King Prempeh had been allowed time to agree to the terms which were offered to him in 1896. Had this been done the whole country might have been ruled with perfect order, and the outrages spoken of by the Colonial Secretary would have been done away with. There were other portions of Africa where there was contentment and satisfaction, where the native chiefs were allowed to remain among their people, and if that had been done in this case he maintained that the necessity for all this miserable expenditure and terrible bloodshed would have been done away with. There were no doubt abuses in foreign countries which the Colonial Secretary and the Government might think it necessary to spend large sums upon, but there were plenty of abuses in this country which it would be equally-well worth while to spend money to do away with. Some hon. Members on the opposite side deeply resented his frequent interference in those debates, but he was never asked to vote the money for these miserable wars without having it forced upon his mind in the strongest possible way that there were scores of ways in which the money might be more gloriously and usefully spent than in carrying on these wars. The hon. Member for West Islington had done good service in calling attention to this matter, for the practice of asking the House to pass hundreds of thousands of pounds in this way was one which ought to be protested against on all sides, and if the great mass of the people of this country could realise and under stand how uncalled for all those operations were, and how little return ever came to England, Scotland, or Ireland for that expenditure, he believed they would set their faces against them, and they would not tolerate a single penny-piece spent in this way. The Colonial Secretary last night delivered a ferocious attack upon the Under Secretary for Colonial Affairs in the late Government. All he could say was that the late Government, whatever else might be laid to their blame, never entered in an unreasonable and light hearted way info wars of this kind, and the Colonial Secretary seemed to make this a matter for blame. He (Mr. Redmond) held that it was to their credit that they did not. This war would never have been entered into to put down slavery. and it was a disgraceful and a horrible state of affairs at this period of the world's history to find that wherever gold was discovered, whether it was in North, East, West, or South Africa, two things happened—(1) limited liability companies were formed in the City of London, and (2) costly expeditions were sent out to seize the land wherever this gold might he. This took place in South Africa, and it was exactly what had taken place in Ashanti. It would be infinitely better and nobler and more in accordance with the dictates of humanity if the rights of these people were respected to some extent, and if this attempt to plant the British flag everywhere and anywhere at all costs was stopped; for it was the besetting sin of this country and of all Englishmen that they were so filled with the idea of the merits of their own rule and the pride of their own greatness that they could not tolerate or understand other people in any part of the world being desirous of living according to their own wishes in their own country. Until these small wars were given up there would be a continual waste of the public money of the country, and it was a disgrace that the benches of the Liberal party were empty while this kind of thing was going on. If there were an adequate representation of working people in this House there would be other voices raised protesting against this expenditure. In this matter the voices of the majority of those who ought to speak for the taxpayers and working people were silent, but his voice and the voices of other Irish representatives would be raised, and he believed that in this way they were doing a great service not only to the people they represented, but also to the great mass of the people of this country, who cared nothing about gold-mining and company promoting in the City, and who were sick at heart when they read in their newspapers that every day hundreds of thousands of pounds were voted in this way in the House of Commons, not one penny of which went to better the condition of the people of Great Britain or Ireland. All this money was being spent simply to carry the sword, into the land of people in distant parts, whose only crime was that Cod made them what they were instead of making them highly civilised British subjects.

said his hon. friend, in his impassioned speech, appeared to have forgotten that we were responsible for this protectorate in the eyes of Europe. He had forgotten that in 1896 the King of Ashanti was the most cruel and heartless man this world ever produced. We sent out an expedition there to stop one of the most cruel things that was ever perpetrated in Africa.

said the late war was the remains of the 1896 war, and the Government were perfectly honest and straightforward on this question. They had two keynotes with which he thoroughly agreed—one was that wherever the British flag flies we must stop human sacrifice; and the other was the abolition of slavery. He only wished that the Foreign Office had been as firm and determined on the East coast as they had been on the West coast of Africa. He believed that the Government and the Colonial Secretary were honest in their efforts to stop human sacrifice and slavery. He noticed that a sum of £12,500 a year was to be raised and would have to be collected by the hut tax. He thought it would cost more in small wars and collections than the sum was worth. and it would cause also a great deal of bad feeling. He thought the Government might consider some better way of raising that sum. He gave both the Government and the Colonial Secretary credit for putting their foot down in Ashanti in a determined manner.

