Considered in Committee.
(In the Committee.)
[Mr. J. W. LOWTHER, Cumberland, Penrith) in the Chair.]
Civil Services And Revenue Departments Revised Supplementary Estimate, 1900–1901
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That a Supplementary sum, not ex- ceeding £893,316, be granted to His Majesty, to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1901, for the following Civil Services, and Revenue Departments, namely:—
|Vote 3.||Colonial Services||212,300|
|Vote 2.||British Protectorates in Uganda, etc.||200,000|
|Vote 1.||Temporary Commissions||9,000|
|Vote 23||Stationery and Printing||110,000|
|Vote 27||Secretary for Scotland, Office of||100|
|Vote 2.||Miscellaneous Legal Expenses||400|
|Vote 5.||Wallace Collection||3,333|
|Vote 8.||London University||70|
|Vote 1.||Diplomatic and Consular Services||15,800|
|Vote 6.||Treasury Chest Fund||66,108|
|Vote 1||Superannuation and Retired Allowances||10,000|
|Vote 5.||Savings Banks and Friendly Societies Deficiencies||51,758|
|Vote 2.||Miscellaneous Expenses||4,600|
|Vote 6.||Local Loans Fund||4,337|
|Vote 7.||Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (Visit to the Colonies)||20,000|
|Vote 8.||Funeral of Her late Majesty||35,500|
|Vote 2.||Inland Revenue||20,000|
|Vote 3.||Post Office||130,000|
|Vote 4.||Post Office Packet Service||10|
|Total Civil Services and Revenue Departments||£893,316|
I rise to put a question as to the position in which the House now stands under the operation of what is admitted to be an unexampled and unprecedented proceeding.
The right hon. Gentleman contradicts me when I affirm that it is unprecedented. I was unable to be here yesterday, but I read in the reports of the proceedings that the right hon. Gentleman himself said there was no precedent. Therefore I am justified in saying that it is unprecedented by the words which came from his own mouth. I wish to know how is the Committee to deal with this Vote? Now far is it allowed to discuss a Vote on the subjects which the order Paper contains? There are a great many items grouped in the one Vote. Is the Committee at liberty to discuss and to vote upon all the subjects severally contained in the Paper? Under the old system. even with the prospect of the guillotine in the end, the House was allowed to discuss and divide on every Vote. Is the Leader of the party opposite going to give under this new proceeding the same facilities to the House as have hitherto been enjoyed in dealing with Supplementary Estimates? Can an Amendment be moved on every subject contained in the Order Paper, and can a division be taken upon each question? If anybody may move an Amendment upon any matter contained in the Paper, and take a division upon it, we shall know how to proceed. But in that case I do not see exactly how it is worth while to revolutionise the financial principles upon which the House always proceeds in this matter.
I desire to ask whether the procedure of the House with regard to the Civil Service Estimates as now drawn will not be precisely the same as the procedure with which the House is perfectly familiar in regard to Supplementary Estimates for the Army and Navy, both of which contain items of the utmost difference, and whether it is not also the same as the procedure, with which the House is familiar, in dealing with the Excess Votes, in which case both the subjects; and the accounting officers are different.
On the point of order I would remark that in the case of the Army and Navy the items arc all under one official head. In the case we have before us there are many official heads of Departments.
I think the House will wish to follow the same procedure as it does in the case of Votes on Account. The question there is put in one lump sum. and the, question in this case is put in one lump sum. In both cases the Votes are divided into a number of items. Of course I shall endeavour, as far as I possibly can, to call hon. Members who wish to address the Committee in the order in which the items come.
As you have cited the. question of a Vote on Account, I desire to ask whether the effect of moving a reduction with regard to an item low-down in the list would be to exclude the moving of a reduction with regard to an item higher up in the list, and whether it is not entirely open to you to call Members who wish to speak, if you see fit, without regard to the exact order in which the Votes are taken.
I shall make a point of endeavouring to call hon. Members in the order in which the items come, because I bear in mind the rule of the House that if an item low in the list is taken it is impossible to go hack to a former one.
The right hon. Gentleman has not answered the question of my right hon. friend in regard to the possibility of having successive divisions upon what are really separate Votes although now lumped together in one Vote. Would it be possible to have a series of discussions and divisions on the items as they occur?
That is so, until such time as the whole Vote is taken.
The Ashanti Expedition
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.
You said the same thing about Kruger.
But there was no gold then in this case.
Oh, yes, there was.
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."
I said nothing of the kind.
Oh. but I have got it all here.
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 of||Lloyd-George, David|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Ellis, John Edward||Lundon, W.|
|Allen, C. P. (Glouc, Stroud)||Esmonde, Sir Thomas||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.|
|Asquith Rt. Hn. Herbert Henry||Farquharson, Dr. Robert||M'Dermott, Patrick|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Farrell, James Patrick||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Fenwick, Charles||M'Laren, Charles Benjamin|
|Bell, Richard||Ffrench, Peter||Mansfield, Horace Rendall|
|Boyle, James||Field, William||Mappin, Sir Frederick Thorpe|
|Brigg, John||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Mellor, Rt. Hon. John W.|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.||Morley, Charles (Breconshire)|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Gilhooly, James||Moss, Samuel|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Gladstone, Rt Hn. Herbert John||Murphy, J.|
|Burns, John||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Nolan, Col. John P. (Galway, N.|
|Burt, Thomas||Grant, Corrie||Norton, Capt. Cecil William|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)|
|Caine, William Sproston||Hammond, John||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipper'ryMid|
|Caldwell, James||Harcourt, lit. Hon. Sir William||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)|
|Cameron, Robert||Hayden, John Patrick||O'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 Laurence||Holland, William Henry||O'Dowd, John|
|Carvill, Patrick Geo. Hamilton||Humphreys-Owen, Arthur C.||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Hutton, Alfred E. (Morley)||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Jacoby, James Alfred||O'Malley, William|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.||O'Mara, James|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Jordan, Jeremiah||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Crean, Eugene||Joyce, Michael||Partington, Oswald|
|Crombie, John William||Kearley, Hudson E.||Price, Robert John|
|Daly, James||Kennedy, Patrick James||Reddy, M.|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Kinloch, Sir John George Smyth||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Kitson, Sir James||Reid, Sir R. T. (Dumfries)|
|Dewar, John A.(Inverness-sh.)||Labouchere, Henry||Rigg, Richard|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Roche, John|
|Donelan, Captain A.||Leamy, Edmund||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Doogan, P. C.||Leng, Sir John||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Dully, William J.||Levy, Maurice||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Duncan, James H.||Lewis, John Herbert||Scott, 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.
The Committee divided:—Ayes, 137; Noes, 254. (Division List No. 71.)
|Shipman, Dr. John G.||Thomas, F. Freeman-(Hastings||White, Luke (Yorks., E. R.)|
|Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.)||Tomkinson, James||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Smith, Samuel (Flint)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth|
|Soares, Ernest, J.||Tully, Jasper||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid)|
|Spencer, Rt. Hn. C. R (N'thants)||Wallace, Robert||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East),|
|Stevenson, Francis S||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Sullivan, Donal||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Taylor, Theodore Cooke||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Mr. Lough and Mr. Broadhurst.|
|Tennant, Harold John||Weir, James Galloway|
|Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Davies, Sir Horatio D (Chatham||Helder, Augustus|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Dewar, T. R (T'rH'mlets, S Geo.||Higginbottom, S. W.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hoare, E. Brodie (Hampstead)|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Hobhouse, Henry (Somerset, E.|
|Allsopp, Hon. George||Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield Bightside|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Dixon-Hartland, Sir Fred. D.||Houldsworth, Sir Wm. Henry|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hoult, Joseph|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore||Howard, Capt. J. (KentFaversh|
|Arrol, Sir William||Duke, Henry Edward||Hozier, Hon. James Hy. Cecil|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Dunn, Sir William||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Hutton, John (Yorks, N. R.)|
|Austin, Sir John||Dyke, Rt. Hon. Sir Wm. Hart||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse|
|Bagot, Capt. Josceline FitzRoy||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Elliot, Hon. A. Ralph Douglas||Jessel, Capt. Herbert Merton|
|Rain, Colonel James Robert||Faber, George Denison||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Ralcarres, Lord||Fergusson, Rt. Hn Sir J. (Manc'r||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Kenyon, Hn. Geo. T. (Denbigh|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J.(Manch'r||Finlay, Sir Robert Rannatyne||Kenyon Slaney, Col. W. (Salop|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Fisher, William Hayes||Kimber, Henry|
|Hartley, George C. T.||FitzGerald, Sir Robert Penrose-||Lambton, Hon Frederick Wm.|
|Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin||Fitzroy, Hon. Edward Algernon||Laurie, Lieut.-General|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Flannery, Sir Fortescue||Lawrence, William F.|
|Reach, Rt. Hn. W.W.B. (Hants.||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Lawson, 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 Christopher||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Bignold, Arthur||Garfit, William||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie|
|Rill, Charles||Gibbs, Hn. A.G.H (City of Lond.||Leveson-Gower, Fredk. N. S.|
|Bond, Edward||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (BristolS.|
|Brassey, Albert||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn||Lonsdale, John Brownlee|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Gordon, Maj Evans-(T'rHmlets||Lowe, Francis William|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby-||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)|
|Bull, William James||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)|
|Butcher, John George||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth|
|Carson, Rt. Hn. Sir Edw. H.||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Greene, Sir E W (B'rySEdm'nds||Macartney, Rt. Hn. W. G. E.|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)||Macdona, John Gumming|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.||Gretton, John||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn J.(Birm.||Greville, Hon. Ronald||M'Arthur, Charles (Liverpool)|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Wore.||Groves, James Grimble||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W|
|Chapman, Edward||Guthrie, Walter Murray||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Hain, Edward||Malcolm, Ian|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Halsey, Thomas Frederick||Manners, Lord Cecil|
|Cochrane, Hn. Thos. H. A. E.||Hambro, Charles Eric||Maple, Sir John Blundell|
|Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld. G. (Midx||Martin, Richard Biddulph|
|Colomb, Sir John Charles R.||Hamilton, Marq. of (Londndrry||Maxwell, W. J. H.(Dumfriessh.|
|Colston, Chas. Edw.H. Athole||Hanbury, Rt. Hn. Robert Wm.||Melville, Beresford Valentine|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Hardy, Laurence (Kent Ashf'rd||Mildmay, Francis Bingham|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Milward, Colonel Victor|
|Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th)||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Cripps, Charles Alfred||Harwood, George||Montagu, Hon. J. Scott (Hants.|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Haslett, Sir James Horner||More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire)|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)|
|Cust, Henry John C.||Heath, Arthur Howard(Hanley||Morgan, Hn. Fred (Monm'thsh.|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Heaton, John Henniker||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Morton, Arthur A. A. (Deptford||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney||Thorburn, Sir Walter|
|Mount, William Arthur||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Murray, Rt Hn. A Graham(Bute||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)||Tritton, Charles Ernest|
|Murray, Charles J.(Coventry)||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Valentia, Viscount|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. E.J.||Vincent, Col. Sir C.E.H. (Sh'ffld|
|Myers, William Henry||Seely, Charles (Lincoln)||Walker, Col William Hall|
|Nicholson, William Graham||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Simeon, Sir Barrington||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.|
|O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Whitmore, Charles Algernon|
|Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Parker, Gilbert||Smith, H. C (North'mb. Tynesi'e||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Peel, Hn Wm. Robert Wellesley||Spear, John Ward||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.|
|Pierpoint, Robert||Spencer, Ernest (W. Bromwich||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.)|
|Pretyman, Ernest George||Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)||Wolff, Gustay Wilhelm|
|Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Purvis, Robert||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Quilter, Sir Cuthbert||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Rankin, Sir James||Stock, James Henry||Young, Commander (Berks, E.)|
|Reid, James (Greenock)||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Remnant, James Farquharson||Stroyan, John||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Renshaw, Charles Bine||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Rentoul, James Alexander||Start, Hn. Humphrey Napier|
Original question again proposed.
Transvaal Concessions Commission
, in moving to reduce the Vote by £200, said he was well aware that everything uttered in the House of Commons was used in the Cape by the one party or the other for political purposes. He did not wish in any way to intensify the racial struggle now proceeding, but there were times in the lives of men as of nations when criticism of private and urgent affairs was necessary in the public interest. For that reason he had no hesitation in bringing certain facts before the Committee; but he was able to do so only in a partial manner owing to the limited reference and to the fact that the Concessions Commission had not yet reported. That Commission would go down to history as one more of those Commissions appointed by the Colonial Secretary for "whitewashing" purposes, and not in the interests of South Africa.
To which Commission is the hon. Member referring?
said he was referring to all of them, but particularly the Concessions Commission. It was a remarkable fact that the Colonial Secretary, not being content with the dissatisfaction caused throughout South Africa by the line taken with regard to another Commission, had on this Commission appointed a representative of Messrs Wernher, Beit, and Co. What interest could he served by appointing on a Commission of three members a, gentleman in the employment of and directly connected with the firm of Messrs. Wernher, Beit and Company? He had no desire to shelter himself behind the privilege attaching to Members of the House, and he was perfectly willing to repeat out of doors, if called upon to do so. the statements he was about to make. It would be within the recollection of the House that it-was only a few years ago that the Colonial Secretary alluded to the party of which he was so distinguished an ornament as a celebrated gang of thieves and swindlers": he (the speaker), however, was going to charge these men with being nothing more nor less than a common gang of thieves and swindlers. To be a celebrated thief or criminal was a matter of certain notoriety, but to be a common thief was a matter which surely would not commend itself to the attention of anyone. The Government had made appointments on these Commissions, and the Committee should judge whether or not they were in the public interest. The gentleman to whom the hon. Member objected in this instance was Mr. Loveday. he had nothing to say personally against Mr. Loveday, nor did he wish to throw any dirt upon him, but as this was the only opportunity he had of attacking the constitution of the Commission, he was obliged to bring Mr. Loveday's name into the matter. Mr. Loveday was a member of the firm of Messrs. Eckstein, otherwise Messrs. Wernher, Beit and Company, who were nothing more nor less than a common gang of thieves and swindlers. [Order, order!] Hon. Members cried "Order, order." He was prepared to stand an action in the law courts before a jury of his countrymen on that statement. He had already in the public press and in his own constituency made that accusation against Messrs. Barnato Brothers, but had not yet received a writ for libel. The fact he desired to bring before the Committee was that the representatives of these men held every position of importance throughout South Africa. Mr. Loveday was a director in the Pretoria Lighting Company, and the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington on a previous occasion contradicted the statement that he was interested in the concessions.
May I ask what meaning the hon. Member attaches to the word "concessions"?
replied that in a book published by Mr. C. S. Goldman (who was connected directly with the firm of Messrs. Wernher, Beit and Company), it was stated that the Pretoria Lighting Company was a concession.
said that was not quite an answer to his question. What was the meaning the hon. Gentleman himself attached to the word "concession"? There was a perfectly clear meaning to the word in the Transvaal.
said he was not there to go into the meaning of words, and referred the hon. Member to Johnson's Dictionary. He certainly knew the meaning himself perfectly well. Mr. Loveday was a director of this company, which had a concession from the late Transvaal Government. He was also a director of the Transvaal Consolidated Land and Exploration Company, and a representative of Mr. Beit in that company. This company owned 2,.357,549 acres of land in the Transvaal. Mr. Loveday appeared also as a director of the Eastleigh Mines, Limited, another worthless company, floated many times over. The Committee must quite understand that he did not accuse Mr. Loveday of being a dishonourable man.
You said he was a member of a firm of thieves and swindlers.
I did not say he was a member of a firm of thieves and swindlers; I said he was a director of a. company which Messrs. Eckstein, otherwise Wernher, Beit, and Co., controlled. That is a matter of great distinction. Continuing, the hon. Member said that when the Commission arrived at Cape Town it was met by Mr. Van Hulsteyn, the solicitor of Messrs. Wernher, Beit, and Co., who was immediately appointed to represent the Imperial Government at the sittings of the Commission. By some unknown influence Mr. Van Hulsteyn had been occupying a position in Government House, Cape Town, for which he was not paid. He was, however, paid by Messrs. Eckstein. What happened when the Commission arrived at Pretoria? According to the facts supplied to him, many of the concessions belonging to Messrs. Eckstein were not inquired into. The matter of concessions was one of the most important questions in the Transvaal. As he read the reference, the Concessions Commission was limited solely to the concessions given directly by the late Transvaal Government. But the most important concessions in Swaziland, nearly all belonging to Messrs. Eckstein, were not inquired into at all, though they wore registered in the South African Republic, and also approved of before being registered by the late Transvaal Government. Everything of any note in Swaziland had been ceded by concession-mongers to Messrs. Eckstein. The king in that country, and his advisers, became drunkards and dissolute beings, and these concession-mongers went from all parts of Africa to obtain concessions, and yet this Commission had taken absolutely no notice of most of those concessions. There were many matters in connection with South Africa and with this Commission he should like to bring forward, but he would not be in order in so doing. The proceedings of the Commission were, however, reported in a paper called The Friend of the Free State, and therefore he would he in order in referring to what happened at Bloemfontein. On the arrival of the Army at Bloemfontein, the military authorities seized the printing plant of The Friend of the Free State. Shortly afterwards, Messrs. Wernher, Beit and Company obtained control of that paper. No public tenders were called for. and it was the only paper allowed by the authorities to appear in the colony and north of the colony. Why was it Messrs. Eckstein obtained control of that paper? Why was it given to them without any public tenders being called for! It was to their interest to acquire that paper, which they did. He was debarred from dealing with some of these questions, but he wished to say a word or two in this connection. He would read an extract from one of Mr. Eckstein's own papers, which stated —
If such a charge was made by an hon. Member of this House after due and careful consideration of the facts, were the Government going to persist in this policy of granting concessions and appointments to those who had done so much to bring about this unhappy war in South Africa?.' He believed that it was the wish of all sections in this House that there should be a pure administration in South Africa, but if the Colonial Secretary thought he was a match for Wernher, Beit, and Co. and their associated companies, he was very much mistaken. The right hon. Gentleman might be able to twist words into a form to misrepresent the views of his opponents—"The fact of Mr. Phillip's admission into the firm of Messrs. Wernher, Beit and Co. does not signify his withdrawal from the Hand in addition to his severance from Messrs. H. Eckstein and Co. Messrs. Wernher, Beit and Co. hold a large interest in the Rand through the Eckstein firm, and the change means merely his withdrawal from the 'Corner House' to join the larger firm."
I do not think that expression, applied to the right hon. Gentleman, is one that ought to be used.
said he would withdraw the word "misrepresent,'' and as he was only a novice in Parliament he hoped the right hon. Gentleman would accept his apology. He would only say that the right hon. Gentleman was able to make black white, and white black. He wished to know why this course was persisted in by the Government in spite of the protests they had received from South Africa in regard to the appointments made. Hon. Members opposite might think he had got a crank in his head with regard to those appointments, but if that was their view it was for them to show that the statement was incorrect. He took his stand on the question of principle that the very men who brought about this war, and who had created this corrupt Government in the Transvaal from its commencement, were those men to whom he had referred. These were the innocents "who went out to corrupt Mr. Kruger and his party. Corruption had followed on the methods those financiers adopted. The very future prosperity and happiness of that country depended upon the granting to the people of that equitable form of government against which one word could not be said, and by showing this favouritism they were going a very long way towards bringing this country into perpetual turmoil by appointing men who had not the confidence of the people in South Africa. He did not know whether he should he in order or not. but with the permission of the House he should like to give one example of the kind of roguery which had gone on in South Africa. He held in his hand a document which would send those directors, if they were in this country, into penal servitude for many years.
Does the hon. Member connect this in any way with the Commission? If he can he will he in order, but not otherwise.
said the only way he could bring it in would he to show that Mr. Loveday was a co-director with a gentleman who was connected as a director with this company. This was one of the swindles which the British public had so long suffered under—the Barnato Consolidated Mines. It might interest the British public to know that though the mines had been dealt in to the extent of millions sterling, and represented millions sterling to-day, there was a secret clause in the Articles of Association which gave them, without the public knowing anything about it, 25 per cent. of all the profits the company made. These gentlemen put that Into their pockets.
