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more one reflects on the suggested appointment, the more indispensable does such a step appear. It is true that in some instances the power of the provincial authorities appears to be on the wane. Mr. Grosvenor, for instance, in a recent report says that on the vexed question of the likin duties the pressure exercised by Sir Claud MacDonald at Pekin has resulted in their complete surrender at Canton, yet on the whole the viceroys are very powerful and even haughty. If appealed to by the Shanghai Chamber the viceroy of the province never condescends to answer directly, but only through the Taotai of Shanghai ; while occasionally he has taken the bold ground of pretending that he is independent of the Central Board in the capital. The latter never decide on matters affecting the treaty ports without consulting the viceroy of the province, and, unless the latter has been previously won over to the proposal, the official whose interests are affected invariably opposes it, with the result that the Tsung-li-Yamen, being unwilling to act in opposition, do nothing. A Superintendent of British Trade in China, associated if necessary with a Chinese Commissioner, would thus form a Board of Control to safeguard commercial privileges and all rights secured under the provisions of our treaties, and by forming an intermediary authority between the Central and Provincial Governments in China would enormously facilitate and expedite the course of business between the two as far as Europeans are concerned.
I cannot refrain from saying that if Great Britain avails herself of the exceptional opportunity she possesses at this critical juncture to insist on the reforms and measures, indicated above, as conditions of the proposed loan, she will have taken a step for which every part of her empire, to say nothing of the wider circle of traders in all parts of the globe, will have reason to be profoundly grateful, both now and in years to come.
C. A. MOREIXG.
TO THE EDITOR
OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY
SIR,--In your August issue you published an article by Mr. Lionel Phillips of Johannesburg, entitled “From inside Johannesburg : a Narrative of Facts,' which had reference to my article, 'The Jameson Expedition: a Narrative of Facts, published by you the previous month.
Mr. Phillips in the last paragraph of his article says that, to avoid controversy, he does not compare my report with a" report upon “the same subject written by four of the officers who accompanied “the expedition."
The only construction that can be put upon this remark is that the report of those four officers controverts my report, and that its production would prejudice me.
I have therefore asked Mr. Phillips to withdraw the imputation, or to publish the document in his possession.
I shall be much obliged if you will, by publishing this letter in your next issue, allow me to state that he has refused to comply with either request.
My absence from England will explain the delay in this communication.
I am, Sir,
Your obedient servant,
John C. WILLOUGHBY.
LONDON : January 15, 1898.
The Editor of TAE NINETEENTH CENTURY cannot undertake
to return unaccepted MSS.
Ox reading Mr. Greenwood's admirable article in the last number of this Review, one can hardly fail to be struck with the resemblance between the situation which he describes and the position in which England was placed in the middle of the eighteenth century. Theótrade war,' as he aptly terms it, is only another form of the struggle between France and Spain and sometimes Holland on the one side, and Great Britain on the other, for that naval supremacy, meaning, of course, colonial and commercial supremacy, which Great Britain seemed on the point of attaining at the expense of the other great Powers. They tried to arrest her progress by force of arms, and got the worst of it. To-day the confederates, as Mr. Greenwood says, are wiser, and will strive to gain their ends by a series of gradual and insidious encroachments, no one of which by itself may seem sufficient to justify war. If, however, these tactics are to be frustrated, we shall in the end either be obliged to fight or look tamely on while our trade and commerce, and with it probably our Empire, are torn from us piecemeal. But we cannot fight a confederacy without allies, and at present we have not got any. This is our predicament. Such, I think, is a fair statement of Mr. Greenwood's case, to which I have nothing to add., My object rather is to follow up the train of thought suggested by the assertion that we cannot fight without allies ; for the question has other lessons for us than those with which we are most familiar.
