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Questions In The House

Volume 181: debated on Monday 19 August 1907

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Naval Shipbuilding

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty when it is intended to lay down the additional battleship of the "Dreadnought" type which was held in abeyance pending the result of the Hague Conference.

I have nothing to add to the statement made by the Secretary to the Admiralty on Vote 8.

In view of the proposal put forward by Sir E. Fry at the Hague Conference, cannot the construction of this "Dreadnought" be frankly abandoned?

The Home Fleet

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty how many battleships, cruisers, and torpedo craft of the Home Fleet are to be repaired during the remainder of the current financial year.

According to present arrangements two battleships, five cruisers, four fleet auxiliaries, and fifteen torpedo craft, belonging to the Home Fleet, are due for repair during the remainder of the financial year. At the present time, two battleships, four cruisers, two fleet auxiliaries, and thirteen torpedo craft are undergoing repair.

Royal Marines' Rations

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty whether, with regard to the issue of rations (meat and bread) to the men of the Royal Marines quartered ashore, he will consider the possibility of reverting to the old conditions, under which married men had the option of drawing or not drawing their rations, in the latter case receiving an allowance of 6d. per day in lieu.

The hon. Member would appear to have been misinformed. Under the old system if a married Marine living on shore did not draw his ration of meat in kind, he received no allowance in lieu. It would not, therefore, be in the interests of the men themselves to revert to this system.

Portsmouth Dock Accommodation

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Admiralty if the "Bellerophon" had to be undocked at Portsmouth to enable the "Dreadnought" to be docked for new steering gear to be fitted; and if there is only one dock at Portsmouth capable of accommodating ships of this class.

The answer to the first Question is in the negative, and to the second in the affirmative.

Middlesex Imperial Yeomanry—Case Of A H Smith

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the case of Arnold Hardy Smith, a member of the Middlesex Imperial Yeomanry, who was charged before the King's Heath, Birmingham, magistrates on 14th August with being an absentee; whether he is aware that the man had served in South Africa with Paget's Horse and had attended all the drills and previous trainings of the corps, and that medical certificates were in possession of the commanding officer explaining this absence; that the man was remanded in custody to await an escort, bail being refused; will he state if such action was taken under the penal clauses of the new Territorial Forces Act; and what action, if any, he proposes to take in the matter.

This case is still pending before the Court, and it would not be proper for me to express an opinion upon it. The action was not taken under the Territorial Forces Act, for that Act has not yet come into operation.

Arising out of that Answer may I ask if the penal clause under which this action was taken is not exactly similar to the one contained in the Territorial Forces Act?

I cannot say for certain. I believe action was taken under the Yeomanry Act of 1901.

Cavalry Quartered In Infantry Barracks

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he can state the number of cases which have occurred during the last thirty years in peace time in which a cavalry regiment has been stationed in infantry barracks or a cavalry regiment has been stationed five miles away from its horses.

Barracks have been re-appropriated from time to time for the various arms of the service, but it has not been deemed necessary to work out in detail the cases that have occurred in the last thirty years.

VISCOUNT TURNOUR : Is there not a case to occur?

VISCOUNT TURNOUR : I am under a different impression.

Piershill Barracks

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether any decision has yet been come to as to the future of Piershill Barracks; and whether steps will soon be taken either to render the barracks fit for occupation by a cavalry regiment or else to sell the site.

Piershill Barracks are at present under repair; when these repairs are completed they will be occupied by a brigade of Royal Field Artillery. There is no intention of selling the site.

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War if he can state what the cost of upkeep per week of the Piershill Barracks has been during the time that it has been unoccupied.

The cost of upkeep for barrack wardens, labourers, and watchmen is £5 10s. a week. The sum set apart for the repairs amounts to £2,250.

The Scots Greys

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for War whether travelling allowance will be given to the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys) for their three daily journeys between Tidworth and Bulford. I beg also to ask the Secretary of State for War whether he is yet in a position to state where the officers of the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys), for whom there is not room in Tidworth Barracks, will be accommodated during the winter.

These two Questions deal with the arrangements that may be necessary for the quartering of the regiment during the forthcoming winter, upon which it would be impossible at present to make any detailed statement.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the Secretary of State for War practically stated in the House last week that this regiment was going to have its horses moved to Bulford during the winter?

In the event of the stables at Tidworth not being completed by the commencement of winter the horses will be stabled at Bulford, and if that should be the course adopted officers and non-commissioned officers and men sufficient to look after the horses would be stationed at Bulford.

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that these stables have not yet been commenced, if about twenty stakes driven into the ground is excepted? I beg to give notice that in consequence of the hon. Gentleman's extraordinary reply and the intimation of the Secretary of State last week, I shall refer to this matter upon the Third Reading of the Appropriation Bill.

I should like to ask the hon. Member whether his department has received any complaints from the officers of the regiment in reference to this matter?

Has the hon. Gentleman received any complaints from members of the regiment other than the officers?

Post And Telegraph Rates To British Central Africa


I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that the postage on newspapers in the British Central Africa Protectorate is the same as that of an ordinary half-ounce letter; whether he will take steps to reduce it to half the ordinary rate for newspapers duly registered at the Post Office as newspapers; whether he is aware that the rates charged for telegrams between different stations in the Protectorate are so high as to restrict the use of the telegraph; and will he inquire into the matter in view to reductions being made.

I am aware that the minimum charge for the conveyance of newspapers and letters in the British Central Africa Protectorate is the same; but in the case of newspapers, four ounces are conveyed for a penny; in the case of letters half-ounce is the limit. The officer administering the Government of the Protectorate will be consulted as to the possibility of a reduction in newspaper postage. As regards the second part of my hon. friend's Question, the cost of telegraph messages within the limits of the British Central Africa Protectorate and North-Eastern Rhodesia is 3d. per word with a minimum charge of 2s. 6d. No complaint has reached me that these rates are so high as to restrict the use of the telegraph. My hon. friend is, of course, aware that the telegraph wires are in the hands of a private company, and are not the property of the Government.

Repatriation Of The Chinese Coolies

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he can state when the next shipload of Chinese coolies now working in the Transvaal mines will leave South Africa for China; and how many coolies will be repatriated.

MR. CHURCHILL : I will inquire.

Chinese Labour Contracts In The Transvaal

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that Sir George Farrer, leader of the Opposition, thanked the Transvaal Government from his place in Parliament for their decision to allow the Chinese coolies to complete their contract, notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in the Letters Patent granting the Constitution; whether the conditions of service under which the contracts are to be completed have been laid before the Secretary of State; and whether he can say in what respect the conditions differ from those contained in the Ordinance of 1904.

I would refer the hon. Member to my Answer to the hon. Member for Preston on the 12th instant in which it was stated that no official information as to the details of the recent indentured labour legislation in the Transvaal has yet been received by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State has no information as to the statement alleged to have been made by Sir George Farrer.

Transvaal Native Administration Bill


I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether His Majesty's Government have now received from the Transvaal any reply to their telegraphic inquiry as to the Bill published in an extraordinary Government Gazette of Saturday, 3rd August, abolishing the access of natives to the Courts of Law in respect of decisions administratively taken by which individual natives or whole tribes can be transferred against their will from one district to another, and now said to have been withdrawn.


At the same time may I ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether the Transvaal Native Administration Bill is withdrawn.

I will reply to this Question and also to that of the hon. Member for Montgomery Boroughs together. The Governor has replied that in the opinion of his Ministers it is quite impossible to give an account of so important and complicated a Bill by telegraph, but that a full Report will be sent by mail. The Governor adds that the objects of the Bill were reasonable and fair, but questions arose out of its drafting which required further consideration, and his Ministers therefore preferred to withdraw the first part of the Bill till next Session. The second part has passed both Houses, but is of course reserved for the signification of His Majesty's pleasure. I understand that the matters in which the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Forest of Dean is specially interested are contained in the first part.

The Colonies And The Sugar Convention

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether any additional petitions and representations have been received by the Colonial Office from the Australian and other Colonies upon the Sugar Convention since the publication of Cd. 3565.

Twelve more have been received and the hon. Member shall be supplied with a list.

Australian Tariff

I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether representation have been made to him with reference to the hardship upon British traders consequent upon the coming into operation o the new Australian tariff without notice whether the Australian Government have been asked to postpone the operation o the tariff; and, if any such communication has been made, whether he can give the terms of the reply.

The Secretary of State has received representations in the sense indicated by the hon. Member; a telegram has been sent to the Governor General asking him to inform his Ministers that such representations have been made. No reply has yet been received.


I beg to ask the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware of the circumstances under which the Hottentot chief Morenga is in the neighbourhood of the German border.

From what took place at an interview with the German Consul-General early in June it appeared possible that Morenga would agree to surrender himself on the terms offered to him. He was warned later that he was not to proceed to German South-west Africa without notice to the German authorities through the Cape Government, and orders were given at the same time, the middle of June, that a watch should be kept on his movements. Morenga succeeded in crossing the frontier on 13th August, with the police in pursuit. The Secretary of State is waiting full information as to the circumstances in which Morenga was able to make good his passage.

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any assurances have been given by His Majesty's Government to the German Government with reference to the Herrero leader, Morenga; and, if so, what is the nature of such assurances.

(Mr. RUNCIMAN, Dewsbury; for Sir EDWARD GREY)

The German Government were informed on the 9th instant of the communication made by the Government of the Cape of Good Hope to Morenga through the resident magistrate at Upington to the following effect: that the uncertainty of his movements and his presence near the German border were a cause of anxiety and disturbance, that he must immediately select a locality away from the German frontier and approved of by the local authorities at which he was to take up his permanent residence, and that failing compliance he would be deported from the Colony. Unfortunately, since these assurances were given a telegram has been received from the Cape Government reporting that Morenga has eluded the vigilance of the local authorities, and crossed the German frontier on the 13th instant. Immediately on the receipt of the news, the Cape Government telegraphed to the local authorities that asylum could no longer be given to Morenga within British territory. And they have informed the German authorities that every possible assistance will be rendered to them in their endeavours to capture Morenga. A subsequent telegram states that the circumstances connected with the inroad are forming the subject of careful investigation. His Majesty's Government very much regret the trouble and disturbance of the peace which has been caused by the occurrence, and trust that everything in the power of the British authorities will be done to stop the consequences of it.

Newfoundland Fisheries

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs whether any conclusion has been reached with reference to the Newfoundland fisheries question.

The Answer is in the negative. The negotiations are still proceeding, and my right hon. friend is unable at present to give any information beyond that which he has already given in reply to previous Questions on the subject.

The Grant To Jamaica

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer in what way it is proposed to raise the loan of £800,000 to be made to the Government of Jamaica; and whether any part of that sum has yet been advanced.

The proposal of the Government is already before the House in Clause 4 of the Public Works Loans Bill, to which I may refer the hon. Member. No part of the amount has yet been advanced.

The Price Of Coal

I beg to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer if his attention has been called to a statement of Sir George Livesey, at the meeting of the South Metropolitan Gas Company, to the effect that the abolition of the export duty of 1s. per ton had unduly raised the cost of coal and had increased the foreign demand for it, to the detriment of the industries of this country; and whether, having regard to the price of coal likely to prevail during this coming winter and to the, hardship that this will entail, he will consider the suggestion of Sir George Livesey to impose an export duty of 2s. a ton so as to put some check on excessive export.

asked whether the right hon. Gentleman was aware that the cost of coal at the pit mouth was only 8s. 5¾d. per ton, and that the excessive price which the consumer had to pay was due to the action of the middlemen taking advantage of the excessively cold summer to keep up the winter prices throughout the season.

My attention has been called to the statement referred to, but I do not concur in it. I am not prepared to consider the reimposition of the duty, either at 2s. a ton, or at any other rate.

Does not the right hon. Gentleman concur in the statement that the abolition of the coal duty has tended to increase the price of coal?

Life Insurance

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he is aware that some of the agents of certain insurance companies encourage working people to take out policies on the lives of others, and that, when the policies mature, the head offices refuse to pay on the ground that the holder of the policy had no assurable interest therein; and whether he will communicate with the insurance companies, pointing out the illegality of such policies, or take other steps to stop the practice.

The Board of Trade have received no complaints on this subject, but if the hon. Member has any definite information that he can furnish they will be glad to consider it. At present they have nothing before them which would lead them to suppose that insurance companies are not fully aware of the illegality of issuing policies on lives in which the insurer has no insurable interest.

Will the Board undertake, if cases in point are sent in, that the Director of Public Prosecutions shall be instructed to move?

MR. J. MACVEAGH : I have sent you dozens of cases.

Freights To Australia

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if his attention has been drawn to Cd. 3639, the Report upon the conditions and prospects of British trade in Australia, wherein it is stated that something should be done to deal with the problem of freights and to put British and foreign importers to Australia on a more equal footing than is the case at present; whether he is aware that this inequality is to the great detriment of the British importer, and is caused by the shipping ring, who bolster up high freights by a system of rebates; and whether he can give the House an assurance that, failing good effects arising from peaceful persuasion by his Department, he will introduce legislation to break up these shipping rings on similar lines to those adopted by the United States Executive against similar railway and trading combines in America.

The whole question of shipping 'rings' and 'conferences' and the system of deferred rebates is being inquired into by a Royal Commission.

Australian Tariff

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade if he is aware that Mr. Carruthers, the Premier of New South Wales, speaking with reference to the new Australian tariff, described the preference to Great Britain as a sham; whether he has any information as to the possibility of alteration or reduction in the tariff; and whether, on behalf of Great Britain, he will make representations with this object of view.

I have seen a statement in a newspaper to the effect mentioned. The Board of Trade have no information as to possible alterations in the tariff during its progress through the Commonwealth Legislature. My right hon. friend proposes to defer ally question of representations until the complete tariff has been received and examined.

Industrial Security For Workmen

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Trade whether he has taken into consideration the fact that railways, docks, canals, and other large public works are placed under his Department by the Notice of Accidents Act of 1894 for the purpose of inquiry into the causes of accidents occurring during their construction; whether he has any intention to appoint inspectors to examine unguarded and dangerous machinery employed upon such works under the existing law, as in the case of factories and workshops, or whether it is the intention of his Department to seek new powers to enable it to give proper industrial security to this large body of workmen.

The provisions of the Act do not include powers to appoint inspectors to examine the machinery employed on works to which the Act applies where no accident has occurred. The question as to further legislation on this matter should be addressed to the Home Secretary.

Joint Stock Companies And Local Government

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board whether he proposes to take any action in the direction of giving to joint stock companies representation on the local bodies, to the rates of which they contribute.

The matter could only be dealt with by legislation, and I am not able to promise to introduce a Bill on the subject.


It is not for me to defend. Hitherto votes have only been given to sentient human beings.

Wales And The Secondary School Regulations

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether, under the new regulations for secondary schools for England and Wales, there will be a loss to Wales of £8,625 a year in grants as compared with England; whether, in consideration of the fact that the grant-earning period in Wales is restricted to four, while in England it may extend to eight years, the maximum grant which a Welsh pupil may earn is £17 15s. as against a maximum of £34 by a pupil in England; whether, in fact, under the new regulations, the grant for Welsh intermediate schools, assuming a prospective roll of 15,000 pupils, will be £20,625 less than it would have been had not Wales been put under a separate code; and whether, if such deficiency be established, it will be met out of local rates or by any special grant or subvention.

The Answer to every paragraph of the Question, except the second, is in the negative. With regard to the second paragraph, the implication of hardship arising from the divergency between the maximum grant payable in respect of a Welsh pupil and of an English pupil is due to the suppression, not by the hon. Member, but by those whom he quotes, of the material fact that these grants are not paid to the pupils, but are earned by the schools, and the total amount paid to the schools in respect of all pupils in Wales is the full share which Wales is entitled to receive in proportion to the grants paid to England. I have fully explained that matter both in Answers to Question and in the debate on the Appropriation Bill. In reply to a further Question by Mr. REES,

said the amount paid to a school in respect of some scholars might be more than in respect of others.

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that Wales would not be satisfied with any but the most-favoured nation treatment?

[No Answer was returned.]

Garforth School

On behalf of the hon. Member for the Barkston Ash Division of Yorkshire, I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether, seeing that on 17th April, 1907, the Board of Education, at the suggestion of the local education authority, inquired whether the manager of the Garforth parochial school would agree to the reorganisation of the school, by which the scholars above standard two were to be transferred to the provided schools, and that the Board, after receiving the reply of the managers informed the local education authority on 3rd June, 1907, that the Board saw no adequate reason for requiring the reorganisation of the school in view of this opposition, but required certain improvements in the premises, which the managers have declared themselves ready to carry out, and that on 12th July, 1907, the Board of Education wrote reversing this decision, he will say whether the Board founds this interference with the functions of the managers upon Section 7, Subsection 3, of the Act of 1902, which section relates solely to questions regarding the maintenance of schools; and whether the Board has had regard to Section 12 of that Act, which requires the consent of managers to the grouping of schools.

No, Sir, one of the two schools being a provided and the other a voluntary school no question of grouping them under one body of managers could arise under Section 12 which deals only with grouping two or more schools of the same type. In the case referred to, the total number of children attending the voluntary school was in excess of that which could properly be accommodated in it, and thus some children had to be excluded. It therefore became necessary to settle which of the children, the older or the younger, could best be excluded. A question on this point arose between the managers and the local education authority, and in view of the nature of the alternative accommodation that was available elsewhere the Board of Education decided that it was better on educational grounds that the older children should be excluded rather than the younger, and therefore held that the reorganisation of the voluntary school from a mixed department and an infant department into a school with a junior mixed department and an infant department must take place.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there was an alteration made in the decision of the Board between 3rd June and 12th July? He has given no explanation as to that.

It is in the Question. Can the right hon. Gentleman explain why the Board absolutely reversed their decision between those dates, and as a result took steps to interfere with the manifest rights of the managers as to re-grouping?

It is in the Question, and the right hon. Gentleman apparently declines to answer.



Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the school is so overcrowded that there is less than nine feet space in the mixed department and eight feet in the infants' department, and that in addition the sanitary arrangements are very bad?

Low Valley School

On behalf of the hon. Member for the Barkston Ash Division of Yorkshire, I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether he will lay upon the Table of the House the recent correspondence between the managers of the Roman Catholic school at Low Valley, the local education authority, and the Board of Education.

This correspondence has now proceeded for some years and I do not think any advantage would be gained by laying the whole or any part of it upon the Table of the House.

Are we to have no opportunity of seeing the correspondence and of knowing its nature?

In the frequent debates in this House on the subject I have noticed that hon. Members who challenge my action have been fully apprised of all the circumstances.

I have seen the documents on one side. Will the right hon. Gentleman show me the documents for his point of view?

All the material documents in this case have been read or quoted sufficiently in the course of the various debates, and it would be most undesirable in the interests of economy to publish a correspondence of that kind.

Is the plea of economy set up in order to provide salaries for the officials of the new Education Department?

MR. RAWLINSON( Cambridge University) : Can hon. Members interested in this matter have a copy taken at their own expense?

Then I give notice on behalf of my hon. friend that I shall ask to be allowed to have a copy at my own expense.

The Building Grant

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether it is proposed to apply any part of the grant of £100,000 for the building of new public elementary schools towards the enlargement of existing schools, as stated in Paragraph 2 of the Regulations recently issued; and, if so, what is the authority for such use of the grant.

Yes, Sir, in cases where under Subsection 2 of Section 8 of the Education Act, 1902, a proposed "enlargement" amounts "to the provision of a new school," a building grant would be payable in accordance with the conditions of the Regulations, under the same authority as other cases of building grants under those Regulations, viz., the Appropriation Act.