said that if all hon. Members on that side of the House were convinced that these wars were entered upon for legitimate British interests they might not have grudged the expenditure of not merely this sum of money but the expenditure of ten times the amount. It would be in the recollection of hon. Members on both sides of the House that the complaint against the Government had been that they had not taken sufficient measures to repress slavery in East Africa. Therefore, if they criticised the expenditure of £400,000 on wars in West Africa, it was because they believed that these wars were not waged to abolish slavery but from some other excuse. If his hon. friend the Member for Chesterfield had, before making his speech, carefully read the Blue-books, he would not have made the observations he did. What were the two grievances of the Ashantis? According to Sir F. Hodgson himself they complained against the abolition of slavery; but they said: "You British are not sincere, because while you insist on our abolishing slavery you maintain it in another form." And Sir F. Hodgson admitted that at p. 113] of the Blue-book, by declaring that he had insisted on the compulsory supply of carriers and of men to make roads, but that the chiefs declared they were unable to obtain a sufficient number of labourers to work in the native gold pits, to carry on their ordinary farm labours, and also to supply labourers for public purposes, such as working on the public roads and the conveyance of public stores. The Ashantis might be savages, but at any rate they were a very intelligent race, and they could see the utter hollowness of the demand made by us for the suppression of slavery when we were forcing slavery upon them. A great deal had been said about the mad boy and the quest for the Golden Stool; but, in fact, that was a mad enterprise from beginning to end. What did that mad boy say? He told certain British officers that he had been through several Ashanti villages, and that the Ashantis were assembling in their temples and singing songs all night. We had seen a good deal of that assembling and singing in temples all night much nearer home, and he did not think it was much more sensible than that in Ashanti. And the mad boy said that if the Governor would pay him a large sum of money he would lead an expedition to find the Golden Stool. But all that had nothing to do with the abolition of slavery. What was the defence of the Governor for following the lead of the mad boy? The fact was that the quest of the Golden Stool was something like the quest of the Holy Grail. Sir F. Hodgson said that if he could only get possession of the Golden Stool he would be able to govern the country for all time. Sir F. Hodgson crossed the Prah on '22nd March, but up to that time there had been no insurrection. The Governor in his despatches, in fact, repeatedly declared that he had no idea that there was any discontent amongst the tribes, but, on the contrary, that he had been received with all respect. The proof of that was that he went up from the coast to Coomassie with an escort of only thirty Hausas, that he had been met by no obstacle, and had never been molested in the country which was supposed to be seething with discontent. What happened when ho arrived at Coomassie? There was a great reception and the surrounding tribes and their kings marched past him, with one exception, which came in later on. What sign was there in that of any great insurrection? On the 30th March—it would have been far better if it had been the 1st April—the Governor heard the story from the mad boy as to the Golden Stool, and he sent an armed expedition, guided by the mad boy, into the interior of the country. The Governor said in his despatch: "The 1st April was a day of extreme anxiety to me." He was not at all surprised. For two or three days this armed expedition marched about the country; the mad boy went into the villages and told the natives that "these people"—meaning the Governor's expedition—"have come to wage war against you." After that it became clear to the villagers that it was simply a raiding expedition in quest of the Golden Stool. The result was the revolt, the war, and the expenditure of £400,000. Now, who was to blame for this war? The chieftains were not merely loyal but submissive, and prepared to demand redress in a perfectly constitutional way. Was there anything more constitutional than for these chiefs to come to Coomassie to receive the Governor with welcomes I and to present him with salutations?

said that the hon. Member was forgetting that an insurrection might spring up in these savage countries under mistaken notions.