I fail to see what connection this has with the personnel of the Commission.
said he would not pursue that point—except in the law courts, if those firms took him there. Unless they did so, the Government should not appoint any more of these firms' representatives directly or indirectly to any position of trust in South Africa. If the Government were prepared to undertake that, his object would be accomplished. He had no axe to grind; he was acting solely in the public interest. With regard to the question of the settlement of soldiers on the land, he said there was only one Member of the House who had made attacks on the soldiers of the Empire on anonymous correspondence. That gentleman was the Colonial Secretary. [Oh, oh.] On anonymous correspondence the right hon. Gentleman had charged the soldiers of the Empire with being guilty of little less than murder. Let hon. Members read the book. [Cries of "Quote," and "What book?"] The right hon. Gentleman did not deny the accusation.
I cannot deny the statement, because I do not understand the allusion.
said that on the 1st August, 1879—[Cries of "Oh, oh !"] If the right hon. Gentleman the Colonia Secretary made a statement which was wrong then, it was just as wrong to make that statement in 1900. In that speech the right hon. Gentleman did attack the soldiers of the Empire. Upon that date he moved—
That was the motion made by the Colonial Secretary, and in his speech in support of that motion he quoted the case of the chief named Macomo, who had been declared to be a rebel, and against whom an expedition had been sent. Upon that occasion the right hon. Gentleman said—"That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty praying Her Majesty to appoint a Royal Commission to inquire on the spot into the policy which had led to these and other wars in South Africa, and which has resulted in large annexations of territory and increase of responsibility, in spite of repeated protest from successive British Governments."
The right hon. Gentleman further characterised the acts of the expedition as bloody, brutal, foul, barbarous murder, and further declared that "it was high time that the right name should be applied to an action which almost made a man ashamed to be an Englishman."†"No attempt was made by the Colonial authorities to reassure the chief (Macomo) or to settle the quarrel amicably, but a large armed force of 1,200 men, consisting of soldiers, free lancers, Fingoes, and others, went at night, burnt all his huts, shot down his people right and left, and carried oft women and children to gaol."
This matter does not seem to be at all relevant. I invite the hon. Gentleman to address himself to the Vote before the Committee.
said he did not wish to trespass further on the indulgence of the House, but if the Government persisted in this policy they would bring about incalculable harm to South Africa, and they would only be serving the interest of a clique, and not the higher and better interests of the people. [No, no.] If he was proved to be wrong in his statements he was prepared to pay, and pay substantially. He now contented himself by moving the reduction of the Vote by £200.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Item. Class 5. Vote 3, be reduced by £200, in respect of the Transvaal Concessions and Land Settlement Commissions."—( Mr. Markham.)
†The speech of Mr. Chamberlain referred to (1st August, 1879) is reported in The Parliamentary Debates [Third Series, Vol. ccxlviii., page 1853]
I have listened to the hon. Member's speech with feelings of absolute despair of being able to comprehend the workings of the hon. Gentleman's mind. I hoped that I should come across some reason which would bear some distant reference to the Vote for the two Commissions, upon which Members of the House served, appointed to obtain information with reference to certain matters of considerable importance in South Africa. I learn from the speech of the hon. Gentleman that he views my proceedings and my character with much asperity.
Well, that again is not itself a conclusive argument against the composition of these Commissions. Then I learn from the hon. Gentleman—and this was a fact which he stated over and over and over again—that he was prepared to face a jury of his countrymen and to repeat outside the House certain statements which he made inside the House. That is very interesting, although it is a kind of bravery which I do not put very high. It must, I think, be rather painful to the House that the privileges of the House should be taken advantage of in order to use such extremely violent and strong language with regard to persons who cannot defend themselves.
said he did not wish to be misrepresented.
The hon. Gentleman would. I think, have done better if, instead of saying in this House, as a preliminary of the campaign which he apparently is going to conduct, that Messrs. Eckstein, Wernher, Beit and Co. were common thieves and swindlers, and that Messrs. Barnato and Company—I do not know the names of these companies, but I understood him. to say that the firm of Barnato Brothers or the Barnato Consolidated Mine were also common thieves and swindlers—if, before saying that in this House, he had written it outside the House. We should then have known what all this professed anxiety to meet in the law courts meant; but to say it in this House and afterwards outside is a very small foundation upon which to found a suit for libel. If the hon. Gentleman has these opinions, let him by all means put them in writing outside the House and let him challenge those persons to prosecute. But, granted for the sake of argument that the charges are true, what on earth has that to do with these two Commissions—the Commission for inquiring into certain concessions granted by the Transvaal Government and the Commission to inquire into the possibility of settling upon the land in South Africa British subjects? The last words of the hon. Gentleman were that when he had been summoned before a jury of his countrymen, and come off with flying colours, then he hoped that we should not persist in a policy which was ruining South Africa. How on earth is the appointment of these Commissions going to ruin South Africa? There is absolutely no relevance whatever between the speech of the hon. Gentleman and the motion before the Committee. Now, really the one pin's point upon which his argument is based is his statement that as regards one of the Commissions we have appointed a gentleman to whom he takes exception, because, he says, he was indirectly or directly connected with a firm which was connected with Wernher, Beit and Company.
Which is connected with Eckstein—it is one further off than I thought—which is connected with Wernher, Beit and Company, who he is going to prove are swindlers when they summon him before a jury of his countrymen. It is upon that he has based this tremendous indictment of the South African policy of the Government —it is upon the connection of one member of the Transvaal Concessions Commission. The hon. Gentleman makes it another point of grievance against the Government that the reference to the Commission was not wide enough and did not cover the concessions in Swaziland. That is perfectly true, because a great number of those concessions go back some time and have nothing whatever to do with the immediate point we wish information upon, which is the value of the concessions given by the Transvaal Government; and up to the present time we have not assumed any authority in Swaziland. We have not annexed Swaziland. But, as no doubt the question of the future of Swaziland will shortly become one of importance, the hon. Gentleman may take it from me that the concessions in Swaziland will also have to be inquired into.
By the same people?
I do not know whether they will be inquired into by the same people; but I am certain they could not be inquired into by people more qualified than the particular Commission that was asked to examine into the limited question of the value and legality of the concessions which have been granted by the Transvaal. The concessions we have in view were known to all Members of the House. There were complaints made before the war by Uitlanders and others. It was said, for instance, that the dynamite concession was an illegal concession. That was alleged by a committee which was appointed by the Transvaal Government to inquire into the Transvaal concessions. The dynamite concession was perhaps one of the most important concessions. There was the concession to the Netherlands Railway Company, another concession which required inquiry. There was the concession to the Selati Railway Company, which has boon the subject of inquiry in Belgium; and there were scores of concessions forming monopolies the legality of which it was desired to inquire into. It was desired also to inquire into the bona fides of persons who held shares in these concessions, and how far, even if the concession itself was void from some illegality, it would be equitable to respect the rights of persons who might have become shareholders in the concessions in a perfectly fair and legitimate manner. That was the object of this Commission; and the House will see that it is one of the very greatest importance to us, and that it is to the interest of the Government that every concession that is illegal should be exposed, because if it is illegallyand wrongfully granted it may be possible for us to dispute it, and, of course, the funds which will thereby fall to the credit of the Transvaal Colony will be of the greatest advantage in the future administration of the State. We appointed to that Commission, in the first place, as chairman, my hon. and learned friend the Member for Warwick. The hon. Member for the Mansfield Division, in a sort of universal condemnation of every body concerned, found a supposed connection between Mr. Loveday and Wernher, Beit, and Company. Does the hon. Member attach any portion of his condemnation to the hon. Member for Warwick? My hon. friend requires no defence from me in this House. The second member of the Commission was a valued and valuable member of the Colonial Service, Mr. Ashmore, who had been the Treasurer in Cyprus, a man of most undoubted integrity, of special ability, and of special capacity to deal with the kind of financial subjects which were likely to be brought before the Commission. Is anything said against him, or his honour, or capacity? I am here to defend him. When we had appointed those two gentlemen here, we asked Sir Alfred Milner to nominate someone of authority, of capacity, of local knowledge, who could be adjoined to those two gentlemen and who could assist in the inquiry which we were about to make; and it was in consequence of that that Mr. Loveday was suggested and appointed. I know of nothing, and I challenge the hon, Member, instead of making these very vague accusations, to give something more of a definite shape —I challenge the hon. Gentleman to produce, in this House or out of it, anything which is to the discredit of Mr. Loveday. At all events, I know nothing of that kind. Sir Alfred Milner knows nothing of that sort. As far as we know, he is an honourable man, who is entitled to the position we gave him. Is really every man in the world to be considered as dishonourable, to be spoken of in company with persons who are described as common thieves and swindlers, because, forsooth, he happens to be, or to have been at one time or another, connected with some South African speculation, or with some of those engaged in South African speculation? I think that on a previous occasion I heard the hon. Gentleman say that, although he had sold his shares, he had been at one time interested in South African speculation. No one is going; to blame him for that; but surely, if that is the case, he must have been in this indirect way connected with some of these firms.
I never have.
I accept the hon. Gentleman's statement. If so, he must have been connected with other capitalist firms.
Pardon me; the hon. Gentleman does not understand. I understood him to say, and upon that I am basing my observations and argument, that he had been at one time a shareholder in some of these South African speculations and mines.
A capitalist and holding capital is a very different thing.
I never referred to him as a capitalist.
No; being connected with capitalists.
If the hon. Gentleman has been at any time a co-shareholder with any of these capitalists, either with Wernher, Beit and Company, or Eckstein or Barnato, or any other of these gentlemen, he is open to precisely the same charge he is bringing against Mr. Loveday. As far as I know, as far as any information which is in my possession goes, the connection, if there was any connection, between Mr. Loveday and these firms was no more direct than such a connection as I have supposed to exist, on his own statement, between the hon. Gentleman and the company of which he was a shareholder. I wish to say at once that, while most certainly I have not allowed myself in any way to be influenced by what is called the capitalist element of South Africa—I do not know these gentlemen, I hardly know one of them even by sight; it did not happen to me in my way of business to come into any communication with them; they do not come to me upon these matters, and I doubt whether there is any man in this House who really knows less of them than I do—but, while I am not going to allow myself to be influenced by them in the policy which I shall recommend to my colleagues or which the Government will adopt, on the other hand. I do say that I am not going to be precluded from using in any position in South Africa or in this country any man who happens to have been at some time or other connected with some capitalist or another in South Africa. If I were to make such a self-denying ordinance as that, to begin with, I should be cutting myself out from all possibility of gaining the assistance for the Empire in what may still be a very difficult task of the men of the greatest capacity, the greatest energy, and the greatest zeal, and, I need not say, the greatest public spirit, in South Africa. One cannot make such a general statement as that. If the hon. Member knows anything which is really to the discredit of any person who has been appointed either by me or by Sir Alfred Milner, cither to a Commission in this country or to any post in the administration in South Africa, and if he will bring that knowledge before me, I will promise him to have the closest investigation made into the matter; and, if I find his statement to be true, most certainly such person shall be dismissed from that position. But I will not consider it to be a charge that a man has been connected with one of these large firms in South Africa, with whom probably everybody in South Africa has been connected— I will not allow that to be considered a fatal charge which prevents his being employed in any position. Another charge has been brought against Mr. Loveday by the hon. Gentleman which might be considered by some to be even more serious— namely, that he was a burgher, a Boer, and was actually fighting a short time ago against the British forces. That has not prevented me from appointing him in the belief that he was the best man, and the man most capable of giving the requisite information in this case. But I think this is a clear proof that it was not our friends we were trying to advan- tage in the matter, and that we were seeking from, in fact, the whole populations of South Africa the best men we could find. The hon. Gentleman, who sees Wernher, Beit and Company everywhere, made an allusion to a paper which he says was purchased by Messrs. Eckstein or controlled by Messrs. Eckstein.
It was acquired by them.
I accept the word—a paper that was acquired by them. What on earth has that to do with these Commissions, and why should not Messrs. Eckstein acquire a paper if they desire to do so? What business is it of ours who acquires a paper? There are some papers that I would not buy at any price, but if I did buy them I should not think it was the business of this House to complain. I again call the attention of the House to the enormity of the charges which have been brought by the hon. Gentleman, and the extreme slenderness of the base upon which these charges rest All I say is that, so far as I know, there is not a single word in the statement of the hon. Gentleman against the personal character of any of the five men who have been appointed on these two Commissions. If the hon. Gentleman has a different opinion. I call upon him for facts, and not mere statements and indirect insinuations which other people have brought, and of whom I know nothing.
The right hon. Gentleman has made white appear black, and black white, as I said he would do. [HON. MEMBERS: Oh, oh!] What I say is, that when the Army appeared at Bloemfontein Messrs. Eckstein suddenly appeared as proprietors of the paper, and that no public tenders had been called for it.
I rise to a point of order. I ask whether this subject is relevant to the motion before the Committee,
It does not appear to be relevant.
The right hon. Gentleman has referred to my position as being a shareholder, and with the permission of the Committee I would like to point out that, being in business myself, and not having passed from the stage of being a business man to that of a diplomatist like the right hon. Gentleman—[Cries of "Order, order !"]—a shareholder is not in the same position as a man who is an alternate director, acting as the representative of Messrs. Eckstein. [HON. MEMBERS: Yes.] Well, if they do, I am sorry for their business capabilities.
I certainly do not think it necessary to defend myself against the charge of being a capitalist. [Cries of "There was no charge."] I rise simply for the purpose of saying two or three words with regard to my friend Mr. Loveday, with whom I have been associated for four months, whom I believe to be one of the best and most honourable of men, and whom I know to be absolutely incapable of anything but the most straightforward and honourable action in public, affairs. The hon. Member interpolated a statement that he did not wish to make any charge against Mr. Loveday. His words were that he did not wish to throw dirt at Mr. Loveday. Then what was his object in making that speech? Does he suggest that Mr. Loveday is improperly under the influence of Messrs. Eckstein? [Cries from the Government Benches of "Answer."]
I will consider that.
Does the hon. Member intend, or does he not intend, to convey to the Committee that Mr. Loveday was under the improper influence of Messrs. Eckstein? If he does not intend to convey that to the Committee, then his observations were irrelevant and impertinent. But if the hon. Member has not the courage to say in this House whether he intends to make that charge, but shelters himself behind one of those generalities, unfortunately too common nowadays, of desiring "not to throw dirt," then I must suppose that the hon. Member was neither irrelevant nor impertinent, but that he was merely inaccurate, and that he did make a charge, and that the purport of his words was in truth and in fact that Mr. Loveday was under the improper influence of Messrs. Eckstein. Let me examine that. It is perfectly true that Mr. Loveday was a director of the Electric Lighting Company of Pretoria. Is everybody who is a director of a company in which another person has an interest under the improper influence of that person? I think not. But I have better evidence in regard to this matter in favour of Mr. Loveday than that. Mr. Loveday was a director of the Pretoria Water Company, in which Messrs. Eckstein had a large interest. The question of the validity of that concession came up long before the Commission got to South Africa—I think it was in 1898—and Mr. Loveday, notwithstanding that he was supposed by the hon. Gentleman, in his ignorance, to be under the influence of Messrs. Eckstein, was the prime mover in the Volksraad of the Transvaal in procuring the cancellation of the concession. The hon. Gentleman opposite bows his head, so that he knew that.
What does the Committee think of the candour of the hon. Member who comes to this House and accuses Mr. Loveday, who was doing honourable service in the Transvaal long before the hon. Member was ever heard of—
There was no concession at all.
There was a concession. What does the House think of the candour of the hon. Member making such a charge against an honourable man as that he is under the improper influence of Messrs. Eckstein, and not disclosing to the House the fact, which he knows, that Mr. Loveday's exertions were devoted to procuring the cancellation of the concession in which Messrs. Eckstein were primarily interested? I speak with no warmth about myself. I can well afford to pass by the observations of the hon. Gentleman. I am satisfied that no such charges as have been made against this Commission, over which I have the honour to pre- side, would have been made except by a new Member, and I grant to the hon. Gentleman the indulgence for which he so repeatedly craved, and which is always extended to new Members for having done so.
said he understood this Vote referred to the mission of the hon. Member for West Belfast to South Africa. It was somewhat remarkable that the Committee should be asked to vote money for a Commission before any Report had been presented by it, or any statement made by the hon. Gentleman who was a member of it. He had seen no Report, public or private, as to what the hon. Member for West Belfast had done in South Africa. He understood the hon. Gentleman took some evidence, but none of that evidence was before the House, and it seemed to him very extraordinary that in these circumstances they should be asked to vote this money. He was entitled to express surprise because this was a question on which, as an Irishman, he felt very strongly. He understood that the object of the hon. Gentleman was to promote something of the nature of what was called in the history of Ireland "the plantation of Ulster"—the plantation of the land of the Boers by people from this country. He did not know how far he would be entitled to discuss the merits of such a, policy on this Vote, but he might say that, if there was any tragic page in the history of Ireland which was stained with war, bloodshed, and fury more than another, it was the record of the confiscation of the lands of the original inhabitants and the plantation of them by people of another race and religion. He pressed upon the right hon. Gentleman the Colonial Secretary not to make the task of the settlement of the Transvaal and the Orange River Colonies more difficult by introducing into them a people of foreign origin or by adopting a policy of confiscation and spoliation. He had not been in South Africa himself, but he had spoken to many gentlemen who had been there, and he was informed that the portion of country over which the hon. Member for West Belfast had conducted his investigations was not eminently suited for the settlement of men of a new race. The life there must be pastoral, and any men that we could send out from this country would find it absolutely intolerable. Therefore he called upon the right hon. Gentleman to utter a warning to the many thousands of people in this country who were contemplating going to these new States, that they would not find in the pastoral districts a favourable sphere for their energies or the investment of their capital.
, on a point of order, said that an Amendment had already been moved on this Vote, and it did not seem to him to be a very convenient course to begin debate on a new subject until that Amendment had been disposed of.
If the right hon. Gentleman will look at the Paper he will find on page 4 that the Section begins "O.—Transvaal Concessions and Land Settlement Commissions." What has fallen from the hon. Gentleman is pertinent to that section, and therefore it can be raised on the Amendment before the Committee.
I can satisfy the hon. Member in a very few sentences. In the first place, I express surprise at his surprise that the Vote appears in this form before the Report of the Commission has been issued. It is a most common occurrence, when the work of a Commission extends over a considerable period, that a Vote should be taken for their expenses, and that is the case here.
I am quite willing to defer discussion if the opportunity will come later on.
The hon. Gentleman cannot discuss his particular point now. We are not considering the policy of the Commission—that will come on at a later date. In a case of this kind we sent out a Commission of Inquiry, and we shall have to consider whether the evidence and Report shall be published. Of course, they will be published if we proceed upon them; but the matter must be considered along with Sir Alfred Milner. I think it may relieve the mind of the hon. Member if I say that there is no intention on the part of the Government to repeat the experiment of "the plantation of Ulster," whatever we may do.
said that he understood some one had procured the concession from the Transvaal Government for the supply of water and gas to Pretoria, and he wanted to know who was in possession of that concession now.
"A concession" for waterworks.
Order, order ! This concession has nothing to do with the Vote under discussion.
I always endeavour to keep in order. We all know that when a concession is given, it is merely handed over to another party at a big profit. What I want to know is, who is in possession now of the waterworks concession.
Exclusive powers were granted to concessionaires in 1897, and the Committee of the Volksraad cancelled these exclusive powers in 1898. The suggestion of the Committee of the Volksraad was that a valuation of the concession to the waterworks company should be made, and that the power of supplying water to Pretoria should be entrusted to the municipality.
asked whether it would not be in order, in discussing the recommendations of the Commission for settling soldiers in the Transvaal, to discuss the policy of appointing that Commission at all.
Certainly anything as to the appointment and personnel of the Commission would be in order.