Has the right hon. Gentleman's attention been called to the wording of the Regulation which says quite generally that the grant may be paid in respect of the acquisition of the sites, or re-erection, or building, or enlargement of a school?

That must be construed together with the Act of 1906, and confined to those cases in which enlargement amounted to the provision of a new school.

Would it not apply in cases where there are alternative schools?

The mere existence of alternative schools would not quite satisfy the case, as one school may be already full.

Periodical Measurement Of School Children


I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education whether having regard to the fact that Clause 10 of the Education (Administrative Provisions) Act will enable local authorities to institute a system of periodical measurement of the children in attendance at public elementary schools, he will arrange, with a view to securing uniformity of method among local authorities desirous of availing themselves of the powers conferred by the Act, that instructions should be issued by the Board as to the best means of taking such measurements; and whether he will arrange that the data obtained should be duly tabulated at the offices of the medical bureau of the Board for information and reference.

One of the duties to be undertaken by the Board of Education in connection with Clause 10 of the Bill referred to, when it has become an Act, will be the careful collating, tabulating, summarising, and publishing of the most important results obtained from the medical inspection carried out by local authorities in the public elementary schools in their respective areas. I am considering in what way this duty may most effectively be carried out, but I think it would be highly inadvisable to make any decision in regard to it until I have had the advantage of the medical advice which it will be necessary for the Board to become possessed of, when the Bill has become law.


Having regard to the newness of the departure and the importance of the issues arising out of the medical inspection of children, will the House have an opportunity of considering the instructions to be given to the medical bureau?

No, Sir; before any instructions are issued by the Board they must receive the advice of the medical officer who will be appointed, and until I have heard his advice I cannot say what the subsequent steps will be.

Merionethshire Schools Dispute

I beg to ask the President of the Board of Education if he has received official notification that the managers of any non-provided schools in Merionethshire, and, if so, which, have paid to the teachers in those schools the salaries earned by them up to the 30th June last; whether the managers of these schools have applied to the Board for repayment; and what action is being taken by the Board.

The managers of four voluntary schools, the names of which I will send to the noble Lord, have informed the Board that they have paid the teachers' salaries and have applied for repayment. The Board have asked the local authority whether the salaries have been correctly stated in the claims.

Are we to understand that in the event of the local authority replying that that is so, the Board of Education will pay the salaries?

Has the right hon. Gentleman not decided yet that it is expedient that managers should be paid the salaries when due?

If the right hon. Gentleman will apply his mind to reading the clause he will find it enacts that the Board of Education may pay the salaries if they think it expedient. Therefore, I am bound to consider the expediency in each case as it arises.

Constitution Hill

I beg to ask the First Commissioner of Works whether any change is proposed in the present condition of Constitution Hill by way of widening or otherwise; if so, what that change is; upon what considerations of advice it has been suggested; and when it is proposed to be carried out.

The present road on Constitution Hill is being widened according to the plan exhibited in the tea room of the House. This widening is part of the policy of providing for the traffic which is anticipated when the opening of the Mall into Charing Cross is completed. the work is now in hand and the money required was voted by the House early in the year.


Retired Pay Commutation Fees

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury what was the amount received as fees for the commutation of retired pay during the last financial year; what rate of interest does this represent on the capital sum allowed; why is this charge made; and to what purpose is the amount so received applied.

The amount of fees received in respect of the commutation of Army retired pay during the financial year ended 31st March, 1907, was £347 6s. 10d. This represents about 3 per cent. on the capital sum allowed. The charge is made to meet the cost of the service rendered to the applicants. The money is appropriated in aid of the Vote for the National Debt Office.

Register House, Edinburgh—Clerks' Gratuities

I beg to ask the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that by minute, dated 14th September, 1893, the Board of Treasury sanctioned gratuities to engrossing clerks in the Register House, Edinburgh, calculated at the rate of £120 a year, or on the average earnings of three years immediately preceding retirement; that this minute was communicated to the clerks, and has formed the basis of their employment to this date; and that gratuities to all clerks retiring between 1893 and May, 1906, were calculated and paid on the basis of £120 or the average earnings, whichever were greater; whether he is also aware that Mr. Alexander Fisher retired in May, 1906, after thirty-two years' service, and with a certificate from the head of his department that he had been a most exemplary clerk, and had kept up during his long period of service the best standard of character, and that his gratuity was calculated at the rate of the average of three years' earnings, although, owing to infirmity, he was unable to earn £120 in any one year; and whether there was any reason for departing from the terms of the minute and the established practice since 1893 in Mr. Fisher's case.

The Treasury have no power to award gratuities calculated on an amount in excess of the average earnings of the engrossing clerks during the last three years of their service. The sum of £120 was named in the minute of September, 1893, as representing the average earnings of an engrossing clerk during a daily attendance of seven hours; but if this minimum is not reached the gratuity can only be calculated on the average actually earned.

Limerick Competitions

I beg to ask Mr. Attorney-General whether his attention has been directed to the Limerick competitions which are going on in so many journals; whether these competitions are substantially the same as the missing word competitions, which were found to be illegal; whether he is aware that these competitions are encouraging the spirit of gambling among great masses of the people; and whether he proposes to take any steps to test the legality of these competitions.


This question has been considered both by the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Chief Commissioner of Police, and I understand that they have come to this conclusion, that the practice does not fall within the law for the suppression of lotteries, inasmuch as a "Limerick" involves the exercise of some skill in the art of completing a rhyming verse or couplet. In this respect they differ from "missing word" competitions which involved the mere element of chance. I think the subject is one which needs fuller consideration, and I will take care that it receives it.

Does the right hon. Gentleman realise the magnitude of this evil; and does he know that during last week one newspaper alone divided £2,200, which works out at over 80,000 coupons at 6d. each; and is there not the best reason to believe that only a very small fraction of these coupons are examined? In this case, will the right hon. Gentleman say whether it is not right to defend innocent readers?

That is an entirely different question. Whether the competitions are properly administered or not may be a matter for inquiry. I have had representations made to me by several journalists that their readers greatly enjoy these competitions as an exercise of skill, and that they would be deprived of what they regard as a recreation if these competitions were suppressed. As to the suggestion that there is some fraud, if the hon. Gentleman will bring before me some facts they will be examined. If what the hon. Gentleman says is right, a case for investigation does arise.

Does it not require as great skill to "spot" the winner of a horse race as to compose doggerel rhyme? [No Answer was returned.]

Glasgow Distress Committee

I beg to ask the President of the Local Government Board if his attention has been directed to the surcharging of the Glasgow Distress Committee with the amount of compensation for injuries sustained by workmen employed by the body in question; and, if so, will he explain why this surcharge has been made, having regard to the fact that other Distress Committees have paid compensation or insured workmen employed by them.

I may inform my hon. friend that it is not the case that the Glasgow Distress Committee has been surcharged with the amount of compensation for injuries sustained by workmen employed by them. The auditor, however, has made an interim Report on the payments in question, which is at present under the consideration of the Local Government Board for Scotland.

Scottish Emigrants To Canada

I beg to ask the Lord Advocate whether his attention has been directed to the fact that complaints have been made by many Scottish emigrants to Canada that the promises of employment and wages upon which they were induced to emigrate have not been fulfilled; and whether he proposes to take any steps, by prosecution or otherwise, to put a stop to these fraudulent practices on the part of emigration agencies in Scotland.

Complaints of the nature indicated by my hon. friend have recently been brought to my notice and they are being made the subject of careful investigation. The results, so far, are not such as to justify proceedings. I think it right, however, to say publicly that there can be little doubt that the practice alleged, viz., of inducing emigration by fraudulent pretences would, if established, bring the offenders within the criminal law and make them liable to severe penalties under the Merchant Shipping Act of 1906.

was understood to ask if there was not plenty of employment at standard rates of wages for desirable men in England and Scotland.

Guerin Case

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the man Smith, recently sentenced by Mr. Justice Darling to penal servitude for life for the attempted murder of one Guerin, is identical with the person who, in May last, pleaded guilty before Mr. Wallace, K.C., to burglary, and who was then discharged upon his own recognisances in consequence of a written communication handed by him to Mr. Wallace; and, if so, whether the nature of such communication has been disclosed to the Home Office.

The Answer to the first paragraph of the Question is in the affirmative. I am informed by Mr. Wallace that there was nothing special in the written communication handed to him by the prisoner, but that it was of the same character as the appeals made by almost all prisoners.

Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the desirability of requesting Chairmen of Sessions and Judges of Assize to forward to the Home Office after sentence any unpublished documents which may have had importance attached to them with regard to the sentence?

Dublin Corporation Surcharges

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware that the auditor of the Local Government Board has surcharged members of the Dublin Corporation in respect of irregularities in the accounts; whether he can state the amount surcharged; and what steps will be taken to enforce payment.

The auditor has made several surcharges in respect of the accounts of the Corporation of Dublin. The total amount surcharged is £4,322. Under the provisions of the statute it is the duty of the auditor to take steps for the recovery of the amounts surcharged if no appeal is lodged within the statutory period.

Is it not the fact that most of the surcharges—especially one equal in amount to all the rest—have been made on purely technical grounds?

Parliamentary Bill Procedure

I beg to ask the Prime Minister whether, in order to economise the time and spare the efforts of this House, he will consider the desirability of deferring the Committee and subsequent stages of Bills that have passed their Second Reading in this House until such measures have received a Second Reading in the House of Lords.

(Sir H. CAMPBELL-BANNERMAN, Stirling Burghs)

This would be a great revolution in our proceedings, as it would involve dovetailing the proceedings of the two Houses. I see the point which my hon. friend makes, but I am not equal to the task of putting it into effect.

Sheriff Courts (Scotland) Bill

Reported, with Amendments, from the Standing Committee on Scottish Bills.

Report to lie upon the Table, and to be printed [No. 319.]

Minutes of the Proceedings of the Standing Committee to be printed. [No. 319.]

Bill, as amended (by the Standing Committee) to be taken into consideration To-morrow, and to be printed. [Bill 329.]

Transvaal Loan (Guarantee) Bill

Order for Second Reading read.

