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In 1882 Sir Bartle Frere wrote, 'I have never been able to discover any principle in our policy in South Africa except that of giving way whenever any difficulty or opposition is encountered.' The remark is still as true as when it was penned, and South Africa—the 'Grave of Reputations,'{04} as it has long been called—must by this time be regarded with doubtful emotions by successive Colonial Secretaries. What is it about South Africa, one asks, that has upset so many men of capacity and experience? Who can say? Often—most often—it is the neglect to thoroughly study and know what are called the 'local conditions,' and to pay due heed to local experience. Sometimes it is the subordination of State policy to party considerations which has ruined the Proconsul: witness Sir Bartle Frere, whose decisive action, firm character, and wise and statesmanlike policy are now—now that he is dead—recognised universally, as they have always been in South Africa. Perhaps there is something in Africa itself which makes it a huge exception to the rules of other lands; the something which is suggested in the 'rivers without water, flowers without scent, and birds without song'; a contrariness which puts the alluvial gold on the top of mountain ranges and leaves the valleys barren; which mocked the experience of the world, and showed the waterworn gravel deposit to be the biggest, richest, deepest, and most reliable gold reef ever known; which placed diamonds in such conditions that the greatest living authority, who had undertaken a huge journey to report on the occurrence, could only say, in the face of a successful wash-up, 'Well, there may be diamonds here, but all I can say is they've no right to be'; the something which many, many centuries ago prompted the old Roman to write, 'Ex Africâ semper aliquid novi affert,' and which is in the mind of the South African to-day when he says, 'The impossible is always happening in Africa.'

There is this to be said for the Gladstone Ministry in 1881: that, having decided on a policy of scuttle and abandonment, they did it thoroughly, as though they enjoyed it. A feeble vote-catching provision, with no security attached, was inserted in the Pretoria Convention relative to the treatment of natives, but no thought or care was given to the unfortunate British subject who happened to be a white man, and to have fought for his Queen and country.{05} The abandonment was complete, without scruple, without shame. It has been written that 'the care and forethought which would be lavished on a favourite horse or dog on changing masters were denied to British subjects by the British Government.' The intensity and bitterness of the resentment, the wrath and hatred—so much deeper because so impotent—at the betrayal and desertion have left their traces on South African feeling; and the opinion of the might and honour of England, as it may be gleaned in many parts of the Colonies as well as everywhere in the Republics, would be an unpleasant revelation to those who live in undisturbed portions of the Empire, comfortable in the belief that to be a British subject carries the old-time magic of 'Civis Romanus sum.'

The Transvaal State, as it was now to be called, was re-established, having had its trade restored, its enemies crushed—for Secocoeni and Cetewayo were both defeated and broken—and its debts paid or consolidated in the form of a debt to England, repayable when possible. For some time not even the interest on this debt was paid.

Numbers of British subjects left the country in disgust and despair. Ruined in pocket and broken in spirit, they took what little they could realize of their once considerable possessions, and left the country where they could no longer live and enjoy the rights of free men. For some years the life of a Britisher among the Boers was far from happy. It is not surprising—indeed, not unnatural—that people unsoftened by education and the conditions of civilization, moved by fierce race prejudice, and intoxicated by unbroken and unexpected success, should in many cases make the vanquished feel the conqueror's heel. The position of men of British name or sympathies in the country districts was very serious, and the injustice done to those who had settled since the annexation, believing that they were to live under the laws and protection of their own Government was grave indeed.

The Government of the country was vested in a Triumvirate with Mr. Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger as Vice-President during the period immediately following the war; but in 1882 the old form was restored and Mr. Kruger was elected President, an office which he is now holding for the third successive term.{06}

Prior to the war the population of the country was reckoned by both Dutch and English authorities to be about 40,000 souls, the great majority of whom were Dutch. The memorial addressed to Lord Carnarvon, dated January 7, 1878, praying for repeal of the annexation, was 'signed by 6,591 qualified electors out of a possible 8,000,' as is explained in the letter of the Transvaal delegates to Sir M. Hicks-Beach dated July 10, 1878. The fact, already mentioned, that 3,000 electors had petitioned for the annexation only means that some of them changed their minds under pressure or conviction, and helped to swell the number of those who later on petitioned for repeal. The signatories to the above memorial would include practically all the Dutch electors in the country, and the remaining 1,400 or so would probably be the non-Boer party who preferred British rule, and could not be coerced into signing memorials against it. These figures are useful as a check upon those now put forward by the Transvaal Government to combat the assertion that the Uitlanders outnumber the Boers. Recognizing the fact that the Boers are a singularly domestic and prolific people, one may allow that they numbered 35,000 out of the total population, an estimate that will be seen to be extremely liberal. At the time that the above figures were quoted by the Transvaal delegates every Boer youth over the age of twenty-one was a qualified voter, so that it would seem that the qualified Boer voter had an average of one wife and 4.3 children, a fair enough allowance in all conscience. These figures should be borne in mind, for the present Boer population consists of what remains of these 35,000 souls and their natural increase during eighteen years. There are other Dutch immigrants from the Cape Colony and Free State: these are aliens, who have the invaluable qualification of hating England and her sons and her ways and her works; but, as will be made clear when the Franchise Law is explained, the present Boer electorate consists-or, without fraud or favouritism, should consist-of the 'possible 8,000' and their sons.