Or the desirability of appointing the Commission, at all?
said that it seemed to him that £7,800 was a very large sum for the Committee to vote without any statement being made with regard to it, and he was not inclined to allow the Vote to pass without opposition. He could not see that much trouble would arise if this matter was postponed until the details were before the House, and he thought that, if it was desired that the wheels of Parliament should revolve more freely, the Government would be well advised to postpone this Vote until such time as the details were available. If the Vote was allowed to pass on this occasion, the Committee would have no further opportunity of discussing the matter, therefore their only opportunity was to inquire now closely into the way in which the money had been spent. The statement which had been made with regard to this matter had been satisfactory to nobody. He, personally, had never before heard so laboured a statement. He had been absolutely amazed at the crudeness of the speech of the right hon. Gentleman, who had asked the House to pass this Vote without giving any explanation whatever. The point the House desired to know was what the concessions were. The right hon. Gentleman surely did not think the House was so simple as to pass this amount of money without knowing what the concessions were in Part 2, which had reference to the possibility of settling soldiers in South Africa. He did not approve of large sums like this being voted upon such meagre information as had been given to the House. If the right hon. Gentleman saw his way to explain this matter fully, it might be possible to get the Vote through, but in the absence of any explanation he did not think hon. Members would be justified in passing the Vote, and he should certainly oppose it.
said the Committee was very often called upon to vote money for Commissions and matters of that kind before the Reports of the Commissions were published. But with regard to other Commissions, half the evidence had usually been published, either in the newspapers or in the House; whereas in this case they had no informa- tion, either in the papers or otherwise. The question he wished to put was whether any evidence had been taken by the Commission, and if so, when it was likely to be printed, and whether it was complete. If it was, it was quite time that the Report should have been published. He had great doubts as to the wisdom of the policy of appointing this Commission at all. It would only exasperate the Boers, and lead them to protract the war to the utmost. All sorts of reports had been circulated among them, and on the top of all these was this Commission appointed to consider whether we could not settle troops in South Africa. Before we could give the farms to our troops somebody would have to be expatriated, and he could only condemn the unwisdom of appointing a Commission which would give the Boers the idea that our object in prosecuting this war was not to give equal rights to all, but to obtain not only the gold mines but the country as well. Hon. Members had probably, like himself, read articles which distinctly recommended that, the Boers having now practically become rebels, their farms should be forfeited and given to the Yeomanry. If there was anything calculated to keep the Boers in arms it was such a thing as this. If they were under the impression that their farms would be taken away and given to the English troops, he ventured to say that even a nation of arrant cowards would fight to the last kopje before they would give in. The appointment of the Commission was one of those foolish things which had been done first of all to lead to the war, and afterwards to prolong and embitter it. As the result of this policy there, no doubt, would be the idea in the minds of the Boers that there would be a Cromwellian settlement all over the country. If that was so, it would be the result of the official acts of this country. Ho believed the right hon. Gentleman was fully convinced of the unwisdom of his act, although, no doubt, when he entered upon it he thought the Boer war was over, and now the Commission had come over and had said that the whole thing was impossible He was perfectly convinced that this Commission would cost not only the amount of the Vote—£7,800—but millions of money, as it would make the Boers fight to the last. There was no one more responsible for prolonging the war than the right hon. Gentleman himself. He (Mr. Lloyd-George) should support the motion for reduction.
MR. J.CHAMBERLAIN moved, "That the Question be now put." At the same moment MR. MARKHAM rose.
Does the hon. Member wish to withdraw his Amendment?
Yes, Sir. The hon. Member, continuing, said that he had no desire to make an attack on the hon. and learned Member for Warwick.
I wish to ask you, Sir, whether, the closure having been moved and accepted, the hon. Member is entitled to withdraw his motion.
The hon. Member is entitled to say why he wishes to withdraw it.
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Fisher, William Hayes|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Fitzroy; Hon. Edward A.|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Foster, Sir M. (London Univ.)|
|Allhusen, Augustus H. Eden||Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Garfit, William|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r||Godson, Sir Augustus Fred.|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Chapman, Edward||Gordon, Hn J. E. (Elgin&Nairn)|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Churchill, Winston Spencer||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John E.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Clare, Octavius Leigh||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Arrol, Sir William||Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Cohen, Benjamin Louis||Greene, Sir E W (B'rySEdm'nds|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Colston, Charles E. H. Athole||Greene, H. D. (Shrewsbury)|
|Austin, Sir John||Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Cox, Irwin E. Bainbridge||Groves, James Grimble|
|Balcarres, Lord||Cranborne, Viscount||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton|
|Baldwin, Alfred||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Ham, Edward|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r)||Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton)||Hambro, Charles Eric|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Mid'x|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nderry|
|Beach, Rt Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Davies, Sir H. D. (Chatham)||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. W.|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Dewar, T. R. (T'rH'ml'ts,S.Geo.||Harris, F. L. (Tynemouth)|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Dickson, Charles Scott||Harwood, (George|
|Bignold, Arthur||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.|
|Bigwood, James||Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||Haslett, Sir James Horner|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Dimsdale, Sir Joseph C.||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley|
|Bond, Edward||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.|
|Brassey, Albert||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Helder, Augustus|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Doxford, Sir Wm. Theodore||Higginbottom, S. W.|
|Brookfield, Col. Montagu||Duke, Henry Edward||Hoare, Edw Brodie (Hampstead|
|Brown, Geo. M. (Edinburgh)||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Bull, William James||Faber, George Denison||Hope, J F. (Sheffield, Brightside|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Hoult, Joseph|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Finch, George H.||Howard, Capt J (Kent, Faversh.|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Hudson, George Bickersteth|
But you had accepted the closure.
The hon. Member evidently expected me to accept it. I call upon Mr. Markham.
said that it was his last wish to cast any reflections, either directly or indirectly, upon the conduct of the hon. Member for Warwick. With regard to Mr. Loveday, ho did not accuse him nor make any charge whatsoever against him. With the permission of the Committee, therefore, ho would withdraw his Amendment. [Nationalist cries of "No, no."] Then he might be permitted to say that, so far as he was concerned, in case it should be taken as casting an imputation upon the conduct of the hon. Member for Warwick, he should take no part in the division.
Then, Sir, I move, "That the Question be now put."
Question put, "That the Question be now put."
The Committee divided:—Ayes, 195; Noes, 93. (Division List No. 72.)
|Hutton, John (Yorks, N.R.)||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford||Smith, James Parker(Lanarks.|
|Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Murray, Rt Hn A. Graham (Bute||Spear, John Ward|
|Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|King, Sir Henry Seymour||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Stock, James Henry|
|Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Laurie, Lieut-General||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Stroyan, John|
|Law, Andrew Bonar||Parkes, Ebenezer||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Lawson, John Grant||Partington, Oswald||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Pemberton, John S. G.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||Pierpoint, Robert||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S.||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Lowe, Francis William||Pretyman, Ernest George||Valentia, Viscount|
|Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Vincent, Cl. Sir C. E. H(Sheffield|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Purvis, Robert||Walker, Col. Wm. Hall|
|Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Randles, John S.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Rankin, Sir James||Wason, John C. (Orkney)|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne||Webb, Colonel William George|
|M'Arthur, Charles (Liverp'l)||Reid, James (Greenock)||Welby, Lt. Col. A.C.E. (Tauntn|
|M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire||Renshaw, Charles Bine||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u-Lyne|
|Markham, Arthur Basil||Rentoul, James Alexander||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Maxwell, W.J. H. (Dumfriessh.||Renwick, George||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Milward, Colonel Victor||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh, N.)|
|Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H.(Yorks.)|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Saunderson, Rt Hn. Col. Edw. J.||Wolff, Gustay Wilhelm|
|More, Root. Jasper (Shropshire||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Morgan, David J. (Walthamst.||Simeon, Sir Barrington||Young, Commander (Berks, E.)|
|Morgan, Hn. Fred, (Monm'thsh.||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Smith, HC (North'um. Tynes'de|
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. F.)||Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Grant, Corrie||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Hammond, John||O'Dowd, John|
|Barlow, John Emmott||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H.||O'Malley, William|
|Bell, Richard||Holland, William Henry||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Boyle, James||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Reddy, M.|
|Brigs, John||Jones, William (Carnarvons.)||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Jordan, Jeremiah||Rigg, Richard|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Joyce, Michael||Roche, John|
|Burt, Thomas||Kennedy, Patrick James||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Came, William Sproston||Kitson, Sir James||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Caldwell, James||Layland-Barratt, Francis||Sullivan, Donal|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Leamy, Edmund||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Leng, Sir John||Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Levy, Maurice||Thomas, J. A. Glam., Gower|
|Crean, Eugene||Lewis, John Herbert||Thompson, E. C. (Monaghan, N.|
|Daly, James||Lloyd-George, David||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Lough, Thomas||Tully, Jasper|
|Doogan, P. C.||Lundon, W.||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Dully, William J.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Duncan, James H.||M'Dermott, Patrick||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Dunn, Sir William||M'Kenna, Reginald||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Emmott, Alfred||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Farquharson, Dr. Robert||Morton, Edw. J. C. (Devonport)||Williams, Osmond (Merioneth)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Moss, Samuel||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Fenwick, Charles||Murphy, J.||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Ffrench, Peter||Norton, Capt. Cecil William||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Connor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)|
Question, "That the Item, Class 5, Vote 3, be reduced by £200, in respect of the Transvaal Concessions and Land Settlement Commissions," put accordingly, and negatived.
Original Question again proposed.
Attention called to the fact that forty Members were not present. House counted; and, forty Members being found present—
British East Africa Protectorate
said the British East African Protectorate had a finance of the strangest description. It was, he believed, the only subject on the Civil Service Estimates in regard to which there was always a Supplementary Estimate, and that Supplementary Estimate generally largely exceeded in amount the original Estimate for the year. That made this Protectorate unique in its finance. That it was no exaggeration to say there was always a Supplementary Estimate was shown by the fact that there were two Estimates each year in 1896, 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900, and also this year. Financial purists who objected to Supplementary Estimates would find this case certainly by far the strongest that existed in the Estimates, and doubtless notice would be taken of it. Different reasons were given in different years by the Foreign Office for the Supplementary Estimate. Sometimes the Committee were frankly told that it was in consequence of deficiency on revenue, and at other times, as on the present occasion, that it was due to wars. But each year when the Appropriation accounts appeared there was always a muddle of the finances of the protectorate—wars, the ordinary pay and upkeep of the troops in time of peace, police, justice, charges which ought really to appear in the Uganda Railway Vote, telegraph charges—all were muddled together in the most inextricable fashion, and he was afraid that those accounts had hardly justified in past years the particular explanations which had been given of the Supplementary Estimates. In 1900 there was a very large Supplementary Estimate, mostly accounted for by wars, and the then Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs promised that there would be a very great reduction in the Estimates this year. As the Committee could see, however, by the large Supplementary Vote now before them, and the ordinary Vote in the Estimates, the promise had not been kept. The explanation was that the Foreign Office had been carrying on officially and publicly two wars, and, ho believed, a third war had, as a matter of fact, been raging, but of that the Committee had no information. The Appropriation Accounts showing the allocation in past years of the two Votes—the Supplementary and the ordinary—for this protectorate brought together a most curious collection of items, including compensation to slave-owners. He mentioned that in case the Under Secretary of State could give the Committee any information in regard to it. This protectorate presented the very worst specimen of either colonial or protectorate finance appearing in the Accounts. Even Uganda, which had had a curious financial history, had not involved this constant supremacy of the Supplementary over the ordinary Estimate. The wars to which the excesses were attributed were conducted by an Office, the real duty of which was not to carry on wars, but to conduct the diplomatic and consular business of the country. The bettor one thought of the Foreign Office, the more fit one thought it was for its task, the less one wished that it should have this sort of business on its hands. The foreign affairs of this country were sufficiently complicated, and the demands on the attention of the Foreign Office in regard to China and other parts of the world were quite enough, without that Office being called upon either to administer protectorates or to engage armies and carry on wars. There was nothing in which this country differed more from every other country than in the fact that here we had Colonial Office armies. Foreign Office armies, the Indian Army-employed in Africa, and a medley of troops and war expenditure charged on the Civil Service Estimates—all entirely outside the control of the War Office, both as regards the command and the composition of the forces. The Foreign Office could not provide generals, but had to hire its troops, to some extent, and its officers, very largely, from the War Office and the India Office to carry on these wars, with the result that there were these Supplementary Estimates year after year. The concealment, both of the finance and of the wars, was very considerable. The country was not allowed the ordinary sources of information. Those who served the Foreign Office on that coast were not permitted to make any statement as to what was passing, and very little indeed was known in this country as to what really did occur. In the past the country had gradually become aware of much that passed on that coast; in the course of time people heard the details of the wars, and of the troubles which led to those wars, from two sources—the Primitive Methodist missionaries and the Church of England missionaries in East Africa. He desired to ask the Under Secretary of State whether he was able to report to the House any change in the views of the Government as to the future of this strip of territory? Might the country look to the Foreign Office contemplating the possibility of divesting themselves of the control and the government of this laud? The original reasons given for the Foreign Office holding such places at all was that complications might arise with other countries. But there was much less risk nowadays of complications with foreign countries on the British East African coast than in almost any other part of the world in which this country was interested. Sir Arthur Hardinge, having received the promotion he deserved, had been replaced by another officer in chief command. Sir Arthur Hardinge held very peculiar views, which he frankly stated both publicly and privately. The Committee desired to know, with regard to the future of this territory, what chance there was that the promises by which the Government were supposed to be bound, under the advice of Sir Arthur Hardinge. would be gradually got rid of. In British East Africa we were supposed to be obliged to tolerate an exceptional condition of affairs, in order to avoid risings and petty wars. We had recognised the institution of slavery to a degree in which we had never recognised it in any other part of the world, and had been told this was necessary to avoid troubles with Arab chiefs. But risings had not been avoided, year by year the Committee were asked to vote largo sums of money—£200,000, £300,000, and sometimes £400,000—for these wretched little wars with the very Arab chiefs who were supposed to be conciliated by the promises which had been made. He had always denied that any promise had been made which was different from the ordinary pledges which had been given over and over again, and which were not supposed to commit us to any recognition of slavery. The promise which was made when we took over the government, not by anyone sent out from home, but by a junior officer in the Navy who became Prime Minister to the Sultan of Zanzibar, was that for the future we would observe the laws and customs of the country. Such promises had been made hundreds of times in India, but had never been supposed to commit us to a recognition—certainly not for a prolonged period—of the status of slavery. The Secretary of State, who was supposed to have authorised the promise, had stated publicly that he had never intended such a promise to be made, or one in any way committing us as to the future. The facts that had been revealed from time to time as to the slavery in the protectorate were such that he asked whether the time had not now come when the Government could give some pledge as to the future. If we were not able to avoid these worrying little wars, involving the payment of such large sums of money, at all events we should abolish the legal status of slavery in British East Africa as we had abolished it in every other part of the Empire. In order to get a statement from the Under Secretary of State he moved to reduce the Vote by £1,000.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Item, Class 5, Vote 2, be reduced by £1,000, in respect of British East Africa."—( Sir Charles Dilke.)
, who was very imperfectly heard in the gallery, was understood to express the opinion that the right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean was over-suspicious with regard to the Supplementary Estimate under discussion. The right hon. Gentleman had said that various excuses were put forward year after year, and he apparently had no very great confidence that the reasons put forward for the extra expenditure altogether corresponded to the facts.
They are not complete.
Personally, I am not conscious of any incompleteness. The right hon. Gentleman had a very great experience of public affairs, and the noble Lord confessed that his suspicious attitude made him somewhat uncomfortable as to how affairs were arranged in the older days. On the present occasion he came before the Committee quite frankly, without any arrière pensee whatever, and asked that they should find the money necessary for the particular war we had undertaken in East Africa. Before going into the particulars of that expedition, however, he would refer briefly to the general matters about which the right hon. Gentleman had spoken. Those matters were, if he might say so, entirely irrelevant to the Vote before the Committee, because money was taken only for the particular subject referred to. The right hon. Gentleman had said that the finance of the protectorate was always in the greatest confusion; that the expedients adopted by the Foreign Office were almost chaotic in their character; and that troops were borrowed from anywhere to carry on these wars. It was perfectly true that one part of the British Empire went to another part to obtain assistance, but that was one of the great advantages of belonging to a great organisation like the British Empire—that one part could help another. But it was not at all the fact that the Foreign Office authorities had nothing to rely upon themselves. There were a series of bodies of troops, some in Central Africa, some in Uganda, and some in British East Africa, and before long there would be some in Somali-land also. The right hon. Gentleman stated that no information was given to the House of Commons as to what occurred in this protectorate. The reason so little was heard of these small expeditions was that in the midst of all the great events of the British Empire they were really of only slight public interest. What was it that gave the House and the country information as to the war in South Africa? It was the presence of special correspondents on the spot. Would anybody suggest that any of our great newspapers would be well-advised in sending special correspondents to watch these punitive expeditions? Of course they would not, and consequently that great source of information was not available. The same amount of secrecy as was undoubtedly necessary in foreign affairs was not requisite in regard to these expeditions, and the right hon. Gentleman had only to place questions on the Paper; he would find no reluctance on the part of the Foreign Office to reply fully. The only reason Papers had not been laid on the Table concerning affairs in East Africa was that the information was not yet complete, and, considering the small amount of matter in hand, it was thought to be wiser to wait until full and complete despatches had been received. If, however, the Committee was very anxious about the matter, there probably would be no unwillingness to lay on the Table the incomplete papers. The right hon. Gentleman had referred to the question of slavery, but that had nothing to do with this Vote, and the war which had been undertaken had nothing whatever to do with slavery. Slavery was a very important question; it had been debated over and over again in the House, the position of the Government had been several times stated, and he (the noble Lord) would be prepared to deal with the question on the proper occasion. The particular war in British East Africa to which the right hon. Gentleman had referred was in Jubaland, whereas the other had to do with Somali-land, and it was for these two wars that the Committee were asked to provide this money. The war in Jubaland had nothing to do with slavery, but, as so often happened, with a case of murder. The British Agent, Mr. Jenner, a most valuable public servant, had great sympathy with the people among whom ho moved. He unfortunately had too much confidence in his influence over the people, and consequently trusted them in a way which was now a cause of regret. It appeared that he had some difference with a chief who was accused of complicity in a crime which had been committed a little while previously, and for which a certain amount of punishment had been imposed by Mr. Jenner. In consequence, this chief conceived a great hatred for Mr. Jenner, and, in concert with another chief, waited for a favourable opportunity for revenge. At the end of November, Mr. Jenner, with only a small escort, went up country for surveying purposes; lie was followed and murdered. When a British officer in the execution of his duty was murdered, the first duty of the Government was to sec that that murder was promptly avenged, and hence this expedition. The total force, when it moved off. numbered about 1.500 men. These troops took a little time to get together, as some had to be obtained from India, and then they bad to be properly rationed, and everything else made ready. They marched some distance up the valley of the Juba, and then fifty-seven miles in a north-westerly direction, when they were suddenly attacked by Ogadens. and. as small expeditions go, a really sanguinary battle ensued. He was sorry to say that amongst those who were killed on the British side were Colonel Maitland and another officer. The difficulties of the country were very great. They could hear the enemy talking on each side of them, so close did they get to them without being seen. The flying column behaved admirably under such circumstances. They had not yet received the written reports from the officers in command in regard to what actually happened, and he anxiously awaited those reports, which would immediately be laid on the Table. With regard to the future, certain precautions were going to be taken, and if all went well there ought to be no more fighting. Of course it was impossible to make expeditions without paying for them, and the long and short of this Vote was that the Committee were now asked to vote the money for that purpose. It was an absolutely unexpected expedition which was forced upon the Government, and no amount of businesslike capacity on the part of the Foreign Office or on the part of the Colonial Office could have led them to foresee that Mr. Jenner would be murdered in November. Consequently, no amount of foresight could have avoided the expedition.
I wish to congratulate the noble Lord upon the very accurate knowledge which he appears to possess upon this subject. I agree with him to this extent—that a murder was committed of a British officer, and that entailed a punitive expedition, and that has been successful; but. unfortunately, it has entailed considerable loss on our side and on the other side. I do not think that the noble Lord representing the Foreign Office was entirely justified in putting aside the very pertinent remarks made by my right hon. friend. Though this Estimate may have been necessary, what we complain of is that, with the exception of the speech just made by the noble Lord, we have had no explanation of the circumstances which rendered this expenditure necessary. With these large amounts perpetually occurring the Government give us cause to complain; that this country is put to large expense in regard to these protectorates, and we have no proper opportunity of controlling this expenditure. To that point the noble Lord made no reply at all. This is not only the case in regard to warlike operations, but also in regard to other matters. It is not in order now to discuss that unfortunate Uganda railway, but whether it is in regard to war or to railways the Government show the same un business like qualities which have followed their operations in British East Africa. I agree with the right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean that the time has come when such questions as this should come under the control of the Colonial Office, and should not remain in the hands of the Foreign Office. It is clear that in the earlier stages of these spheres of influence and protectorates when they have to be delimitated they should be in the hands of the Foreign Office, but when there is no question of delimitation they should be under the control of the Colonial Office. I am not pressing the noble Lord to hand this over to the Colonial Office, because we had information given to us in regard to that Office last night which did not commend itself to my views at all. I think it must he acknowledged that the natural place for a colony is to be under the Colonial Office, and not the Foreign Office. The noble Lord declined to discuss a qusstion which I think is pertinent and of great importance, and that is the question in regard to the legal status of slavery in East Africa, which still remains.
As this money is only taken for a military expedition, a discussion of the legal status of slavery will not be in order.
