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It was not necessary that there should be. He said that from his experience as a trustee of the Guinness Trust. There was one alteration of the law which had been asked for, and that was that there should be an extension of the time for the
repayment of the money which the local authorities had to borrow. Though, as a general principle, he considered that the present system of repayment was sound, yet he thought that, perhaps, in connection with the housing question Parliament might reconsider the point and make it more easy for the local authorities to do that which would be of inestimable benefit to all classes of the community. It was not very clear why the Government did not attempt to carry, by consent, a small bill dealing with the particular point indicated by Mr. Ritchie. It was improbable that there would have been any serious opposition to such a measure, and if there had been it would have been easy to fix the responsibility for the delay in the right quarter.
The quietude of the Easter recess was singularly free from interruption by political speeches of note. But the Government must have been sensible of a considerable amount of pressure, though not of a noisy or partisan kind, directed towards securing that the educational legislation rendered necessary in some form by the Cockerton judgment should be of a comprehensive and thorough-going character. An article in the Quarterly Review strenuously urged the importance of this course upon Ministers, from the point of view both of public interest and of party credit. And in an interesting speech which he delivered from the chair of the annual general meeting of the Association of Technical Institutions, held at the Fishmongers' Hall (April 16), Sir W. Hart Dyke, formerly a Conservative Education Minister, emphasised the need that existed to “co-ordinate and bring into focus all our existing (educational) resources, extend them, and prevent overlapping either of grants-in-aid or of authorities."
Just before the re-assembling of the House of Commons, some very interesting despatches were published dealing with the course of events during extended periods of the war in South Africa. A long despatch, dated April 2, 1901, from Lord Roberts reviewed, in more or less detail, “the excellent work done during the campaign up to November 29, 1900, by the various departments of the Army, which had contributed so much to the success of the operations in the field.” This despatch, which, notwithstanding its length, was very interesting and satisfactory in the light it threw upon the manner in which exceptional difficulties of many kinds had been encountered and overcome, was followed by a report by Lord Roberts on the field transport in South Africa. It told the story of the manner in which he had re-organised the whole of the transport service, on a departmental instead of a regimental basis, after his arrival at Cape Town in January, 1900, with the result, as he believed, of making the relief of Kimberley
[99 practicable, and generally of introducing an elasticity and adaptability far superior to anything possible under the discarded system. It was by no means altogether cheering to turn from these despatches, issued April 16, to some of those contained in a Blue Book on South African affairs issued from the Colonial Office on the following day. Quite frankly, in a general review of South African affairs, written February 6, Sir A. Milner recognised that the preceding half-year had been one of “retrogression.
Much of the explanation of this unfavourable change lay, as he pointed out, in our inability during the months occupied with the long advance, first to Pretoria and then to Komati Poort, to spare troops enough for the protection of those districts which were fast returning to peaceful pursuits, against raiding parties under a few bold and skilful guerilla leaders. The raiders drew back into arms against us many farmers who had taken the oath of neutrality and really wished to keep it. But they had not the strength of mind to do this unsupported, and our troops were too often not at hand to support them. When they did return they did not act as leniently as they had done before. “We did not, indeed," said Sir A. Milner, “ treat the men who had broken parole with the same severity with which, I believe, any other nation would have treated them. . . . But as our columns swept through the revolted country, meeting on every hand with hostility, and even with treachery, on the part of the people whom we had spared, no doubt in some cases the innocent suffered with the guilty. Men who had actually kept faith with us were, in some instances, made prisoners of war, or saw their property destroyed simply because it was impossible to distinguish between them and the greater number who had broken faith. This, no doubt, resulted in further accessions to the ranks of the enemy. . . Latterly, something has been done to check the general demoralisation, and to afford places of refuge for those willing to submit, by establishing camps along the railway lines, to which burghers may take themselves, their families, and their stock for protection.”
This was the beginning of the concentration camps, of the conditions of life and the mortality in which much was to be heard later in the year. The recrudescence of the war almost all over the territory of the annexed Republics had a very unfavourable reaction in the Cape Colony, where anti-British feeling had also been cultivated by a perfect "carnival of mendacity” with regard to British "atrocities." Sir A. Milner thought, however, that the admirable response made by the loyal colonists to the call to arms would have a powerful and, on the whole, favourable effect on Afrikander opinion, while of the loyalists themselves he remarked that, though they were sick to death of the war, they would rather see it continue indefinitely than run the risk of any compromise under which
CALIFORNIA 100) ENGLISH HISTORY.
[APRIL there would be the remotest chance of any recurrence of recent troubles. But with that object secured they were ready to bury racial animosities.
The Blue Book concluded with a telegraphic request from Sir A. Milner, dated April 3, that if it was, as he understood, the intention of his Majesty's Government that he should superintend the work of reconstruction in South Africa, he might return home on leave; and Mr. Chamberlain's reply that he might take three months' leave as soon as he found it possible.
Of course it has to be remembered that the long despatch from which quotation has been made above was two months and a half old when it appeared, that there had been substantial military progress, and that the general effect of the telegraphic news about mid-April was distinctly favourable. General Plumer had captured Pietersburg without any trouble, thus acquiring a convenient centre for the pacification of the Northern Transvaal, and several other engagements were reported from various points, almost always resulting in the loss by the Boers of arms, supplies and munitions of war. About the same time also came unofficial telegraphic news of the beginnings of civil administration of justice in the Transvaal; so that, on the whole, there was a good deal to set against the unquestionably depressing effect of the despatch of February 6.
