The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa, 1926
CHAPTER X. METHODS OF RULING NATIVE RACES.
IF continuity and decentralisation are, as I have said, the first and most important conditions in maintaining an effective administration, co-operation is the key-note of success in its application-continuous co-operation between every link in the chain, from the head of the administration to its most junior member,-co-operation between the Government and the commercial community, and, above all, between the provincial staff and the native rulers. Every individual adds his share not only to the accomplishment of the ideal, but to the ideal itself. Its principles are fashioned by his quota of experience, its results are achieved by his patient and loyal application of these principles, with as little interference as possible with native customs and modes of thought.
Principles do not change, but their mode of application may and should vary with the customs, the traditions, and the prejudices of each unit. The task of the administrative officer is to clothe his principles in the garb of evolution, of revolution; to make it apparent alike to the educated native, the conservative Moslem, and the primitive pagan, in his own degree, that the policy of the Government is not antagonistic but progressive-sympathetic to his aspiration and the guardian of his natural rights. The Governor looks the administrative staff to keep in touch with native thought and feeling, and to report fully to himself, in order that he in turn may be able to support them and recognise their work. When describing the machinery of Government in African dependency in chapter vi., I spoke of the supervision and guidance exercised by the Lieut. Governor, Residents, and the District Officers over the native.
In this chapter I propose to discuss how those functions should be exercised.
Lord Milner's declaration that the British policy is rule subject races through their own chiefs is generally applauded but the manner in which the principle should translated into practice admits of wide differences of opinion and method. Obviously the extent to which native races are capable of controlling their own affairs must vary proportion to their degree of development and progress in social Organisation, but this is a question of adaptation not of principle. Broadly speaking, the divergent opinions in regard to the application of the principle may be found to originate in three different conceptions.
The first is that the ideal of self-government can only be realised by the methods of evolution which have produced the democracies of Europe and America,-viz., by representative institutions in which the comparatively small educated class shall be recognised as the natural spokesmen for the many. This method is naturally in favour with the educated African. Whether it is adapted to peoples accustomed by their own institutions to autocracy--albeit modified by a substantial expression of the popular will and circumscribed by custom--is naturally a matter on which opinions differ. The fundamental essential, however, in such a form of Government is that the educated few shall at least be representative of the feelings and desires of the many--well known to them, speaking their language, and versed in their customs and prejudices.
In present conditions in Africa the numerous separate tribes, speaking different languages, and in different stages of evolution, cannot produce representative men of education. Even were they available, the number of communities which could claim separate representation would make any central and really representative Council very unwieldy. The authority vested in the representatives would be antagonistic (as the Indian Progressives realise ) to that of the native rulers and their councils,--which are the product of the natural tendencies of tribal evolution,--and would run counter to the customs and institutions of the people.
An attempt to adapt these principles of Western representative Government to tropical races is now being made in India. It is at present an Eastern rather than an African problem, but as a great experiment in the method of Government in tropical countries, the outcome of which "many other native races in other parts of the world are watching with strained attention," it demands at least a passing reference here.
Though the powers entrusted to the elected representatives of the people are at first restricted under the dyarchical system (which reserves certain subjects for the Central Authority), the principle of government by an educated minority, as opposed to government by native rulers, is fully accepted. It must be admitted that there is a considerable body of well-informed opinion in India and England-voiced here by the India Association, Lord Sydenham (who speaks with the authority of an ex-Governor of Bombay), and otherswhich expresses much misgiving as to the wisdom of placing all political power " in the hands of a disaffected minority unrepresentative of India," and regards it as " an attempt to govern India by the narrowest of oligarchies, whose interests often conflict with those of the millions."
The subject races of Africa are not yet able to stand alone, and that it would not conduce to the happiness of the vast bulk of the people-for whose welfare the controlling Power is trustee-that the attempt should be made.
The verdict of students of history and sociology of different nationalities--such as Dr Kidd, Dr Stoddard, M. Beaulieu, Meredith Townsend and others is, as I have shown (p. 82), unanimous--that the era of complete independence is not as yet visible on the horizon of time. Practical administrators (among whom I may include my successor, Sir P. Girouard, in Northern Nigeria) have arrived at the same conclusion.
The danger of going too fast with native races is even more likely to lead to disappointment, if not to disaster, than the danger of not going fast enough. The pace can best be gauged by those who have intimate acquaintance alike with the strong points and the limitations of the native peoples and rulers with whom they have to deal.
The Fulani of Northern Nigeria are, as I have said, more capable of rule than the indigenous races, but in proportion as we consider them an alien race, we are denying self -government to the people over whom they rule, and supporting an alien caste-albeit closer and more akin to the native races than a European can be. Yet capable as they are, it requires the ceaseless vigilance of the British staff to maintain a high standard of administrative integrity, and to prevent oppression of the peasantry. We are dealing with the same generation, and in many cases with the identical rulers, who were responsible for the misrule and tyranny which we found in 1902. The subject races near the capital were then serfs, and the victims of constant extortion. Those dwelling at a distance were raided for slaves, and could not count their women, their cattle, or their crops their own. Punishments were most barbarous, and included impalement, mutilation, and burying alive. Many generations have passed since British rule was established among the more intellectual people of India-the inheritors of centuries of Eastern civilisation--yet only to-day are we tentatively seeking to confer on them a measure of self-government. " Festina lente " is a motto which the Colonial Office will do well to remember in its dealings with Africa.
That the principle of ruling through the native chiefs is adopted by several of the governments of British Tropical Africa can be seen from recent local pronouncements. The Governor of Sierra Leone, in his address to the Legislative Council. last December (1920), remarks that "nine-tenths of the people enjoy autonomy under their own elected chiefs . . . European officers are the technical advisers, and helpers of the tribal authority." The Governor of the Gold Coast on a similar occasion observed: " The chiefs are keenly appreciative of our policy of indirect rule, and of the full powers they retain under their native institutions." The powers retained by the Kabaka of Uganda and his Council are very wide indeed.
The system adopted in Nigeria is therefore only a particular method of the application of these principles--more especially as regards " advanced communities,"--and since I am familiar with it I will use it as illustrative of the methods which in my opinion should characterise the dealings of the controlling power with subject races.
The object in view is to make each " Emir " or paramount chief, assisted by his judicial Council, an effective ruler over his own people. He presides over a " Native Administration" organised throughout as a unit of local government. The area over which he exercises jurisdiction is divided into districts under the control of " Headmen, " who collect the taxes in the name of the ruler, and pay them into the "Native Treasury," conducted by a native treasurer and staff under the supervision of the chief at his capital. Here, too, is the prison for native court prisoners, and probably the school, which I shall describe more fully in the chapter on education. Large cities are divided into wards for purposes of control and taxation.
