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another at the point of the sword, what is the reply? A difficulty, perhaps. But this is altogether an affair of practical politics, from which the wrongfulness that would injure us is never likely to be removed by argument. It is not thought wrongfulness for that matter; and the design is to injure us, if by injury is meant the utmost possible limitation of our trade in the Far East-even the sweeping of the whole trade out of our hands and into their own, could that be contrived.
Something else must be touched upon. Amidst the talk of war that was started by Sir Micnael licks-Beach-whether wisely or not will be better understood by the time this Review is published—we were all easy, and careless, and happy in the thought that our naval forces would be joined by those of Japan! An astonishing public opinion had no doubt of the policy, the righteousness, the success of that alliance on the sea and in the field. Is it past, this folly ?—for surely there was never greater folly in the world. Let us remember. What was the origin of the turmoil of the last three years, and especially of the last three months ? It is described in the second page of this article (accurately, as I insist) as the fateful decision of 1895, when our Government determined upon rejecting the Czar's overtures and on shaking hands with the Yellow Spectre. Or, as it is put in milder words, when a stroke was made at Russia on behalf of Japan. At that time I repeated an old opinion of one who had a far finer judgment than I can pretend to, that any European Power which allied itself in arms with the Yellow peoples against another European nation would play traitor to the welfare of the whole human
Even at the moment of their wonderful uprising the Japanese did far too much to justify that profound opinion: I reiterate it, and pass to some details not unimportant. The stroke at Russia on behalf of Japan had its natural consequence: formation of that hostile partnership at Constantinople and in the Far East. A natural consequence, because active friendship with Japan against Russia is the deadliest form of enmity that the Czar's Government knows anything about. That is decided by Russia's newer ambitions, her enormous expenditure on them, and the sudden appearance of Japan as a daring and ingenious naval Power with high commercial aspirations and aptitudes. For Russia Japan is unendurable as enemy and competitor in those seas. Nothing is more fixed in her policy than that conviction, and we may expect it to be acted on inveterately. As enemy and competitor Japan will not be suffered to live if the Russian arms and Russian alliances can put her in a different position —which different position will be her fate almost certainly, and perhaps soon. Well, then, in this state of the case, it is still while I write a general belief in England that we should be on velvet' in alliance with Japan; and this although Russia has France at her back, and although the German Emperor has shown by a certain
famous picture what he thinks of a flourishing and conquering Japan! Considering these things, I take leave to say that this general belief in England is little better than a general madness.
To judge by my latest news, however, it is a madness which is unlikely to be indulged. Report of the sailing of a Japanese fleet as if to force the game, but also report that Japan will force the game at her own peril, if at all. For, after some hesitation, the Germans are disposed to allow us at Kiao-chau liberal commercial privileges (a good thing to do at the beginning, and the privileges can always be revised), and that, of course, if true, is a softener. Over-provocation is much reduced thereby. At the same time a gentle wind of rumour whispers a tale of compromise ; of no desire in high quarters to press upon China the conditions of the loan—nor any reason why they should not be modified. Further, that when Sir Michael HicksBeach spoke of war he was strangely though universally misinterpreted. If this means peace I for one shall be glad, albeit with bitterness; for, after all the shouting of the captains, it looks too much like the withdrawal of a challenge. But what then? The long and short of it is that, unless for very life, we cannot fight two or three great Continental Powers at once, and it is evident, and should always have been understood, that such a challenge as our terms of the loan' would be resented by the head of a combination irresistible except by enormous effort and sacrifice. The price of our policy of no alliances must be paid : a policy which would be ridiculous, and even scandalous, if it ended in an anti-European alliance with the Japanese. Does it follow that we are quite done ? Not at all. With patience, watchfulness, courage, we may yet be redeemed from isolation-the one thing to look to.
Be it understood, however, that meantime the long game goes on, the syndicate's policy of squeeze continues. No powder is burnt, no guns go off, but we are still in an actual state of war, as I have shown.
THE EXPANSION OF GERMANY
The debates in the German Reichstag, the discussions in the German press, and, most of all, the speeches of the Emperor William have awakened Europe with something of a start to the policy upon which Germany is embarking. There have, of course, been indications for some time that the Emperor, at all events, was seeking a wider stage for the exhibition of German activity, and in his recent declarations one can clearly see the natural development of ideas and intentions which have been gradually taking shape in his mind. What is novel is not perhaps so much the policy as the extraordinary manner in which it is announced to the world.
German colonial expansion is no new fact. Prince Bismarck, if not its actual initiator, was its benevolent friend. When, at the close of her victorious struggle with France, twenty-five years ago, a united and pacified Germany settled down to industrial pursuits, Bismarck was not slow to perceive the importance of colonial markets as an outlet for German manufactures.
He also saw, with the strongest possible distaste, the steady flow of German emigration to the United States and to British colonies, for, once upon foreign soil, the emigrants only too often threw off their German nationality, and remained permanently in the land of their adoption. Emigration, which has done so much to create and still does so much to strengthen the British Empire, seemed to be a running sore for Germany.
