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MR F LANE-FOX OX SOU T H AFRICAN AFFAIRS. A fair number of people assembled at the Conservative C'ub, Welshpool, on Thursday evening to t err ;m addre-s from Mr Francs<F >x, who was fc three years H. resident in Sou ii Africa, dealing with the relations existing between the English and the Dutch in that part of the continent. Mr W F Addie, who presided, briefly introduced Mr Lane-Fox who had a hearty reception. Ti", l!'dnn'r:" tilp IIUt.W" t't'mark,¡j 1.1",t, the South African pa ction was a big one, and he had had j little tinw 10 prepare his lecture having been employed i". raising a troop of Imp -rial Yeomanry for service in South Afiiea. it and unfair to criticise at this moment either the Government or the generals. At the same tim") it might V.e advisable to look back and criticise past governments nd past generals and see what had led up to the war. During the three years he was in South Africa he had kepc "i", eyes open and be learned many things which were unknown to those at home. The policy of Mr Gladstone's Government in the coionies had been fraught with failure from the beginning t,o tlie. t!n(l. It was largely due to Mr Gladstone I that the war now existed. Ali- three. The first was (he Irish question i which had not been deci1 d, r h-' nd was the i Egyptian question which was :¡".jd, nor. long ago bv Lo-d Ki-chen«r, and the 'hire !iry w;i« South Africa, which v.'a-. now belove i nation in a- way in which we never expected is. Tney would re- member that in 1881 there, was war in the Traus- vaal, and Sir Evslyn Wood went on', to take com- [ maud of the forces after Majuba. Ho was in com- maud of a big division which was prepared to sweep th-j country, but instead of doing this he was w1d back by Mr Gladstone's Government, and compelled to rerire. That. ro;iretneut had been a j thorn in t.he side of the Colonists ever since. When j Sir Evelyn Wood came home he foiled hia name appended t-> t'»e tre.'itv. He ft he leer urer) was perfectly aw;i;y r.f :hK tha-, when Sir Bvdyn wnb ft>ked to aiiiin :s id;(n"tu'-o, hi; refused to do so, and said it wan not such a treaty as ought to be signed by any British General. This re'.iremeni, had given the Boers the belief that they could thwart the wishes of Gieat Britain, and could act independently of her. Had Sir Evelyn Wood bi er. allowed he might have genie to Pre.oria and whatever terms might, t[H.n have )i-v(, lieeyi coi. vineed of the slreugth of Britain. But since the retirement the Boers had led hr-mselves to believe that England was incapable of defeating them and that there was no ,,)IH;h thing as the power and the misht of the British Empire. In the ect ths Imd inflicted upon the Boers a great wrong by leading 111' 1(\ the present war. Mr Gladstone did the same thing in the Transvaal as in Ireland, and were he a Boer or ail Irishman, led by »he Prime Minister of Eni' into 'he belief that t 1, eon Id do without Givar. Britain, that id,ay c.,l.hl vvit'm-iud j her, live of hem s and r<v:H-t he if iie::e^sa ry, he should pr.'hah1 act ns the Bo'-m were acting I now. He V'r¡L{J1 ro cmvey V) their minda some idea of the extent of race hatred—which was in- planted in the Dutch mind against. Great Britain. The Bote.- ha a stud: an intense race natred of Ettgish- men that p. Boer would seldom marry an English- wom: n. :111 would never git down in peace with [Up Lnsfiifihniim. He was usually suspicious of I K/'] is! i :n en as thouah r.hey wet e about to do him otn-) wrong. He bad tried to make friend.? with the Boer farmers itehiid met, he spoke to i them in their own language, which he had taken { the trouble !o learn, yet the}' always looked upon nim with suspicion and as an enemy, the reason b hog hat the Boers were taught from their child- hood t. the English were their natural enemies. So much was this so, that if a Boer child happened to be a male, the mother invariably said Thank God, there ij another rifle to shoot the English (laughter). The race hatred was, therefore, so strong that it could not be quashed with anything | short of war. Referring to the Boer character, Mr Lane-Fox said wo were competing with a class of men who had a tenacity of character very similar to our own, the difference being that they had not the advantages of education and civilisation which we im"e. One of the greatest mistakes made by people in speaking of this war was tLat we were supposed to have underestimated the power of the Dutch. It was impossible to foresee the amount of patriotic feeling which existed among the colo- nial Dutch, equally impossible to foresee the num- ber of officers of skill willing to leave theif armies and throw in their lot with the F t, i- He learned that there were no less than 10,000 German and French officers and men at present in South Africa with the Boers. He himself had mentioned in a