said that, of course, an insurrection might spring up an this foolish manner if this country allowed its policy to be guided by mad boys. If that sort of action was characteristic of the Colonial Office he could understand that we would have not three wars, but many more in the next few years. All this showed that the war was precipitated not only because there was a quest for the Golden Stool, but because of the irritation in the minds of these people at the annexation of their country. Questions had been put to the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary the previous night: dates were given and incidents were referred to; but the right hon. Gentleman in his reply, instead of addressing himself to the points put, entered into an elaborate defence of the administration of his own office. The question was what had happened in this particular case—not whether it was necessary to defend Ashanti, or to develop the gold mines. The gold mines had never been mentioned in these despatches. Was the war, in the ordinary cant phrase, "inevitable"? The right hon. Gentle-man said, "When I came to the Colonial Office there was nothing done; but the moment I came on the scene there were six wars."

What I said was that I am responsible for three wars, and the Foreign Office is responsible for three wars.

The right hon. Gentleman said that as soon as his Ministry came into office there were six wars. That did just as well for him. The right hon. Gentleman said that when his hon. friends now on the Opposition Benches wers in office they did nothing. Quite true. Their Estimates provided for no wars. They had better ideas of profit and loss in business than that. And now he could quite understand that the right hon. Gentleman had got into the habit of talking of these wars as if they were all feathers in his cap. If he only went on, the right hon. Gentleman's headgear would be like that of a. Red Indian He ventured to say that the right hon. Gentleman in defending his action the previous evening did not do so with the sobriety due to this important and solemn matter. After all, human life was worth some respectful treatment. They ought to have some justification of the foolish policy of the Government in regard to the Golden Stool and of the hundreds and thousands of the corpses of savages festering round the fort of Coomassie. It was not enough to say, "Look at the great colonial policy of the last five years." That was no answer. "I have opened up new markets," said the right hon. Gentleman; but that also was no answer. If we went into wars they profited trade to a certain extent. £400,000 of trade was something, if we spent nothing else. But that was not the sort of industry that was wanted to open up new markets. He ventured to say that the community generally would not benefit by it; that these people in Ashanti would prefer to conduct their operations quietly; and it was only when the right hon. Gentleman went out of his way to offend their sentiments in connection with their native affairs that they forced on this war. A poll-tax equivalent to 4s. per head had been demanded upon this savage community. Where were we to get it from? We were collecting the taxes in Uganda in the form of boa constrictors and hippopotami—the only products of the country. But so far as he was aware there were not even those fiscal resources in Ashanti. It was true there were certain native gold mines; but we had abolished slavery, and it was by slave labour that these mines were worked. Still, we demanded the tax at the hands of the chiefs ! He quite agreed that we should abolish slavery, but at the same time we should not compel them to pay that which the slaves had earned. The right hon. Gentleman had not addressed himself to the question with a proper regard for its solemnity. He drew attention to what he described as the ridiculous language-used by Sir F. Hodgson to the chiefs with reference to the Golden Stool, and said it would have been better if the Colonial Secretary had addressed himself to a defence of the Government in respect of the action of Sir F. Hodgson. In his address to the chiefs Sir F. Hodgson asked, "Where is the Golden Stool? Why am I not sitting on it at this moment? I am the representative of the paramount Power; why have you relegated me to this chair?" (referring to a biscuit box). This was childish babble to address to these savages in the name of the Sovereign of a great country like this, and it was calculated only to lower, not to enhance, British prestige. The right hon. Gentleman had said we had to defeat them, it was necessary to kill them, in order to show that we were a great nation; but we had gone through that process before, and they knew the superiority of British arms. Was it necessary to repeat the process periodically? If so, a greater condemnation of the policy of the Government in this matter could not be conceived. It was not a question of protecting the country or compelling these people to free their slaves. If it was a question of the freeing of slaves. we might commence that at Zanzibar.