Many a champion of liberty has lived to earn the stigma of tyrant, and the Boers who in 1835 had trekked for liberty and freedom from oppressive rule, and who had fought for it in 1880, began now themselves to put in force the principles which they had so stoutly resisted. In the Volksraad Session of 1882 the first of the measures of exclusion was passed. The Franchise, which until then-in accordance with Law No. 1 of 1876-had been granted to anyone holding property or residing in the State, or, failing the property qualification, to anyone who had qualified by one year's residence, was now altered, and Law No. 7 of 1882 was passed which provided that aliens could become naturalized and enfranchised after five years' residence, thus attaining the status of the oldest Voortrekker. The feeling was now very strong against the Annexation Party, as they had been called, that is to say, the men who had had the courage of their convictions, and had openly advocated annexation; and as usual the bitterest persecutors and vilifiers were found in the ranks of those who, having secretly supported them before, had become suspect, and had now need to prove their loyalty by their zeal. The intention was avowed to keep the party pure and undiluted, as it was maintained by many of the Boers that former proselytes had used their newly-acquired privileges to vote away the independence of the country. The view was not unnatural under the circumstances, and this measure, had it not been a violation of pledges, might have found defenders among impartial persons; but unfortunately it proved to be not so much a stringently defensive measure which time and circumstances might induce them to modify, as the first step in a policy of absolute and perpetual exclusion. It was the first deliberate violation of the spirit of the settlement, and, although there is no clause in the Pretoria Convention which it can be said to contravene, it was, as Mr. Chamberlain has since styled it, 'a violation of the status quo as it was present to the minds of her Majesty's Ministers at the time the Convention was negotiated.' But the Gladstone Ministry, which had paid so heavily to get rid of the Transvaal question, was certainly not going to re-open it for the sake of holding the Boers to the spirit of the settlement.

Another precaution was taken to keep all the power in the hands of the Boers. The various towns which had formerly been entitled to representation in Parliament were deprived of this right, and have remained disfranchised ever since. Mr. Kruger feared that the enlightened thought of the towns would hinder the growth of his 'national policy.'

It was not too late even at this time to have bloodlessly settled the Transvaal question for ever by a fair but thoroughly firm attitude towards the restored Republic. No doubt British Ministers, conscious of an act of supreme self-restraint and magnanimity, believed that some reciprocal justice would be evoked. At any rate, it is possible that this was the reason which guided them, and not continued callous indifference to the fate of British subjects and the future of South Africa. In such case, however, they must have forgotten 'the fault of the Dutch'—which Andrew Marvell's couplet has recorded—of 'giving too little and asking too much.' The Transvaal Boers are very practical people, and no matter what they may receive or how they get it, whether by way of diplomacy or barter or the accident of good luck or deed of gift, they never neglect to press and scheme for more. It is an unpleasant feature in the Boer character, prominent alike in personal and general relations, begotten, mayhap, of hard life, constant struggle, and lack of education and its softening and elevating influence. It is a feature which is common to all uneducated peoples who have suffered great hardships, and it will no doubt disappear in time; but it is one which has to be reckoned with at the present day, and one which, when recognized at its true value, sustains the contention that the Boers, in dealing with those whom they regard as not of them, will recognise no right and do no justice unless compelled to do so. The considerations of a narrow and selfish policy are stronger than the sense of right and wrong.

British Ministers and the British people when glowing with a mildly enthusiastic satisfaction at their tolerant and even generous attitude towards a weaker opponent may imagine that they have sown good seed which in time will bear ample fruit; but it is not so. Nothing but firmness and strict justice will avert a bloody day of reckoning. Nothing but prompt and effective veto on every attempt to break or stretch the spirit of past undertakings will bring it home to the Transvaal Government that all the give cannot be on the one side and all the take on the other; that they cannot trade for ever on the embarrassment of a big Power in dealing with a little one; and that they must comport themselves with due regard to their responsibilities.

Almost the first use made by the Transvaal Government of their recovered power was one which has wrought much mischief to the State. The Triumvirate who ruled the country in 1882 granted numbers of concessions, ostensibly for the purpose of opening up industries or developing mining areas. The real reasons are generally considered to have been personal, and the result was the crushing of budding activities, and the severe discouragement of those who were willing to expend capital and energies in legitimate work. Favouritism pure and simple dictated these grants. It is hardly too much to say that the system and spirit then introduced rule to this day, for although the Volksraad has taken definite resolution condemning the principle of monopolies and contracts conferring preferential rights of any sort, the spirit of this resolution is violated whenever the President and Executive deem it fit to do so—witness, for instance, the monopoly granted in December, 1895, for the free importation of produce, which is disguised as a Government agency with a 'commission' to the agent; but it is really a monopoly and nothing else!

The Boers were not satisfied with the Convention of 1881. They desired the removal of the Suzerainty, the cancellation of the clauses referring to natives, and the restoration of the title of the South African Republic in lieu of that of the Transvaal State. They also desired (but did not expect to obtain) complete freedom in regard to their external relations, and they lost no time in trying how far they would be allowed to go in the direction of stretching the spirit of the Convention. Nothing in that ineffectual and miserable document is clearer than the definition of certain boundaries, and the provision that no extension shall be allowed. This hemming of them in—or shutting them up in a kraal, as President Kruger has expressively put it—was intensely repugnant to them. It cut into one of the most deeply-rooted habits of the Boer. His method of trek and expansion has been, to begin by making small hunting excursions into adjacent native territories, to follow up with grazing his cattle there until he created in his own mind a right by prescription, and then to establish it either by force or else by written agreement, too often imperfectly translated. This was oftentimes varied or supplemented by helping the weaker of two rival chiefs, and so demolishing the power of a tribe. The expulsion of the native followed as a natural result.

In the Transvaal itself there was, and still is, an immense quantity of unoccupied land, and the Boers were quite unable to properly control, utilize, and administer their own immense territory, but 'land hunger' is theirs as a birth curse. The individual cannot bear to see the smoke of his neighbour's chimney; he will not cultivate 50 acres, but wants 50,000; the 'nation' wants Africa—no less. They coveted Swaziland, Zululand, Bechuanaland, Matabeleland, Mashonaland, and Tongaland, and set to work by devious methods to establish claims to these countries.

