meant a state in which one person was recognised that it was the great mistake ou bound to another for life in servitude or 1881 that was the direct result of war in bondage, from which he could not escape. 1899. If the soldiers were asked what Any ordinary intelligent man would take was the cause of the war in South Africa, that view. But how did that compare they would answer simply and justly that with the proposition under the Ordinance it was the insulting ultimatum which The Chinaman was to be asked whether directed the late Queen to remove Her he wished to go to the Transvaal or not; own troops from her own colony. he was not to be compelled to go unless he wished ; and he would be told the condi- MR. WILLIAM REDMOND (Clare, E.) tions under which he was to go. Hon. said it would be convenient to know Gentlemen opposite said that the China- whether hon. Gentlemen in this debate man would not be told, but of course he were entitled to discuss the cause and the would. Further, he would be allowed reasons for the late war. If they were to take his wife and children with him ; the debate would take some time. and on arrival in South Africa he was to be an inhabitant of a village planned by

*MR. SPEAKER: I did not interrupt experts, and in that village he would live the noble Lord because I understood that in the same conditions as the Kaffir now he was replying briefly to a casual oblived in the Transvaal. He would earn servation of the hon. Member for higher wages than he would be able to Camberwell; but I should have stopped obtain in his own country, and eventually him if he proceeded further. he would be enabled to return to China, at the expiration of his service, a richer man

*LORD ALWYNE COMPTON said he than he left it. Was it not, therefore, an wished to apologise for the digression, exaggeration of language to call that but he felt very warmly on the subject. slavery ? Could it be compared to the Another argument used in the debate was conditions under which the Kaffirs lived that the mine-owners wished to get rid in compounds before the war? Was that of British workmen. An hon. Gentleman slavery? If it was slavery, why did not stated last evening that the output of the great Liberal Party, which hùng like a gold on the Rand at present was equal to load on all who went to the war, pat the the output before the war. He chalsoldiers on the back and tell them they lenged that statement. The output was were fighting for the emancipation of nothing like what it was before the slaves. No doubt hon. Gentlemen would war. The number of stamps working not only use the word “slavery” in the before the war was 7,345, now there were House but on every platform in the only 4,310 working. That was the true country ; and he only wished his voice test as to the relative output. He had could spread throughout the country in not any prejudice against mine-owners. order to combat such an exaggerated He

knew a great many of them, view. Another question was— What did and he knew that they were very honourthe soldiers who fought in the war think? able men, carrying on a perfectly legitiThe hon. Gentleman the Member for North mate and honourable industry. It apCamberwell asked that question last night. peared, however, to be assumed that the He thought hon. Gentlemen opposite accusation of mala fides against the would be wise in not repeating it. He had mine-owners was true; but even that did served in the British Army for seventeen not alter the facts of the case as regarded years, and he knew that soldiers had often- gold in South Africa. times very inconvenient memories. The

What was the position ? It soldiers who fought in South Africa re- almost a truism to say that it was membered 1881. The hon. Gentleman to the advantage of South Africa that last evening said that the soldiers were its stores of gold should be distributed fighting under the emblem of freedom; throughout the world as quickly as but the emblem of freedom in 1881 was possible. If gold for the use of the not allowed to remain unsullied. Many world did not come from South Africa of the soldiers who fought in the late war it must come from somewhere else. were more intelligent than hon. Gentle. He also thought it was beyond doubt men opposite imagined ; and they fully that there were undeveloped parts of

Lord Alwyne Compton.