did not consider the speech of the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down a practical one. The Ashanti affair was closed, and although there might be regrettable incidents connected with the dealings with these kings it was impossible to go back into the matter. On the whole the results had been good. The outcome of British control in Ashanti would result in the safety and prosperity of hundreds and thousands of natives in the future, as had been truly said by the Colonial Secretary on the previous evening. He protested against the statement of the hon. Gentleman that the late Government had too good an idea of profit and loss to indulge in this way; had the policy of the late Government been pursued in Africa we should not have had any possessions to deal with at all. either in Ashanti or South Africa. It was futile at this time to talk of the mistakes which: had occurred, although he admitted there might be some. For instance, he did not think that the mission which had been sent by King Prempeh was fairly dealt with. His main complaint against the Colonial Secretary with regard to the Ashanti question was. very different to any of those just put forward. In his opinion there was a want of sufficient force at Coomassie previous to the outbreak; that was a serious question, and he did not know who was-responsible for it, but someone undoubtedly was, and the failure to maintain sufficient force at Coomassie was entirely responsible for the terrible loss of life that had occurred. It was perfectly plain to everybody that a very terrible tragedy had only been narrowly averted by the escape of the Governor. He desired to know why so very small a force was left in the country of a warlike and un-subdued people without any immediate provision being made for its reinforcement; that was a point upon which they were entitled to have the views of the right hon. Gentleman. What had happened in Ashanti would work for good; we should possess in the country and the neighbouring regions a colony of great and increasing wealth, which would be useful to this country in the future in taking its products, and which would give employment to many British subjects, and under the British rule the black races would be much better off than ever they had been before, and under the British Government they would attain to a certain degree of civilisation.

said he-had hoped that the answer given by the Colonial Secretary on the previous evening would have enabled him to avoid troubling the House to go into the division lobbies on this question, but unless that answer was amended he should be compelled to press for a division. In answer to the suggestion that this expedition was for the purpose of putting down human sacrifice and slavery he challenged anyone to say whether there had been any human sacrifice or whether slavery had been allowed in the country during the last five years. The Government had accomplished their purpose of abolishing human sacrifice and slavery-years before the outrage took place. He-called the attention of the Committee-to the fact that this was merely a general argument thrown out by the right hon. Gentleman to justify a war for which he could find no other justification whatever. Sir Frederick Hodgson had given three causes for the war, none of which were sufficient causes. The first was the heavy tribute which he said must be paid by the natives, and in this case there appeared to be a difference of opinion between the right hon. Gentleman and Sir Frederick Hodgson. The right hon. Gentleman said it was a poll tax on the whole male population of Ashanti. Sir Frederick Hodgson said it was interest on the cost of the late expedition. The right hon. Gentleman stated that there was a balance of £50,000 in the Gold Coast budget. If there was he did not think it would be; fair to the Gold Coast to sweep away all that to pay the money due for Ashanti. The right hon. Gentleman said at one time that it was a poll tax of four shillings, and at another time it was the interest on outlay. This attempt to chevy these people out of the money had been the first cause of the war. With regard to the Golden Stool he thought the Secretary for the Colonies should do something to soothe the irritated feeling of the natives. We were still searching for the Golden Stool, and the light hon. Gentleman stated on the previous night that he approved of the search. Was it to go on eternally, and was it to be "unconditional surrender" until we got the Golden Stool? Surely we might take a practical view of the question, and the right hon. Gentleman might announce that there had been sufficient bloodshed and loss of money over this matter. The right hon. Gentleman said we had admitted these natives to the Pax Britannica. He hardly ever made a speech on the colonies without quoting the words Pax Britannica. Where had the Pax Britannica been since he came into office? There had been eight wars in Africa, and there would never be any other policy so long as the right hon. Gentleman was in charge of the Colonial Office. The Ashanti war was "over" simply because the natives were tired for the present. Could it be said that with the sense of injustice in their minds they wore not preparing for another war? They would break out again and again unless we met their just complaints in a kindly and conciliatory spirit. It was because that had not been done that he moved the reduction of the first item of the Vote by £100.

