The Colonies and the War.
One of the most striking and perhaps important historical features of the South African crisis of 1899 was the sentiment of sympathy expressed by other parts of the Empire and the co-operation offered, or given, by the Colonies in the ensuing conflict. The number of men who actually participated from Canada, or Australia, or New Zealand was not great. But the possibilities of aid shown by the enthusiasm in despatching the Contingents, the keen interest taken in the origin and nature of the war, the sudden recognition of Colonial responsibilities for the defence of the Empire, and the fresh and vivid appreciation of the vast Imperial burdens of Great Britain, were exceedingly and vitally important. Some three thousand men went from Canada and over five thousand from the Australian Colonies and New Zealand. Ceylon contributed Contingents and troops were offered by the Malay States, Lagos, Hong Kong, the West Indies and the leading Princes of India. When it was found that colored forces could not well be accepted the various native Governments of India proffered money, armament and horses; while Lumsden's Horse was raised and equipped amongst the white population.
[Sidenote: Australians and Canadians in the Soudan]
The history of the sudden movement which resulted in the sending of these Contingents from the Colonies is most interesting. To participate in the defence of the Empire was not, it is true, an absolutely new thing. In 1885 New South Wales had sent some troops from Sydney to share in the Soudan campaign for the relief of Gordon and they had duly received their baptism of hardship and disappointment. They left Australian shores amid scenes of wild enthusiasm and under the initiative of Mr. W. Bede Dalley, an eloquent Irishman who was then Acting-Premier of New South Wales; and they were received in a similar manner on their return. At the same time there had been carping criticism of the action taken, a certain amount of political discontent amongst the Radical element in the Colony had existed, and in some measure a reaction took place after the war was all over. There were not wanting bitter opponents of Imperial unity to prophecy that it was the last force which would ever leave Sydney to fight the battles of Britain. But there were other Colonies in Australasia besides New South Wales and, even there, the little wail of the pessimist was soon neutralized. Dalley died shortly afterwards, though he had lived long enough to receive the blue-ribbon of political honour--a place in the Imperial Privy Council; and to be given after his death a commemorative tablet in St. Paul's Cathedral and a lasting place in British history. At this time, also, Canada sent a small force of voyageurs or boatmen, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel F. C. Denison, to help Wolseley's troops in their difficult expedition up the Nile. But it was neither a Government action nor one which the public had thought much about, and it consequently wielded little influence, although the Canadians did their duty well and received the warm approbation of Lord Wolseley.
[Sidenote: Canadians in the Wars With the United States]
Of course, the country had fought for the Crown in days of war with the United States, and in 1812-14 nearly every able-bodied man in the British Provinces had stood beside the scattered line of British regulars in defence of their hearths and homes. They were doing then what 10,000 Cape Colonists and 5000 of the men of Natal are doing in the present war. But it was, of course, a struggle upon Canadian soil just as the little rebellions of 1837 in Upper and Lower Canada, the Red River troubles of 1870, the Saskatchewan rebellion of 1886, or the Fenian Raids of 1866, had been. So far as Canada was concerned, therefore, no real precedent existed for the Imperialist demonstrations of 1899. Large numbers of Indian troops--chiefly Sikhs and Ghoorkas--had, it is true, been brought to Malta in 1878 by Lord Beaconsfield and Europe in this way electrified by a revelation of unexpected British military resources; while similar Contingents had been used against Arabi in Egypt and during the expedition up the Nile. In a naval sense too, the Australian Colonies had led the way in contributing to the Imperial defence system of the seas by paying for the maintenance of a British fleet on the Australasian station from 1887 onwards. But this exhausts all possible comparisons, or partial precedents, and to those who know the Canadian sentiment of a few years since regarding Imperial armaments and the assumption of increased defensive responsibilities the present situation seems very striking.
[Sidenote: Change of Sentiment in the Dominion Since 1885]
I had something to do with the movement for Imperial Federation which commenced in the Dominion in 1885, and, with many others, shared in the missionary work done during succeeding years. It is without hesitation, therefore, that I assert the greatest of the early obstacles, experienced by the advocates of closer union with Great Britain, to have been the fear of compulsory participation in wars of all kinds and in all parts of the world with which, perhaps, Canadian interests might have little connection and Canadian feeling no particular sympathy. The change of sentiment since then has been very great. It had already been shown in other ways by such official action as the granting of a tariff preference to the Mother-Country, in 1898, of twenty-five per cent. The war with the Boers, it should be also remembered, was a Colonial war in which British subjects had been attacked as they had for years been insulted and menaced and in which the general supremacy of the Crown in an important part of the Empire was threatened. Moreover, the liberties and equality of position asked for by the Uitlanders in the Transvaal were of a kind which Great Britain and Canada had a century since given to the French population of British America with the greatest eventual success. The diplomatic contest was, therefore, watched with continuous interest in Canada, and local talk of volunteering for the front was only checked by a mistaken feeling that if war came it would be but a small and insignificant struggle.
