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Director of Imperial Chinese Maritime Customs. For details of their fate, and that of the whole fifteen hundred or more foreigners at the capital, the world is waiting in shuddering anxiety. Sir Claude Macdonald's rise in the
diplomatic service was rapid, for he was not yet fifty. Born in 1852, and educated for a military career, he entered the 74th Highlanders in 1872 and served through the Egyptian campaign of 1882-4, attaining the rank of major. In 1887 he was sent to Zanzibar as Agent and Consul-General. His services at this post showed him to be a man of exceptional capacity. In 1889 he was sent on a special mission to the Niger, and was next appointed Commissioner and ConsulGeneral of the Oil Rivers Protectorate on the West Coast of Africa. Here again he was eminently successful and was considered competent to fill one of the most difficult and responsible positions in the whole diplomatic the whole diplomatic service, that of H.M. Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary
at Pekin. Here he had to contend not only with the wiles of the Chinese Court, but with the intrigues of the other foreign representatives in the greatest game of modern times. It is high praise to say that he so managed British interests as to preserve the confidence of the British Government and people.
Sir Robert Hart was the best informed and most influential foreigner in the Far East. He regarded the Chinese Customs Service, which he entered in 1859, as his great life-work, and refused the position of British Minister which was offered him. By his great ability and devotion to duty he was one of the chief forces making for order in China. His work was appreciated, too, and there is nothing improbable in the story that some influential Chinese would have aided him in escaping at the end, but that he chose to remain with those whose case was desperate and use his influence on their behalf and share their fate. His message to his wife in England, to prepare to hear the
worst, was the last authentic message from Pekin.
In South Africa another period of re-arrangement and preparation followed the capture of Pretoria and the forcing of Laing's Nek. During this time General Hunter's and General Baden-Powell's forces marched across from the west; General Buller cleared his line of communication with Pre
toria; and as many divisions as could be spared were set to work to round up the enemy's forces that had been dangerously active in the northeastern part of the Orange River Colony. Many very sharp engagements have occurred and the progress of the British has seemed slow. The amount of attention given to the Boers under de Wet, south of the Vaal, left General Botha some freedom to dispose his. forces on the north and east of the British and strike some blows. At Nitral's Nek his men again succeeded. in surprising a British post, and capturing men and guns. The Canadians have been engaged in several localities, and have suffered not a few casualties.
The dogged determination of the Boers is remarkable. The sphere of hostilities has been materially narrowed during the month, and the Boer cause is clearly more helpless than ever; but the end is not yet.
control of the territory was taken over by the British Parliament a year or two ago, unqualified praise was bestowed upon the Company and its head for its unspotted record. The task before these men is one of great difficulty.
South African papers to hand give a much better idea of the state of public feeling than can be gathered from short press despatches. It is evident that both British and Dutch in Cape Colony are extreme in their feeling, and in the expression of it. The colonists of Dutch descent, while professing their constant loyalty to the British Crown, are most outspoken in their condemnation of what they call the scheming methods of the Colonial Office, and are bitterly opposed to the annexation of the two Republics, whose independence they hold should not be destroyed. The English colonists, on their part, are not disposed to moderation. They most emphatically endorse the annexation of the Republics, and demand various forms of punishment for those guilty of taking up arms. In April last Vigilance Committees were formed among the English colonists in all parts of the country, and upon the same day they called public meetings all over the Colony, and presented resolutions endorsing Lord Salisbury's recently announced policy. The answer to this on the part of the Afrikanders was a great public gathering at the end of May, called The People's Congress. The speeches were in most cases intemperate, and if the applause which greeted them shows that they fairly represent the attitude of the Afrikanders, who are the majority of the colonists, then reconciliation is still far off.
