BRITISH AND FOREIGN NEWS.
SPECTATOR SUMMARY. LONDON. 20th February. MR. HAY'S PROPOSAL. Mr. liny, ou behalf of Uio American Government, lias made a most importtml proposition to tins Powers interested in China. With a view Uj loculi.sing and limiting the ami of hostilities, preventing disturbance ninoug t lio Chinese, and minimising tho loss to the commerce and peaceful intercourse of the, world, Air. Jlny expresses the en meat desire of his Government that during the coura> of hostilities between Russia and Japan "the neutrality of China, and, in nil practicable ways, her administrative entity, shall bo respected by both parties." France has signified her adhesion, and it is asserted that Russia will also approve tho Note. Assurances from London and Berlin have not yet been received. The reasons for this delay are doubtless to be found in the lack of implicitness which characterises these otherwise most judicious proposals. Japan's Mote to China, while endorsing the principle, indicates tho point on which it may bo diflicult to seoure- unanimity, for while impressing on her the obligations of neutrality, it specifically excludes Manchuria from the neutral Chinese upbore. As tho Viennese Fremdcnblatt shrewdly observes, while to include Manchuria would be- tantamount to a request to Ruwia to declare hur occupation unjustified, to exclude it would enable a victorious belligerent to make out a strong ca.so afterwards for considering it to bo, detached from tho Chinese Empire. THE MACEDONIAN HORRORS. Replying to Lord Newton's appeal for further papers on tlie Macedonian question, Lord Lansdowno made un important statement' in the House of Lords on Monday. While- dissociating him.self from Lord Newton (and therefore from the Premier) in regarding tho, "balance of .criminality" nn inclining; on the side, of tho Bulgarian bands, Lord Lansdowne refused to accopt tho view that an extra shuro of responsibility attached to tlus country in the matter.' It was, .lie contended, a great mistake to suppose that we luid allowed tho clause of tho Treaty of Berlin which provided for tho welfare of the Macedonian province* to bo set aside or neglected. Un the contrary, tho' records of tho Foreign Office showed a continual aeries of efforts 1 to induce tho other Powers to give offect to tlioso pro- • visions. The machinery of tljp European Cmjcert having provod cumbrous and ineffective, tho only practical alternative was to support the Austro-Ruasian scheme, which was the be.et they could get. Incidentally Lord Lansdowiia stated that Germany had made it plain that she h«d no desire- to lake an active part in ? reusing that or any other echemo on 'urkey. "TitE REFORM SCHEME. Turning to what had been accomplished, Lord Lansdowno. pointed to tho di«handing of tho Turkish Irregulars, tho appointment of the two European Awessors, md, iibovo all, the reorganisation of tho gendarmerie under General di Giorgis, whose scheme provided for the division of tho force into battalions, each officered by a different Power, and entrusted with the custody of a particular section of tho country. Tho British officers .hnd already boon selected, and would, ho hoped, bo «ent out almost immediately.. In conclusion, 1 * he believed that, inspito of tho notorious recalcitrancy of the Turkish Government, they were never nearer the achievement of a certain amount of satisfactory progress than at "this moment. The experiment, at any rate, reserved a fair trial, but if it failed the Government might be fairly Called on to redeem their pledges to put forjvord more drastic measures of reform. No doubt Lord Lanndowno mfiau» well to tho wretched Christians of Macedonia, but how many of them will be' left when our .Govern* mont h«« at ln*t awakened to the need of more drastic measures of reform! "A PUT-b'p JOB." Lord Litusdownc's optimism \yan ncjt borne out by Thursday a .news from tho Near Kifst. According to Consular de»putche« received at Constantinople early in the week, tho Alhuuinns in tho Jakova district nW in open revolt, and serious collisions have taken place between them and tho Ottoman troops, who wore defeated in nn engagement at Ba&ij-lloshi, twelve kilometres north-west of Jakova. Reinforcements were sent from Uskub and Mona/rtir, troops to tako their pluco being moved up from Salonika; and on Friday it was reported that Shemsi P<\slm, the Turkish General who was besieged at Biibaj-floshi, had been relieved after hard fighting, in which ihe Albnninn« lost eight hundred .men. The disaffection of tho Albanians is no new symptom ; but while the niotive for tho present outbreak is officially traowl to their anfogoniflpi to tlie Macedonian reforms, it is suspected at Vienna that tlie move- 1 moivfc is » "put-up job" engineered from Constantinople to frustrate the cju'ryiug cmt of tho Auatra'Riuwinn echemc. • . AUSTRALIAN, POLICY. The speech of tlie Commonwealth Premier 1 at a Conference