[Sidenote: The Premier and Parliament]
But amongst military men there was a strong undercurrent of desire to raise some kind of volunteer force for active service. In this connection Lieutenant-Colonel S. Hughes, M.P., was particularly enthusiastic. He introduced the subject in Parliament, on July 12th, while negotiations were still pending between President Kruger and Mr. Chamberlain. The result was that, despite the fact of Queensland having already offered troops and his own expression of opinion that five thousand men would readily volunteer in Canada, it was thought best not to take any immediate action, and the Premier, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, expressed the hope and belief that in view of the absolute justice of the Uitlanders' claims, recognition would eventually be given them and war averted. On July 31st more definite action was taken, and the following Resolution moved in the House of Commons by Sir Wilfrid Laurier and seconded by the Hon. G. E. Foster in the absence, but with the approval of, Sir Charles Tupper as Leader of the Opposition, was carried unanimously:
"That this House has viewed with regret the complications which have arisen in the Transvaal Republic, of which Her Majesty is Suzerain, from the refusal to accord to Her Majesty's subjects now settled in that region an adequate participation in its Government.
"That this House has learned with still greater regret that the condition of things there existing has resulted in intolerable oppression and has produced great and dangerous excitement among several classes of Her Majesty's subjects in Her South African possessions.
"That this House, representing a people which has largely succeeded, by the adoption of the principle of conceding equal political rights to every portion of the population, in harmonizing estrangements and in producing general content with the existing system of government, desires to express its sympathy with the efforts of Her Majesty's Imperial authorities to obtain for the subjects of Her Majesty who have taken up their abode in the Transvaal such measure of justice and political recognition as may be found necessary to secure them in the full possession of equal rights and liberties."
[Sidenote: Popular Enthusiasm]
The members, after passing the motion, sprang to their feet and sang "God Save the Queen" amid a scene of striking enthusiasm which was duplicated a little later in the Senate. Following this expression of feeling Colonel Hughes endeavored, upon his own responsibility, to raise a regiment for foreign service and in doing so naturally came into collision with the head of the Militia--Major-General E. T. H. Hutton. The result of this enthusiastic rashness was, of course, failure in the attempt though at the same time, he was able to afford a distinct indication of the general feeling in favour of something being done should war break out. Leading papers took up the subject and favoured the sending of a force in case of necessity and, on October 2d, a few days before the war began, a large and representative meeting of Militia officers was held in Toronto and the following Resolution passed with unanimity and enthusiasm on motion of Lieutenant-Colonels George T. Denison and James Mason: "That the members of the Canadian Military Institute, feeling that it is a clear and definite duty for all British possessions to show their willingness to contribute in the common defence in case of need, express the hope that, in view of impending hostilities in South Africa, the Government of Canada will promptly offer a contingent of Canadian Militia to assist in supporting the interests of our Empire in that country." On the following day the Prime Minister was interviewed at Ottawa, and expressed the opinion that it would be unconstitutional for the Militia, or a portion of it, to be sent out of Canada without the permission of Parliament, and that it would take some weeks to call that body together. Sir Wilfrid Laurier declared that "there is no doubt as to the attitude of the Government on all questions that mean menace to British interests, but in this present case our limitations are very clearly defined. And so it is that we have not offered a Canadian Contingent to the Home authorities." Meantime, however, the matter had been under consideration, all the independent offers to serve from individuals or regiments had been duly forwarded to the Colonial Office, and each had received the stereotyped reply that while negotiations were in progress no further troops were required.
 Toronto Globe, October 4, 1899.
[Sidenote: Forces Sent with Great Enthusiasm]
Public sentiment soon proved too strong for what might have been in other circumstances a legitimate constitutional delay. On September 27th Sir Charles Tupper, in a speech at Halifax, offered the Government the fullest support of the Conservative Opposition in the sending of a Contingent, and on October 6th telegraphed the Premier to the same effect. The British Empire League in Canada passed a Resolution declaring that the time had come when all parts of the Queen's dominions should share in the defence of British interests, and the St. John Telegraph--a strong Liberal paper--declared on September 30th that "Canada should not only send a force to the Transvaal, but should maintain it in the field." The Montreal Star sought and received telegrams from the Mayor of nearly every town in the Dominion endorsing the proposal to dispatch military assistance to fellow-subjects in South Africa. Mr. J. W. Johnston, Mayor of Belleville, represented the general tone of these multitudinous messages in the words: "It is felt that the Dominion, being a partner in the Empire, should bear Imperial responsibilities as well as share in Imperial honors and protection." The Toronto Globe--the leading Ontario Liberal paper--also supported the proposal, and soon the country from Halifax to Vancouver was stirred as it had not been since the North-west Rebellion of 1885--perhaps as it has never been in the sense of covering the entire Dominion.
