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THE BABOOS AND THE CIVIL SERVICE. He began well by calmly setting at nought a resolution of the House of Commons on the subject of simultaneous examinations for the Indian Civil Service in Calcutta and London. If that resolution had been accepted as the last word on the subject Mr. Fowler believed that before long we should have lost our empire. The Bengalee Baboo, whose intellectual outfit enables him to pass examinations with ease which would have floored the ablest officials who ever served the Queen in India, would before long have monopolised all the posts of the Civil Service, with the result that the races which obey an Englishman without reference to the number of marks he had gained in competitive examinations, would have revolted against the Baboo, whose skill in passing examinations bears no sort of relation to his capacity for government. So Sir Henry Fowler considering that the maintenance of the Indian Empire was a thing for which it was worth while to take some risk, even the risk of ignoring a resolution of the House of Commons, acted accordingly, and had the satisfaction of finding his conduct approved by the very Assembly whose decision he had ignored. That was very good for a beginning, but it was only one of many other things of the same sort.
THE INDIAN COTTON DUTIES. The Indian Cotton Duties put him to a crucial test. He is a Free Trader, and is as reluctant as anybody can be to add to the barriers that impede the free distribution of the products of British looms throughout the various countries of the East. But after considering the whole situation, he deemed it just and wise to allow import duties to be levied upon Lancashire goods imported into India, making due provision against the conversion of this fiscal necessity into a protective tariff. The Indian manufacturer was not very well pleased. Lancashire foamed at the mouth. For some time it seemed as if the coalition between the Lancashire members and the Opposition would bring the Ministry down with a run. Nothing daunted, Sir Henry stood to his guns, faced a set attack of Lancashire with its Conservative allies, and had the pleasure of gaining a brilliant and decisive victory.
His speech in defence of the Cotton Duties and the collapse of his assailants will be recollected as one of the most striking incidents in the Parliamentary history of the late Administration. His successor, Lord George Hamilton, unfortunately will have some difficulty in extricating himself from the coil in which he involved himself on that occasion.
THE CANTONMENTS ACT. On two other occasions Mr. Fowler showed equal strength of will and determined purpose. The House of Commons, representing the mature convictions of the British public, had pronounced decidedly, with Sir Henry Fowler's full concurrence, against the policy by which the Indian military authorities had included a contingent of women of ill-fame as part of the necessary impedimenta of every regiment in India. Orders had been given by the home Government, which Indian officials, both civil and military, entered into a conspiracy to evade, and at the same time this evasion was concealed by protestations of ignorance, which were only less disgraceful if true, than if they had been deliberate falsehoods. Sir H. Fowler, upon taking office, put his foot down quietly but firmly, with the result
that Anglo-Indiadom sullenly obeyed. The question has been settled, it is hoped, never to be revived.
THE OPIUM QUESTION. The opium question compelled him to show front in another direction. The cultivation of opium under Government authority, its distribution to the people of India, and its export to the people of China, have long been regarded as national crimes which lay heavy upon the conscience of our people. A Royal Commission was appointed under Lord Brassey to investigate the whole subject, Mr. Arthur Pease and Mr. Wilson being placed upon the Commission as special representatives of the non-opium party. The Commission went to India, examined hundreds of witnesses, and reported in favour of the existing system. The evidence embodied in the Report was overwhelming, and the recommendation of the Commission in favour of allowing the existing system to continue was signed by all the Commissioners, including Mr. Pease, with the exception of Mr. Wilson. The Report was assailed in the House of Commons by The Report Mr. Pease's own brother, while Mr. H. J. Wilson brought forward what he considered evidence as to the unsatisfactory manner in which witnesses had been first chosen and then coached. In reply, Mr. Fowler made another of the memorable speeches of the late Parliament, defending the Commission and its conclusions. He proved to the great majority of the House that the interdict which prohibitionists wished to impose upon India was impossible even if it had been desirable, and that the evidence was overwhelming that it was no more desirable than it was possible. Opium is grown in the native states, and their right to grow what they pleased could not be interfered with excepting under threat and possibly by the actual levying of war. Even if this could be avoided, a 'new frontier line, 5,000 miles in length, would have to be constantly patrolled to prevent the smuggling of a drug which is so small in bulk that it can be concealed about the person in a way that would baffle the energies of the most vigilant of custom house services. The loss of revenue would amount to about £600,000,000 a year; 10,000 men would at once have to be added to the Indian Army. These enormous sacrifices would have to be made in order to prevent the consumption of opium by our Asiatic fellow subjects, on whom it produces hardly any of the disastrous consequences which admittedly flow from the unrestricted sale of alcohol in this country. All this was set forth with great air of authority and with a consciousness of supreme rectitude which carried the whole House away with it. After Sir Henry's speech, the agitation for the prohibition of the production of opium in India evaporated into thin air.
