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be foreseen, and which may be fraught with all sort of embarrassment to the Government which Sir G. Clerk represented. It will next be said that a disconsolate widower, tenant for life, who declares, in the presence of his next in settlement, that he has no wish or intention to marry again,' will, if he change his mind, be liable to an action for breach of promise not to marry.
Our contemporary does not seem to be aware that the words of a treaty are supposed to be carefully weighed, and though after all they may sometimes be loose or inadequate, yet that it is clearly understood that they are never to be construed as carrying a meaning which they pointedly and unequivocally exclude.
The question of Responsible Government is one in which, in the Cape Colony, the questions of native management and military protection converge. To make it intelligible a short explanation is necessary. The terms Crown Colony' and • Responsible Government indicate the outside forms of Colonial Constitutions. In the first the Executive is entirely under the control of the Governor, all public officers being appointed, instructed, promoted, and removed by him. The Legislature is so composed that he can always command a majority in it; and though he is instructed to show great consideration for the opinions of its official and unofficial members, yet his will, and through him the will of the Home Government, is, when exerted, irresistible in the passing of laws as in the conduct of the administration.
Under Responsible Government, on the contrary, the Governor is bound in all matters of local interest to act on the advice of a Ministry possessing the confidence of a Representative Legislature. All public officers are appointed, instructed, and removed by or by the advice of this Ministry. The representatives of the Colonists are therefore all-powerful, directly in passing laws and imposing taxes, and indirectly through the Ministry in conducting affairs.
Between these two forms of government, and serving often as a transition from one to the other, are many varieties of constitution, of which the common characteristic is this, that while laws are passed and taxes imposed by a wholly or partially representative body, the administration is conducted by a body of permanent officials, responsible in all things through the Governor to the Home Government.
The propriety of adopting one or other of these forms of government is materially affected by the existence or non-existence of a native, or coloured, or subject population. A
homogeneous society may, from the nature of the case, be trusted to take care of its own interests, if only it is sufficiently intelligent. And there is no good reason why it should not be so trusted. But a few men of superior intelligence, with an Anglo-Saxon desire to make fortunes, cannot, from the nature of the case, be trusted to take care of the often conflicting interests of an inferior race. There is therefore a strong primâ facie reason why the Home Government should reserve that duty to itself. In possessions where Englishmen cannot settle and multiply, this state of things becomes normal; and in the tropics, accordingly, Crown Colonies are the rule.
The same reasons which exist permanently in the tropics exist in a somewhat different shape and for a time in temperate climates. The first settler is at once Aung among natives from whom he has to be defended. We have described the alternative which arises. If he has to defend himself the temptation to resort to murderous methods is almost irresistible. He has therefore to be defended by Great Britain, which, as it accepts the duty of punishing savages, is bound to see as far as possible that they are not ill treated, and for that purpose to retain in its own hands the administration of the colony.
It is plain, however, that an English colony like Canada or Victoria cannot be kept in leading strings for ever, and the question is, how soon it is desirable-with reference to this particular question—to make it defend and govern itself. It cannot be called on to defend itself until it is strong enough (whatever that may amount to), and, it may be said, it ought not to be allowed to govern itself till there is a reasonable prospect of its governing with justice. When is the latter condition fulfilled ? Our rough answer is this--when it has so increased that the opinions and interests of the border settlers have ceased to be the opinions and interests of the colony. One advantage of a great nation is that, in any question between particular interests, the great body, when appealed to by the Press or in Parliament, arbitrates as a neutral. And so when the principal districts of a colony have been for years inhabited and cultivated without native troubles or the fear of them ; when busy centres of population are established; when multiform interests have sprung up, and when among certain professions habits of impartial thought have been acquired; the quarrels between settlers and natives assume the character of a question between particular interests, and the whole body, not affected by any frantic esprit de corps, can consider with reasonable coolness what is right and what is for the best
interest of the whole. And this is still more the case if the increase of population, which creates an impartial majority, is accompanied by arrangements with the mother country which throw on that majority the penalties of native mismanagement. Thus the same condition of things justifies the Home Government at once in calling on the colonists to defend themselves, and in trusting them to manage native affairs--that is, in withdrawing troops and in establishing Responsible Government. But we have said that between these two modes of
government lie various others in which the people have the power of legislation and of the purse, while the Crown has the executive administration, and with it the duty of governing and controlling the natives. In relation to our present purpose this state of things (which existed till recently at the Cape of Good Hope) is liable to two inconveniences.
One is that those who make laws and vote money can practically hamper or paralyse the Government; and consequently that the Local Government may find itself forced into a bad policy by the want of proper laws and adequate funds, and then obliged to call on Great Britain to support that policy by force of arms. This is now a familiar dilemma.
