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Secretary than he is Minister of Education, it will be found that he is the predominant Minister when these matters come up for settlement. It may be good advice, therefore, to journalists and politicians generally to keep their eye on Sir Michael HicksBeach.
A very remarkable illustration of the Sir
imperturbable doggedness of the man Veto. was afforded by his speech at Bristol
last month. Lord Lansdowne was the chief speaker, and Lord Lansdowne, as Secretary for War, took occasion to launch a very carefully prepared manifesto in favour of the increase of the army estimates. He pointed out that the cost of the army had remained stationary, while that of the navy had more than doubled. For, at the present moment, instead of having a home battalion for every battalion abroad, there are no fewer than eleven battalions on foreign service which ought to be serving at the home depôts. So Lord Lansdowne went on pointing out that even if the army were regarded solely as the handmaid and fidus Achates of the navy, it must be kept up, if only for the sake of the coaling stations, without which our ironclads would be but logs in the water. It was a powerful manifesto, and there was much in it to which it would be very difficult to frame a plausible reply. But Sir Michael HicksBeach was present, and no sooner had Lord Lansdowne sat down than he got up, and in a very few sentences made it perfectly clear that as long as he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, Lord Lansdowne might whistle for his money. With a calm out spokeness, almost approaching to brutality, he told Lord Lansdowne that the army had money enough already, and should make better use of the money it had instead of clamouring for more. A Chancellor of the Exchequer who is capable of saying that on the spot immediately after the delivery of such a manifesto by the Secretary of State for War, is clearly one who does not intend to allow any of his prerogatives to perish of atrophy.
The chief speaker on the Liberal side
his feet, while Mr. Asquith and Lord Rosebery have made non-party speeches. Mr. Morley's visit to his constituents might be regarded in one sense as a sort of reconnaissance to ascertain how the ground lay after the recent landslip of Lord Rosebery's resignation. So far as can be ascertained from the temper of the meetings, both in Glasgow
and Montrose boroughs, there was by no means any passionate indignation against those who might be held responsible for Lord Rosebery's resignation. Neither was there any passionate enthusiasm for calling Lord Rosebery back again. The Scotch people seem to have taken their countryman's resignation of the Liberal leadership with phlegmatic indifference, nor were there any signs that Sir William Harcourt stands less well than he did in the estimation of the Scotch electorate. Mr. Morley made reference to the American Presidential election in terms which were as judicious and well weighed as those of Lord Salisbury were the reverse.
It would be a mistake to take too Lord seriously the angry protests that have ndiscretion. been made in the United States
against Lord Salisbury's declaration that the victory of Mr. Bryan would have wrecked the peace which lies at the basis of civilisation. It would have been wiser if Lord Salisbury had not said it, because it is never well for the head of a foreign government to echo the invectives which the victorious political party has hurled against its adversaries. It is like interfering between a man and his wife when they are quarrelling: the immediate result is to unite both parties against yourself. As a matter of fact, Lord Salisbury has neither the time nor the opportunity to form a dispassionate judgment of the issues which divided parties at the last election in the United States. What he did was to take the New York correspondence in the London daily papers as sufficient guide, and as these correspondents, notably Mr. Smalley, were heart and soul with the McKinleyites, they naturally made out that Mr. Bryan and his supporters were enemies of the human race. An English friend of mine in the United States writes to me, declaring, a propòs of this and other natters, that if ever England and the United States should be so unfortunate as to quarrel, the blame will lie more at the door of Mr. Smalley than any other man. It is a thousand pities that so prejudiced an observer should be the chief medium for communicating American news to the British public.