CHITRAL. The last case in which Sir H. Fowler was called upon to take a stand in opposition to a very strong drift of official opinion was in the case of Chitral. The attack upon our Resident in that remote capital of the mountainous wilderness of Pathanistan, compelled the dispatch of a relieving force, which started with the most positive assurances of a resolution to retire as soon as the Residency was relieved. The work given it to do' was brilliantly accomplished, at an expenditure of well-nigh three millions sterling. Then the Government of India, going back upon its public and solemn pledges, insisted upon being allowed to make a road to Chitral, to garrison the fort, and, in short, to bring all the weltering wilderness of hills within the Indian frontier. Lord Roberts,
the late Commander-in-Chief in India, strongly supported has got nothing in the shape of legislation, Ireland this policy of annexation—all pledges to the contrary is tranquil, not because Ireland is content, but because notwithstanding. Mr. Curzon declared it was indis- Irishmen have had confidence that Mr. Morley and his pensable. The Times made every one believe it was colleagues would do all that can be done by men to do practically decided upon. There was no public protest them justice, and secure them the right of self-governagainst it at home. Only in Russia a low ominous growl went. could be heard, with dark suggestions as to the worse
UNDER DIFFICULTIES. than Punic faith of the Indian Government.
Mr. Morley has had great difficulties to surmount, All this while Sir H. Fowler was carefully study some of which indeed have proved insuperable. The ing the question, interviewing experts, and forming stolid and impassable barrier which the House of Lords his own conclusion. That conclusion was clear and offered to all his remedial legislation was only one of the unmistakable. At any cost, almost without count obstacles in his path. From an administrative point of ing of costs, he would keep the pledges of the Indian view, a difficulty almost as great was the perpetuation Government, and clear out of Chitral. The whole of the old boycott which the Home Rulers kept up of the Indian Council, with the solitary exception against the Home Rule Government. Mr. Morley might of Lord Roberts, supported him in this resolve. be a Home Ruler, but he was not an Irishman. ThereThe whole of the Cabinet, without even a single excep- fore, he was to be treated at the Secretary's Lodge as tion, endorsed his decision. On the Monday following if he had been a land grabber on an evicted farm. the fatal Friday of the cordite division, Ministers had He was to be left severely alone. No self-respecting arranged to make public declaration of the policy of Nationalist with any regard for a reputation for evacuation in both Houses. Before then the bolt fell and patriotism would be seen rubbing shoulders with Honest the Government ceased to exist, so the execution of the John in his official capacity. Because some of his preevacuation has been left over for their successors.
decessors had given them the hospitality of the gaol, In many other matters, notably in the stimulus which they scorned to accept the hospitality of the Lodge. The he has given to the construction of railways in India on fatal split between the Parnellites and the Nationalists a rupee basis, Sir Henry Fowler has done what could be accentuated the difficulty. No Nationalist dare move a done to promote the welfare and prosperity of the millions step or wag a finger without squinting over his shoulder of India, who have never had at Downing Street any to see if a Parnellite was watching with intent to English statesman who watched more sedulously over misrepresent him. Hence Mr. Morley had for some time their interests.
to try to carry on a popular Administration without any VII.-IRELAND.
of the assistance which, in any other country and under Whatever may be said concerning the policy of Mr.
any other circumstances, would have been afforded him Morley, it has undoubtedly had one notable result,
by the representatives of the people. Ireland, by the concurrent testimony of judges, journalists,
Under Mr. Morley all questions of Irish administration Unionists, and policemen, has never in all its history been
were dealt with from the point of a sympathiser and a more profoundly tranquil than it has been under Mr.
friend, who was endeavouring, so far as was possible to Morley. The Isle of Saints has almost begun to resume
him, to carry out in office what a popularly elected Irish its saintly character. Excepting for those ebullitions of
National Administration would do if it had been called temper that follow too liberal potations, Ireland would be
into existence. It will be some time before the Irish see a crimeless land. No turbulent agitation, agrarian or
his like again. otherwise, has disturbed the quiet industry of her peasants. As this article deals with administration, rot with Without coercion of any kind, by simply applying to legislation, I say nothing about Sir W. Harcourt's great the Irish nation the principles of sympathetic adminis Budget, with its reform of the Death Duties and retration based upon representative government, peace
arrangement of the Income-tax. That and the Parish reigns in Ireland as it has never reigned for the last twenty years.