[Sidenote: The Opposition Which Occurred]
There was, inevitably, some opposition, and it was largely voiced by the Hon. J. Israel Tarte, Minister of Public Works in the Dominion Government. It was not a note of disloyalty; it was simply the expression of a lack of enthusiasm and the magnifying of constitutional dangers or difficulties. No one in Canada expected the French Canadians, amongst whom Mr. Tarte was a party leader, to look upon the matter with just the same warmth of feeling as actuated English Canadians; and very few believed that the absence of this enthusiasm indicated any sentiment of disloyalty to the Crown or to the country. The people of Quebec had not yet been educated up to the point of participation in British wars and Imperial defence; they were, as a matter of fact, in much the same position that the people of Ontario had been in ten or fifteen years before. The influences making for closer Empire unity could never in their case include a racial link or evolve from a common language and literature. The most and best that could be expected was a passive and not distinctly unfriendly acquiescence in the new and important departure from precedent and practice which was evidenced by the announcement, on October 12th, that a Canadian Contingent had been accepted by the Imperial Government and was to be dispatched to South Africa. There was no active opposition to the proposal except from a section of the French-Canadian press edited by Frenchmen from Paris, and from a Member of Parliament who resigned his seat as a protest and was afterwards re-elected by acclamation--both parties deeming it wisest to treat the matter as of no importance. Mr. Tarte eventually fell into line with his colleagues, but with the public announcement that he did not approve the principle of sending troops abroad without Parliamentary sanction; that he had obtained the Government's approval to an official statement that this action was not to be considered as a precedent; and that he thought the only way to adequately meet similar situations in future was by definite and permanent arrangement with the Imperial authorities and representation in Imperial Councils. Upon the subject as a whole his attitude was certainly logical and loyal, but in effect it was untimely, unpopular and unnecessary. And the continued utterances of his paper--La Patrie, of Montreal--were of a nature calculated to irritate loyal sentiment and arouse serious misapprehension amongst French Canadians.
However, the feeling of the country generally was too fervent to permit of this obstacle having anything more than an ephemeral and passing influence. And any opposition which might exist amongst French Canadians assumed an essentially passive character. Toward the end of October an already announced pledge from an anonymous friend of Sir Charles Tupper's to insure the life of each member of the Contingent to the extent of $1,000, was redeemed, and on October 24th the following message was received through the Secretary of State for the Colonies: "Her Majesty the Queen desires to thank the people of her Dominion of Canada for their striking manifestation of loyalty and patriotism in their voluntary offer to send troops to co-operate with Her Majesty's Imperial forces in maintaining her position and the rights of British subjects in South Africa. She wishes the troops Godspeed and a safe return." The first Contingent of one thousand men steamed down the St. Lawrence from Quebec on October 30th, after farewell banquets to the officers and an ovation from immense crowds in the gaily decorated streets of the "Ancient Capital." For weeks before this date little divisions of 50, or 100, or 125 men had been leaving their respective local centres amidst excitement such as Canada had never witnessed before. St. John and Halifax, on the Atlantic coast, were met by Victoria and Vancouver, on the shores of the Pacific, in a wild outburst of patriotic enthusiasm. Toronto and Winnipeg responded for the centre of the Dominion, and at the Quebec "send-off" there were delegations and individual representatives from all parts of the country. Every village which contributed a soldier to the Contingent also added to the wave of popular feeling by marking his departure as an event of serious import, while Patriotic Funds of every kind were started and well maintained throughout the country. It was, indeed, a manifestation of the military and Imperial spirit such as Canadians had never dreamed of seeing, and for many months the words upon every lip were those of the popular air, "Soldiers of the Queen." To quote the Hon. F. W. Borden, Minister of Militia and Defence, at the Quebec Banquet on October 29th: "This was a people's movement, not that of any Government or party; it emanated from the whole people of Canada, and it is being endorsed by them as shown by the words and deeds of the people at all points where the troops started from." The Earl of Minto, as Governor-General, in bidding official farewell to the troops on the succeeding day, expressed the same idea, and added, in words of serious importance when coming from the Queen's Representative and bearing indirectly upon the much-discussed question of alleged Government hesitancy in making the first offer of military aid, that:
[Sidenote: An Act of Loyalty]
"The people of Canada had shown that they had no inclination to discuss the quibbles of Colonial responsibility. They had unmistakably asked that their loyal offers be made known, and rejoiced in their gracious acceptance. In so doing surely they had opened a new chapter in the history of our Empire. They freely made their military gift to the Imperial cause to share the privations and dangers and glories of the Imperial army. They had insisted on giving vent to an expression of sentimental Imperial unity, which might perhaps hereafter prove more binding than any written Imperial constitution."
