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done exactly what Magee warned us not to do. We do not cherish our manhood. We only cherish our good-for-nothings; they are the only class that the State encourages--the rest may go hang.

At the present moment millions of us lead lives without joy or hope or self-respect, often with the scantiest and poorest food. The stranger within the gates is our spoilt darling ; and the Englishman may take his leavings—if there are any. What is the good of talking about the Ten Commandments to a poor fellow whose work the Radical party has taken away from him, so that he sees his dear ones in misery, while a foreigner battens on his job? Human nature is strained to the breaking point; and unless we can get the present Government out we may have to face a dire thing-Revolution.

Ignorance is our enemy; it seems as if it would be our conqueror. How great that ignorance is may be realised from some remarks of the late Professor Huxley made twenty years ago. We were then just beginning to talk ‘Imperialism.' At that date Huxley did not like it. He thought that England would do better to renounce a policy which he thought 'grasping,' and to subside, contentedly, into a second Holland, a country without dependencies, whose history was wound up. Even Huxley was really ignorant of the fact that Holland was possessed of the largest Colonial Empire in extent after our own. He was also unaware that England had conquered that Empire (much of it twice) and handed it back to the Dutch, which is hardly a “grasping' policy. So I listened in respectful silence and mentally sketched the ‘Lost Empires of the modern world.' Lord Rosebery's definition of the British Empire cannot be too clearly kept in mind : the greatest secular agency for good now existing in the world.'

Any suggestion for overcoming our ignorance must be made on the supposition that Germany grants us time. We are now existing on German sufferance. If she chooses to strike she can write the 'Lost Empire of England’ at her leisure. Supposing that one more chapter in the history of the luck of England 'remains to be written (and we hardly deserve it), can any measure be taken to insure an educated public opinion in this country? If Huxley was ignorant, how great must be the ignorance of others! And indeed we know that it is complete, and is the chief source of Radical

power. To return to the consideration at the head of this article, a great State ought not to be at the mercy of popular passion. A gust of popular passion put the present Government into power; another gust will shortly destroy it. But we should strive to create a large body of educated opinion that will make these cataclysms impossible. Is there any agency to this end? I venture to indicate the Education Office.

Teaching does tell. The English habit of despising teaching is a weakness ; there is no reason why we should cherish a weakness. In the matter of teaching Colonial history, Oxford has been able to

3 Later he changed his point of view.

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make a beginning, thanks to the generosity of the late Mr. Alfred Beit. Elsewhere in England there is, I believe, no teaching on the subject. The great Universities of Liverpool, Sheffield, and many others, receive subsidies from the Treasury for the excellent purpose that the pick of teachers in Board schools may proceed to the Universities for two or three years. Here, then, is machinery ready to our hands. Here is a very good test case. Have we really decayed so far, mentally, that we dare not stipulate for teaching the history of the British Empire? The machinery is widespread. The most brilliant of our elementary teachers would imbibe the principles of sound Imperialism at their University, and would in turn impress them upon the rising generation. Of course the Radicals would oppose this ; all the more reason why we should see it carried through

; as soon as possible. The Empire, as it exists at present, is an inverted pyramid. Its conditions are vastly complicated. Debating will do no good ; writing and speaking may influence a few dozen minds ; but what the country requires is some agency that will influence tens of thousands of minds. The Treasury is responsible for saving money. A stable public opinion would save the Treasury hundreds of millions sterling; and a circular to the Universities and colleges which receive its subsidy would cost it nothing.

This proposal is not on its defence. It is the present state of things that requires defence, and can find none. Could there be a more dangerous state of public opinion than that the safety, honour, and welfare of the King's dominions should be a matter on which two opinions are tenable by those who draw the King's pay? The five vital points of Imperial Policy are :

(1) An organised system of teaching Imperialism throughout the country in the interests of public economy. Otherwise we are 'blown about by every wind of doctrine.'

(2) Immediate introduction of Tariff reform.

(3) Immediate and stringent prohibition of further alien immigration.

(4) Immediate provision of a real army for home defence. One form of compulsion should be this, that if a man will not fit himself to fight for his country, neither shall he vote.

(5) An immediate inquiry into the state of the Navy. The Admiralty cannot but profit by this ; the refusal to grant it is unintelligible except upon one hypothesis. If all is right, it is well ; if anything is wrong, the country asks nothing better than to set it right; but it means to know what has been done that was wrong, no matter who did it, Tory or Radical.

* What is more likely to occur is that these great Universities will not wait for the Treasury to take the initiative. They will decline to see the Empire fooled away on any pretext whatever. I refer to Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, and Bristol ; also Newcastle and Nottingham, which are almost Universities.

On page 4 of the Morning Post of the 24th of December 1908 we read as follows :- This question of secrecy is one which affects very materially the comparative efficiency of the Navy. The first and foremost offender, however, is not the Press or the naval officer, but the Admiralty Office. Most of the leakage takes place there, and leaks away in a direction where nothing is heard of it. Not once or twice have confidential papers of the utmost value gone astray at the Admiralty.' No comment could add to the appalling significance of this statement.

It should never be forgotten that the Conservative cause is the cause of the poor. What do we seek to conserve ?