Councils Act are the two great legislative achievements THE FRUITS OF CONFIDENCE.
of the Ministry. The result has been due to the confidence with which
VIII.—THE ARMY AND THE NAVY. Mr. Morley and his colleagues have been able to inspire
Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman, who was censured by the Irish, that they needed no stimulus of agitation or of outrage to induce them to do their level best to secure
the snap vote of the House of Commons on the question
of the supply of cordite, was one of the most popular justice for Ireland and justice for the Irish tenant. And
ministers both with the Service and in the House of Mr. Morley has justified this confidence. The whole of
Commons. But for the reluctance of his colleagues to the first session was given up to Home Rule The Bill passed the House of Commons, where eighty-two days
spare him, he would have been elected Speaker by a
unanimous vote of the House; and at the War Office, were consumed in its discussion; it was contemptuously flung out by the House of Lords, after a brief
from the royal duke down to the latest recruit.
there was no one who did not regard him as debate of four days. The Evicted Tenants Bill,
their friend. A sturdy, manly, genial Scot, Sir propared with much care, was forced through all its
Campbell-Bannerman devoted himself to the welfare of stages in the House of Commons only to be strangled in the House of Lords. The Irish Land Bill, which was
the soldier. He attempted no heroic reforms. the last legislative attempt to deal with the perennial
THE WAR OFFICE, 1892-5. agrarian question, was hailed in Ireland as offering the
The army in his opinion, was in a very healthy condition. prospect of a final solution of these difficulties. It was The troops were never better fed, clothed, and housed. choked out of existence when the Opposition defeated They were never more sober and more contented. The the Government on the question of cordite. The Muni- officers were devoted to their duties; for since the cipal Franchise Bill was strangled by the Lords at the abolition of purchase soldiering has become a profession last moment. Yet notwithstanding the fact that Ireland of absorbing interest. What was wanted, therefore, was to give the Service space to grow and time to breathe.
IX.—THE FOME DEPARTMENT. What was wanted was weeding and watering, not trans
I have left the Home Departments to the last, not planting, so the late War Secretary kept a vigilant and
because they are the least important, but because so sympathetic eye upon all that could minister to the
much has been said about them elsewhere, in the publiefficiency of the Service, and satisfied himself that the army
cations of the rival parties, and in previous articles in was ready to go anywhere and do anything. To improve
the REVIEW, that there is less need to dwell upon them the organisation at headquarters, he succeeded in arrang
here. Of the Post Office, indeed, there is nothing to say, ing for the retirement of the Duke of Cambridge, the
excepting that it is probable the Duke of Norfolk may announcement of that fact being his last official act
show a keener sense of the right of the public to concern 'before his fall. It was a delicate and painful operation,
itself with the Department and its policy than the exwhich was accomplished with a kindly tact that nothing
Liberal whip who for the last three years has been Postcould excel.
master-General. THE ADMIRALTY AND ITS DOCKS.
THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION, Lord Spencer, as First Lord of the Admiralty, charged Mr. Acland at the Education Office has distinguished with the maintenance of the efficiency of the first line of his tenure of office by accomplishing in the Administraour defence, has brought the navy up to the highest pitch tive way, many improvements for which his successors in of efficiency it has ever reached. His predecessors had office, in common with the nation at large, owe bim built many ships, but they had omitted to man them. gratitude. For the first year or eighteen months of his They had multiplied the number of our vessels, but tenure of office, he was assailed by fierce outcries on the they had done nothing to provide them with docks part of irate clerics, who declared that he was bent upon and shelter. The equipage also had not been kept ruining the voluntary schools. The only pretext for up, and, in short, Lord Spencer found he had to this was that Mr. Acland had issued a circular in which spend, and spend freely, in order to keep the he called attention to the need of adequate provision for navy up to the mark. He added over 6000 men to the the health of the scholars in our public schools. There roll-call to begin with. He surmounted the difficulty about was nothing in this circular to which the Archbishop of stokers, so that the British navy will no longer be in Canterbury or Cardinal Vaughan could have objected; it danger of not being able to go into action for lack of applied equally to board and voluntary schools, and men to get the steam up in the stoke-hole. Then he set insisted upon the redress of evils and defects which preto work to increase the number of quick-firing judiced the health of the rising generation. This circular guns, and to arm our blue-jackets and marines with had very important results: it acted as a most useful the magazine. rifle. But the great achievement of his stimulus to sanitary improvements in all the schools of the reign at the Admiralty were the commencement of a country, and it contributed greatly to bring up the worst series of great harbour works for the purpose of pro- schools to a tolerable standard of decency. The heads viding the feet with safe retreat at Dover, Portland, and of the Church party have publicly declared that the Gibraltar. No Board of the Admiralty could be got to charges brought against Mr. Acland of persecuting the face this duty heretofore, and it is to Lord Spencer's Church Schools, were baseless. As a matter of fact, credit that he has not waited for the steed to be stolen nothing could have been more considerate and more before fitting a lock to the stable door.