All I will say upon that point is that I hope the noble Lord will give this matter his best attention, and not be too much bound by the action of his predecessor. As regards this Supplementary Vote I shall not oppose it, but I hope the noble Lord will be able to look into the finances of British East Africa and see that these perpetual Votes are not so constantly recurring under his auspices.
said that if the noble Lord would turn to the last report of the Comptroller and Auditor General he would find that the accounts in previous years for this particular Vote had not been sent in with full details at all. A considerable number of vouchers had been lost, and the figures were merely reminiscent of what the facts might have been. He thought the whole question of the British Protectorate of East Africa could not be considered merely in the light of what it had cost in the present year. He proposed to recall to the mind of the Committee what were the hopes with which the Government went into British East Africa and how year after year those hopes had been falsified. They took over the territory in 1895, and the representative of the Foreign Office in this House at that time told the Committee that the estimated cost would be £30,000 a year. The Colonial Secretary also spoke at that time, and described this protectorate as a vast and fertile territory where we should ultimately establish the Pax Britannica, which would enable the people to live quietly together and engage in agricultural and other pursuits. he hoped this Committee before it sanctioned this Estimate would realise how far those hopes of successful agricultural pursuits and the establishment of the Pax Britannica had been justified by the course of events. In 189C the original Estimate was £30,000, but the Supplementary Estimate for that year amounted to £20,975; in 1897 the original Estimate exceeded the former original Estimate and the Supplementary Estimate put together, for it amounted to £65,000, and this was followed by a Supplementary Estimate of £36,700. In the year 1898 the amount asked for was £75,000, and this was followed by yet another Supplementary Estimate of £35,000. In the year 1899 £90,000 was asked for, and this was followed by a Supplementary Estimate of £54,000. In the year 1900 the original Estimate was' £99,000, to which was added a smaller Supplementary Estimate, this time of £11,000. In 1901 the original Estimate was £87,000, but the Supplementary Estimate which they were now discussing amounted to £140,000. Therefore, this country, which was to cost £30,000 a year, was costing £227,000 for this year alone, and every single year since England first took it over the original estimated cost had been enormously exceeded, and never less than doubled. In return for this expenditure the trade they got was nothing approaching the vast amount of money which had been expended in this protectorate. Every penny of these Supplementary Estimates had been voted not in the peaceful development of the country; not to establish the Pax Britannica, but in carrying war into the homes of the natives. Were they wise in continuing a policy which had falsified every one of their hopes and belied all their calculations, and which had shown every official prophecy on the subject to have been wrong?. Mr. Jenner had been killed, and it was the duty of the British Government to take such measures as wore necessary to secure the safety of the British Residents there in the future. But the point to be considered was, in his opinion, whether they were wise in sending British Residents into those territories at all, for the cost of protecting them there far exceeded anything which they might expect to get in return. If his right hon. friend proceeded to a division he should certainly support him in the Lobby. They were having these unexpected and unexplained Estimates hurled at their heads too often. The hon. Member for Poplar had shown that this result was mostly due to placing the control and management of these protectorates in the hands of a Department which was not suited for the work. Was it wise, prudent, or businesslike to take the administration of these territories out of the hands of the Department which possessed trained people to do that particular work? He remembered that the present Secretary of State for War promised the House he would not have a Supplementary Estimate this year for Uganda. He was able to do so with confidence, because, as has since appeared, he knew that the Foreign Office Army was fully occupied elsewhere. Evidently, the Foreign Office meant to show that they could have their little wars as well as the Colonial Office.
said that the part of the Empire which he represented would not be benefited by the expenditure of these enormous sums for this most unfortunate expedition. He did not know of a single case where the loss of one life had cost so much to the country. This officer wont into that country without escort and without any military protection, knowing that his life was in danger, and he undertook this survey and was murdered by this chief who had vindictive feelings towards him. The result was this punitive expedition, and because one British official had lost his life some forty troops had been killed or wounded on our side and some 400 of the enemy had been destroyed. No less than 400 people had been killed in order to avenge the death of one officer, and the sum of £140,000 had been placed upon the taxes of this country. He could not congratulate the Government upon this way of establishing the Pax Britannica. The country had been called the white man's grave, for it was very marshy, and malarial fever there was most deadly. What did England gain by all this? The hon. Gentleman who had just spoken had proved that in trade they received nothing like an adequate return for this expenditure. They must arrive at the conclusion that the policy of the Government in this respect had been extravagant and had not been successful, and instead of benefiting British trade it had been a great failure. He thought the claim that they should abandon such a policy was a reasonable and just one. In Ireland they got no benefit whatever, and this policy increased their taxes in a shocking and extravagant manner. The facts placed before the Committee that evening were startling in the highest degree. He had always understood that slavery was not tolerated in any country where the British flag floated, and yet it was admitted that slavery was in full force in this protectorate.
The question of slavery docs not arise.
They should have more information about the staff of officials than had been yet given to the Committee. It had been pointed out that the press of this country was not represented in these expeditions, and the public had to rely on officials for information. If all the information was to be judged by that supplied by the officials of this House, there was considerable room for improvement as to the truth of the facts furnished. If the Government were determined to carry on this system of throwing money into this bottomless hole of East Africa, they should give some information as to their policy; and special facilities should be afforded the Press to accompany the expeditions. There was no knowing what horrible cruelties were being perpetrated on both sides. What was the reason why a force of only 1,500 men cost £140,000? That seemed to be a very large sum. How long a period did it cover? The Irish people paid their share of this immense expenditure, but did not benefit in the slightest degree from these punitive expeditions, which indeed only added to their misfortunes. he hoped the right hon. the Member for Forest of Dean would press his motion to a division.
I appeal to the Committee to bring this branch of this discussion to a close as soon as possible, as there are other matters of great interest and importance with which the Committee very much desire to deal.
said they were dealing with the first item of this Vote, and he desired to ask, on a point of order, whether, when the first item was disposed of, they would be able to go on to the next.
That is so.
said he proposed to divide on this motion. The Chairman had ruled that on this occasion they could not deal with the question of the legal status of slavery in this Protectorate, but at the same time it would be in the minds of hon. Members that no pledge had been given by the Government on the subject.
I think that we Irish Members on a question like this, involving so much money—
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Lowe, Francis William|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Durning-Lawrence Sir Edwin||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Faber, George Denison||Loyd, Archie Kirkman|
|Allhusen, Augustus H. Eden||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r||Lucas, Col. Francis(Lowestoft)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Macdona, John Cumming|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Finch, George H.||Maconochie, A. W.|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinb., W.|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Fisher, William Hayes||M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||Majendie, James A. H.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Fitzroy, Hn. Edward Algernon||Maxwell, W. J. H (Dumfriessh.|
|Austin, Sir John||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Milward, Colonel Victor|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Flower, Ernest||Molesworth, Sir Lewis|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Garfit, William||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)|
|Baird, John George Alexander||Godson, Sir Augustus Frederick||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy|
|Balcarres, Lord||Gordon, Hn. J. E. (Elgin&Nairn||More, Robert Jasper (Shropsh.)|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A.J. (Manch'r||Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby-||Morgan, David J. (Walthamst.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon||Morrell, George Herbert|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim||Morris, Hon. Martin H. F.|
|Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Morrison, James Archibald|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptf'd)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Greene, Sir EW (B'rySEdm'nds||Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)||Murray, Col, Wyndham (Bath|
|Bignold, Arthur||Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.||Newdigate, Francis Alexander|
|Bigwood, James||Greville, Hon. Ronald||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Blundell, Col. Henry||Groves, James Grimble||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Bond, Edward||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Brassey, Albert||Hain, Edward||Parker, Gilbert|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hambro, Charles Eric||Parkes, Ebenezer|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G (Mid'x||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Bull, William James||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nderry||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robert Wm.||Pilkington, Richard|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashfd||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lanes.)||Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.||Purvis, Robert|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Haslett, Sir James Horner||Randles, John S.|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley||Rankin, Sir James|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.)||Heath, James (Staffords, N. W.||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Helder, Augustus||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Chapman, Edward||Hogg, Lindsay||Remnant James Farquharson|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield, Brightside||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Clare, Octavius Leigh||Hoult, Joseph||Renwick, George|
|Colston, Charles Edw. H. A.||Howard, Cpt. J. (Kent, Faversh.||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Hutton, John (Yorks, N.R.)||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Corbett, A. Cameron (Glasgow)||Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. Lawies||Rutherford, John|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Kennaway, Rt. Hon. Sir J. H.||Saunderson, Rt. Hon. Col. E. J.|
|Cross, Herbert S. (Bolton)||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh)||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Lambton, Hon. Frederick W.||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Laurie, Lieut-General||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D (Chatham||Law, Andrew Bonar||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)|
|Dewar, T. R. (T'rH'mlets.S. Geo||Lawson, John Grant||Smith, H. C (North'mb.Tynesd.|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Lee, A. H. (Hants., Fareham)||Smith, James P. (Lanarks.)|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Spear, John Ward|
|Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Stanley, Hon. A. (Ormskirk)|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Leveson-Gower, Fred. N. S.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol,S)||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
Question put, "That the Question be now put."
The Committee divided:—Ayes, 204; Noes, 117. (Division List No. 73.)
|Stock, James Henry||Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E.||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H. (Yorks.|
|Stone, Sir Benjamin||Webb, Col. William George||Wolff, Gustay Wilhelm|
|Stroyan, John||Welby, Lt.-Col. A.C.E (Tauntn)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley||Whiteley, H (Ashton-and-Lyne||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier||William's, Col. R. (Dorset)||Young, Commander (Berks, E.)|
|Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther,|
|Valentia, Viscount||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Vincent, Col. Sir CEH(Sheffield||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Walker, Col. William Hall||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh., N.|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N. E.||Field, William||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||O'Malley, William|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Furness, Sir Christopher||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Allen, Charles P. (Glouc. Stroud||Gilhooly, James||Partington, Oswald|
|Barry, E. (Cork S.)||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Reddy, M.|
|Boyle, James||Hammond, John||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Brigg, John||Harmswoth, R. Leicester||Rigg, Richard|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Harwood, George||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Hayden, John Patrick||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H.||Roche, John|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Holland, William Henry||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Burns, John||Jameson, Maj. J. Eustace||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Burt, Thomas||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh)|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Jordan, Jeremiah||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Caldwell, James||Joyce, Michael||Sinclair, Capt. J. (Forfarshire)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Kearley, Hudson E.||Soames, Arthur Wellesley|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Kennedy, Patrick James||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Cawley, Frederick||Kitson, Sir James||Spencer, Rt. Hn. CR (Northants|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Lambert, George||Sullivan, Donal|
|Colville, John||Langley, Batty||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Leamy, Edmund||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Thomas, J A(Glamorg'n, Gower|
|Crean, Eugene||Leng, Sir John||Thompson, B.C.(Monaghan,N.|
|Daly, James||Levy, Maurice||Tomkinson, James|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Lloyd-George, David||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Lundon, W.||Tully, Jasper|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Dilke, Rt. Hon. Sir Charles||M'Dermott, Patrick||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Donelan, Captain A.||M'Kenna, Reginald||Wason, Eugene(Clackmannan|
|Doogan, P. C.||Mansfield, Horace Rendall||Weir, James Galloway|
|Duffy, William J.||Markham, Arthur Basil||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Duncan, James H.||Morton, Edw. J.C. (Devonport||White, Luke (York, E.R.)|
|Dunn, Sir William||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Elibank, Master of||O'Brien, Kendal (Tipp'r'ry, Mid||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid|
|Ellis, John Edward||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Emmott, Alfred||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East|
|Earquharson, Dr. Robert||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Farrell, James Patrick||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S,)||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Mr. Caine and Mr. Thomas Bayley.|
|Fenwick, Charles||O'Dowd, John|
|Ffreneh, Peter||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
Question put accordingly, "That the Item, Class 5, Vote 2, he reduced by £1,000, in respect of British East Africa."
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Burt, Thomas||Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Buxton, Sydney Charles||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan|
|Allan, William (Gateshead)||Caldwell, James||Dewar, J. A. (Inverness-sh.)|
|Allen, C. P. (Glouc, Stroud)||Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Donelan, Captain A.|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Causton, Richard Knight||Doogan, P. C.|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Cawley, Frederick||Duffy, William J.|
|Boyle, James||Clancy, John Joseph||Duncan, James H.|
|Brigg, John||Colville, John||Dunn, Sir William|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Condon, Thomas Joseph||Ellis, John Edward|
|Brunner, Sir John Tomlinson||Craig, Robert Hunter||Emmott, Alfred|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Crean, Eugene||Farquharson, Dr. Robert|
|Burns, John||Daly, James||Farrell, James Patrick|
The Committee divided:—Ayes, 121; Noes, 212. (Division List No. 74.)
|Fenwick, Charles||Lough, Thomas||Scott, Chas. Prestwich (Leigh|
|Ffrench, Peter||Lundon, W.||Shipman, Dr. John G.|
|Field, William||Macnamara, Dr. Thomas J.||Sinclair, Capt. John (Forfarsh.|
|Fitzmaurice, Lord Edmond||M'Dermott, Patrick||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||M'Kenna, Reginald||Spencer, Rt. Hn. CR(Northant.|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||Mansfield, Horace Kendall||Sullivan, Donal|
|Furness, Sir Christopher||Markham, Arthur Basil||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Gilhooly, James||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||Thomas, A. (Glamorgan, E.)|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Brien, James F. X. (Cork)||Thomas, J A(Glamorg'n,Gower|
|Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.)||Thompson, E. C.(Monaghan, N.|
|Hammond, John||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Tomkinson, James|
|Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Coonor, Jas. (Wicklow, W.)||Trevelyan, Charles Philips|
|Harwood, George||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)||Tully, Jasper|
|Hayden, John Patrick||O'Donnoll, John (Mayo, S.)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Chas. H.||O'Donnell, T. (Kerry, W.)||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.|
|Holland, William Henry||O'Dowd, John||Wason, Eugene (Clackmannan|
|Jameson, Major J. Eustace||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)||Weir, James Galloway|
|Jones, Wm. (Carnarvonsh.)||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Jordon, Jeremiah||O'Malley, William||White, Luke (York, E. B.)|
|Joyce, Michael||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.||Whitley, J. H. (Halifax)|
|Kearley, Hudson E.||Partington, Oswald||Wilson, F. W. (Norfolk, Mid.)|
|Kennedy, Patrick James||Reddy, M.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Kitson, Sir James||Redmond, William (Clare)||Woodhouse, Sir J. T. (Huddrsfld|
|Lambert, George||Reid, Sir R. Threshie (Dumfries||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Langley, Batty||Rigg, Richard||Yoxall, James Henry|
|Beamy, Edmund||Roberts, John H. (Denbighsh.)|
|Leigh, Sir Joseph||Robson, William Snowdon||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Charles Dilke and Mr. Caine.|
|Leng, Sir John||Roche, John|
|Levy, Maurice||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Lloyd-George, David||Samuel, S. M. (Whitechapel)|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex. F.||Chapman, Edward||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Churchill, Winston Spencer||Greene, Sir EW(B'rySEdm'nds|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Clare, Octavius Leigh||Greene, Henry D. (Shrewsbury)|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.||Colston, Chas. Edw. H. Athole||Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.)|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Cook, Frederick Lucas||Gretton, John|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Corbett, A. Cameron(Glasgow)||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Arkwright, John Stanhope||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Groves, James Grimble|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Cox, Irwin Edw. Bainbridge||Hain, Edward|
|Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Cranborne, Viscount||Hambro, Charles Eric|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Hamilton, Rt. Hn. Ld G (Midd'x|
|Austin, Sir John||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'nd'nd'rry|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Hanbury, Rt. Rn. Robert W.|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Dalkeith, Earl of||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashfd.|
|Baird, John George A.||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hare, Thomas Leigh|
|Balcarres, Lord||Davies, Sir Horatio D (Chatham||Harris, Fleverton (Tynemouth|
|Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r||Dewar, T. R. (T'rH'ml'ts, S.Geo.||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Dickson, Charles Scott||Haslett, Sir J. Horner|
|Bartley, George C. T.||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Heath, Arthur Howard (Hanley|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen B.||Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cockfield||Heath, Jas. (Staffords, N. W.)|
|Beach, Rt Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol)||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Helder, Augustus|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Doxford, Sir William Theodore||Hope, J. F. (Sheffield Brightside|
|Bignold, Arthur||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||Hoult, Joseph|
|Bigwood, James||Elibank, Master of||Howard, Capt J. (Kent, Faversh|
|Bill, Charles||Faber, George Denison||Hutton, John (Yorks, N.B.)|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Fergusson, Rt. Hn. Sir J (Manc'r||Jackson, Rt. Hon. W. Lawies|
|Bond, Edward||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Jebb, Sir Richard Claverhouse|
|Brassey, Albert||Finch, George H.||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Fisher, William Hayes||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.|
|Brown, George M. (Edinburgh)||Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon||Kenyon, Hn. G. T. (Denbigh)|
|Bull, William James||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Flower, Ernest||King, Sir Henry Seymour|
|Carson, Rt. Hon. Sir Edw. H.||Garfit, William||Lambton, Hon. Frederick Wm.|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Laurie, Lieut.-General|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Law, Andrew Bonar|
|Cavendish, V. C. W. (Derbysh.)||Gordon, Hn. J. E (Elgin&Nairn||Lawson, John Grant|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby-||Lee, A. H. (Hants, Fareham)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John Eldon||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm||Goschen, Hon. George J.||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie|
|Chamberlain, J. Austen (Worc'r||Goulding, Edward Alfred||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S,|
|Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Pemberton, John S. G.||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Long, Rt. Hn Walter (Bristol, S.||Pierpoint, Robert||Stewart, Sir Mark J.M Taggart|
|Lowe, Francis William||Pilkington, Richard||Stock, James Henry|
|Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Pretyman, Ernest George||Stroyan, John|
|Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Macdona, John Cumming||Purvis, Robert||Sturt, Hn. Humphry Napier|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Randles, John S.||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinburgh W||Rankin, Sir James||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire||Rasch, Maj. Frederic Carne||Valentia, Viscount|
|Majendie, James A. H.||Reid, James (Greenock)||Vincent, Col. Sir C E H (Sheffield|
|Maxwell, W J H (Dumfriesshire||Remnant, James Farquharson||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Rentoul, James Alexander||Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E.|
|Milward, Colonel Victor||Renwick, George||Webb, Col. William George|
|Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Ridley, S. Forde (BethnalGreen||Welby, Lt-Col A.C.E. (Taunt'n|
|Montagn, G. (Huntingdon)||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas Thomson||Whiteley, H (Ashton u-Lyne|
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|More, Robt. Jasper (Shropshire||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Wilson, A. S. (York. E.R.)|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Samuel, H. S. (Limehouse)||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Saunderson, Rt Hn. Col. Edw. J.||Wilson, J. W. (Worcester, N.)|
|Morton, Arthur H. A. (Deptford||Sharpe, William Edward T.||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H (Yorks.)|
|Murray, Rt. Hon. A. G. (Bute)||Simeon, Sir Harrington||Wolff, Gustay Wilhelm|
|Murray, Col. Wyndham(Bath)||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Skewes-Cox, Thomas||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Nicol, Donald Ninian||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)||Young, Commander (Berks, E.)|
|Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Smith, H. C. (N'h' mb., Tyneside.|
|Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Smith, James Parker (Lanarks.|
TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.
|Parker, Gilbert||Spear, John Ward|
|Parkes, Ebenezer||Stanley, Hn. Arthur (Ormskirk|
Original Question again proposed.
The Somaliland Expedition
*SIR BRAMPTON CURDON (Norfolk, N.) moved to reduce the Vote by £10,000 in respect to Somaliland, and said that in accordance with the appeal of the First Lord of the Treasury to the Committee to give every Vote a fair chance, he should be as brief as possible in his remarks. His object in moving the reduction was to call attention to the revival of a practice which had long fallen into disuse in this country—the use of mercenaries in our wars. He referred to the employment of the Central African Regiment, first of all in Somaliland and then in West Africa. So long as native troops were used in their own particular country he offered no objection: but he certainly did object to their being moved into other countries as soldiers. In the future the Central African Regiment might become after years of training as reliable as the Sikhs, but at present they could not be trusted either in victory or defeat. It was in the recollection of the Committee that a discussion arose last year on the question of these men being removed to the Mauritius for garrison duty, the result being that they followed out their natural instincts and rebelled against discipline, broke out of barracks, and raided villages, murdering men and outraging women. He had never found out who was responsible for their being brought to Mauritius. They were severely punished and removed to Somaliland. He could only describe them as mercenaries, because they had not been long enough under the dominion of Great Britain to have any feeling of patriotism for our cause. A great many of our Yeomen who had gone out to South Africa went out for the fun of the fighting; but at the same time they felt that they were fighting for their country, and were buoyed up by the feeling of patriotism for our cause. He made no objection to Indian troops in China, because they had been so long under our rule that they had an attachment for us and were proud to fight for us, but the native troops which were now being employed in Somaliland were nothing better than mercenaries, whose instincts were almost animal, and it was a very dangerous thing to send these men to fight in a country when we could not restrain them in the moment of victory or depend upon them in the moment of defeat. He agreed with what had been said as to the disadvantage of placing these protectorates under the Foreign Office. British Central Africa, for which he claimed to speak, was earnestly desirous of being transferred to the Colonial Office. He moved the reduction of the Vote by the sum. of £200.