In Bechuanaland they took sides; that is to say, parties of freebooters from the Transvaal took up the cause of certain native chiefs against certain others. The London Convention in 1884 disposed of this quarrel by fixing the south-western boundaries of the Republic, and placing two of the disputing chiefs under the Transvaal, and the other two under British protection. Notwithstanding this, however, the new Convention was no sooner signed than the scheming was resumed, and before a year had passed a party of Transvaal Boers, several of them now holding high official positions under the Republic, raided the territory of the chiefs in the British Protectorate, and even attacked the chief town Mafeking. This was followed by a proclamation by President Kruger placing the territory under the protection of the Republic. Mr. Rhodes, who had already made himself conspicuous by his advocacy of holding the highway to the interior open, was instrumental in inducing the Imperial Government to make a determined stand against this. An ultimatum moved the Transvaal Government to withdraw the proclamation and forced the Boers to leave the country—only, however, when and because the demand was backed by the Warren expedition at a cost of over a million and a half to the British taxpayer! This expedition was sent by Mr. Gladstone, the Boer benefactor—notwithstanding all his anxiety to prove the Transvaal settlement a good one! The action of the Transvaal, and the most brutal murder of Mr. Bethell by the individuals above referred to as holding high official positions under the Republic, gave indications of the bent of the Boer authorities which people in South Africa did not fail to take note of. Bethell had been wounded in the invasion of the territory by the Boers, and as he lay helpless the 'prominent Transvaal official' came up and, seeing a repeating rifle lying beside him, asked him to show them how it worked. He did so, and the 'prominent official' taking it up under pretext of examining it shot Bethell dead with his own weapon.

In Zululand similar tactics were resorted to by the Republic. Transvaal Boers invaded Zululand and (1884) took up the cause of Dinizulu, a son of the dead Cetewayo, and established him as king, upsetting Sir Garnet Wolseley's settlement. They then proceeded to seize the country, but the British Government intervening at this point, rescued some two-thirds for the Zulus. A glance at the map will show that the intention of the Boers was to get to the sea, and also that the unlucky Zulus, who had been broken by the British Government—and very rightly too—because they were a menace to the Transvaal, even more than to Natal, were now deprived of the pick of their country, plundered and harried by the very people who had been at their mercy until the Imperial Government stepped in. It is very noteworthy that, with the splendid exception of the lion-hearted Piet Uys and his sons, who fought and died (father and one son) in the Zulu war side by side with the Britishers whom he was keenly opposing on the annexation question, none of the Boers came forward to help in the Secocoeni or Zulu wars, although these wars were undertaken, the one entirely, and the other mainly, on their account. But a great many were ready to raid and annex as soon as the Zulu power was broken.

Swaziland became in turn the object of the Boer Government's attentions. First, grazing concessions were obtained; and next, other concessions for the collection of Customs and Revenue dues, for telegraphs, railways, banking, surveying, and goodness only knows what. One individual applied for and obtained a concession for the balance of ungranted concessions, and another applied for a grant of the Chief Justiceship. What chance the unfortunate native had in such a condition of things can be imagined. The Transvaal bought up all the concessions necessary to make government of the country absolutely impossible, except with their cooperation. The secret service fund of the Republic provided means for making the representatives of the Swazi nation see things in a reasonable light, so that when the time came to investigate the title to concessions and to arrange for the future administration of the country the result was a foregone conclusion. The judge appointed by the Imperial Government on the Special Joint Commission to inquire into the concessions and matters in general let some light on the manner in which these concessions were acquired and granted, by pertinent questions to the concessionaires and interpreters. He asked, for instance, 'Do you swear that you interpreted this document verbatim to the king?'—'Yes.' 'Will you kindly tell to the Court what is the Kaffir for "ad valorem duties" and "et cetera, et cetera, et cetera," or how you interpreted and explained the significance of the "survey," "mint," "revenue," and "townships" concessions?'

The picture of the obese and drunken chief surrounded by fawning harpies was a shameful and disgusting one. One example is sufficient to show how the thing was done. A concession for gambling was applied for. The man who interpreted knew a smattering of 'kitchen' Kaffir, and his rendering of the 'monopoly for billiards, card playing, lotteries, and games of chance' was that he alone should be allowed to 'tchia ma-ball (hit the balls), hlala ma-paper (play the papers), and tata zonki mali (and take all the money).' The poor drunken king nodded sleepily to the first two clauses, but to the bald proposition of taking all the money, which he could understand, he violently objected. The concession was, however, subsequently granted on the representations of a more tactful interpreter.

A very flagrant breach of the spirit of the London Convention, and a very daring attempt at land-grabbing, was the proposed last will and testament of the Swazi King Umbandine, which provided that the governing powers should be assigned to Mr. Kruger as executor of the King and trustee and administrator of the country. His project was defeated; but the aim of the Boer Government was ultimately achieved, nevertheless, and Swaziland has now been handed over to the control of the Republic in spite of the prayers and protestations of the Swazis themselves, who had proved in the past with very practical results to be useful, ready, and loyal allies of the British Government.

