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become so plain that no one would conceive these laws as
even remotely to relate to European dealings with Kaffir or
non-Eiuropean. The pressure of the non-European must
inevitably tend in the direction of consolidation, and there-
fore of the elimination of particularist national or rather
tribal ideas, among the European race the world over. My
friend, w^ho is of an old Huguenot name, and a lawyer of the
Temple, said : " You are speaking of the Millennium ; in
South Africa we shall drive the British into the sea."

As, among other reasons, I had immediately before been
instructed in the library by a mild Aryan brother of Bengal
how the British rulers of India were to be induced to
surrender their powers of Government to the educated
graduate of Calcutta University — their command of Sikh and
Gurkha and Eajput to the men from the plain — by the
simple device of holding up a grey-coated bogey of a Eussian
soldier on the borders of Baluchistan, I confess I did not
dream that tragedy was jostling comedy so near. The
shadow on the old sundial, the slope of the lawn, and the
trees under which I was sitting, seemed more deserving of

In the fierce glare of a Bloemfontein day of March 1897
I met my friend again, holding high office in the Orange
Free State. We talked of many things, but one of his first
questions was, " Do you still think of the Millennium, as in
the gardens of the Temple ? We shall drive the British into
the sea." I said, " They shall be as dead and gone as the
red and white roses plucked in the Temple Gardens five
hundred years ago, and as forgotten as the wars of York
and Lancaster." " No, not quite so forgotten. They can
keep Simonstown and the Bay." This was the Confederation
Week of March 1897, which linked the Orange Free State
to the fortunes of the A^aal Eiver Eepublic. I had returned
from attending the " Kwaije A^rouw " l^anquet, and a perfectly
harmless phrase of the President Kruger was being wildly
telegraphed over the world.

The latest, although, I hope, not the last, time I met my


friend was in a Johannesburg club in September 1899, in
the dark and gloomy days during the exodus of the Uitlanders.
He said, " Good-bye : we should have preferred this war
twenty years later ; we may fail, but we shall do our best.
You did not believe my prophecies years ago; you believe
them now." I said, " Of war, I did not believe them ; but
of success, you will be led to believe mine."

Now my friend of these three interviews, and of many
others, was not one of the Afrikanders in power ; he is one of
the most favourable specimens of the results of South African
educational training, and is a marked exception to the
rank and tile of the average young Afrikander trained in
African schools, obtaining degrees in English or Scottish
universities, or becoming qualified as professional men —
lawyers, physicians, or engineers — in England. To the
intellectually inferior members of the Young Afrikander
party 1 shall refer again, when I come to consider the
immediate cause of the war.

What, however, any European who settles in South
Africa cannot fail to see, from palpable evidence, is that
South African educational institutions, judged by the fruits
of their training the minds of their alumni, can only be
described as an anti-British forcing-house. The shibboleth,
" Drive the British into the sea," has clearly been impressed
on their minds at the most susceptible period.

Nothing is further from my design than to institute a
polemic against individuals or individual institutions. So I
do not propose to re-echo the naming of particular colleges
or institutions incessantly reaching one's ears in South
Africa from British residents, although details, if they were
wanted, are easily available. For present purposes it is
sufficient to judge the schools by their fruits — the minds of
those who have passed through their training. " Drive the
British into the sea."*

* See Appendix.





One of the most impressive speeches I ever heard was one
delivered by Mr. Gladstone, then Prime Minister, in the
early part of 1885, defending his policy towards German
expansion in South Africa — addressing the House of Commons
and the foreign ambassadors. The Prime Minister welcomed
Germany to the field of colonisation, and as a helper in the
great task of spreading European civilisation over Africa and
the world, wished her " God speed."

That Prince Bismarck, then German Chancellor, recipro-
cated such fraternal feelings one may be permitted to doubt.
German interests, and German interests alone, quite legiti-
mately from his nationalist standpoint absorbed his thoughts.
Consolidated Germany had become industrial. Industries
require markets all over the world, and trade follows the flag
— more especially when other nations' traders are excluded
by hostile tariffs. The Scramble for Africa came rather late
or Germany; but Germany took possession of anything
that was left. Among these annexations was that of German
South West Africa, surrounding the British possession, ad-
ministered by Cape Colony, of Walfisch Bay.