South Africa which showed immense they had on the white population. Ausstores of gold which could only be de- tralia, as much as any part of the Empire, veloped by the use of money, and that shared in the great development of the money could not be made in South Imperial idea. With that idea he did not Africa without the development of the quarrel in the least. But on what did mines in South Africa already in existence. they base their conception of the Imperial He thought the debate on the fiscal policy idea. They in that House had always would have taught the dullest that we studiously maintained that, wherever must pay for our imports by our exports, England acquired territory or authority and nobody would deny that gold was one over native races, she owed a duty to of the best exports we could have. We those races, and it had been the constant had gold in South Africa which the effort of English statesmen, even at the present stagnation prevented from being risk of not leaving her colonies quite free, extracted from the mines. The greater in her dealings with native races to see the stream of gold from South Africa that native labour in native territories the greater would be our exports into that under the dominion of the King, should be country in the shape of machinery and conducted under decent conditions. To all other commodities. Cape Colony go further than that, the House had rewas an object lesson in this respect. peatedly interfered with self-governing Everybody knew the rapidity with which colonies with regard to those conditions. that country developed on the discovery Whatever, therefore, might be said as to of diamonds. The same argument ap- the justice of the Colonies managing their plied all over the world, New South own affairs, the House could not divest Wales, Australia, and California. New itself of its inherent authority or responsicountries progressed slowly and surely, bility in regard to the treatment of native and it was only when there was a great races in territories under the British discovery of precious metals or precious Crown. Australia made stringent regulastones that they developed by leaps and tions of her own, and submitted to the

Hon. Members opposite might Imperial Government that these regulathink it better that South Africa should tions should be made still more stringent, develop slowly, but he did not hold that and within the last year or so we had seen view. He agreed with those who had a still greater development of the inherent said the great fault of our administration dislike in Australia to the importation of in South Africa had been that we had never alien races. One of the first actions of the been able to accept the opinion and Federal Parliament of Australia was to advice of our councillors there. He hoped decree that imported labour should cease. we were not going to repeat that mistake So that, from the general point of view, now. Hon. Members opposite were con- Australian sentiment would be absolutely tent to rely on the belated manifestoes of opposed to the importation of Chinese the Boer leaders, and such inferences as into the Transvaal, and he considered they drew, but he was not. He based that the people in Australia had a peculiar his opinion and was content to rely on claim upon us in this instance. the opinion of Lord Milner and Sir Arthur were to estimate the value of attachment Lawley. He was content to rely on the by the sacrifices made by our colonies in fact that the great men of the Transvaal the recent war, surely no opinion had a desired the importation of Chinese labour, better claim to be tried than the unani. and he believed, if this Amendment was mous opinion of Australia and New Zeacarried, it would result, not only in further land in this matter. Although he had stagnation, but in all probability in the no title to say he represented Australia, future ruin of the country.

he was perfectly certain that he spoke

the practically unanimous opinion of MR. WILLIAM MCARTHUR (Corn- every man and woman in Australia when wall, St. Austell) said that having lived he said he looked upon the proposal of the a great part of his life in Australia, he Government with horror and detestation ; had had opportunities of observing the because Australians knew from experience conditions under which Chinese lived in what it meant. They had had Chinese large towns there, and the effect which coolies among them for years and years,

If we

but happily the evil was greatly dimin- MR. WILLIAM REDMOND said he ished now, and he hoped it was within never remembered, in the twenty-one still further process of diminution. The years of his Membership of this House, result of Australian experience had been a matter of such serious importance, such that they regarded the importation of widespread influence, being considered Chinese in à large white community in debate in so light and airy a manner. as a moral plague spot which ought In spite of what had been said by hon. to be stopped if possible. The Colonial Gentlemen opposite, this question resolved Secretary the previous night, uninten- itself into the question of whether, after tionally he was sure, was somewhat all these years, slavery was to be reintrounfair to the Australian view of duced into the British Empire. What this question. The right hon. Gentle was the attitude of the Government upon man treated it as if it were a question of the matter. It was perfectly scandalous wages. It was by no means a question that the Government Bench should be of wages or the competition of labour, in the condition it was. The Govern The Chinaman in Australia did not com- ment were conspicuous by absence. pete very largely in the general labour It was the same on the previous day. market. The Australian objection to Hardly a Minister deigned to put in an the importation of Chinamen was that it appearance at all, and during the course constituted a moral plague spot which the of the discussion which was at present citizens were anxious and determined taking place there had never been more to get rid of. We were constantly boast- than three or four Members on the ing, and with truth, that whenever we took Treasury Bench, and they were gentleinto our charge the affairs of a native men who had never been men of first-ratcolony we had done our best to raise the importance, or men who had occupied moral tone and the whole standard of great positions. Whatever view might life of those communities, and it was one be taken, the matter was one of sufficient of the proudest boasts of this country that importance to command the attention in the main we had been successful. and