While Swaziland was being entoiled the Transvaal Government were not idle elsewhere. Matabeleland was looked upon as the heritage of the Boer, because of the 'old friendship' with the Matabele,—whom they had driven out of their country, now the Transvaal; and Mashonaland was theirs because it was their ancient hunting-ground. That the Boers did not abandon their old schemes merely because they had agreed by treaty to do so is shown by a letter which was found at Lo Bengula's kraal by Mr. F. Thompson when he went up to negotiate for Mr. Rhodes. The stealthy grovelling of the Commandant-General before a savage native chief, the unctuous phraseology, the hypocritical assurances of an undying friendship between Boer and Matabele so long as there are living one of each race, throw a lurid light upon the conduct of Boer diplomacy with native tribes, and explain much of the ineradicable fear and distrust which are felt on the native side in all dealings with the aggressive Boer. The letter reads:

MARICO,
THE SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC,
March 9, 1882.

To the great ruler the Chief Lo Bengula, the son of Umzilikatse, the great King of the Matabili nation.

GREAT RULER,

When this letter reaches you, then you will know that it comes from a man who very much desires to visit you, but who, being a man of the people, cannot get loose to make such a long journey. Therefore he must now be satisfied with writing a letter to carry his regards to the son of the late King of the Matabele, our old friend Umzilikatse. When I say that I desire to see you, it is not to ask for anything, but to talk of something, and to tell Lo Bengula of the affairs and things of the world, because I know that there are many people who talk and tell about these matters, whilst there are but few who tell the truth. Now, when a man hears a thing wrong, it is worse than if he had never heard it at all. Now, I know that Lo Bengula has heard some things wrongly, and for this reason would I tell him the real truth. Now, you must have heard that the English—or as they are better known the Englishmen—took away our country, the Transvaal, or, as they say, annexed it. We then talked nicely for four years, and begged for our country. But no; when an Englishman once has your property in his hand, then is he like a monkey that has its hands full of pumpkin-seeds—if you don't beat him to death, he will never let go—and then all our nice talk for four years did not help us at all. Then the English commenced to arrest us because we were dissatisfied, and that caused the shooting and fighting. Then the English first found that it would be better to give us back our country. Now they are gone, and our country is free, and we will now once more live in friendship with Lo Bengula, as we lived in friendship with Umzilikatse, and such must be our friendship, that so long as there is one Boer and one Matabele living these two must remain friends. On this account do I wish to see Lo Bengula, and if I may live so long, and the country here become altogether settled, and the stink which the English brought is first blown away altogether, then I will still ride so far to reach Lo Bengula, and if he still has this letter then he will hear the words from the mouth of the man who now must speak with the pen upon paper, and who, therefore, cannot so easily tell him everything. The man is a brother's child of the three brothers that formerly—now thirty-two years ago—were at Umzilikatse's, and then made the peace with him which holds to this day. He still remembers well when the first Boers, Franz Joubert, Jann Joubert, and Pieter Joubert, came there, and when they made the peace whereby Umzilikatse could live at peace and the Boers also, and the peace which is so strong that the vile evil-doers were never able to destroy it, and never shall be able to destroy it as long as there shall be one Boer that lives and Lo Bengula also lives.

Now I wish to send something to give Lo Bengula a present as a token of our friendship. I send for Lo Bengula with the gentleman who will bring him this letter a blanket and a handkerchief for his great wife, who is the mother of all the Matabele nation. I will one day come to see their friendship. The gentleman who brings the letter will tell you about all the work which I have to do here. Some bad people have incited Kolahing, and so he thought he would make fortifications and fight with us, but he got frightened, and saw that he would be killed, therefore I made him break down the fortifications and pack all the stones in one heap, and he had then to pay 5,000 cattle and 4,000 sheep and goats for his wickedness. Now there is another chief, Gatsizibe—he came upon our land and killed three people and plundered them—he must also pay a fine, or else we will punish him or shoot him, because we will have peace in our country. Now greetings, great Chief Lo Bengula, from the Commandant-General of the South African Republic for the Government and Administration.

P.J. JOUBERT.

A big trek (the Banjailand trek) was organized in 1890 and 1891 by General Joubert and his relatives and supporters to occupy a portion of the territory already proclaimed as under British protection and the administration of the Chartered Company. The trekkers were turned back at Rhodes's Drift, stopped by the firmness and courage and tact of Dr. Jameson, who met them alone and unarmed; and also by the proclamation of President Kruger, to whom it had been plainly intimated that the invasion would be forcibly resisted and would inevitably provoke war. The matter had gone so far that the offices of the Republic of Banjai had already been allotted. The President's proclamation instead of being regarded as the barest fulfilment of his obligations—very grudgingly done under pressure of threats—was vaunted as an act of supreme magnanimity and generosity, and was used in the bargaining for the cession of Swaziland.

In Tongaland Boer emissaries were not idle; but they failed, owing to the fact that the Tonga Queen Regent, Zambili, a really fine specimen of the savage ruler, would have nothing to do with any power but England, whose suzerainty she accepted in 1887. Being shut off here, the Boer Government made another bid for seaward extension, and, through their emissaries, obtained certain rights from two petty chiefs, Zambaan and Umbegesa, whom they represented as independent kings; but Lord Rosebery annexed their territories in 1894, and so put a final stop to the Transvaal schemes to evade the Convention by intrigue with neighbouring native tribes.

Nothing can better illustrate the Boers' deliberate evasion of their treaty obligations than their conduct in these matters. The Pretoria Convention defined the Transvaal boundaries and acknowledged the independence of the Swazis, and yet the British Government's delay in consenting to the annexation of Swaziland by the Republic was regarded for years as an intolerable grievance, and was proclaimed as such so insistently that nearly all South Africa came at last to so regard it.

The Boers' consent to the Chartered Company's occupation of Mashonaland was looked upon as something calling for a quid pro quo, and the annexation of Zambaan's land is now regarded as an infamous act of piracy by England, and an infringement of the Republic's rights, which the Dutch papers denounce most vehemently. The Boer Government made it clear, not less in their purely internal policy than in these matters of extensions of territory, that they intended pursuing a line of their own.