The district headman, usually a territorial magnate with local connections, is the chief executive officer in the area under his charge. He controls the village headmen, and is responsible for the assessment of the tax, which he collects through their agency. He must reside in his district and not at the capital. He is not allowed to pose as a chief with a retinue of his own and duplicate officials, and is summoned from time to time to report to his chief. If, as is the case with some of the ancient Emirates, the community is a small one but independent of any other native rule, the chief may be his own district headman.
A province under a Resident may contain several separate Native Administrations," whether they be Moslem Emirates or pagan communities. A " division " under a British District Officer may include one or more headmen's districts, or more than one small Emirate or independent pagan tribe, but as a rule no Emirate is partly in one division and partly in another. The Resident acts as sympathetic adviser and counsellor to the native chief, being careful not to interfere so as to lower his prestige, or cause him to lose interest in his work. His advice on matters of general policy must be., followed, but the native ruler issues his own instructions to his subordinate chiefs and district heads-not as the orders of the Resident but as his own,-and he is encouraged to work through them, instead of centralising everything in himself -a system which in the past had produced such great abuses. The British District Officers supervise and assist the native district headmen, through whom they convey any instructions to village heads, and make any arrangements necessary for carrying on the work of the Government departments, but all important orders emanate from the Emir, whose, messenger usually accompanies and acts as mouthpiece of a District Officer.
The tax-which supersedes all former "tribute," iregular imposts, and forced labour--is, in a sense, the basis of the whole system, since it supplies the means to pay the Emir and all his officials. The district and village heads are effectively supervised and assisted in its assessment by the British staff. The native treasury retains the proportion assigned to it (in advanced communities a half), and pays the remainder into Colonial Revenue.
There are fifty such treasuries in the northern provinces. of Nigeria, and every independent chief, however small, is encouraged to have his own. The appropriation by the native administration of market dues, slaughter-house fees, forest licences, &c., is authorised by ordinance, and the native administration receives also the fines and fees of native courts. From these funds are paid the salaries of the Emir and his council, the native court judges, the district and village heads, police, prison warders, and other employees. The surplus is devoted to the construction and maintenance of dispensaries, leper settlements, schools, roads, courthouses, and other buildings. Such works may be carried out wholly or in part by a Government department, if the native administration requires technical assistance, the cost being borne by the native treasury.
The native treasurer keeps all accounts of receipts and expenditure, and the Emir, with the assistance of the Resident, annually prepares a budget, which is formally approved by the Lieut.-Governor.
In these advanced communities the judges of the native courts-which I shall describe in a later chapter-administer native law and custom, and exercise their jurisdiction independently of the native executive, but under the supervision of the British staff, and subject to the general control of the Emir, whose " Judicial Council" consists of his principal Officers of State, and is vested with executive as well as judicial powers. No punishment may be inflicted by a native authority, except through a regular tribunal. The ordinances of government are operative everywhere, but the native authority may make by-laws in modification of native custom-e.g., on matters of sanitation, &c.,-and these, when approved by the Governor, are enforced by the native courts.
The authority of the Emir over his own people is absolute, and the profession of an alien creed does not absolve a native from the obligation to obey his lawful orders; but aliens other than natives domiciled in the Emirate and accepting,, the jurisdiction of the native authority and courts-are under the direct control of the British staff. Townships are excluded from the native jurisdiction.
The village is the administrative unit. It is not always easy to define, since the security to life and property which has followed the British administration has caused an exodus from the cities and large villages, and the creation of innumerable le hamlets, sometimes only of one or two huts, on the agricultural lands. The peasantry of the advanced communities, though ignorant, yet differs from that of the backward tribes in that they recognise the authority of the Emir, and are more ready to listen to the village head and the Council of Elders, on which the Nigerian system is based.
Subject, therefore, to the limitations which I shall presently discuss, the native authority is thus do facto and do jure ruler over his own people. He appoints and dismisses his subordinate chiefs and officials. He exercises the power of, allocation of lands, and with the aid of the native courts, adjudication of disputes and expropriation for offences against the community; these are the essential functions upon in the opinion of the West African Lands Committee, which, the prestige of the native authority depends. The lawful orders which he may give are carefully defined by ordinance, and in the last resort are enforced by Government.
Since native authority, especially if exercised by alien conquerors is inevitably weakened by the first impact of civilised rule, it is made clear to the elements of disorder, who regard force as conferring the only right to demand obedience, that government, by the use of force if necessary, intends to support the native chief. To enable him to maintain order he employs a body of unarmed police, and if the occasion demands the display of superior force he looks to the Government-as, for instance, if a community combines to break the law or shield criminals from justice,-a rare event in the advanced communities.
The native ruler derives his power from the Suzerain, and is responsible that it is not misused. He is equally with British officers amenable to the law, but his authority does not depend on the caprice of an executive officer. To intrigue against him is an offence punishable, if necessary, in a Provincial Court. Thus both British and native courts are invoked to uphold his authority.
The essential feature of the system (as I wrote at the of its inauguration) is that the native chiefs are constituted as an integral part of the machinery of the administration. There are not two sets of rulers-British and native-working either separately or in co-operation, but a single Government in which the native chiefs have well-defined duties and an acknowledged status equally with British officials. Their duties should never conflict, and should overlap as little as possible. They should be complementary to each other, and the chief himself must understand that he has no right to place and power unless he renders his proper services to the State."
The ruling classes are no longer either demi-gods, or parasites preying on the community. They must work for the stipends and position they enjoy.
The limitations to independence which are frankly inherent in this conception of native rule-not as temporary restraints to be removed as soon as may be, but as powers which rightly belong to the controlling Power as trustee for the welfare of the masses, and as being responsible for the defence of the country and the cost of its central administration-are such as do not involve interference with the authority of the chiefs or the social Organisation of the people. They have been accepted by the Fulani Emirs as natural and proper to the controlling power, and their reservation in the hands of the Governor has never interfered with the loyalty. Of the ruling chiefs, or, so far as I am aware, been resented by them. The limitations are as follows :-
(1) Native rulers are not permitted to raise and control armed forces, or to grant permission to carry arms. To this in principle Great Britain stands pledged under the Brussels Act. The evils which result in Africa from an armed population were evident in Uganda before it fell under British control, and are very evident in Abyssinia to-day. No one with experience will deny the necessity of maintaining the strictest military. discipline over armed forces or police in Africa if misuse of power is to be avoided, and they are not to become a menace and a terror to the native population and a danger in case of religious excitement--a discipline which an African ruler is incapable of appreciating or applying. For this reason native levies should never be employed in substitution for or in aid of troops. (See p. 576.)