See Postscript. VoL, XLIII.- No. 253
England cannot fight two or three great Powers by herself. Agreed : but why not? She has done it before, and many people think that she could do it again. Of this I confess I am nearly as doubtful as Mr. Greenwood. But if this inability exists it is not traceable to the altered conditions of warfare alone. No doubt if all the navies of the world could suddenly be turned back again to sailing vessels we should, cæteris paribus, have as little to fear from our enemies as we had a hundred years ago. It remains to be seen what will be the effect of steam on the naval supremacy of England in a great European war. It may turn out that the same qualities which ensured our superiority under one set of conditions will equally ensure it under another. But it will hardly be denied that there is room for some anxiety on the subject. And even on the most sanguine estimate, a long and desperate struggle, marked by defeats as well as victories, and calling for indomitable patience and endurance to bring it to a successful issue, would I fear be less hopeful at the present day than it was in the time of our grandfathers. It is not only by money and munitions of war that such conflicts are decided. It may be found when the trial comes that our war power has been quite as much affected by social changes as by physical.
But, besides changes of great significance in the composition of society, there has been a change in popular opinion since the conclusion of the last great war, which, though it need only be glanced at very briefly, cannot be lett out of sight altogether in our present enquiry, because the observation of it may teach us to recognise errors confessedly answerable for the predicament in which we now find ourselves, and likely if persisted in to bring home this question of fighting to us in a very disagreeable form.
Whether England should allow herself to be entangled in continental politics is a question of expediency, which may be answered differently at different times. But it is closely connected with a question of principle not equally elastic, on which the English democracy has so long been abandoned to Radical guidance that any change in their convictions is hardly to be expected in time to affect either present emergencies or such as lie in the immediate future. It may be that nothing but bitter experience will teach them what they need to know. For the last eighty years a hatred of the military monarchies of the Continent has been carefully instilled into the minds of the English people by a large party in this country, variously composed of Whigs, Liberals, and Radicals. It has been part of the Radical gospel. The people have been taught that the great states of Europe, representing more or less the principle of absolutism and military power, were to be avoided like pitch, which England could not touch without being defiled. In aid of these assertions came the article of 'oppressed nationalities,' Greece, Italy, Poland, Hungary, and Belgium, for which those Powers were held
responsible. Nothing was too bad to be said of Metternich, Haynau, and the Emperor Nicholas. Mazzini and Kossuth were made popular idols. It was seen, of course, and seen with satisfaction, that if we could not allow other states to pursue their own ideas of Government in their own way, without lavishing all this violent abuse upon them, we could not reckon on their friendship; and thus gradually arose the doctrine of splendid isolation. Sir Robert Peel saw the danger. He saw that the policy which was perhaps justifiable in Mr. Canning was being pushed to unnecessary lengths by the Whig Government. 'I offer you,' he said in 1835, 'the restored confidence of powerful states, which the Liberals had declared to be a positive evil.' But the opportunity was lost, and the old confidence never was renewed. Lord Beaconsfield, himself a warm, even an enthusiastic admirer of Mr. Canning, thought that foreign affairs would have been much better managed if the Duke of Wellington had consented to take the Foreign Office when it was offered him. Lord Palmerston inherited and abused the foreign policy of Mr. Canning. He took up the cry of oppressed nationalities, and fanned the popular passion against the great monarchies. The Radicals, following eagerly this part of his system, called on the democracy to have nothing to do with the accursed thing. The question, be it noted, is not whether in the abstract the Radicals were right or wrong. Our sympathy with 'oppressed nationalities’ might be as just as it was generous.
Our indignation with their rulers might be a very righteous indignation. Our resolve to accept no help in any case from unclean hands, to have no dealings with them, to refuse to make any bargains or contracts with Powers whose principles we detested, might be a virtuous and high-minded resolution. I am not concerned to deny any one of these assumptions. All I say is that they are not consistent with the material position which England now occupies in the world ; not consistent with the means by which she rose herself; not to be acted on with safety by a great Empire surrounded by covetous and jealous rivals.
If we must have a great Empire with colonies and commerce in every quarter of the globe, we must use the means for preserving it which experience has shown to be necessary. We must make it the interest of other states to see England powerful and prosperous. We must make it worth their while. Such compacts as these may be stigmatised as vicious, anti-Liberal, and as committing us to acquiescence in much of which we disapprove. But we cannot have everything our own way. Empires can only be kept as they are won, by rather coarse means. Patriotism is only selfishness on large scale, and must rely upon worldly wisdom more than on spiritual sentiment. If any democracies are too austere or too squeamish to act on it, they must take the consequences. If England chooses to discard all the recognised maxims of statecraft, to stand