(1) Our people ;
(2) Our trade;

(3) Our defences. Surely there can be no two opinions that these vital interests ought to be conserved. Nevertheless, woeful though it is to believe, one great party devotes its whole attention to attacking them; and that the party which calls itself the party of the people par excellence. The question of honour apart, the well-to-do people in this country would not suffer much under a German conquest. The poor, on the contrary, would suffer horrors. It is in their cause that we labour ; and the following is a specimen of the wisdom in high places with which we must needs contend.

On page 6 of the Standard of the 3rd of October 1908 anyone may read the reported speech of a politician who says that those of us who are labouring to rouse the country to a sense of its imminent peril are 'a small class of publicists who, for selfish and unpatriotic ends, desire to set the nations at variance-well, they are the footpads of politics and the enemies of the human race': their words are the yapping of those parish curs who foul the kennel in which they live.' We also read that 'Our rivalries are only in trade and education 'that is all ; only in trade, the fiercest rivalry in international life, and in education, whereby our rivals are beating us. Only that!

We also read 'We are not organised, and, pray God, we never should be organised, as a great military nation, with a people in arms.

Who is it who says these things in language rather distressing to copy? Who is it who prays the Lord of Hosts to hinder our preparations for defence ? It is one of the King's Ministers—the Right Hon. Lewis Vernon Harcourt.

If the country approves this language, and all that this language implies, we are conquered before we fight. The country has received warnings innumerable, and has rejected them. It has heard Magee, and has forgotten him. We have seen the budding of the Imperial sentiment in the great University of Cambridge, and we have lived to see it wither like a gourd. Seeley and Maine and Fitzjames-Stephen

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appear to have lived in vain. We have a great Education Department, and it is apparently not allowed to use its powers in this direction. Lord Roberts has spoken, and if the country will not heed him it will not heed though one rose from the dead.

On the other side of the account what is there? This much discernible : (1) That the Tariff Reform League grows daily stronger ; (2) that the Imperial Maritime League has arisen, and is doing vital work in regard to the Navy which no other organisation is attempting; and (3) that the efforts of the National Service League (over which Lord Roberts presides) are visibly producing great effect. Also that, wherever we go, we find a rising tide of anger and alarm at the danger to which our country is exposed by the maladministration of the present Government.

It sometimes appears as if the fiat had gone forth, that the AngloSaxon had served his turn in the development of the designs of Omnipotence, and that a new epoch in the history of the world's civilisation was about to open under the presidency of the Teuton.

If that be so, and if we are destined to fall into the backwaters of history, and to make way for a stronger race, it is idle to struggle. But we are not here to anticipate the designs of Providence; we are here to do our duty to our country; and if any man can say or write one word to rouse his country, and he fails to say or write that word from indolence or fear of obloquy, then is he an accessory before the fact to the murder of his country.

After all, the one essential thing which inspires the life of a nation is righteousness: the rest is commentary. We are losing our Bible, and with it much of our manliness. While we drivel and dream, the Germans think and plan.

This paper began with a quotation from New Testament history cited by an Archbishop of York in support of his political views; it may well close with a quotation from Old Testament history cited by the Graphic of the 21st of November 1908. A two-page engraving represents both sides of the House of Commons fast asleep; and thus far has the hand written on the wall :

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MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHA

WALTER FREWEN LORD.

1909

THE PREVENTION OF CRIME ACT

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We have all heard of the American politician who ended his election address with the words, “These, gentlemen, are my principles; but if you do not approve of them I can change them.' The Prevention of Crime Act reminds me of the story. Anyone who reads Part II. of the Act in the light of the Minister's speech in presenting the Bill to Parliament will find proofs of a volte-face without a parallel even in recent legislation. In view of an unintelligent and mawkish opposition the Home Secretary not only flung aside a measure that was the outcome of years of thought and of conference between the Home Office and His Majesty's judges, but he adopted a scheme which accentuates the very evil with which that measure was intended to deal. The fiasco is one of many signal proofs of the incompetence of the present House of Commons as a legislative assembly. And it is a strange and yet not unnatural phenomenon that the more untrustworthy the Lower House proves itself to be the more virulent is the outcry raised against the House of Lords.

Part I. of the Act, which deals with the reformation of young offenders, is not matter of controversy. It is only Part II. that concerns us here. In introducing the Bill on the 27th of May last year Mr. Gladstone began by stating that our present system is sufficiently deterrent to 50 or 60 per cent. of prisoners. But he went on to specify the classes to whom it was not deterrent. The first he described as 'those who are criminals chiefly because of physical or mental deficiency rather than by reason of a settled intention to pursue a life of crime.' A scheme to deal with prisoners of this class, he said, was under consideration; they are outside the scope of the new enactment. And then he added, 'A second and far smaller class of prisoners consists of more formidable offenders, men who are physically fit, who take to crime by preference, decline work when it is offered them, and refuse the helping hand. They laugh at the present system of imprisonment.'

To these words I claim special attention. The new enactment has no reference to the great mass of the prison population. It applies only to a small section of a minority of our criminals—a minority for whom the law as hitherto administered has no terrors, men who are VOL. LXV-No. 384 241

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