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Item, Class 5, Vote '2, be reduced by £10,000, in respect of Somali-land (Grant in Aid)."—( Sir Brampton Gurdon.)
The hon. Gentleman who has moved this reduction devoted a great part of his remarks to protesting against the use of these men in Somaliland. I can comfort him in that regard; they have not been used in Somaliland. Though they were in garrison there at the time of the out break of hostilities, they were unfortunately afflicted with illness, and were not available. I do not admit at all that these men behaved badly on the Mauritius, as the hon. Gentleman suggests.
Not at all; I stuck up for them. I said they were only following their natural instincts.
Nor can I allow them to be called mercenaries Of course they are mercenaries, in the sense that they are paid; but then so are the British soldiers, of whom we are all so proud. I think it is a strong order to say that these men do not feel their position as subjects of the British Empire as much or even more than we do. Hon. Members seem to have forgotten the enormous benefits conferred upon these men by their being under British rule, and it is very natural that they should be proud of their position in the Empire. I entirely repudiate the idea that they are mercenaries in any adverse sense of the word, and if we find, as we do, that these native troops are far more suitable for the conditions under which warfare in various parts of Africa is carried on we ought to use them. These troops we employ are far cheaper than any other troops that we could possibly employ. They are far cheaper than British troops and far cheaper than Indian troops, and upon every ground, therefore, from the point of view of cheapness and from the point of view of patriotism, we ought to employ them. Representing as I do the Foreign Office, J ought not to pass by altogether what has been said as to the administration of Somaliland and the other protectorates which are administered by the Foreign Office. The House may rest assured that there arc special reasons why these protectorates should be administered rather by the Foreign than the Colonial Office. We have Protectorates whose frontiers adjoin those of France, Germany, and Italy, and questions constantly arise which can only be dealt with by the Foreign Office, and it would only tend to delay matters if these protectorates were transferred to the administration of the Colonial Office. That is the case of Somaliland; on the east we have the Italian hinterland, and on the west the French colonies, and those two nations are in constant relations with the protectorate.
The same consideration applies to West Africa.
Things in West Africa are in a very much more forward state undoubtedly. When once these countries are brought under settled government then they can be transferred to the Colonial Office, but that is not yet the case with Somaliland. I now propose very shortly to give an account of the expedition in Somaliland as I did in the case of Matabeleland, but I ought to preface it by the remark that it is very much a matter of conjecture, as we have not yet got to the end of operations. The object of the operations which are taking place in Somaliland is to check the depredations and attacks of a certain Mullah, who has for several years past been a great danger to the peace and order of that part of the world. He is a Mahdi, if I might say so, on a small scale, and I might very well rest the case there, because anyone who is familiar with what took place in the Soudan, which led to our expedition in that country, will have a full knowledge of the evils connected with Mahdism. This man was first heard of in 1896, but he did not attain any importance until 1899, when he returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca as the leader of a certain sect which pro- ceeded to make proselytes in Somaliland, following the ordinary course of religious zealots. He claimed to rule the whole of the centre of Somaliland, from which he was good enough to say the English must go, although they might hold the coast, He then commenced a system of raiding accompanied by murder and robbery, and his despotism became such a nuisance that the tribes under our protection, having fought against it, cried out that they were gradually losing faith in our power to protect them. Their cattle were being carried away and the people were being murdered, and we were told that if we did not interfere they would he compelled to make friends with the Mullah to save themselves. The matter was complicated by the views of the Abyssinians. The Abyssinians applied to us to know whether we were going to permit the existence of this source of disorder, and asked for a reply. Matters wont on, and the power and audacity of the Mullah increased, and it was finally represented to us by our officer on the spot that the situation had become dangerous. The same information came from the Abyssinians, so that the position of the Mullah could no longer be tolerated. At the end of November last year, therefore, the Government resolved to make preparations to check the Mullah. The British Central African Regiment was not available, but a body of Somalia was raised, with British officers and arms. Recently, I am glad to say, we hear that the Mullah has been engaged with the Abyssinians, and that they soundly defeated him. An advance on our side is now under consideration in order to subdue him finally. With regard to the future of Somaliland, I may say that this year the trade has reached its highest level since the opening of British rule, and the revenue has also improved. I do not deny that the temporary military expenditure has increased, but on the whole the outlook is by no means unfavourable, and I hope the expenditure will be confined to a limited amount. I need say no more, and I hope I have said enough to satisfy the Committee with regard to this Vote.
said the speech which had been delivered by the noble Lord would not bring conviction to the mind of anyone as to the justification of the proceedings which the Government had taken in South Africa. Such flimsy pretexts had never been given in the House of Commons for the expenditure of one million of money as those just given by the noble Lord as a reason for these military operations in Somaliland. The Mullah had made a pilgrimage to Mecca, and on his return had endeavoured to convert the people of his country to his own religious views. If that were a crime sufficient to necessitate a military expedition, then the British were guilty of that crime in a greater degree than any other nation of the world. The noble Lord had characterised this man as a, barbarian and a general nuisance, and the British taxpayer was therefore to be called upon to find the money to make war upon him. It was a self-evident proposition that the Abyssinians were a civilised people and able to take care of themselves, because if they had not been nothing was more certain than that the Government would have made war upon them for the purpose of capturing their country. There was one curious fact with regard to the policy of the Government in Africa, and that was that, although they were always in hot water with somebody, they took care not to get into hot water with any people they did not think were weak enough to be subdued. The noble Lord had just said there was another expedition under consideration. Why, what reason was there for another expedition? He objected to this item of expenditure, not only because to some extent it fell upon Ireland, but from the English point of view that Members had a, right to complain that the Government, when they considered it necessary to indulge in a warlike expedition against a mad Mullah, did not take precautions to have a, proper military expedition launched against him, but Were continually coming to the House for supplies. The noble Lord said this man was to be persecuted because he had endeavoured to impose his religious views upon other people.
I did not say anything of the kind.
said he wished that sentiment had been acted upon in respect to Ireland, where the I whole object of past Governments had been to impose their religious views upon the people of that country. He was glad that a reduction had been moved in this Vote. He strongly objected to these continual Votes for war-like expeditions. Whatever the case might be with regard to the necessity of these expeditions from a British point of view, from the Irish point of view there was absolutely no justification for the expenditure of a single penny in this direction. He did not know what the constituents of the Liberal Members of the House were like, but from the action of the Liberal party from time to time upon questions of this kind he was inclined to think that their constituents could not be up to much. There could be no doubt in the mind of the noble Lord that those Irish Members who represented Irish constituencies had got a mandate from the people who elected them to offer the strongest opposition in their power to expenditure of this kind, "The previous Vote which had been passed was very similar to this one, and now they were asked to vote £200,000 for a war against some unfortunate Mullah who happened to hold religious views different from the noble Lord opposite and his noble relative the Member for Greenwich. This Mullah might not be ritualistic enough to suit the Member for Greenwich, but that was no reason why his head should be cut off and a military expedition launched against him. From the point of view of the Irish taxpayers they were perfectly justified in opposing this expenditure. They knew that the members of the Government would be the last people to refuse to admit that there was in Ireland the most pressing need for the expenditure of money in order to develop the industries of the country. The people of Ireland were in a state of distress, and yet they had the greatest difficulty in getting the House of Commons to listen to Irish representatives. They were asked to vote hundreds of thousands of pounds for these unnecessary, dangerous, iniquitous, and sanguinary wars in every part, of Africa, and if they offered the slightest objection they were told that they were obstructing and interfering with the business of the House and the country. Whenever a Vote of this kind came up it must be apparent to all hon. Members that it would be far better for the interests of this country if, instead of being compelled to come to this House, they were allowed to remain at home and manage their own affairs.
said that after the explanation given by the noble Lord he would ask leave to withdraw his Amendment. [Cries of "No, no!" from the Irish benches.]
Permission to withdraw being refused.
said he understood from what the noble Lord had just stated that another expedition was to take place immediately in Africa. He wished to know if it had been already organised, when would it be put in motion, what was its object, was the expedition unavoidable, and was there any prospect of preventing it? They did not often get to know anything of this kind until the bill was presented to Parliament. The noble Lord had treated them with a frankness and an open-mindedness to which they were not accustomed. As ho had told them so much about the matter, perhaps he would not mind telling them a little more. When was this expedition to take place and what was the length of time that would be necessary to secure the object in view? Perhaps the noble Lord could tell the Committee what the probable cost would be and how much this country was likely to benefit by the expedition when it was over.
The object of the expedition is to defeat the Mullah and to destroy his power. If there is any chance of his power being destroyed without an expedition, no one will be more delighted than the Government. I am bound to say that I do not think the expedition can be avoided. The situation has become intolerable. This man's barbarity injures our trade; and hurts our subjects, and he must be destroyed. The Mullah was originally a religious leader, but his religious character has disappeared and his barbarity and tyranny remain.
thought the House of Commons was very much indebted to the hon. Member for ' getting this information from the noble Lord. It was all very well for him to say that this Mullah was mad—
I have never the used word "mad" in the whole course of these proceedings.
said that perhaps in the mind of the noble Lord he was something worse than mad—he was religious. He wished to deal with the statement of the Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs to the effect that in the neighbourhood of Somaliland a native chief had arisen who had become a nuisance to British interests. He had become such a nuisance that he had to be hunted down at all cost. If the noble Lord thought that this hunting of Mullahs could go on indefinitely east, west, north, and south, in the present strained condition of the finances of the British Empire, then he had embarked upon an expedition the end of which no man could see and the cost of which the British taxpayers would seriously resent if the Government were to give them an opportunity. They resented Mullah hunting in general and the Somaliland one in particular. The noble Lord stated that this expedition was going on, and would go on until this Mullah was destroyed. But they were not going to destroy this Mullah and his power so easily. He started this game in 1896, and in 1899 he became serious. He presumed that the Mullah was an Arab and had paid a visit to Mecca, and in consequence some disagreement had ensued. Therefore, he came back from Mecca and became a nuisance. He was accused of stealing cattle, but there were British subjects in other parts of Africa who were engaged in that occupation at the present time. Did the Government also propose to destroy the cattle stealers there? The chief offence of this man was that, under the, guise of religious inspiration, this religious enthusiast had started "lifting" the cattle of his neighbours. But that was a, congenial and reciprocal pastime in Somaliland. His fellow-countrymen north of the Tweed indulged in the same pastime 200 years ago. Cattle stealing was a tribal pastime, in Africa, almost as popular as foxhunting and breaking down farmers' fences was in this country. Surely that was no reason why they should kill the men who indulged in it. They appeared to have determined to rout out of Africa every tribe that showed courage, every chief who displayed independence, and every native community which had courageously determined to stick to their own language, religion, habits and customs, and if England continued this policy much longer these oppressed people would join together in one common cause, and a, condition of things in Africa would arise which all the European Powers combined would not be able to overcome and subdue. They tried the same thing on with the Mahdi. and then they transferred their attention to Kruger and to Steyn, and they would have liked to have done the same thing with Menelik, but he was too strong. The Italians tried to do the same thing, and he rejoiced to think that the Abyssinians wiped out the demoralised Italians at Adowa.
Order, order! The subject to which the hon. Member is referring has no bearing upon this Vote.
said he would bow at once to the Chairman's ruling. The noble Lord talked about the enforcement of discipline as if discipline and military rule were synonymous with the development of British trade. That was not true, and he believed that just in proportion as they tried to subject these native tribes to military discipline to that extent they would damage their trade and interfere with commercial interests; not only this, but they would damage the future relationship of this country with the people whom they ought to be in kindly, benevolent, and friendly contact with. Who were the people they had chosen for this expedition? They had employed 1,600 Central African irregulars.
said that by employing those men under British supervision they were only producing tribal animosities. [Ministerial cries of "Oh, oh !"] He could assure hon. Members opposite that they were not going to howl him down, and so long as he was in order he should exercise the attenuated rights left to a Member of Parliament of expressing his views. He believed that the employment of these irregulars was going to do a great deal of harm to British interests, and as one who had had a year's experience of them in one of the worst parts of Africa be would say-that just in proportion as they used force to destroy native habits and customs they were damaging trade, weakening their prestige, and accentuating permanently the very thing they hoped to remove. He would read to the Committee an extract from the writings of a very distinguished African, Sir Andrew Clarke. He said—and his remarks apply to East Africa—
And to confirm him on page 28 of the Central Africa Protectorate Report there appeared the following:—"We should be happier in our rule on the West Coast —and I speak from experience, for I was out there for some time myself—if we had confined ourselves to pure trading. At present we can only succeed by forced labour, and that always means the deterioration of both English and native. Remember this, that on the West Coast we are only re-occupying ground which was occupied by the powerful and pious influence of the Roman Catholics—I refer to the government of the Portuguese, years ago. They spent money and lives, but failed, and now there remain of their rule only the ruins of convents and old palaces, which you will see crumbling to dust in the jungle, with ceilings painted by Italians. Nature is too strong for the European, and it will be the same with us. Our work in the Hinterland may prolong our stay, but in time it will be handed over to natives, controlled and guided by a half-caste and bastard population of our own race. And awful then will be the condition of West Africa. It will be a solemn warning to England, and an object lesson on the absolute necessity for firm decision between the true colonisation of our race and the occupying of territory merely for the purposes of money-getting."
and other horrors incidental to this undisciplined-territory grabbing. That was the civilisation which they intended to give to Somaliland by such expeditions as the noble Lord was now engaged in. This country, through lack of judgment and tact, in sixty years had undertaken sixty-three wars and ex- peditions against native tribes in east, west, north, south, not only of Africa, but of Asia. The people of this country were getting tired of such campaigns in Africa, alternating with expeditions on the north-west frontier of India. Was the Government going to enforce equal rights to all men in South Africa and destroy the Boers, who were rightly struggling to be free? He protested with all his force against the House of Commons surrendering its supervisory duties and its controlling power to the Cabinet. So long as the House of Commons surrendered its duty of control in such matters, and allowed inexperienced military men to manage such affairs, so long would the taxation of the country continue to go up. It was because he believed their Empire would be diminished and not increased by such expeditions, because he believed that their honour was attacked and their prestige was being slowly whittled away, that be deprecated the speech made by the noble Lord. He should condemn the Somaliland expedition as long as he was a Member of the House, for such expenditure was only squandering their money, irritating the native tribes against them, and making the name of England a bye-word and reproach to the smaller nations of the earth. He appealed to every hon. Member on this side of the House, and to the better intentioned hon. Members on the other side—to the old-fashioned Tories who were getting tired of the new diplomacy and this world-wide brigandage and filching away of native rights and customs from people who had a right to any religion which they cared to profess—to vote against this policy, which was permanently damaging the British Empire, its name, and its best traditions."There is a steady increase of contagious venereal diseases among Europeans and natives,"
I hope the House will agree with me when I say that on a. Supplementary Estimate it really is not desirable that we should go over the whole policy of the relations between this country and the various native tribes, rights, and customs which the hon. Gentleman has gone into.
said he should not have said a word on the subject but for the noble Lord telling them that this expedition was going to be carried through until the Mullah was destroyed, and that was not a policy which ought to be introduced upon a Supplementary Estimate.
In any ease, I think the next item in this Vote presents an even more attractive opportunity of attacking the Government, and I would suggest that hon. Members opposite should allow this Vote to pass and turn their attention to pursuing higher game.
said that one of the pleas put forward by the noble Lord opposite was that trade would be spoiled unless this Mullah was put down. That was practically an admission that such wars were carried on for the purpose of extending trade, and while Great Britain might be improved by these expeditions not one penny of improvement would come to the country which he represented. For that reason he felt that it was the duty of his hon. friends on that
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir A. F.||Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r||Gordon, Hn. J. E.(Elgin&Nairn|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Chapman, Edward||Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby-|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Churchill, Winston Spencer||Gorst, Rt. Hon. Sir John Eldon|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.||Cochrane, Hon. T. H. A. E.||Goschen, Hon. George Joachim|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Compton, Lord Alwyne||Goulding, Edward Alfred|
|Archdale, Edward Mervyn||Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Gray, Ernest (West Ham)|
|Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Corbett, A. C. (Glasgow)||Greene, Sir E W (BrySEdm'nds|
|Aahmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.|
|Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Cranborne, Viscount||Grenfell, William Henry|
|Austin, Sir John||Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Gretton, John|
|Bailey, James (Walworth)||Cross, Herb. Shepherd (Bolton)||Greville, Hon. Ronald|
|Bain, Colonel James Robert||Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Groves, James Grimble|
|Baird, John George Alex.||Cust, Henry John C.||Gurdon, Sir W. Brampton|
|Balcarres, Lord||Dalkeith, Earl of||Guthrie, Walter Murray|
|Balfour, Rt. Hon. A. J. (Manch'r||Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Hain, Edward|
|Banbury, Frederick George||Davies, Sir Horatio D. (Chath'm||Hall, Edward Marshall|
|Hartley, George G. T.||Davies, M. Vaughan-(Cardigan||Hambro, Charles Eric|
|Bathurst, Hon. Allen Benjamin||Dewar, T R. (T'rH'ml'ts, S.Geo.||Hamilton, Rt Hn Lord G. (Mid'x|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Dickson, Charles Scott||Hamilton, Marq. of (L'donderry|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Banbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. W.|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M. M.||Digby, John K. D. Wingfield||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd)|
|Bignold, Arthur||Dimsdale, Sir Joseph Cock field||Hare, Thomas Leigh|
|Bill, Charles||Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'uth|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Haslam, Sir Alfred S.|
|Bond, Edward||Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edw.||Hay, Hon. Claude George|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Dyke, Rt. Hn. Sir William Hart||Heath, Arthur H. (Hanley)|
|Bowles, Capt. H. V. (Middlesex)||Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Heath, Jas. (Staffords., N.'W.)|
|Brassey, Albert||Fergusson, Rt Hn. Sir. J (Manc'r||Helder, Augustus|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Fielden, Edward Brocklehurst||Hogg, Lindsay|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Finch, George H.||Hope, J. F. (Shef'ld, Brightside|
|Burdett-Coutts, W.||Finlay, Sir Robert Bannatyne||Hoult, Joseph|
|Butcher, John George||Fisher, William Hayes||Howard, Capt J (Kent, Faversh.|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon||Button, John (Yorks, N.R.)|
|Cavendish, R.F. (N. Lancs.)||Fletcher, Sir Henry||Jackson, Rt. Hon. W. Lawies|
|Cavendish, V.C W (Derbyshire)||Garfit, William||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Gibbs, Hn A.G.H. (City of Lond.||Johnston, William (Belfast)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Gibbs, Hon. Vicary (St. Albans)||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir J. H.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hn. J. (Birm.||Godson, Sir Augustus Fredk.||Kenyon, Hon. Geo. T. (Denbigh|
side of the House to protest against the large sums of money called for by the Government in the way of Supplementary Votes. It was a very remarkable thing that the Government, possessing so much brains and ability, had not been able to foresee more accurately their requirements and the amount of money they would require to carry them through. On this ground they fully deserved every opposition to the passing of those Votes. Any commercial establishment which went so far astray as the Government had done this year in estimating its requirements would soon find itself in the Bankruptcy Court.
rose in his place, and claimed to move, "That the Question be now put."
Question put, "That the Question be now put."