In 1882, the property known as 'Moodies,' consisting of a number of farms bearing indications of gold, was thrown open to prospectors. The farms had been allotted to Mr. G. Piggott Moodie when he was Surveyor-General, in lieu of salary which the Republic was unable to pay. This was the beginning of the prospecting era which opened up De Kaap, Witwatersrand, and other fields; but it was a small beginning, and for some time nothing worth mentioning was discovered. The Republic was again in a bad way, and drifting backwards after its first spurt. The greatest uncertainty prevailed amongst prospectors as to their titles, for in Lydenburg, at Pilgrim's Rest, and on the Devil's Kantoor, concessions had been granted over the heads of the miners at work on their claims, and they had been turned off for the benefit of men who contributed in no way to the welfare and prosperity of the State. It has been stated in the Volksraad that not one of those concessionaires has even paid the dues and rents, or complied with the other conditions stipulated in the contracts. Many of the miners left the country in disgust. The Lydenburg district was practically locked up for fourteen years owing to the concession policy, and has only lately been partly released from the bonds of monopoly.

In 1884 Messrs. Kruger and Smit proceeded to Europe to endeavour to raise funds, which were badly needed, and also to obtain some modifications of the Convention. The attempt to raise funds through the parties in Holland to whom the railway concession had just been granted failed, but the delegates were more fortunate in their other negotiations. They negotiated the London Convention which fixed certain hitherto undefined boundaries; and in that document no reference was made to the suzerainty of Great Britain. They also secured the consent of the British Government to the alteration of the title of the country. Instead of Transvaal State it became once more the 'South African Republic.'{07} During this visit there occurred an incident which provides the answer to Mr. Kruger's oft—too oft—repeated remark that 'the Uitlanders were never asked to settle in the Transvaal, and are not wanted there.' Messrs. Kruger and Smit were staying at the Albemarle Hotel, where they found themselves, after some weeks' delay, in the uncomfortable position of being unable to pay their hotel bill. In their extremity they applied to one Baron Grant, at that time a bright particular star in the Stock Exchange firmament. Baron Grant was largely interested in the gold concessions of Lydenburg, and he was willing to assist, but on terms. And the quid pro quo which he asked was some public assurance of goodwill, protection, and encouragement to British settlers in the Transvaal. Mr. Kruger responded on behalf of the Republic by publishing in the London press the cordial invitation and welcome and the promise of rights and protection to all who would come, so frequently quoted against him of late.

By this time Moodies had attracted a fair number of people, and the prospects of the country began, for the first time with some show of reason, to look brighter. No results were felt, however, and the condition of the Government officials was deplorable. Smuggling was carried on systematically; in many cases officials 'stood in' with smugglers. They were obliged either to do that or to enforce the laws properly and get what they could by seizing contraband goods. There were two objections to the latter course, however. One was that the country was large and detection difficult with men who were both daring and resourceful; and the other was that the officials were not sure of receiving their share of the spoil from a Government so hard pressed as this one was, and whose higher officials also had difficulties about payment of salaries. In many cases salaries were six months in arrear; and other cases could be quoted of officials whose house-rent alone amounted to more than their nominal remuneration. Yet they continued to live, and it was not difficult to surmise how. Another significant fact was that goods subject to heavy duties—such as spirits, hams, etc.—could be bought at any store at a price which was less than original cost plus carriage and duty. Smuggling was a very palpable fact, and—quoth the public and the officials—a very convenient and even necessary evil.

The principle on which the Customs officials conducted the business of their office was observed by other officials of the Republic, and in one department, at least, the abuses have had a very far-reaching and serious effect. The Field-cornets—district officials who act as petty justices, registering, and pass officers, collectors of personal taxes, captains of the burgher forces, etc., etc.—are the officers with whom each newcomer has to register. This is an important matter, because the period of residence for the purpose of naturalization and enfranchisement is reckoned from the date of registration in the Field-cornet's books. As these officials were practically turned loose on the public to make a living the best way they could, many of them, notwithstanding that they collected the taxes imposed by law, omitted to enter the names of new arrivals in their books, thus securing themselves against having to make good these amounts in event of an inspection of the books. Many of the Field-cornets were barely able to write; they had no 'offices,' and would accept taxes and registrations at any time and in any place. The chances of correct entry were therefore remote. The result of this is very serious. The records are either 'lost' when they might prove embarrassing, or so incorrectly or imperfectly kept as to be of no use whatever; and settlers in the Transvaal from 1882 to 1890 are in most cases unable to prove their registration as the law requires, and this through no fault of their own.

In the country districts justice was not a commodity intended for the Britisher. Many cases of gross abuse, and several of actual murder occurred; and in 1885 the case of Mr. Jas. Donaldson, then residing on a farm in Lydenburg—lately one of the Reform prisoners—was mentioned in the House of Commons, and became the subject of a demand by the Imperial Government for reparation and punishment. He had been ordered by two Boers (one of whom was in the habit of boasting that he had shot an unarmed Englishman in Lydenburg since the war, and would shoot others) to abstain from collecting hut taxes on his own farm; and on refusing had been attacked by them. After beating them off single-handed, he was later on again attacked by his former assailants, reinforced by three others. They bound him with reims (thongs), kicked and beat him with sjamboks (raw-hide whips) and clubs, stoned him, and left him unconscious and so disfigured that he was thought to be dead when found some hours later. On receipt of the Imperial Government's representations, the men were arrested, tried and fined. The fines were stated to have been remitted at once by Government, but in the civil action which followed Mr. Donaldson obtained £500 damages. The incident had a distinctly beneficial effect, and nothing more was heard of the maltreatment of defenceless men simply because they were Britishers. Moreover, with the improvement in trade which followed the gold discoveries of 1885 and 1886 at Moodies and Barberton, the relations between the two races also improved. Frequent intercourse and commercial relations begot a better knowledge of each other, and the fierce hatred of the Britisher began to disappear in the neighbourhood of the towns and the goldfields.