of the Government, But how could anybody say we were which it did not appear to have done. doing nothing to lower the moral tone He had listened with great pleasure to of the community in carrying out such the speech of the hon. Gentleman on the a proposal as was now before the House ? Front Opposition Bench (Mr. McArthur), In his judgment it was not an Imperial and could agree in the fullest manner idea to import into South Africa an alien with what the hon. Gentleman said as to

bringing almost every possible the attitude of the Commonwealth of Eastern vice into a Western community. Australia in this matter. He had been He declined to discuss the question from permitted to judge of the colonial sentithe point of view whether the mines could ment in the many visits he had made to make money with Chinese labour and not that country, and could bear out what with white labour. If we were to follow had been said with such effect by his hon. up the Imperial idea we ought to take friend. The attitude of official Australia account of the almost universal senti- was strongly against the introduction of ment of white colonists against such a Chinese labour in South Africa. We had measure, and it was because he had seen had experience of gold mining all over the the infinite evil which might occur from world, and there was not a gold mine in an aggregation of Chinese amongst a the world which white men could not be Western population that he urgently found to undertake the working of. He pressed upon every Member of the House could quite understand the proposal that he had a direct responsibility in this to introduce Chinese labour, if it could be matter. Speaking for himself, he would shown that it was the last resource to keep as soon be responsible for introducing the mines open, receiving the emphatic the plague into the City of London as have support of hon. Gentlemen like the noble

Lord the Member for Biggleswade, who any part or lot in assenting to the intro- might be somewhat biassed by the fact duction of what would be a moral plague. that he owned so many shares in South spot into the community of South African securities, and who said Chinese Africa.

labour was a necessity. It was said that Mr. William Mc Arthur.


Chinese labour was a necessity, but he import at £8 a head Chinamen to do work believed that if the facts were laid clearly which could be better done by white men before the House, it would be seen that if only they were given the opportunity the mines could pay enormous profits, of doing it. A balance-sheet, showing even though they employed white labour the difference between employing white at reasonable wages. That being so, why men at standard wages and Chinese labour were not white men obtained ? As to would afford interesting reading, and he the alleged impossibility of replacing believed it would show that the mineby white men the Kaffirs who left the owners, not satisfied with owning the mines through the war, the country mines and making enormous profits, wanted to know what honest attempts actually grudged the wages of the workhad been made in that direction with the men. That was really an infamous state offer of reasonable terms. The fact was of affairs. Whatever might be the that no real attempt had been made. opinion of the soldiers who fought in the There were thousands of Englishmen, war, there would be but one opinion Scotchmen, and Irishmen who would be among the vast majority of the working glad to go to South Africa if proper wages people who paid the £250,000,000 which were given. He did not say that they the war cost-viz., that it was a disgrace could be supplied wholesale so rapidly as that the first, and apparently the only, the Chinese, but it was capable of proof result of the struggle was the introducthat, if a sincere attempt were made, tens tion, under the British flag, of a system of of thousands of honest white labouring forced labour. Even those in favour men would be prepared to undertake the of the proposal might agree that there work on terms which would still leave the was no immediate hurry in the matter. mine-owners an enormous profit.

The members of the Transvaal Labour

Commission might have been eminently In view of the present situation in the qualified for the task they had to perform, Far East, it was somewhat surprising that but certainly their findings had not Tory Members should indulge in such satisfied people generally that the whole language as had been used in the course of the facts had been brought to light, of the debate with reference to the popula- and before a final decision was arrived at tions of other European countries. Italian there should be a fresh, thorough, and workmen had been spoken of as " white impartial inquiry into the whole question, . trash,” whose character and habits were The Government, however, would not so low that Chinese were preferable to accept that proposal, because the essence them. That was hardly the way in which of the matter was that it should be the white subjects of a friendly Power hustled through without further inshould be referred to. There was really quiry. From every point of view the no necessity to import members of differ proposal was an innovation of a startling ent European races. If only the mine- character; it was the introduction of owners were half as earnest in getting slavery in almost its worst form. The white men as they were in bringing about noble Lord opposite objected to the term the recent war, it would be quite possible “slavery.' to secure the necessary supply. It was cruel and heart-breaking to be told that LORD ALWYNE COMPTON said his in order to work the mines in a British argument was that the conditions under possession, the acquisition of which had which the Kaffirs lived before the war cost the country millions of money and would obtain. tens of thousands of lives, men were to be imported from China under conditions