[Illustration: THE LONDON CONTINGENT OF THE CANADIAN TRANSVAAL REGIMENT. MAJOR D. STEWART ON THE LEFT]
[Illustration: GROUP OF OFFICERS CANADIAN TRANSVAAL CONTINGENT. PLATE I]
[Sidenote: Canadians, Australians and British Comrades]
The principal officers of the Contingent were its Commander, Lieut.-Colonel W. D. Otter, who had seen active service in the North-west Rebellion, Lieut.-Colonel Lawrence Buchan, Lieut.-Colonel O. C. C. Pelletier, Major J. C. MacDougall and Major S. J. A. Denison, afterwards appointed to Lord Roberts' Staff. The troopship Sardinian arrived at Cape Town on the the 29th of November, and the Canadians were given a splendid reception--Sir Alfred Milner cabling Lord Minto that: "The people here showed in unmistakable manner their appreciation of the sympathy and help of Canada in their hour of trial." The Regiment was at once sent up to De Aar, and later on to Belmont, the scene of Lord Methuen's gallant fight. From here a portion of the Canadian troops took part in a successful raid upon Sunnyside, a place some distance away, where there was an encampment of Boers. A number of the enemy were captured, but the incident was chiefly memorable as the first time in history, as well as in the war itself, when Canadians and Australians have fought side by side with British regular troops. Meanwhile public feeling in Canada seemed to favor the sending of further aid, and its feasibility was more than shown by the thousands who had volunteered for the first Contingent over and above those selected. But it was not until some of the earlier reverses of the war took place that the offer of a second Contingent was pressed upon the Home Government. On November 8th, however, it was declined for the moment, and a week later Mr. Chamberlain wrote the following expressive words to the Governor-General:
"The great enthusiasm and the general eagerness to take an active part in the military expedition which has unfortunately been found necessary for the maintenance of British rights and interests in South Africa have afforded much gratification to Her Majesty's Government and the people of this country. The desire exhibited to share in the risks and burdens of empire has been welcomed not only as a proof of the staunch loyalty of the Dominion and of its sympathy with the policy pursued by Her Majesty's Government in South Africa, but also as an expression of that growing feeling of the unity and solidarity of the Empire which has marked the relations of the Mother Country with the Colonies during recent years."
[Sidenote: Additional Contingents Sent]
On December 18th events in South Africa and the pressure of loyal proffers of aid from Australia and elsewhere induced the Imperial Government to change its mind, the Second Contingent was accepted, and once again the call to arms resounded throughout Canada. The first Regiment had been composed of infantry, the second was made up of artillery and cavalry. Eventually, it was decided to send 1,220 men, together with horses, guns and complete equipment, and they duly left for the Cape in detachments toward the end of January and in the beginning of February. A third force of 400 mounted men was recruited in the latter month and sent to the seat of war fully equipped and with all expenses paid through the personal and patriotic generosity of Lord Strathcona and Mount Royal, the Canadian High Commissioner in London. In addition to "Strathcona's Horse" another independent force of 125 men was offered in similar fashion by the British Columbia Provincial Government and duly accepted at London and Ottawa, while a movement was commenced to proffer an organized Dominion Brigade of 10,000 men, if required. Little wonder, when such a popular spirit was shown, and when the anxiety to enlist and the influence used to obtain a chance of going to the front were greater than men show to obtain positions of permanent financial value, that Lord Roberts, shortly after his appointment to South Africa, should have cabled his expression of belief that: "The action of Canada will always be a glorious page in the history of the sons of the Empire. I look for great things from the men she has sent and is sending to the front." Meantime even the slightest opposition to the policy of aiding the Empire had died out--in fact, its assertion would have been dangerous, or at least unpleasant, and when Parliament met early in February the Government announced its intention of asking a vote of two million dollars for expenses in the despatch of the Contingents and for the payment after their return, or to their heirs, of an addition to the ordinary wage of the British soldier. This brief description of Canada's action during an eventful period may be concluded by a quotation from the speech of the Hon. G. W. Ross, Prime Minister of Ontario, at a banquet given in Toronto on December 21st to Mr. J. G. H. Bergeron, P.M., of Montreal--a French-Canadian who also expressed in fervent terms what he believed to be the loyalty of his people to the British Crown. Mr. Ross declared in emphatic and eloquent language that:
[Sidenote: "Canada and the Empire"]
"It is not for us to say that one or two Contingents should be sent to the Transvaal, but to say to Great Britain that all our money and all our men are at the disposal of the British Empire. It is not for us to balance questions of Parliamentary procedure when Britain's interests are at stake, but to respond to the call that has been sent throughout the whole Empire and to show that in this western bulwark of the Empire there are men as ready to stand by her as were her men at Waterloo. It is not for us to be pessimists, but to have undying faith in British power and steadily to maintain the integrity of her Empire. He hoped that the present strife might soon pass, and that at its close Canadians will feel that they have done their duty to the flag that has protected them and under whose paternal Government they have prospered in the past. Their motto should be 'Canada and the Empire, one and inseparable, now and forever.'"
