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ANNIVERSARIES, jubilees, and cen- general tendency of this criticism tenaries are not popular in Eng- appears to be, that, without some land as on the Continent, or even more clearly defined programme, it in the United States; for we Eng- may prove difficult to maintain a lish seldom see any useful object sufficiently active and useful public to be gained by their celebration. interest in the Institute which it When, therefore, an occasion pre- is proposed to establish. Exhibisents itself which we recognise tions are things of the day only; as calling imperatively for special technical classes and lectures apcelebration and commemoration, peal directly to very limited secwe have considerable difficulty in tions of her Majesty's subjects; fixing on some fitting method of and there seems to be a feeling marking our interest. Such an that something more permanently, occasion of perplexity is the Queen's actively, and comprehensively useJubilee. All subjects of her Ma- ful is required to complete a projesty feel that her remarkable reign gramme which, in its general bear-remarkable in the Queen's beloved ings, is accepted as fully worthy personality, and in the greatness of the occasion and of the reputaof the imperial events which it has tion of its signatories. witnessed —demands that the jubi- In the concluding paragraph of lee year shall be both honourably their report, the Committee lay celebrated and permanently com- down that “the purpose and the memorated. National sentiment effect of the Institute will be to on the subject is strong; but the advance the industrial and comquestion of how, in the most useful mercial resources of every part of and practical manner, to give ade- the empire.” No basis could be quate and lasting expression to our more clearly defined or more suitloyal and patriotic feelings, has able. It is mainly commerce which already been taxing our ingenuity has led to the development of the for many months.
empire, and it is the advancement The Prince of Wales, with ever of the industrial and material rekeen appreciation of the direction sources of the empire which has of national ideas, has suggested given to her Majesty's subjects the some permanent representation of remarkable prosperity of the presthe resources and progress of the ent reign. The long depression in empire, which has developed and trade has given rise to an ample flourished so wonderfully during discussion of all subjects connected the Queen's eventful reign. A with the possibility of its encourstrong committee has been formed agement, and the time and experito consider the Prince of Wales's ence of many capable men have been suggestions, and to elaborate some devoted to a full consideration of practical scheme in accordance the matter. Debates in Parliawith his idea. The proposals of ment, newspaper articles, pamphthe Committee have been before lets, trades' reports, and the opinthe public since Christmas, and, as ions of experts collected by the is natural in a matter of great Foreign Office, have afforded ample national interest, have been sub- opportunity for studying the quesjected to the closest criticism. The tion. As a result, it is clear that over-production for inexpansive prove useful in regulating emigraor failing markets has been the tion, whilst it must also facilitate more immediate cause of distress, business between the Colonies and and all classes of merchants and the mother country. In these days manufacturers have been crying of keen commercial competition, it aloud for some special assistance is impossible to follow too closely towards the opening of new mar- the progress of industrial enterprise kets or the improving of old ones. abroad; for knowledge is power, The Government, and particularly and the recognition of the value of the Foreign Office, have been called the “latest information" is one of upon to give their aid. Discussion the special features of the progress has shown that the annexation of of the last fifty years. The Comnew territories for the special ben- mittee reporting on the scheme efit of distressed traders, or the for an Imperial Institute, and the direct interposition of British am- officials and experts whose opinions bassadors and consuls in securing are recorded in the parliamentary profitable contracts for their hun- papers already referred to, are gering countrymen, is out of the fully agreed in acknowledging the question; and it has been finally importance of early, accurate, and agreed that the collection and dif- complete commercial intelligence. fusion of information on trade sub- In his most interesting memojects would be by far the mostrandum on this subject, dated important service which could be July 17, 1886, Mr Bryce, the rendered to the commercial com- late Under-Secretary for Foreign munity. The interesting papers Affairs, drew up the following list issuing from the Foreign Office, of the different kinds of informaand presented to the Houses of tion required :-Parliament last June, plainly show
“ Information regarding labour, what were the practical conclusions including rates of wages, hours of arrived at, after full inquiry and work, condition of work-people, tradesreflection; and although these unions, strikes and lock-outs, systems papers deal only with foreign of co-operation and profit-sharing. trade, the same general principles
“ Information regarding manufacwill equally apply to our large tures, notices of inventions, of the and rapidly increasing commer
development of new branches of
industry, of the transfer of capital cial relations with the Colonies from one branch of manufacture to and India.
another, of new appliances in agriAlready, to-day, nearly one-half culture. of our total exports are to British “ Information on the movements possessions, and nearly one-third of trade, the increasing or declining of the total imports come from her demand for certain classes of goods, Majesty's dominions beyond the life of a people, as affecting demand
changes in taste or in the habits of sea.