On the other hand, the Government armed police are never quartered in native towns, where their presence would interfere with the authority of the chiefs. Like the regular troops, they are employed as escorts and on duty in the townships. The native administration maintain a police, who wear a uniform but do not carry firearms.
(2) The sole right to impose taxation in any form is reserved to the Suzerain power. This fulfils the bilateral understanding that the peasantry-provided they pay the authorised tax (the adjustment of which to all classes of the population is a responsibility which rests with the Central Government) -should be free of all other exactions whatsoever (including unpaid labour), while a sufficient proportion of the tax is assigned to the native treasuries to meet the expenditure of the native administration. Special sanction by ordinance or " rule " approved by the Governor-is therefore required to enable the native authority to levy any special dues, &c.
(3) The right to legislate is reserved. That this should remain in the hands of the Central Government-itself limited by the control of the Colonial Office, as I have describedcannot be questioned. The native authority, however, exercises very considerable power in this regard. A native ruler, and the native courts, are empowered to enforce native law and custom, provided it is not repugnant to humanity, or in opposition to any ordinance. This practically meets all needs, but the native authority may also make rules on any subject, provided they are approved by the Governor. (See chapter xxviii.)
(4) The right to appropriate land on equitable terms for public purposes and for commercial requirements is vested in the Governor. In the Northern Provinces of Nigeria (but not in the South) the right of disposing of native lands is reserved to the Governor by ordinance. In practice this does not interfere with the power of the native ruler (as the delegate of the Governor) to assign lands to the natives under his rule, in accordance with native law and custom, or restrict him or the native courts from adjudicating between natives regarding occupancy rights in land. No rents are levied on lands in occupation by indigenous natives. Leases to aliens are granted by the Central Government. (See chapters xiv. and xv.)
If the pressure of population in one community makes it necessary to assign to it a portion of the land belonging to a neighbour with a small and decreasing population, the Governor (to whom appeal may be made) would decide the matter. These reservations were set out in the formal letter of appointment given to each chief in Northern Nigeria.
(5) In order to maintain intact the control of the Central Government over all aliens, and to avoid friction and difficulties, it has been the recognised rule that the employees of the native administration should consist entirely of natives subject to the native authority. If aliens are required for any skilled work by the native administration, Government servants may be employed and their salaries reimbursed by the native treasury. For a like reason, whenever possible, all non-natives and natives not subject to the local native jurisdiction live in the "township," from which natives subject to the native administration are as far as possible excluded. This exclusive control of aliens by the Central Government partakes rather of the nature of "extra-territorial jurisdiction" than of dualism.
(6) Finally, in the interests of good government, the right of confirming or otherwise the choice of the people of the successor to a chiefship, and of deposing any ruler for misrule or other adequate cause, is reserved to the Governor.
The revenue of a native administration consists, as I have said, not of an arbitrary sum assigned to it by the Governor, but of a fixed proportion of the statutory tax collected by It its agency, together with the fines and fees from native courts, market dues, and similar receipts assigned by the Governor. Thus, though the Suzerain power imposes the taxes (whether direct in the form of an income tax or indirect as customs dues, &c.), and the general rate of the former is fixed by the Governor, the actual assessment is in the hands of the native ruler and his representatives-the district and village heads -guided and assisted by the British staff. It therefore appears to the taxpayer as a tax imposed by his own native, ruler, though he knows that the vigilant eye of the District Officer will see that no unauthorised exactions are made, and that any injustice will be remedied. Since the salaries of the ruler and the officials of the " Native Administration " are paid out of their own native treasury funds, they cannot be regarded by him as officials paid by Government.
The proportion assigned to the native administration in advanced communities is a half of the general income and cattle tax,--the proportion is less in pagan communities. On the inauguration of the tax in Nigeria the proceeds were quite insufficient to meet even the necessary salaries of chiefs but with improved assessment, a more honest collection, and increased prosperity, the sum, without additional burden, has become so large that in the more wealthy Emirates there is considerable surplus, when all the salaries of the very largelyincreased establishments of native officials, police and prison staff, &e., have been paid. From these funds native courthouses, treasuries, schools, and prisons for native court prisoners have been built, and the balance, invested in a reserve fund, totalled in 1919 £486,654, exclusive of the large sums voted by the Emirs towards the cost of the war. These reserve funds-originally created to meet any emergency, such as famine or cattle disease, when Northern Nigeria had no colonial reserve, and was dependent on a grant-in-aid -are now available for public works of benefit to the people.
The revenues of the native administrations do not appear in the colonial budget of revenue and expenditure, and are independent of colonial treasury or audit control. The proper expenditure of these large sums-obtained by taxes imposed and enforced by the Suzerain Power-must obviously depend in part on the ability of each native ruler, and in part on the Resident who advises him. " Unfettered control " may in some cases mean that a Resident and not the ruling chief, disposes of large revenues independent of the Lieut.-Governor; in other cases it may mean a tendency to multiply offices and pay high salaries, which either overburden the finances of other less wealthy treasuries, or cause discontent among its employees, and ultimately enhance the cost of labour throughout the country-a result which is inimical to production and progress, unless necessitated by economic causes. It is a tendency which a Resident, however much he has identified himself in the interests of the native administration, may not find it easy to resist, though he sets his face against nepotism and the reckless exercise of patronage and display -which are so apt to be regarded as the symbol of power by a native ruler.
Pending the growth of a fuller sense of public responsibility and of an enlightened public opinion, some check may be afforded by the preparation of annual estimates of revenue and expenditure in a very simple form. These should require the approval of the Governor (or of the Lieut. -Governor), as the colonial estimates require that of the Secretary of State, and any subsequent alteration should require the like sanction. While refraining as far as possible from interference in detail, the Lieut.-Governor can, by suggestion and comparison, effect some co-ordination and uniformity where desirable, and can best discriminate between the scope which may be allowed to an individual, and the grant of extended powers of universal application.'
The habits of a people are not changed in a decade, and when powerful despots are deprived of the pastime of war and slave-raiding, and when even the weak begin to forget their former sufferings, to grow weary of a life without excitement, and to resent the petty restrictions which have replaced the cruelties of the old despotism, it must be the aim of Government to provide new interests and rivalries in civilised progress, in education, in material prosperity and trade, and even in sport.