Motion made, and Question proposed. "That the Item, Class 5, Vote 3, be reduced by £100, in respect of disturbances in Ashanti.''—( Mr. Lough.)

said one of the most painful features of the debate was the absence from it of a number of hon. Members who were leading lights in the different religious communities of the country interested in foreign missions. In years gone by we used to hear the voice of the missionary interest raised in favour of the civilisation. of Africa by peaceful processes, and not by warlike proceedings such as we seemed to depend upon now. The hon. Member for the Chesterfield Division of Derbyshire was handsomely caught in the colonial net so cunningly spread on the previous night, and he was innocent enough to believe that this war in Ashanti was undertaken out of a pure desire to put an end to human sacrifices. It was noticeable of late years that the loadstone which called the Government to relieve oppression was generally found in the gold mines, and here it was again. When this Government professed to go to the relief of human beings it would be found, if it were looked into a little further, that speculators were near the scene of their action. Talk of a crusade to suppress human sacrifices Could there be anything more monstrous than such a profession in face of the account on page 46 of the Blue-book of the state of things that was found at Coomassie? Why, it was a disgrace to a civilised nation. We should have heard nothing about the stool if it had been a wooden one. An orange box would have been perfectly satisfactory. There would have been no demand for it had it not been that it was supposed to be made of the precious metal. Were we suppressing slavery? Before we went to the native chiefs in the name of freedom we should remove the compound at Kimberley. What had we there? How were the wealthy men who were the friends of the Government, and who were the authors of the war in South Africa, producing gold out there, but by a system of slavery?

asked whether the hon. Member was in order in the line he was now taking.

pointed out that it was not in order to discuss matters relating to Kimberley on this Vote.

said he recognised that the reference was inconvenient to the Secretary for the Colonies, and if it was ruled out of order he would not pursue the subject. He might be allowed to say that the Secretary for the Colonies based this expedition for loot in Ashanti on the ground that he was going there for the prevention of further human sacrifices and the prevention of slavery. He only desired to show that we ought to take the mote out of our own eye before we attempted to pluck the beam out of our brother's eye. The right hon. Gentleman could not deny that there had been "blackbird hunting" in the interest of some of the authorities in South Africa. That resulted in the capture of a poor creature who preferred suicide by drowning to slavery in the mines, He understood that the right hon. Gentleman had assured the House that he was going to inquire into the truth of that.

I must appeal to you again. If the hon. Gentleman is in order I must go fully into the statement he is now making. I ask you whether he is in order in referring to these matters in Rhodesia and Kimberley.

I understood the hon. Member to say that he was not going to refer to them.

I do not wish to pursue it except for the purpose of illustration, and I really think if the Colonial Secretary would allow me for a moment to pursue my statement, under the guidance of the Chair—

The hon. Gentleman is entitled to a passing reference, but to go into this question and state a number of facts, which the right hon. Gentleman says he may have to contra- dict at a later stage, is clearly outside the scope of this discussion.

said he supported the motion for the reduction of the Vote because he believed the Government, in pursuing a policy of universal war in Africa, were pursuing a deadly and disastrous policy, not only financially, but for the reputation and good name of our common country. The Colonial Secretary seemed to think a, great argument in favour of his policy was that he had made more wars than the Liberal party. Then there seemed to be a conflict between the Colonial Office and the Foreign Office as to which had made most wars. The Liberal party ruled Africa on the lines of peace, and he sincerely hoped that when they returned to power again they would resume the policy of peace, and that they would not attempt to teach savages the wickedness of human sacrifices by indulging in great slaughter, with modern weapons, of the poor savage people we sought to rule. The basis of this movement in Ashanti was the curse of gain. He could vote with a clear conscience against that policy.

I wish to say, in a few sentences, why I shall vote for the reduction of this Vote. It is on account of the defence which has been put forward by the Colonial Secretary. He has claimed credit for this Vote as being an instance of the superiority of the present Administration over the late Administration in regard to the number of wars in which it has been engaged. Whenever such a policy is advocated upon such grounds as that, I shall vote against every sixpence.

said this was the third expedition which the British Government had indulged in for the purpose of introducing civilisation into Ashanti. Civilisation introduced by the British Government was always introduced with the bayonets of soldiers. The Government went to these countries with the Bible in one hand and the sword in the other. He thought the English race should give effect to their missionary instincts a little more in their own country. There were some English towns where some good might be done. If the hon. Member for West Islington had not moved the reduction of the Vote, he would have moved a reduction of £18,000, that being the amount of additional taxation which it represented so far as Ireland was concerned. He protested against the policy of introducing civilisation by warfare on savage peoples, who were practically defenceless, because they could not possibly withstand quick-firing guns and new deadly inventions. It was a policy which would make the British name detested wherever conquests were made.