All classes of the Queen's for imported articles. subjects and all parts of the empire "Information on legislation, changes have therefore full community of in customs-regulations, tariffs, quarinterest in the carrying out of antine, and in the laws relating to any scheme likely to assist in the commerce and industry. general augmentation of trade.
“ Information relating to finance, The diffusion of reliable informa
banking, currency, public loans and
taxation. tion concerning the resources and
“Information relating to modes of products of our colonies must cer- communication and transport, railtainly assist their development and roads, lines of steamboats, rates of
freight, directions in which traffic is All this was felt and acknowbeginning to flow.
ledged by Mr Bryce and Lord * Information as to the administra- Rosebery: they intimated, howtion of the law, decisions on important commercial questions, regulations ever, that it would be impossible relating to law charges, changes in for their department to obtain a commercial procedure.
sufficient grant of funds to defray “Information on undertakings and expenses for the enormous amount enterprises of moment, the construc- of extra work required to supply tion of public works, the opening of the deficiencies noted; and, under mines, the granting of concessions for these circumstances, their proworking minerals or forests, or for other similar purposes.
posals for , meeting the acknow"Information relating to technical ledged legitimate demands of our and industrial education, and as to
necessarily most the functions assumed by the State limited in scope. in connection therewith.
The strictly limited functions of “ Information relating to exhibi, the Colonial and India Offices would tions, congresses, conferences, and render it still more impossible for other occasions on which traders those departments to propose or meet or goods may be displayed.
out “Statistics of all kinds relating to carry any comprehensive commerce, shipping, and industry. scheme, although within their own
“Returns of the names of British special province commercial affairs merchants and firms engaged in busi- must rank high among the importness abroad, and of the nature of the ant matters with which they have business in which they are engaged." to deal. The Board of Trade has This is a most comprehensive list the best general grasp of the whole of requirements, and yet, Colonial subject; but its means for so conand Indian representatives were siderable an undertaking are very not included among the experts limited. Under these circumconsulted by Mr Bryce, and he stances, the natural conclusion is considered only the special de- that the most efficient work could mands which had been made on be done by some independent and his own department. It is evi- unofficial institution, to which the dent that no single department of co-operation of the various GovState is directly interested in all ernment offices interested should the numerous questions bearing be specially guaranteed by careful
the general advancement of arrangement. trade and the development of the The idea of founding such a resources of the mother country, suitable institution might under India, and the Colonies. The For- ordinary circumstances be
coneign Office is only indirectly inter- sidered hopeless; but the Queen's ested, and within narrow limits, Jubilee and the proposed Imperial as the negotiator of commercial Institute seem most opportunely treaties with foreign nations, and to offer a chance of securing what as controlling diplomatic and con- is required. Might it not be possular agents in foreign centres of sible to meet those demands of our trade.
It has no constant and traders, which secured the approval intimate relations with the corpor- of Lord Rosebery and Mr Bryce, ate or individual representatives and, at the same time recognising of commerce, either in England or the claims of the Colonies and Inin the Colonies, and its staff, with dia, to focus the numerous excellent notable exceptions, have little ex. proposals of the Committee of the perience in commercial matters. Imperial Institute, by making a
highly organised Commercial In- fact, whether we read the suggestelligence Department a central tions of the Institute Committee feature of their important under- or take Mr Bryce's list of comtaking ?