patient than Mr. Acland's conduct in dealing with these
schools where there were difficulties in the way of NEW SHIPS.
immediately carrying the necessary improvements. The second great work was his programme of naval The Education Department being one of our more construction. This programme provides the following recent.creations, is able to do many things, by issuing vessels.
orders or amending codes, which other Departments can Begun in 1893-94.-Two ist class battleships, three 2nd class cruisers,
only effect by means of legislation. Mi, Acland has fourteen torpedo-boat destroyers, two sloops.
availed himself of his opportunity in order to raise the Begun in 1894–1895.-Seven Ist class battleships, two 1st class cruisers,
standard of our education, and make it more practical and six 2nd class cruisers, twenty-eight torpedo-boat destroyers, two sloops. Begun in 1895-96.-Four 1st class cruisers, two 3rd class cruisers.
more interesting. He has issued a code for evening con
tinuation schools, with the object of enabling those who There are now under construction at the dockyards have left school and begun to work, to improve their and our private yards, ten first-class battle-ships, six evenings by study. One special feature of the code, cruisers of the first-class, thirteen of second-class, and which is quite a novelty in this country, is the admirable two of third-class, forty to fifty torpedo-boat destroyers, syllabus for studying the life and duties of the citizen. and four sloops. Side by side with this new construction, This syllabus is the special work of Mr. Acland himself, older vessels have been reconstructed and repaired; and and contains a synopsis of the whole duty of man in the what is, perhaps, one of the most important changes, the modern state. new ships are being fitted with water-tube boilers, which One very important new departure which has been are a great improvement on all that has gone before. taken during Mr. Acland's tenure of office has been the
The naval estimates for 1895-6 amount to £18,701,000, special grant made to voluntary schools in the country an increase of £4,460,900 more than the vote for for cottage gardening. In this we have the germ of a 1893-94. As the result of this expenditure, our fleet is in model farm, which, when the land question is taken in a position to cope successfully with that of any two rivals. hand seriously, will be attached to every country school. We can build a first-class battleship in two years, whereas For that, however, the time is not quite ripe, but Mr. it takes other nations four or five years to construct a Acland has made a beginning, and, after all, it is similar vessel. The French have some half-dozen of the first step that costs. Another piece of good their ironclads laid up for reconstruction. On the whole, administrative work was the action which Mr. Acland therefore, we have every reason to feel confidence in the took in cutting down the costs of School Board ability of our Navy to guard our shores and to police elections by one half. This is both a saving to the the seas.
rates and a saving to the citizens who give their
time and labour to School Board work. The important question of secondary education has been dealt with by a Commission which is almost ready to report. Its recommendations will be ready to the hand of Sir John Gorst, and will supply the foundation upon which those schools, in which we are the most dismally lacking, must shortly be established. Mr. Acland has also bestowed much attention upon the technical education of the country, and revolutionised the system of inspection under which the science and art grants are distributed at South Kensington.
Time was not permitted him to do all that he would have done in the shape of vivifying the somewhat fossilised system at South Kensington. But what he has done has been well done. He has made several good appointments at the Museum, and succeeded in infusing into all branches of the service somewhat more of esprit de corps, and of pride in their work, than has hitherto been attained. Another grievance which afflicted the educational service from old time has been the extent to which the teachers were ignored by the department. Mr. Acland set himself to remedy this, and as an earnest of what he intended to do, appointed five certificated teachers to inspectorships. He had only eight appoint ments to make, and five of these fell to men who had worked in elementary schools. Of still more importance to the bulk of the profession was the Teachers' Superannuation Bill which he had in preparation, and which would have been introduced by now had the Government still been in existence. In the way of legislation Mr. Acland attempted little, but what he did
d was good. He secured the foundation and endowment of a Welsh University, which is working well and giving great satisfaction to the Principality. He succeeded in carrying a much needed Act for the education of children physically defective, so that one great blot on our educational system, the lack of provision for the blind and the deaf and dumb, has at last been filled up. At the same time, by the Elementary Schools Attendance Act, he has raised the age during which children may be partially or wholly exempted from attendance from ten to eleven.
Everywhere and always, Mr. Acland cared for the welfare of the children, the interests of the teachers, and the well-being of our national education. He is one of the few Ministers of Education who have succeeded in making a general impression upon the teaching profession that they had at Whitehall a chief, thoroughly sympathetic, who could be relied upon to see that the interests of education were not neglected in the Cabinet.
