(Granville to Dufferin. 11 July 1882).
* Ib. $32, Elliot to Granville, 21 July 18 - . * lb. 1
1 86 ILLUSTRATION [chap, iv
taken on the occasion of the destruction of the Egyptian
expedition, sent under General Hicks to the Soudan.
Granville laid it down that any Egyptian ministry which
did not carry out the advice of the British Government
must cease to hold office.
This step having been taken, interference in minor
matters, such as the suppression of French newspapers
in Egypt, followed as a matter of course. The printing
office of the Bosphore Egyptien was seized, and the French
consular officer, who was there to protest, technically
assaulted. M. de Freycinet l protested warmly, and re-
quired the restoration of the printing plant, and penalties
to be inflicted on the police. The British were inclined to
put forward the Egyptian courts as the proper channels
of redress ; but it is obvious that a government must
be directly responsible for the acts of its own agents. In
the Guatemalan case, above mentioned, 2 it could not
have been a satisfactory answer, that the Guatemalan
courts were open to process by the injured vice-consul.
A government may indeed disclaim responsibility for the
acts of its tribunals : international respect for forensic
justice goes so far. But it is a very different thing to
claim that its own tribunals shall alone pronounce upon
its own extra-judicial acts, and upon those of its officers.
Eventually Lord Granville agreed that the office should be
reopened and that the British and Egyptian Governments
should apologize. Naturally, in these circumstances, the
demand for penalties on the police was dropped. The
contention that a reference to the courts was sufficient
answer is disposed of by Mr. Phelps when discussing the
seizures of U.S. vessels in Canadian waters, 3 though his
arguments, as we shall see, hardly applied to that case.
The arrangements for the Chinese court which was
established by treaty to have cognizance of offences
1 76 S.P. 1062, Lyons to Granville, 14 April 1885.
2 Supra, p. 171.
3 77 S.P. 573, Phelps to Icldcsleigh, 11 Sept. 1886.
chap, iv] COMMERCIAL RESTRICTIONS 1 87
committed by Chinese in the Foreign Settlement at
Shanghai were revised at the instance of the foreign
governments in 1880. It is curious to note the Chinese
suggestion that l — " in the interests of justice and fairness,
neither party shall employ Western attorneys ! "
Mr. G. F. Seward's memorandum 2 on the subject is
a very able exposition of ex-territorial jurisdiction. ' If
it is not the law of the plaintiff or of the defendant
which is to be applied," he pertinently asks, " and deci-
sions are to follow broad lines of justice and equity,
whose ideas of justice and equity are they to be ? "
The question of the liability of goods to inland taxation
had exercised the diplomatic body in Pekin about the
same time. A long series of twenty points was raised 3
and submitted to China. It is important to consider
the replies in detail.
1. Goods, though allowed to land, were taxed on
removal from the foreign merchant's warehouse. Ans.
This is not a taxation on import, but after import.
However, it has ceased.
2. Transit duties are levied in the interior. Ans.
Denied ; (unless no proper transit certificate has been
3. Transit certificates are sometimes refused or their
issue hampered. Ans. Denied.
4. And are not respected. Ans. There is a legal
remedy in such cases.
5. Or are made the subject of vexatious delays. Ans.
6. And are not recognized beyond the last barrier.
Ans. Why should they be ?
7. Trading is hampered by absence of inland ware-
houses. Ans. There is no legal impediment to foreigners
8. Inland toll-bars are established capriciously. Ans.
Not without high legislative authority.
1 72 S.P. 1023. 2 lb. 3 lb. 392.
l88 ILLUSTRATION [chap, iv
g. Inland tariffs are not accessible. Ans. Partly
10. Receipts for inland duties are not given. Ans.
There is no obligation to do so.
ii. Exaction of illegal duties is never penalized. Ans.
There is a legal remedy.
12. Their recovery back is very difficult. Ans. So
is anything involving sharp conflicts of testimony.
13, 14. Export duties are levied on Chinese produce
before delivery to the purchaser. Ans. They have been
so for two hundred years.
15, 16. And an additional half-tariff duty. Ans.
Denied : unless the produce has been worked up into a
new article in the interval between purchase and export.
17. Export duties have been levied on duty-free goods
carried coastwise. Ans. Only per abusum.
18. And differential duties. Ans. Denied.
19. The rate of exchange is arbitrarily fixed. Ans.
20. Tonnage dues are not exclusively applied for the
benefit of navigation. Ans. Not admitted.