In 1886 the wonderful richness of the Sheba Mine in Barberton attracted a good deal of attention, and drew a large number of persons—prospectors, speculators, traders, etc.—to the Transvaal. Before the end of 1887 ten or twelve thousand must have poured into the country. The effect was magical. The revenue which had already increased by 50 per cent. in 1886, doubled itself in 1887, and then there came unto the Boer Government that which they had least expected—ample means to pursue their greater ambitions. But unmixed good comes to few, and with the blessings of plenty came the cares of Government, the problem of dealing with people whose habits, thoughts, ambitions, methods, language, and logic differed utterly from their own. Father Abraham on the London Stock Exchange would not be much more 'at sea' than the peasant farmers of the Volksraad were in dealing with the requirements of the new settlers.

Agitations for reforms commenced early in Barberton. At first it was only roads and bridges that were wanted, or the remission of certain taxes, or security of title for stands and claims. Later on a political association named the Transvaal Republican Union was formed in Barberton, having a constitution and programme much the same as those of the Transvaal National Union, formed some five years later in Johannesburg. The work of this body was looked on with much disfavour by the Government, and it was intimated to some of the prominent members that if they did not cease to concern themselves with politics they would suffer in their business relations, and might even be called upon to leave the country. Many reforms were specified as desirable, and the franchise question was raised, with the object of getting the Government to make some reasonable provision in lieu of the registration clause, which was found in most cases to be an absolute bar.

The discovery of the Witwatersrand conglomerate formation soon helped to swell the flowing tide of prosperity. In the middle of 1887 the regular output of gold commenced, and the fields have never 'looked back' since. Johannesburg—named after Mr. Johannes Rissik, the Surveyor-General of the Transvaal—was soon a far greater problem than Barberton had been. The shareholders in the mines soon found it necessary to have some organization to protect their interests and give unison to their policy, and to preserve the records and collect information for the industry. The Witwatersrand Chamber of Mines was then formed, a voluntary business association of unique interest and efficiency. The organization includes all the representative and influential men, and every company of any consequence connected with the mining industry; and it has, through its committee and officials, for eight years represented to the Volksraad the existence of abuses and grievances, the remedies that are required, and the measures which are felt to be necessary or conducive to the progress of the industry in particular, or the welfare of the State in general. The President, Executive and Volksraad, by neglect of their obvious duties, by their ignorance of ordinary public affairs, by their wilful disregard of the requirements of the Uitlanders, have given cohesion to a people about as heterogeneous as any community under the sun, and have trained them to act and to care for themselves. The refusal year after year to give a charter of incorporation to the Chamber, on the grounds that it would be creating an imperium in imperio, and the comments of Volksraad members on the petition, have made it clear that the Government view the Chamber with no friendly eye. The facts that in order to get a workable pass law at all the Chamber had to prepare it in every detail, together with plans for the creation and working of a Government department; and that in order to diminish the litigation under the gold law, and to make that fearful and wonderful agglomeration of erratic, experimental, crude, involved, contradictory and truly incomprehensible enactments at all understandable, the Chamber had to codify it at its own expense and on its own initiative, illustrate both the indispensable character of the organization, and the ignorance and ineptitude of the Government.

The records of the Volksraad for the last ten years may be searched in vain for any measure calculated constructively to advance the country, or to better the conditions of the workers in it, with the few—very few—exceptions of those proposed by the Chamber of Mines. The country has, in fact, run the Government, and the Government has been unable to ruin it.

Shortly after the discovery of the Rand conglomerates, it became clear that a railway would have to be built between the coalfields and the mines—some forty miles. But it was a fixed principle of the Boers that no railways (with the exception of the Delagoa Bay line, which, as the means of diverting trade from British channels, was regarded as a necessary evil) should be built, since they could compete successfully with the ox-waggon, and thus deprive the 'poor burgher' of his legitimate trade spoil; and great difficulty was experienced in getting the consent of the Raad. As a matter of fact, the permission to build it was only obtained by subterfuge; for it was explained to the worthy law-makers that it was not a railway at all—only a steam tram. And the Rand Steam Tram it is called to this day.

The Delagoa Railway—the darling scheme of Presidents Burgers and Kruger in turn—was taken seriously in hand as soon as it was possible to raise money on almost any terms. The concession for all railways in the State was granted on April 16, 1884, to a group of Hollander and German capitalists, and confirmed by the Volksraad on August 23 following. The President's excuse for granting and preserving this iniquitous bond on the prosperity of the State is, that when the country was poor and its credit bad, friends in Holland came forward and generously helped it, and this must not be forgotten to them. As a matter of fact, friends accepted the concession when the State was poor and its credit bad, but did nothing until the State's credit improved to such an extent as to be mortgageable. Then the friends granted certain favourable terms under their concession to other friends, who built the first section of the line at preposterous rates, and repaid themselves out of moneys raised on the State's credit.