Several serious questions are raised by this Motion. The responsibilities of the Mother Country towards her Colonies are already generously discharged; and the financial obligations of the State seem now rather to require scrutiny and definition than extension. The amount of the loan is not inconsiderable. The depreciation of shares in South Africa, though partial, and as I hope, temporary, has doubtless had its effect upon the money market, which can scarcely have been more forbidding than at the present time. The House is bound to examine the purposes for which the loan is required, to test the security on which it stands and to call for precedents to authorise, and for reasons to justify, the policy of affording a guarantee to a self-governing colony, and to this one in particular. There is no need to exaggerate the effect of this loan on the national credit A great many worthy people are prone to attribute all the evils that come under their observation to any particular cause or effect to which from time to time they may have expressed their dislike. I notice this is particularly true of persons engaged in financial operations not wholly devoid of a speculative character. We are informed that the decline in high-class securities which now is unhappily general from America to Germany, and from Great Britain to Japan, is largely if not entirely due to the revolutionary proposals of the Scottish Land Bill, and that, of course, there can be no revival or recovery in British credit while the pernicious and evil shadow of the Transvaal Loan hangs over the money market. To such lugubrious and pernicious absurdities we ought to apply the corrective of a wholesome proportion. The year 1906 was a year of adverse circumstances so far as the money market was concerned. The amount of new capital created in the United Kingdom exceeded 100 millions sterling and the amount of actual cash subscribed exceeded £80,000,000 sterling. It is quite true that an ill-timed issue, even of so comparatively small a sum as £5,000,000, might exercise, at the present time, a disturbing effect upon the market, an effect out of all proportion to the sum involved, but the Government have taken great care in framing this Bill to prevent any such contingency arising by an arrangement in the measure which enables small temporary advances to be made from time to time, pending satisfactory market conditions for the flotation of the whole of the loan. I venture to submit to the House that it is very easy to over-estimate, if these precautions are properly observed, the effects upon British credit of such an issue as will be sanctioned by this Bill. At the beginning of this year the Crown Agents of the Colonies were able to float a loan equal in amount to this one without causing even a ripple upon the political and financial waters which are now a great deal troubled. That is one consideration to be borne in mind: the proportion of this loan to the operations of the British money market. Then there is another. I observe notices down upon the Paper for the rejection of this Bill. No doubt it is very convenient for right hon. Gentlemen to come forward as the champions of public thrift and warn us against the disadvantages of engaging British treasure in South African enterprise; but when we look back upon the past we can find occasions when vast sums of national treasure were expended in South Africa on enterprises, to put it mildly, which were far less beneficial than those contemplated by this Bill. I do not speak of the war, which was necessary to secure British territory from invasion, nor do I speak of the expenses necessary to procure the acquiescence of the Boer people in the annexation of their country. I confine myself entirely to the expenditure which took place after the Middleburg negotiations, in which the Boer leaders and generals were willing to come in upon the basis of the annexation of the republics. For seventeen months after peace could have been obtained on perfectly satisfactory and honourable terms the war was protracted at the enormous cost of £78,000,000 of war expenditure, to say nothing of the £29,000,000 which immediately followed the cessation of operations, simply and solely in the hope of being able to say that an unconditional surrender had been extorted from the Boers. I do, not wish unduly to dwell upon controversial matters, but I would ask those who pose as severe economists to bear in mind the standard to which their observations might be referred when they warn us against the disadvantages of engaging British treasure in South African projects. Whatever view may be taken of the consequences of this loan to the money market and British credit generally, whether that view be high or low, it does not rest with us to determine whether the Transvaal are to issue the loan or not. When General Botha came over here he did not ask whether the Transvaal Government might be allowed to issue the loan, but informed us that it was their intention to do so, and simply asked us to afford them the guarantee in order that they might obtain the money on the best possible terms. Our decision, important though it was, was a closely circumscribed decision. Every self-governing colony enjoys and exercises the right to borrow, when and where and upon what terms it thinks fit and its credit allows. By the easily satisfied requirements of the Act of 1900 such borrowing by any responsible self-governing colony automatically obtains admission upon the list of British trust securities. Whether the Act of 1900, for which right hon. Gentlemen opposite were responsible, was not altogether too widespread and sweeping in its terms, and whether, that being so, the consequences have not resulted to the detriment of British gilt. edged securities, are questions I do not wish to enter into. I am content with the plain solid fact, and I submit it to the House as the first salient proposition in the argument I will endeavour to apply: that our decision in this matter was limited to giving a British guarantee, and that the Transvaal Government if they wish to do so can place their loan upon the market without any reference to the British Government; so that the evil effects upon the national credit, whether real or imaginary, and all the strain upon the money market caused by the restriction of capital, would have resulted no matter what action we might take. Indeed, these effects might have been aggravated if the Transvaal Government had been left to its own resources. What could have been more injurious to British credit and more disturbing to money market operations than anything in the nature of a struggle between the Transvaal Government endeavouring to obtain its money on very high and unsatisfactory terms, and certain powerful and hostile financial influences endeavouring to prevent them from getting it? I ask the House to recognise the two general principles which are before us. The first is the modest proportion of this loan in reference to the scale of operations of the British money market; and the second, the closely defined and restricted limits in which our decision to record the guarantee is operative. The House will require precedents to justify the giving of the loan to a self-governing colony. Such precedents are numerous, ample, respectable and exact. I will recite to the House six of them which justify this loan. In 1857 a loan was granted to New Zealand of £500,000, described as for the payment of debts and for the purchase of native land. On the 3rd of May, in 1866, another loan was guaranteed to the New Zealand Government of £500,000 for the New Zealand War, for immigration and for other purposes. In 1870 a further loan of £1,000,000 was guaranteed to New Zealand for the construction of roads, bridges, and other communications, and for the introduction of settlers. This was challenged in the House of Lords, and defended by Lord Granville, who said it was a wholly exceptional case, and tended to afford employment and useful work for the natives who had been friendly during the war. La 1867 a loan was guaranteed for Canada of £3,000,000 for the construction of a railway connecting Quebec and Halifax,. and in 1869 a loan of £300,000 at 4 per cent, interest was guaranteed to the Canadian Government for the purchase of Rupert's Land from the Hudson Bay Company. Mr. Gladstone, in the debate on that loan, condemned the practice of giving loans to self-governing Colonies. They should not be given, he said, for any merely local or temporary object, and could only be justified on the broad grounds of Imperial policy. In 1873, a third loan to Canada empowered the Treasury to guarantee £3,600,000 as regards both principal and interest for the construction of the Pacific Railway, and for the improvement and construction of the Canadian Canal. It was attacked in the House of Commons because it was said that this particular guarantee was a bribe in regard to the Washington Treaty. The House will notice that this last loan resulted in greater benefit to Canada than the expenditure of almost any similar sum by the Dominion. These loans have nearly always been given by the Imperial Government in cases where there has been disturbance caused by war or as a concomitant of some constitutional settlement which the Mother Country approved and desired to make permanent. In some of these cases one of these conditions has been present, and in others both; but in none of them were both the conditions present in such a strong and overwhelming degree as they are in the case of the Transvaal Loan Bill. If I were to speak further of the numerous precedents, all of which justify the measure now before the House, I should refer to the guarantee of £35,000,000 given by the then Prime Minister and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, to enable the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony to recover from the consequences of the war. Of course, I know I shall be told that they were Crown Colonies then. Yes, Sir, but in view of the fact that self-government had been promised, and its advent was admittedly only a matter of a few years, in view also of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham said that they were only technically Crown Colonies, and he intended to treat them as self-governing Colonies, and in view also of the fact that the services of this loan of £35,000,000 will have to be discharged during the larger portion of its currency by a local responsible, self-governing Parliament. I think the distinction is, after all, only a distinction in form, though a great deal might be made out of it for controversial purposes. The main fact stands out solidly that these right hon. Gentlemen guaranteed to the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony a loan of £35,000,000 to enable them to recover from the devastation of a terrible war, and to enable them to revive their agriculture, re-house their people, and construct and acquire their railways and public works, relying for repayment upon the good sense and integrity of the community, and that we to-day now propose to guarantee a further loan of £5,000,000 in the same confidence for the same objects exactly. When the resolution of the various bodies in Johannesburg was passed, asking for a guarantee of that loan, the amount specified was actually the amount of the £35,000,000, plus this £5,000,000, viz., £40,000,000. That was their estimate of the credit needs of their country. So much is this loan which we put forward to-day a continuation of the policy of that £35,000,000, so much is it the indisputable lineal successor of that loan, that some of the purposes for which this £5,000,000 is to be allocated are not merely similar, but actually identical with the purposes set out in the schedule of the Loan Bill passed by this House in 1903. Let us look at its objects. I would desire to justify them to the House in their general aspects only, because although the full account of the heads and sub-heads upon which the expenditure is to be met by loan capital is substantially correct, and has been tendered to us in the strictestbona fides by the Transvaal Government, the loan will not be wanted all at once, but will be raised from time to time. It is possible that some transferences and re-allocations between the different sub-heads will be necessary. In general, the allocation to which the Transvaal Government are precisely bound is the allocation of the schedule which divides the loan into two parts. Let us look at these two parts. First of all there is the Land Bank, for which £2,500,000 is to be provided. Although there is a steady consolidation of agricultural well-being, not only in the Transvaal and Orange River Colony, but throughout the whole of South Africa, the ravages of the war are far from being effaced in the two Colonies. When Lord Selborne toured through some of the more outlying portions of the Transvaal, he was much concerned at the very severe privations which once prosperous farmers, who had in many cases been possessed of valuable landed property, were suffering under. Some were found living in lean-to shelters against the walls of their ruined farms, and in some of the districts in the low veldt, I am credibly informed, almost the only food which some of the white population have to eat are the mealies which form the staple diet of the Kaffirs. The Land Bank is one of the means by which the agricultural position will be improved and assisted. When ordinary commercial banks lend money on mortgage they charge at a high rate of interest in South Africa, and reserve the right of fore-closure within three months. The effect of this Land Bank is two-fold. It accords to the farmers who possess good security and valuable property, reasonable rates for any money borrowed, and these farmers are assured that there will not be any sudden fore-closure, but the principal will be lent for a regular number of years, during which they will be able to make it fructify and pay. The idea of this Land Bank emanated from Lord Selborne, who appointed a Committee to inquire into the matter. That Committee reported very strongly in favour of the scheme and recommended that £5,000,000, not £2,500,000 should be devoted to the purpose. The Committee made many elaborate and detailed recommendations for the working of this scheme, so as to safeguard the interests of the State against those who would avail themselves of the advantages of it, and their recommendations have been embodied in the Bill of the Transvaal Government. The measure has been drawn up with the greatest elaboration by the Transvaal Government and it contains no fewer than sixty-five sections. No advance can be made upon the security of freehold or quit rent land which exceeds two-thirds of the fair agricultural or pastoral land value. No advance also, can be made upon any lease held for less than ninety-nine years. The bank is given full power of mortgage over all land upon which money is to be advanced, and the interest on the loan is to be at 5 per cent. so that the House will see that the sum will not only defray interest upon the capital involved, but will also provide an additional sum for the sinking fund and for the management of the Land Bank. I trust the House will consider this a worthy and suitable purpose. Everyone knows, after all, that the day will come when the gold mines in South Africa will be exhausted. Many of us think that it is an essential function of the gold mines to set on foot and establish other industries which in the near future will become more and more supplementary to it, and which will replace the gold industry when it has passed away. That is recognised on both sides of the House as being an important object, and I am quite sure it will be for the good of the Transvaal as a whole if the magnificence and splendour to which the great wealth of the gold mines gives rise stand upon the secure foundation of a healthy rural life, and the widespread standard of comfort and wellbeing of those who do not participate in the exciting and hectic industry of the pursuit of gold. The second part of the schedule is more varied, and contains several subheads, all of which deserve the attention of the House. The House will remember what the Inter-colonial Council was. It was a joint board established by Lord Milner to deal with the common affairs of the two Colonies. It derives its revenue from the whole of the railway returns; on the other hand the Inter-colonial Council has to defray the charge on the existing debt, the whole cost of the constabulary, and has to administer the whole guarantee loan programme of railway construction and other public works. If any deficiency arises in the Council's budget it is made up as to seven-ninths by the Transvaal and as to two-ninths by the Orange River Colony. After the treaty of Vereeniging, the Army transport waggons and stores which were in the hands of the military authorities were taken over by Lord Milner at a valuation of £2,000,000 and sold on credit to the Boers to enable them to start their farms again. This is called a repatriation debt. Farmers always complained of the prices at which these stores were sold. It is recognised on all hands that it was a period of unusual and abnormal prices. They were in desperate straits and they had no choice but to accept. They had always asked that the repayment of this debt should be postponed and that the charge with which they are saddled should be re-valued. The Crown Colony Government has already re-valued, I should remind the House, the land, stock, and implements, which were acquired by the British settlers, on this express ground of the abnormal prices; and in the same way the £258,000 which were advanced to civil servants to enable them to build houses for themselves has also been reduced on the petition of those gentlemen because of the very high prices for labour and material which prevailed in the country at the time they were call upon to build houses. It was long foreseen that a similar process of revaluing and reduction would have to be applied to the repatriation debt. The first instalment of £1,000,000 of the repatriation debt was due this year. If the Crown Colony Government had remained in power, whether under this Government or that of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, I am sure I am right in. saying that no attempt would have been made to collect these debts harshly, because nothing would have been more likely to cause devastation and disaster in the country districts. It has long been recognised that substantial reductions and abatements, and an extension of time, would have to be allowed on this head. That produced a very serious consequence. When the new Government came in they, of course, held those views more strongly even than their predecessors, and one of their first acts was to grant a postponement in the payment of those debts until next year. Meanwhile they were intending to examine the whole question, but the money obtainable from the repatriation debts which had already been created by the Inter-colonial Council was part of the assets which the Inter-colonial Council had counted on to develop its railway and public works programme. Consequently when the postponement was agreed upon the Inter-colonial Council became insolvent. It was nearly £700,000 short of the debt for the definite undertakings to which it was committed, and it could not finance any longer its railway policy or the other obligations which it had contracted. The new Transvaal. Government proposed to take over the repatriation debts for what they were worth, to collect them at their leisure and discretion and to meet the liabilities of the Inter-colonial Council from the proceeds of the new loan. Among its liabilities is an item of £85,000 for land settlement—that is to say, the settlement of British settlers who had been planted in the Transvaal. The House will realise that this sum of £85,000 is absolutely necessary for the Land Board which has been set up if it is to continue in existence. The House will remember that the Land Board administers the whole assets of the land settlement, amounting to £1,300,000 which has been advanced to 700 settlers who had been planted on the soil in order to secure to those settlers sympathetic administration, and in order, to use a phrase which has already been employed, to place a screen between the mortgagor and the mortgagee. The whole of the administration of land settlement was vested for a period of five years in a nominated Board independent of the Colonial Government. General Botha's Government was not attracted by this arrangement. They thought it was a waste of money. They thought it was a derogation from complete self-governing powers, and they were inclined, I think quite mistakenly, to regard it as an imputation on their fair dealing towards their fellow-subjects in the Transvaal. We were far from denying the force of some of their objections to the Land Board, but in order to allay the anxiety which I think was then quite genuine on that side of the House, and in the hope of carrying the right hon. Gentleman with us as far as possible in what we desired to make a national rather than a Party settlement in South Africa, we inserted in the Letters Patent provisions which enabled the whole question of land settlement to be handed over to a separate and outside Board. The insolvency of the Inter-colonial Council, however, placed that arrangement at the mercy of the Transvaal Government. Nothing would have been easier, if they wished to starve out the Land Board which had been created against their wishes, than for them to have delayed or resisted the financing of the Inter-colonial Council, but with complete self-restraint and strict observance of all the engagements into which they have entered as part of a great constitutional settlement, which they have accepted, they have come forward and without making any difficulty undertaken to finance the Inter-colonial Council in respect of land settlement from the proceeds of this loan, and in the meanwhile, pending the loan being raised, to supply them with money from month to month in order that the Board may be set up and continued. The right hon. Gentleman is going into the lobby this evening to vote against the granting of this guarantee, and if he were to succeed in his purpose—and no one ought to give a vote unless he takes the responsibility for the consequences that will follow on its success—if he were to succeed in this purpose, the first of the incidental consequences of his action would be that the whole of this money which would be available for the Land Board would be absolutely deflected, the Board would rapidly become bankrupt and break down, and all those elaborate arrangements which we were told by hon. Gentlemen opposite were so vital for the independence and the well-being of British settlers in the country would come to an end. I am anxious that the House should consider the reproductive character of the expenditure under the new loan. The sum of £600,000 represents definite commitments of the Inter-colonial Council for expenditure on railways, public works, and land settlement. I could give the House the sub-heads, but I am sure they will not wish me to state them in detail. The sum of £1,050,000 represents additional railway construction which is to be undertaken. The Delagoa Bay Railway represents £600,000, and some other railway projects and improvements. £200,000 represents the Klerksdorp Line, and £250,000 is set down for the Belfast and Lydenburg Railway which was projected by the old Government. It was agreed to by the late Government of this country. The sum of £100,000 represents expenditure on public buildings, and that is not wholly unreproductive, because the Transvaal is at present paying £48,000 in rent for buildings which they occupy. Irrigation is represented by a sum of £400,000, and the possible results of that expenditure we have seen proved by the highly remunerative results in Egypt. £300,000 represents agricultural development and land settlement, and £2,500,000 represents the capital value of land which, as it will let at a higher rate than that of the interest at which the money is borrowed in the market, will constitute no further charge on the Colony. It may be said that these objects no doubt are very reasonable in themselves, but what is the security we shall have for the loan? The security for the loan will be the whole of the revenue and the assets of the Transvaal—all the State may draw from the gold mines which last year, under the blighting hand of a Radical Government at home, yielded the respectable total of £25,000,000 sterling, or something like 125 times the sum necessary to defray the service of the new debt; all the resources which the Transvaal may derive from diamond mines, which produced £600,000 in 1905–6, and which are an entirely new feature of Transvaal economy. Of that sum the Government share amounts to not less than £360,000, and is estimated this year to aggregate something like £400,000. The debt will be secured further on anything which the Government may draw from the valuable deposits of coal and iron with which the country is studded, and, of course, on the whole of the rail ways, upwards of 2,500 miles long, which are owned, manned, and controlled by the State. The existing debt of the Transvaal, excluding the £800,000 to which I have already referred, is £35,000,000, of which the Orange River Colony is charged with a certain proportion. What that proportion is I cannot say authoritatively. For the purpose of this discussion, though in no wise prejudicing any decision that may be afterwards arrived at on the merits of the whole question, I will take nine millions as being the proportion of the loan which appertains to the Orange River Colony, that is to say, that the special debt of the Transvaal is £26,000,000, to which there will be added £5,000,000 for the new debt, so that it will be £31,000,000 altogether, or £24 7s. per head of the population of the country, taking black and white together. It would be a great mistake to compare this debt with, for instance, our own National Debt because our National Debt in the United Kingdom represents one thing, and one thing only. It represents gunpowder—a commodity which, although it may give some satisfaction at the moment of discharge, rarely leaves behind it any wealth-producing apparatus. But the Transvaal debt can more fittingly be compared with the debts of our great Colonies, where an enormous proportion is represented by very valuable State assets in the shape of public works, railways, and other things of definite revenue-producing character. if we take the Transvaal debt as it will stand when the £5,000,000 loan has been added to it, it will be seen that upwards of £20,000,000 is reproductive expenditure, leaving £10,624,000 of what I call deadweight debt, or per head of the population, black and white together, £8 1s. 8d. If whites only are considered, the deadweight debt will be £35 7s. 8d. per head. I submit to the House that with its unique assets and possessions that is not an undue burden for the Transvaal to bear. I submit to the House that there will be no difficulty whatever in meeting the interest and the sinking fund charges on the debt. I say that for the purpose of establishing security. The interest charges on this debt are, of course, placed on the revenue of the Transvaal, and they rank next to the £35,000,000 debt. But as this £35,000,000 is maintained by the Inter-colonial Council out of railway revenue, upon which it is the first charge by Order in Council, it is not unfair to say that this new £5,000,000 should constitute a first charge on the revenue of the Transvaal outside railway revenues. This revenue, outside railway revenue, is nearly £4,500,000 in the present year. A full statement of the Transvaal Budget has been laid before the House in Papers recently presented. In 1907–8 the revenue of the Transvaal is estimated at £4,469,000, and the expenditure at £4,520,000, or a deficit estimated at £51,000. It will be observed, first of all, that the estimates of revenue have been framed on the most conservative basis, and that the estimate of expenditure contains items of extraordinary expenditure not included in the Budget of previous years. That is without taking into account any reduction in the establishment which may be effected. There are two facts more important than these, which have to be mentioned. First of all, it has to be borne in mind that the Transvaal has a credit balance of £957,000, out of Which it is proposed to draw £67,000 this year, for the purpose of meeting extraordinary expenditure; and in the second place, retrenchments are being enforced throughout the Civil Service in the Transvaal. I should like to say a word on this latter subject. There is no need to criticise the scale on which Lord Milner initiated the Transvaal Civil Service. It was natural and desirable that those who were responsible in any measure for the war should have wished as quickly as possible to repair its injuries and wounds. I quite understand that after the great strain of the war, that wish was father to the thought that a good time would come. Lord Selborne has published a despatch in which he expressed appreciation of the work of the Transvaal Civil Servants. I am bound to say that since I have known more of the Government of the Transvaal, I believe that that appreciation has been thoroughly deserved. But when all these considerations have been stated, no one can doubt that the Transvaal establishment was vastly in excess of what is needed for carrying on the work of government, and considerably in excess of the resources and the state of development of the country. Before the change of Government occurred, a Commission was appointed to consider what retrenchments could be made in the Civil Service, and it is on the recommendations of that Commission that the Transvaal Government are now proceeding. More than that, Lord Milner engaged Mr. Marris, a man of great distinction in India, and thoroughly acquainted with all the machinery of goverment; and Mr. Marris came to the Transvaal to carry out the recommendations of the Commission. Mr. Marris has been retained by General Botha, and it is by his guidance and instrumentality that the retrenchments are being carried out. I have no doubt that these will involve hardships, but the Government will of course do what they can, without committing themselves, to relieve these cases of hardships from time to time, so far as it is allowable, through the Colonial Office. Well, there will be considerable saving—how much I cannot say—from these retrenchments. But there is a second item on which money will be saved in the current year as well as in future years. I mean by the reduction of constabulary, which is a direct result of the grant of self-government. It is quite evident that police arrangements which are necessary to hold a country down by force of arms and to maintain a non-representative Government in arbitrary authority are wholly different in character and extent from those which are required merely to preserve law and order among a people who are consenting parties to the form of government under which they live. A similar reduction is no doubt to be anticipated in the Orange River Colony. At present the constabulary in the two Colonies numbers 3,000 men, and the cost is £266 per annum per man, that is to say the charge on the two Colonies is £798,500 a year. The constabulary in the Transvaal numbers 2,000 men, and it is proposed to reduce them by 1,100, leaving 900 men who are to be re-organised with the existing Transvaal Police. They will be quite sufficient for the maintenance of internal security and peace. The saving which will result, will amount to £250,000 a year, or considerably more than is needed for the whole of the interest and sinking fund of the extra debt of £5,000,000 we are now proposing. I think there can be no doubt whatever of the ability of the Transvaal to pay the interest of this new debt. Now, from whom has the opposition to this new loan, both at home and in South Africa come? Who are those who are now going about saying that this loan will crush the Transvaal? They are the very people who were prepared to impose upon a nominated Government, without the consent of the taxpayers of that country, the obligation of a loan, not of £5,000,000, but of £30,000,000, which was not to fructify in the Colony itself, and become reproductive there, but which was to be sent across the seas and paid into the British Treasury. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham told us that he could "entertain and recommend to the House of Commons a sanguine expectation of the ability of the Transvaal to meet the liabilities involved." These liabilities are £35,000,000 Loan, and the additional payment of £30,000,000 to the British Exchequer. And the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham laid on the Table of the House of Commons in 1903 a table, in which he precisely stated the amount he would recover from the Transvaal. "In the year 1903–4, the first instalment of the £30,000,000 Transvaal War Contribution Loan is to be raised, involving a charge at (say) 4 per cent. of £400,000, and reducing the surplus from £900,000 to £500,000. In 1904–5, a second instalment will be raised, reducing the surplus to £100,000. In 1905–6, the third instalment will be raised, involving a deficit of £300,000, if there is no increase of revenue. But Lord Milner estimates an increase in the three years of £600,000 in general revenue, which would leave a surplus of £300,000, after paying the interest on both loans." But that is not all. The very commercial and mining, houses in the Transvaal, who have to some extent shown opposition to the present loan, not only signed a guarantee for the repayment of the first £10,000,00 of the £30,000,000, but they were quit prepared to impose on the Colony a total burden of £65,000,000, or according to their calculation, of £70,000,000. The right hon. Gentleman who was Secretary of State for the Colonies a little while ago made efforts to obtain the first £10,000,000 of the £30,000,000 loan. He will, no doubt, now say that it might have been quite possible to have got all this money back if he had been allowed to have his way about his beautiful Chinese. But when the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham submitted his statement to the House of Commons, there was no mention of Chinese; there was nothing like a bargain that the mine-owners were to have Chinese if they became guarantors for the issues of the first £10,000,000 of the loan. I have always understood that it would have been very improper if any suggestion of that kind had been made. I believe as a matter of fact that there was absolutely no suggestion that the Chinese entered into their calculation when they were prepared to place so vast a burden upon the Transvaal. I have endeavoured to submit to the House some of the arguments in support of this loan under the three principal heads—its purpose, its security, and the precedents for it. But, there are one or two observations of a general kind which I wish to make before I sit down. In the first place, what is the connection between the loan guarantee of the Imperial Government and the repatriation of the Chinese which is now in progress? We have heard a great deal about a bargain and about a bribe, and I think language has been used in that respect not at all complimentary to the Government of a responsible Colony. Hon. and right hon. Gentlemen opposite must realise one plain fact, and that is, that so far as the present Government are concerned we want to get rid of the Chinese, and we mean to get rid of them. That is the basis on which we start out to argue this question. The Transvaal Government and Parliament, newly elected, agree with us. They want to get rid of the Chinese, they mean to get rid of them, and they have declared that their policy is repatriation at the expiration of the indentures. Now I submit to the House that that is a matter of obvious common sense and simplicity. The Transvaal Government desire to raise a loan; they say that they are forced to raise a loan, and if they had not the British Government to fall back upon, they would have had to go cap in hand to Sir P. FitzPatrick, Sir Julius Wernher, Messrs. Albu and other defenders of the "gilt-edged Union Jack," who are so powerful and prominent in South Africa. And then these gentlemen would have been able to say "We will support your loan and enable you to get your money in the market, provided that you allow us to obtain the labour which we desire and which in our opinion is most profitable for the mines." If that situation had arisen it would have compromised the whole independence of the new Government. There was nothing underhand in the matter. Our desire was that they should be free and choose for themselves in the matter, and that their position should be one in which they could rid South Africa for ever of this detestable expedient. We should have been simpletons to allow the new Transvaal Government to be placed in absolute dependence on the very men with whom it is not only a matter of commercial interest but of political passion to procure the labour of the Chinese. I am well aware that the whole prosperity of the Transvaal is dependent very largely upon the prosperity of the gold industry. I do not know whether the interests and prospects of that industry are served by the extraordinary pessimism which is so freely indulged in by some persons who talk about it. But the conditions are by no means dark at the present time. The number of natives who are going into the mines is greater than ever before known, and greater than can be employed. All recruiting from the Cape has actually been stopped, because at the present time there is no means of accommodating the men from that source. In the meantime the Cape Government are arranging with the Transvaal Government for the much better regulation of the supply of natives from Cape Colony, and similar arrangements have been discussed with the Colony of Natal. I understand also that improvements in the machinery by which the mines are worked are steadily being introduced, and I understand that the new Gordon drills which have lately been invented, and which are now being tried, are calculated still further to relieve the pressure and to limit any shortage of natives. Therefore, I would say that a great future on a solid industrial basis lies before the mines of the Witwatersrand. But something is needed besides labour. So speculative an industry requires public esteem and the confidence of investors, and so long as the mineowners employ Chinese labour it will be a threatened industry, standing upon a basis which is going to be broken up, and the sooner they realise that fact the better it will be for them. The right hon. Gentleman has placed a Motion on the Paper which is equivalent to the rejection of this Bill. I am sorry to see it there, and I think the right hon. Gentleman has undertaken a some what ungracious task. I regret very much that so amiable a politician should have been cast for the part of "devil's advocate." Now that the country is definitely committed to the new arrangements which have been made, I had hoped that the line of cleavage in this House would not have followed purely party lines. At least in a matter so delicate as this, involving the fortunes of the new Government in its early days, and its relations with the British Government, I should have thought the official Opposition would have been content to accept somewhat of the guidance of those who bear the responsibility. After all, we still have a task of the utmost anxiety in South Africa. The great transference of power has taken place. We have transferred the power in South Africa from the basis of force to the basis of concession. The new Transvaal Government when it came into power was not a Government from the members of which we received any assurance. We received no assurance and asked for none, but with that Government we have had to do a mass of complicated business—questions of labour, native rights, the position of our Indian fellow-subjects, finance, military security, all questions on which disagreement might easily arise if there was not between us goodwill and mutual confidence, arising from the fact that the British Government are resolved to do their best to help the Colony and the Colony is resolved loyally to accept in the fullest possible spirit the constitutional arrangement which the British Goverment have made on their behalf. Is it to be wondered at that we should wish to make the people of the Transvaal feel that the British people can render services as well as bring about disaster, and that after the estrangement of the past we can co-operate in the re-building of South Africa? That is the broad Imperial policy which underlies the introduction of this Bill. We have had great difficulties, but we have a great deal to be thankful for. What can more raise the prestige of British statecraft than the anouncement of the gift of the great diamond which is to be made by the Transvaal to the King? That is a wonderful event. It has nothing to do with the loan, but it has a great deal to do with the relations between the British and Boer peoples. It will probably be remembered for hundreds of years after a great deal of the legislation on which we are engaged has been forgotten. The granting of the guarantee at this time no doubt involves a sacrifice; but compared with the tremendous issues in South Africa, with all the millions we have spent and all the risks we have run, it represents scarcely more than the harbour charges on some great ship coming safely into port after a stormy voyage. Motion made, and Question proposed, "That the Bill be now read a second time."