The Committee divided: Ayes, 230; Noes, 117. (Division List No. 75.)
|Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop.||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|King, Sir Henry Seymour||Mount, William Arthur||Skewes Cox, Thomas|
|Lambton, Hon. Frederick W.||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, E.)|
|Law, Andrew Bonar||Murray, Rt. Hn. A. G. (Bute)||Smith, H.C. (N'h'mb., Tyneside|
|Lawrence, William F.||Murray, Chas. J. (Coventry)||Smith, Jas. Parker (Lanarks.)|
|Lawson, John (Grant||Murray, Col. Wyndham (Bath)||Spear, John Ward|
|Lee, Capt. A H (Hants. Fareham||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||Stanley, Lord (Lanes.)|
|Legge, Col. Hon. Hencage||Nicholson, William Graham||Stanley, Hon Arthur (Ormskirk|
|Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Nicol, Donald Ninian||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Leveson-Gower, Frederick N. S.||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens||Stock, James Henry|
|Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Orr-Ewing, Charles Lindsay||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Long, Rt. Hon. W. (Bristol, S.||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)||Stroyan, John|
|Lowe, Francis William||Pemberton, John S. G.||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Pierpoint, Robert||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Platt-Higgins, Frederick||Talbot, Lord E. (Chichester)|
|Lucas, Col. Francis(Lowestoft)||Pretyman, Ernest George||Talbot, Rt. Hon. JG(OxfdUniv|
|Lucas, Reginald J.(Portsmouth||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Purvis, Robert||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Macartney, Rt. Hn. W. G. E.||Randles, John S.||Tomlinson, Wm.Edw. Murray|
|Macdona, John dimming||Rankin, Sir James||Valentia, Viscount|
|Maconochie, A. W.||Rasch, Maj. Frederic Carne||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|M'Iver, Sir Lewis (Edinb., W.)||Reid, James (Greenock)||Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E.|
|M'Killop, Jas. (Stirlingshire)||Remnant, James Farquharson||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Majendie, James A. H.||Rentoul, James Alexander||Webb, Col. William George|
|Malcolm, Ian||Renwick, George||Welby, Lt.-Col. A. CE(Taunton|
|Manners, Lord Cecil||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge)||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-u.-Lyne)|
|Martin, Richard Biddulph||Ridley, S. F. (Bethnal Green)||Williams, Colonel R. (Dorset)|
|Maxwell, WJH (Dumfriesshire||Ritchie, Rt. Hn. Chas. Thomson||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Melville, Beresford Valentine||Robertson, Herbert (Hackney)||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E. R.)|
|Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Milward, Col. Victor||Royds, Clement Molyneux||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.|
|Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander||Wilson-Todd, Wm. H.(Yorks.)|
|Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)||Wolff, Gustay Wilhelm|
|More, R. Jasper (Shropshire)||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Morgan, David J (Walthamst.)||Saunderson, Rt. Hn. Col. E.J.||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Morgan, Hon. F. (Monm'thsh.||Seely, Charles Hilton(Lincoln)|
|Morrell, George Herbert||Sharpe, William Edward T.||TELLERS FOE THE AYES—Sir William Walroud and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew|
|Morrison, James Archibald||Simeon, Sir Harrington|
|Abraham, William (Cork, N.E.)||Emmott, Alfred||Lundon, W.|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Farrell, James Patrick||M'Crae, George|
|Allen, C. P. (Glouc, Stroud)||Fenwick, Charles||M'Dermott, Patrick|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Ffrench, Peter||M'Kenna, Reginald|
|Bayley, Thomas (Derbyshire)||Field, William||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)|
|Beaumont, Wentworth C. B.||Foster, Sir Walter (Derby Co.)||M'Laren, Charles Benjamin|
|Boland, John||Fuller, J. M. F.||Mansfield, Horace Rendall|
|Boyle, James||Gilhooly, James||Mooney, John J.|
|Brigg, John||Goddard, Daniel Ford||Morton, Edw. J.C.(Devonport)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Hammond, John||Nolan, Col. J. P. (Galway, N.|
|Brown, Geo. M. (Edinburgh)||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W|
|Burns, John||Hayne, Rt. Hon. Charles Seale-||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Burt, Thomas||Hemphill, Rt. Hn. Charles H.||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Holland, William||O'Dowd, John|
|Causton, Richard Knight||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Cawley, Frederick||Joicey, Sir James||O'Kelly, Jas. (Roscommon, N.)|
|Clancy, John Joseph||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.||O'Malley, William|
|Colville, John||Jordan, Jeremiah||O'Mara, James|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Joyce, Michael||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Kearley, Hudson E.||O'Shee, James John|
|Crean, Eugene||Kennedy, Patrick James||Palmer, George W. (Reading)|
|Daly, James||Kitson, Sir James||Partington, Oswald|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Lambert, George||Reddy, M.|
|Dewar, John A. (Inverness-sh.||Langley, Batty||Redmond, John E.(Waterford)|
|Doogan, P. C.||Leamy, Edmund||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Duffy, William J.||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Rigg, Richard|
|Duncan, James H.||Levy, Maurice||Roberts, John H. (Denbighs.)|
|Dunn, Sir William||Lewis, John Herbert||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Elibank, Master of||Lloyd-George, David||Roche, John|
|Ellis, John Edward||Lough, Thomas||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Schwann, Charles E.||Thomas, J A (Glamorgan Gower||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Sinclair, Capt John (Forfarshire||Thompson, E. C. (Mouaghan, N.||Wilson, F.W. (Norfolk, Mid.)|
|Soames, Arthur Wellesley||Tomkinson, James||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Soares, Ernest J.||Trevelyan, Charles Philips||Wodehouse, Hn. Armine(Essex|
|Sullivan, Donal||Tully, Jasper||Woodhouse, Sir J T (HuddTsh'd|
|Taylor, Theodore Cooke||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Tennant, Harold John||Warner, Thomas Courtenay T.||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Captain Donelan and Mr. Patrick O'Brien.|
|Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.||Weir, James Galloway|
|Thomas, F. Freeman (Hastings||White, George (Norfolk)|
Question put accordingly. "That the Item, Class 5, Vote 2, be reduced by £10,000, in respect of Somaliland (Grant-in Aid)."
|Abraham, Wm. (Cork, N. E.)||Harmsworth, R. Leicester||O'Malley, William|
|Abraham, William (Rhondda)||Hayden, John Patrick||O'Mara, James|
|Barry, E. (Cork, S.)||Hayne, Rt. Hn. Charles Seale-||O'Shaughnessy, P. J.|
|Beaumont, Went worth C. B.||Hemphill, Rt. Hon. Charles H.||O'Shee, James John|
|Boland, John||Holland, William Henry||Palmer, George Wm. (Reading)|
|Boyle, James||Jameson, Major J. Eustace||Reddy, M.|
|Brigg, John||Joicey, Sir James||Redmond, John E. (Waterford)|
|Broadhurst, Henry||Jones, William (Carnarvonsh.)||Redmond, William (Clare)|
|Burke, E. Haviland-||Jordan, Jeremiah||Rigg, Richard|
|Burns, John||Joyce, Michael||Roberts, John H. (Denbighsh.)|
|Burt, Thomas||Kearley, Hudson E.||Robson, William Snowdon|
|Buxton, Sydney Charles||Kennedy, Patrick James||Roche, John|
|Campbell, John (Armagh, S.)||Kitson, Sir James||Roe, Sir Thomas|
|Cawley, Frederick||Lambert, George||Schwann, Charles E.|
|Claney, John Joseph||Langley, Batty||Soares, Ernest J.|
|Colville, John||Leamy, Edmund||Spencer, Rt. Hn. CH (Northants|
|Condon, Thomas Joseph||Leigh, Sir Joseph||Sullivan, Donal|
|Craig, Robert Hunter||Levy, Maurice||Taylor, Theodore Cooke|
|Crean, Eugene||Lewis, John Herbert||Tennant, Harold John|
|Daly, James||Lloyd-George, David||Thomas, Alfred (Glamorgan, E.|
|Dalziel, James Henry||Lough, Thomas||Thomas, F. Freeman- (Hastings|
|Davies, Alfred (Carmarthen)||Lundon, W.||Thomas, J A(Glamorgan,Gower|
|Davies,MVaughan-(Cardigan)||M'Crae, George||Tomkinson, James|
|Dewar, J. A. (Inverness-sh.)||M'Dermott, Patrick||Tully, Jasper|
|Donelan, Captain A.||M'Killop, W. (Sligo, North)||Walton, Joseph (Barnsley)|
|Doogan, P. C.||M'Laren, Charles Benjamin||Warner, Thos. Courtenay T.|
|Duffy, William J.||Mansfield, Horace Kendall||Weir, James Calloway|
|Duncan, James H.||Mooney, John J.||White, George (Norfolk)|
|Ellis, John Edward||Morton, E. J. C. (Devonport)||White, Luke (York, E. R.)|
|Farrell, James Patrick||Murphy, J.||Wilson, Fred. W. (Norfolk, Mid.|
|Fenwick, Charles||Nolan, Col. John P.(Galway,N.||Wilson, John (Durham, Mid.)|
|Ffrench, Peter||O'Brien, K. (Tipperary, Mid.)||Wodehouse, Hn. Armine (Essex|
|Field, William||O'Brien, Patrick (Kilkenny)||Woodhouse, Sir J T (Huddersf'd|
|Foster, Sir W. (Derby Co.)||O'Connor, James (Wicklow, W.||Young, Samuel (Cavan, East)|
|Fuller, J. M. F.||O'Connor, T. P. (Liverpool)|
|Gilhooly, James||O'Donnell, John (Mayo, S.)||TELLERS FOR THE AYES—Sir Brampton Gurdon and Mr. Thomas Bayley.|
|Goddard, Daniel Ford||O'Dowd, John|
|Hammond, John||O'Kelly, Conor (Mayo, N.)|
|Hardie, J. Keir (MerthyrTydvil||O'Kelly, James (Roscommon, N|
|Acland-Hood, Capt. Sir Alex.F.||Arcbdale, Edward Mervyn||Bain. Colonel James Robert|
|Agg-Gardner, James Tynte||Arnold-Forster, Hugh O.||Baird, John George Alexander|
|Agnew, Sir Andrew Noel||Ashmead-Bartlett, Sir Ellis||Balcarres, Lord|
|Allen, Chas. P. (Glouc, Stroud||Atkinson, Rt. Hon. John||Balfour, Rt. Hn. A. J. (Manch'r|
|Allhusen, Augustus Henry E.||Austin, Sir John||Banbury, Frederick George|
|Anson, Sir William Reynell||Bailey, James (Walworth)||Bartley, George C. T.|
The Committee divided:—Ayes. 112; Noes, 235. (Division List No.76.)
|Bathurst, Hn. Allen Benjamin||Guthrie, Walter Murray 1||Orr Ewing, Charles Lindsay|
|Beach, Rt. Hn. Sir M. H. (Bristol||Hain, Edward||Palmer, Walter (Salisbury)|
|Bentinck, Lord Henry C.||Hall, Edward Marshall||Partington, Oswald|
|Bhownaggree, Sir M.' M.||Hambro, Charles Eric||Pemberton, John S. G.|
|Bignold, Arthur||Hamilton, RtHn. LordG(M 'd'x||Pierpoint, Robert|
|Bill, Charles||Hamilton, Marq of (L'nd'nd'rry||Platt-Higgins, Frederick|
|Blundell, Colonel Henry||Hanbury, Rt. Hon. Robt. W.||Pretyman, Ernest George|
|Bond, Edward||Hardy, Laurence (Kent, Ashf'd)||Pryce-Jones, Lt.-Col. Edward|
|Boscawen, Arthur Griffith-||Hare, Thomas Leigh||Purvis, Robert|
|Bowles, Capt. H. F. (Middlesex)||Harris, F. Leverton (Tynem'th||Randles, John S.|
|Brassey, Albert||Haslam, Sir Alfreds.'||Rankin, Sir James|
|Brodrick, Rt. Hon. St. John||Hay, Hon. Claude George||Rasch, Major Frederic Carne|
|Brookfield, Colonel Montagu||Heath, A. Howard (Hanley)||Reid, James (Greenock)|
|Brown, George M.J(Edinburgh)||Heath, Jas. (Staffords., N. W.||Remnant, James Farquharson|
|Burdett-Gontts, W.||Helder, Augustus||Rentoul, James Alexander|
|Butcher, John George||Hogg, Lindsay||Renwick, George|
|Cautley, Henry Strother||Hope, J. F. (Shef'ld, Brightside||Ridley, Hn. M. W. (Stalybridge)|
|Cavendish, R. F. (N. Lancs.)||Hoult, Joseph||Ridley, S. Forde (BethnalGreen|
|Cavendish, V. C.W. (Derbysh)||Howard, Capt J (Kent, Faversh.||Ritchie, Rt. Hon. Chas Thomson|
|Cecil, Evelyn (Aston Manor)||Jackson, Rt. Hon. Wm. L.||Robertson, Herbert(Hackney)|
|Cecil, Lord Hugh (Greenwich)||Jeffreys, Arthur Frederick||Rolleston, Sir John F. L.|
|Chamberlain, Rt. Hon. J. (Birm.||Johnston, William (Belfast)||Royds, Clement Molyneux|
|Chamberlain, J Austen (Worc'r||Kennaway, Rt. Hn. Sir John H.||Sackville, Col. S. G. Stopford-|
|Chapman, Edward||Kenyon, Hon. G. T. (Denbigh)||Sadler, Col. Samuel Alexander|
|Churchill, Winston Spencer||Kenyon-Slaney, Col. W. (Salop)||Samuel, Harry S. (Limehouse)|
|Cochrane, Hon. Thos. H. A. E.||King, Sir Henry Seymour||Sassoon, Sir Edward Albert|
|Compton, Lord Alwyne||Lambton, Hon. Frederick W.||Saunderson, Rt. Hn Col. Edw. J.|
|Cook, Sir Frederick Lucas||Law, Andrew Bonar||Seeley, Charles Hilton (Lincoln|
|Corbett, A. Cameron(Glasgow)||Lawrence, William F.||Sharpe, William Edward T.|
|Corbett, T. L. (Down, North)||Lawson, John Grant||Shaw-Stewart, M. H. (Renfrew)|
|Cranborne, Viscount||Lee, Capt A. H. (Hants, Fareh'm||Simeon, Sir Barrington|
|Cross, Alexander (Glasgow)||Legge, Col. Hon. Heneage||Sinclair, Louis (Romford)|
|Cross, H. Shepherd (Bolton)||Leigh-Bennett, Henry Currie||Skewes-Cox, Thomas|
|Cubitt, Hon. Henry||Leveson-Gower, Frederick N.S.||Smith, Abel H. (Hertford, East)|
|Cust, Henry John C.||Lockwood, Lt.-Col. A. R.||Smith, HC (North'mbTyneside|
|Dalkeith, Earl of||Long, Rt. Hn. Walter (Bristol, S||Smith, James Parker(Lanarks)|
|Dalrymple, Sir Charles||Lowe, Francis William||Spear, John Ward|
|Davies, Sir Horatio D(Chatham||Lowther, C. (Cumb., Eskdale)||Stanley, Hn. Arthur(Ormskirk|
|Dewar, T.R.(T'rH'ml'ts,S.Geo||Loyd, Archie Kirkman||Stanley, Lord (Lancs.)|
|Dickson, Charles Scott||Lucas, Col. Francis (Lowestoft||Stewart, Sir Mark J. M'Taggart|
|Dickson-Poynder, Sir John P.||Lucas, Reginald J. (Portsmouth||Stirling-Maxwell, Sir John M.|
|Digby, John K. D. Wingfield-||Lyttelton, Hon. Alfred||Stock, James Henry|
|Dimsdale, Sir J. Cockfield||Macartney, Rt. Hn W. G. Ellison||Stone, Sir Benjamin|
|Disraeli, Coningsby Ralph||Macdona, John Cumming||Stroyan, John|
|Douglas, Rt. Hon. A. Akers-||Maconochie, A. W.||Strutt, Hon. Charles Hedley|
|Dunn, Sir William||M'Iver, Sir L. (Edinburgh, W.||Sturt, Hon. Humphry Napier|
|Durning-Lawrence, Sir Edwin||M'Killop, James (Stirlingshire||Talbot, Lord E.(Chichester)|
|Dyke Rt. Hn.Sir William Hart||Majendie, James A. H.||Talbot, Rt. Hn. J. G (Oxf'dUniv.|
|Egerton, Hon. A. de Tatton||Malcolm, Ian||Thornton, Percy M.|
|Elibank, Master of||Manners, Lord Cecil||Tollemache, Henry James|
|Emmott, Alfred||Martin, Richard Biddulph||Tomlinson, Wm. Edw. Murray|
|Fergusson, Rt Hn Sir J (Manchr)||Maxwell, W. J. H. (Dumfriessh.||Valentia, Viscount|
|Fielden, Edw. Brocklehurst||Melville, Beresford Valentine||Walker, Col. William Hall|
|Finch, George H.||Mildmay, Francis Bingham||Warde, Lieut.-Col. C. E.|
|Finlay, Sir Rbt. Bannatyne||Milward, Colonel Victor||Warr, Augustus Frederick|
|Fisher, William Hayes||Molesworth, Sir Lewis||Wason, John Cathcart (Orkney|
|Fitzroy, Hon. Edw. Algernon||Montagu, G. (Huntingdon)||Webb, Col. William George|
|Fletcher, Sir Henry||Moon, Edward Robert Pacy||Welby, Lt. -Col. A. C. E. (T'nton|
|Garfit, William||More, R. Jasper (Shropshire)||Whiteley, H. (Ashton-under-L.|
|Gibbs, Hn A.G.H. (CityofLond.||Morgan, D. J. (Walthamstow)||William's, Col. R. (Dorset)|
|Gibbs, Hn. Vicary (St. Albans)||Morgan, Hon. F. (Monm'thsh.||Willox, Sir John Archibald|
|Godson, Sir Augustus Fred.||Morrell, George Herbert||Wilson, A. Stanley (York, E.R.|
|Gordon, Hn. J.E. (Elgin&Nairn||Morris, Hon. Martin Henry F.||Wilson, John (Falkirk)|
|Gore, Hon. F. S. Ormsby-||Morrison, James Archibald||Wilson, John (Glasgow)|
|Gorst, Rt. Hn. Sir John E.||Morton, A. H. A. (Deptford)||Wilson, J. W. (Worcestersh. N.|
|Goschen, Hon. George J.||Mount, William Arthur||Wolff, Gustav Wilhelm|
|Goulding, Edward Alfred||Mowbray, Sir Robert Gray C.||Wortley, Rt. Hon. C. B. Stuart-|
|Gray, Ernest (West Ham)||Murray, Rt Hn A Graham (Bute||Wrightson, Sir Thomas|
|Greene, Sir E W (B'ryS. Edm'ds||Murray, Charles J. (Coventry||Wyndham, Rt. Hon. George|
|Greene, W. Raymond-(Cambs.||Murray, Col, Wyndham (Bath)|
|Grenfell, William Henry||Newdigate, Francis Alexander||TELLERS FOR THE NOES—Sir William Walrond and Mr. Anstruther.|
|Gretton, John||Nicholson, William Graham|
|Greville, Hon. Ronald||Nicol, Donald Ninian|
|Groves, James Grimble||O'Neill, Hon. Robert Torrens|
Original Question again proposed.
South African War—Hospital Commission's Report
I regret that the consideration of the Report of the South African Hospitals Commission, which deals with a subject which has moved the nation for a considerable time, should come on at an hour when it will be impossible, without overtaxing the patience of the Committee, to deal with it adequately, and therefore I will make an appeal before going on to the right hon. Gentleman the Leader of the House. It is this. Whether, considering that we have practically had no opportunity of debating this subject since the Report of the Commission was issued, considering the great interest which, I think, is felt on this subject, and considering also the opinions of the Commission, he would not consent to give a day or half a day for the discussion of the Report at any time he may find it convenient to do so. I should be content with this being given after Easter. I think I am able to say that if he could offer us a fair opportunity of discussing this very important subject the opposition to the Vote, which cannot possibly be successful, would not be persevered in.
The hon. Gentleman is not content with the opportunity he has now; but it is not very late, it is still early (1 2.5 a.m.). But if, in spite of that reflection, he still thinks that he would like some other opportunity. I think it would be in order on the Vote for the War Office, but this Vote must go on I should be quite glad to put down the Vote we have been discussing, or rather the whole body of Supply, as the first item on Monday for Report, and if the House consented to pass over the Votes which have been relatively fully discussed to-night, then the hon. Gentleman and those who desire to see the medical question raised will, of course, have ample opportunity of discussing it. If the opportunity of debate which I offer him on Monday does not fit in with his desire, then there will be a later opportunity of discussing the question on the Estimates.
I wish to understand this matter clearly. I quite coincide with the appeal that has been made to the First Lord of the Treasury with the view of getting a fuller discussion of the subject. Does the right hon. Gentleman propose that the Report stage should be taken early on Monday as the first Order, so that this question may be discussed?