A well-known South African politician, distinguished alike for his ability and integrity, who visited the Transvaal during the progress of the reformers' trial, and was anxious in the interests of all South Africa to find a solution of the differences, put the position thus to some of the leading men of the Rand: 'You can see for yourselves that this is no time to ask for the franchise; for the time being, Jameson's invasion has made such a suggestion impossible. Now, tell me in a word, Is there any one thing that you require more than anything else, which we can help you to get?' The answer was: 'The one thing which we must have—not for its own sake, but for the security it offers for obtaining and retaining other reforms—is the franchise. No promise of reform, no reform itself, will be worth an hour's purchase unless we have the status of voters to make our influence felt. But, if you want the chief economic grievances, they are: the Netherlands Railway Concession, the dynamite monopoly, the liquor traffic, and native labour, which, together, constitute an unwarrantable burden of indirect taxation on the industry of over two and a half millions sterling annually. We petitioned until we were jeered at; we agitated until we—well—came here [Pretoria Gaol]; and we know that we shall get no remedy until we have the vote to enforce it. We are not a political but a working community, and if we were honestly and capably governed the majority of us would be content to wait for the franchise for a considerable time yet in recognition of the peculiar circumstances, and of the feelings of the older inhabitants. That is the position in a nutshell.'

Netherlands Railway Company.

The Netherlands Railway Company is then a very important factor. It is unnecessary to go very fully into its history and the details of its administration. As the holder of an absolute monopoly, as the enterprise which has involved the State in its National Debt, and as the sole channel through which such money has been expended, the Company has gradually worked itself into the position of being the financial department of the State; and the functions which are elsewhere exercised by the heads of the Government belong here, in practice, entirely to this foreign corporation. Petitions for the cancellation of this concession were presented in 1888, when the progressive element in the first Volksraad consisted of one man—Mr. Loveday, one of the loyalists in the war. The agitation begun and carried on by him was taken up by others, but without further result than that of compelling the President to show his hand and step forward as the champion of the monopoly on every occasion on which it was assailed. During the years 1893-96 the President stoutly defended the Company in the Volksraad, and by his influence and the solid vote of his ignorant Dopper Party completely blocked all legislation tending to control the Company. Indeed at the end of the Session of 1895, on receiving representations from the business communities of the Republic as to the desirability of removing this incubus from the overtaxed people, the President stated plainly that the Netherlands Railway Concession was a matter of high politics and did not concern any but the burghers of the State, and that he would receive no representations from the Uitlanders on the subject nor would he permit them to discuss it.

Very shortly after the granting of this railway concession came the appointment of Dr. Leyds as State Attorney for the Republic, he having been recommended and pushed forward by the gentlemen in Holland to whom the concession had been granted. It is stated that he was sent out as the agent of the concessionaires in order to protect and advance their interests, although at the same time in the service of the Republic. It is only necessary to add that Mr. Beelaerts van Blokland, the Consul-General for the Republic in Holland, is the agent of the concessionaires in that country, and the accord with which these two gentlemen, as railway commissioners at their respective ends, have always acted becomes intelligible. Several of the vital conditions of the concession have been freely violated, the first being that a certain section of the line (Nelspruit) should be completed within four years. It was not completed for eight. The concession really became void several times during the years prior to 1890, but always found a stalwart champion in the President, who continued to defend the concessionaires for some two years after they had failed to get their capital subscribed. The Company was floated on June 21 1887 on the most peculiar terms, the capital of £166,666 being in 2,000 shares of 1,000 guilders, or £83 6s. 8d. each. The shares were subscribed for by the following groups:

  German            819 shares, carrying 30 votes.
  Hollander         581    "        "    76   "
  The Republic      600    "        "     6   "

The trust-deed, which limited the Republic to 6 out of 112 votes, although it subscribed about one-third of the capital, and gave to the smallest holders, the Hollanders, twice as many votes as all the others put together, was passed by Dr. Leyds, in his capacity of legal adviser of the Government, having previously been prepared by him in his other capacity. The sum of £124,000 appears to have been expended on construction ten months before any contract was given out for the same or any work begun, and fifteen months before any material was shipped.

The contract for the construction of the first sixty miles compels admiration, if only for its impudence. In the first place the contractors, Van Hattum and Co., were to build the line at a cost to be mutually agreed upon by them and the railway company, and they were to receive as remuneration 11 per cent. upon the amount of the specification. But should they exceed the contract price then the 11 per cent. was to be proportionately decreased by an arranged sliding scale, provided, however, that Van Hattum and Co. did not exceed the specification by more than 100 per cent., in which latter case the Company would have the right to cancel the contract. By this provision Messrs. Van Hattum and Co. could increase the cost by 100 per cent, provided they were willing to lose the 11 per cent. profit, leaving them a net gain of 89 per cent. They did not neglect the opportunity. Whole sections of earthworks cost £23,500 per mile, which should not have cost £8,000. Close upon a thousand Hollanders were brought out from Holland to work for a few months in each year on the line and then be sent back to Holland again at the expense of the Republic. In a country which abounded in stone the Komati Bridge was built of dressed stone which had been quarried and worked in Holland and exported some 7,000 miles by ship and rail.

These are a few instances out of many. The loss to the country through the financing was of course far greater than any manipulation of the construction could bring about. In the creating of overdrafts and the raising of loans very large sums indeed were handled. Three-quarters of a million in one case and a million in another offered opportunities which the Hollander-German gentlemen who were doing business for the country out of love for it (as was frequently urged on their behalf in the Volksraad) were quick to perceive. The 5 per cent. debentures issued to raise the latter sum were sold at £95 15s.; but the financiers deducted £5 commission from even this, so that the State has only benefited to the extent of £90 15s. This transaction was effected at a time when the State loan known as the Transvaal Fives—raised on exactly the same interest and precisely the same guarantee—was quoted at over par. What, however, was felt to be worse than any detail of finance was that this corporation of foreigners had gradually obtained complete control of the finances of the State, and through the railway system it practically dictated the relations with the other Governments in South Africa, by such measures for instance as the imposition of a charge of 8-1/2d. per ton per mile on goods travelling over their lines coming from the Cape Colony, whilst the other lines are favoured by a charge of less than half that. The burdens placed upon the mining industry by the excessive charges imposed for political purposes were, in the case of the poorer mines, ruinous. The right which the Company had to collect the Customs dues for account of the State, to retain them as security for the payment of interest on their shares and debentures, and to impose a charge for collection quite disproportionate to the cost, was another serious grievance. It was hopeless, however, to deal with the whole question. The Government had set its face against any reform in this quarter. It was not possible to obtain even ordinary working facilities such as any business corporation unprotected by an absolute monopoly would be bound to concede of its own accord, in order to catch a measure of trade.