despatch in 1897 that at least 50,000 Boers could be put into the field armed with Mauser rifles, and they would easily believe ti at in 1900 the number would b higher. That des; tch hewrota himself, and it went through Mr Cony, gham Greene to Lord Salisbury, do that the intelligence Department could not be to blame (hear, hear). The Boers, for years past, had been buying the best weapons, better weapons than ours, and had been able to check our troops on several occasions, though, thank goodness, we had not had any defeats (hear, hear). Had all this been realised at the commencement we should have been able to put into the Transvaal an army large enough to racet the piesent difficu1¡;y. Mr Lane-Fox then proceeded to consider what would happen if a Radical Gov- ernmerit were put to-morrow, or if dome similar catastrophe were to take place, and wo had to sue for peace. All oar colonies vvouid C0!Jstrue iG as meaning that if we were incapable of defend- ing Natal against the Boors we should be aiso in- capaOlt! of defending Australia against Germanv, Canada against the United States, Jndia against lliussiu and the cry would go forth Australia for tee Australians, Canada for the Canadians and we should loe every one cf our coionies. Gertnanv had art army of four millions which would be I'.aised automatically as f<oon a* war is declared while England had a difficulty in raisins one army corps. It was necessary for us, he corterided to have a European Army, it was important indeed that we should have an army of at least two million men whom we could at any moment throw upon any given spot in any part of our Empire (applause). If we had had such an army the war e,¡¡¡id tio- have lasted long. It would have simply meant taking the troops to South Africa and the Boers would have seen the folly of fighting. It was theretoie very necessary for n* to have a large and modern army, and in his opinion we ought to have two millions exclusive of the volun- teer forces (applause). Another Question of areat importance in South Africa was the the native question. It was not possible to comprehend the nature of this question without living in South or some other place where the,If1.ti\'e .qu8"tiol1 was on a somewhat similar basis. The natives pro- pogated verp rapid]}-. The unmbvr of blacks in South Africa was something appalling. They were in the proportion of 20 to I of tiie whites. After [ tite Boers had. been settled the groat question in South Africa wuuld be in regard to the future of the blacks. So far they had treated us with respect, especially had they done so since the Zulu war. We had never yer, carried the sword iuto Basutoland and it was quite possible that the Basutos might rise and he knew there were at least 30,000 Basutos fully armed and horsed ready to take the field, at a moment's uotice. Many people asked why we bad not used our black troops against tl e itoers — our splendid Bengal cavalry, our Ghoorkbas, and the Sikbs. Had we done so it would have encouragad the native black trcops to rise, seeing his brother black was fighting. it was therefore considered that it would be a cut-throat, policy to employ black troops and that, was the reason wny our Indian troops had not been sent. The only other point he wished to mention was that it was very easy for us to criticise and say what faults had been committed. He would ask them one question. Even if the Government had made mietakcs, was it likely that any other Government would have dene better ? They might say that the Defence Committee had not done th-ir best, but could they tell them any other combination which would have done better ? It was easy tc criticise and to pull down, but a different matter to build np. Socialists and Democrats had a pull-down policy, but they did not suggest any better way of governing the country. He believed it would be impossible to find a better combination of men than those who formed the cabinet of Lord Salisbury. The Prime Minister had had a great deal to contend with. He was a man of peace and did not like the idea of war, and both he and the Queen felt it would be a troublesome thing to force war by sending out troops, and he knew it was largely owing to this love of peace that the troops were not sent out much sooner (applause). Mr C Shuker proposed a hearty vote of thanks to Mr Lane-Fox for his most interesting and instruc- tive address. We had suffered in this war, and especially in the period of some months before the war actually commenced from many disadvantages quite beyond the control of our own Government. For instance the suzerainty of the Transvaal retained by us in 1881 gave us a voice in its foreign relations, but by a strange fatuity Mr Gladstone, of his own accord, gave up our right of interference in the moat important foreign relation that could affect us. He agreed that the Transvaal Republic could make