I do not intend to follow the right hon. Gentleman in what he said in regard to his last topic, in which he made, I think, an unfortunate reference. That subject may be left to the admirable sense and tact which his Majesty always displays in affairs affecting his subjects. The right hon. Gentleman has spoken as if this matter presents little difficulty, as if there was ample precedent for it, and it was dictated by obvious expediency. In every case which the right hon. Gentleman has cited as a precedent there were actual subjects of value which were obtained for the loan. The loan itself in two cases was only half a million, in another case one million, and in two other cases three millions. The objects to which these loans were devoted were the purchase of great territories and the foundation of great trunk lines. What analogy can there be between those cases and a case such as this, where the Colony has a deficit, where it has an enormous indebtedness to us, and where there has already been—I am not saying it is the fault of the Colony—a very considerable failure to honour obligations? The right hon. Gentleman has considered it relevant to the discussion to mention the so-called extravagance of the late Government with reference to the war. It is less than decent in the right hon. Gentleman, with Members on each side of him like the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Attorney-General, who cordially approved of the war, to refer to the matter as if it has any relevance to this state of things. The right hon Gentleman himself was a supporter of the war.

May I say without offence to the right hon. Gentleman that other persons more important than he and now sitting by him were supporters of it?

It is unnecessary to drag me into this matter. I certainly never supported what was described by the right hon. Gentleman as the undue prolongation of the war.

I gladly accept that exceedingly legal qualification. The hon. and learned Gentleman is a hearty supporter of £2,000,000 of that expenditure, and if that is so the only relevant argument that can be formed upon it is that the Government should be abundantly cautious of involving the credit of the country further. The latter portion of the right hon. Gentleman's speech was devoted to explaining and justifying the purposes of the loan. Nobody on the Opposition side will traverse the contention that the purposes for which this loan is to be spent are useful purposes, and especially that of land settlement. I do not suppose there is a Colony in the whole Empire in which an expenditure of £5,000,000 could not be well justified, and I do not think there is a single Colony which would not be glad to have it. The point, however, is not whether the money can be profitably spent in the Transvaal; the point is whether there is a justification for at this moment imposing this burden on the credit of the Imperial Government, and, more material still, whether it is right to facilitate and encourage expenditure to enable another £200,000 a year to be placed on the shoulders of the Transvaal taxpayer at a time when the financial condition of the Colony is not at all prosperous. While the right hon. Gentleman has purported to put the facts before the House, I complain that he has not put before us the Budget statement of the Colonial Treasurer. Great sacrifices have been asked and great sacrifices have been incurred by the British population in the Transvaal. They have loyally made the sacrifices asked of them, and they have at least the right to demand in this matter scrupulous impartiality on the part of His Majesty's Government in their dealings with them and their Dutch fellow-subjects. They have a right to work out together with the Dutch their own salvation, which should not be affected by any undue interference by His Majesty's Government. I ask the House to bear in mind certain cardinal points whilst considering the policy of this loan. Does it conform to these principles? Is it prudent, considering the interests of the Colony as a whole, for them to borrow a large sum more at the present time? Is it fair to the taxpayer of this country that their contingent liability should be increased in order to facilitate the operation? Is the policy of the loan now being carried out with ordinary and reasonable prudence and in conformity with the proclaimed intentions and policy of His Majesty's Government and with the aspirations of their own followers? These are the tests I ask the House to consider. On a previous occasion I informed the House of the warning given both by high financial authorities in the Transvaal against any further borrowing in the existing financial condition of the country and by the deplorable state of the revenue. It is not necessary to quote the cases which come from the general estimates of Mr. Hichens, a former Colonial Treasurer, and the recent Budget statement of the Colonial Treasurer bore out that statement more conspicuously still. I complain that the right hon. Gentleman has not placed before us the information we are entitled to have. According to that statement, the revenue of the Transvaal is falling all round; railways have produced £600,000 below the estimate; the expenditure has exceeded the revenue by £97,000; public works have been stopped, railway works stopped; the depression is becoming deeper and deeper; and there is little hope of providing means for its removal, while the Estimate for 1907–8 shows an antici- pated deficit of £91,000. Looking at the point of view of the Transvaal alone, there are circumstances which even the most reckless financier would regard, and say that the times were inappropriate for the raising of further money. The right hon. Gentleman said, ingenuously enough, that General Botha was going to raise this loan in any event. Of course, General Botha was perfectly right to say so to the right hon. Gentleman, but how would General Botha have been able to face his taxpayers if for a purpose such as this he was going to place a loan on the market at a time when, without the guarantee of the Imperial Government, he could not have raised it at less than 5½ or 6 per cent.? This Government of free traders, totally opposed to the unanimous wishes of the Colonies for Colonial preference, are artificially to disturb the conditions this of country and to prefer the Transvaal in these circumstances before all the self-governing Colonies. What possible reason is there for witholding from the Cape or Natal the remarkable accommodation which the Imperial Goverment is giving to the Transvaal? Does it show justice or impartiality to the minority in the Colony? That minority, which is mainly an urban and a British population, raises 85 per cent. or even more of the whole taxation of the country, and upon that urban population is going to be placed the main burden of that which will inure almost entirely to the advantage of the rural population. I was, I believe, the first man in this country who urged that the Dutch should be treated with the utmost generosity. But a great deal of water has passed under the bridges since then. The British taxpayer has provided a great deal for the Boer population. We guaranteed the 35 millions loan to the Transvaal in consideration of their paying 30 millions as a War contribution. The 30 millions are gone, but the saving to the Transvaal by the guarantee of the 35 millions was at least £350,000 a year. The whole of that sum is in the pockets of the Transvaal taxpayers at the present moment. In these circumstances are they entitled to special consideration above all other Colonies, and to have another five millions added to the 35 millions already guaranteed? We have also to consider our own case—the circumstances of the loan market in this country at the time this loan is guaranteed. There were qualifications, some weeks afterwards, of this promise to guarantee £5,000,000, but at the time the pledge was given it was given without any qualifications whatever; it was publicly announced in this House.

And interest, too. I do not know what guaranteeing a loan "in principle" is. However, the right hon. Gentleman is entitled to any qualification he pleases.

was understood to say that the terms were not stated at the time the loan of £5,000,000 was guaranteed in principle.

The right hon. Gentleman has given me an answer, and contradicted what I said. I said a moment ago that His Majesty's Government in this House unqualifiedly promised the guarantee of £5,000,000. That is a fact. That was understood by everybody. It had a disastrous effect on the price of Consols the moment it was made. It had so disastrous an effect upon the market that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, some weeks afterwards, by which time much mischief had been caused, stated what apparently was not known to the Government—in such reckless and hot haste had this been done—that the loan need not be issued for some considerable time, and only in small amounts. At this very moment the Transvaal Chancellor of the Exchequer does not know to what purpose he is going to apply a great part of the loan, and has declined to pledge himself in regard to the matter. At a time when we had almost unprecedented depreciation in gilt-edged securities—I need not pause to argue what was the cause of that depreciation—you made this statement, unnecessarily, as it afterwards was proved, that £5,000,000 was about to be guaranteed. You did not attempt to assuage the fears created by that statement until weeks afterwards, and then, after the mischief and inconvenience had been caused, the right hon. Gentleman the Under-Secretary for the Colonies comes down and states that the promise to guarantee this loan was only "in principle." That is very poor consolation for the people who have lost money—not speculators or mineowners, but those investors in these securities who are above all entitled to be considered. I think I may summarise the situation in this way. When this guarantee was promised, we had, from the Colonial point of view, a vast debt upon the Colony already. We had, first, £35,000,000. And that was not all. As the right hon. Gentleman ought to have known, we had a municipal loan of £8,000,000 to Johannesburg, which is, of course, a burden upon the community. We have £35,000,000 plus £8,000,000, plus £2,000,000, in respect of loans to the Boers for repatriation; and, finally, His Majesty's Government, who profess to encourage economy and thrift, in regard to this little community of 300,000 white inhabitants, who have already got a debt of £50,000,000 upon them, are actually facilitating and encouraging further obligations to the extent of £5,000,000, representing a charge of at least £50,000 or £60,000 a year. Concurrently with that, we have in this country a state of things into the origin of which I do not pause to inquire. A condition of things has arisen in which Consols are lower than they have been for many, many years. [An HON. MEMBER: Their natural price.] They had been made lower still by the operation of His Majesty's Government in connection with this loan. Consols fell on the announcement that you were going to guarantee this loan, and I challenge any contradiction on that subject. That has been done to the great prejudice of a great many people who are as perfectly entitled to consideration as anybody else in this country. While I admit that the amount of £5,000,000 would be a trifle as regarded ourselves, yet at the time the loan was guaranteed it caused grave inconvenience; and I say that nothing should have induced the Chancellor of the Exchequer or any sensible man in dealing with these matters to have given such a promise at that time, unless he considered that there was some urgent and immediate necessity for it. But there is not a single statement forthcoming on the part even of the professed advocates of this loan to show that it is at the present moment an absolute necessity. It is really of no use beating about the bush on the matter. The right hon. Gentleman has admitted what everyone knew to be the true reason of the issue. The right hon. Gentleman had been perfectly frank; he said that it was necessary for the Government to get rid of the Chinese.

said he had never stated that it was necessary for the Government to get rid of the Chinese, but that the Government meant to get rid of the Chinese.

I congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on his interruption. If the Government mean to do a thing, and say that they mean it, I suppose that it is necessary for them to do it. The right hon. Gentleman said on a previous occasion that no bargain was made, but I challenged that statement at the time, and told the right hon. Gentleman that very different interpretations were applied by different people to the word "bargain." The right hon. Gentleman might be right in repudiating the word "bargain," but, as I said on a previous occasion, no bargain is required in these matters. The Government wanted, and, indeed, found it to be necessary, to enlist the Transvaal Government on their side and to induce them to say whether they wished to get rid of the Chinese.

As distinguished from those pledges which they gave over and over again in and after the general election, their policy was repatriation and replacement. That was a very awkward policy for His Majesty's Government to deal with, because I expect they knew that although, owing to the stoppage of other works in South Africa and the universal depression there was an unusual flow of native labour, the moment prosperity approached in however small a degree, this supply of native labour would run down and react very much the old level. It was very necessary for the Government, therefore to get that statement and get apparent advocacy upon the part of the Transvaal Government. Why do I say that? Because all other methods had failed. They tried to intimidate the Chinese by telling them that they were slaves; but the Chinese would not believe it. Having tried terror and intimidation, and strong language, however mendacious about repatriation, they tried another plan. They tried cajolery and coaxing, and the Chinese also resisted coaxing and cajolery; they would neither be intimidated nor bribed. Never were there people so obstinately enamoured of their fetters. The right hon. Gentleman received a despatch from the Governor of the Colony in respect of 350 Chinese admitted owing to some slip of an official, and the Governor stated that he was advised by his officials there that if they attempted to send these men back again, though they knew the conditions of the service upon which they were about to enter, there would be a dangerous riot. The matter was becoming extremely awkward for His Majesty's Government, because their followers were not content with the lamentable and ridiculous exhibition on the part of their leaders, and they were pressing them in a formidable manner. A member of the Labour Party threatened to move the adjournment, and the hon. Member for Newbury expressed his deep displeasure. The Government noted these awkward symptoms. They had tried every other means of getting the poor Chinese to move. They still had not the courage to take the consequences of their own language. They did not say to the country, "We must make good the loss to the Transvaal if these men are moved. Please pay the bill." They like to be astride of both horses at once; to tell the taxpayers that everything they say is true, and that at the same time all their rash assertions will cost nothing. General Botha desires a guarantee for his loan. His Majesty's Government wish the Boers to be made to say the contrary of what they said at the election—that the Chinese should be at once repatriated. Both these desires were concurrently gratified: but there was no bargain. It is not an undesigned coincidence, however. The Under-Secretary has taken in nobody. Let him place these circumstances before any impartial tribunal in the world, and let it judge as to whether the cause has not been followed by the effect.

But has this further pledging of the credit of the country been effected with ordinary prudence, and with regard first to the legitimate rights of the Civil Service in the Transvaal? The Government were taking to this Colony some of the greatest boons that could have been given. The generosity was unprecedented in the history of the Empire. The Government had a position of immense strength for the purposes of bargaining. They might legitimately have required that the whole of that £500,000 should be definitely appropriated to our land settlers. They might have made provision for the relief of the hardship, which is admitted, to the civil servants, many of whom were attracted to South Africa by the belief that there was to be a longer stage of representative government, and had in result lost everything in the Transvaal, and many openings in this country. Surely when His Majesty's Government were going to place in the pockets of the Transvaal something like £10,000,000, it would have been legitimate to see that some consideration was given to the sufferings of the civil servants. I was glad to hear the tardy reparation made by the right hon. Gentleman to the Civil Service. It was not very long ago that, in the very speech in which he cast vituperation on Lord Milner, the right hon. Gentleman spoke of the Civil Service in the Transvaal—many of whose members have worked harder than any one in the House of Commons for the restoration of the country—as "a costly and not too efficient nominated and imported bureaucracy." The apology of the right hon. Gentleman is in much the same terms as that which he has given to-day, that the right hon. Gentleman knows more now of Sir Hamilton Goold-Adams and his staff than he did then.

I invite the right hon. Gentleman to quote any passage in which I cast vituperation on Lord Milner. As to my having used the expression "costly, not too efficient, nominated and imported bureaucracy" of the Civil Service, I withdrew the words "not too efficient," but it was certainly a bureaucracy, and it was also nominated and costly.

The speech of the right hon. Gentleman in December, 1906, was accepted as a disparagement of the work of the Civil Service. But the point is that, with all their power for bargaining, by reason of the boons they have given to the Transvaal, His Majesty's Government have done nothing for the civil servants, and magistrate after magistrate is being reduced—curiously, too, these men are of British birth. While the Government professes its desire to serve the Transvaal, there is no reason why it should have omitted any regard for the Transvaal Civil Service, now suffering grievous hardship. Time after time when I was at the Colonial Office, I was addressed in strong terms by hon. Gentlemen below the gangway as to the condition of the natives and British Indians. Warnings of what was the opinion of the Transvaal Government in respect of the natives were perfectly plain. General Botha, not many years ago, gave before a Royal Commission his opinions as to native labour policy in South Africa. His policy is to break up native locations and reserves, and by taxation to bring the natives into the mines. I have always agreed that there-is a balance of advantage in favour of native over Chinese labour, though many of the evils alleged against the employment of Chinese reproduce themselves in a more extreme form in the employment of natives. There is this lamentable difference—that the natives die off much more quickly. But what are His Majesty s-Government now doing by the removal of the Chinese? They are placing a tremendous temptation on everyone concerned in the revenue of the Transvaal to take for the mines natives who are physically unfit for the work. What means have you taken to safeguard the natives against that tremendous temptation, more serious when you consider it in connection with what General Botha said on oath before a Royal Commission? The Transvaal Government have only been in session for two or three months. What has been their admitted attitude to the natives in that short time? So soon as self-government was given them, and so soon as the guarantee of the loan was promised in this reckless and foolhardy way, then General Botha, feeling the necessity of the revenue to be derived from the mines, and feeling the necessity of replacing the Chinese whom he has promised to the Government to get rid of, saw at once the necessity of attracting natives into the mines, who, but for that attraction would not come, and in defiance of the opinion of the whole of South Africa and the Transvaal, itself vitally interested in getting natives to work in the mines, proposed a Liquor Bill to permit the sale of liquor to natives in the mines—a proposition which was so scouted by the entire public opinion of the country, and by a large proportion of the Government's majority here, that he was obliged to withdraw it. That Bill had been totally withdrawn. That shows what the attitude of the Government of the Transvaal is in regard to the subject, and how easily and naturally they yielded to this temptation. I will only mention that they attempted, or designed, to lure the natives into the mines by the temptation of liquor. There is another proposal which I will not specify, but which was equally scandalous. I expect, it was to deprive the natives of redress in the Civil Courts. After having lured them into the mines, they were to be deprived of the right to seek a civil remedy. I say that with regard to this matter with strict reserve, I have not seen the Bill. The right hon. Gentleman's account of it was not very lucid, and I desire it to be understood that I reserve comment on that until I have actually seen the Bill. There is only one other topic to which I will refer. There is the case of the British Indians. The warning was even plainer in regard to that. In my humble way I endeavoured to persuade, and successfully, the Transvaal against a course which was pressed upon me unanimously at the time I was in office. The Government had that warning before them. The Government had many other warnings since that it was inevitable that a similar attempt, but probably of a much more drastic kind, would be tried by the present Transvaal Government. It was inevitable that it would be tried. The very things which the Government and their supporters when they sat in opposition denounced us for day by day, namely, not permitting people to hold land, the special law about passes, the special law of identification marks and badges of slavery which were repeatedly flung into our face, this Government submitted to. They allowed the passing of such legislation in regard to British Indians without a murmur. Nobody knows better than I do the enormous difficulties of meeting opinion in South Africa upon this question, and I will go so far as to say that I doubt whether it would have been wise on the part of His Majesty's Government, once they decided to give self-government,to provoke another internecine conflict on this question, but I do say with all the earnestness in my power that it was criminal negligence on the part of His Majesty's Government to enter into this undertaking without getting some terms for those people. They now sit paralysed before the Transvaal Government. They have no means of redress. Everybody who understands this question knows that they dare not provoke a conflict with a unanimous Colony on such a subject as this. Their opportunity was before. In such reckless haste were the Government to get these declarations from General Botha about the Chinese that they actually surrendered the whole claim they had upon the Colony for the £30,000,000, the whole claim they had for the £350,000 which they gave to them, in return for the precipitate advance of the cause of self-government—the whole of this splendid negotiating power they threw away without lifting a finger in respect of these subjects which it was manifest they would have the greatest difficulty in dealing with, once that Government had acceded to power. I am sorry that such a course should have been taken. Everybody interested in any way in British credit must be aware that that which would not ordinarily have been a strain upon it, has been so at this particular moment. I think it is most deplorable, it is disastrous, that this exercise of British credit should have been made at this time when the Colony ought not to have had another sixpence put upon its debt. That opportunity, now, unhappily, is passed, and I believe there is for ever gone all opportunity of properly adjusting the relations between this Government and the Colony, as to the natives and as to British Indians in the Transvaal. I beg to move.