Throughout Australasia, from the commencement of the crisis, there was great interest taken in the question. The press and the public discussed its phases with ever-increasing sympathy for the British cause and the liberties of the Uitlanders. There has always been in recent years much good feeling between these Colonies--partly from the development of trade, partly from Australian admiration of Cecil Rhodes, partly from the common ties of life in a tropical or semi-tropical climate, partly from the keen and mutual interest felt in Gordon during his last lonely campaign in the deserts of Northern Africa, partly from such incidents as the proffer by the Rhodes' Ministry of financial aid to the Australian Governments during the banking crises of 1893. The relation in sentiment and practice has, in fact, been much closer than that between Canada and the Cape, although the desire to help in time of need could hardly be greater. During the earlier period of the controversy public meetings were held to discuss its details in the various capitals of Australia and New Zealand, and resolutions passed somewhat in the terms of the following motion, proposed by Sir Henry Wrixon, M.L.C., seconded by the President of the Chamber of Commerce, and accepted with enthusiasm by a great gathering in the Melbourne Town Hall, on May 16, 1899:
"Twenty-one thousand British subjects in the Transvaal having petitioned the Queen through the High Commissioner, Sir Alfred Milner, to extend her protection to them, to cause an inquiry to be held into their grievances, to secure the reform of abuses, and to obtain substantial guarantees from the Transvaal Government and recognition of the petitioners' rights, this meeting desires to record its sympathy with their fellow-countrymen in the Transvaal, and hopes that Her Majesty may be pleased to grant the prayer of her subjects."
[Sidenote: Australia's Sympathy]
With the progress of events this feeling of sympathy grew stronger, and culminated in a wave of military and loyal enthusiasm such as few had thought possible and none had considered probable. In July the Governments began to consider the subject of active participation in what seemed to be an impending struggle, and troops were offered to the Imperial authorities in the following order: Queensland on July 11th, Victoria on July 12th, New South Wales on July 21st, New Zealand on September 28th, Western Australia on October 5th, Tasmania on October 9th, South Australia on October 13th. The first offers were declined, for the time being, on the ground that it was hoped war would be averted and that, meanwhile, it was not desirable to assume an openly hostile attitude. The Legislature which first moved actively in the direction of organization was that of New Zealand, and the speeches of its leaders on September 28th indicate the general view taken by the people themselves. The Premier, the Right Hon. R. J. Seddon, declared that "the Colony shared the privileges of the Empire, and ought to share its responsibilities." The Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. W. R. Russell, supported the action of the Government strongly, and declared that "the Colony was loyal at heart to the Imperial idea. It was not merely the sending of a few men, for the power of England was more than enough to cope with the trouble. He hoped the British flag would float over South Africa, and that another empire like India would be formed in that part of the world. The present proposal would do more to consolidate the Empire than any speeches of politicians." [Sidenote: A Meeting of the Colonies of Australia] Meanwhile an agitation commenced in Australia proper for a federal, or united, contingent, and culminated on September 28th in a meeting of the Military Commandants of the various Colonies at Melbourne. Victoria was represented by Major-General Sir Charles Holled-Smith, K.C.M.G., C.B.; New South Wales, by Major-General G. A. French, C.M.G.; Queensland, by Major-General H. Gunter; Western Australia, by Colonel G. H. Chippendall; Tasmania, by Colonel W. V. Legge; South Australia, by Colonel J. Stuart. A plan was carefully evolved and submitted to the respective Governments, but was frustrated at the last moment by the hesitancy of the recently formed Ministry in New South Wales. Mr. W. J. Lyne had not long since defeated the Right Hon. G. H. Reid in the Legislature, and did not seem to know his own mind upon this new subject; or else he was seriously afraid of a possibly hostile Labor vote. At any rate, he refused to move in the matter until Parliament met again, and gave reasons not dissimilar to those adduced in Canada by Sir Wilfrid Laurier for the brief delay which afterwards occurred at Ottawa. On October 5th it was announced that the Queensland offer of troops, made some three months before, had been accepted, and that the voluntary proffer of service by some seventy-five Mounted Rifles from New South Wales, who happened to have been drilling at Aldershot, had also been considered favorably by the War Office. On October 10th this latter body