Lord Salisbury and Mr. Chamberlain have laid down the future policy for South Africa to be the incorporation of all the territory in the Empire, and the spirit to be that of conciliation. The carrying out of this policy has been entrusted to two very able men. Sir Alfred Milner, who is now both British Commissioner in South Africa and Governor of Cape Colony, will retain the former office only, and will devote his time to the larger aspects of the question of settlement. The Governorship of Cape Colony has been accepted by Sir George Taubman Goldie, who is one of the most capable and most honourable administrators England possesses. His experience has been gained and his reputation earned, not in official connection with the British Government, but as managing head of the Royal Niger Company, which consolidated and developed a vast tract in Africa, and by this means secured it to the British Crown. When the
The Republicans adopted their platform at the Philadelphia Convention on June 21st, and the Democrats theirs at Kansas City on July 5th. The Republicans congratulate the country upon its remarkable prosperity, and upon the high standing of its credit, which they claim to be chiefly due to Republican administration. The Spanish-American war is defended in glowing terms, and the course of events in the Philippines is defended. The whole administration of President McKinley is endorsed. They renew their allegiance to the principle of the gold standard, and declare their steadfast opposition to the free and unlimited coinage of silver. In a vaguely-worded clause they seem to favour legislation against trusts and other combines and conspiracies to restrict business. They renew their "faith in the policy of protection to American labour," that is, to the general policy of protection of industries. They favour a more effective restriction of the immigration of cheap labour from foreign lands, and legislation tending to improve the condition of the labouring class. The hope is held out that war taxes will be reduced on account of the excellent results of the amended Dingley Act. The construction, ownership, control and protection, by the Government, of an Isthmian canal is declared for. They commend President McKinley's conduct of all external and internal affairs, especially mentioning the part taken with reference to the war in South Africa; and they assert their "steadfast adherence to the policy announced in the Monroe doctrine." President McKinley was nominated as candidate for the Presidency and Theodore Roosevelt for the Vice-Presidency.
The Democratic platform does not contain so many clauses. Anti-Imperialism and free silver are the two chief features of the Democratic policy. There is no sparing of words in condemning the Republican administration for its actions in the Philippines and in Porto Rico. They pledge the Democratic party to "unceasing warfare in nation, state and city against
LORD SALISBURY ON THE MISSIONARY. "My Christian friend, you are undoubtedly a good man-but you're a horrid nuisance to us. This Boxer trouble is all your fault." -Westminster Gazette.
private monopoly in every form." On the financial question they endorse the Chicago platform of 1896, and reiterate the demand for an "American financial system, made by the American people themselves, which shall restore and maintain a bi-metallic price level, and as part of such system the immediate restoration of the free and unlimited coinage of silver and gold at the present legal ratio of 16 to 1, without waiting for the consent of any other nation." They favour the construction of the Isthmian canal, and charge that the Republicans were insincere in their canal plank, because they failed to pass necessary legislation. The Hay-Pauncefote treaty is condemned, and sympathy is formally extended to the Boers. William J. Bryan and Adlai E. Stevenson were the candidates chosen. Had the Democrats left out the free silver plank, the election would have proved of the utmost interest, since the American people would then have been called upon to choose between Imperalism and Anti-Imperialism. It is hard to believe, however, that they will give a majority in favour of free silver, and it would seem as if the Republicans were likely to win upon their gold standard plank, quite as much as, if not more than, upon their Imperialisn.
PEOPLE AND AFFAIRS.
OVER one hundred years ago Great right when it admits that there is "a
of impertinence in this sort of thing." And then the News adds:
presentation to her North American Colonies and as a consequence thirteen of them revolted and set up an empire of their own. In 1831 the British House of Commons voted down a motion to give Canada three representatives, India four and Australia one. The people of Great Britain have fought steadily ever since against admitting colonial representatives to the House of Commons. They are afraid that the colonies have not the necessary wisdom.
Canada's attitude is more doubtful. It is questionable if Canada would accept the privilege of sending representatives to Westminster if it were offered. Sir Charles Tupper is against it, and it is quite reasonable to suppose that Sir Wilfrid Laurier is not favourable to it. These two represent the older men in the two political parties. The younger men of the country, both French and English, view with considerable distrust a possible parliamentary representation in London which would bind Canada to share in the perils as well as the glories of the British Empire.
Under these circumstances the discussion of "parliamentary representation in the Councils of the Empire" is meet work for theorists and faddists. Other representation, such as on an Imperial Board of Trade, or on a Colonial Consultative or Advisory body, being less binding, would be more welcome and perhaps more beneficial. *
"Canada can be safely left to the operation of those natural causes, which are as inexorable as the flow of a glacier or the swing of the tides. The time will come when our good neighbour will be willing to change her allegiance without urging or argument by importunate Yankees. And Great Britain will be just as willing to have her put on a new livery. There is but little in the Canadian dependency, nominal at best, which our cousins over sea couldn't just as well spare, and save good solid cash by it with no loss of prestige. Many of the wisest Englishmen foresee the time and are quite willing to have it materialize when the fruit is ripe to drop into our lap."