A generation or two from this will be better able to judge —
as then documents, now in the archives of Continental Foreign
Ofl&ces, may be published — as to the reality of the anti-
British policy freely asciibed to the German Chancellor by
British Imperialists in Johannesburg and in Cape Town. I
shall endeavour to show what their theory was and is. Let


us console ourselves by thinking that in a hundred years the
incredible may become commonplace. Few people in London
at the end of the 18th century would believe that the
Empress Catherine of Eussia could stoop to send written
directions to her ambassador in London to have English
journalists who opposed her policy in their articles in the
London press waylaid and bludgeoned. Yet the carious may
read these directions in the collection of despatches published
a few years ago by order of the Tsar, edited by Professor de
Martens of St. Petersburg. If these journalists had been
warned, and had published their news, they would probably
not have got a soul in England to believe them.

British Imperialists in South Africa ascribe to Prince
Bismarck, and to a less extent to his successors, a definite
anti- British policy, so as to secure for Germany territory
where possible, and, when territory was not attainable, trade.
They allege that the following ascertained facts are proofs of
that policy.

In the first place, the annexation of German South West
Africa, always regarded as within the British sphere of
influence since 1836, being within latitude 25°; and more
than that, actually constituting the Hinterland of the British
possession of the town and harbour of Walfisch Bay. There
is, in fact, even now, no other harbour of the slightest im-
portance in the territory. Much bitterness is still felt by
Cape colonists on what they regard as an unwarrantable
intrusion on their ground, and it is another of their grievances
against a vacillating Colonial Office in London. They point
out to you that a narrow strip of German territory has been
prolonged to touch the Zambesi River. They suggest it was
meant to facilitate a junction with Transvaal territory, the
trek to the North being still expressly permitted to the
Ptepublics by the London Convention of 1884; permitted,
indeed, until Mr. Cecil Rhodes, by occupying Mashonaland
and Matabeleland, headed off the trekking Boer.

In the next place, the subsidising of the German East
African line of steamers, running from Hamburg to Delagoa
Bay, and preferential trade advantages in the way of Pretoria

H 2


Government orders to German traders. Connected with this,
the institution of the Government National Bank in Pretoria
with German, instead of HoUander or Boer, directors in 1889,

Again, the closing of the Drifts in 1895, an order of
I'resident Kruger, to prevent traffic being taken by road
instead of rail from Cape Colony to the Transvaal, a measure
intended for the benefit of the Hollander railway company
primarily, but secondly to divert trade to Delagoa Bay, where
the railway ended and the German steamers plied.

Yet again, the introduction of German officers, artillerist
and engineers, to Pretoria and Bloemfontein ; and the con-
struction, ordered in 1895, before the Jameson Eaid, of forts
in Johannesburg and Pretoria under the direction of German

The famous telegram of January 1896 of the German
Kaiser figures very largely indeed among their proofs of an
anti-British Boer-German entente cordiale. British South
Africans will not accept assurances, such as even a Socialist
member of the German Eeichstag gave me, that no political
significance attacheil to that telegram ; that it was merely
the military spirit of the Kaiser leading him to recognise
Boer valour. They ask you, why then did the Germans ask
permission from Portugal to land marines at Delagoa P)ay to
proceed to Pretoria to guard German interests, on the out-
break of the Jameson Eaid ?

As regards President Kruger's desire to obtain German
support, or that of any other of the great Powers, there of
course can be no doubt. His declaration of January 1896
to that effect is explicit ; but we are speaking here of German

Now, in subsequent chapters, I purpose to present both
the Uitlander and the Boer vei-sion of the Transvaal situa-
tion, in tlie language of their own leaders, directly com-
luunicated to me, and my own conclusion on their merits.
In this will appear plainly the Boer attitude towards the
German Government and German influence, and their desire
to utilise both of those forces as buttresses of theii- in-
dependence — as tht-y conceived it.