marched through the streets of London on its way to the front with bands playing and banners fluttering to the breeze, and amid a reception which the city seldom accords to events of less importance than a state visit of the Queen or the departure of an army. It was not the little line of mounted men in the characteristic uniform of the Australasian trooper that caused a manifestation of almost unprecedented popular enthusiasm from the densely crowded streets of the metropolis; it was the fact that this tiny force represented a living loyalty in the breasts of Colonists in great countries all around the globe. Naturally such a "send-off" had its effect in Australia, and a week later the Melbourne Argus was able to say with patriotic enthusiasm regarding the universal desire to aid the Mother Country that:
[Sidenote: Australia's Appreciation of England's Protection]
"The event shows to the world that the Empire, as a whole, will stand and fall together. Nothing appears to have impressed our critics more than the ease with which 10,000 men could be withdrawn from India and landed at the scene of action, and the Canadian and Australian demonstrations indicate also that there are still larger reserves (though not so complete) to draw upon. And we in Australia know that the feeling is reciprocal. We realize that, while we are ready to make real sacrifices for Great Britain if she requires them, the Mother Country would exhaust her last man and her last shilling to guard our Austral shores from insult or injury. Saturday week will be one of the memorable days in the history of the Empire. It will imply that British victories in future will not be merely insular, but that the Colonies, by sharing the perils, will earn a right to share also the triumphs of the flag."
[Sidenote: Various Contingents Leave for Africa]
As in Canada, every little town and village and country centre contributed its quota of enthusiasm and recruits, from end to end of the island-continent, throughout little Tasmania and in beautiful New Zealand. The latter Colony was the first to get its troops away, and on October 21st they sailed from Wellington amid scenes of wild enthusiasm and in the presence of 25,000 people. The Governor, the Earl of Ranfurly, briefly addressed the Contingent, and, during the Premier's speech, when he asked the significant question: "Shall our kindred in the Transvaal be free?" there was a tremendous shout of "yes" from thousands of throats. A few days later the Governor received a cable from the Colonial Secretary expressing the gratification of Her Majesty's Government at home and the appreciation of the people generally. The Queensland troops left on October 28th under the command of Lieut.-Colonel Ricardo, and Brisbane, for the time being, was the home of immense masses of people and the scene of banquets, speeches and unlimited enthusiasm. From Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth the various other Contingents sailed about the same time and amid scenes such as the pen finds it hard to describe in cold type. It was literally a wave of patriotism in which the Governors and Premiers--Lord Brassey and Sir George Turner, of Victoria, Earl Beauchamp and the Hon. W. J. Lyne, of New South Wales, Lord Tennyson and the Right Hon. C. C. Kingston, of South Australia, Sir Gerard Smith and Sir John Forrest, of Western Australia--simply represented in their speeches the feeling of the people, and were supported in doing so by Opposition Leaders and by every important element in their respective Colonies; even the Labor organizations having fallen into line where, in some cases, they had been antagonistic. The Sydney Daily Telegraph declared, in this connection that "the remarkable demonstrations in the two great cities of Australia (Melbourne and Sydney) on Saturday must have convinced the most callous soul of the deep-seated hold which the idea of Empire has upon the people.... In offering troops to Great Britain for service in South Africa the underlying feeling is that we are part of the Empire whose supremacy in one part of the globe is threatened." Lord Brassey, in addressing the Victorian and Tasmanian Contingents on October 28th at Melbourne, clearly and eloquently voiced the same sentiment:
"It was not through apprehension for the peace and security of Australia, nor through the influence of Governors, or Ministers, or a few men in positions of power, of wealth and responsibility. It was under the irresistible impulse of popular feeling that the resolve was taken to offer Her Majesty the services of her citizen soldiers dwelling beneath the Southern Cross. On the shores of South Africa you will wheel into line with the Canadian Contingent. All this marks an epoch, I would rather say a turning-point, in British history. It speaks of the firm resolve of the people of the Empire on which the sun never sets to stand together, and in the hour of stress and strain to rally round the old flag. It is a noble and wise resolve. It makes us from this time forward absolutely secure against foreign aggression."