In 1881 an international congress of socialists was pro-
hibited at Zurich. 1 The right of associated propaganda
was recognized as a political right, which could constitu-
tionally be refused to foreigners. This interpretation
was sustained by the Federal Court.
1 See d'Orelli, apud Rev. de D.I. (1882), 473.
In 1881, the case of a Mr. J. Dixon engaged the
attention of the British and Portuguese Governments. He
had built a section of railway for a Portuguese company,
which had shareholders in England and Portugal. It
failed ; and the Portuguese shareholders applied for a
new concession, which was granted subject to the pur-
chase of the completed section by them within six months.
The Oporto tribunal had the line valued at £18,000
and put up to auction. The final bid was £7,000. Mr.
Dixon asserted a lien on the line. The matter went into
litigation. The concessionaires, said Mr. Morier, " have
only been able to work this course, and get advantages
at critical moments, by obtaining from the Minister of
Public Works, extensions of time, and modifications
unknown to Mr. Dixon till too late." With the suit
itself, Morier admitted — " of course it was impossible
for me to interfere " ! — but he considered the case one
which involved executive acts distinct from the judicial
procedure. 2 The lower court had allowed Mr. Dixon's
claim, the Appeal Court had reversed it, and the Supreme
Court, by four to one, agreed with them.
On 3 April 1883, the government issued an order
which was interpreted as suspending the new company
until the result of Dixon's action for indemnification
was known. This naturally caused public dissatisfac-
tion, for the railway was primarily authorized, not for
1 73 S.P. 1 196, Morier to Granville, 2 March 1881.
2 lb. 1 198, Morier to Braamcamp, s.d.
190 ILLUSTRATION [chap, v
the benefit of the contractors or of the shareholders,
but of the locality. The Portuguese Government
throughout asserted its inability to interfere with the
course of the tribunals, but the British reply was con-
sistently made that it could at any rate refuse permission
for trains to run. 1 On 31 Dec. 1883 the line was opened, 2
and it does not seem that any success attended the
protests of the British Government.
When Venezuela, in 1881, proposed to put differential
duties on produce arriving from the British West Indies,
it was represented that Great Britain would probably
consider it an unfriendly act. 3 It was replied that
smuggling from Trinidad and Curacao made some such
measure a necessity ; and a duty of 30 per cent, was
accordingly imposed ad valorem. This was said to be
contrary to the treaty of 1834, 4 which contained a " most
favoured nation clause." The ingenious point was taken
by Venezuela, that the stipulated favourable treatment
only applied to the " growth, produce or manufacture " of
the favoured nation. Now no differential duty was aimed
at the crops, produce or manufactures of Trinidad — but
only at articles (which might be the growth or manu-
facture of any country) which happened to be exported
thence. Even Venezuelan goods, observed Dr. Seijas,
would be liable to the extra duty if they came from
Trinidad. Lord Granville, somewhat non-plussed, said
that this would be " to nullify the clause entirely." 6 The
obvious comment is, that nothing would have been
easier than for the clause to say " imports from Great
Britain ' instead of " the produce or manufactures of
Great Britain," if that had been what it meant. How-
ever, the differential duty was withdrawn.
1 75 S.P. 456, Granville to Wyke, 24 Dec. 1883 ; 461, Same to
Same, 23 Feb. 1884. 2 lb. 458. 3 77 S.P. 769.
4 Confirming the Colombian treaty of 1825.
6 77 S.P. 771, Seijas to Mansfield, 7 Jan. 1882.
lb. 785, Granville to Blanco, 28 Jan. 1885.
chap, v] TUNIS 191
We have now to consider the events of 1887 in North
Africa, where the unfortunate laxity of language of
Lord Salisbury and Lord Granville encouraged Mr. Ferry
to commit a wholly unpardonable aggression on a friendly
nation. Mr. Stanley Lane-Poole's emphatic condemna-
tion of French behaviour in this matter is not a word
too strong. It was preluded, too, by a singular incident
especially affecting British interests. Mr. Jos. Levy, as
an adjoining proprietor, was alleged to have by Tunisian
law a right of pre-emption (schcffa) over the extensive
and valuable domain styled the " Enfida." The Societe
Marseillaise offered £100,000 to the proprietor for it.
Mr. Levy, as stated in an able and succinct despatch of
Mr. T. F. Reade, the British Consul-General, 1 asserted his
scheffa claims. These were alleged to be barred by the
exception from the sale of a narrow march bordering on
Levy's property. 2 Levy entered formally on possession,
as required by law. The French consular chancellor
ejected him by force, 3 and the French Government sent
the Friedland to Tunisian waters, where she was followed
by the British Thunderer and a despatch boat. Both
governments agreed to leave the matter in the hands of
the Tunis courts 4 — an obviously proper decision.