The other is this. Great Britain acknowledges no obligation to defend its colonies against internal troubles or frontier tribes, except only when they cannot do it for themselves. The military contributions, as they were called, of different dependencies were regulated not by considerations of justice but of mercy. Each was called upon to pay what it was supposed capable of paying without material inconvenience; subject to the duty of paying full price when it was rich enough.
But what follows? That if the colonial finance is well managed the Home Government strikes in between the colony and the fruits of its good management. If there is a surplus revenue, it is rightly and necessarily urged by the Home Government as justifying an enlarged military contribution. It was thus by careful financial management that Ceylon was first enabled and then required to defray the whole of her military expenditure. But Ceylon was a Crown Colony, and it is not to be expected that a Representative Assembly should deny itself the satisfaction of lavish expenditure or inadequate taxation in order to be thus mulcted. These considerations are level to the most ordinary capacities, and appeal to the simplest apprehension of public and private interest. How far they prevailed in the Cape we cannot say-probably a good deal, if the Cape colonists are made of the same stuff as their
fellow-creatures. The fact was, however, that from various causes, among which this
may well be one, it was found impossible to get the Cape finances into order. Year after year the expenditure exceeded the revenue. Sir P. Wodehouse complained that he had no real hold on the Legislature, and could do no good. The Home Government found that it could not get from the Cape the pecuniary contribution to which it was entitled; while it must have seen that a suspended claim to that contribution involved that penalty on economy which we have described. As financial disorder is the root of every kind of disaster, we were likely to drift into some great calamity unless the undivided responsibility for the finance of the colony were imposed on one single authority capable of supporting it.
The question of defence was, as we have seen, involved in that of finance. Experience and Sir George Cathcart had taught us, that the true force for the control of a native frontier is in a well-trained police force. Settlers, if called on to perform this duty, become barbarous. Soldiers have not the flexibility for it, and (we believe) are demoralised by it. An armed police force alone can be educated into doing what it ought to do, and prevented from doing more. But the change from soldiers to police could not be effected at once. The sudden withdrawal of British soldiers from the Cape would of course have excited the whole native population, and left the colonists without means of protection. What was to be desired was a gradual diminution of the British troops, a simultaneous increase of the armed police, and such an alteration of the political constitution as would place the management of native affairs in the hands of persons who represented the intelligence of the colony, subject to this sobering condition that, if they rushed into a native quarrel, they themselves would have to bear the consequences, or at least a very serious part of them, instead of making it an occasion (as the last war had been) of enriching themselves at the cost of the Imperial Government.
Whether these reflections were present to the minds of Ministers on every successive occasion when they took a decision on this matter, we do not pretend to guess. But the course which they took was such as these reflections would suggest.
There were two points to be carried. First, the withdrawal of military assistance-if not total, at any rate to such an extent as to impose on the colony primarily the burden of selfdefence; next, the grant of political power. The connexion of the two was as obvious to the colonists as to the Home Government. It must have been plain that they would never willingly accept Responsible Government if it meant the withdrawal of British troops. From a Governor it was almost certain that one or the other proposal would meet with all the opposition which was consistent with loyalty. Nobody who is worth much is without
• That last infirmity of noble minds,' esprit de corps. And no Governor who feels himself capable of governing will readily abandon, for himself and his successors-representatives in the Colony of the Queen and country of Great Britain-his source of power and his source of splendour-the control of the civil service and the disposal of British troops. Therefore, that the Home policy had to be forced on the Governor and Colony with a certain amount of peremptory decision (of course the less the better), was an unavoidable condition of action at all. The matter was one of the points of unpleasant contact to which we have already referred, and had to be dealt with as such.
The first step, which was taken by Lord Carnarvon, was to announce a reduction in the number of troops stationed in the Colony and the prospective imposition of a rate of payment, on such a scale as would furnish an inducement to the Colony to enlarge their already efficient police force rather than to retain British soldiers. He added, that unless the payment was made the troops would be withdrawn. The Assembly said they could not pay, and Lord Granville said that the troops would be withdrawn, except such as might be required for Imperial purposes at Simon's Bay. To this decision Lord Kimberley adhered.
Meantime Sir P. Wodehouse had reported that the existing constitution was unworkable. We need not go into his reasons
- we are not aware that they are matters of dispute. But he still considered that the grant of Responsible Government was premature, and Lord Granville deferred to his high authority. That is to say, Sir Philip was authorised to place before the Local Legislature this option—Give us a constitution under · which we can govern-or govern for yourselves.' Before leaving his Government he put his own side of the alternative in the shape of a new constitution increasing the powers of the Executive. The Assembly rejected his proposal. Then his time of service being more than complete, he left the Colony; and Sir H. Barkly, experienced in every form of colonial constitution, was sent out under instructions to press the introduction of Responsible Government, which he did with success.