But beyond all this, it is at least probable that Prince Bismarck began to foresee what everybody sees to-day, that the future of the world belongs to the great states, and that a Germany without foreign possessions, without great territorial interests as well as great commercial interests, must necessarily dwindle in importance, in comparison with such world-states as Great Britain, Russia, the United States of America, and perhaps even France, are destined to become. Germany might continue to increase in commercial prosperity, her military position in Europe might remain unthreatened, and yet in the race of the nations she might insensibly fall into the second rank. It is pretty clear that Bismarck did perceive the extraordinarily important and critical character of the time in which we live. No one can doubt that we do live in one of the most critical epochs in the history of the modern world. It is the era of colonial expansion. The scramble among European nations for the remaining unappropriated portions of the earth's surface is at its height. Opportunities neglected now may never come again. The process of filling in, so to speak, the blanks upon the map is rapidly going on, and it is destined to determine, perhaps for centuries, the relative places which the nations of Europe will occupy in the world. Great Britain has already painted red huge patches of the map. .
France since the war of 1870 has splashed on her colour boldly and with unfaltering hand. Germany, under Bismarck, began to paint in her shade-somewhat tentatively at first--in the Cameroons, in SouthWest Africa, in East Africa, and in New Guinea. But it is during the last ten years-one might almost say during the last five years--that the colonial policy of Germany has taken more definite shape.
The fortunes of the colonial party in Germany have suffered many vicissitudes. It was a happy day when their views found favour with the present Emperor. Once a convert, the natural impetuosity of his character made him an apostle. It is a matter of common knowledge that he now dreams of a great colonial empire for Germany, a Greater Germany beyond the seas'; perhaps not precisely upon the same pattern as Greater Britain, but undoubtedly he dreams of an empire outside the geographical limits of Germany in Europe, which shall take away from her the reproach of being merely a European state, and place her par inter pares among the other great world-states—England, Russia, and America.
To this end the whole of his recent policy appears to be directed. It is for this he has passionately and persistently pressed for an increase of his fleet. Whatever may be the views and ambitions of the German people, there can be no manner of doubt as to their Emperor's view of his personal mission. This passage occurs in the Kiel speech :
I am conscious that it is my duty to extend and enlarge what my predecessors have bequeathed to me. The journey which you will undertake and the task which
have to fulfil imply in themselves nothing new; they are the logical consequences of what my grandfather, of blessed memory, and his great Chancellor founded in the political sphere, and of what our illustrious father won by his sword on the battle-field ; they are naught but the first manifestation of the newly united and newly arisen German Empire in its transmarine mission. In the stupendous development of its commercial interests, the Empire has gained for itself such a wide sphere that it is my duty to follow the new German Hanseatic League and to bestow upon it the protection it can claim from the Empire and the Emperor.
The same feelings and convictions are expressed in many other speeches of the Emperor, which it is unnecessary to quote.
Everybody is prepared to admit that there is much in the inflated language of these speeches which is specially adapted to the immediate circumstances of the time, and that in making them the Emperor had in view the chances of the Navy Bill in the Reichstag.
It would, however, be still more to the point to say that the circumstances of the time—the massacre of German missionaries in China and the outrage upon a German merchant in Hayti–have afforded him a peculiarly favourable opportunity for announcing to the German people, and to the world at large, a policy which he has had closely at heart for some time. In pursuing this policy, beyond all doubt, the Emperor is animated by a lofty sense of patriotism, and a profound conviction of the necessity for colonial expansion, if Germany is to hold a great place in the world. There is, however, no disrespect in conjecturing that his personal zeal in the matter is additionally stimulated by strong personal ambition. He is unquestionably a man of great though somewhat eccentric gifts, and, like many other gifted persons, he is consumed with the desire to display his talents. The circumstances of Europe are such—owing to the species of stable equilibrium produced by the competition between the dual and triple alliances--that he cannot hope, for the present at all events, to increase the power and prestige of Germany in Europe. He naturally turns his eyes seawards in the hope of finding elsewhere those opportunities which he lacks in Europe for making his reign as memorable in the history of Germany as that of his grandfather, or as that of his redoubtable ancestor Frederick the Great.
We may certainly take it for granted that the Emperor represents the high-water mark of colonial ambition in Germany. His ministers speak with more caution and in a more modest vein. When introducing the Navy Bill into the Reichstag in December last, Prince Hohenlohe specifically disclaimed any desire upon the part of Germany to enter into rivalry with the great naval Powers or to inaugurate a policy of adventure. But,' he continued, Germany cannot afford to be a quantité négligeable when international problems, and problems essentiaily affecting our interests, are to be solved, and when the scene of these problems is not upon the soil of the continent of Europe.'
In the same debate the Imperial Foreign Secretary, Herr von Bülow, speaking for ministers, said, 'We are of opinion that it is not advisable to exclude Germany at the outset in countries with a future before them from engaging in competition with other nations. The days when the German abandoned to one of his neighbours the