[Sidenote: The Empire a Unit]
The total force thus despatched numbered 1480 officers and men, and included 386 from New South Wales, 258 from Queensland, 250 from Victoria, 213 from New Zealand, 104 from South Australia and 80 from Tasmania, besides the troop of Lancers from Aldershot. In connection with the latter body, which, of course, was the first of the external Colonial volunteers to arrive at Cape Town, the Cape Times of November 3d declared that they "come to us as a symbol of something greater and deeper and more durable than any display of military power or of patriotic ardor. Their presence represents in concrete form the Imperial idea, never before expressed with such forcefulness and vigor." As in Canada, Patriotic Funds were everywhere started, and before long hundreds of thousands of dollars were subscribed for the aid of sick and wounded or of possible widows and orphans. Incidents of striking generosity were many. Mr. R. L. Tooth, of New South Wales, subscribed $50,000; a South Australian gentleman gave $5,000 for the purchase of horses; a Victorian officer gave $5,000 for the equipment of new troops; a citizen of Sydney gave $15,000 toward sending out a force of Bush-riders, and another contributed $25,000 for the same purpose. By the middle of January, 1900, the various Patriotic Funds had assumed large proportions--that of Sydney, N.S.W., being $115,000; Brisbane and Queensland, $80,000; New Zealand, $300,000; Melbourne, $50,000. Meantime the first reverses of the war had occurred in South Africa, and the feelings of the people been greatly and deeply stirred by the news. Second Contingents were at once offered by all the Colonies, and upon this occasion the effort to combine them as one federal body was successful.
[Sidenote: Large Funds Raised in the Colonies]
The general sentiment was well expressed by a motion of the Queensland Legislative Assembly, on December 20th, which was proposed by the Premier and seconded by the Leader of the Labor party. It expressed the pride of the Colony in the splendid gallantry of the British troops in South Africa, authorized the Government to co-operate with the other Colonies in despatching an additional Australian force, and was carried unanimously amidst great cheering. At first it was proposed that a thousand men should go from the combined Colonies; then it was found that each Colony was anxious to send more than was thus provided for; and eventually 1,700 men were despatched by the middle of January, of whom New South Wales alone contributed seven hundred. But this was not all. Continued preparations were made for the despatch of more troops. On January 11th the Premier of Queensland telegraphed to Mr. Lyne, at Sydney, suggesting that the second Contingent should be increased so as to ultimately form a body of 5,000 men. To this the New South Wales Premier agreed, but pointed out at the same time that his Colony was already increasing its contribution to 840 men, besides 500 Bush-riders who were being sent by private subscription, and that many more were being drilled for service. Mr. McLean, of Victoria, replied to a similar telegram that: "I do not think that the number of our Contingent should be limited. We will send men as rapidly as they are trained and equipped." In saying farewell to the second New Zealand Contingent of 242 officers and men, on January 20th, the Premier of that Colony declared that another would follow, and that "if occasion arose every man who could bear arms in the Colony would volunteer; as in helping the Empire in South Africa they were securing New Zealand and upholding the Queen, the country and the constitution." By the middle of February 1,000 Bush-riders were also trained and equipped and almost ready to embark as a special Contingent from Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.
[Sidenote: Cause for Demonstrations of Loyalty]
And so these revelations of patriotic feeling and Imperial unity have gone on in increasing volume from day to day. To theorists like Goldwin Smith, political economists like Mr. James Bryce, or philosophical politicians such as Mr. John Morley, such demonstrations of loyalty are incomprehensible. To the man who really understands the history of the Empire and the evolution of its system, who reaches down into the hearts of the people and comprehends the undercurrents of sentiment, it is not so difficult to grasp the reasons. Speaking of Australasia more particularly, Dr. W. H. Fitchett, the well-known editor of the Australasian Review of Reviews, recently summed up a part of the situation very concisely: "Why," he said, "have the Colonies stood by the side of England? For Jingoism? Don't you believe the men who tell you that. Our people are too hard-headed and too businesslike to be carried away by mere Jingoism. They come because they know that the Transvaal question is a Colonial question, a question that intimately concerns all of them. To-day these little settlements of white men, planted down on the coastline of great continents, are able to remain secure, notwithstanding the earth-hunger of every great Power, because the might of the Empire is behind them." This, in part, is the reason. But there is more at the back of it than the mere principle of self-interest. A liberty common to all the Colonies has been threatened, a new-grown pride in the Empire was struck at, a feeling of manly aversion to further dependence was touched, an inherent but sometimes dormant love for the Mother Land was aroused.