May I make an appeal in the interest of the discussions that are to come? It is evident that if we discuss this Vote at too great length we will find little time left for the consideration of the other Votes. I would therefore beg the House to try to come to a decision.

said the dishonourable means by which King Prempeh was entrapped must have


Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.)Elibank, Master ofLloyd-George, David
Allan, William (Gateshead)Ellis, John EdwardLundon, W.
Allen, C. P. (Glouc, Stroud)Esmonde, Sir ThomasMacnamara, Dr. Thomas J.
Asquith Rt. Hn. Herbert HenryFarquharson, Dr. RobertM'Dermott, Patrick
Barlow, John EmmottFarrell, James PatrickM'Kenna, Reginald
Barry, E. (Cork, S.)Fenwick, CharlesM'Laren, Charles Benjamin
Bell, RichardFfrench, PeterMansfield, Horace Rendall
Boyle, JamesField, WilliamMappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe
Brigg, JohnFitzmaurice, Lord EdmondMellor, Rt. Hon. John W.
Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.Morley, Charles (Breconshire)
Brunner, Sir John TomlinsonGilhooly, JamesMoss, Samuel
Burke, E. Haviland-Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert JohnMurphy, J.
Burns, JohnGoddard, Daniel FordNolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.
Burt, ThomasGrant, CorrieNorton, Capt. Cecil William
Buxton, Sydney CharlesGurdon, Sir W. BramptonO'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)
Caine, William SprostonHammond, JohnO'Brien, Kendal (Tipper'ryMid
Caldwell, JamesHarcourt, lit. Hon. Sir WilliamO'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)
Cameron, RobertHayden, John PatrickO'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.
Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)
Campbell-Bannerman, Sir H.Hemphill, lit. Hon. Charles H.O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)
Carew, James LaurenceHolland, William HenryO'Dowd, John
Carvill, Patrick Geo. HamiltonHumphreys-Owen, Arthur C.O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)
Causton, Richard KnightHutton, Alfred E. (Morley)O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)
Clancy, John JosephJacoby, James AlfredO'Malley, William
Condon, Thomas JosephJones, William (Carnarvonsh.O'Mara, James
Craig, Robert HunterJordan, JeremiahO'Shaughnessy, P. J.
Crean, EugeneJoyce, MichaelPartington, Oswald
Crombie, John WilliamKearley, Hudson E.Price, Robert John
Daly, JamesKennedy, Patrick JamesReddy, M.
Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)Kinloch, Sir John George SmythRedmond, William (Clare)
Davies, M. Vaughan-(CardiganKitson, Sir JamesReid, Sir R. T. (Dumfries)
Dewar, John A.(Inverness-sh.)Labouchere, HenryRigg, Richard
Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir CharlesLayland-Barratt, FrancisRoche, John
Donelan, Captain A.Leamy, EdmundRoe, Sir Thomas
Doogan, P. C.Leng, Sir JohnSamuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)
Dully, William J.Levy, MauriceSchwann, Charles E.
Duncan, James H.Lewis, John HerbertScott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)

weighed with the natives, and he did not think that sufficient attention had been given to the matter. Methods of sharp practice against weaker opponents were very much to be deprecated. They were out of place in the Colonial Office, however well they might be suited to Birmingham. The Colonial Secretary had not replied to the many criticisms which had been addressed to him that day. The First Lord of the Treasury had appealed to the House generally to accelerate the progress of the Vote through the House. The business of the House would be much accelerated if Ministers did not treat the criticisms coming from the Irish Members with the contempt they had shown. It would seem that the war was made for the Golden Stool. Perhaps the Colonial Secretary wanted it as a stool of repentance, from which to do penance for all the wars he had made.

Question Put.

The Committee divided:—Ayes, 137; Noes, 254. (Division List No. 71.)

