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reduction of the tariff from 4s. 9d. sident of the Conference, termed to 3s. 3d. will effect in the first it, was no idle hyperbole. year a gross saving of £190,000 to this happy occasion," he said, Australasia and this country. “these delegates assemble after
From a strategical point of view years of self-government in their the All-British Pacific Cable route countries, of greater progress and is of incalculable importance to the development than the colonies of Empire. The present lines to India any empire have ever seen in the and Australia are the following:- past, not to consider the prospects 1. Lisbon, Gibraltar, Malta, of separation from the motherEgypt, and Red Sea.
country, but to plight our faith 2. France, Italy, Greece, Egypt, anew to each other as brethren, and Red Sea.
and to plight anew
with the 3. Germany, Austria, Turkey, motherland that faith that has
Russia, and Persia. never get been broken or tar4. Germany, Austria, Turkey, nished.” The hurricane of ap
Russia, and the Pacific plause which greeted this avowal
proved that the speaker bad 5. Lisbon, and the West and voiced the sentiments, not only
East Coast of Africa. of Canada, but of all the colonies All these routes pass through assembled there. foreign countries, and could at The
of Canada has been once be interrupted in case of especially remarkable. It is not
The Russian journal, the generally remembered that the first Nova Vremya,' recently said: steamer to cross the Atlantic, the “In case of an armed conflict Royal William, was designed and between this country and England, built at Quebec by a Canadian. our first task would be to block Almost thirty years ago the statesEngland's communication with men of the various provinces had India and Australia.” With good the foresight to unite in a federal reason has Lord Wolseley con- Government, an example which demned the policy of trusting to the Australian colonies soon hope the present telegraphic routes to to imitate. In 1886 the Canadian the East as nothing less than Pacific Railway was completed, a suicidal.
project which in its earlier days The wishes expressed by the met with every discouragement, Colonies at the two previous Col- both from engineering experts, onial Conferences met with no who declared that it could not be response from this country. It is done, and from business men, who to be hoped that the labours of maintained that it would not pay the third will not end in an for the grease of its wheels. This equally disappointing manner. All great work was carried out at the who attended the Ottawa Confer- cost of £48,000,000, entailing an ence, or read the report of its annual liability of £1,000,000 in proceedings, cannot fail to have perpetuity. Yet the expenditure been struck by the deep feelings was justified, as its revenue will of regard which the delegates prove. evinced for the mother - country. Since then Canada has busied The passionate sentiment of herself with this other great proCanada," as Sir John Thompson, ject, which at first met with the Premier of the Dominion and Pre- same discouragement. It is of happy augury for its successful pended blood and treasure to establish issue that the man who carried and strengthen her colonies, and then through the railway scheme has hand the heirship of them over to
their inhabitants. To Canada Great been the chief promoter of the Britain handed over the fortresses cable. After nearly twenty years and Crown lands and all the money devoted to the project, there is
she had expended for a hundred every prospect that Mr Sandford years, without asking one penny in Fleming will see his second great return; and quite recently she handed public undertaking successfully in- over to a mere handful the colony of augurated.
Western Australia-a country which A well-known writer who resides My own impression is that there is
may be valued by millions. in Canada has said, “Whenever
not a man in Canada to - day who the word empire is spoken, it would not be prepared to spend his creates a thrill in every British life and fortune to maintain the honheart."
The following extract our and dignity of this great empire.” from a speech by a prominent
Imperial Parliament, let us Canadian will show the sentiment
will prove that England heartily of his countrymen in this connection. Speaking of Great Britain, ment, by readily accepting her
reciprocates this generous sentihe said :
share of an undertaking which “Never since the world's history will do more than anything else began has there been such an ex- to strengthen the bonds uniting ample of a country which has ex- Great Britain and her colonies.
THE CHINESE OYSTER,
TWICE within twelve months the idea of its obsoleteness has our national equanimity has been not yet percolated through all the disturbed by reported cessions of strata of journalism. Critics are territory and power by China to consequently at a loose end, and Russia, and the public alarm has those of them are the happiest only been quieted by the assur- whose safety-valve in all cases is ance that the reports were not abuse of the wicked Tories. If, authentic. But there is little con- they say, such things had happened solation in that, if the assurance under a Liberal administration, applies only to written instru- what a howl there would have been ments; for it is not the verbal from Land's End to John o'Groat's. form, but the salient truth behind, There is no safer syntax than the which gives significance to these perfect subjunctive. international transactions. Treat- Touching the facts themselves, ies, like other contracts, are valid there can be no doubt that the while both sides observe them, or events of the past two years have where one party has the power reduced Ohina virtually to the of enforcing observance on the status of a dependency of Russia, other. As between Russia and if not also to her very ambitious China a treaty is of quite second partner, France. To speak more ary importance; for, so far as it accurately, the condition which gives official expression to a state was latent has been brought into of facts already existing, it affects the light of day by récent occurinternational interests much as a
Whether she nominally parish register does the longevity of controls this or that railway, or the community. It is but a record. makes use of this or that seaport,
The comments of the Press on Russia will do what seems good the Russo - Chinese Convention to her with Chinese railways and which were published in an Eng- harbours whenever emergency calls lish newspaper in Shanghai in for action. Such limitations as October last betray a want of there are to the exercise of this unanimity in the conception of optional faculty depend neither on what constitutes British interests the will nor power of China, but of in the Far East, and are not very third parties.