There were indeed many who, with the picture of Fulani misrule fresh in their memory, regarded this system when it was first inaugurated with much misgiving, and believed that though the hostility of the rulers to the British might be concealed, and their vices disguised, neither could be eradicated, and they would always remain hostile at heart. They thought that the Fulani as an alien race of conquerors, who had in turn been conquered, had not the same claims for consideration as those whom they had displaced, even though they had become so identified with the people that they could no longer be called aliens.
But there can be no doubt that such races form an invaluable medium between the British staff and the native peasantry. Nor can the difficulty of finding any one capable of taking their place, or the danger they would constitute to the State if ousted from their positions, be ignored. Their traditions of rule, their monotheistic religion, and their intelligence enable them to appreciate more readily than the negro, population the wider objects of British policy (see P. 220), while their close touch with the masses-with whom they live in daily intercourse-mark them out as destined to play -an important part in the future, as they have done in the past, in the development of the tropics.
Both the Arabs in the east and the Fulani in the west are Mohamedans, and by supporting their rule we unavoidably encourage the spread of Islam, which from the purely administrative point of view has the disadvantage of being subject to waves of fanaticism, bounded by no political frontiers. In Nigeria it has been the rule that their power should not be re-established over tribes which had made good their independence, or imposed upon those who had successfully resisted domination.
On the other hand, the personal interests of the rulers must rapidly become identified with those of the controlling Power. The forces of disorder do not distinguish between them, and the rulers soon recognise that any upheaval against the British would equally make an end. of them. Once this community of interest is established, the Central Government cannot be taken by surprise, for it is impossible that the native rulers should not be aware of any disaffection.
This identification of the ruling class with the Government accentuates the corresponding obligation to check malpractices on their part. The task of educating them in the duties of a ruler becomes more than ever insistent ; of inculcating a sense of responsibility ; of convincing their intelligence of the advantages which accrue from the material prosperity of the peasantry, from free labour and initiative; of the necessity of delegating powers to trusted subordinates; of the evils of favouritism and bribery ; of the importance of education, especially for the ruling class, and for the filling of lucrative posts under Government ; of the benefits of sanitation, vaccination, and isolation of infection in checking mortality; and finally, of impressing upon them how greatly they may benefit their country by personal interest in such matters, and by the application of labour-saving devices and of scientific methods in agriculture.
Unintentional misuse of the system of native administration must also be guarded against. It is not, for instance, the duty of a native administration to purchase supplies for native troops, or to enlist and pay labour for public works, though its agency within carefully defined limits may be useful in making known Government, requirements, and seeing that markets are well supplied. Nor should it be directed to collect licences, fees, and rents due to Government, nor should its funds be used for any purpose not solely connected with and prompted by its own needs.
I have throughout these pages continually emphasised the necessity of recognising, as a cardinal principle of British policy in dealing with native races, that institutions. and methods, in order to command success and promote the happiness and welfare of the people, must be deep-rooted in their traditions and prejudices. Obviously in no sphere, of administration is this more essential than in that under discussion, and a slavish adherence to any particular type, however successful it may have proved elsewhere, may, if un- adapted to the local environment, be as ill-suited and as foreign to its conceptions as direct British rule would be.
The type suited to a community which has long grown accustomed to the social organisation of the Moslem State may or may not be suitable to advanced pagan communities, which have evolved a social system of their own, such as the Yorabas, the Benis, the Egbas, or the Ashantis in the West, or the Waganda, the Wanyoro, the Watoro, and others in the East. The history, the traditions, the idiosyncracies, and the prejudices of each must be studied by the Resident and his staff, in order that the form adopted shall accord with natural evolution, and shall ensure the ready co-operation of the chiefs and people.
Before passing to the discussion of methods applicable to primitive tribes it may be of interest to note briefly some of the details-as apart from general principles-adopted in Nigeria among the advanced communities.
Chiefs who are executive rulers are graded-those of the, first three classes are installed by the Governor or Lieut.Governor, and carry a staff of office surmounted for the first class by a silver, and for the others. by a brass crown. Lower grades carry a baton, and are installed by the Resident, or by the Emir, if the chief is subordinate to him. These staves of office, which are greatly prized, symbolise to the peasantry the fact that the Emir derives his power from the Government, and will be supported in its exercise. The installation of an Emir is a ceremonial witnessed by a great concourse. of his people, and dignified by a parade of troops. The native insignia of office, and a parchment scroll, setting out in the vernacular the conditions of his appointment, are presented to him. The alkali (native judge) administers the following oath on the Koran: " I swear in the name of God, wen and truly to serve His Majesty King George V. and his representative the Governor of Nigeria, to obey the laws of Nigeria and the lawful commands of the Governor, and of the Lieut.-Governor, provided that they are not contrary to my religion, and if they are so contrary I will at once inform the Governor through the Resident. I will cherish in my heart no treachery or disloyalty, and I will rule my people with justice and without partiality. And as I carry out this oath so may God judge me." Pagan chiefs are sworn according to their own customs on a sword.
Native etiquette and ceremonial must be carefully studied and observed in order that unintentional offence may be avoided. Great importance is attached to them, and a like observance in accordance with native custom is demanded towards British officers. Chiefs are treated with respect and courtesy. Native races alike in India and Africa are quick to discriminate between natural dignity and assumed superiority. Vulgar familiarity is no more a passport to their friendship than an assumption of self-importance is to their respect. The English gentleman needs no prompting in such a matter-his instinct is never wrong. Native titles, of rank are adopted, and only native dress is worn, whether by chiefs or by schoolboys. Principal chiefs accused of serious crimes are tried by a British court, and are not imprisoned before trial, unless in very exceptional circumstances. Minor chiefs and native officials appointed by an Emir may be tried by his Judicial Council. If the offence does not involve deprivation of office, the offender may be fined without public trial, if he prefers it, in order to avoid humiliation and loss of influence.
Succession is governed by native law and custom, subjectin the case of important chiefs to the approval of the Governor, in order that the most capable claimant may be chosen. It is important to ascertain the customary law and to follow it when possible, for the appointment of a chief who is not the recognised heir, or who is disliked by the people, may give rise to trouble, and in any case the new chief would have much difficulty in asserting his authority, and would fear to check abuses lest he should alienate his supporters. In Moslem countries the law is fairly clearly defined, being a useful combination of the hereditary principle, tempered by selection, and in many cases in Nigeria the ingenious device is maintained of having two rival dynasties, from each of which the successor is selected alternately.