The details of the voting of the Presi-
v dential election show that McKinley for has been elected, but that his majority
es is by no means so large as was antici. pated on the morning of the poll. Mr. Smalley, for instance, telegraphed that he would have a majority of one hundred and seventy in the Electoral College. In reality he will only have a majority of ninety
seven. But far more significant than the votes of
The House of Representatives is, of the States is the popular vote. Never before in an
course, overwhelmingly Republican. American election has the winning candidate polled Republican The Senate will be very evenly balanced, 2. million more votes than his adversary. Sometimes,
Mateo and the best authorities show consider indeed, as in the case of Benjamin Harrison, the able reserve in making a calculation as to the ultimate winning candidate polled fewer votes than his balance of parties among the senators. One of the opponent, but as the majority in the Electoral most interesting features of the November elections College voted for Harrison, the majority of the mass was the return of Mayor Pingree of Detroit at the vote did not count. This year the plébiscite and the head of the poll as Governor of the State of Michigan. majority in the Electoral College will be in accord, Governor Pingree, as we must henceforth call him, is and Dr. Shaw, I see, regards the vote as final a Republican, who, so far as an outsider can see, of and conclusive. Mr. Bryan evidently does not all Republicans will stand the best chance of being think so, and the Free Silverites are putting next President after McKinley. Mr. Pingree has about strange stories as to the way in which the long been far and away the most remarkable mayor unprecedented popular majority was obtained for in the United States, and he, more than any of the McKinley. An American correspondent who has notable Republicans, is in sympathy with all that is been in the thick of the fight sends me an extra- good and true on the Bryanite platform. The election ordinary story about an alleged band of four of Mr. McKinley by the combined forces of the hundred colonisers or repeaters who were sent down party bosses and the great moneyed monopolists will to Chicago on polling-day in order to vote at the inevitably produce a reaction; and if the Republican election. Each of these colonisers had registered party has not to be swamped at the polls of 1900, it in 150 precincts or polling-stations, of which there will have to put in the field a candidate who will be are 900 in Chicago. By this means each of the 400 as different as possible from McKinley on the were able to vote 150 times, a practice which would crucial question of subservience to the money power. account for 60,000 of the McKinley votes in Chicago. Now, if all the United States were searched through, This story, which, frankly speaking, I totally dis- they would show no man who would more exactly believe, is said to rest on the authority of one of the meet the exigencies of such a position than Governor gallant 400 who revealed the secret, and maintained Pingree. It will be more than three years before that he and his friends received £10 a day and their the Republic Convention has to choose its candidate; expenses. There is no doubt that money was spent but speaking, as I say, from the outsider's point of like water by Mr. Hanna on behalf of Mr. McKin- view, and only taking into account the great issues ley, but that colonising on anything approaching and the leading tendencies both political and personal, such a colossal scale as this was carried on in I see no man on the American horizon who is more Chicago, or anywhere else, is simply incredible. likely to occupy the White House in succession to At the same time we may expect to hear Mr. McKinley than Governor Pingree. some strange stories as to the way in which
During the French Empire a practice McKinley's majority was piled up. The net result in the became very popular in the great of the election leaves the territorial distribution of London County spending departments which was known parties much the same. The democrats have lost ** by the convenient name of Virement:. two of the Pacific States, and the fringe States of Virements was the term used to describe the transfer Kentucky, West Virginia, and Maryland. Every- of money voted by one department for the expendiwhere else they hold their own, and so far as mere ture of another. After the Empire fell, rigid area of territory goes, without regard to the number Republican investigators discovered that the system of inhabitants, the United States are more for Bryan had been carried to such an extent as to entirely than for McKinley. When six millions of adult destroy any financial check. Money that was voted male citizens have recorded their votes for a candi- for the fleet would be used for building a prefect's date, who better than any other embodies their house, while moneys voted for buying powder and aspirations and their hopes, it is an indiscretion, shot would be appropriated to decorating an Imperial perhaps even a blazing indiscretion, for the Prime pavilion. This last month the London County Minister of another country to proclaim to the world Council discovered among the officials of its Works that their victory would have wrecked the principles Department the beginning of a system of rirement that lie at the base of human society.
which, if it had not been promptly checked, might
The Daily Chronicle is rightly indignant at the conduct of the Moderates on the London County Council, who display
so base a joy in exposing the mistake of the Works Department. But our virtuous contemporary is guilty of just as shameful and ill-considered conduct in the treatment which it uniformly extends to those Englishmen who, at risk of health and life and all their worldly goods, have nobly toiled and greatly suffered for the cause of England in Rhodesia. We still seem to be a long way distant from the day when Englishmen who sacrifice time, labour, money, and life for the cause either of the good government of a city, or the colonisation of a province, may confidently count upon just, not to say generous, recogni
have had disastrous results. According to the finding of the Committee charged with the investigation, these officials were acquitted of having done anything corruptly, or with corrupt intent, but what they did do was to treat the Works Department as if it were a trading concern, and they manipulated accounts so as to put to the credit of a job which cost more than the estimate, the surplus accruing to a job which cost less than the estimate. According to the Report of the Committee, there has been practised since April, 1895, a system of account. keeping in which there have been
“(1) Falsely signed and bogus transfers of materials from one job to another; (2) transfers of materials valued at altogether unwarranted prices ; (3) incorrect appropriation of invoices to a job when the goods were not used; (4) materials sent from stock and not debited to the job; (5) the deliberate alteration up and down of the ascertained cost of a job for purposes of so-called departmental advantage.” As one of the witnesses put it, “ When we found we were going to have a loss, we took the profit from one job and gave it to another; it was a system of levelling up and down.”
