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acquired and temperately exercised, but which are, in all cases, subject to deplorable abuse.
Admitting then, as all dispassionate enquirers must admit, that a change is necessary, the question as to the nature of that change presses for an immediate answer. There is no time to be lost; events may at any moment anticipate and render nugatory our decision. From what has been stated it is obvious that the claims of Portugal are too strong to be justly set aside unless from motives of stringent necessity. Do such motives exist? The Anti-Slavery Society has entered a protest against the extension of Portuguese authority on the ground of its alleged connivance with, or toleration of, the oppressors of negro humanity. We will leave it to the British Minister at Lisbon to refute this grave charge, re-echoed in various quarters.
'I am convinced,' Mr. Petre wrote to Lord Granville on April 13, 1884, 'that the Government of this country is as sincere and firm in its determination to aid in the suppression of the slave trade as any other European Government, and would be as little disposed to tolerate any prostitution of its authority for such a purpose. Mistrust, and suspicion of Portuguese tolerance with respect to the slave trade, are legacies of the past. In these days of rapid intercommunication the arm of the metropolitan government is far-reaching enough to make its power felt and its will respected; nor, taking the lowest ground, is it likely that colonial officials would run the risk involved in winking at the iniquitous traffic, without a prospect, or, even more a certainty, of personal gain. Yet it is notorious that, as a rule, Portuguese colonial governors return home, after their few years' tenure of office, as poor as they went.' (Africa, No. 5 (1884), No. 36.)
Still more frequent, and not less earnest, are the reclamations on behalf of commercial freedom. Most of these can be met by a simple recital of the provisions of the treaty signed on February 26 last, which are the best justification of the measure. They are summarised by Lord Edmond Fitzmaurice, in replying, March 21, 1884, to the objections of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, as follows:
'The navigation, police, and general control of the River Congo are placed under a Mixed Commission, thereby extending for the first time the principles of the Treaty of Vienna, in regard to freedom of navigation, to a river in Africa. It is evident that, as civilisation extends into the interior of that continent, the principle of the freedom
It is probable that Lord Granville's original proposal of an International Commission will be reverted to.
of the navigation of the Congo will accompany it, now that that principle has been established as a matter of international concern.
'In the specified territory Great Britain obtains absolute mostfavoured-nation treatment, and also equal treatment with Portuguese traders, so that all differential treatment, whether in favour of Portuguese ships or goods, or those of any other nation, is impossible. The coasting trade is also thrown open to the British flag, and in all the African possessions of Portugal the present customs tariff is not to be raised for a period of ten years. This arrangement secures the retention of the 6 per cent. ad valorem tariff at Ambriz, which, though technically within the limits of the specified territory, has been for many years an undisputed Portuguese possession, and is therefore not within. the description of the preamble of the treaty.
'In the territory itself the customs tariff is not to exceed the rates of the Mozambique tariff of 1877. The maximum rates under that tariff in regard to the principal articles of British trade are as follows: 6 per cent. ad valorem on iron; 10 per cent. ad valorem on woollens, linens, and silk, and on mixed tissues; 10 per cent. ad valorem on certain classes of cotton goods, such as cotton velvets, plushes, quiltings, flannels, and blankets; and specific duties, calculated not to exceed the equivalent of 10 per cent. ad valorem, on certain other classes of cotton textures. It is believed in regard to these last that the calculations made in 1877 will have to be revised, as it appears that, owing to the exceedingly cheap character of some of the cotton textures sent into the Congo district, and the recent fall in prices, the specific rates in some cases now represent more than the equivalent of 10 per cent. This is a point which has not escaped the attention of the Foreign Office. Transit by water is to be absolutely free, with proper facilities for bonding and transhipment; and an assurance has been obtained from the Portuguese Government, that, as soon as roads and railways exist, and proper arrangements can be made, a similar freedom will be accorded to transit by land, subject, of course, to the usual securities against fraud and smuggling.
Speaking generally, the treaty has been entered into in order to establish security and peace on the Congo; to put an end to crimes and hindrances to trade, which papers laid before Parliament show to exist in consequence of the absence of any regular government; to secure moderate customs duties and the prevention of differential imposts; and to obtain national and complete most-favoured-nation treatment for British subjects, commerce, and shipping. The treaty also contains valuable stipulations in regard to the abolition of slavery and of the slave trade both on the eastern and western coasts of Africa, and for the maintenance of religious liberty.' (Africa, No. 5 (1884), No. 22.)