But here we have an instance of the difficulties attend-
ing the concession of undefined rights of protection to
foreigners. The French company had bought the land :
were they to be protected in an absolute ownership such
as they were familiar with ? Or were they to have sprung
on them the peculiar incidents of the local law ? In this
case, the Convention between Tunis and Britain expressly
1 72 S.P. 1330, Reade to Granville, 6 Dec. 1880.
2 Ib. 1331, Lyons to Granville, 17 Jan. 1881.
3 Ib. 1332, Reade to Granville, 17 Jan. 188 1. The French
account was that he was merely present in his notarial capacity :
ib. 1346, Granville to Lyons, 5 Feb. 188 1. The difference is not
very material, and we may accept the latter version if we please,
though the French official on the spot does not adopt it (ib. 1350,
Roustan to Reade, 17 Jan. 188 1). * lb. 1347.
10,2 ILLUSTRATION [chap, v
subjects the British purchaser's rights to the incidents of
the local law. The French Convention ran to the same
Lord Salisbury has been ill-naturedly called " a lath
painted to look like iron " — Lord Granville " the iron
hand in the velvet glove." The latter found his action
in Tunis fatally compromised by the indiscretions of the
former. " Faites a Tunis ce que vous jugerez convenable,"
Waddington cited him as having said at Berlin. 2 Asked to
deny a contemporaneous rumour to that effect, his lord-
ship denied that he had ever " offered the annexation of
Tunis to France " — which was perfectly true. Writing
to Lord Lyons in Paris, he declined to admit the verbal
accuracy of Mr. Waddington ; but he avowed that the
Queen's Government felt that it was inevitable that France
might, when she chose, " press with decisive force " upon
the Government of Tunis, and that it viewed the prospect
without reluctance. The notion that because France had
done well in Algeria, she was entitled to walk into her
neighbours' houses and set them in order, wherever British
interests were not affected, is characteristic of Salisbury's
Lord Granville took up a far more dignified position.
" I said that, in the view of H.M. Government, Tunis
was a portion of the Ottoman Empire, to dispose of which
Great Britain had no moral or international right. But
[it] had no jealousy of the influence which France, from
her greater power and her high civilization, exercised
and was likely to exercise." 3
The French in Tunis now put forward a series of com-
plaints based chiefly on the disturbed state of the
Algerian frontier. As we have seen, a nation cannot be
expected to guarantee frontier security, or to make things
everywhere comfortable for foreigners. A more serious
1 72 S.P. 1354, Granville to Rcadc, 19 April 1881.
* 7? S.P. 437, Waddington to d'Harcourt, 26 July 1878.
3 lb. 443, Granville to Lyons, 17 June 1880.
chap, v] ERITREA 193
accusation was the charge that frontier tribes had made
incursions into Algeria : and the French, in April 1881,
decided to quiet the borderland themselves, entering
Tunisian territory if necessary, and inviting the co-
operation of the Bey. The latter would have been well
advised to have taken Lord Granville's strong advice to
co-operate with the French forces. 1 But the Tunisian
case was that the frontier disturbances did not exist :
and the opportunity was lost. Too late, a separate
expedition was despatched by the Bey.
There never was a clearer case of wolf and lamb than
this action of Jules Ferry towards Tunis. By July, we
find St. Hilaire admitting that the object of the French
was " only " to make the Regency a well-governed, well-
ordered, and prosperous country. 2 It would be distinctly
amusing if China should in a few years conceive that she
had the same mission to fulfil towards a decadent France !
Italy, which had had serious views on Tunis, managed
to exclude France from Tripoli. 3 Refused participation
in the Dual Control of Egypt, she proceeded to peg out
a claim in Southern Egypt for herself, and pitched upon
Assab Bay, where an Italian station had been established
dc facto for some years. A question of the sovereignty of
Egypt in the locality immediately arose. Italy disclaimed
all intention of making any military use of the Bay. But
she stationed a corvette there, the commander of which
had instructions to keep off the Egyptian forces. The
Egyptians then invoked British assistance, 4 but the
government, though concurring in their view of the
facts, declined aid in the circumstances. The negotiations
throw a bizarre light on the relations of the moment be-
tween Egypt and Great Britain. 5 The British Govern-
1 73 S.P. 449, Granville to Reade, 8 April 188 1 ; Granville to
Lyons, 9 April 1881. 2 lb. 514, Lyons to Granville, 17 July 1881.