MR. WILLIAM REDMOND reminded which amounted to semi-slavery. In the House that the alleged object of the London itself could be found numbers war was to give equality and freedom of able-bodied men willing and anxious to all men under the British flag in South

work to keep their wives and Africa, and now the noble Lord justified families from starvation, and yet the this proposal by saying that before the Government and the millionaires of war slavery of a similar kind' existed Park Lane, instead of attempting to under the reign of Mr. Kruger. He dedraft such men to South Africa, were to clined to follow a bad example, whether


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set by Mr. Kruger or anybody else, and, in made, and said that I was biassed because any case, it was no justification for setting I held so many mining shares. I desire up slavery in the British Empire. to say that I hold no shares of any sort To-day hon. Members were to be asked or kind in South African mines. by their votes to say that slavery would be allowed in a large portion of the British MR. WILLIAM REDMOND: The Empire. At elections in this country noble Lord, I am sure, does not wish to a favourite episode was the singing of misrepresent what I said. I never said “ Britons never shall be slaves. That that he had any mining shares in South cry had floated hon. Gentlemen opposite Africa. What I said was that the noble into this House. After the vote which Lord had shares in South African concerns. they would give to-night they should Unless I am misinformed—and if I am I change their song

withdraw the statement and express my “Rule Britannia, Britannia money saves,

regret for having made it-the noble Lord By kicking Britons out of work for Chineso formerly possessed, if he does not now slaves."

possess, 5,000 shares in the Chartered

Company. He thought they would find that version of the song would not be so popular at LORD ALWYNE COMPTON : I never election meetings. His hands were clean held 5,000 shares in the Chartered Comin this matter. He had no reason to love pany, and I have no shares now. [An the British Empire. The Nationalists of Hon. MEMBER : Or any shares.] I have Ireland had not been so very kindly dealt

no shares. with by the British Government, and they were not in the slightest degree interested MR. WILLIAM REDMOND: If that for the reputation of the Empire and for is the case I withdraw the statement. the Flag being unstained and unsullied. What they were interested in, and what

*SIR H. MEYSEY THOMPSON (Staftheir countrymen throughout the world were interested in,

fordshire, Handsworth) said he had paid

the cause of human freedom and liberty. In the division to Chinese labour in California, which he

considerable attention to the question of night he and his hon. friends would vote visited in 1873. Chinese labourers had just for freedom and liberty. From the finished the Pacific Railway, and they point of view of men who had no great love for the British Empire, he thought work. Everyone at that time said it

were engaged in other forms of unskilled they should be rather pleased at the trend would have been impossible for the railof events. As far as one could see, things were going badly for the British Empire way to have been made, and for California at present. Lord Roberts had been dis Chinese labour. If the accusations made

to have made the progress it had, but for missed from the War Office, and his place against the Chinese had been true British had been taken by one of the Gentlemen Columbia would not have admitted them opposite. Now they were to have slavery in the numbers they had done. If they in one of the newly - acquired British colonies. He believed that the effect of this were such a dreadful people as they were measure would be disastrous in the ex

said to be objection would be taken to treme, and that before many years passed them there. The fact was that they had it would cause a disruption in South Africa raised the standard of labour and efficifar greater than that caused by the late ency wherever they had been. There

was no question in South Africa of ousting war. He hoped it would stand on record that the representatives of Ireland voted

white men from the occupations in which unanimously against the proposal.

they were now engaged. The proposals under consideration only affected un

skilled labour in mines, which could not LORD ALWYNE COMPTON : With and, he said boldly, ought not to be done the permission of the House I should like by white men. When he visited Johanto make a personal explanation. I under- nesburg the first thing he learned was stand that during my absence from the that there was an enormous amount of House the hon. Member who has just sat gold to be dug out of the earth. It was down referred to the speech I had lately no exaggeration to say that there were

Mr. William Redmond.


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