On reassembling (April 18) after the Easter recess the House of Commons at once found itself face to face with a Budget of portentous gravity. The view already given of the Navy and Army Estimates of 1901-2 needs to be supplemented, in order to afford the reader anything like a complete survey of the charges for which the Chancellor of the Exchequer had to provide, by some notice of the Civil Service Estimates for 1901-2. They were prefaced by a minute by Mr. Austen Chamberlain, who had been appointed Financial Secretary to the Treasury on Mr. Hanbury's promotion, in the autumn of 1900, to the Presidency of the Board of Agriculture. As usual, there had to be acknowledged a very substantial rise in the public expenditure, altogether apart from the costly defensive services. The gross and net estimates, as framed, compared as follows with those of the preceding year, the difference between the gross and net figures arising from the varying sums appropriated in aid of different votes, from various sources -fees, stamps, sales of stores, etc. :
1. II. III. IV.
4,571,533 3,857,779 4,545,209 3,817,765 Education, Science and Art 12,852,336 12,790,743 12,719,352 12,643,822 Foreign and Colonial Services 1,754,677 | 1,651,957 1,842,209 1,713,875 Non-Effective and Charitable 609,113 608,968 588,196 588,051 Miscellaneous
36,744 29,444 105,319 98,115
25,173,018 23,630,120 24,744,611 23,182,963
The net total of the original estimates for 1901-2 was 23,630,1201., against a net total of 22,838,8081. for 1900-1. But in the abstract just given, and throughout the detailed estimates, comparison was made, according to the usual practice, with the total grants voted in 1900 for the year 1900-1, including the supplementary estimates. Allowing for these, the increase in the total of the estimates for 1901-2 on the previous year was 447,1571., which was rather more than 36,0001, of increase as compared with the advance of 1900-1 on the preceding year.
A considerable amount of this very substantial augmentation, it was pointed out, was due to two causes. The first of these was the census taken on March 31, 1901. This, of course, was only a temporary outlay. But the large and growing charge, Mr. A. Chamberlain proceeded to say, was that required to provide for the instalments of terminable annuities to repay sums borrowed from the National Debt Commissioners in past years for capital expenditure under various heads. Excluding the telegraph annuities, it appeared that the borrowings for capital expenditure in the year 1900 amounted to 2,316,2661., and the addition to the annual charge upon the Civil Service Estimates in respect of these borrowings was 132,5771.
In Class I. (Public Works and Buildings) there was a net increase of 112,0381. Of this 2,1001. was devoted to the statue of Mr. Gladstone in Westminster Abbey, voted by Parliament in 1898. An increase of 57,8201. for rates on Government property was chiefly due to the continued rise of the rate in the 11. of local rates ; and 18,0001., as against 7,9451. in the previous year, was for the Imperial contribution to the drainage works at Malta. In Class II. the chief increase was due to the census, viz., 172,3241. for the Registrars-General of the three kingdoms. This was about 11,5001. more than the sum voted for the preceding decennial census. The next increase in point of magnitude was 47,9771. for stationery and printing, with a view to exceptional demands by the War Office and Ad
miralty, and by the Post Office in connection with the telephone service; and to enhanced rates payable under some recent contracts.
Of the twenty-two votes in Class III. (Law and Justice) thirteen were submitted at lower totals than in the preceding year, and the net increase of 40,0141. in the aggregate provision for this class was chiefly accounted for by the requirement of an additional sum of 32,7491. for the service of English prisons. This included 10,0001., as the first instalment of a sum estimated at 30,0001., for the proposed State Inebriate Reformatory. Under Class IV. the net total of the estimate for the Board of Education (England and Wales) showed an increase of 190,5871., and that for public education in Scotland an increase of 30,1601. In Ireland the corresponding figure of actual net increase was 8,7021.
Under Class V. (Foreign and Colonial Services) a net increase of 14,6681. on the figures for Diplomatic and Consular Services was entirely owing to the relief afforded to India by his Majesty's Government in respect of its contributions towards the cost of services in China, Persia, and certain minor consulates. The grant-in-aid for Uganda (apart from the railway) was reduced by 32,0001., following on a decrease of 45,0001. in 1900-1 over 1899-1900, and though the grants for British Central and British East Africa were increased by 10,0001. and 6,0001. respectively, the total vote for African Protectorates would have shown a reduction except for the additional charges, amounting to 79,2631., for annuities required as an instalment to repay the further sum of 1,364,0001. advanced by the National Debt Commissioners in 1900 under the acts providing for the construction of the Uganda railway. The territory of Wei-hai-wei was estimated to require a grantin-aid of 11,2501. There was a new charge of 44,4751. for the annuity to repay the sum of 820,0001., advanced by the National Debt Commissioners under the Royal Niger Company Act, 1899. The Cyprus grant-in-aid dropped by half, from 32,0001. to 16,0001
A large augmentation appeared in the Revenue Department Estimates, amounting in all to 823,4551., the total net figures for 1901-2 being 17,036,4881., against 16,213,0331. for 1900-1. The chief items in this growth were a net increase of 489,4551. for the Post Office, mainly caused by considerable additions to staff and increments of pay; and a net increase of 269,5001. for telegraphs, of which rather less than half was similarly explained, 47,0001. was increased charge for materials for the maintenance of the system, and 90,7271. was for telegraph works, of which 60,6971. was for a further annuity in repayment of sums advanced by the National Debt Commissioners for the purposes of the Telegraph Acts. The net sumns required in the Revenue Departments, after deducting the appropriations-in-aid, were :