Amendment proposed—

"To leave out the word 'now' and at the end of the Question to add the words 'upon this day three months.'"—(Mr. Lyttelton.)

Question proposed, "That the word stand part of the Question."


If I follow the right hon. Gentleman I hope I shall be able to keep rather more closely to the question actually before us than he has found himself in a position to do. Two-thirds of the right hon. Gentleman's speech have consisted of a thinly-veiled attack on the grant of self-government to the Transvaal, and an attack, certainly not veiled at all, on the policy which has been pursued by the responsible Ministers of that self-governing colony since they came into office. He suggests, though he does not actually declare, that something in the nature of a corrupt bargain—there is no other word to describe it—that is the sense in which it has been understood by some of the right hon. Gentlemen's supporters, that something in the nature of a corrupt bargain has been entered into between His Majesty's Government on the one side—


I am saying what is suggested and what is understood by hon. Gentlemen behind him—that something in the nature of a corrupt bargain was entered into between His Majesty's Government on the one side and the Government of this self-governing colony on the other, whereby, in consideration of our guaranteeing this loan, they have agreed to abandon the Chinese policy which they had previously adopted, and to substitute for it a Chinese policy more in accordance with the wishes and opinions of His Majesty's Government. That is the sense in which it is understood. No such bargain ever took place. There is not the shadow of a foundation for it. General Botha, I assert here, in the face of this House and of the country, is as free to-day to propound any Chinese policy he likes in the Legislature of the Transvaal as he was before the negotiations for this loan were ever entered into. Is that plain? I hope it is. The right hon. Gentleman, having suggested, first of all, the existence of this corrupt bargain, next attacked the Transvaal Government in regard to its native policy. He describes one Bill, which was introduced and since withdrawn, as scandalous, and another Bill, which he admits he has not seen, as, hypothetically, equally, if not more scandalous. Is there any other self-governing Colony in the Empire in regard to the proceedings of the Ministry of which a responsible statesman here would allow himself to use such language? I am not going—it is no part of my business, though I enter a protest against such language being used—to defend the policy of the Transvaal when we have given them self-government. We gave it with the intention that they should exercise it, and in the belief that they are capable of exercising it; but we have carefully reserved in the Constitution powers to the Imperial Government, which they would not hesitatate to exercise in fit and proper cases, over certain classes of legislation in which the interests of particular sections of the community are specially concerned. The real question before us is the merits of the Bill; but let me, before I deal with what I conceive to be the actual point, just note, in order that I may respectfully brush it aside, the argument of the right hon. gentleman which was relevant to the question. He told us, or he suggested, that this loan was a form, and a very invidious form, of colonial preference, because we were discriminating in our treatment of the Transvaal in a manner favourable to them, and giving them in the shape of this guarantee a boon which we did not propose to give to any other of our self-governing colonies.


I am dealing first with the question of preference. The argument of the right hon. Gentleman is one which, I would point out, does not receive a shred of suppport from any self-governing colony in the Empire. So far as I know, and so far as the Government know, not a single responsible statesman in any one of our self-governing colonies has sent to us one word of protest or remonstrance or even of criticism. But they are supposed to be smarting under a sense of having been very badly treated through one of their fellow colonies receiving this preferential treatment.

made an interruption which was not heard in the gallery.


I saw something in the papers about the Premier of South Australia—[OPPOSITION laughter]—Will hon. Gentlemen do me the courtesy of waiting till I have finished my sentence?—I saw the statement in the papers, but I believe that what he said was not favourably received by those to whom he said it. I was careful to say that no communication has reached His Majesty's Government from any responsible statesman throughout the Empire in protest, or even in criticism, of this loan. The truth is, I believe, that the self-governing colonies regard the matter entirely from the same point of view as we do, that the guarantee of this loan was an inevitable, though, no doubt, an unforeseen consequence of the war in which they played so conspicuous and honourable a part, and a necessary incident of the completion of a settlement based, as it is, on the free and full grant of self-government—a settlement which, as we know by the language used by Sir Wilfrid Laurier, has been ratified by the practically unanimous sentiment of all the self-governing communities of the Empire. I pass from that, nor will I enlarge on the question of whether there are or are not precedents which precisely meet the case. The Under-Secretary has quoted a number of cases in which loans have been granted in the past to self-governing Colonies. [An HON. MEMBER: None for thirty years.] What does that matter? Suppose there was no precedent at all? I say it would be quite necessary to create one. But we have the best precedent possible, as my right hon. friend has pointed out, in this very case, for less than five years ago a guaranteed loan of £35,000,000 was advanced to this very colony. True, it was then a Crown Colony. It was not technically in the samestatus as it is now, and there were for the time at any rate means of enforcing your security if occasion should arise, but the loan was granted to a Crown Colony which was about to enter, in the course of a few years, upon the full stage of representative self-government. Therefore, if the late Government looked forward to the future, as they were obliged to do, they were practically then guaranteeing the credit of a self-governing colony. But the real question is, first, as to the necessity, and next as to the security. Of course, in my character as Chancellor of the Exchequer a proposal of this kind wasprima facie an unwelcome proposal. I do not want to see any extension of the direct or of the contingent liabilities of this country, still less a resort either by the Imperial Government, or, so far as we have any influence in the matter, by any of our Colonies or Dependencies, in the present condition of the money market, to further loans. Therefore I naturally scrutinised this proposal with considerable jealousy. But how does the matter stand? We have heard from the right hon. Gentleman a very pessimistic account, to put it mildly, of the present financial position of the Transvaal. I may say that, if that account were in all respects justified by the actual facts, it would be perfectly clear that if the Transvaal were to borrow at all it could only borrow upon an Imperial guarantee, and therefore,pro tanto, all the arguments which were used to show the precarious or unsatisfactory condition of the Transvaal finances would go in the direction of supporting our proposal. But I must say that these arguments came with a singular ill-grace from right hon. Gentlemen opposite. As my right hon. friend reminded us, it is only four years since they came down here and obtained the assent of Parliament to a guarantee of a £35,000,000 loan, because it was part and parcel of a transaction the other element in which was a promise on the part of the Transvaal to raise a loan of £30,000,000 which would have involved, for sinking fund and interest, at the very lowest an annual charge of £1,200,000; and we were solemnly assured with an enormous parade of figures that the credit of the Transvaal was amply sufficient to stand that transaction, and that there was not the least fear that we should be called upon to make good our guarantee. To-day we are told from the very same authority—though it is true my right hon. friend opposite was not then the Colonial Secretary—that for us to guarantee only the interest of a loan of £5,000,000 is seriously to imperil the future of British credit, or, at any rate, to expose us to the serious risk of having to make good a loss. In all the annals of miscalculation there have been more unfulfilled promises in this matter of Transvaal finance than have ever been made before. I am not going to join the ranks of the prophets and expose myself to a similar refutation in the future. But extravagant as was the forecast which assumed, four years ago, that the Transvaal could add to its liability for the £35,000,000 loan another liability of £30,000,000, I cannot help thinking that there is a similar extravagance in some of the pessimistic estimates which are now offered. It Is quite true that upon the estimates for the current year, 1907–8, the Budget of the Transvaal shows a deficit of £51,000. But I must say for myself that, having examined those accounts with considerable care, I entirely agree with what my right hon. friend the Under-Secretary said, that the Treasurer of the Transvaal, in the first place, has taken a conservative view of the prospects of his revenue, and, in the next place, has made no allowance for retrenchments of expenditure which are obvious, which are easily effected, which we know are in contemplation, and some of which are in course of actual execution. Let me make one general observation in regard to the apparent falling off in recent years of the revenue of the Transvaal. Very largely it is due—to the extent of, at any rate, £1,000,000—to the reduction in railway rates, a reduction made in 1903, and the effect of which was very largely under-estimated by Lord Milner and those who advised him. I do not say that rates can go back to their old level—I do not think there is the least chance of it, and the only hope of making that good to any extent is by an increase of traffic. But I mention that as accounting, to some extent, for what would otherwise be unaccountable miscalculation. And then, again—and this is a more hopeful and more important consideration—there is a considerable cash balance of nearly £1,000,000 in the Treasury of the Transvaal, which, although it cannot be represented as liquid assets—a good deal was lent out in various ways to local bodies and to others—yet stands as a good debt, as part of the assets of the community, and to some extent—perhaps a considerable extent—could be made available in case of need. Further than that, it is to be observed—and this is, I think, one of the best features of Transvaal finance—that the Transvaal has during the last few years constructed and developed out of revenue a great many works which in almost all British Colonies are provided out of capital. A good deal of railway construction, agricultural development work, and public buildings have been provided for in that way. I find from the accounts that no less than £3,392,000 was expended in respect of such works up to 30th June, 1906, towards which sum only £520,000 was appropriated from loan money; and even after meeting these special charges, the accumulated balances of revenue over expenditure amounted on that date to no less than £1,325,000. Then, again, although the main sources of taxation—the Customs revenue, the profit and other taxes upon mining, the native taxes, and the receipts from railways—are probably not capable of (at least it would not be wise to anticipate any) very large development in the near future—though I see the Treasurer does anticipate a substantial increase of railway receipts—there are other sources of revenue which are clearly open to him in case of need. Take the Estate Duty. That duty is 1 per cent., and without going into any extravagant estimates, there would be obviously a considerable field there for the further development of revenue. And I think I am correctly informed that there is no transfer duty of any kind in the Transvaal, or, at least, it is merely nominal. [A MEMBER on the OPPOSITION BENCHES: Yes, 4 per cent.]. I am not speaking of the transfer of land, but of the transfer duty upon stocks and share transfers such as we have in this country. There, again, in a community of that kind there would seem to be a relatively fruitful field for the further development of taxation. But it is from the other side of the account undoubtedly, the direction of the retrenchment of expenditure, that the Transvaal Government may well look forward to a better financial position than it has to-day. Allusion has been made to the reduction in the Civil Service. Far be it from me to say one word in the way of disparagement or criticism of gentlemen, many of them men of great ability, who have been devoting their services to the Government of the Transvaal during the last five years. But they went there knowing perfectly well what were the contingencies to which their service was exposed. Nobody can say that they have been badly paid; on the contrary, the scale of salaries in the Transvaal has been substantially higher than in almost any other country; and nobody can possibly contend that any consideration of justice, still less of honour, was involved in retaining gentlemen of this kind, however able, in numbers which were excessive, at salaries which are beyond what the country can afford to pay, and simply for the sake of enabling them to work out what they thought were the prospects of their own future. There can be no question about it. It is, I believe, the unanimous opinion of the Commission appointed, not by General Botha's Government, but by the Government of the Transvaal when a Crown Colony, that a reduction should be made, and it is being carried out under the superintendence of a very able Anglo-Indian official, who may be relied upon to see that whatever reductions are made are not beyond the necessities of the case. A second and not less important matter is that of the Constabulary. I do not wish to say anything as to the lines on which that force was originally framed. No one can doubt that, man for man, it is the most expensive force now in existence in the world; £266 per man is the cost of keeping up that Constabulary, and it is a drain upon the combined resources of the Transvaal and the Orange River Colony to the extent of considerably over £750,000 a year. Now that we have passed to the stage of responsible Government there can be no justification whatever for keeping up a force on that scale and at that expense, and I do not doubt that the immediate reductions will be considerable and that revenue which will be set free by the curtailment of this extravagant form of expenditure——


I am told that at no very distant date a saving of something like £250,000 a year is anticipated. Let me point out that so far as the present year is concerned the additional charge imposed under this Bill upon the taxpayers of the Transvaal cannot be more than £40,000, because we have arranged with the Government of the Transvaal that they shall not raise during the present year more than £1,000,000 out of the loan of £5,000,000. Even assuming that the loan has to be raised at the rate of interest of 4 per cent., I have overstated the amount, because the financial year in the Transvaal ends in June, and we are now in August. I demur to the account given by the right hon. Gentleman of the manner in which this guarantee was originally announced. I never said it was going to be raised in a lump sum or at any one time. My right hon. friend, in using the words "in principle," which the right hon. Gentleman rather scoffed at, thought he was guarding himself equally against any such interpretation. Certainly I never suggested, and knowing the condition of things in the money market here, I was not likely to suggest, that the whole of the amount should be cast upon the money market at the present time. I do not think the injurous effect upon the price of Consols can be attributed to anything I have said. The fall in Consols is due to causes of a more far-reaching and widespread character than this little loan.

It is quite true that a rise took place when I announced this year that the whole sum was not going to be raised. I will make the right hon. Gentleman a present of that. I think I have shown there has been sufficiently careful scrutiny of the finances of the Transvaal, and that at any rate at present or in the immediate future there is an ample and sufficient sum to guard the British taxpayer against any danger of being called upon to make good the guarantee under this Act. I must say one or two words upon the necessity of the purposes for which this loan is to be provided. As my right hon. friend has explained, they are twofold. In the first place, as regards the Land Bank, the proposal comes to us with the very highest authority. It originated with Lord Selborne. Lord Selborne pressed it upon us time after time with arguments which seemed to me to be irresistible in their force. The original capital suggested was £5,000,000. That has been reduced to £2,500,000; and, as I understand the proposal, it is not to be assumed that £2,500,000 is going to be advanced all at once. Nothing of the sort. But there is to be power ultimately to advance £2,500,000; the process is to be experimental and tentative. My right hon. friend has put before the House one consideration of the greatest importance. It is that you should do all you can by legitimate means, without imposing an excessive or unnecessary burden upon any particular interest in that country, to multiply industries in the Transvaal. What needs development more than anything else is the agricultural industry. Irrigation, the stamping out of cattle disease and other diseases of animals, the provision of reasonable means of borrowing on the security of the land itself, are the means which, according to all authorities acquainted with the details of the matter, afford the best scope for establishing a really independent agricultural interest in the Transvaal. As to the other purposes of the loan, I cannot consent to the view which seems to be taken by the right hon. Gentleman who has just sat down, that these are things which can be brushed aside or at any rate postponed. Let us look at what they are; they are contained in the second category. First, they are purposes which may be said to be the leavings of the £35,000,000 loan. They are purposes which ought to have been provided for by that loan, but that loan has fallen short, and therefore these purposes cannot at present be fully met. That is true as regards the very important item of £85,000 to go to the purposes of land settlement; it is true also to the extent of at least £500,000, in regard to what are called the railway and other commitments of the Inter-colonial Council, who are already engaged in carrying them out, but as to which the funds have fallen short. To stop these things, or to stop the railways and other works when they are half or three-quarters completed, is the worst form of economy; it would involve the waste of the money that has been already spent upon them. As regards the other categories to which the balance will be applied, it is also to be devoted to railway extension and acquisition. It is admitted that the purchase of the Fourteen Streams railway is vital to the well-being of the Colony, and the improvement of the railway to Delagoa Bay is of very great importance to the commercial interest. The balance will go to irrigation and other works. At the risk of wearying the House with dry details, I have gone through these various points in order to show that, so far from this loan being recklessly assented to by us, we have carefully scrutinised every item of the programme, and we have satisfied ourselves that the expenditure is neces- sary, and that there is ample security for repayment in the existing financial condition of the Transvaal to prevent loss falling upon the British taxpayers. It is in that belief that we have brought forward the Bill for which we now ask the sanction of Parliament. I looked at it in the first instance from the point of view of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in raising such objections as seemed to me,from my point of view, to be proper. But I must add this. The Government found it their duty to look at the matter, and they did look at it, and I ask the House to look at it, from the point of view in which financial considerations—although by no means to be disregarded—necessarily assume a subordinate position. We commend this proposal to the House on the grounds both of justice and of policy. I say it is an act of justice because the loan of —35,000,000 is exhausted, although many of its purposes are not completely attained. Land settlement and railway construction are left unfinished, and we shall not be able to carry out the intentions of Parliament,. and still less shall we be doing justice to the interests that we have created in relation to this matter, unless we provide the means for completing them. But is is more than a mere act of justice; it is an act of policy. We are witnessing in the Transvaal the early and, in some respects, the most trying days of what I do not hesitate to describe as one of the greatest experiments ever made in the history of the world. You have there a people who less than six years ago were in arms against us, as regards a considerable number of them. We have granted to them in the freest and fullest sense complete liberty to manage their own affairs. That is one of the most arduous tasks which any community so situated has ever been called upon to discharge. But I believe we shall be ill-carrying out the ends of our policy, I believe we shall not be meeting the expectations and wishes of the great majority of our fellow-countrymen here at home, if we do not do everything in our power, not only to encourage but to aid our new fellow-citizens to perform that task, confident as we are that they will perform it and bring it to an end without finding any difficulty whatsoever in reconciling patriotic reverence for the best traditions of their own past with grateful and devoted loyalty to the British Crown.

said the right hon. Gentleman began by saying that some of the remarks which his right hon. friend had made were irrelevant to the topic under discussion. But if that was so he sincerely trusted that what he said would not be more relevant than those of his right hon. friend which were, he thought, extremely to the point. So far as the present generation was concerned this proposal to guarantee a loan to a self-governing Colony was absolutely new. The loan of £35,000,000 was guaranteed immediately after the War, when the Transvaal was a Crown. Colony. It was true there was an intention ultimately to make it a self-governing Colony, but the time for that change depended upon many considerations, one of which was that the Colony must be self-supporting. The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies had told the House that Mr. Gladstone was in favour of this principle in 1869, and had quoted some words of that statesman, but he had done so apparently on the assumption that nobody else would read the report of those proceedings. As a matter of fact, the last time a Bill of this kind was carried it met with disapproval from every section of the House. It was strongly opposed by Sir Stafford North-cote. It was opposed in principle by Mr. Gladstone, who said it was a vicious principle, which had already received just condemnation within the walls of Parliament. Mr. Gladstone added that the Bill for which he was responsible was to put an end to this vicious system once and for all. It was left for this Government, whose Chancellor of the Exchequer before the election made a special feature of purity and sanity of finance, a Government who claimed to be the successors of Mr. Gladstone, to revive this vicious principle which he tried to end and which but for them would have been finally ended. But they did not need to go to Mr. Gladstone for precedents. At the time that Bill was in this House it was opposed by the House of Commons. It was opposed among others by one who was now a distinguished Member of the House. The words were not very strong, but they expressed the whole position very clearly and therefore he proposed to quote them. That Gentleman then said we should then look at those loans as things we might some day be called upon to take up; that they injured our trade; that we should look upon them as reducing our own credit, as an individual would look upon a bill he was asked to back; that when a Colony asked to be assisted to borrow on better terms than they could command out of their own resources it was likely to lead to extravagance in the Colony, and that if we lent the Colonies our credit they in return should bear part of our debt. Those were the views of the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the Forest of Dean. They were true then, and if the House would permit him he would endeavour to show how far they were true now. The first point he would take up was that they injured our trade. It was obvious that they must injure our trade to some extent, and he had never listened to anything which seemed so far from the subject as the statement of the right hon. Gentleman about new issues and the rest of it and the increase of capital in this country. The time when the issue of a loan was announced had a great deal to do with the effect upon our trade. Anybody knew that at a time like the present while our markets were disorganised the announcement of an issue of £5,000,000 would have a far greater effect than the announcement of a sum of £50,000,000 under more favourable circumstances. It had injured our credit. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said it had not, but the right hon. Gentleman at a luncheon in the City a short time ago, did a thing which was not wise; he prophesied what he did not know. He said that Consols had touched bottom.