In pagan communities the method varies; but there is no rigid rule, and a margin for selection is allowed. The formal approval of the Governor after a short period of probation is a useful precaution, so that if the designated chief proves himself unsuitable, the selection may be revised without difficulty. Minor chiefs are usually selected by popular vote, I subject to the approval of the paramount chief. It is a rule in Nigeria that no slave may be appointed as a chief or district headman. If one is nominated he must first be publicly freed.
Small and isolated communities, living within the jurisdiction of a chief, but owing allegiance to the chief of their place of origin -a common source of trouble in Africa- should gradually be absorbed into the territorial jurisdiction. Aliens who have settled in a district for their own purposes would be subject to the local jurisdiction.
THE HUT TAX IN AFRICA.
A house-rate is a form of levy well adapted for raising municipal funds in a city, where modern amenities require a special outlay. The native householder sees that it is paid equally by Europeans, and can appreciate the necessity for providing funds for water-supply, street lighting, good roads, and sanitation. Mr Chamberlain himself took the fact that the hut tax in Sierra Leone had not been exception to made applicable to the Colony and its capital city Freetown, where much of its proceeds would be spent. The rate was 5s. per hut. The very serious rising in Sierra Leone in 1897, though it was popularly known as the "Hut-tax Rebellion," was probably only partially caused by that tax, and had its deeper origin in the efforts of the local Government to check misrule by the inland chiefs, and in the malpractices of its own police.
In Uganda a hut tax of 4s. (or alternatively of one month's labour) was said to have had ill effects in rendering the natives unwilling to occupy separate huts, and decreasing marriages. The lukiko (native council) then suggested a tax of 2s. 8d. on those who did not occupy huts. The result, said the High Commissioner, was 11 to lessen the distinction between the married man and bachelor, to promote morality, induce the bachelor element to settle down, and to encourage married life." The labour equivalent of the tax seems to have been very high. The German substitute would have been eight days' labour instead of a month.
In Nyasaland the Ordinance of 19011 imposed a tax of 12s. on the owner or occupier of each hut in a " proclaimed district " (viz., 95 per cent of the population) and of 6s. elsewhere, with a rebate of half the amount if the occupier could prove that he had worked for a European for wages for a month. This would seem to partake of the nature of a subsidy payable from revenue to European employers of labour, while the distinction between proclaimed and other districts seems to penalise the natives of the settled districts, for presumably the unproclaimed districts were those in which the tax could not easily be collected, unless the native made himself liable by seeking work from Europeans.
These anomalies have been removed by the recent Ordinance, which imposes a tax of 6s. per hut, with an additional 6s. for every wife after the first, and an alternative poll-tax for any native not liable to hut tax. The penalties are severe. Default for six months involves liability to a fine of 2s. or a month's imprisonment, further default for two months involves a fine of 4s. or three months' impriso forfeiture of his but. The tax remains recoverable as a judgment debt.
Taxation in Kenya takes the form of a poll-tax, and the signatories of the Economic Report express the view that the African could not conceivably be assessed to income tax.' The tax was raised to 16s., a rate which was found to be excessive in a country where the wage-rate was only from 6s. to 8s. per mensem, and it was reduced to 12s. It is stated that by far the larger part of the revenue thus raised is spent on the requirements of the British settlers.
In Northern Rhodesia the tax may not exceed £1, and is fixed at present at 10s., with an additional 10s. for each wife after the first. Half the revenue is derived from this source.
The South African Native Affairs Commission recorded their opinion
(1) That it is necessary to impose direct taxation upon the natives.
(2) That it can best be imposed by means of a hut tax or poll-tax.
(3) That the tax should not be less than £1 per, annum, payable by every male adult native, with an additional £1 for every wife after the first.
(4) That farm servants in bonafide and continuous employment and natives domiciled within an urban area who pay local taxes should be exempt.
In addition the Commission favoured the extension of the principle of local taxation for beneficial purposes on the lines of the Glen Grey Act.
Dr Unwin reported in 1911 on the system of taxation in force in German Togoland. Every male over sixteen years of age must pay 6s. or twelve days' labour at his option. Treasury officials preferred the former, district officers the latter. Headmen of villages were called upon to declare the number of adult males and to bring them up annually. The numbers were checked by the district officer. The headman was given a German field-cap as a mark of office. In the Cameruns the tax was,' I believe, 3s. per adult male, with 2s. additional for each wife after the first.
Mr Migeod writes: "In French territory the poll-tax varies from 5 francs in some districts to 12.50 francs in others. . . . The Belgians have a graded tax, variable to meet the earning capacity of the native. In the big towns near the coast it is as much as 25 francs.. A man who has four children by the same wife is exempt-with the dual object of stimulating monogamy and child-bearing. All wives after the first have to be paid for. The tax in both French and Belgian Congo is collected by the European officer." In India the tax is stated to average 3s. 6d. a head.
THREE decades have passed since England assumed effective occupation and administration of those portions of the interior of tropical Africa for which she had accepted responsibility when the nations of Europe partitioned the continent between them. How has her task as trustee, on the one hand, for the advancement of the subject races, and on the other hand, for the development of its material resources for the benefit of mankind, been fulfilled ? There is no one, I think, who has been privileged to bear a share in the task, with its measurable opportunities, who, looking back, would not echo Mr Rhodes' dying words, " So much to do-so little done".
In the foregoing chapters I have endeavoured to describe some of the problems which confront the administrator, and, with diffidence to indicate the path by which, as it seems to me, the best solution may in the course of time be found.
Viceroys and Governors of the older dependencies, of Colonies and of Dominions, occupy posts of greater titular importance than those who are entrusted with the charge of these tropical dependencies in Africa, but their own personal initiative is circumscribed and controlled by Ministers, by effective assemblies and councils, by a local press which reflects public opinion and criticism, and to a greater or less extent by the Parliament and press of England. The Governors in Africa are to-day gradually being brought under the same &ding and controlling influences, but in the earlier beginnings of our rule these influences hardly existed. Neither the Foreign Office nor the Colonial Office had any experience of Central African conditions and administration, when, at the close of the nineteenth century, the summons for effective occupation compelled this country to administer the hinterlands of the West African colonies, and to assume control of vast areas on the Nile, the Niger, the Zambesi, and the great lakes in the heart of Africa.