THE BOARD OF TRADE. Space fails me to describe the good work of Mr. Asquith at the Home Office, to which, however, I recently devoted some attention in his Character Sketch. The Board of Trade has done many things well, and would have done more had not untimely Dissolution nipped in the bud some of its most useful legislative proposals. In great distinction has been the conversion of the Board of Trade into a Court of peace-making. Three of the most embittered trade disputes, the coal strike, the cab strike, and the lock-out in the boot and shoe trade, were brought to a peaceful issue by its good offices. The following is a brief summary of the work of the Department in 1892-5 in matters affecting labour :
(a) LEGISLATIVE. (1) The Railway Regulation Act, 1893. This empowers the Board of Trade, on complaint being made to them, to com pel railway companies to bring the hours of their servants
within reasonable limits. (NOTE.-In the year following the enactment of this law, the powers so conferred on the Board of Trade were exercised in seventy-two cases affecting a very large number of workmen.)
(2) The North Sea Fisheries Act, 1893. This was designed to suppress floating grogshops on the fishing grounds of the North Sea.
(3) The Notice of Accidents Act, 1894. This requires employers in the more important industries to furnish the Board of Trade with prompt returns of fatal or serious accidents, and empowers the department to institute inquiry into the circumstances attending such accidents where desirable. (NOTE.—The returns of accidents are summarized monthly in the Labour Gazette. The Conciliation (Trade Disputes) Bill was pressed forward as rapidly as public business would allow, and this Session the Second Reading was secured, and the Bill committed to the Standing Committee on Trade.)
(6) ADMINISTRATIVE. (1) Enlargement of the Labour Department and appointment of working men throughout the country to supply information as to “labour” conditions in their several districts. Establishment of the Labour Gazette, giving each month very full information as to changes in wages, hours of labour, etc., and other matters of interest in the labour world.
(2) Appointment of practical railway men as sub-inspectors of railways, specially charged with the dety of inquiring into conditions of railway working affecting the safety of railway servants.
(3) Provision has been made at one foreign port-with the intention of subsequently extending it to other ports—by which British sailors paid off there can have the wages due to them remitted to their homes in England-thus saving them from the temptations put in their way. by crimps, etc. (These facilities have been largely taken advantage of by sailors discharged abroad.)
(4) Representatives of seamen have been appointed on Local Marine Boards.
(5) An inquiry has been set on foot as to the alleged undermanning of ships.
THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD. At the Local Government Board Mr. Shaw Lefevre has had imposed upon him the arduous duty of superintending the first introduction of representative government into our villages. The Department was worked all hours. but it got through the work with remarkable success. Mr. Shaw Lefevre also took an honourable part in pressing upon the Boards of Guardians the duty of humanising the administration of the workhouses before the publication of the Report of the Royal Commission on the Treatment of the Aged Poor. The circulars and instructions issued by the Board during his term of office have all been directed to the same end, the improvement of the administration of the poor law, and the protection of the rights and privileges of the poor. His last act was to introduce a Bill removing the restrictions placed upon the use of mechanical traction which at present cripple the inventive genius and enterprise of our manufacturers. It was lost in the general overturn. The Bill for the Unification of London remains in the pigeon-holes of the Board. It is not likely to be of any service to Mr. Chaplin.
A volume might be written of the work of the Government during these three years if all the departments were to be set out in full. As it is, sufficient has been said to indicate the general nature and scope of the Rosebery Administration. As it did not spring from the classes, it laboured for the masses. It kept the peace, promoted conciliation, and endeavoured in every way to further the common interests of the common people.
1 AM glad to be able to report that the sale of " The J Penny Poets” continues to justify the expecta
tions with which the enterprise was started. It is of course impossible to say how many have been sold of
inasmuch as every copy which was printed was sold at a loss, do I intend to reprint it at a penny. The two parts
No. 1. 60.
Size: 9 in. by 54 in. each number, but the following are the numbers of copies printed up to date :
Macaulay.—“Lays of Ancient Rome,” 150,000.
So far as can be seen at present there has been the greatest run on Macaulay, but that is due to the fact that it was the first, and still more because the first number contained thirty-two pages of portraits and autographs,
are, however, each reprinted, and can be had separately at a penny each. Portraits and autographs contain the facsimiles of the letters and the latest portraits of half a dozen of the most distinguished men in the country, from Mr. Gladstone and Lord Salisbury downwards. “The Lays of Ancient Rome" by themselves are also published at a penny. We stock sufficient quantities of the poets in order to be able to fill orders for the series from the first. Byron so far has been the least popular of the numbers issued up to date. This was, however, to be