third parties. It is of little avail, clear as to the means whereby therefore, to raise an outcry against they may be safeguarded. These a treaty which, assuming it to be currents of opinion, set flowing authentic, merely defines a state through the columns of the Press, of things existing independently, are suggestive of the eddy of a and in which we have acquiesced ; swift stream in which froth and and it would appear that the only driftwood are swirled round and questions much worthy_of our round without definite direction. consideration are — (1) How are The reason of this may possibly the interests of Great Britain lie in the fact that a certain phase affected by the new relations beof diplomacy which was in full tween Russia and China? and (2) credit a few years ago has been How may these relations be modipronounced obsolete by the highest fied to our advantage? authority in this country, while A summary answer to both
questions is given by certain Britain lies in a participation in writers who argue that if the Chinese spoils ; but, on the conpartition of China is going to trary, in adopting every reasonbegin, it behoves us to see that able and practical means of arrestwe get our share. But, in point ing the progress of dissolution. of fact, the partition of China The development of the new began forty years ago when the relations between Russia and Amur region was ceded to Russia, China will affect British interests and it was carried forward by an commercially and politically, which enormous stride in 1860, when is the same thing under two asthe whole Pacific seaboard north pects, our politics being but the of Korea was made over, gratis, guardian of our commerce. The by China to the same Power. The extension of Russian influence in process was followed up vigorously the wilds of Manchuria will graduin the sixties and the seventies ally bring a large tract of counby the rapid succession of French try now under bandit rule within annexations in what is called, with the sphere of peaceful governa grandiose comprehensiveness, ment. So far, therefore, it tends Indo-China; and the conquest of to the promotion of trade, which Upper Burma, which was forced is our ultimate object. On the upon us by France, falls in a cer- other hand, however, the benefits tain sense within the same cate- to traders of the introduction of gory. Finally, the cession of the reign of law may be largely Liaotung on the mainland, and neutralised by an anti-commercial of the rich island of Formosa, to policy on the part of the Japan in 1895, marked a further Government, prohibitive tariffs, stage in the progress of dismem- exclusive dealing, or repressive berment. True, Liaotung was, regulations. It must be said by the intervention of three Euro- to the credit of Russia, however, pean Powers, restored to the Gov- that she has shown a better recogernment of China; but it was nition of the needs of a new settlegiven back as an encumbered estate ment than France has ever shown. rather than as an integral portion The commercial regulations in of the Chinese dominions. It will Vladivostock compare favourably be managed under the supervision in point of liberality with those of the mortgagee.
of Tongking or Madagascar. To speak, therefore, of the par- It is in the political bearing titioning of China in the future of the new Russian position that tense is to hide the truth from its effect on surrounding nations our eyes. The process has begun, stands out in a somewhat alarming and will probably continue. For manner. The southern coast of whatever restraint Russia may Liaotung possesses several serviceput on herself within her sphere, able harbours for peace or war puror France within hers, it does not poses, of which Port Arthur is by admit of a doubt that the Japan- no the most important. ese attack will be renewed on the Manchuria, as has been pointed day that promises success. What- out more than once during the ever British interest, therefore, is past few years in the pages of to accrue on the breaking up of Maga,' is an ideal recruitingChina has accrued. We do not, ground. The original population however, for our part, consider has been virtually absorbed by a that the true interest of Great more energetic race of immigrants
from the northern Chinese pro- forces. But there was no cause, vinces, mainly from Shantung. for though China may squander These colonists, as they are some- money and men, she has not the times called, are inured to a life genius to create an army. of adventure, and own no law save But the invasion of Liaotung that of their own self-constitut- by Japan in 1894 completely ed and self - defended communes. changed the outlook for Russia. Emancipated at once from the re- It is reasonable to suppose that straints of the normal family after the military debauch resjurisdiction, which is the preserva- ponsible Japanese statesmen would tive of Chinese society, and from have seen the wisdom of conciliatthe control of a Government too ing the population of Manchuria, weak and too indolent to follow and of forming them into an army. them into regions which are not That was the danger that threatdeemed worth the cost of adminis- ened Russia, and compelled her, tration, these hardy colonists pur- at any cost and risk, to expel the sue their avocations as hunters, Japanese from the Chinese congold-washers, ginseng - gatherers, tinent. And now Russia holds robbers. Their armed and mounted this superb military material in bands give great trouble at times her own hands, and will by its even to the Russian settlers, whose means become practically invulnerlands they not infrequently invade, able in Manchuria. So far, then, -a state of things which might at Russia occupies a defensible posiany time have furnished the Rus- tion not to be lightly contested. sian frontier officers with valid The reported concessions from excuses for planting garrisons China, however, go a good deal within Chinese territory to repel further than that. They point to the raids of the bandits, over whom a Russian occupation of the seathe Chinese Government exercises board of the purely Chinese prono efficient control. This would vince of Shantung. The harbour have been following up the policy of Kyao-chiao, on the east coast which has effected, during two of that province, and looking hundred years, the gradual absorp- straight across the Yellow Sea, tion of Siberia.
is commodious and landlocked ; These horse - robbers of Man- how far defensible may be known churia are full of courage and to experts. The Chinese thementerprise, and only need the dis- selves were not wholly unaware of cipline of orderly government to the strategic convenience of the become good soldiers as well as port, attention having been called good citizens. They are of the to its importance by Captain W. very stuff that armies should be Lang, R. Ñ., when in the Chinese made of. In the hands of an service. The very last function organising Power, drilled, armed, in which Li Hung Chang appeared fed, and led by competent officers before the Japanese war - cloud
-even under the Government of threatened was an official inspecChina herself — the Manchurian tion of Kyao - chiao with a view forces might have rendered the to its fortification and conversion Russian possessions on the Pacific into a great naval port. The untenable. Less than twenty visit was actually cut short by the years ago the Russian authorities receipt of news of the beginning were, in fact, seriously alarmed at of the troubles in Korea, which the reputed strength of the Chinese were the prelude to the war.