That was the opinion of great financial authorities and I shared it, but what I was very careful to do was to say that it was not to be taken as an indication that I knew anything as to the course of the market.

said he did not appreciate the subtle distinction. The right hon. Gentleman prophesied without knowing. Everyone knew what had happened since to Consols. They knew how much they had fallen, and the right hon. Gentleman seemed to make it a matter of glorification that they had not only fallen at the time when this loan was announced, but that they had continued to fall since. But the right hon. Gentleman's conviction was a reasonable one. It might be taken at the time to be the fact that Consols had touched bottom but for one thing which was fatal, namely, the existence of the Government of which the right hon. Gentleman was a member. The next point in the speech of the right hon. Member for the Forest of Dean to which he had referred was that when we gave our credit we should get something in return. Here we were giving a great preference to one particular Colony. The House would notice that the Chancellor of the Exchequer seemed to think it could not be a preference because other Colonies did not complain. A great Colony like Canada would be slow indeed to complain about any action of His Majesty's Government which did not concern Canada. Nevertheless it was a great preference. It meant £50,000 a year to the Transvaal and probably more. It was generous, no doubt, but it was a kind of generosity not uncommon and not very commendable. It was generosity at the expense of other people, not only at the expense of Great Britain but of other self-governing Colonies which desired to borrow money but which had not the inestimable advantage of being the particular pet of His Majesty's Government. The next point of the right hon. Baronet was that it engendered extravagance in the Colony. The present Government of that Colony had many virtues, but certainly among them could not be counted that of rigid economy in anything which affected either themselves or their friends. The salary paid to their Agent-General in London was unusually large, and another point, which did not involve a large sum of money but which was the best possible test of the economy of the Colony, was that the Ministers had allotted to themselves salaries which wore far in excess of those allocated in other self-governing Colonies. Another point to which he would not have referred but for the fact that it was touched upon by the Under-Secretary, was the suggestion of the Transvaal to present the Sovereign with a Crown jewel. It was a kindly thought and did great credit to the hearts of the Colony, but it did not say much for their heads. Did anybody suggest that it was a proper thing when a Colony was not able to meet its expenditure out of its own resources to make a present out of borrowed money, however desirable the present might be. He might be of a suspicious mind but it seemed to him that there was a great deal of stage management about this matter. It was to him most suspicious that a thing which might have been announced at any time during the last few months should have been announced only a few days before this debate. He was not sure, but he would imagine that the right hon. Gentleman had something to do with this admirable stage effect.

said then he had only given the right hon. Gentleman credit which he did not deserve. [Cries. of "Withdraw."] There was nothing offensive in what he had said.

said the right hon. Gentleman had said it was offensive to the Colony. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman would allow him to say that he was quite as good a judge as the right hon. Gentleman as to what was a proper thing to say with regard to the Colony. The last point of the right hon. Baronet was that we should look at the loan as one which we might be called upon to take up. Was that a contingency which. we could possibly overlook in the present case? It was a contingency that was in every case possible, but in view of the statements quoted by his right hon. friend, it was in this case an absolute certainty that if the depression in the Transvaal continued the British taxpayer would have to pay this £5,000,000. Hon. Members might think that an exaggeration, but in this connection he would like to ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer the meaning of the two parts of his speech. On the one hand the right hon. Gentleman said that without our assistance the Transvaal could not float this loan, and on the other hand that their assets were so good that anyone would advance a loan upon them.

No, no, I did not say that. What I said was that, as my right hon. friend had said, without our assistance the Transvaal could not raise the money.

said that that was so, but the right hon. Gentleman then went on to prove that they could easily raise the money because trade was so good—because their assets were so good. In what way would the right hon. Gentleman contradict that? Looking at the position as disclosed in the statements of the Colonial Treasurer, they found in the first place that even in the Estimates prepared for this year there was admittedly a deficit. The Colonial Treasurer then showed they had a means of making that good. No promoter of a company ever failed to show what a handsome profit he was going to make, but the careful investor not only looked at their statement, but examined it. One of the items of this £5,000,000 loan was to be employed in public building: £100,000 was to be utilised in that way, and they were seriously told that the spending of the £100,000 would result in a saving of £50,000 a year, or half the amount. Would anybody reading that in the statement of a company think it was either credible or possible? The next point to which he wished to draw attention in these Estimates was that as regarded every item of revenue which in any way depended on trade there had been a continual fall. In Customs there was a fall of £2,000,000, in Posts and Telegraphs £35,000, in Transfer of Property £45,000—in every item there was a fall, and as his right hon. friend had pointed out, the Government had not yet put before the House the Bluebook in which the Colonial Treasurer said that this fall was continuous, that there was no stopping it, and that he did not know where it was going to end. As regarded the question of the £5,000,000 being reproductive, both the Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Under-Secretary for the Colonies had maintained that there would be an immediate return of profit, but the fact was that this would affect precisely the same class of citizens to whom £2,000,000 had already been given, and of that £2,000,000 it was not possible to receive a penny. But more than that, General Botha himself had admitted that the prosperity of the agricultural districts of the Transvaal depended entirely upon the prosperity of the mines, and therefore the chance of a return depended on the manner in which the mining industry was treated by the Transvaal Government. Taking the next item of what they called reproductive expenditure, there was to be an expenditure on railways, which was a very good thing, but obviously there again there had been a big falling off; the decrease in the traffic had been continuous, and was still going on; no matter, therefore, how much more the Government spent, they could not get more return. Any return for the money depended on the encouragement of the mining industry, on which every other industry the Transvaal depended in turn. The first duty of the Government, looking on this as a business transaction, obviously was to see that those who were intended to have this power, should utilise to the best advantage the national resources of the country of which they were the governors. Had they taken that step? On the contrary, the right hon. Gentleman, as the avowed object of the Bill, put this as a reason for what the Government had done: they said that they wished to make the new Government independent of the hostility or the goodwill of local interests. He would ask the House to consider what that meant. Here was a country where 85 per cent. of the people lived upon one particular industry. The Government of the country was not in touch with that industry, had no direct interest in it, and he put it to the House whether it would not be a proper thing that the Government should be subjected to any fair and reasonable influence which the people who paid the money could bring to bear upon it. The object of the right hon. Gentleman was to get rid of that influence. What did he mean the House to suppose? He meant it to imagine that his object was to prevent the Transvaal Government from borrowing money from the mineowners. But how ridiculous that was. The Government had taken good care of that. The policy of the Government had itself secured that of all people in the world the mineowners were those the least able to lend money; they were more likely to want to borrow, if they could find anybody to lend to them. The fact was the Transvaal Government had the opportunity of raising money in the financial markets of the world like any other self-governing Colony. The mining magnates could not interfere with them. They could go to the markets of Berlin or Paris, or anywhere else if they did not like London, and they could get money on one condition, namely, that they satisfied the people who were to lend that the country was going to be governed in a reasonable way for the development of its resources. He did not expect hon. Gentlemen opposite to agree with everything he said, but he did expect them to agree with this, that in view of the viciousness of this principle of guaranteeing the loan, and in view of the risk attending it, the transaction was one on which the Government should not have entered without being able to make out a very good case. There was not a single argument which the right hon. Gentleman had used in favour of this loan which could not be applied with equal force to almost any of our Colonies at the present moment. The Government had made out no case. He admitted they had been greatly hampered. They had not been able to tell the House the real motive which alone accounted for this Bill, which was the result of a bargain, made by His Majesty's Government at home with the Transvaal Government for the sake of the party interest of the British Government. That was a statement which he admitted could not be proved except on circumstantial evidence. But the circumstantial evidence was so strong in this case that before any legal tribunal in the world it would hang the criminal, if it were a hanging offence. What was this Bill? They did not need any better evidence than that which had been given by the right hon. Gentleman himself—circumstantial evidence. The right hon. Gentleman had himself told them that the Government started this policy with the determination to get rid of the Chinese. Later on, he had told them that in dealing with the Transvaal Government they had had to enforce a labour policy on the new Government. The fact was that all the wire-pullers had told His Majesty's Government that it was of no use going to the constituencies until they had got rid of the Chinese. That was the necessity. They had the power to get rid of them, if they had chosen, when they came into office; they could then have turned them out bag and baggage on the spot, or if that had been too drastic, they could have made arrangements that they could go on until a certain time, when the whole of them could be taken away. That, in his opinion, would have been the only honest course after the statements they had made. They had not carried it out; they had been afraid to do it. But they had stuck at nothing to get anybody else in South Africa to adopt their policy; they had stuck at nothing to get other men to pull the chestnuts out of the fire. Once before, in these debates, he had given the House an illustration of the depths to which the Government were willing to go in order to buy support. They tried to buy the support of one particular mine-owner on the Rand. It was the most remarkable instance of its kind which had ever occurred in British policy. What were the facts? The Government proposed to give special recruiting facilities to one particular mine-owner. As soon as that had become known, other mine-owners on the Rand urged the Government to appoint a Commission to inquire into the whole subject. The Government refused. Then they gave a licence to this particular mine-owner, and the other mine-owners pointed out that in common fairness they should have the same privilege. "Oh, no," said the Government "we are now going to appoint a Commission to have the whole thing looked into. Until that Commission has reported no new licence will be granted." Everyone knew what it meant. It meant that another preference was given to a particular mine-owner. It meant an amount of money put into the pocket of that mine-owner which it was impossible to imagine, and all taken out of the pockets of the other mine-owners of the Rand. Then followed the sequel. The Government had to put pressure upon the Portuguese Government to get this licence, but by this time the Portuguese Government had realised the utter unfairness of the proposal, and broke the agreement with the British Government, not in the letter but in the spirit. They said, "It is true that we have given the licence to a particular mine-owner virtually that he might come and recruit, but we will not allow him to recruit." This was a breach of an agreement which no self-respecting Government would have submitted to, but our Government submitted to it. Why? Because it was a transaction which could not bear the light of day, because they knew that they dared not, in the face of the world, bring the whole diplomatic pressure of the United Kingdom to bear upon any Government for what was practically a job in favour of Mr. J. B. Robinson. But that was not the only instance of trying to bury support. They gave to the Boers in the Transvaal a representation to which their numbers did not entitle them. What were the facts? His Majesty's Government sent out a Commission to inquire into this subject of representation, and everyone expected that the Report, would be published, but it was not. The Boer Government said "Oh, it is all right; let bygones be bygones." The result was that the Boers got a representation to which their numbers did not entitle them, and the Government naturally thought that they had got their support for the repatriation of the Chinese. They found they were mistaken. They had to come to terms which were more reasonably appreciated by every human being. Votes would not do, but hard cash would. The next transaction was hard cash—£5,000,000 for the repatriation of 15,000 or 16,000 Chinese at the rate of £300 or £400 each. But did hon. Gentlemen opposite think they had got rid of them? When the 15,000 were gone there would still be almost as many as when the present Government came into office. If it took £5,000,000 to get rid of 15,000 or 16,000, it was a simple question of proportion how much it would take to get rid of the balance. The Government had stuck at nothing to get other people to do their dirty work. In that respect they had left nothing undone. He was bound to say that in the policy they had carried out they had been fairly consistent. A few months ago Lord Milner said the policy of His Majesty's Government was not their own, but that it was forced upon them by the wild men who supported them. He did not agree with Lord Milner, because on this question the Government were the wild men. The Government and all their followers were in the same boat, because they were bound hand and foot by the misstatements they made during the election. They had no reason whatever to be afraid of their followers, because when it was a question of Party interests they could be trusted to be docile enough. Since the Chinese election was fought they had found out that at the very time the Government were denouncing slavery in the Transvaal from every platform, they were signing an Ordinance which from every point of view of morality and humanity was infinitely worse than the Chinese Ordinance. The wild men had been tame enough about the New Hebrides Convention, and now they found that a new subject had arisen in the treatment of British Indians in the Transvaal. One of the main grounds upon which Chinese labour was denounced as slavery was the finger print impressions as a proof of identity. That was denounced as being unfit except for criminals. Now the Government had adopted the procedure in regard to British Indians. Another ground upon which Chinese labour was denounced was that the Chinese were not allowed to hold property. That condition was now being applied to British Indians in the Transvaal.


said that he was strongly opposed to the proposal of the Government on different grounds from those urged by the last speaker. When he returned to the House just now the last speaker was quoting something he had said on one occasion against guaranteeing the loans of a self-governing Colony. There had been two instances of loans to self-governing Colonies since he had sat in Parliament, and one instance of a gift, and he had opposed them. The grounds for opposing this loan were infinitely stronger than the general grounds which applied to previous loans of this character, and he would try to meet the argument of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which he was aware carried great weight with the House. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had appealed to the House on the ground that it was not right for hon. Members to interfere with the affairs of a self governing Colony, and he put aside as irrelevant the argument addressed to the House by the late Colonial Secretary as to native labour and the British Indian policy of the Transvaal Government. The right hon. Gentleman said that those questions could have no bearing upon his proposal because it was not for this Parliament to interfere in the affairs of a self-governing Colony. But the Government had reserved power to reject measures of that kind. They had already agreed to one measure passed by the Transvaal Government which they had protested against in the fiercest terms. This particular self-governing Colony stood in a wholly different position, because it was entirely different from any other of our self-governing Colonies. He admitted the force of the eloquent peroration of the right hon. Gentleman the Under-Secretary of State, in which he said that this loan was only the harbour charges of the great ship which was coming into port. He admitted that that was so, and it was a very special gift from that point of view. One of the great reductions claimed just now as making the Transvaal solid from the financial point of view was the enormous reduction to be made in the constabulary. What was the strength of the British Army there? What sums of money had they spent and were still spending upon building barracks in which to house the British troops who were doing not military but constabulary work? That fact showed the great difference between this case and the other self-governing Colonies which had been mentioned in the debate, Those who were against the war and the annexation, out of which all these evils had grown, welcomed the general language of the Under-Secretary, but that language fell short of proving the wisdom of granting this loan without securing, by friendly negotiation between equal Powers if they chose, a due regard for Imperial interests as well as for humanity which were not secured under this loan. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Under-Secretary for the Colonies had argued as if this was a mere question of humanity, on behalf of which they claimed to interfere. The questions involved were not mere questions of humanity. The position of the British Indians in the Transvaal was an Imperial interest of the first order. How could we hope to make our government popular with the people of India unless we gave our British Indian subjects the same rights in other parts of the Empire and made our rule acceptable to the vast majority of our subjects? Then the position of the natives in the Transvaal was not a Transvaal question; it was a South African as well as a labour question. In the scheme of federation the Transvaal could not act by itself; it must act with our concurrence, and we must take the definite step in bringing about the scheme of federation. A large portion of this money also was to be spent on the Delagoa Railway, thereby affecting not only the condition of the Transvaal, but also of Natal. It was therefore impossible to treat this question as one of internal administration affecting only Colonial affairs. He thought he had given to the House some reasons showing that they could not treat this question in a sort of water-tight compartment as a Transvaal question. The Chancellor of the Exchequer had deprecated prophecy, but the late Sir William Harcourt had prophesied the exact course of affairs now being revealed—the "Rake's Progress" in Transvaal finance, the mistaken calculations, the reduction of constabulary, the retention of the British garrison, and the relations affecting the natives and the British Indian subjects. All these warnings had now come true. The right hon. Gentleman in his speech only mentioned the natives once, but they were always brought in in the prophecies of Sir William Harcourt when these matters were discussed in the last Parliament. The right hon. Gentleman the member for West Birmingham made a pregnant speech on the whole of these subjects, except Chinese labour, to which he was opposed. In 1901, in answer to a question, by himself, when he complained of the worsening of the conditions of the natives under the Transvaal administration, the right hon. Gentleman admitted that the laws relating to the natives were "cruel" and "unwise," and "pledged" himself that at "the earliest moment" revision of them should be undertaken. Yet those laws had gone steadily from bad to worse, and more rapidly since the present Transvaal Government came into power. If the laws were "cruel and unwise" then, they were more cruel and unwise now, not merely from the point of view of humanity, but from the point of view of labour and the Imperial interests of which he had spoken. At that time they expected to get improvement in the laws, and they were told to expect large sums of money towards the revenues of this country. There had been no improvement in the laws, and no money had had been received. On 4th July, Lord St. Aldwyn, then Sir M. Hicks Beach, speaking on the Loan Bill, said—

"Almost every Member who has spoken has dwelt on the question of how much of the large debt, now amounting to £127,000,000, should be imposed on the Transvaal. I have expressed throughout my opinion that a considerable portion of the cost of this war should be imposed on the Transvaal."
He added that his view was a middle one between that of those who thought there was "illimitable wealth" in the mines and that of those who, like Sir William Harcourt, thought the revenue of the Transvaal would not be able to bear anything at all. On 14th April, 1902, Sir William Harcourt attacked the Milner expenditure on the Civil Service, pointing out that it was grossly extravagant, and not in proportion to the revenue of the Transvaal, and on the following day, in reply, Sir Michael Hicks Beach said the Transvaal was able to bear the entire cost of constabulary, the interest on the whole of the Kruger debts, and on the railways, and all the charges of civil administration. He
"proposed to earmark certain sources of revenue and apply them to the service of some portion of the loans raised by us for the war."
He said that besides the £30,000,000—
"subsequent additions would be made on the prospective increases of these sources of revenue."
The House would see how completely Sir William Harcourt's prediction had come true. How did matters stand now? It appeared from the Blue-book that the Transvaal was already making £350,000 a year direct from us, and now another £50,000 a year would be added. And yet, in spite of so large a contribution to the revenues of a self-governing Colony, we could not obtain decent conditions for British Indian subjects and for natives. The difficulties referred to in the Bluebook which had been laid before the House were also touched upon in the speech of the Treasurer of the Transvaal. In the Legislative Assembly on 12th July last, the Treasurer, in moving the second reading of the Guaranteed Loan Bill, said—
"When the announcement was made in England that the Premier had succeeded in raising a loan of £5,000,000 upon the guarantee of the British Government, there happened to be in London at the same time one of the great generals of the great Progressive army, and that great general arranged that he should be interviewed by the Press. The sum and substance of that interview was that the great Progressive army was as dead as the dodo."
This question had been treated in the Transvaal as a party matter, and unfortunately it had been treated as a party matter to-night. He wished to do as little as he could to make it a party matter. He approached it from the point of view of national interest rather than of party prejudice, and he held that this, degradation of the British Indians and of the natives was of far more importance than Chinese labour, because, while native labour in South Africa must be permanent, Chinese labour was merely temporary. In defending the new Letters Patent in December last, the Under-Secretary had expressed the hope that the Transvaal would come up to the Cape standard in its treatment of the native question. Did the right hon. Gentleman still believe that? He doubted whether the right hon. Gentleman would repeat that hope on that occasion. The Under-Secretary had stated that he believed that within a
"few years there would be a movement. in the direction of the admirable system which prevailed in Cape Colony."
The right hon. Gentleman, on 17th December last, said that the case of the British Indians was one on which he felt more strongly. Both were "used by us before the war." The Transvaal Boers would, he hoped, "become the, trustees of freedom all over the world."

was understood to say that he was then defending the interests of small nationalities.