any arrangements they pleased with the Portngnese Government for the importation of arms and munitions of war by way of DelagoaBay. Again, Cape Colony, which is inhabited by rather more inhabitants of Dutch extraction than of English has sometimes a majority of Dutch representa- tives in its Parliament and sometimes a majority of 1 English. Unfortunately at the General Election two vears ago, an African da majority was returned, and Mr Schreiner became Premier. Now Mr Schreiner and his ministers being imbued with Dutch sentiment and aspirations, allowed disloyalty to be preached unchecked in our Colony, and per- mission was given for gunsaud all ammunition of war to passfrom Pert Elizabeth into the Orange Free State, right up to the commencement of the war, and the Government of Cape Colony which might have given us the greatest assistance, unlike Natal, prac- tic-allv acting neutral during the contest. The conduct also of General Sir W Butler the commander for several vcars of our forces in Sourh Africa, has rightly or wrongly been adversely criti- cised. Certainly his Pro-Boer speeches were quite illtimed and out of patce tor a British soldier, and Mr Bait'our emphatically declares that no warning of any kind was sent by him to London that the British forces in South Africa last summer were not quite sufficient to cope with the Boer Republics should any difficulty occur. He might also refer to the low state of morality amongst the Boers and the cunning and deceitful manner in which their diplomacy was conducted. We had for generations been quite friendly with the President and people of the Orange Free State, and there was no reason whatever for any ill-feeling or differences between them and ourselves-exeept that they wished the Dutch race to be paramount in South Africa. And President Steyn wrote in these words to our Minister in Cape Town on August 28 last, "I trust," wrote the President, that no assurance is necessary on my part to con- tradict the ridiculous lying and malicious rumours that there exists with this Government any desire or intention to take up arms in any aggressive or offensive measufes against the British Government or any British Colony 01 territory," and yet within six weeks of that declaratvunt the Orange Free State soldiers were invadiril-, onr colony of Natal. They had had the benefit that evening of hearing the truth of many matters in South Africa from a gen tlemau who had spent several recent years there, and he begged to propose a hearty vote of thanks to him. Mr Beedles having seconded, Mr Addie supported the Jreoollitiofl. Tkoy would agree with him that now was not the time to criticise our generals or our Government but if any were disposed to criti- cise to follow the example of Mr Lane-Fox and go out to fight. This war was going to be won (ap- plause). There had been too much criticism in the Press, but, depend upon it, we ought to have con- fidence in our generals and our soldiers and we should bring this war vigoureusly to an end, and the p-nemy would find that they had not yet got to the bottom of Olc] (cheers). The resolution being carried, Mr L-me-Fox, in reply, said he would wil'irisdj go any distance if ho could help to fan the flame of patriotism which was forcing its way all over the cot: a try. He would go anywhere if he could make the people believe that this was the greatest danger we had had since Waterloo. T tie Crimea was a joke to it.. He had already ailuaed to the- fact fh:it there were ten thousand foreigners fighting with the Boers. -These were not mereK- the scum of Europe, but included of the finest intellects of Germany and France, who were yearning to strike a blow at, and if DOSS:hie to bring about the downfall of Great Britain. Referring to Sir William Butler, Mr Lane-Fox believed him to be a man. Whether he was a wise man was a different thing. He considered Sir William Butler's speeches iR Cape Town were not, wise, but he did believe he was loyal to his Queen and that, as a general in the British army he did his duty and what he knew he told the Government. So far as he knew from personal observation General Butler was a loval soldier. Mr D Rowlands then proposed [1 vote of thanks to Mr Addie for his services In the chair. They were greatly indebted to Mr Addie for securing Mr Lane-Fox's services, and they were also In- debted to him for many other things. Mr Anderson seconded the resolution which was carried. Mr Addie responding, said he was always glad to assist in promoting the welfare of the Club. lie remarked amid much laughter that it would prob- ably be found that Kruger was our best friend. He was beginning to awake 118 up and he had brought about a unity between ourselves and our colonies which was simply marvellous. It might be that it was oue of the best things for our future.







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