mercial requirements, we find that Nothing that can be suggested in the formation of a Commercial Inconnection with the objects speci- telligence Department, on proper fied in the programme of the Com- lines, would include the adoption mittee would have a more compre- and carrying out of all the more hensive and permanently active important ideas which have been sphere of usefulness than a pro- put forward. perly organised and well-conducted It remains to consider the geneIntelligence Department. Its work ral outlines of organisation which would be always clearly before it, would enable the Commercial Inand there would be no need of telligence Department to satisfacspecial encouragement or patron- torily fulfil its important functions. age to keep it going. On the con- There is little need to say that suctrary, the nature of its duties cess will entirely depend on the would always be driving an Intel- care and consideration with which ligence Department forward, and these general outlines are detercausing it to seek to extend the mined at the commencement. It area of its influence and usefuiness. is essential that the Agents-GeneSuch a department would be im- ral of the Colonies, the Chambers pelled by daily requirements to of Commerce, and the various seek intimate relations with the Imperial Departments interested corporate and individual repre- throughout the empire, shall all sentatives of trade in all parts of feel that in their respective spheres the empire. It would also eagerly they will be adequately served by press for reports, statistics, and all the proposed department, and that kinds of information, not only from they will be able to exercise an diplomatists and consuls, but also influence over its operations in from Colonial and Indian trade proportion to their respective inrepresentatives and officials; it terests. It is no easy matter to would ask for collections of samples elaborate the details of a scheme of manufacturing industries; it which shall secure the approval and would demand the formation and co-operation of our Colonies and maintenance of a library for indus- India, of four of the great departtrial, commercial, and economic ments of State, and of the nustudy, and which should contain merous public and representative standard works and reports on all bodies concerned. But where we subjects of trade and commerce ; are assured beforehand of a hearty it would desire to include a library goodwill, and of an earnest desire
a of patents and inventions; it on all sides to make the success would deinonstrate the usefulness of the enterprise fully worthy of and necessity of a fully equipped the great occasion which calls it map - room for geographical and forth, confidence may be felt that geological reference; and it would all difficulties will be successfully realise that much assistance could overcome. be obtained in its labours by As regards general interior orarranging conferences and meet- ganisation for daily working, the ings of Chambers of Commerce, example of the existing Intelligence Colonial Associations, and other Branch of the War Office may be rebodies of a kindred nature. In ferred to, and the general efficiency
of this establishment will be admit- quired. There is also a staff of ted by all who have had occasion to draughtsmen for the map-room, test the value of its labours. When a and a staff of ordinary clerks disstaff of intelligent and good workers tributed among the various secare collected together, to devote tions, to assist in copying and intheir time to seeking information dexing. The entire organisation on particular lines, their thirst is under the charge of an excepfor knowledge becomes insatiable. tionally qualified senior officer, and They are ever seeking to establish it may be observed that besides the relations here, to form connections value of the actual work accomthere, and to develop useful sources plished, the department forms an of information everywhere. Maps, admirable school for the training books, pamphlets, periodicals, lec- of young officers in intelligence tures, and all available sources work. of knowledge are eagerly requisi- In the special features of ortioned. And if a continual widen- ganisation of the Military Intelliing of the sphere of its labours is a gence Branch enumerated above, remarkable feature of the military no mention appears of any arrangedepartment, which is constantly ment at all corresponding with hampered by the necessity for the conferences and lectures which secrecy in many of its operations, the Imperial Institute Committee with what certainty may not a rightly lay down as an essential similar manifestation be expected part of their programme. It may in a commercial department, where therefore be suggested that there publicity can be usefully courted ? is no natural connection between
For the purposes of systematic the conference and lecture-hall and working, the War Office Intelli- such an Intelligence Department as gence Branch is divided into seven is suggested. To this it may be ansections, of which five correspond swered that the necessary secrecy to different portions of the globe, of military intelligence naturally one deals with home affairs, and deters the official department from one is occupied with the production publicly seeking and giving inof maps and the care of the library. formation in conferences and lecEach section has its special head, tures. In military affairs, howwho holds the appointment for a ever, this part of the work is fixed period, and is selected as undertaken by the independent having a particular acquaintance and unofficial Royal United Serwith the affairs and languages of vice Institution, a society to which the more important countries which most of the workers in the Military his section represents. Under the Intelligence Branch belong, and in sectional officer are employed one the proceedings of which they often or two similarly selected juniors, unofficially take an important part. who usually remain with the de- The United Service Institution partment for shorter periods, and provides for lectures and discusare generally candidates for pro- sions on military subjects, and on motion to the charge of a section. current questions; it publishes In addition when work presses in valuable reports and papers, and any particular section, further as- it maintains a library and mapsistance is obtained by temporarily room, and an interesting museum engaging the services of any avail- of military inventions and curiosiable officers, who may be peculiarly ties. If the peculiar conditions unqualified for the special duties re- der which the Military Intelligence