The officials have been dismissed and Mistake an inquiry has been ordered into the
of the department where such a practice had Moderates.
case originated. The rule of red tape, therefore, will be made more stringent, for although much abused, red tape is an absolutely indispensable element in managing the finance of public bodies. At the worst, the recalcitrant officials who have had their career cut short and are thrown loose on the world, are guilty of an error of judgment which has been speedily detected and severely punished ; but to judge from the indecent exultation of the so-called Moderates, it would appear as if your true Unionist had an absolute delight in discovering, revealing, nay, in exaggerating, and monstrously exaggerating, any mistake made by his fellow-citizens if they should have the misfortune to be in the employment of the County Council. Our Unionist friends will no doubt scoff at the observation, but they are pursuing a very dangerous line in thus identifying their cause with the vilification of self-government in London. The County Council is the elect of London, and its members are discharging a great trust committed to them with an honesty, industry, and a public spirit which makes London the envy and despair of every great city in America. Nothing could be worse, either in taste cr in policy, than to exult over every error that is committed in any of the details of London Administration. That is not the way in which to develop civic spirit, or to encourage the best class of citizens to devote themselves to the thankless task of the treadmill of administrative routine.
tion at the hands of their fellow-countrymen, whatever may be their party. Lord Grey's report upon the present condition of Charterland, dated Bulawayo, October 16, records an achievement which, if it had been performed by any other authority than the Chartered Company, would have commanded the enthusiastic eulogy of every one. As Lord Grey says, the British public finds it difficult to realise what the Chartered Company has done in carrying on a war for six months nearly 600 miles away from the nearest railway terminus, and keeping in a state of efficiency a fighting force of 3,000 men, 3,000 animals, and storing, in addition, sufficient supplies to feed 40,000 natives for three months. It is, as he says, more difficult than the task would be of keeping a big civil population in comfort and an army of 3,000 in a state of efficiency for six months at John o' Groat's House by means of supplies brought from Land's End, when there was not a cart-horse to increased so rapidly under the pacific rule of the Queen that there are millions, possibly scores of millions, in India, who are, so to speak, living below the high-water mark of periodic famines which constantly occur in that country. If there were fewer of them, they might live and thrive above high-water mark; as it is, the selvage of the population that is' habitually underfed perishes whenever there is too little rain or too much. It may, of course, be argued that there would always be this margin of
chiers senery of Leople in
be obtained in the country, or a single feed of grain on the road for the mules which had to haul the supplies over territory without a single macadamised road.
Of the settlement which has been Home Rule made, Lord Grey speaks hopefully. beleland. It amounts to the establishment of
native Home Rule for Matabeleland. Lobengula's indunas are to have £60 a year and a horse each, and are to govern their own people in their own way, subject to the authority of a Native Conumissioner, who is to act as general peacemaker and nexus between the chiefs and the Chartered Company. Lord Grey hopes that by a system of industrial and agricultural shows the Matabele will learn to accommodate themselves to a system of regular labour. Until January, however, they will have to be fed from hand to mouth to keep them alive. Owing to the ravages of the rinderpest and the havoc made by war, some forty thousand natives will have to be fed on daily rations for three months. Lord Grey speaks in the highest terms of the many services rendered by Mr. Rhodes, of whom he says:
With infinite patience and characteristic tenacity of purpose he has sat down at the base of the Matoppos in a camp unprotected by a single bayonet, which could have been perfectly well rushed any night during the last six weeks by the rebels with absolute safety to themselves. It was entirely due to the confidence which this action on his part inspired in the minds of the rebels, who were very suspicious and alarmed as to the treatment they would receive if they surrendered, that they were at length induced to go out from the hills on to the flats.
Next year will probably be one of privation and high prices, but nothing seems to abate the absolute confidence which the Rhodesians have in Rhodesia, and the capacity of exciting that confidence is no mean asset in the personal resources of Mr. Rhodes.
While the Chartered Company is The
preparing to feed forty thousand Famine.