Of course, the first Order would be the Order for the whole body of Supply. It could only be so by the rules of the House; but if the House were content to pass lightly and I rapidly over the Votes we have discussed, so as to come quickly to the questions which we have not hitherto discussed, then, of course, full opportunity of debate would be given to the hon. Gentleman. I am in the hands of the House in the matter. I shall be glad to put that down first on Monday, immediately after Questions.
The Mom day promise appears to be contingent on circumstances which it is impossible to foresee. Therefore, if I have not exhausted my right of speaking, I think it would not be respectful to the House of Commons or to the Committee if, after having passed some stringent criticisms on the action of this Commission in another form, I were not willing to support those criticisms on the occasion of this Vote, or not ready to meet any answer that may be made to them. I hope I am the last person to put things in the papers on public subjects which I am unwilling to back up in my place in Parliament. I believe that the Secretary of State for War, whose attitude on this question I venture to express my great appreciation of, intends to deal out reforms with no niggard hand. There is only one question with regard to which I am not absolutely clear, that is, how far he proposes to rest upon the results of this inquiry, for which we are now voting a large sum of public money, and how far he proposes to confine himself to its suggestions in framing his scheme of reform. I believe that if he does so his reforms will be a total failure, because I think the inquiry has been partial and imperfect, the conclusions lame and impotent, and the main suggestions of reform are framed on the wrong lines. I consider it a very grave matter that at this moment, when the Army is a subject of great national interest and great national anxiety, one of its chief Departments should have been investigated in a manner which has resulted in casting over its defects a cloak which has not only concealed the real nature and extent of the defects themselves, but has concealed their causes and the responsibility for them. We condemn a general for inaction in the field, but when we come to a more peaceful Department of the Army, but one in which inaction and mismanagement have far more deadly results, we are content to be silent as to cause and effect, and silent as to responsibility. What was this Commission? Was it a tribunal appointed with a due regard to the peculiar circumstances by which the inquiry would be surrounded, setting forth equipped with ample powers to meet those circumstances, and to pierce the wall of official defence that was certain to be set up? No, Sir. It had none of those powers which were essential to its work, and the consequence is that weakness, inconclusiveness, and partiality run through every page of its Report. Sir, it is not my object to discuss the Report so much as the inquiry which has been held; and the imperfections of this inquiry I prefer to attribute to the absence of compulsory powers. Why those powers were not given in the first instance I could never understand. But I am not going back on that subject, because once the Government had determined to send the Commission out without powers, the Government is freed to a large extent from its responsibility by having left it to the Commission to ask for the powers if necessary. From this point the blame rests on the Commission. But wherever the blame lies, the result is the same. What has been the result of the absence of powers? I take it from the Report itself:—
Why did not the Commission ask for compulsory powers?"We have also Had to recognise that our private soldiers are very slow in making complaints."
They could not get their questions answered. Compulsory powers, which would have included taking evidence on oath and compelling the answering of questions, would have made this vain and futile examination impossible. At any moment the Commission might have obtained those powers. That is the declaration of the Commission—that the soldiers would not give evidence, that witnesses would not answer questions. May I be pardoned if I remind the Committee that when I stated this here last summer I was told that my evidence on that account was to be discredited, and that I was insulting the whole British Army. When the Commission state it they are rewarded with a medical baronetcy and a legal Grand Cross of the Bath. I do not want to interfere with gentlemen getting these distinctions if they like them; but I wish they had been ear-marked as rewards for undertaking a laborious task rather than as implying approval of the manner in which the inquiry had been conducted. Now, Sir, I want to say two things about this remarkable declaration or confession of the Commission about the difficulties of getting evidence. If the Commission had placed it at the head of their Report instead of wrapping it up in an obscure paragraph, we should have known how to estimate the nature of the inquiry, and how to appreciate the value of the Report. The second thing I have to say is, When did the Commission find this out? Was it at Netley, when they were first appointed? Was it at Cape Town, a little later? Where was it? In any case why did they not apply to Lord Roberts for compulsory powers? He could have given them under martial law by a stroke of his pen. as he gave them to the Concessions Commission presided over by my hon. friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington. But the Commission chose to go on without them. I have drawn attention elsewhere to what I bare called a "sinister corollary to the absence of powers, and that was the presence of an overwhelming organisation supervising the inquiry, choosing the witnesses, producing the greater part of the evidence, acting as amicus curiœ, throughout the investigation; whereas there was not the slightest attempt at organisation, there was not a single guiding voice or assisting hand to help the other side. Sir. I do not want to inquire who was to blame for this state of things. All I say is that it is not within the widest stretch of imagination that an inquiry so circumstanced could arrive at the truth. The Commission discard the suggestion that there was any possibility of their getting evidence as to what had taken place in April and May by a personal inspection of the hospitals at the time of their visit to South Africa: the "magic transformation scene" which took place within a week of the disclosures in the press and in this House, and which to my mind is the very strongest possible proof establishing previous official neglect, had cleared away most of its traces. But there was no concealment about the getting up of the case. Two officers of the Royal Army Medical Corps were appointed to go round the hospitals, select the evidence, and prepare the way for the Commission. One of these returning home stated in public, while the Commission was still sitting—"Witnesses… would only state the facts which they thought assisted their own views. and by keeping back other information… would tend to give a false impression as to the true state of things."
This was the picture presented to the Commission which was appointed to inquire into the bell-tents at Bloemfontein in the months of April and May ! I seem to hear the echo of the speeches at the Reform Club banquet on April 29th:"Everything that prevision could suggest or money supply was present on the spot." Now it may be stated, in fact I think I have seen it stated in a high quarter, that these two officers were appointed to collect the whole evidence, that is, as much against as for the authorities. Very well. I want to call the attention of the Committee to something more about those two gentlemen who were appointed to get up the ease. It is contained in a letter from the Chaplain to the Forces at Norval's Font. The proceedings are thus described in a letter to the President of the Commission printed in the evidence, which runs as follows—"Everything was as perfect as possible. Everything that mortal knowledge and foresight could supply was at hand. Many of the hospitals generated their own electric light and manufactured their own soda water."
This was one of the officers who got up the case for the Commission, and that is my answer if it is contended that they were ordered to do their work impartially. Sir. I repeat that the absence of powers on the one hand, and the presence of such an organisation on the other, should have made the Commission ten times more careful with regard to its proceedings. I have complained of the inadequate number of patients examined. Who could so well tell of the treatment of the sick and wounded as the man who was treated? The refusal to hear, or want of care in hearing, patients' evidence was a grave infringement of the Reference to the Commission as amended by the words of the First Lord of the Treasury—"a Commission to inquire into the care and treatment of every sick and wounded man in South Africa. "I do not want to press that amended Reference too literally, but I say that the peculiar circumstances of the case demanded the fullest and most careful examination of soldier-patients. Now as to the method in which patients were examined. There was not only the state visit to Netley, when they examined on a single afternoon, in the wards of the hospital, seventy out of the 154 soldier-patients examined during the whole inquiry; but nearly all the other patients were examined in batches in hospitals, their comrades and officers knowing perfectly well the sort of evidence they were going to give and had given. Is it not incredible that this method of examination should have been adopted, when the Commissioners themselves say, "especially while the men are in hospital, they may be deterred from complaining by fear of consequences." The Commission condemns itself out of its own mouth. To hear these soldiers who have been the real sufferers, and have seen their comrades suffer and die; to hear them, not on formal visits to hospitals, surrounded by official supervision and many other deterrent conditions, but individually and apart, and by careful examination to get out their whole story; finally, to hear them in the largest possible number, especially with regard to the times and places which led to the inquiry—these methods were more essential to a just conclusion than volumes of evidence from official and Army medical authorities, placed on their defence, and practically monopolising the witness-box. Up to this point I have complained (1)of the absence of compulsory powers;(2)of the presence of a watchful and omnipotent organisation on one side of the case, with nothing of the sort on the other, and of the getting up of the case by two officers of the Department which was on its trial; (3) of the inadequate number of private soldiers examined; (4) of the fatally deterrent conditions under which they were heard. I will now ask the Committee to listen to a few further facts which I desire to lay before it."To the Right Hon. Lord Justice Homer, Chairman of the Royal South African Hospitals Commission.—About 2nd August two majors of the R.A.M.C. came to Norval's Pont, saying that Lord Roberts had sent them to visit all the military hospitals in South Africa, and ascertain where there was evidence for the Hospital Commission, and then to meet the Commissioners in Cape Town, and act as guides to them. To one of those gentlemen I told some of the distressing things that had come to my notice here; for example, how during May enteric and dysenteric patients had to walk 400 yards to a latrine; how. during June, there were, first, no bedpans, disinfectants, or nurses, although the war had passed away north in the middle of March, and the railways from Cape Town and Port Elizabeth were clear, and the neighbouring civil hospital, the Edinburgh, had all it needed; how so-called convalescents arrived here actually suffering with enteric, and were sent on again somewhere else a few days later; and how I had seen them crouching or lying by the railway line for hours before a train was due. Mention was alse made in our conversations of the fact that a Board of Inquiry into hospital officers' mess expenses had sat, as a result of which, while these two gentlemen were still here, the Senior Medical Officer was suspended; and also of the fact that letters home of a civil surgeon here, commenting severely on the treatment of the sick and wounded, had got into a local newspaper, and so into The Times. Yet this officer, giving evidence before your Commission in Cape Town, said ' There was no cause for complaint of any kind at Norval's Pont.' "—Cape Times report, 22nd August.
The Committee will notice that my last four points have been:—(1) That no real effort was made to obtain patients' evidence with regard to the places and times of which I complained; (2) that no patient in the crowded field hospital was examined; (3) that not one of the sick men on the platform was examined; (4)that practically no evidence with regard to the feeding of convoys in trains was taken. I will now deal with two individual but important instances of the methods of the Commission with regard to evidence. I take first a letter from the Archbishop of Cape Town, who writes as follows—From Blocmfontein: "We think that sufficient and proper food and medical comforts were provided for them." From Kroonstad: "As a rule, we think that proper food and comforts were provided for the men on the journey." General conclusions; "Before the men started on any journey they were, as a rule, well supplied with such comforts, as well as with proper food."
"The Hospitals Commission is returning this week. Whether the result will justify their mission is, I think, very doubtful. There can he no doubt but that while the defence was thoroughly and completely organised, the fact that it was no one's real business to make the attack made the case against the authorities very difficult to establish…
"I had said all I knew, or the most important part of it, on paper and forwarded it to the secretary. But in spite of this they so strongly urged me to meet them that, though it involved much inconvenience to myself and to others, and caused me an additional journey of 600 miles, I came to Cape Town—to be asked two or three questions, which [ had already answered on paper, and to be dismissed after about live minutes. When I wished to hand in some evidence afterwards about the serious deficiency in hospital equipment even at the hospitals near Cape Town, I was somewhat curtly informed that the Commissioners desired no further information on that point…
Now, Sir, what is the point here? I put aside the peculiar treatment meted out to a high dignitary of the Church busily engaged performing the functions of his office and dragged 600 miles up to Cape Town to have two or three questions put to him. The real point is that he tendered new evidence with regard to the base hospitals, and that that evidence was peremptorily declined. Now let us look at the verdict of the Commission about the base hospitals. They quote the opinion of the staff' commander at the base, who was really in a military sense responsible for the condition of the hospitals—"For one thing one may be thankful. I have heard it said far and wide that from the moment the controversy was raised in England and here, the comforts of the patients were much better attended to."
I wonder if he has ever seen a campaign where the base was at a great town and a great port provided with every comfort that the world could supply. But that is not my point. The Commission made up their mind with regard to the base hospitals and they did not want any more evidence. Now, Sir, I am not a lawyer, but I put it to any lawyer here present—Did he over hear of a judge or a jury refusing new evidence and then making up their mind in favour of the side against whom that evidence would tell? That is exactly what the Commission did in this case. There is another case which I mentioned in one of my letters and which is so similar to that I have just related that I will remind the Committee of it here. It is connected with what is known as the "Intombi Scandal." With regard to that matter the Committee print the evidence of two Army medical officers, and the evidence of an Army Service Corps officer who was appointed by Sir George White to inquire into the matter. The latter officer gave evidence against the medical arrangements. The Commission give their usual verdict—"They were all housed, and all had good mattresses to lie on, and were well looked after—much better than I have ever seen on service elsewhere."
I may say that the main complaint against Intombi was the stealing of the patient's food and comforts by the orderlies and non-commissioned officers. But that is not the point I want to make. There was another Court of Inquiry into Intombi, which is actually referred to in the evidence, composed of three officers, and one of these officers wrote to the Commission stating that the evidence taken before that Court would be of great value, suggesting that they should call for it, and offering himself to appear as a witness before the Commission. He was not called, and he never had any answer to his letter. And yet the Commission say there was no just cause of complaint as to the way in which the patients were looked after. This officer who wrote to the Commission is a well-known member of the Natal Legislature, and served throughout the war with considerable distinction as an officer of the Natal Volunteers. He naturally feels somewhat strongly on the subject, and writes—"But we think, after making all just allowances, that no complaint can reasonably be made with regard to the steps taken by the authorities or the way in which the patients were looked after."
Now, Sir, I put this opinion of a leading colonist side by side with that of the Archbishop of Cape Town—and if time served me I could give other equally strong and authoritative opinions from the Colony—and I want to ask the Committee, Is this the lesson we want our colonies to learn of our methods in such a matter? Remember, far and wide over there they have seen and known what happened. Their own sons and brothers and husbands and fathers have suffered from our mismanagement of this great Department of the campaign. And we tell them that this is the sort of inquiry into those thing with which England is content, and we ask these young administrations to accept this model, stamped with the mother country's high authority and honour, of how we conduct our public business and how we guard the interests of truth and justice, in a matter of life and death. Ho you think this will increase the love and honour of the colonies for the mother country? Do you think this will strengthen the tie which at best depends on the moral force of a high example, upon that purer conception of public life and that more just and honest regard for public truth, which the colonies look for from the sovereign government and the Mother of Parliaments? I have spoken much of the evidence the Commission did not take. I now desire to say a few words about how they treated certain evidence they did take. At Pretoria, when the Commission had but half completed its inquiry, Lord Roberts gave evidence. As is well known, Lord Roberts's evidence was highly favourable to the medical arrangements in the war. I am not going to discuss the opinion of Lord Roberts on this subject. I am only dealing with the action of the Commission. Lord Roberts's evidence was published the next day throughout South Africa. Sir, the publication of that evidence from that moment closed the mouth of every officer in the British Army. What is the custom in courts-martial and councils of war? Is it not that the junior officer gives his opinion first and so on upwards in the successive ranks, the opinion of the senior officer being taken last, in order that it should not affect the free expression of opinion by his subordinates? The case is infinitely stronger here. All the witnesses had to come forward voluntarily. Who was Lord Roberts? He was the most popular commander of modern times. He was Commander-in-Chief of the Forces in South Africa. He was the future Commander-in-Chief of the British Army. Talk about insulting the Army ! Did not the real insult lie in placing officers in a position where they must either condemn the views of their Commander-in-Chief or be silent as to evils from which they knew their men had suffered? What did we hear the other night from the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Colonies? That when Lord Roberts had given his decision, it was not permissible even for the House of Commons to discuss the merits of the case or to have any opinion. A fortiori, how could you expect officers of the Army to come forward, not under compulsion, but spontaneously and of their own free will, to contradict the authoritative opinion and traverse the published decision of their Commander-in-Chief? Mr. Lowther, the publication of Lord Roberts's evidence by the Commission before they closed their sittings was the greatest barrier that was ever placed against the truth coming out in an inquiry like this. Sir, I will make but a brief reference to what I frankly own I think the greatest blot in the history of the Commission, and that is the refusal to hear the witnesses I offered to send before them. I had spent four months collecting this evidence; it came from the most capable and intelligent set of eye-witnesses I have ever met. brave men who scorned to complain of hardships in the field, but whose practical common-sense had been offended by seeing men suffer and die from defects in hospitals which they knew were easily remediable and had nothing to do with military exigencies. The Commission had been all along in the hands of the Department. They had practically promised to take the evidence in England on their return; they refused to do so. I leave this matter, and the only inference that can be drawn from it, to the Committee and the public. All I say is that, had they heard those witnesses, it would have been impossible for them to have presented such a weak and vacillating Report. I will now refer to a very grave omission in the Report. We have heard something about the bad feeding of patients in trains. Does the Committee really know how the results of that neglect were averted? Throughout the whole campaign, for a year and a half, these trains have been slowly dragging down to the base with their convoys of sick and wounded, and throughout the whole campaign their feeding and refreshment on the way has been largely done, not by the military or medical authorities whose duty it was, but by the voluntary aid and great kindness of the civilian population all along the line, most of which ran through a sparsely inhabited area. Many of these people are poor and hard-worked. They have given their time, their savings, their labour to this humane and loyal service—little stationmasters' wives and daughters, even porters' and platelayers' womenfolk; they have waited up all night keeping a fire lighted to make beef-tea or warm milk, or other nourishment suitable for the painful complaints of the patients. It was a most important part of the medical arrangements, into which this Commission was to inquire. Was there no place for an adequate reference to it in the Report, if not by way of tribute, at least in recognition of its importance in the medical arrangements? No, none; because it was not done by officials or by a Department. So in this Report, which I suppose will be the authoritative and historic record of the medical arrangements in the war, this continuous chain of generosity and self-sacrifice, reaching over 700 miles of that railway, displayed by the humble and loyal colonists to the vast armies which have poured into that country, goes entirely unacknowledged. I deeply regret it. Sir, the complexion which colours the Report throughout is shown to be fatal when we come to the Commission's suggestions of reform. Whatever is firm—and it is very little—is partial to the Department; whatever is not partial to the Department is feeble to a degree. I can only very briefly touch on some of their proposals. They recommend first—first, mark you—the increase of the Royal Army Medical Corps. It is quite true that lower down they admit that the scientific status of the corps ought to be improved; but they treat the subject in a very half-hearted way. They miss altogether another instance where surely a tribute was due, but none has been paid, and which also touches closely the question of reform. The Committee has heard of the New South Wales Medical Contingent, with its fine field hospital and gallant bearer company. It was the only colonial medical service in the war. It was a sort of militia service, but its medical officers were mostly distinguished medical men in the colonies, who left their practices and gave their services. Their staff, non-coms., and orderlies were splendidly disciplined and efficient. There was no stealing patients' money and property in the New South Wales Field Hospital. Wherever there was firing the New South Wales Bearer Company was sure to be close at hand at the right moment. Yet. with the exception of a brief and colourless mention, there is no tribute of any kind to this splendid colonial service in that department of the campaign which the Commission was sent out to inquire into. No; it did not belong to the Department. But surely the lesson is an important one in these days, when the extension of the auxiliary forces plays such a large part in this Army scheme. It is absolutely lost on the Commission. They do not inquire into, the, make no comment on, its bearing on the question of enlargement of the Medical Service. But in their treatment of the question of civilian aid you see how the spirit of the Department, grasping at complete control, has permeated the Commission, and set them on the wrong track in this matter. They recommend the mixing up of the Royal Army Medical Corps officers with civilian doctors in medical work—the private hospitals which did such splendid work in the campaign, such as the Yeomanry, the Irish, Scotch, Welsh, and many others. These hospitals, with complete civilian staffs and only one Royal Army Medical Corps officer to form a link with other departments, afford an irrefutable proof of the value of self-rganised, self-controlled, independent civilian medical aid, and of the facility with which it can be applied for the period it is required. Sir, that is my case—or, rather, a small part of my case—against the inquiry that has been held. The inquiry has failed to give any true picture of the extent of the evils, has failed to point out any of the causes, and has failed to push home any of the responsibilities; and by the manner of conducting its proceedings, by the refusal of evidence and the failure to take the right evidence, and by allowing itself to fall into the hands of an organisation on one side of the case, it has reflected grave discredit on English public life. For these reasons I have appealed, and I appeal again, to the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for War to go outside of the Report which has resulted from such an inquiry, and to take larger and more practical views in framing his reforms than are to be found in that document. And, Sir, I venture to make another appeal to the Government, an appeal which perhaps it would not be in order, in connection with this Vote in Supply, for me to make in any larger or more specific terms than by stating this. If we have entered on an era when the demands of our position call not so much for new legislation as that we should put our house in order, and if that can only be done in every department by a full, searching, and relentless investigation of its defects, then the worst model we can adopt for that process, and the weakest and rottenest basis of reform, will be this farce of an inquiry for which we arc now voting this large sum of public money."If the hospitals were a scandal it seems that the work of the Commission is going to be a greater scandal."
said he was sure ho was expressing the opinion of many hon Members on both sides of the House that the hon. Gentleman had no need to make any apology for the very important and valuable speech to which they had just listened. He thought they ought to all associate themselves in the protest that a question of this magnitude and far-reaching importance should be discussed at one o'clock in the morning. He did not say anything about who was responsible; but he called it a public scandal that the only opportunity they had of discussing a matter in which the lives of thousands of our countrymen were involved should be at that hour in the morning. He wished to draw the attention of the Secretary for War to one or two statements on which ho thought they were entitled to some explanation. He agreed with the hon. Gentleman that a Commission without powers to take evidence on oath could not present a Report which would be satisfactory. Take the case of the Belfast Riots Commission, where only a few lives were concerned. That Commission reported that it would be useless to take evidence unless on oath. Not only had the South African Commission no power to take evidence on oath, but they had no power to protect witnesses, and anyone giving evidence was liable to official criticism and censure. He would point out that the Report itself stated that the Royal Army Medical Corps was totally insufficient, and was so constituted that it could not be materially enlarged or have its deficiencies made good, and that these deficiencies were felt throughout the whole of the South African campaign. It then went on to state that for a considerable time before the outbreak of the war the necessity for increasing the staff of the Royal Army Medical Corps was urged upon the military authorities, but for the most part without avail. That was a direct charge that, the corps being insufficient, recommendations had been made that it ought to be increased, and that those recommendations had not been acted upon. The Committee was entitled to know who were responsible for that inaction and neglect. Why was it that when responsible people at the head of the Royal Army Medical Corps recommended that the corps should be increased no attention whatever was paid to their recommendations? That was a very serious charge against the Government, meriting some notice from the right hon. Gentleman in his reply. There was one other point. At the out break of the war the hon. Member for the Ilkeston Division pointed out the inevitable results of typhoid in South Africa, and suggested that a special Commission should go out to assist the Army doctors with their experience. That Suggestion was rejected by the authorities on the ground that there was not the same need of special assistance with regard to sanitary matters as with surgical operations. But recently the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State had gone entirely back on that position. and had practically censured the Government by saying that he thought the experience of the war had shown that a Committee of that character would have done good service. It certainly seemed that that refusal required some? explanation. The points he put to the right hon. Gentleman were: Why was it that we went to war with the Royal Army Medical Corps not even up to peace strength and altogether unfit to deal with the conflict in which we were engaged; and, secondly, what justification was there for the Government in not adopting the suggestion with regard to taking proper sanitary precautions? The Committee had every confidence that the right hon. Gentleman would take advantage of the Report and act upon it, but that was not the whole question. We had to do with a state of things in the past which it was no good hushing up or attempting to discuss at one o'clock in the morning. In that Report there were sufficient charges to demand an explanation from the Government, because upon them, after all, rested the responsibility for the neglect.