British trade with the Portuguese possessions on the West Coast of Africa has increased of late much more rapidly than with those parts under native rule;* while the ameliorated
This has been pointed out by Mr. Joseph C. Lee, of Manchester,
condition of the black population of Angola, the tranquillity of their lives, and the variety and comparative persistence of their industry, give hope of beneficial results on the side of humanity. It has sometimes been asserted that Portuguese interests on the Congo are relatively insignificant; but we find it stated, on unquestioned authority, that of forty-nine factories existing on its banks in 1882, twenty-six were Portuguese, twelve Dutch, seven French, and but four English. Moreover, Portuguese is the current medium of communication all along that coast; the one language with which a traveller is obliged to be conversant for the purposes of daily intercourse both with Europeans and natives.†
By the stipulations of the treaty with Portugal, the Lower Congo acquired the character of an international highway; but has that highway all the importance attributed to it? We doubt it. About 100 miles from the coast, on the left bank of the river, lies Noki, the furthest point of the contemplated Portuguese dominion; opposite to it is Ikongola, specially reserved to the Belgian Association as the most convenient landing-place for Vivi, whirlpools caused by the agitated and unequal rush of water rendering it frequently unsafe to proceed higher up. Here begins Stanley's road-or, as M. de Brazza prefers to call it, his 'staircase of 300 kilomètres '-offering access to the Pool, in part by means of a precipitous track (we apprehend that only short sections deserve the name of a road), in part by means of emphatically touch-and-go' navigation in small steamers. The time consumed in thus reaching Leopoldville from Banana is twenty days, whereas the distance can be performed on foot in twenty-three. It is plain that the remunerative transport of goods demands greater facilities than are here afforded. A railway has been spoken of; but,
and is confirmed by a reference to the most authentic statistics of trade.
* Robert, Afrika als Handelsgebiet,' p. 48. The original authority is Ribeiro in 'Boletim da Sociedade de Geographia de Lisboa,' 1882, iii. The qualifying statement should be added, that the Portuguese are mostly individual traders, while the English, Dutch, and French establishments represent, in general, large companies.
+ It gives a high idea of the intelligence of these people to learn that thousands of the inhabitants of Angola, as far as 200 miles inland, and some even at San Salvador, read and write Portuguese very fairly, although the last of the old missionaries died a century ago (their graves are still reverently tended), and they have since then had next to no European teaching.
while it would be rash to assert that its construction is impossible, it is perfectly certain that it would be enormously costly. Besides, more plausible schemes are already on
The native trade routes leave the Congo at Stanley Pool, and, diverging on either side, strike the coast at considerable distances north and south of its estuary. It is probable that the main arteries of future European communication with the interior will follow the same general directions. The Kuilu valley, as has been mentioned, is now the property of the Congo Association; the possibilities of conducting a railway along it have been, with promising results, explored, and may shortly be brought to the test of realisation. This line, of less than 300 miles, would reach the coast somewhere between Landana and Loango, and would, accordingly, be entirely outside the Portuguese dominions. It would, indeed, effectually turn the position of which the Lower Congo forms the direct approach.
South of the Congo, on the other hand, a railway following the track of the ivory caravans from the shores of Stanley Pool through San Salvador to Ambrizette, would chiefly traverse Portuguese territory, and would in all likelihood encounter fewer engineering difficulties than the northern approach. It is to be hoped that the momentous promise of this work will not be blighted through lack of enterprise. The countrymen of João II. and of Vasco de Gama are no longer insensible to the duty of developing the resources of their colonies. In West Africa especially, a new and beneficent activity prevails. The establishment of steam communication with the River Quanza has done much for the prosperity of Loanda, the projected railway to Ambaca will do more. But of far more vital importance than either would be the line of connexion with Central Africa just indicated. To British trade the advantages held out by it are incalculable, for by an understanding between the British and Portuguese Governments it might afford the same freedom of transit afforded by the water-way of the Congo.
The truth is that the arrangements recently concluded, as the unexpected and perhaps unwelcome result of De Brazza's exploring energy, between France and the International Association, render doubtful and remote the prospect of unrestricted access to the wide region of the Upper Congo. The Association, it may be said, has made its will, and has appointed France its residuary legatee. The demise
of the testator may not-we cannot tell-be long delayed. And in the meantime confidential relations have succeeded to former rivalry, and a narrow and retrograde commercial policy threatens to prevail. These considerations appear to us to justify our regret at the failure of the arrangement entered into with Portugal, provided that arrangement had been extended by the acceptance of other Powers. The case is one which admits of no exclusive privileges or agreements. Mere national rivalry would be singularly out of place, where the only real contest lies between civilisation and barbarism; and the future of the Congo can only be fairly regulated by opening those waters on equal conditions and under reasonable regulations to the commerce of the world.
ART. VII.-The Life of Frederick Denison Maurice, chiefly told in his own Letters. Edited by his son, FREDERICK MAURICE. In two volumes. London: 1884.
WHEN, shortly after the death of Frederick Denison
Maurice, some friend offered to present a portrait of him to the Royal Academy, no one of the then Council, the editor of his 'Life' assures us, had ever heard his name or knew anything about him. If this report agrees strictly with the fact, we have in it something more than an illustration of the manysidedness of English life. The temptation to think that our names have travelled far beyond the utmost limits which they have reached is common enough; and great activity in one sphere of work may serve even as a hindrance to any appreciation of the worker in another. But there are cases to which we might suppose that this remark could not be applied; and the career of one who exercised great influence over many Englishmen of almost every class under conditions of unusual difficulty might be regarded as such an exception. That Mr. Maurice lived and worked through some of the most critical periods in the recent history of the English nation, and that, whether seen or unnoticed, he had much to do with shaping the course of that history, is as little to be disputed as the warmth of the affection which he awakened in those who knew him best. His friend Charles Kingsley was assuredly saying simply what he meant, when he spoke of him as the most beautiful human soul whom God 'has ever, in His great mercy, allowed me, most unworthy, to meet with upon this earth.' The language of many