The self-governing Dominions grew by slow stages from small municipalities to the status of United Nation& In India and the Eastern colonies, territorial expansion was the slow increment of many decades. But in Africa it was not a matter of expansion from existing nuclei of administration, but of sudden creation and improvisation. Perhaps it was wen that Great Britain, following the tradition of the Empire, did not (as she might have been expected to do) select from her most experienced servants, trained in the school of Indian administration, those who should grapple with this sudden emergency, but trusted to the men on the spot. The pioneers of African administration came to their task with minds unbiased by traditions unsuited to the races and conditions of Africa, and more ready to attempt to make bricks without straw. The perspective of history will perhaps show more clearly the magnitude of that task, and the opportunity it gave for initiative, almost unprecedented in the annals of the Empire.
It was for these pioneers to cope with the internal slavetrade, the very existence of which was hardly known in England, to devise their own laws, to set up their courts of justice, to deal with foreign aggression, to create an administration, and bring order out of chaos. The funds at their disposal were wholly inadequate, the staff poorly paid, painfully insufficient, and recruited somewhat at haphazard, whether for chartered companies or for Crown dependencies. The areas to be controlled were most of them many times the size of England, with populations numbered in millions, seething with internal strife, and wholly without roads or means of communication.
The nation is justified in demanding how, in such circumstances, the administrative officers and their colleagues in the judicial and educational departments on the one hand, and the engineers, the medical, agricultural, and forestry officers, and the rest of the technical staff on the other hand, have acquitted themselves in their respective responsibilities towards the native races, and the material progress of these countries.
We are all familiar with the creed of the " Little Englander." At each fresh access of responsibility and expansion of the Empire he has warned us that " the white man's burden " was already growing too heavy for this country to bear, that the British taxpayer was being called on to support' the ambitious of chauvinists, and that the native races were misgoverned and robbed of their lands and their proper profits by the greed of exploiters.
Of late, since the war, it would almost seem as if an organised attempt was being made to promulgate these doctrines among the Labour Party, and to persuade them that the existence of the Empire is antagonistic alike to their own interests and to those of the subject races. That Party has not as yet had experience of overseas problems. Its Research Department for the investigation of these subjects appears to have fallen under the influence of those who hold these narrow views.
They would persuade the British democracy that it is better to shirk Imperial responsibility, and relegate it to international committees; that material development benefits the capitalist profiteer; and that British rule over subject races stands for spoliation and self-interest. Guided by these advisers--some of the more prominent of whomare apparently not of British race-the Labour Party has not hestitated put forward its own thesis of Government of tropical dependencies under the Mandates. To these views I hope that I have already in some measure offered a reply, and I will endeavour briefly to summarise in these concluding pages.
" Nothing," says Sir C. Lucas, " should appeal so strongly as the Empire to democracy, for it is the greatest engine of democracy the world has ever known. . . . It has infected whole world with liberty and democracy." There no doubt that the control of the tropics, so far from being charge on the British taxpayer, is to him a source of great gain. I have in a previous chapter shown how the products of the tropics have raised the standard of comfort of the working man, added to the amenities of his life, and provided alike the raw materials on which the industry and wealth of the community depend, and the market for manufactures which ensure employment.
So keenly do other nations value the assured possession of these sources of supply and these markets, that they have been willing to expend enormous sums for their acquisition and development,' and (unlike Great Britain) have built tariff walls around them to exclude other nations from participation. " Never in the world's history was there an Empire which in proportion to its size encroached so little upon the public time and the public Cost."
The temporary subsidies which have been paid to some of these tropical possessions in their earlier years, as "grants-in-aid," have decreased yearly until the countries became self-supporting, since which time they have not cost the taxpayer a penny, and the temporary grants have been indirectly much more than repaid.
Prior to the war Nigeria was the latest addition to the Empire, and if against the original payment to the Chartered Company and all subsequent grants, be set the profit derived by the British Exchequer on the import of silver coin, and the contributions offered by Nigeria to the war, it will be found that the debit is on the other side, and the country, with all its potentialities and expanding markets, has cost the British taxpayer nothing. Its trade-already 942,000,000 -the greater part of which is with the United Kingdom, is of the kind which is the most valuable possible to the workers of this country-raw materials and foodstuffs in exchange for textiles and hardware.
Democracy has learnt by the war how absolutely dependent it is on the supply of these vital necessities from overseas, and even for the material for munitions in time of war. We have realised that the import can only be maintained by command of the seas. Some of these tropical dependencies are essential as naval bases, as cable and wireless stations, and as aerodromes, for that command of sea and air and of world communications upon which these islands depend for their existence. Without them we could only survive on such terms as the powerful nations might choose to dictate.
Before the war the Little Englander was wont to argue that these world-wide outposts were a source of weakness, and in time of war their defence would be a burden which we could not sustain. But when Armageddon came, we required no additional garrisons to hold these vast territories in check; on the contrary, thousands of volunteers were ready to fight the Empire's battles. The West African colonies (relying, of course, on British supremacy at sea) were able, with the French, to capture the German Cameruns and Togoland, and to send thousands to fight or serve as transport units in German East Africa, and if need be in Palestine. These colonies asked for no financial assistance to help them through the crisis; indeed, they -subscribed largely to the cost of the war and to war charities.
But let us return to the more normal conditions of peace and commerce. It is alleged that we could do am equally lucrative trade in the possessions of other Powers, instead of incurring the cost and responsibility of maintaining possessions of our own. But I have shown that foreign colonies are increasingly exclusive, and do not welcome British competition ; that the cost of maintenance is borne by the revenues of the colonies themselves, and not by the British taxpayer; and, finally, it were easy to demonstrate that the largest proportion of their trade is done with the United Kingdom and not with foreign nations.
The fallacies put forward by these critics have long since been disproved, though the Labour Party may not be familiar with the statistics. It suffices here to point out that the trade of the single dependency of Nigeria, for 1920 stood at over £42,200,000 in value, which, however, was probably abnormal and due to the " boom " of that year. Of this 96.74 per cent of the imports and 97.35 per cent of the exports were carried in British vessels-mainly, of course, to British ports. For East Africa and Uganda the latest figures (1918-1919) show 84.3 per cent of imports and 91.1 per cent of exports from and to the Empire (United Kingdom 61 per cent and 53.5 per cent). How rapidly the trade of these colonies is expanding may be judged from the fact that the trade of Nigeria in 1913 (pre-war) was under 131 million.
As to the assertion that we do just as good trade with countries in tropical Africa which are not under the British flag, I find in the Statistical Abstract for the British Empire 12 that the trade of the United Kingdom with all French possessions (including those in India and the Far East) was, in 1913, 96,730,244, while our trade with the single dependency of Nigeria for the same year stood at £8,278,813, in spite of the fact that in that year Germany had monopolised nearly half the Nigerian trade, which has since reverted to the United Kingdom.
