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FRIDAY, JANUARY 29TH.

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FRIDAY, JANUARY 29TH. HOUSE OF COMMONS. Mr. Davitt asked whether the Foreign Office had had its attention drawn to the need of some other currency than,that of gin in the delta of the Niger, and whether missionaries and others were now compelled, by the character of this intoxicating currency, to promote the demoralisation of the people which resulted from the use of that medium of ex- change. Mr. Curzon said it was not correct to speak of gin as the currency, still less as the sole currency of the Nigger. It was one of several articles that "ware taken in barter by the natives., So far from there being any compul- sion or willingness to promote the demoralisa- tion of the people, the tax upon gin had lately been doubled, while it was heavily taxed in the proportions of the delta administered by the Niger Company, and was altogether pro- hibited in their inland territories. Mr. Ritchie, replying to Mr. T. G. Bowlgs, said he was aware of the views of the Merchant Service Guild and other bodies against the enforcement of the new rules relating to the prevention of collisions at sea, but he was not prepared to depart in any way from the posi- tion taken up by the Government. Answering Mr. P. Stanhope, Mr. A. i- Balfour said the financial scheme of the Irnper ial Ottoman Bank for raising a new Turkish loan, and the proposed guarantee in connection with the loan by the European Powers, had not come before the Government in an official shape. If it should do so, it would be consider- ed by them in conjunction with the other Powers. Sir G. Baden-Pewell asked what steps were being taken to enable the colonies and depen- dencies to cake an official park in the celebra- tion of the sixtieth year of the Queen's reign. Mr. Chamberlain said that, with the approval of the Queen, he had invited the Premiers of all self-governing colonies to come to this country, as the guests of the country, to take part in the celebration It was proposed that detachments representing the military forces of the colonies should also come, and an endeavour would be made to secure represen- tatives of the Imperial forces from the Crown Colonies. The debate was resumed on Mr. Maclean's amendment to the proposal to reappoint the South African Committee, to the effect that, in view of the peaceful settlement of affairs in the Chartered Company's territories, the punish- ment of all persons connected with the raid into the Transvaal, and the inexpediency of re- opening questions which had been disposed of, it was unnecessary to reappoint a Committee Mr. Chamberlain, replying to the speeches of the mover and seconder of the amendment, said his policy had always been GO do every- thing in his power to allay the feelings of race animosity in South Africa and to promote those good relations between the Dutch and the English without which the peace and prosperity of the country were absolutely impossible. The situation had not been improved by the recent legislation of the Transvaal Govern- ment. In his opiniospsome of theprovisions of that legislation were undoubtedly contrary to the London convention, and if that legislation was enforced undoubtedly a situation would be created which would require all our prudence, all our impartiality, and all our patience. With regard to the reforms asked for on behalf of the Outlanders, President Kruger had ovei and over again promised to give favourable consideration to the friendly representations which might be made by the British Govern- ment and to the respectful requests of the majority of the population of the Transvaal. Those friendly representations and those re- spectful requests had not been wanting, but up to the present time, the response of President Kruger and, the Transvaal Government had been, to say the least of it, inadequate. After describing the difficult and delicate task the Committee would have to discharge, Mr. Cham- berlain said the Government could not, without failing in honour, retire from their promise to appoint a Committee. After a brief speech by Sir William Harcourt, Mr. Maclean withdrew his amendment, and the Committee was then appointed. The rule as to the conduct of supply which was passed last session was again adopted, and the House went into Committee on the Army Supplementary Estimates. The only vote put was orIJ for £ 252,000 for capitation grants and miscellaneous charges for the volunteer forces. Mr. Knox moved the reduction of the vote by 920,000, which, he said, was approximately Ireland's contribution. The amendment was rejected by 127 votes to 23, and the vote was then agreed to. Mr. Brodrick, in moving a resolution with regard to the Military Works Bill, subsequen- tly explained the programme of national de- fence which the Government had drawn up. Amongst other things, it was proposed to pur- chase ground for manoeuvres on Salisbury Plain, to expend £ 500,000 on rifle ranges for volunteers, to rebuild many of the barracks, to erect forts at ports and coaling stations, and to fortify Bereliaven, Lough Swilly, the Scilly Island, and Falmouth for the purpose of pro- tecting our trade with America. The resolution was agreed to.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1ST.

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WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3RD.

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