Here I only record the general sentiment of British South
African Imperialists, on German policy, prior to the present
war. If I can form no definite conclusion as to German
Imijerial policy from 1884 to 1892, and from 1892 to 1899,
no doubt the fact that the public of foreign countries have
no access to the records of the Foreign Office at Berlin will
prove a sufficient excuse. Of one thing one can feel perfectly
convinced: that if the German Chancellor had conceived
designs of ousting British influence in the Transvaal and the
Cape and South Africa generally, it would not be for love of
the heaux yeux of Pretoria.

As to an alleged " Conspiracy " between the two Ee-
publican Governments, the German Chancellor, and the
Bond party in Cape Town, to oust the British Empire one
hears very much; but, except by inference and induction,
one is shown no proofs ; on the contrary, as I shall make
clear later on, we have emphatic denials on the South
African side — both in the Republics and the Cape.

Even as to such a design, embodied in an alliance as
formal as may be, it must in fairness be remembered that
there is no absolute wickedness in a German Chancellor
desiring the predominance of Germany, in extent of territory
or in trade, in South Africa, or anywhere else; and in
availing himself of the absolute independence thrust on one
former British dependency — the Orange Free State — and the
modified independence surrendered after defeat to another
British dependency. And similarly, that the object of
creating a Dutch-speaking and Dutch-ruled South African
Dominion through the Governments of Pretoria and Bloem-
fontein is a perfectly intelligible ideal for Dutch-speaking
folk, who have had so many reasons not to admire the
British Colonial Office, to entertain.

The case of the Bond party in Cape Colony is quite
different. Such an alliance would constitute the crime of
rebellion in a particularly aggravated form. It would
indeed be monstrous, as the present High Commissioner put
it, if the Dutch-descended British colonists were not loyal.
Absolute liberty, absolute equality, political power to the


extent of nominating the Ministers of the Crown, is their lot
in the Cape Colony — and in all British possessions no
disability rests on any European of non-British descent.

I venture to submit to British South African Imperialists
a view of the policy of some of the Bond leaders — for the
rank and file have sent thousands of armed rebels to the
field, and indeed Bond Members of the Cape Parliament have
taken up arms as well — whicli I have tentatively held, which,
if correct, would harmonise their professions, public and
private, of loyalty to the Empire with their sympathy with
their kindred over the Orange Eiver, and their desire to see
them maintain their separate state existence. Living states-
men who have sat in the Imperial Cabinet, even at one time
Lord Beaconsfield, looked forward to the future of the
Colonies as one of absolute severance from the Empire.
"Perish India," is a well-known phrase. The Colonial
Minister of Majuba Hill, his successor of the London Con-
vention of 1884, and Prime Minister Gladstone cannot have
been inspired with that passionate devotion to the great
mission of the Empire and the maintenance of its integrity
which now thrills through its citizens. These statesmen
certainly considered themselves loyal ; and, no doubt, even
their opponents would not dispute their loyalty in intention,
however they may denounce what they regard as their
unwisdom. I have recalled how, at the Queen's Jubilee
banquet in Johannesburg of June 1897, I heard a Dutch
loyalist — who has sacrificed home and friends for his loyalty
— refer to what he assumed to be the inevitable dissolution
of the Empire. May it not be that the independent
Afrikander nation, contemplated by some of the Bond
leaders, was one to be evolved by this peaceful process ?

None the less it is incumbent on citizens of the Empire
to demonstrate the utter failure of that ideal to rise to the
true conception of the destinies of the race. That they will
resist it to the death on the field of battle they have shown.
But the task remains of convincing the minds of our Boer
fellow-citizens, and of some among our allies of the United
States. The work before those suited for it in South Africa


to-day is to convince all who have, for good or ill, thrown
in their lot with the future of South Africa, that the growth
of a local patriotism and the cherishing of proud memories
of a bygone ancestry are no more incompatible with the
wider patriotism of the Empire than the upholding of the
ancient nationality of Wales or of the newer nationalities of
Canada and Australia.