Africans for the next three months,
the Indian Government is already feeding two hundred and fifty thousand Asiatics, and is making preparations to feed many more. Fortunately last month brought welcome showers of rain, which have done something to prevent the famine which already threatens to develop into an absolutely devastating scourge next year. The Indian Government is exerting itself to meet the threatened disaster with adequate resources, but it
out it is to be feared that no expenditure of time or money will be able to prevent the mowing down of many thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands, of our fellow-subjects in India. The population has
THE NIGER EXPEDITION. (Dotted live shows the proposed route of the expedition]
hungry millions even if the population were not so dense on the soil, and that, no doubt, is true. Prob ably there is less starvation in the United States to-day with its seventy million population than there was when the Pilgrim Fathers landed, when the inhabitants, all told, did not exceed a million at the outside.
It is probable that this Christmas Niger Company another Chartered Company, that which and its governs the Niger and the valley of
' that great river, will have put its fortunes to the touch to win or lose its all. The object of the expedition which Sir Taubman Goldies
with the aid of a score of British officers and some to the Sultan of Sokoto. It is quite on the thousands of trained native troops, is about to cards that there may be an alliance on the part of undertake in West Africa, is part of a great design several of these tribes against the white man which has been carefully matured for the last ten with his heretical notions about the demonetisation years. Sir Taubman Goldie is a remarkable man, of human currency. If so, Sir Taubman Goldie who has set his mind upon exterminating the slave will probably perish at the head of his men, trade in a district inhabited by forty millions and the Niger Company will go up the spout. of persons. In the Upper Niger, which lies If so, there will be no appeal made by the Niger nominally in the territories of the Company, Company to Downing Street to help it out of but over which they have hitherto exercised no direct its difficulties ; but in the interests of the Empire, authority, prevails the worst system of slave-trading which cannot allow the whole of the Niger Valley to in the world. It is from the valley of the Upper pass under the tricolour, the British Government Niger that slaves are taken every year for export to will be compelled to take over what would then be all parts of northern Africa, to Constantinople, and the wreck of the Niger Company's Protectorate. I to Arabia. Slaves indeed are the currency of the hope, however, that fortune will smile upon brave country; cowries are but as their pennies, for gold Sir Taubman. and his gallant men, and that an enterand silver coinage they use slaves. The value of a prise which ought to command the hearty sympathy slave rises in proportion to the distance from his of every humane man will be crowned with success: native village, hence the remoteness of the human
One very curious and significant fact mine that is worked by the Arab slave miners on
“Good Old is noted by Mr. Garrett. Cecil Rhodes, the Niger. A slave from the Niger bas no chance Cecil.” when Prime Minister, voted with the of getting back to the West Coast from Egypt or
Protectionists, but so great is his Africa.
popularity in Cape Town that at the vast meeting Indeed, according to the interesting summoned to demand the repeal of these taxes, Much Needed calculation of Sir Taubman Goldie, a Cecil Rhodes's name was used as Mr. Gladstone's Demonetisa- slave never reaches his maximum value once was in England, as an infallible specific for tion.
until he is about one thousand miles evoking loud and prolonged cheering with cries of away from his native land. Within fifty miles of his “Good old Cecil.” Mr. Garrett quotes in the Cape village a slave is not worth more than a fowl. At two Times the following extract from a letter received or three hundred miles distance he is worth a sheep ; from a correspondent : but when you get him one thousand miles away he is “We want a man of action, a leader in whom we have confi-, worth half a horse, for the human currency appreci dence; one who sympathises and has always sympathised with
the people. ... There is but one man-C. J. Rhodes. He ates according to the increase of the difficulty of his
never lived on the lifeblood of his fellow-creatures, nor using his legs to run away. The object of the pandered to anything which he ever thought would injure the expedition now on foot in the Niger territories is people. to demonetise human beings as currency, and to Mr. Garrett adds :-introduce silver money in place of slaves. It would Used in the sense and context in which this correbe rather odd if an expedition of the Niger Chartered
spondent used them, these words are a signal example of the
short memory and general state of muddle which prevail in Company should lead to an appreciation of the our politics. value of silver, which Mr. Bryan's candidature It would be nearer the truth to say that in South sought to effect and signally failed to accom- Africa Cecil Rhodes has already achieved a position plish. Not even the Niger Company ventures to which Oliver Cromwell has established in this country. abolish slavery or interfere with what may be called It has often been noted as a most extraordithe circulation of human currency within areas over nary fact that whenever a crisis arises in which the which it can prevent the debasement or general national feeling is deeply stirred, the cry is always ill usage of these human coins of the realm. But raised, “ Would to God Oliver Cromwell were here ! ” slave-raiding is an institution which is bound up with even although those who raise it are directly opposing the very existence of the States which owe allegiance all the principles which Cromwell held dear.