said there were other references to British Indians and the natives which contained that statement of the Under-Secretary's belief. The position since that time had greatly worsened. They had now before them Sir Godfrey Lagden's Report on Transvaal Native Affairs, as retiring Commissioner on the grant of responsible Government. He said—

"Questions have been asked as to what Government has done for the native. It has been urged that we have disarmed them and that they have been treated more harshly than formerly. It is true that they were disarmed…without the aid of a single white policeman.…What has appeared harsh may be that officers under the British Government are bound to carry out effectively the laws of the land. There is no doubt that they have done so. The police have been exceptionally keen and active.…The Pass Laws have been more rigorously administered than they were formerly. Defaulters in the matter of taxation…have been more speedily and effectively brought to book. This activity has given rise to native discontent and to unfair comparison.…The zeal of the officers of the law is a thing which the natives have got to get used to."
That was an admission that there was native discontent, and that it was caused by the facts stated. Under Crown Colony government we increased the taxes on the natives, and the higher rates had been continued. The Hon. Mr. Moor, Prime Minister of Natal, had stated that it was the increase of the taxation of the natives in the Transvaal which was the reason for the increase of the taxation in Natal. We had based our government on the "white male" population. We had excluded all natives from participation in it. We had exacted in an increasing degree rent and labour in respect of what was called squatting on Crown Lands. On that question his hon. friend the Member for Dumfriesshire had carried on a correspondence with the Transvaal Government in which he thought the hon. Gentleman had got the best of the argument. Sir Godfrey Lagden in his Report on Transvaal Native Affairs, said—
"My meetings with the natives followed closely upon the termination of the disturbances in Natal and Zululand. There is no doubt in my mind that these disturbances had a reflective action upon the natives of the Transvaal."
And he went on to say that—
"In some quarters alarm was felt, but in no single instance did any tribes in this Colony commit any disloyal acts."
And he warned the responsible Government of the Transvaal that—
"In some parts of South Africa native thought has taken a distinct shape."
Sir Godfrey Layden added that in the Cape there was a legitimate expression of that native thought as they had the franchise, but—
"In the New Colonies it is not so; there is clearly a significant wave of thought which requires to be realised and recognised."
And he quoted the Report of the Commission on South African Native Affairs of 1904, commending their con- clusions to the consideration of the Government. Now had anything been done in that direction by the Government? Had the Government done everything in their power, or had they washed their hands of the whole native question and the question of the position of our British Indian subjects in the Transvaal? Sir G. Lagden wound up this most important point by saying—
"Under responsible Government where the party system obtains there is the risk of sudden changes, and this makes it more important that opportunities for the expression of native opinion should be afforded."
The Under-Secretary for the Colonies had tried to get rid of recent alarms because, he said, the Bills had been withdrawn, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer was impatient when it was pointed out that the objections to these Bills had not been met. Would they be sane men if they did not take account of what was happening in the Transvaal Legislature? He wished to speak with extreme reserve with reference to the introduction and withdrawal of those Bills. Here were Bills of first class importance in their bearing on Federation and the relations between the Transvaal and the Cape of which the Imperial Government knew nothing and which had been withdrawn. That, he thought, showed a want of cordiality in the relations between the Imperial and the Colonial Governments unless some other explanation could be given. When General Botha was over here he was interviewed by a deputation who took a keen interest in South African affairs, and they got the impression—since confirmed by General Botha himself—that although he was not in a position to improve the legislation on native affairs, yet the administration would be so handled as to make their condition easier than before. That policy did not seem to have prevailed. Not only had the administration of native affairs not been improved, but it had gone from bad to worse, and there had been attempted legislation, although part of the Bill had been withdrawn. It was inevitable that the relations with the natives should have been disturbed by the War. In our dealings with the Transvaal in its desire to obtain control of Swaziland, Boer sympathies might have been revealed in some quarters, but an appeal was made to the Transvaal to show such moderation, wisdom, and statesmanship on that question that the time might be looked forward to when Swaziland would be incorporated in the Transvaal. Those hopes had been checked by the recent policy of the Transvaal Government. Who could say which of the "sudden changes" prophesied by Sir G. Lagden might not touch them when they had a Bill introduced for providing liquor to the natives—a practice which had always been prohibited by universal consent in all parts of South Africa? Then as to the Native Administration of Justice Bill, a summary of it had been published inThe Times andTribune, but these summaries were quite different except in one part. He put a question on 8th August in the House and was informed on the 14th instant that that part of the Bill had been withdrawn. The Bill was published on 3rd August, and it seemed to him curious in the circumstances that the Government had not obtained the Bill by telegram.

said that a telegram was sent to Lord Selborne asking him to telegraph the Bill, but his answer was that it was impossible to telegraph so long and complicated a measure, but that the Bill was reasonable and fair.


said he was surprised at that. The Bill was published in full in anExtraordinary Gazette on 3rd August, and it was on the faith of that that the telegrams were sent toThe Times and theTribune. He wondered that the officials in the Transvaal had waited for the Home Government to make inquiry instead of despatching at least a summary of so extraordinary a measure. The newspaper summaries agreed in this, that for the first time the Minister for Native Affairs was to have the power to remove any tribe or any native to any part of the Transvaal—that was, to have the power to break through all the native reserves and to break down their whole tribal system, and that at the moment when there had just been reported a disturbance of the natives in Natal and Zululand, that the conduct of the Trans- vaal natives had been admirable, and that there was an absolute necessity of giving reassurances to these natives. On the facts at present before the country he could not take the same view as Lord Selborne that the Bill was reasonable and fair. The right hon. Gentleman had said that the Governments of the Cape and Natal had both proposed Federation and the Home Government must wait; they "could not lead but must follow." The Imperial Government was dominant in South African native affairs inasmuch at they were responsible for by far the greater portion of South Africa. It was this Government which was responsible for that dreadful problem of a colour bar being established in regard to the franchise. In giving this guarantee, in forcing a close financial relation in the future between this country and the Transvaal just as previous guarantees were forced upon this House, no one could shut his eyes to the bearing the Transvaal finances would have on the Federation of the South African Colonies. Dr. Jameson, Prime Minister of the Cape, announced a short time ago—

"We have not departed, nor do we intend to depart, from the principles enunciated by the late Cecil Rhodes and confirmed and acted upon by Lord Milner. You may rest assured that the present Cape Government will not consent to any scheme of Federation of which a condition is the sacrifice of the coloured people. Our efforts shall be directed to bring the other States up to the level of the Cape Colony in their policy, and not the Cape to go down to theirs."
The warning from the Cape concurred with that from Sir Godfrey Lagden who was our chosen representative, and the Government could not afford to neglect the grave advice which had been received from him.

said his objection to this Bill was a very simple one, namely, that we should use the credit of this country for the purpose of assisting a Crown Colony which denied to our fellow countrymen in that colony the rights which were generally accorded to civilised men. He was referring to the treatment of British Indians. It was an old story with which the House was very familiar, and he thought that the vicious treatment by the Boers of the British Indians was part of ourcasusP belli against the Transvaal. He did not wish to go into details, but he might quote the statement of Lord Lansdowne made in November, 1899, when he said—

"Among the many misdeeds of the South African Republic I do not know any that fills me with more indignation than its treatment of these Indians."
The War had passed over South Africa, our authority had been established, and yet to-day the case of the British Indian was worse under our flag than it was under the flag of the Republic. He had in his hands testimony to this effect. A correspondent wrote to him that he noticed in this mail's report of the proceedings in the Transvaal Legislative Assembly of the 17th ultimo the following—
"In reply to a question by Mr. Lindsay, the Colonial Secretary said: 'That in pre-War days several laws were passed regarding Asiatics, but they could never put these laws into force because as soon as they started to do so the British Government interfered. Now, of course, they were going to enforce the law properly. Once the coolies were out of the Transvaal, they would remain out of the Transvaal, which would be much less trouble."
That was sufficient evidence of the fact that the position of British Indians was worse under the British flag than it had been under the Boer flag. For this country to tolerate such a state of things was an act of national perfidy. What was the excuse of the British Government? They said: "We cannot interfere with a self-governing Colony." He would deal with that general proposition presently. But he submitted that in this case the excuse did not apply. Here we had a case in which we were asked for a loan of —5,000,000, and even in the case of a foreign state we could have made conditions. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that there had been no bargain: that was just what he complained of. The request for the loan gave us a lever which the Government might have used if they had chosen to do so. It came to this, that we backed a Bill for £5,000,000 on behalf of the South African Colony, but whatquid pro quo did we get? We were apparently going to get nothing back but the great auk's egg. This Bill was going to be backed by a Radical British Government in order to bolster up the failing economic situation in South Africa, but he objected to our going to the rescue of any bad economic system. It was no part of our business to provide money in order to mitigate economic depression in the Transvaal or elsewhere. The object of the Bill was to get the Transvaal out of its present economic crisis, and if we did that it was the duty of the Government when thus pledging our credit to insist upon conditions which would redeem our honour. They had preferred, however, to become partners in a piece of legislation which was an outrage upon English traditions and which inflicted a gross insult upon 300,000,000 of our fellow subjects. What was this legislation? In spite of Lord Selborne's profuse promises it left unredressed grievances of which Indians lawfully resident in the Transvaal complained. They could not own land, although the right hon. Member for St. George's, Hanover Square, and Lord Elgin had insisted that they ought to have the right to acquire property in the premises which they occupied for business purposes. Natives, however, could own land, but although Indians were classed as "natives" so that they might not get the franchise, they were classed as "non-natives" so that they might not own land. Both views could not be right, and yet His Majesty's Ministers had given their sanction to this legal absurdity. The Indians were denied the municipal franchise though they were large ratepayers; they were excluded from municipal tramcars and from certain trains. What was the excuse for this? It was said that they belonged to a different civilisation, but in India they were accustomed to the very rights which were denied them in South Africa. They had the right to own land, they had the right to move freely from place to place, and the right to ride in any train or tramcar that they chose. They were accustomed also to the use of the municipal franchise and to serving on legislative councils. For three generations they had been accustomed in India to the liberties denied them in the Transvaal. But now a new insult was conveyed by the Asiatic Law Amendment Act sanctioned this session, which required every British Indian over eight years of age to take out a certificate impressed with his ten digits. The Indian could be called upon at any time to produce his certificate by a policeman. When General Botha was over here he was interviewed by representatives of the Government, and in June last the Under-Secretary was asked whether General Botha gave any assurances in the course of conversation with the Government on this point. To that question the Under-Secretary replied—
"He did give an assurance that, in regard to the regulations to be framed under the Asiatic Ordinance, he and his Government would endeavour to remove from the regulations some of the points on which they have been criticised. But any such changes had better be examined when they are made the subject of public statement in the Transvaal Legislature."
That answer was given on 6th June. On 18th June, in the Transvaal Parliament General Botha was asked by Sir George Farrar in reference to these promises—
"What disabilities in the Act will be removed?"
And the answer of General Botha was
He ventured to say that if General Botha thus played fast and loose with words His Majesty's Government were under no obligation to him. Lord Elgin had pooh-poohed the objections of the Indians and said that they were merely ,sentimental. But, he asked, "did sentiment count for nothing, and did man live by bread alone?" In the East poverty was still respected, and he would like to know what right Lord Elgin had, secure in liberties guaranteed to him by English law, to treat with contempt and to sneer at the sentiments of our Indian fellow-subjects?

said he was sure Lord Elgin never sneered at the sentiments of our Indian or Asiatic subjects. He had ruled over them for several years and had the greatest sympathy with them.


said he apologised for the word "sneered," and willingly withdrew it, but he did think that the noble Lord had shown indifference in the matter. Many of the Indians to whom this Act applied were wealthy merchants. Their signature, even their word of mouth, was sufficient for transactions amounting to thousands of pounds. It was the wearer who knew where the shoe pinched. The men who had lived in the Transvaal for twenty years or more, and whose whole fortunes were bound up in it, were risking everything rather than submit to this humilation. He would like to call attention to the case of Mr. Ally, who addressed at least a hundred Members of the House and whose speeches created a most favourable impression. Mr. Ally wars born in Mauritius but lived over forty years in South Africa. He was now leaving the Transvaal with his wife and children, and his mother, aged ninety-five years, rather than submit to this new legislation. There was on the part of the people of this class a unanimous movement of passive resistance to the action of the Transvaal Government. Even worse procedure was contemplated. The Transvaal Government had recently brought in a new Immigration Restriction Bill which gave power to the Government to expel from the country any persons who failed to comply with the provisions of the previous Act. Under this Bill responsible Indians, whose only crime was a sense of self-respect, were classed with pimps and procurers. They could be arrested without warrant, and after arrest the burden of proving that they were legally in the country or of proving their innocence was thrown upon them. Under this law Mr. Naoraji, Sir Mancherjee Bhownaggree, and Ranjit Singh, loyal and honoured subjects of the King, would be excluded from a portion of his dominions. That might not be a hardship to them, but it would be to those whose homes were in South Africa. He would like to refer to a Memorial sent in November, 1906, to Lord Elgin from five Indian students from South Africa, now studying in England. It ran—

"We are all students from South Africa, four of us studying for the Bar, and one of us studying medicine.…We are all of us either born in or brought up in South Africa, and to us South Africa is more our home than India. Even our mother-tongue is English, our parents having brought us up to speak that language from our infancy. Three of us are Christians, one a Mohamedan, one a Hindu."
The Memorial went on to say that though they would obtain in England diplomas entitling them to exercise their professions in any part of the British Empire, they would not be able to avail themselves of that right in the Transvaal unless they succeeded in obtaining a permit to enter that Colony. This, if obtained, would have to be impressed with their ten digits, and they would have to produce it at any time on the demand of any policeman, who might march them off to the police-station to prove their identity, perhaps on their way to conduct a case in court. The Memorial concluded by appealing to Lord Elgin to consider the anxiety that such a proposal must engender in the minds of men—
"Who have lived in England and breathed its free atmosphere and who are here being nurtured in the teachings of English writers whose very names are a watchword for liberty."
These men were thus treated solely because they were Indians. No such restrictions were imposed on any Europeans. The off-scourings of Southern Europe were freely admitted into the Transvaal. He noticed that the last immigration Bill made special provision for Yiddish, a language used by the Jews of Southern and Central Europe. It was certainly curious that the very persons against whom this House passed an Alien Immigration Bill a years ago were admitted into the Transvaal whilst our own subjects, cultivated, refined, and capable, were excluded. Another curious thing was that alien Indians were better treated than British Indians. He noticed a case recently of an Indian student whose home was at Delagoa Bay. After a visit to England this man wanted to return to Delagoa Bay via the Transvaal. Permission was refused and he went to Delagoa Bay by sea. He then applied for a temporary permit to visit Johannesburg and Pretoria. His application was treated as coming from a British Indian, and the permit was refused. But he was born in Portuguese India, so he next applied through the Portuguese Government and at once received permission. So that it came to this, in a British Colony it was an actual disability to be born under the British Flag. This was the situation which the Government tolerated, sanctioned, and endorsed. Yet they claimed to be the heirs of the Party which Mr. Gladstone once led. If he had been alive to-day the whole country would have wrung with his denunciation of this dishonour to our flag, of this betrayal of the principles on which the Empire was founded. What was their excuse? It was that they could not interfere with a self-governing Colony. His answer was that the Transvaal was not a self-governing Colony. It was an oligarchically governed Colony. The great majority of the people of that Colony had no voice in the government. We had endowed a minority of the population with the power to govern all the rest. His Majesty's Government recognised that it was not a truly self-governing, Colony for they reserved to themselves in the Letters Patent the power of reviewing all Bills dealing with non-Europeans. The Government made that reservation and then refused to act upon it, so that the responsibility was really theirs. He went further and said that no Colony had a right to commit acts which were injurious to the welfare of the British Empire as a whole. In this connection he would like to draw a contrast between the United States of America and the British Empire. The position of a State in the American Union was very different to the position of a self-governing Colony. State rights in the United States were primary. That was to say, the separate when they Colonies, were fused together in one federation, took with them their original rights, whereas in the British Empire the powers of the Colonies were delegated by us. In the British Empire the first and last words rested with us, because it was we who maintained the force that defended the Empire. Towards the maintenance of that force the only element outside the United Kingdom which contributed was India, and it was well to remember that it was troops maintained on the Indian establishment which saved Natal from being overrun by the Boers. Indians in Natal also volunteered, but were not allowed to fight. They were allowed instead to act as bearers and risked their lives to save the wounded. Not only had we the right to enforce our will on the Transvaal, but we had the power. The Transvaal was absolutely dependent on our bounty even for the maintenance of troops employed on ordinary police work in the Colony. The troops were wanted for the money they brought, and one of the promises extracted by General Botha was that the troops should not be removed without giving him due notice, because of their economic value. The Transvaal was a suppliant for our charity, and yet we were told we could not interfere with what they were doing with our subjects. The whites of the Transvaal were afraid of being overrun by coloured races. His answer to that was that South Africa was not a white man's country, not because the land was not suitable, but because white men would not do rough manual work there as they would in England, Canada, and Australia. The right hon. Member for West Birmingham, speaking on this subject last year, said—
"I do not suppose anybody suggests that whites should be employed as labourers on Boer farms."
The Boers wanted blacks to work for them. Even if they were to get rid of the 13,000 Indians in the Transvaal they could not get rid of the million natives who made South Africa a black man's land. While the white population was stationary or declining, the black was increasing enormously, the reason being that whilst the whites were nearly all bachelors the blacks were very much married men. It would become more and more a black man's land, and the question we had to ask ourselves was whether in addition to the handful of whites we were to admit another handful of Indians into this black man's country. Why not? Indians would not go there if they were not required. They must obtain credit from the wholesale dealers and they must find customers for their goods. As a matter of fact the Indian got credit more easily than the white traders and did a flourishing trade among the whites as well as the coloured races. The complaint against them was not that they were poor, but that they were successful. He had seen letters in which it was stated that these Indians dared to ride to their business in their own carriages. Colonel Stone, formerly District Commissioner in the Standerton district of the Transvaal, wrote to theNorth American Review in 1905 pointing out that the Indian traders were industrious, sober, and trustworthy, that they managed their business well, and treated their employees well. The white storekeepers, according to Colonel Stone, represented every European nationality down to the lowest type of Jew from South Eastern Europe. On the other side Mrs. St. Clair Stobart wrote in theFortnightly Review this year in the interests of the white storekeeper. She admitted that in the large towns the white traders could hold their own, as in Calcutta where there were numbers of whites competing with Indians in storekeeping, in the courts, and as medical practitioners. But Mrs. Stobart said that we could not compete in the small towns. Boer customers required long credit, and therefore storekeepers must also do a cash business. But the British Indian was so patient in dealing with the Kaffirs that he got the business which would otherwise go to the white traders. The British Indian succeeded simply on his merits. The Indian succeeded because he was more patient and more courteous in dealing with the Kaffirs. Was it really contended that the superiority of the white race in South Africa depended upon reserving to white men, who might be Poles, or Greeks, or Levantines, the exclusive right to sell groceries or dry goods on cash terms to Kaffirs and on credit to Boers? Was it for this that 20,000 British lives had been laid down in South Africa, to give cash terms to the Kaffirs and not to the Boers? Was it for this that we had spent over £150,000,000? It was untrue to allege that the admission of the Indians meant the exclusion of the whites. The Under-Secretary for the Colonies some days ago had given figures on that point. He had told them that the Indians were first admitted into Natal in 1860, when the white population was 12,000, and the trade of the Colony was in a very bad way indeed. To-day the population of Natal was 95,000, and the Colony was doing remarkably well. And there was this striking fact, that though the Indians were engaged in skilled trades in Natal, the white artisan held his own as shown by the figures. The real basis of the supremacy of the whites depended on the superiority of the individual white worker. If that failed, supremacy disappeared. He spoke as a white man; he spoke as an Englishman. It was because he believed in his race, because he believed in his country, that he was opposed to these artificial barriers against other races and other nations. He held that competition developed our energy, and that in turn enabled us to maintain our supremacy. And of this, also, he was certain, that our dominion would not endure unless we made ourselves worthy of our responsibilities, by the justice of our rule, as well as the strength of our arms. Therefore, he appealed to the House to reject this Bill for bolstering up the credit of a Colony which under the shelter of the British flag insulted and oppressed British subjects.