Of the policy of Mr. Cecil Rhodes, late Prime Minister of
Cape Colony, I have no first-hand information ; as, to my
regret, he is almost the only one of the leading men, living in
South Africa of recent years, whom I have never had an
opportunity of meeting. My conclusions as to his policy,
therefore, have to do rather with its results in action than its

The annexation, by Mr. Rhodes's expedition in 1889, of
Mashonaland, on the north of the Transvaal, followed by that
of Matabeleland, completely cut off the expansion of the Boer
Republics to the north. Por the first time in the two
hundred and fifty years of Boer life in South Africa the
trek was at an end. This was a serious social factor in the
life of the Boer, whose sons hitherto had always looked to
the beaconing off of new farms for newly established home-
steads. This aspect of the end of the trek was seen clearly
enough by the Transvaal Boers, and the so-called Perreira
Trek across the Limpopo was attempted in 1890 ; but the
expedition was met and turned back by the then Adminis-
trator of the newly-named province of Rhodesia, Dr. Jameson,
afterwards to be the leader of the Raid.

The funds for this latest of British annexations were, as
Mr. Rhodes has explained, furnished by the famous diamond
mines of the De Beers' Company ; and a charter was procured
from the Imperial Government, vesting the administration of
the new province in a company, framed on the seventeent]}-


century English model of the old East India Company.
Mr. Rhodes's party in the Cape Parliament was, until 1896,
the date of the Jameson Eaid, supported by the organisation
of the Bond.

The social effects in the life of the Boer of the Transvaal
of the cutting off of the trek were great ; the political effects
were greater. As I have pointed out already, the Conventions
of Pretoria of 1881 and of London of 1884 expressly per-
mitted to the Transvaal Boers the right of expansion to the
north of the Limpopo, if they should choose to exercise it,
merely stipulating that agreements with Kaffir chiefs to tlic
east or the west of the Republic should be subject to
Imperial revision. The Imperial policy was to retain the
trade route to tlie north, and to control any access to the
sea which the Boer Republics might seek to establish.
Now, the Boers had neglected to exercise the right of ex-
pansion ; and the Rhodes annexation definitely closed the

As I have explained in what I have said as to the policy
of President Kruger, a substitute, or, at least, some slight
solatium was offered to President Kruger in the shape of a
seaport on the Indian Ocean at Kosi Bay. This in return for
the promise of the Republic to assist the Chartered Company
in the laiaintenance of order in Rhodesia. But this right,
too, under circumstances already described, was allowed to
lapse, and was not renewed in the Convention of 1894,
annexing Swaziland to the Transvaal.

The extreme importance to the Empire of the annexation
of Rhodesia has only lately been realised in the United
Kingdom. It is not a question of whether Chartered Com-
pany Government is good or not, or whether direct Imperial
rule would be preferable. It is that some form of British
annexation was urgently required to maintain the trade route
to the interior of Africa. British Parliaments, unfortunately,
until quite recently, have not taken wide views of foreign
relations, or of the necessity of safeguarding British trade.
Much more than that, a Treasury, with a truly superstitious
reverence for keeping down expense— an economy that in


Delagoa Bay and the Transvaal has cost untold millions
and thousands of lives — would never have consented to

The result, therefore, would have been the expansion of
the Boer Republic to the Zambesi River, and the junction of
its territory with German South-West Africa, where it touches
the Zambesi, and the complete shutting off of British trade
to the vast undeveloped interior.

The policy attributed to Prince Bismarck of ousting
British influence in South Africa, and joining hands with
the Transvaal in holding a steel rope from sea to sea,
became, therefore, incapable of realisation without war with
the British Government, and a general European war, which
the holders of Alsace-Lorraine could not contemplate with a
light heart.

As I have already said, I have no materials, except those
open to the whole world, on which to judge as to Mr. Cecil
Rhodes's intention or methods. As to this service of his to
the Empire there can, however, be no doubt or hesitation.
Without his control of the millions of De Beers and his
promptitude of action, not waiting for the consent of a de-
bating Parliament or an unteachable Treasury at Westminster,
the British annexation of that vast territory would, in human
probability, not have been accomplished. In which case, the
problem now before the Imperial Government would have
been different indeed.