The critics quote statistics showing the proportion that the trade of this or that tropical dependency bears to the whole volume of our foreign trade, as though any comparison could be instituted between our commerce with wealthy, populous, and highly industrialised countries like the United States, Germany, or France, and that of new and undeveloped markets in the tropics, whose present output or demands are no measure whatever of their future potentialities.
And though our markets are free to all the world, British merchants have no small advantage in the first-hand and early knowledge of the conditions and resources of each country, available in their own language. They can and do bring their influence to bear in order to secure as far as possible that the conditions of trade shall be made to suit their own convenience. The home market, provided it can hold its own as to quality, price, and rapidity of delivery, has the first opportunity of supplying colonial demands.
These are indeed matters of such common knowledge that I refrain from dilating further upon them, and will content myself with referring to one or two other aspects which have perhaps received less recognition. The abounding progress of our tropical dependencies calls not only for millions of pounds worth of railway and other construction material but for men to construct and to maintain the railways andother works. The expansion of administration equally demands officers for every branch-administrative, medical, educational, &c. The development of commerce requires local agents. The opening of mine-fields calls for expert workers.
In all these fields of activity openings are afforded for every class of the youth of England, whether from the universities, the technical schools, or the workshop. It is dim, cult to realise how severe would be the blow to the life of the nation if these thousands of avenues to independent initiative and individual enterprise and ambition were closed , as Germany has largely closed them to her people by her crime against the world.
I have already pointed out that this large field of opportunity and of responsibility must undoubtedly have contributed very greatly to the formation of the national character, which the late Lord Salisbury described in memorable words: "Our people, when they go into the possession of a new territory, carry with them such a power of initiative, such an extraordinary courage and resource in the solving of new problems and the facing of new difficulties, that if they are pitted against an equal number-I care not what race it is, or what the part of the world is-and if you keep politics and negotiations off them, it will be our people that will be masters, it will be our commerce that will prevail, it will be our capital that will rule, though not a sword has been unsheathed, and though not a blow has been struck in their defence." He did but echo the words of Adam Smith, which I have quoted elsewhere, that the debt of the colonies to the motherland consists in the fact that "it bred and formed the men who were capable of achieving great actions, and of laying the foundations of so great an Empire." The British working man is told that the exploitation of Africa was undertaken by groups of financiers and capitalists, who desired to profiteer at the expense of the nation and of the native races alike. "Common greed," says the reviewer of the Labour Research Committee's report, summing up the gist of the argument, " came to be avowed openly as the most respectable of reasons for establishing colonies or protectorates anywhere and everywhere," in contrast with the nobler motives which prompted the bold adventurers of the spacious Elizabethan days.
I will not digress to discuss those motives here, or the navigation laws which treated the colonies merely as sources of profit, or the fortunes which Macaulay's "Nabobs " brought from India, or the quest for an " El Dorado." The partition of Africa was, as we all recognise, due primarily to the economic necessity of increasing the supplies of raw materials and food to meet the needs of the industrialised nations of Europe. It is a cheap form of rhetoric which stigmatises as "common greed" the honourable work by which men and nations earn their bread and improve their standard of life.
But while admitting this we must not lose sight of the fact that several of our West African colonies had been acquired solely as depots to assist in the suppression of the overseas slave-trade, others in support of missionary endeavours which were certainly not prompted by greed for profit. Others again, as I have shown, were necessary for the maintenance of our sea-power. In all these cases a higher civilisation was brought into contact with barbarism with the inevitable result, as history teaches, that boundaries were enlarged in the effort to protect the weak from the tyranny of the strong, to extend the rule of justice and liberty, to protect traders, settlers and missions, and to check anarchy and bloodshed on our frontiers, even though territorial expansion was not desired. Nor must we ignore the very real desire of the people this country to assist in the suppression of slavery and barbarous practices. These are matters in which I am convinced that the British democracy has a deep interest, deeper perhaps than its political leaders credit it with. They cannot be disposed of with a sneer. But I return to the economic question, since this argument of "capitalist exploitation" appears to be a favourite one with which to capture the ear of Labour.
In the introductory chapter I cited statistics to show that. at the time of the first impulse of Imperial expansion in the' reign of Queen Elizabeth, the small and chiefly agricultural population of these islands was able to supply its own essential needs in food and materials; that when the second impulse came 240 years later, after the Napoleonic wars, the population had quadrupled, while in the next seventy-five years of the nineteenth century, 1816-91 (when the partition of Africa began in earnest), it again nearly doubled itself. The congestion ion of the population, assisted by the discovery of the application of steam to industrial uses, led to the replacement of agriculture by manufacturing industry, with the consequent necessity for new markets for the product of the factory, and the importation of raw materials for industry, and of food to supplement the decreased home production, and feed the increased population. The same phenomenon was to be seen in Germany and elsewhere in Europe. I recapitulate these figures because their importance in this connection can hardly be over-estimated.
But mere increase in population alone, prodigious though it was, does not represent the full measure of the pressure on the Governments of the industrial nations of Europe. The standard of comfort, and what had come to be regarded as the absolute necessities of life by the mass of the population, had, during the nineteenth century, advanced in an even greater ratio. I cannot here attempt to depict, the contrast. It is enough to recall the fact that 100 years ago a labourer's wage was 4s. to 6s. a week. He rarely tasted white bread, for the quarter loaf stood at 11d., and had been double that price a few years before. Still less could he afford to eat beef or mutton. Towards the close of the nineteenth century, tea, coffee, and cocoa, previously unknown luxuries, were his daily beverages and white bread his daily food. Sugar was cheap, and rice, sago, and other tropical products were in daily use. If my reader will turn to the pages of Miss Martineau's history, or to those of Carlyle, and contrast the condition of squalor and misery in which the bulk of the people of these islands lived in 1816 with the conditions prevail in 1891, he will realise how insistent had become the prevailing demand alike for the food-supplies and for the raw materials which were the product of the tropics.
These products lay wasted and ungarnered in Africa because the natives did not know their use and value. Millions of tons of oil-nuts for instance grew wild without the labour of man, and lay rotting in the forests. Who can deny the right of the hungry people of Europe to utilise the wasted bounties of nature or that the task of developing these resources was, as Mr Chamberlain expressed it, a "trust for civilisation" and for the benefit of mankind ? Europe benefitted by the wonderful increase in the amenities of life for the mass of her people which followed the opening up of Africa at the end of the nineteenth century. Africa benefited by the influx of manufactured goods, and the substitution of law and order for the methods of barbarism.