said he quite agreed that the treatment of British Indians in South Africa was a disgrace to this country and to Parliament. On many occasions explicit assurances had been given to the British Indians resident in the Transvaal that we would protect them. In 1895, the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham took a very strong stand against the South African Government and their treatment of the British Indians. On one occasion the Colonial Office actually vetoed a Bill in which the Natal Government had introduced an amending law so as to prevent British Indians from being put on the electoral roll. He thought the House would agree that this was strong action against the Colony in relation to their treatment of the British Indians. But on another occasion the right hon. Gentleman told the Boer Government frankly that he did not think they were doing what was right in excluding British Indians from the opportunity of doing a legitimate trade as legitimate business men. The whole grievance lay in this. In the first place, one of the main points that drove us to war with the Boer Republic was their treatment of the British Indians resident there. Under the old law of 1885 there were disabilities imposed by the Boer Republic on the British Indians, and time after time we made protests, with the result that the law became inoperative in many of its most stringent forms. What did they find? When peace was proclaimed, and when we constituted a Crown Colony of the late Boer Republic, some of the most stringent provisions of the law of 1885 were revived and imposed on the British Indians resident in the South African Colonies, so that they were worse off under British rule than they were under the old Boer Government. Anyone who knew anything of the subject would readily understand how at a mass meeting the British Indians passed two sweeping resolutions. The first resolution respectfully urged the Legislative Council of the Transvaal not to pass the draft Asiatic Ordinance in view of the fact that—

"(1) It is, so far as the Indian community of the Transvaal is concerned, a highly contentious measure; (2) it subjects the British Indian community of the Transvaal to degradation and insult totally undeserved by its past history; (3) the present machinery is sufficient for checking the alleged influx of Asiatics; (4) the statements of the alleged influx are denied by the British Indian community; (5) if the honourable House is not satisfied with the denial, this meeting invites open, judicial, and British inquiry into the question of the alleged influx."
The second resolution requested the local government and the Imperial authorities to withdraw the draft ordinance for these reasons—
"(1) It is manifestly in conflict with the past declarations of His Majesty's representatives; (2) it recognises no distinction between British and alien Asiatics; (3) it reduces British Indians to astatus lower than that of the aboriginal race of South Africa and coloured people; (4) it renders the position of British Indians in the Transvaal much worse than under Law 3 of 1885, and, therefore, than under the Boerrégime; (5) it sets up a system of passes and espionage unknown in any other British territory; (6) it brands the communities to which it is applied as criminals or suspects; (7) the alleged influx of unauthorised British Indians in the Transvaal is denied; (8) if such a denial is not accepted, a judicial, open, and British inquiry should be instituted before such drastic and uncalled for legislation is enforced; (9) the measure is otherwise un-British, and unduly restricts the liberty of inoffensive British subjects, and constitutes a compulsory invitation to British Indians in the Transvaal to leave the country; (10) the meeting further and specially requests the right hon. the Secretary of State for the Colonies and the right hon. the Secretary of State for India to extend the Royal sanction and receive a deputation on behalf of the British Indian community of the Transvaal in connection with the draft ordinance."
Subsequently a deputation was appointed to wait upon Lord Elgin, who, apparently having made up his mind on the question, frankly told the deputation, which was accompanied by several Members of Parliament, that he did not think he could do anything in the matter. But in spite of the strong statements and requests sent over by Lord Selborne in repeated despatches that the British Government would sanction a law that was attempted to be carried by the Legislative Council, Lord Elgin, let it be said to his credit, flatly refused to allow the ordinance to be carried in the Legislative Council until Letters Patent were granted for self-government in the Transvaal. One would have thought, from the action of Lord Elgin, that this Government and this Parliament would have certainly stiffened their back on this matter. But quite the contrary had been the result. When self-government was granted to the Transvaal, three or four laws were carried which had made the position much worse for the British Indians, who belonged to a civilisation older than our own, who could not be classed with the Kaffirs or Zulus, and who were most capable men, orderly, sober, and industrious. It was these men, British subjects, who were deprived of civil, social, and economic rights. When a man was deprived of those rights, be was a slave. They could not get away from that fact. These British Indian merchants were not allowed to trade in the ordinary way; they were watched by policemen, and chevied in every direction. For the life of him he could not understand why they should start self-government in this Colony by imposing disabilities of that kind upon British subjects. Not only that, they got the colour line drawn. Anyone who knew anything of that subject was aware that there was a great deal of difference between British Indian subjects and the ordinary Kaffir or Zulu. Personally, he did not believe in the colour line at all. He admitted that there were differences existing in the Colonies which might induce people to take a different view, but his point was that the colour line ought not to apply in any way to British Indian subjects in the Transvaal and generally over the South African Colonies. There seemed to be a conspiracy, a kind of compact among the South African Colonies, to come to some agreement to make this colour line relating to British Indians uniform over the whole of South Africa. In view of the strong action taken by the right hon. Gentleman the Member for West Birmingham, and in view of pledges made on public platforms up and down the country, he could not understand why they should let slip the power of bargaining in behalf of our British Indian fellow-subjects. He thought the position taken up in South Africa on this subject was largely taken up by the Jew, the Russian, and the German, many of whom could not speak English. They were the people who were trying to force the hand of the Transvaal Government and other South African Governments to take up this attitude against Indian subjects. The real reason had been voiced by Lord Selborne himself. Not long ago he (Mr. O'Gryda) asked a question in this House as to whether it was the intention of the British Government to protect British Indian subjects from the disabilities imposed on them by the late Transvaal Republic. The reply he received indicated the reason for the opposition taken to the British Indians in the Transvaal, and it showed clearly the quarter from which the pressure had come which induced Lord Selborne to take the action which he took. The reply was that the Asiatic law secured an improvement in the position of Asiatics in South Africa, and at the same time allayed the dread of a large increase in Asiatics. The whole question was one of trade jealousy. Let them take as an example his own union in London. Every German and French workman who came over into this country transferred to their union. If they could not hold their own in trade against other nations they ought to get a better knowledge of the trade. The scourgings of Europe went over to these Colonies and set up little bucket shops, and the Indian subjects who had helped to build up the prosperity of the Colony itself, and played such an important part in the War as loyal subjects, found that these men were able to undersell them. Why were the British Indians oppressed in this way? Simply because they were more sober and more industrious and better men of business. The Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the Government had reserved to themselves certain powers with regard to legislation carried by the Colonies which the Government could exercise if that legislation was of a wrong character. They had permitted three Acts of legislation last year which imposed disabilities upon our Indian subjects in the Transvaal, disabilities which, to him, would be absolutely intolerable. He wished to utter a strong protest against the action of the Imperial Government in allowing pressure to be put upon the Colonial Government to carry Acts of that kind. He hoped the Amendment would be pressed to a division, and although he did not agree with it in its entirety and wanted to see the loan guaranteed, yet upon the single point of the way in which they were treating their Indian fellow-subjects he should vote against the Government.

said there was a great deal of force in the remarks which had been made by the hon. Member who had just sat down, the right hon. Baronet the Member for the Forest of Dean, and the hon. Member for Preston in bringing before the House the question of the treatment of British Indians in the Transvaal. At the same time it did not appear to him that there was any direct connection between the treatment of the British Indians in the Transvaal and the subject matter before the House, which was the guaranteeing of the loan of £5,000,000 to the Transvaal. If the complaints were justified it was the duty of the Home Government to see that the Colonial Government secured proper treatment for all the black races under their control in the manner which had been laid down by the Government of this country. The Bill before the House had no direct bearing on the treatment of British Indians, and it appeared to him that there was full justification on the part of the Government for asking the House to consent to the Bill which had been introduced by his right hon. friend that afternoon. We had spent millions of money in South Africa in recent years, and there had been violent controversies as to the expenditure of that money. It must be the desire of everyone that the Transvaal should emerge at as early a date as possible from the state of hopeless oppression in which it now stood, owing largely to the events of recent years. It would be a short-sighted policy if in order to maintain certain ideals as regarded Imperial doctrine they refused to help the Transvaal in guaranteeing this loan because it was now a self-governing Colony, when by helping them they would be able to place the Colony in a satisfactory condition, and to a certain extent do something towards justifying the immense sums of money which had been spent upon that country in the past. The chief reason why he expressed his approval of the loan was that part of it was going to be devoted to land settlement in South Africa. He regretted that that question had not been specifically included in the Bill, but he took it that the statement of the Under-Secretary for the Colonies was made upon full authority, and that they could rely upon the fact that when the loan was raised there would be £85,000 specifically allocated to the Land Board. In his opinion there was no sum of money which would be spent for better purposes. There was no department in South Africa to-day where money was more urgently needed than to help the settlers. The 600 settlers in the Transvaal were in many instances in a most precarious and distressed condition. This was due to several causes, and from all the reports he had been able to obtain they were causes over which the settlers themselves had very little control. There had been bad seasons, and the crops had been disastrous; there had also been abnormal ravages of locusts and diseases, which had caused great depression and largely contributed to the diminution of the earnings of the land settlers. In addition to these natural disabilities, which were all the more severe from the fact that they had come in the early days of their settlement, there were other causes for which the settlers were not themselves responsible. It had been proved that in a large majority of instances the land which had been allocated to the settlers was considerably over-valued, and consequently the instalments to be paid had been abnormally high. This might have been due to natural causes at the time, and to the fact that there was a very small amount of land and a large number of applicants. To a large extent it was due to the fact that those who valued the land did not possess that skilled advice which was necessary. In addition to all these things the settlers had to work in the early years of their occupation under severe conditions imposed upon them by Ordinance, and they had been obliged in the first few years to build houses for themselves. Something like £49,000 had been expended in permanent improvements amongst the settlers, and only something like 25 per cent. had been refunded by the Government through the Land Board. This had gone a long way towards crippling the settlers, because every penny they should have been able to place in the land and invest in stock had had to be allocated to purposes of permanent improvement. Probably one of the most useful purposes to which the £85,000 could be placed in the early days would be the temporary relief of settlers. They had spent £39,000 on the permanent improvement of their holdings, and that might be allowed to stand as part of the capital charge on the holdings to be paid off over a period of years. The House generally would agree that the money should be spent on the most urgently needed purposes. He asked to what extent the Home Government would have control over the Land Board in regard to the disposal and allocation of the money placed in their hands. Would the Land Board be able to dispose of the money on their own responsibility, or would they have to come into communication with the Colonial Office in order to get sanction for the way the money was to be spent? No statement had been made on that important point by his right hon. friend. It would undoubtedly have been to the advantage of the settlers in the early days if agricultural banks had been established. Had that been done a great deal of the difficulty which they had had to face would have been obviated. He hoped that the money which was to be devoted to the establishment of agricultural banks would be placed fairly and impartially at the disposal of all classes of the community, whether British or Boers. This branch of the subject was not controversial. He was sure he expressed the general view of the House when he said they all rejoiced that a portion of the money had been definitely devoted to the help of our own settlers in the Colony. There was a sum of £500,000 properly due to the Land Board, but he supposed it would now be placed at the disposal of the settlers, and, therefore, they must be thankful for the small mercies which had been granted. If the next two or three years were tided over by the generous treatment of the settlers, there was no reason why they should not be able to prosper. In supporting the loan he desired to express his warm satisfaction that the British agriculturists in the Transvaal had not been forgotten.

said he and his friends on that side of the House rather regretted that the debate had tended to go on the narrow question of Indian immigration in the Transvaal. At the same time it was impossible to deny that the hon. Member for Preston and the hon. Member for East Leeds had a strong case against the Government. It would be grossly unfair not to recognise that the question of the British Indians in the Transvaal was one of great delicacy and difficulty, and he regretted that no mention appeared to have been made of that subject at the time the loan was arranged. The Under-Secretary had offered no justification of the policy of the Transvaal Government in regard to this matter. He hoped the right hon. Gentleman would deal with the subject, because there was a strong feeling in this country, and largely not of a party character, that the policy in regard to British Indians in the Transvaal was one to be viewed with great apprehension. It was remarkable that the new Government of the Transvaal should have passed so many Acts in so short a time affecting British Indians and the natives. The new laws were retrograde and repugnant to the feelings of a great many people in this country. While that was important, he thought it was undesirable that the main principle involved in this Bill should be lost sight of. The main question involved had been largely ignored by the Under-Secretary and by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. A great deal of suspicion had been aroused by the action of the Government in connection with the new Transvaal loan. Peculiar methods had been adopted in proceeding with it. If the Government had approached the question by a broad open road, possibly their action would have been less open to criticism, but, instead of doing that, they had approached it by the most devious by-road they could find. Throughout the Government had been as reticent and strategic as it was possible for them to be. On his side of the House hon. Members were led to inquire the reason for the secretiveness and the unusual diplomacy on the part of the Under-Secretary. It was easy to see why the Government and the right hon. Gentleman had adopted this attitude. It was because they were in reality attempting to wash out the dirty foot-marks of the last election. They knew perfectly well that the reasons for proposing to guarantee this loan were reasons which they could not publicly avow. One of the most remarkable things about the debate was that the Government had been constantly charged with having practically made a bargain with the Government of the Transvaal for the exclusion of the Chinese, and that they had never once denied it. They had denied that a bargain existed on paper, but it had never been urged from his side of the House that the bargain was committed to paper. The right hon. Gentleman was far too astute a politician to do anything of the sort. The fact remained that it had never been denied that the issue of the loan was part of a compact. Perhaps in that connection one of the most useful contributions made to the debate was that of the hon. Member for Preston, who mentioned a conversation he had had with a certain gentleman who was sent out by the right hon. Gentleman to investigate the labour conditions, and on whose evidence a great deal of misapprehension which prevailed at the last election was based. This debate would not have been in vain if it served to bring home to the people of this country the way in which the Government had acted from the commencement of the Chinese labour controversy in 1903. The most remarkable thing about it was that as time went on they endeavoured to make things worse, by every day making attacks on the motives and political morality of those who preceded them. He did not blame hon. Gentlemen below the gangway on both sides of the House, for wishing to get rid of Chinese labour in South Africa. The objections which they had always felt to Chinese and coolie labour were perfectly legitimate and straightforward—because it was cheap, in spite of their assurance that the white workmen of this country did not fear competition with Chinese and coolie labour anywhere. He did not say that they represented the feeling of the majority of Gentlemen on their own side of the House both above and below the gangway, some of whom were not altogether free from the taint of having in one capacity or another, as shareholders or as principals in companies, employed cheap Chinese and coolie labour. That might be a matter of the past, but it could not be denied that hon. Gentlemen opposite had a very real reason to say that Chinese labour should be removed from South Africa. The Labour, Independent Labour, and Socialist Parties made the principal plank in their platform at the general election opposition to Chinese labour and so-called Chinese slavery in South Africa, and so successful was it that the Liberal Party did not scruple to make use of it. The reason for proposing this Bill was perfectly easy to understand. The Government saw that it would be the easiest way to get rid of Chinese labour in the shortest possible time. He thought that the Government might have found a better way of getting rid of it if they had been more straightforward. At any rate, they could not have been less straightforward than they had been in this instance. He was surprised that hon. Gentlemen opposite should vote for this Bill, when so few details had been given as to the methods by which the money was to be spent. He was sure that a great number of them must feel some sympathy with British subjects who went out to the Transvaal to be civil servants at the time of the war, and for whom no provision was made in the Bill to prevent their being harshly treated by the Transvaal Government. There was a moral obligation on Parliament to say that these men should not be harshly treated, but that they should be recompensed if their services were dispensed with. Those who went out to South Africa as civil servants thought their situation would be permanent, and not one of them believed that he would be thrown overboard by the Transvaal Government. Now that this loan was to be granted he maintained that it would be a crying scandal and injustice if these men, after having studied South African affairs for the best years of their life, were to be dismissed from their situations. It showed the hurried way in which the Government had dealt with this matter, that they had introduced the Bill without mentioning the case of these civil servants.

said that as far as their resources went, and without giving any pledge, the Government would endeavour to mitigate the hardships involved; but it was admitted that there were too many civil servants and that they were too highly paid.

said that if there were too many civil servants, he was entirely at one with the right hon. Gentleman in thinking that it was desirable, so far, as possible, to cut down their number; but every effort should be made to give them compensation or a pension.

said there was nothing in the conditions of their original engagement that they were to have pensions or compensation.

emphatically maintained that this country was under a moral obligation to make some provision for them. The right hon. Gentleman had sufficient knowledge of the world to admit that if a man went ,out to South Africa, and took his family with him, he believed that his home there would be more or less permanent, and he made all his arrangements accordingly. To deprive him, therefore, of adequate compensation if his services were dispensed with was doing him the greatest possible harm. It was evidence of how small moment the right hon. Gentleman regarded this question that he had not mentioned it in moving the Second Reading of the Bill.

said he had fully admitted that cases of individual hardship would occur, and that the Government were anxious to do something, if it were in their power, to mitigate that hardship.

said he wished that that assurance had been given more prominence, or that something had been put into the Bill to make proper provision for these faithful civil servants in South Africa. There was a sum of money in this Loan Bill for the improvement of agriculture in the Transvaal. That opened a very wide question indeed. It was said that an agricultural bank was going to be established; if so, they were pledging themselves to rehabilitate the whole industry of agriculture in South Africa, but he believed that the sum mentioned in the Bill would not be nearly enough to set agriculture in the Transvaal on a satisfactory footing. He also believed that the sum allotted for land settlement was insufficient. It was said that the farmers in the Transvaal were reduced to live on mealies, which was the staple food of the Kaffirs, and it was to be hoped that the establishment of a land bank would be followed by better food for the farmers than mealies. Were they to understand that in granting this loan for the establishment of a land bank, this country was pledging itself to continue to give money to the Transvaal until the agricultural interest was put on a satisfactory footing? A friend of his, a large owner of land, who had taken an important part in life in the Transvaal, thought the agricultural depression would increase, and that three or four years would elapse before the industry recovered. It was possible that this money would be spent in the Transvaal to very little purpose, and it was quite conceivable that the Colony might demand more money, and they might have to ask for another loan to assist country districts. All these points had been ignored by the right hon. Gentleman, and they had also been lost sight of in the much bigger purpose which lay behind the reasons which had induced the Government to grant the loan. That was abundantly clear from the attitude of the Government, not only in what they had said, but in what they had left unsaid as to their reasons for the loan. The Party opposite was not ordinarily desirous of assisting the Colonies, and this sudden desire to lend a large sum of money to the Transvaal could only be explained by one reason, and that was that it was the only means of concealing the inaccuracy of their statements at the last election. He was rather glad that the Bill was going to be passed that evening, because he thought the people of this country were coming more and more to see the real object of the Party opposite. And when it was passed, the Bill would remain for a generation at least, as a mouument of the hypocrisy and duplicity of the Radical Party at the last general election.


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