The prevention of Boer expansion to the west effected by
the Bechuanaland Expedition of 1884, under Sir Charles
Warren, showed a similar regard for Imperial interests in
the maintenance of the trade route to the interior. But in
the Bechuanaland Expedition the action was taken by the
Imperial Government. In the annexation of the territory
north of the Limpopo the action was taken by an individual
citizen of the Empire on his own initiative, and at the
expense of resources of which he held the control.

Of the political methods of the late Premier of Cape
Colony, various estimates have been made.

His opponents — and there are some among staunch


Imperialists — tell you that his alliance with the Bond
strengthened its power for anti-British purposes.

But the parallel of Prince Bismarck persisted in pre-
senting itself to my mind. One would like to hear what
any survivor of forty years ago of the old National Liberal
Party of Prussia could tell one of their earlier relations with
the Man of Blood and Iron. Even in later days he is said
to have kept in his cigar-case a veritable olive leaf, to be
tendered by the victorious leader of the Junkers to the
National Liberals.

Farendo vinccs. As are the powers of nature, so are
princes and democracies. Lord Chancellor Bacon's demeanour
towards the contemptible Prince, into whose hands the in-
scrutable designs of Providence had committed the lordship
of Scotland and England and Ireland, would too hastilty be
deemed mere opportunism.

The stories of Mr. Cecil Khodes's reputed comment on
General Gordon's views of life and action — " Your ideas are
admirable, but they lack a gold basis " ; of Mr. Pihodes's —
again reputed — indignation at General Gordon's refusal to
accept the contents in gold of the treasure chamber of the
Chinese Emperor, grateful for the repression of Taeping
rebels, if, as is to be hoped, they are true, would explain
many adaptations of means to an end.

In a speech delivered to the shareholders of De Beers
after the relief of Kimberley, Mr. Ehodes referred to a
conversation of his with the late Mr. Carl Borckenhagen,
editor of the Young Afrikander Bloemfontein Express.
In this colloquy the late premier of the Cape Colony was,
as he says, invited to throw in his lot with the party which
designed to oust British influence from South Africa, and
to form an independent Afrikander nation ; a proposition
declined, as being incompatible either with the respect
of the Dutch people, which, towards a deserter, would
be inconsiderable, or with the duty of a citizen of the

Singularly enough, I have Mr. Carl Borckenhagen's
version of that colloquy. The able journalist described the


attitude of the late premier as one of crass materialism.
" Money, not the sword of the spirit."

I ventured to tell him that, in all ages, one who aspires
to act, and not merely to teach, must use the weapons of the
time and generation. In one time muscle ; in another tactical
skill in arms ; in another speech ; in another gold. And this
is not, of necessity, materialism.

( I09 )



Dealing with the policy of President Kruger, I have referred
to the various restrictions on the attainment of the franchise,
imposed after the London Convention of 1884, with the
object of retaining power in Boer hands, and excluding any-
possible participation in power of those who did not entertain
the dream of an anti-British Dutch dominion in South Africa,
and even of those who were in any respect " Engelsch

Now, many writers and speakers have blamed the
President — while, strangely enough, congratulating the
Empire — for not seizing on the undoubted opportunity,
presented to him by the influx of the new European popu-
lation and his control of a revenue of millions, to build up
a great Republic on the model of the United States of
America, consisting of all Europern nationalities. There is
not the faintest doubt that the President had this prospect ;
had it especially after the Jameson Raid in 1896 ; and had
it even up to a short time before the war of October 1899.

Many, even of British descent in South Africa, perplexed
and despairing of ever seeing any sane and consistent policy
adopted by the Imperial Government, would most decidedly
have thrown in their lot with the formation of such a
Republic, destined to ultimate independence, if they were
treated by the Boers on terms of equality. Some critics
even ascribe to the baleful influence of State Secretary Leyds

Online LibraryMichael James FarrellyThe settlement after the war in South Africa → online text (page 10 of 30)