, having taken an interest in this matter from the beginning, felt bound to say that he was startled and pained by the very grave position in which they found themselves. The hon. Member for Westminster had levelled against the Commission some of the most serious charges ever made against any public inquiry, and which really deserved the grave consideration of the Government. It had been shown that the Commission started without proper powers and never took the trouble to arm itself with those powers; that it refused evidence over and over again; and that citizens of high standing were invited to attend and then the evidence they were prepared to give was practically refused. In the Report the Commissioners themselves virtually admitted the whole case brought forward in the House before the Commission was constituted, for on page 39 they stated—
The same remarks applied to the lack of nurses. That was an admission of the whole case with regard to the unfortunate men who died at Bloemfontein, and the Report, from beginning to end, if read between the lines, admitted most of the charges which were made in the House. There were many things which struck one in analysing the Report. In any thorough inquiries, even without professional experience, if animated by a desire to get at the bottom of the matter, one of the first things would he to state the death rate from typhoid fever. But there was nothing of that sort in this document. One gathered from Lord Roberts's telegram that the death rate at that date was about twenty-one per cent. It was as low as twelve and a half in some hospitals and under eight per cent. in others, but there was nothing whatever in the Report to show why our men had died at the rate of twenty-one, or in some places twenty-three per cent. With regard to the supply of beds, it was laid down by authorities on all hands that the minimum supply should be equal to ten per cent. of the force. That question the Commission did not attempt to grapple with, and in the Report it was almost impossible to find the number of beds at any time available for the Army. On the information he had from time to time received it seemed that at no period was the minimum of ten per cent. provided. At the beginning of the active advance there were about 116,000 soldiers in South Africa, and, on the widest computation, only 9,000 instead of 11,600 beds. When the number of men had reached 184,000, the beds numbered only about 12,000, instead of 18,400, so that apparently as the Army increased, the medical appliances and the provisions for the comfort of the troops became less. Even in the middle of last year, after all the debates in the House and the efforts of the War Office to supply the deficiencies, the proper proportion of beds had not been supplied. Taking the Report as it stood, and analysing the figures given as to beds, it presented a very grave condemnation of the medical arrangements in connection with the war. The most amusing thing—if anything concerning this matter could be amusing—was that the only conclusion the Commission, after holding its inquiry in South Africa, could come to. was that another Committee should be appointed to do the work they did not do. The Leader of the House had stated that the object of the Commission was to inquire into the treatment of every wounded and sick soldier in South Africa; but that was the very thing the Commission had not done. They had gone altogether on the wrong track, and the responsibility, no matter on whom it rested, was a very grave one. Instead of carrying out the object with which they were sent, the Commission inquired into the efficiency of the Royal Army Medical Corps, with the view, apparently, of preparing a defence. The Royal Army Medical Corps was not attacked in the House. Mistakes doubtless were made by the corps; there were some bad officers among them, but bad officers I had been discovered in almost every branch of the Army in the course of the campaign, and the Royal Army Medical Corps was no worse than other depart- merits. Some men did not do their duty, but, taken man for man, he believed that the Royal Army Medical Corps in this campaign had deserved as well of the country as any other branch of the military service. But the great complaint was that the corps was undermanned from the beginning, and, with all the additions the right hon. Gentleman had been able to make, it was still about 100 less than it was forty years ago. That in itself was a scandal."We think that the deficiencies of the staff at Bloemfontein were not thoroughly realised as soon as they might have been, and that more doctors might have been obtained and sent up so as to supply these deficiencies earlier. We cannot think that the deficiencies of transport, which we are fully aware of, could have prevented doctors being obtained and sent into the town."
reminded the hon. Member that the Vote under discussion was for the Commission of Inquiry, and that it would be out of order to discuss thereon the policy of the War Office with regard to the organisation of the Royal Army Medical Corps.
did not wish to go into the question of the re-organisation of the Army Medical Corps. The Report of the Commission assigned its defects to the underimanning of that department, and the result was that we had had to fall back upon civil surgeons. He wished to ask the right hon. Gentleman how he proposed to follow out the recommendations contained in the Report with reference to the Army Medical Corps Corps.
It is impossible for an answer to be given to such a question upon this Vote.
said that apparently those recommendations did not come within the purview of the Vote, but he would be able to ask his question, no doubt, on the Army Medical Vote. That would be no inconvenience to him, and perhaps it would be better to discuss it then. The Army Medical Department, in endeavouring to meet the deficiencies, had had to rely upon sending out a large number of civil surgeons. He thought we were bound to recognise that those civil surgeons had rendered a vast amount of service, but they had not received the same amount of consideration that they might have done in view of the large number sent out and the good work they had done. Over 300 of them had been sent out. We had about 468 members of the Royal Army Medical Corps, and no less than 385 civil surgeons had been doing similar work. That additional staff which was obtained during the difficulties in South Africa, was a measure of what we should require in order to meet similar difficulties in the future. He wished to get out of this debate and out of this Report such a consideration of the whole question, as would lessen the sufferings of the soldier on his campaigns in the future by preventing, whore-ever possible, the spread of preventible diseases. The Army Medical Department must be kept in such a state of efficiency that what had been called scandals might not occur in the future. It was true that this Report said that there was no such thing as a hospital scandal, but he thought that statement went a little too far. Those who had read the Appendix of the Report must admit that there was a want of proper organisation on the part of the Army medical officers, and a want of supply of those ordinary creature comforts which were absolutely necessary in sickness. The absence of those led not only to an enormous amount of needless suffering, but also to the sacrifice of hundreds of lives. He knew that the right hon. Gentleman was in no way responsible for this, but ho hoped that under his régime steps would be taken to prevent a repetition of what he thought was one of the most painful features of this campaign, by which many lives had been lost which might, under more favourable conditions, have been saved.
I do not think that the hon. Member for Kirkcaldy was quite fair when he said that this was a very inconvenient occasion, and, at the same time, the only occasion upon which this subject could be discussed. The hon. Member will remember that we had some discussion on the subject, including a speech from the hon. Member for Westminster, on the King's Speech. Possibly some hours debate has been devoted to less important subjects which might have been devoted to this question. The position at this moment is that we are invited to consider how this Commission performed its duty. My hon. friend the Member for Westminster has made a most vehement attack upon the character of this inquiry and the principles which have guided them. In the few words I propose to say I would like to ask, as a matter of common sense, on what grounds are these motives imputed to this Commission? What can possibly be the grounds upon which my hon. friend thinks he has discovered in the whole action of this Commission the sinister motives of a determination to shield the Army Medical Corps, to burke the inquiry, and to report something that will be favour- able to the military authorities? What can be the motive of these independent gentlemen—not one of whom, so far as I know, has anything to gain in the matter from the Government—doing this? They are all independent men with nothing to gain by such action; they are men of the highest character, and what can be the motive which would induce them to act in the way the hon. Member for Westminster says they have acted? I am at a loss to understand what their motive could be.
I would remind the right hon. Gentleman that I did not give my opinions, but I confined myself to giving the facts with regard to the inquiry. I had to give a précis of my speech, and I devoted the whole of my remarks to facts and incidents.
I hold no brief for the Hospitals Commission, but I know that they are a body of thoroughly high-minded gentlemen who gave an immense amount of time and hard work to this subject, who travelled a great many thousand miles, and who took up this inquiry for a public purpose, and reported on matters as they found them-If their Report is not altogether satisfactory to my hon. friend and to some other hon. Members of this House, I can only say that so far as I am concerned I do not feel that I am bound by the four corners of this Report as to what requires to be done in the Army. In the nature of things it cannot be an exhaustive Report. Looking at this matter quite impartially, I think the hon. Member cast a very unmerited slur upon the Commission when he said that these gentlemen concluded their labours by appointing a Committee to do the very work which they had been appointed to do. That was not an accurate statement of the facts. This Commission was appointed to consider and report upon the care and treatment of the sick and wounded during the South African campaign. They may or may not have carried out that instruction to the satisfaction of some hon. Members of this House, but I think they were fully justified in recommending the appointment of a Committee to inquire into and report on the steps needed to attract in the futurea sufficient supply of medical officers and nurses. This Committee which is suggested deals with the future and not with the past. I think hon. Gentlemen who have spoken have pushed these matters against the Commission a great deal too far. I am not going to weary the Committee by dealing in detail with the points raised in the very vigorous indictment which my hon. friend has made, but I wish to refer to a statement which ho made with regard to Lord Roberts. The hon. Member said, with a great appearance of force, that Lord Roberts having been called as a witness at Pretoria, it was obvious that no private soldier who afterwards gave evidence would be anxious to give a different opinion. That statement no doubt impressed many hon. Members with the idea that nothing like fair evidence would be obtained. To prove this I think the hon. Member ought to have shown that, whereas the evidence given before Lord Roberts was of one character, the evidence given by officers afterwards was of a totally different character.
I am sorry that the late hour at which I spoke obliged me to leave out some very important parts of my speech. I had intended to close with the sentence that if you had any doubt upon this point, it was only necessary to examine the' evidence which followed Lord Roberts's evidence, and it would be found that not a single officer in the Army afterwards gave an opinion opposite to that expressed by Lord Roberts.
I confess that I can produce one or two pieces of evidence which will hardly bear out that statement. I do not wish to widen the gulf between myself and those hon. Members who look upon this Report as being unsatisfactory, and I hope we shall all took at it as the commencement of the reform of the Army Medical Service. The hon. Member for Kirkcaldy asked why the Army Medical Corps were not fully equipped at the time we entered on the war. I can only remind the House that the blame for this shortage lies as much at the door of this House as at any other point. We have had the Army Medical Corps organised on the principle that three army corps only were necessary, and if that principle had been adhered to I believe that the arrangements organised in regard to the Army Medical Corps would have been sufficient. But instead of three army corps, provision had to be immediately made for six army corps. I well recollect how some remarks I made a fortnight ago, in regard to the necessity of preparing to send out 120,000 men abroad, were received. If this House only allows us to organise the Army Medical Corps to supply 120,000 men, how can you expect the same medical staff to supply the medical requirements of 220,000 men? I may tell the hon. Member that I think the experience of the war will show that a Committee such as that suggested by the Commission would be an extremely valuable one. Looking at this matter impartially, I think it is regrettable to pass this unmerited slur on men who have, at any rate, tried to do their duty properly according to their lights. I do not think it ought to be supposed for a, moment that a Commission appointed to inquire into the care of the sick and wounded during the campaign could cover the whole ground, nor would its Report be the only guide for the future In regard to the reform of the Army Medical Corps. For the re-organisation of the Department I will not look to the Report alone. I am perfectly aware that in the past the condition of the Army Medical Corps has not been satisfactory in several respects. First of all, we have had far too small a choice of men to bring into the corps, and until we remedy that defect we shall not have an efficient Service. We have not had sufficient elasticity in connection with the Service. I approach this question with an absolutely open mind. I do not feel that we can build altogether on the existing foundation. We shall not limit ourselves to official sources for inspiration. I am not in the least without hope, that before very long the steps about to be taken will enable us to bring before the House a scheme which will give us a really effective Army Medical Service.
said the right hon. Gentleman had stated that it was an independent and impartial Commission, but was that really so? He had complained of the hon. Member for Westminster attributing sinister motives to the Commission, which was composed of independent gentlemen. It should be remembered what was the position of the Government at the time the Commission was appointed. At that time it was most important for the Government that the Commission they were appointing should bring in a Report in favour of the action of the Government with reference to the provision made for the Army Medical Service in South Africa. It would have been a serious thing for the Government if, as the result of their inquiries, the Commission had found that the Government had failed in their duty to the soldiers in South Africa. The Commission had at its head Lord Justice Romer, who was the legal grade, if he might say so, of the Commission. It had been conclusively proved that in his method of conducting the inquiry he had departed altogether from legal traditions, customs, and forms. What happened? Before the Commission left England the evidence of certain witnesses was tendered, and it was refused by the Commission. The hon. Member thought he was correct in stating that Lord Justice Romer promised that the evidence of those witnesses would be received on the return of the Commission from South Africa. On their return Lord Justice Romer and the other members of the Commission absolutely declined to receive the evidence that was tendered. In an ordinary case in any of the courts of this country such a proceeding in the way of refusing to receive evidence would be rightly regarded as a disgrace to the judicial bench. The case for the accusers of the Government in connection with the provision made for the Army Medical Corps in South Africa was not heard by the Commission, and all the evidence taken was evidence for the defence. On reading the Report they found that it was not the judgment in any sense of an impartial or an independent tirbunal. It was a special plea from beginning to end for the defence and against the accusers. It was a most amusing thing to go through the Report. All through the Report such expressions were to be found as "on the whole," "generally speaking," and "as a rule." The Principal Medical Officer and head medical staff were strongly animadverted upon, and then the Report said—
There were pages devoted to criticising the Principal Medical Officer and his staff and showing how they had failed to do their duty in very important details. The Commission accused the orderlies of general thievery, but their Report also said—"But taking their work as a whole, and considering the difficulties they have had to contend with, we think that the Principal Medical Officer and his head staff have done excellent work."
With respect to the condition of the Field Hospital of the 12th Brigade at Bloemfontein the Report says—"Complaints against orderlies in this war have been somewhat numerous, though, on the other hand, the way in which the orderlies as a body discharged their duties has deservedly been the subject of high praise from many witnesses of experience."
The whole Report showed a lack of organisation and want of attention to detail. Even the headings of the various portions of the Report confirmed this—as, for instance, "Delay in bringing up hospitals," "Delay in bringing up medical staff," "Delay in moving patients from railway stations," and so on. The Report from beginning to end was a special plea on behalf of the defendants in the dock for their treatment of the soldiers of the Queen in South Africa. It appeared to him, in reading the Report, that Lord Justice Romer probably had most to do with the drafting of it, but that on the one hand he had the angel of truth compelling him to put in these reservations and exceptions, while on the other hand stood the angel of whitewash, because the Report proved that the Commission was a whitewashing Commission and nothing else. His Lordship therefore had a very difficult part to play in framing the Report, and under all the circumstances; he did his task extremely well. As an Irish Member he had no sympathy with Irishmen who joined the King's Army, and he had done his best to persuade them not to do so. But when unfortunate Irishmen, through poverty, had been driven to enter the Army he was entitled to intervene in the debate in order to criticise the action of the Government and the Royal Army Medical Corps in not properly providing for the comfort of the men who were fighting the battles of the country. He moved to reduce the Vote by £1,000."This hospital was in many respects unsatisfactory, but the results on the patients were not so bad as might have been anticipated."
Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Item. Class 7, Vote 1, be reduced by £1,000."—( Mr. O'Shee.)
drew the attention of the Committee to the case of a Unionist friend of his who, joining the Army, was sent to South Africa. While there he fell sick and was put into one of the bell-tents. For five days he was lying on the ground without a blanket and without any sanitary accommodation whatever. He was half-starved, and it was only his strong Irish constitution which kept him alive. The doctor never went near him, he had no medicine or treatment of any kind, and apparently nobody cared whether the wounded and sick lived or died. In contrast to that, another friend of his, who went out with the Irish Yeomanry, was taken prisoner by the Boers, and the man said that the Boers treated him as a prisoner a great deal better than our own men were treated in our own hospitals. He full}' agreed that the Report was a whitewashing Report. The gentlemen who went outwore no doubt impelled by the highest motive, but that highest motive was to get the Government out of a difficulty. There was not the slightest doubt that this eminent judge was put at the head of the Commission in order that no damaging admissions should appear, and the result was that the Government had got a Report according to order, and the Committee were expected to swallow everything contained therein. The War Office and the officials responsible ought undoubtedly to be brought to justice at the bar of public opinion. This was nothing else but a public scandal in regard to the way the wounded were treated, and he promised his friend that ho would make the case public. He was prepared to give the gentleman's name, only he told him that he did not want to pose as a martyr. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would take these facts into consideration.
thought very grave and serious charges had been made by the hon. Member for Westminster, and he had proved his case up to the hilt, and they were entitled to have a clear and sufficient answer to that ease from the Government. He thought this Hospitals Commission was simply an electioneering Commission sent out for the purposes of the General Election. The right hon. Gentleman had stated that the members of this Commission were impartial and disinterested, but he did not say that two of them had got titles which they never would otherwise have got. When the Government appointed Commissions to inquire into the riots at Belfast and the Broadhead outrages at Sheffield they were given power to protect witnesses who gave evidence; but in the case of this Commission, which dealt with the lives of thousands of soldiers, that power was refused. That being the case, how could they expect any other result than the very limited Report which was presented to the House? The hon. Member for Westminster had told them plainly how the wounded were treated. He knew a private in the Irish Yeomanry who fought at Lindley, and he received a slight injury which ought to have healed in a week or two with proper treatment, but in consequence of being dealt with by an incompetent doctor at the front that soldier was now limping about Dublin with one leg. That would not have happened if they had not tried to run the Army on society lines, with society generals and society doctors. There were numbers of men in Ireland who had lost their limbs through merely trivial wounds, and this could have been prevented if their injuries had been attended to at the time by competent doctors. The Report presented was simply a whitewashing Report, and the £8,000 spent on this Commission was simply for official whitewash. He hoped his hon. friend would press his motion to a division.
said he could not sit silently and hear the Army Medical Department abused. It was not the officers, but the system under which they worked that was to blame. He know a large number of medical officers engaged in this war, and they told him in communications that they knew where to get the supplies, but the system was such that, although, they went and begged for these things for the sick and wounded, they could not get them. After the letters of the hon. Member for Westminster appeared in The Times then all these difficulties were removed. There could not be the smallest doubt that not only this House, but the country and every British soldier, owed to the hon. Member for Westminster a debt of gratitude for what he had done. He did not hesitate to say that the action of the hon. Member for Westminster had been instrumental in saving the lives of thousands of men in South Africa. He did not blame the Government so much, because they had sent out large quantities of every sort of supplies; but the system of distrib