of Treasurers of tho Australian States, reported ill Thursday's Times, is a timely protest against the foolhardy Labour policy which would ruin the colony by iU? exclnsivene«t. Australia, as Mr. lJeakin said, needs abovo' all things capital And population; but the birth-rate is decreasing, " and immigration link shrunk to inconsiderable figures. Emigrating classes at Home understand wily too well what tho Labour legislation means, and they naturally decline to submit their fortunes to its caprices. No man can be expected to emigrate to a country where, even if he is admitted, he will be looked askancu at.' At tho same time, wo beliove- that this Protectionist outbreak is alien to the best .Australian fooling, aud that there are sufficiently strong and provident forces •in tho colony to resist it, and enforce the doctrine that the future of Australia, lies in economy and immigration. With Mr. Deakin's plea for a greater interest in, and knowledge of, Australian affairs on tho part of the Mother Country, we cordially agree. Colonies have their fashions, and of lute years the eyes of Britain have been too exclusively fixed on other parts of the Empire. THE CAPE ELECTIONS We are glad to noto that tho Cape electtons have' resulted in the return of tho Progressives with a clear majority of 5, which would correspond to a majority of 35 iv tho House of Commons, It is considered possible that tho solitary Independent member may vote with them, and at leant one of the new Bond members j« prepared to support tho Progrwsive scheme of redistribution. As the< party has also a majority in the Council, there i« every hope that a statesmanlike Redistribution Bill may soon be law. How neccßKnry such a measure has Ih> coinc is shown by the, fact that Capetown only returns one member for every three thousand four hundred votois, while the country constituency of Victoria Kufct has a member for every threw huulred and ninety voters. After redistribution there is every chance that tho predominance of tho loyal and progressive element In the Cope may be established beyond reach of doubt, and established lw-cause it is the majority. • The constitution of the now Cabinet is not vet uabliahed, many of
tlu* former Ministers having lost their souls; bin with most of the Bond lender*, tempoi.irily out of-the-Hduse, Cape Colony, may hope for a qui6ter life than h.-it, recently been her fate. The result of tho election' ju*»tilie« those who, like ourselves, strongly protested agnin»t the proposal to .suspend the Capo Constitution as dnngcious and unnecessary. THE FISCAL DEBATE. The ilseul debate in tho Commons clohe'd on Monday in a division in which the Government mnjority fell to 51 (327 to 276) — an ustonishing diminution when wo remember thnt be/ore Mr. Chamberlain, by" hiK rashness, and tho Government, by thoir feebleness and indecision, had wrecked the Unionist Party, tho majority wns something between 120 and 140. The- discussion wns marked by some excellent speaking. Mr. Ailhur Elliott, for example, made a reiil contribution to the contioveisy. It waa all very well for Mr. Chamberlain to go to tho Guildhall nnd tell people to think Imperially, but it wan very long indeed since, elections had biten fought on such local, almost, parochial,' interests ns those which had come before the electors at the by-elec-tions. Thnt is a point which needs emphasising by all Free-traders. When tariff u» the i«aue thero is a standing danger thnt the country will be nsked to concsider, not matters of national and Imperial concern, b^t whether this or that industry ennnot be created or revived or improved nt Littlo Peddlington — and not by the industry or ingenuity of tho peofie, but by tho enervating magic of a 1 0 or 15 or 20 per ct'nt. duty. MR. ASQUITH'S SPEECH. Mr. Asquith's speech showed the very great mastery ho hns obtained over tho details of tho Uscal question. Very convincing was his defence of fnctory legislation ns increasing, not; decreasing, the efficiency of the workmen, and so proving, not a hindrance, but a help to production. We may add as an illustration that it is just as bad economy to underfeed, badly Jiouse, and overwork your workmen as it 'is to do tho same things to your horses. Our Freetrade sj-stem and our factory legislation, continued Mr Asquith, are rcalH the proper complements T>f''one another:' ' Excellent, too, was his roductio ad absurdum of the Protectionist argument put in tho form of a catechism. "Since 1860 our .imports, occoi'ding to the Bonrd of -Tr&do returns, hnvo exceeded our exports by four thousand million pounds. How, -then, have we escaped ruin? — By tho mercy of Providence. And how arc we to set ourselves right! — By waiting for the Report of the Tariff .Commission." tiif; government attitude. Tho Government speakers . in the debate were Mr. Wyndham alid Mr. AkersDouglos. Mr. Wyndham confined himself to a spirited defence of the