The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902, April 05, 1900, Page 7, Image 7

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. f
The Conservative. *
ri i
iu the level head and judgment of the
senator from Vermont.
So when he says that nothing has
occurred to warrant the reversal "of a
line of action which we believe to be
based on principle and justice , which
we believe to bo the only honest and
consistent course , " the American people
are confirmed in their amazement and
indignation over a change for which
there has been no reasonable explanation
or excuse.
Senator Proctor dismissed the consti
tutional phase of the subject as not
material to its settlement on lines of
sound policy , good faith and unbroken
American precedent. "The constitution
may or may not follow the flag , " said
he , "but the good faith of the American
people must stand unquestioned wher
ever the stars and stripes are seen. "
Senator Proctor read a letter from ex-
Senator Edmunds which expresses clsar-
ly both the judgment and the conscience
of the American people on the Porto
Eico tariff bill. "Any such measure , if
enacted , " wrote Mr. Edmunds , "will , I
believe , bo unique iu our history. It
will imitate and parallel the acts of the
British parliament which forced our
fathers to just resistance and revolution ,
and led them to establish a constitution
! which in studied and explicit terms fort -
t bade any such discrimination. " Mr.
! Edmunds also claimed that the proposed
legislation "is still less defensible , viewed
in the light of those principles of liberty ,
justice and equality of rights we all
profess to believe iu. " Chicago Times-
The following statement of the moral
aspect of the war iu the Transvaal , was
written for the London Times by Rt.
Hon. W. E. H. Leoky , the noted English
historian :
"There can , I think , be little doubt
what course would have been adopted
by an intelligent military despotism had
it existed during the last few years in
the place of England in South Africa.
It would have peremptorily forbidden
the arming which was going on in the
Transvaal , and if its protests had been
neglected it would have long since en
forced it by arms. There are statesmen
who are of the opinion that England
ought to have adopted such a course ,
but I don't think it would have been a
feasible one. It would have had no legal
justification in the language of the con
"It could only have rested upon con
jectural evidence , which might easily
have been denied or minimized. It
would at once have exposed us to the
charge of pursuing as a government
against the Transvaal the policy of the
sf raid. It would have profoundly alien
% * , ? Hr ated Dutch opinion in the Capo , and ii
F \ * would have exoited a not less serious
division at home. It would not have
been a mere party division , but a
division including much that is best and
most solid in those classes who care little
'or party. In this country it is above
all things necessary for a government to
carry public opinion with it in a war.
I'uliliu Support NccicHHiiry.
"The overwhelming preponderance of
opinion in support of the necessity of
the present war would not have been
attained if its immediate cause had not
been a Boer ultimatum , which it was
manifestly impossible for any self-
respecting government to have accepted ,
followed by an invasion of British ter
ritory which it was the manifest duty of
every British government to repel.
"For my own part , I am convinced
that the war had on the English side for
some time become inevitable and could
not have been greatly postponed.
"It was impossible that a British
government could permanently ignore
the state of subjection and inferiority to
which a great body of British subjects
at Johannesburg had boon reduced. The
grievances of the uitlauders have , no
doubt , been greatly exaggerated. Their
position was not like that of the Armen
ians under Turkish rule. They wont to
the Transvaal to make money , and they
did make it. The capitalists accumu
lated enormous fortunes. The industrial
classes made large profits ; the working
classes obtained probably a higher rate
of wanes than in anv other countrv.
and Johannesburg was a great center of
luxury and pleasure.
Govoriuuimt a Detestable One.
"But the government was a detestable
one. A long series of progressive dis
qualifications had deprived the English
population of every vestige of political
power and subjected them to numerous
and irritating disabilities. The Transvaal -
vaal remained the only part of South
Africa where one white race was held
in a position of inferiority to another.
"Considering the distinct promise of
equality that was made when England
conferred a limited independence on the
Transvaal ; considering the position of
England in South Africa , and the perfect
equality granted to Dutch subjects in
our own colonies , it was impossible thai
the British government could acquiesce
in this state of things , and once they
formally took up the grievances of the
uitlauders it soon became evident from
the disposition of the government al
Pretoria that a peaceful solution was ex
ceedingly improbable.
"There were , indeed , only two policies
for the Transvaal government to pur
sue. They might have governed , as
President Brand governed in the Orange
Free State , iu harmony with the govern
ment at the Cape , and keeping up con
stant confidential relations with it. In
that case it is no exaggeration to say
that the independence of the Transvaal
would not have boon in the smallesi
danger. Or they might have governed
in a spirit of habitual alienation , which
would inevitably lead to a policy of hos
tility. To throw themselves in every
disputable point into opposition to Eng-
and , to seek incessantly alliances
against her , and to turn the Transvaal
ute a great military arsenal was the
policy which for several years they
manifestly pursued.
Hour DlntniHt Not Now.
"Dislike and distrust of England by
the Transvaal Boors was no recent feel
ing , although it was intensified by
several facts in our own generation. It
was a deep , traditional , popular senti
ment , which may bo clearly traced as
far back as the great trek. Neither the
grant of a qualified independence after
Majuba nor the still larger extension of
self-government which , without any
pressure , was granted to the Transvaal
by Lord Derby , in the convention of
1884 , in any degree mitigated it.
"When , most unfortunately , the great
gold mines were discovered within its
border in 188G , the conditions of the
problem were wholly changed. The
Transvaal at once became a wealthy and
powerful state. The rude and ignorant
farmers , who then formed the bulk of its
population , had neither the tastes nor
the capacities that would enable them to
develop its wealth , and they gladly
made concessions and issued invitations
to the uitlauders. A great population ,
which was mainly English , collected on
the Rand , built a large and stately city ,
raised the country to vast wealth , and
paid nearly the whole of its taxation.
lloern Unequal to DeiniimlK.
"A large portion of this new popu
lation were permanently established in
the laud. But the Boer government
was incapable of giving them tolerable
administration , and firmly resolved to
give them no political power and no
real local self-government.
' 'Disqualification after disqualification
utterly unknown whan England con
ceded , self-government to 'the inhabi
tants of the Transvaal' was introduced.
Laws raising the qualification for citizen
ship from two to four years' residence ,
surrounding it with a number of vexa
tions and arbitrary conditions ; inter
fering with the press , with public
meetings , and with the right of resi
dence , and reducing the law courts to
utter servitude by giving a simple
resolution of the majority of the small
Dutch Volksraad all the force of law ,
clearly showed the policy of the govern
ment , and there were abuses iu adminis
tration which were probably even more
irritating than the abuse in legislation.
"In the long run this could have but
one result. The Transvaal government
was not only different from , but pro
foundly hostile to the whole colonial
system of England. On every question
that arose between the two countries
this distrust was shown , and more than
once , even before the Jameson raid , the
policy of the Transvaal had brought the
two powers to the verge of war. "