Shipman, Dr. John G.Thomas, F. Freeman-(HastingsWhite, Luke (Yorks., E. R.)
Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.)Tomkinson, JamesWhitley, J. H. (Halifax)
Smith, Samuel (Flint)Trevelyan, Charles PhilipsWilliams, Osmond (Merioneth
Soares, Ernest, J.Tully, JasperWilson, John (Durham, Mid)
Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R (N'thants)Wallace, RobertYoung, Samuel (Cavan, East),
Stevenson, Francis SWalton, Joseph (Barnsley)Yoxall, James Henry
Sullivan, DonalWarner, Thomas Courtenay T.
Taylor, Theodore CookeWason, Eugene (ClackmannanTELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Lough and Mr. Broadhurst.
Tennant, Harold JohnWeir, James Galloway
Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)White, George (Norfolk)


Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.Davies, Sir Horatio D (ChathamHelder, Augustus
Agg-Gardner, James TynteDewar, T. R (T'rH'mlets, S Geo.Higginbottom, S. W.
Agnew, Sir Andrew NoelDickson, Charles ScottHoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead)
Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.
Allsopp, Hon. GeorgeDimsdale, Sir Joseph CockfieldHogg, Lindsay
Anson, Sir William ReynellDisraeli, Coningsby RalphHope, J. F. (Sheffield Bightside
Archdale, Edward MervynDixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. D.Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry
Arkwright, John StanhopeDouglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-Hoult, Joseph
Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.Doxford, Sir Wm. TheodoreHoward, Capt. J. (KentFaversh
Arrol, Sir WilliamDuke, Henry EdwardHozier, Hon. James Hy. Cecil
Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir EllisDunn, Sir WilliamHudson, George Bickersteth
Atkinson, Rt. Hon. JohnDurning-Lawrence, Sir EdwinHutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)
Austin, Sir JohnDyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. HartJebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse
Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoyEgerton, Hon. A. de TattonJeffreys, Arthur Frederick
Bailey, James (Walworth)Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph DouglasJessel, Capt. Herbert Merton
Rain, Colonel James RobertFaber, George DenisonJohnston, William (Belfast)
Ralcarres, LordFergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J. (Manc'rKennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.
Baldwin, AlfredFielden, Edward BrocklehurstKenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh
Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J.(Manch'rFinlay, Sir Robert RannatyneKenyon Slaney, Col. W. (Salop
Banbury, Frederick GeorgeFisher, William HayesKimber, Henry
Hartley, George C. T.FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-Lambton, Hon Frederick Wm.
Bathurst, Hn. Allen BenjaminFitzroy, Hon. Edward AlgernonLaurie, Lieut.-General
Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (BristolFlannery, Sir FortescueLawrence, William F.
Reach, Rt. Hn. W.W.B. (Hants.Fletcher, Sir HenryLawson, John Grant
Reaumont, Wentworth C. B.Foster, Sir Michael(Lond. Univ.Lecky, Rt. Hon. Wm. Edw. H.
Bentinck, Lord Henry C.Fuller, J. M. F.Lee, Arthur H. (Hants, Farham
Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.Furness, Sir ChristopherLegge, Col. Hon. Heneage
Bignold, ArthurGarfit, WilliamLeigh-Bennett, Henry Currie
Rill, CharlesGibbs, Hn. A.G.H (City of Lond.Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S.
Bond, EdwardGibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.
Bowles, Capt. H. F. (MiddlesexGodson, Sir Augustus FrederickLong, Rt. Hn. Walter (BristolS.
Brassey, AlbertGordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&NairnLonsdale, John Brownlee
Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. JohnGordon, Maj Evans-(T'rHmletsLowe, Francis William
Brookfield, Colonel MontaguGore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby-Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)
Bull, William JamesGorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John EldonLoyd, Archie Kirkman
Burdett-Coutts, W.Goschen, Hon. George JoachimLucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)
Butcher, John GeorgeGoulding, Edward AlfredLucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth
Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H.Gray, Ernest (West Ham)Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred
Cautley, Henry StrotherGreene, Sir E W (B'rySEdm'ndsMacartney, Rt. Hn. W. G. E.
Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)Macdona, John Gumming
Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.Gretton, JohnMaconochie, A. W.
Chamberlain, Rt. Hn J.(Birm.Greville, Hon. RonaldM'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)
Chamberlain, J. Austen (Wore.Groves, James GrimbleM'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W
Chapman, EdwardGuthrie, Walter MurrayM'Killop, James (Stirlingshire
Churchill, Winston SpencerHain, EdwardMalcolm, Ian
Clare, Octavius LeighHalsey, Thomas FrederickManners, Lord Cecil
Cochrane, Hn. Thos. H. A. E.Hambro, Charles EricMaple, Sir John Blundell
Cohen, Benjamin LouisHamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld. G. (MidxMartin, Richard Biddulph
Colomb, Sir John Charles R.Hamilton, Marq. of (LondndrryMaxwell, W. J. H.(Dumfriessh.
Colston, Chas. Edw.H. AtholeHanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm.Melville, Beresford Valentine
Corbett, A. Cameron (GlasgowHardy, Laurence (Kent Ashf'rdMildmay, Francis Bingham
Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)Hare, Thomas LeighMilward, Colonel Victor
Cox, Irwin Edw. BainbridgeHarmsworth, R. LeicesterMolesworth, Sir Lewis
Cranborne, ViscountHarris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th)Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)
Cripps, Charles AlfredHarwood, GeorgeMontagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.
Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)Haslam, Sir Alfred S.Moon, Edward Robert Pacy
Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)Haslett, Sir James HornerMore, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)
Cubitt, Hon. HenryHay, Hon. Claude GeorgeMorgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)
Cust, Henry John C.Heath, Arthur Howard(HanleyMorgan, Hn. Fred (Monm'thsh.
Dalkeith, Earl ofHeath, James (Staffords, N. W.Morrell, George Herbert
Dalrymple, Sir CharlesHeaton, John HennikerMorris, Hon. Martin Henry F.