policy of regaining freedom of action for our Government in its dealings -with foreign States. But though Mr. Wyndham did •not' by word do' mOre than insist on retaliation, the tono* of_ his speech was Protectionist. One looks in vain for any condemnation 'of Mr, Chamberlain's policy. After Sir Henry Campbell-Banner-man had wound up the debate for the Freetrade side, Mr. jAkers-Douglas copeluded for the, Government. Tho latter, again, said nothing in condemnation of Mr. Chamberdain's policy, but stated that tho Government wus opposed -to «ny taxation on food or on raw material, and ho appealed to tho House not to weaken the Government, nt a moment of grave- inter--national crisis! THE ANTI-CHINESE AMENDMENT. On Tuesday Mr. Herbert Samuel moved the Anti-Chinese labour amendment to the Addrcao. The policy, ho held, was objectionable Jn that' it ex-> eluded white labour, retarded federation, and would demoralise . tho Transvaal. Mnjor Seoly, who seconded thb amc.-id-ment,'maintained tliafc there was no evidence that ' the Transvaal was on tlie- , verge of ruin, but oven if it could not j meet its expenditure, retrenchment was I better thnn the proposed expedient. -Mr. Lyttelton, in a- long reply, contended that tho Government' policy was justified by the urgent economic need* of the colony. 'Ihe expenses of government, and development could only bo defrayed by the mines?, and as wo had iinpo&ed those burdens on the community, we could hardly withhold from it the means of dfechnrging its obligations. The protests of the Boers were' discounted by tho fact that they advocated forced, black Inboqr ns the' alternative.' As for ' Mr. 'Samuel's dc* mand for a referendum, there was. no pr*= ced*nt for <mch k course, which would j involvo considerable delay and was beset I with Constitutional difficulties. • It w«<* impossible to supply tho shortage with native labour in South Africa, and white unskilled labour wns nob available. Repudiating tlje assertion that tho condition of the Chinese' would be. one of slavery, Mr. Lyttflton" then' described in detail tho provisions and nrrangeniente to safeguard their interests, nnd stated that nil who desired bring tlioir wives ■with them would bo allowed to do so. THE DEBATE. The debate, was resumed on" Wednesday, when the majority of speakers spoke in. favour itt fclie amendment. Mr. O. Seely made a strong point when he claimed that, in view of th<* fact that tho Chines© Minister had suggested certain alterations in tho Ordinance — and he bride the House- remember that the Minister 1 wns a heathen and they wore Christians —^in order to nre vent the immigranU being made, "inero chattels or articles of commerce,'", more time shouldv bo given for the-^ discussion of the, regulations before nn' urevocablo decision wtis arrived at. Sir Henry Fowler, in an excellent speech, reminded the IJouso of Burko's dictum that whatever wns morally wrong could never bo politically right,, and uttered iv spirited protest against Sir J. JtollestOtiV snee'a' at -the .hpiscopal and Nonconformist conscience. Mr. Burns nnd Mr. Crooks gave no uncertain expression to tho Uostility with which tho British working classes regard themeaKuro; whily Mr. Brodrick, in a- laboured, deience of the Ordinance, excited general indignation by drawing an, amazingly" clumsy parallel between the conditions of British military service, and of Chinese indentured .'labour. Major Seely scored ono more point* when ho asked tho Secrotary for India whether it was within his knowledge that the Indinn Government had refused to permit British Indian subjects to submit' to the degrading conditions of 'the Ordinance. ' * . THE VOTING.. The Closure having been. moved at -12 o'clock, a division was fuken 6n thel amendment, when 230 voted for nnd 281' against, giving the Government a majority of 51. An analysis of /the division re vouls • the significant fnct that, although nine Ministerialists voted for the amendment., no fewer than sixty were absent or paired. In other Vords, the prospect of a dissolution, and that alone, stood between them and tho registering of their opposition to this ill-omened measure. Ministers lmve triumphed for the moment, but the public opinion of the Empire has been outraged by a Government, which professes to b& deeply concerned to give ear (o the voice of tho Brltnins oversea. And nil this has been done not to diatippoiht a body of mineowiiers in a huny. • , .1 ; "So your husbnnd tells you that ho ntver plays cards for money," said the neighbour with v sneer. "No," unswercd young Mrs. Torkins. "Charley xlidn't my exnetly thnt. He said he never gets nny money by- playing cards.!'
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BRITISH AND FOREIGN NEWS., Evening Post, Volume LXVII, Issue 84, 9 April 1904
BRITISH AND FOREIGN NEWS. Evening Post, Volume LXVII, Issue 84, 9 April 1904
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