3 lb. 512. 4 lb. 1255, Granville to MacDonell, 5 Sept. 1881.
5 See the despatch of Mr. Malet, 28 Nov. 1881, ib. 1265, re-
garding the attitude of the Egyptian Cabinet : and their Memo-
randum, p. 1273.
194 ILLUSTRATION [chap, v
ment negotiated a draft Convention with Italy, by which
Italy was to acquire Assab from Egypt as the territorial
power. No such Convention was signed, Egypt asserting
that the terms of the Turkish firmans to Egypt prevented
either country from alienating Egyptian territory, and
apparently that they could not do so in concert, as long
as the firmans remained unrevoked.
Arabs attacked a boat of H.M.S. London in Zanzibar
waters in 1881 and killed the captain and four men. On
the capture of two of the delinquents, Great Britain
pressed for them to be put to death. The Sultan stated
that he never inflicted that penalty, and the British
remained content with the passing of a life sentence, 1
a wise course which was much appreciated by Seyyed
During the summer of 1881 Lord Granville attempted
to obtain from the United States 3 the suppression of the
incitements to violence which were said to be continually
published in the New York United Irishman. This opens
up a new situation. No injury is inflicted on British
persons or property abroad : there is only the first stage of
preparation for possible future injuries in England itself.
Probably it is a sufficient answer to such complaints, that
the complainant is as capable of preventing the nefarious
scheme from coming to fruition as the territorial power
is of preventing the agitators from continuing their work
of propaganda. If there was any proximate act of open
force in preparation, Mr. Blaine evinced a willing desire
to frustrate it. But freedom of speech, even to the extent
of licence, he could not promise to restrain.' 1 At the same
time, it was quietly intimated B that the United States
would not " take up too warmly the cause of their citizens
who went to England and Ireland with the express object
of fighting, and of then appealing to their government
1 73 S.P. 605 rt passim. 2 Ih. 699. :| 74 S.P. 1179.
* Ih. 1182, Thornton to Granville, 27 June 1881.
lb. Granville to West, 27 April [88a.
chap, v] IRELAND, l88l I95
for protection." It was considered that there was no
reason why such Americans should be entitled to better
treatment than Irishmen. Nor was it inclined to protect
persons who came over to America simply to acquire a
colourable citizenship, and then to return to Ireland — a
practice which seems to have been not unknown.
It is instructive to compare the indignation with which
the British Government viewed the prolonged detention of
prisoners without trial at Naples and in Peru, with the
calm way in which it crowded Irish " suspects " into prison
in 1881. One such " suspect," J. B. Walsh, was im-
prisoned from March to June, when Mr. Lowell wrote
a very mild remonstrance. 1 Its tame character was no
doubt due to the lesson which the United States had learnt
in 1862, when they were obliged to claim similar powers
for themselves. Lord Granville 2 " declined to recognize
any distinction between the liability of foreigners and
British subjects in respect to unlawful acts committed
within the limits of British jurisdiction, or to admit any
claim to exemption on behalf of any person, whether alien
or citizen, from the operation of the laws which equally
affect all persons residing in the dominions and under the
protection of the Crown. . . .
" The right of every state to subject foreigners within
its limits, no less than its own subjects, to every law made
for the maintenance of law and order 3 is an undisputed
principle of the law of nations, and is a right necessarily
inherent in the sovereignty of every independent com-
munity." He quotes Portalis and Buchanan, and disclaims
any special discrimination against Americans. Details of
the charge against Walsh were refused — if this had taken
place at Naples ! — and he was still in jail on 1 Sept.,
when Mr. Lowell wrote to say that his life was in danger
by reason of his incarceration. On 11 Nov. he was dis-
1 73 S.P. 1222.
- //). 1224, Granville to Thornton, 24 June 1881.
a Why this qualification ?