Morrison, James ArchibaldRitchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. ThomsonTalbot, Lord E. (Chichester)
Morton, Arthur A. A. (DeptfordRobertson, Herbert (HackneyThorburn, Sir Walter
Mount, William ArthurRolleston, Sir John F. L.Thornton, Percy M.
Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.Sadler, Col. Samuel AlexanderTomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray
Murray, Rt Hn. A Graham(ButeSamuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)Tritton, Charles Ernest
Murray, Charles J.(Coventry)Sassoon, Sir Edward AlbertValentia, Viscount
Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. E.J.Vincent, Col. Sir C.E.H. (Sh'ffld
Myers, William HenrySeely, Charles (Lincoln)Walker, Col William Hall
Nicholson, William GrahamSharpe, William Edward T.Warr, Augustus Frederick
Nicol, Donald NinianSimeon, Sir BarringtonWhiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.
O'Neill, Hon. Robert TorrensSinclair, Louis (Romford)Whitmore, Charles Algernon
Orr-Ewing, Charles LindsaySmith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)
Parker, GilbertSmith, H. C (North'mb. Tynesi'eWilson, John (Falkirk)
Parkes, EbenezerSmith, James Parker (Lanarks.Wilson, John (Glasgow)
Peel, Hn Wm. Robert WellesleySpear, John WardWilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.
Pierpoint, RobertSpencer, Ernest (W. BromwichWilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)
Pretyman, Ernest GeorgeStanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)Wolff, Gustay Wilhelm
Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. EdwardStanley, Lord (Lancs.)Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-
Purvis, RobertStewart, Sir Mark J. M'TaggartWrightson, Sir Thomas
Quilter, Sir CuthbertStirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George
Rankin, Sir JamesStock, James HenryYoung, Commander (Berks, E.)
Reid, James (Greenock)Stone, Sir Benjamin
Remnant, James FarquharsonStroyan, JohnTELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
Renshaw, Charles BineStrutt, Hon. Charles Hedley
Rentoul, James AlexanderStart, Hn. Humphrey Napier

Original question again proposed.