Thus Europe was impelled to the development of Africa primarily by the necessities of her people, and not by the greed of the capitalist. Keen competition assured the maximum prices to the producer. It is only where monopolies are granted that it can be argued that profits are restricted to the few, and British policy has long been averse to monopolies in every form. The brains, the research, the capital, and the enterprise of the merchant, the miner, and the planter have discovered and utilised the surplus products of Africa. The profits have been divided among the shareholders representing all classes of the people, and no small share of them has gone to the native African merchant and the middleman as well as to the producer. It is true to say that "a vast area of activity has been opened up to the British workman, in which he shares with the capitalist the profits of the development of tropical resources."
In accepting responsibility for the control of these new British lands, England obeyed the tradition of her race. British Africa was acquired not by groups of financiers, nor yet as I have related in chapter i.) by the efforts of her statesmen, but in spite of them. It was the instinct of the British democracy which compelled us to take our share. When Mr Gladstone 's Cabinet in 1893 had decided to evacuate Uganda, he told by his Scottish agent that if he did so he would have to evacuate Downing Street too. Even were it true--and I have shown that it is not--that we could do as lucrative a trade in the tropical possessions of other nations, there can be no doubt that the verdict of the British people has been emphatic that we will not ask the foreigner to open markets for our use, or leave to him the responsibility and its reward. Nor will tariff walls, like those of Jericho, fall flat at the sound of the trumpet of the new Labour leaders.
"The general effects of European policy in Africa have been almost wholly evil," says the Labour reporter, yet he admits that "experience and temperment have made the rule of the British over non-adult races an example of everything that is best in modern imperialism." The verdict of another of the prophets of Labour is to the same effect. The fundamental character of British official policy in West Africa, he says, has primarily been influenced by a desire to promote the welfare and advancement of the native races. England, he points out, led the way in the suppression of the overseas slave-trade, paying enormous sums in compensation to slave-owners owners in the West Indies, and at the Cape, and to Spain and Portugal, and in patrolling the seas. She espoused the cause of Congo reform, and of the indentured labour in Portuguese West Africa. The extension of British control in the Gold Coast hinterland was (he adds) to secure protection of the natives, and in Southern Nigeria to suppress war, and human sacrifice.
The indictment against European misrule in Africa appears therefore to lack consistency, and to be directed chiefly against, foreign Powers, though bitter charges, as we have seen, are made against some of the Eastern British dependencies in Africa, which have been fully discussed in these pages. In so far as they concern the territories of other Powers, this attitude of what Mr Rhodes called "unctuous righteousness" which has the appearance of assuming that other are actuated by less generous motives than our own, is more likely to promote resentment than reform. That the aims of these critics are good will not be denied, but they write without actual experience, and they create prejudice where sympathy and appreciation would be more promising of results.
Let it be admitted at the outset that European brains, capital, and energy have not been, and never will be, expended in developing the resources of Africa from motives of pure philanthropy that Europe is in Africa for the mutual benefit of her own industrial classes, and of the native races in their progress to a higher plane; that the benefit can be made reciprocal, and that it is the aim and desire of civilised administration to fulfil this dual mandate.
By railways and roads, by reclamation of swamps and irrigation of deserts, and by a system of fair trade and competition, we have added to the prosperity and wealth of these lands, and checked famine and disease. We have put an end to the awful misery of the slave-trade and inter-tribal war, to human sacrifice and the ordeals of the witch-doctor. Where these things survive they are severely suppressed. We are endeavouring to teach the native races to conduct their own affairs with justice and humanity, and to educate them alike in letters and in industry.
When I recall the state of Uganda at the time I made the treaty in 1890 which brought it under British control, or the state of Nigeria ten years later, and contrast them with the conditions of to-day, I feel that British effort-apart from benefits to British trade-has not been in vain. In Uganda a triangular civil war was raging--Protestants, Roman Catholics, and Moslems, representing the rival political factions of British, French, and Arabs, were murdering each other. Only a short time previously triumphant paganism had burnt Christians at the stake and revelled in holocausts of victims. To-day there is an ordered Government with its own native Parliament. Liberty and justice have replaced chaos, bloodshed, and war. The wealth of the country steadily increases.
The slave-raids and tyranny of the neighbouring kingdom Unyoro have given place to similar progress and peace.
In Nigeria in 1902 slave-raiding armies of 10,000 or 15,000 men laid waste the country, and wiped out its population annually in the quest for slaves. Hundreds of square mile of rich well-watered land were depopulated. Barth bore witness to a similar condition of things fifty years ago. Men were impaled in the market-place of Kano. I have describe its dungeon (p. 199). Nowhere was there security for life and property. To-day the native Emirs vie with each other in the progress of their schools ; the native courts administer justice, and themselves have liberated over 50,000 slaves, The Sultan of Sokoto and the other Emirs are keenly in interested in such questions as afforestation, artesian well-boring and vaccination. The native prisons have been pronounce by the medical authority to be a model for Government to imitate ; the leper settlement in Bornu under purely native control is the most successful I know of.
I refer to these two countries because I happen to ha personally witnessed their condition prior to the advent British control, but similar results may be seen in every other British dependency in tropical Africa.
As Roman imperialism laid the foundations of modern civilisation, and led the wild barbarians of these islands along the path of progress, so in Africa to-day we are repaying debt, and bringing to the dark places of the earth, the abode ,of barbarism and cruelty, the torch of culture and progress, while ministering to the material needs of our own civilisation. In this task the nations of Europe have pledged them. selves to co-operation by a solemn covenant. Towards the common goal each will advance by the methods most consonant with its national genius. British methods have not perhaps in all cases produced ideal results, but I am profoundly convinced that there can be no question but that British rule has promoted the happiness and welfare of the primitive races. Let those who question it examine the results impartially. If there is unrest, and a desire for independence, as in India and Egypt, it is because we have taught the value of liberty and freedom, which for centuries these peoples had not known. Their very discontent is measure of their progress.
We hold these countries because it is the genius of our race to colonise, to trade, and to govern. The task in which England is engaged in the tropics--alike in Africa and in the East--has become Part Of her tradition, and she has ever given of her best in the cause of liberty and civilisation. There will always be those who cry aloud that the task is being badly done, that it does not need doing, that we can get more profit by leaving others to do it, that it brings evil to subject races and breeds profiteers at home. These were not the principles which prompted our forefathers, and secured for us the place we hold in the world to-day in trust for those who shall come after us.