I96 ILLUSTRATION [chap, v
charged for reasons of health. 1 Denis Hayes O'Connor
was imprisoned on 22 Oct., and was still in jail, and likely
to remain there, in the following February. Patrick
Slattery, arrested in July, was in jail in April, and there
were many other cases. " Without wishing to appear
unreasonable," the President hoped, in March, that early
trials would be granted. 2
Granville, in a long despatch, 3 reiterated his justifica-
tion. It is interesting to observe that he begins by observ-
ing that the arrested persons have been either ordinarily
resident in Ireland, or have visited Ireland under the
conditions then obtaining, and must therefore be fixed
with knowledge of the exceptionally severe legislation
in force. This is, of course, to meet the ancient objection
that the territorial law must not be a trap for ignorant
foreigners. He avails himself of Seward's declaration
made in 1861 (in a note of 14 Oct., to Lyons), that British
and Americans were treated with equality, as though
that were sufficient : and also of a despatch of the same
diplomatist (10 March 1866, to Adams) in which he
stated that " Americans, whether native or naturalized,
owe submission to the same laws in Great Britain as
British subjects, while residing there, and enjoying the
protection of that Government. We applied the con-
verse of this principle to British subjects who were
sojourning or travelling in the United States during the
Frontier troubles engaged the attention of the North
American governments in 1881-3. The U.S. Govern-
ment asked the British to keep Canadian Indians from
crossing over into their territory of Montana, where
they were alleged to shoot cattle and steal horses. The
difficulty of controlling such long frontier lines was
urged 4 by the British Minister in Washington : and no
one drew the inference, as a necessary one, that Great
1 73 S P. 1229. 2 lb. 1232.
■ lb. 1234, Granville to West, 6 April 1882. 4 75 S.P. 60.
chap, v] THE LEON XIII 197
Britain must evacuate a district in which she could not
make her will respected. The grievances of the Montana
settlers were not inferior to those of the Algerian colonists
against Tunis, or of the Nisero's crew (infra, p. 198) against
Holland. The United States, however, notified Great
Britain in 1883 • that Canadian Indians found south of
the border would be pillaged and expelled, and proposed
that reciprocal liberty should be granted to each other's
troops to cross the boundary line. 2
In Feb. 1882 3 a shooting party from the Falcon and
Cockatrice landed at Artaki, in order to shoot woodcock.
The two captains were set upon by shepherds and mauled.
Judicial investigation was promised, but further details
are wanting. It does not seem that more than that could
Another Peninsular maritime case of 1882 4 was the
celebrated one of the Leon XIII., which vessel went to
Singapore in March of that year with imprisoned British
engineers on board. A writ of habeas corpus was served
on the master : he was arrested in default of an answer,
and sent to jail for six months — the steamer meanwhile
escaping. The peculiar position of a foreign ship in a
strange harbour takesthe case out of the ordinary category.
The ship's company cannot be expected to make them-
selves acquainted with the laws of the whole world.
At the same time, by accepting the hospitality of the
foreign port, it is fair to conclude that they take the
risks of its judicial institutions. In the case of the
Tangier, 5 which was fired at by the authorities of Car-
thagena in November, to prevent her leaving the port
whilst an alleged injury done by the ship to the quay
was being investigated, Lord Granville firmly objected
to what was done, as a dangerous and unnecessary depar-
ture from the usual signal to stop — a blank cannon-shot.
The port-captain was in consequence dismissed, and,
I75S.P. 74. 2 lb. 77- 3 73 S.P.i 193.
4 74 S.P. 1 191 et seq. 5 lb. 1212 et seq.
I98 ILLUSTRATION [chap, v
e converso, any claim for compensation was abandoned
by the British Government. 1
Note may be taken here of the attitude of the Nether-
lands Government in respect to the capture (Dec. 1883)
of the shipwrecked crew of the Nisero by the Raja of
Tenom (Sumatra), who was in virtual insurrection against
them. An expedition was sent by the Dutch authorities
against the Raja. The only result of the expedition
was to raise the Raja's terms. British mediation was
then pressed upon Holland. 2 After referring to the
chronic state of hostilities in Acheen, provoked by the
repressive commercial policy of Holland, Lord Granville
says : — " H.M. Government do not wish to enter into the
causes of these hostilities, nor do they dispute the strict
right of the Netherlands Government to make war on
the Ruler of Acheen ; but looking at the provisions and
objects of the Treaties [between Britain and Holland
relating to the East Indies], at the prolonged captivity
of British subjects in Tenom, and at the detriment caused
to British interests by the existing state of affairs in
Acheen, they consider that they are fully justified in
offering their mediation for the restoration of peace and
the re-establishment of trade on a basis of commercial
intercourse more consistent with the spirit and intention
of the general settlement effected by the Treaty of 1824."
This was to travel out of the particular question of the
Raja's misdeed, and to open up the general question of
commercial policy. Besides, the Dutch could not admit
Tenom as an independent power for mediation purposes.