[Sidenote: Other Colonies Eager to Assist]
Nor have these manifestations of affectionate allegiance to the Crown and the flag been limited to Australia and New Zealand and Canada. Back on the 17th of July the Malay States volunteered a body of troops; on the succeeding day the Lagos Settlements did the same; on the 21st of September Hong-Kong joined in the proffer of help; later on Ceylon offered a Contingent, and toward the end of January 130 officers and men, completely armed and equipped, sailed from there for the Cape. As already stated, however, it was not deemed well to use colored soldiers, so that the loyalty of the first-named Colonies was not utilized. Englishmen in India were keen to go to the front, and from every rank of life and labor came the offer to serve. Finally, in January, a mounted corps was accepted with Colonel Lumsden in command. Not only did men in large numbers volunteer, but money in immense sums was proffered. As native troops could not be accepted, the native rulers, Princes and great merchants did the next best thing. They all offered cavalry horses, money or guns. The Nizam of Haidarabad, on December 28th, at a Vice-regal banquet in Calcutta, told Lord Curzon that "his purse, his army and his own sword were ever ready to defend Her Majesty's Empire." The Maharajah of Gwalior asked to be allowed to serve on Lord Roberts' staff, and offered to send troops, horses and transport to South Africa. The Maharajahs of Mysore and Jodpore joined in the latter part of his request. The Maharajah of Kuch Behar wrote a stirring letter to the Calcutta Englishman proposing the enrollment of the Indian Princes and their sons in a sort of "Empire army," and, at the same rime, he contributed 350 guineas to the Indian Patriotic Fund which, on January 14th, amounted to $100,000. Amongst other contributors the Maharajah of Tagore had given 5,000 rupees.
[Sidenote: Natal Forces]
Meanwhile what of the South African Colonies? Seldom in history has there been such a spontaneous response to the call to arms as in Natal and Cape Colony; never has there been a more fervent belief in the righteousness of their cause than amongst the first and greatest sufferers from the inevitable agonies of war. The fleeing Uitlanders, almost to a man, volunteered; and by the middle of January little Natal, with its English population of about 40,000, had the following list of troops in active service:
Natal Naval Volunteers . . . . . . . . . . 150
Natal Carbineers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 465
Natal Mounted Rifles . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
Border Mounted Rifles . . . . . . . . . . . 270
Umvoti Mounted Rifles . . . . . . . . . . . 130
Natal Field Battery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
Natal Royal Rifles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
Durban Light Infantry . . . . . . . . . . . . 400
Medical Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Veterinary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Natal Mounted Police (Europeans) . . . . 649
Thorneycroft's Mounted Infantry . . . . . 500
Bethune's Mounted Infantry . . . . . . . . 500
Imperial Light Infantry . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,000
Imperial Light Horse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500
Colonial Scouts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500
Ambulance Bearers (1st Section) . . . . . 1,000
Ambulance Bearers (2d Section) . . . . . . 600
Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7,139
[Sidenote: Cape Colony Forces]
Cape Colony, with its larger population, had, however, greater local dangers to face from possible rebels, and men were anxious to organize for local defence as well as for service at the front. But at the same date as the above figures are given for Natal the mother Colony had ten thousand men at the disposal of the General commanding the forces. They included the Kaffrarian Rifles, with 600 men; the Queenstown Rifles, 200 men; the Port Elizabeth Guards, 520 men; the Grahamstown Rifles, 310 men; the Cape Town Volunteers, 3,000 men; the Kimberley Volunteers, 200 men; and the Protectorate Regiment, 800 men. Of Mounted Infantry there were the Cape Mounted Rifles, 800 men; Brabant's Horse, 800 men; Cape Police, 600 men; Kaffrarian Mounted Infantry, 100 men; Frontier Mounted Rifles, 200 men; Diamond Fields' Horse, 400 men; Mafeking Mounted Infantry, 500 men; South African Light Horse, 800 men; Grahamstown Horse, 120 men; Rimington's Scouts, 350 men.
[Sidenote: Future of the Colonies]
Such was the remarkable military development, in a Colonial sense, which has arisen out of the Transvaal trouble of 1899 and the ensuing war. Its result is in the womb of the future, but there can be little doubt as to the important effect which the evidences of loyalty and unity thus produced must have, not only upon the constitution of the Empire, but upon its prestige and practical power. The day, indeed, is not far distant when the Colonies will have their full share in the Councils as well as in the defence of British dominions. The voice of Canada in the control of matters affecting the British West Indies and Newfoundland and Alaska, or other American interests touching the Empire, will be then as fully understood by foreign nations to be a great and permanent factor as will be that of Australasia in matters connected with the Indian Empire, the New Caledonia question, or the islands of the Pacific generally. A new and greater power in the world's history is, in fact, being born amid the throes of South African warfare, and the incoming century must witness developments in this connection even more marvellous than those of the one which is passing.