It is rather interesting to have this estimable United States journal point out our "inexorable" destiny, even if the same statement has already been made by one of our own citizens of considerable reputation and standing. Yet Canada is standing face to face with this " inexorable" destiny and exhibiting more complacency than fear. When the Empire sees fit to pay us off, or when we get weary of doing out-post duty for those who sleep comfortably in the central camp, it is hardly likely that we shall assume any further onerous duties of a similar character. Separation from Great Britain does not necessarily imply a union with a new power. It is quite possible that the raw recruit might decide to fight under his own officers and generals.
Lieutenant-Governor McInnes, of British Columbia, has been struggling for some time with a peculiar state of political affairs. As he failed at a general election to get support for his advisers, he has been dismissed by the Ottawa Government. He is succeeded by Sir Henri Joly de Lotbiniere, Minister of Inland Revenue in the Laurier cabinet. The vacancy at Ottawa has been filled by the appointment of M. E. Bernier, M.P. for St. Hyacinthe, to the head of the Inland Revenue De
Then there is the other side. Over in the United States they have formed a National Continental Union League, and it has held its first quarterly meeting. When it is mentioned that one of the chief organizers of this association is Mr. F. W. Glen of "Annexation" fame, the character and objects of this new association are pretty fully set forth. The Newark (N.J.) News is
partment. The Hon. Mr. Bernier is a successful business man, and a member of Parliament who is not given to loquaciousness-two strong points in his favour.
The day of the railway subsidy has not yet passed. The Dominion Parliament has granted three millions and a half dollars more in this form. Commenting on this the Montreal Gazette says:
“The idea suggested by the Government's latest demand for railway subsidies is that the grants are meant for individuals and not the country. The list is most extraordinary. Large sums are given to works begun and completed under former subsidy arrangements. Heavily subsidized projects which have killed opposition schemes that sought no public aid are given more. Grants are made to projects through territory already well served and marked by abandoned tracks that other companies had been bonused to construct. Money is offered to schemes competing with roads subsidized on the ground that otherwise they could not be built. Roads on paper running from nowhere to nowhere are in the list by the dozen. There has been nothing like it since the Mercier splurge in Quebec, which added ten millions to the Province's debt and is yet a burden on the treasury. With the subsidies of last session added, ten millions will barely represent the liabilities created in two years. There is only one good that can come out of the thing. It may help to awaken the public mind to the evil of the overdone railway subsidy system and so help to bring about its end.'
Speaking of bonuses to railways, Alderman Barclay, of Winnipeg, estimates that the C.P. R. has cost Winnipeg $1,250,000. This came out during the agitation in that city for legislation to enable it to impose frontage and school taxes on the company. His details are as follows: "Exemption from taxation has cost the city $251,000 odd; there was a bonus of $200,000 given the company 20 years ago, and the interest on this amount to date, aggregates an additional $216,ooo; then there are the Louise bridge debentures, $204,000, with interest to date $240,000 more, and the caretaking and upkeeping of this bridge which averages $3,600 to $3,700 per annum, while the rental from the C. P. R. is only $1,200 per annum, showing a net loss
to the city of about $2,500 per annum; also the overhead bridge, which cost the city $36,000 two or three years ago; and then there are the lands given to the company, and the streets closed for them for their station, which at a low estimate of valuation will not amount to less than $40,000, and of course, the regular annual interest on debentures during their running term."
Apropos of remarks last month on the fanaticism of Canadian prohibitionists, it is interesting to notice that the Temperance party in Great Britain is pursuing gradual reform. They have just entered a Bill in the House of Commons to prevent the sale of liquor in public houses to boys under sixteen. Such a move would prevent the beer-drinker from sending his boys to purchase his beer. It was a good and proper Bill, and was supported by a petition bearing the names of two hundred members of the House. That the Government refused to allow it to go through this session was unfortu
There has been a great debate in the House over the emergency ration which the Department of Militia and Defence bought and sent to South Africa. A committee had been appointed to see whether the country had received value for the four thousand odd dollars invested in these little emergency cans. The committee was composed of four Liberals and three Conservatives. The four Liberals brought in a report absolving the Government from blame, and the three Conservatives submitted a minority report censuring the Department. The double-headed decision of the committee was an indication of the exhibition of partizanship which was to follow the presentation of the reports in the House. The debate on the reports was what one might expect under such circumstances, with, here and there, a little cool-headed criticism from the independents in the Housewho are all Liberals, by the way.