The Government have the right, under the agreement with the Company, to take over the railway on certain conditions, of which the following are the most important:

(a) The Company shall receive one year's notice of the intention to take over.

(b) The Company shall receive twenty times the amount of the average of the last three years' dividends.

(c) The Company shall receive as a solatium for the unexpired period of the concession an amount equal to one per cent. of its nominal capital for each year up to the year of expiring (1915).

The Government can take over the Krugersdorp-Johannesburg-Boksburg Tramway against payment of the cost of construction.

If the Volksraad should not during this Session{08} decide to nationalize the railway no change can take place before 1898, so that the three years 1895 to 1897 would have to be taken as a basis and therefore the 6 per cent. for 1894, the only low dividend, would not come into the calculation. This would of course considerably increase the purchase price—e.g.,

  1895              9 per cent.
  1896             14      "    (estimate),
  1897             14      "         "
                   --
          Total    37      "

That is to say an average distribution of 12.33 per cent. for the three years. The purchase price would thus be:

                    12.33 X 20 = 246.66 per cent.
  17 years' premium               17       "
                                 ------
                 Total           263.66    "

This has been clearly explained to the Volksraad but without avail, the President's influence on the other side being too strong. During the Session of 1895 it was made clear that agitation against the Company was as futile as beating the air. When the Hollander clique found that they could no longer convince the Boers as a whole of the soundness of their business and the genuineness of their aims, and when they failed to combat the arguments and exposures of their critics, they resorted to other tactics, and promulgated voluminous reports and statements of explanations which left the unfortunate Volksraad members absolutely stupefied where they had formerly only been confused.{09}

The following is taken from an article in the Johannesburg Mining Journal, dealing with the burdens imposed by the railway company upon the industry:

RAILWAY MONOPOLY.

This is another carefully designed burden upon the mines and country. The issued capital and loans of the Netherlands Company now total about £7,000,000, upon which an average interest of about 5-1/3 per cent.—guaranteed by the State—is paid, equal to £370,000 per annum. Naturally the bonds are at a high premium. The Company and its liabilities can be taken over by the State at a year's notice, and the necessary funds for this purpose can be raised at 3 per cent. An offer was recently made to the Government to consolidate this and other liabilities, but the National Bank, which is another concession, has the monopoly of all State loan business, and this circumstance effectually disposed of the proposal. At 3 per cent. a saving of £160,000 per annum would be made in this monopoly in interest alone. The value represented by the Custom dues on the Portuguese border we are not in a position to estimate, but roughly these collections and the 15 per cent. of the profits paid to the management and shareholders must, with other leakages, represent at least another £100,000 per annum, which should be saved the country. As the revenue of the corporation now exceeds £2,000,000 a year, of which only half is expended in working costs, the estimate we have taken does not err upon the side of extravagance. By its neglect of its duties towards the commercial and mining community enormous losses are involved. Thus, in the coal traffic, the rate—which is now to be somewhat reduced—has been 3d. per ton per mile. According to the returns of the Chamber of Mines, the coal production of the Transvaal for 1895 was 1,045,121 tons. This is carried an average distance of nearly thirty miles, but taking the distance at twenty-four miles the charges are 6s. per ton. At 1-1/2d. per ton per mile—three times as much as the Cape railways charge—a saving upon the coal rates of 3s. per ton would follow, equal to £150,000 per annum. Again, by the 'bagging' system, an additional cost of 2s. 3d. per ton is incurred—details of this item have been recently published in this paper—and if this monopoly were run upon ordinary business lines, a further saving of £110,000 would be made by carrying coal in bulk. The interest upon the amount required to construct the necessary sidings for handling the coal, and the tram-lines required to transport it to the mines, would be a mere fraction upon this amount; and as the coal trade in the course of a short time is likely to see a 50 per cent. increase, the estimate may be allowed to stand at this figure without deduction. No data are available to fix the amount of the tax laid upon the people generally by the vexatious delays and losses following upon inefficient railway administration, but the monthly meetings of the local Chamber of Commerce throw some light upon these phases of a monopolistic management. The savings to be made in dealing with the coal traffic must not be taken as exhausting all possible reforms; the particulars given as to this traffic only indicate and suggest the wide area covered by this monopoly, which hitherto has made but halting and feeble efforts to keep pace with the requirements of the public. Dealing as it does with the imports of the whole country, which now amount in value to £10,000,000, the figures we have given must serve merely to illustrate its invertebrate methods of handling traffic, as well as its grasping greed in enforcing the rates fixed by the terms of its concession. Its forty miles of Rand steam tram-line and thirty-five miles of railway from the Vaal River, with some little assistance from the Delagoa line and Customs, brought in a revenue of about £1,250,000 in 1895. Now that the Natal line is opened the receipts will probably amount to nearly £3,000,000 per annum, all of which should swell the ordinary revenue of the country, instead of remaining in the hands of foreigners as a reservoir of wealth for indigent Hollanders to exploit. The total railway earnings of the Cape and Natal together over all their lines amounted to £3,916,566 in 1895, and the capital expenditure on railways by these colonies amounts to £26,000,000. The greater portion of these receipts come from the Rand trade, which is compelled to pay an additional £2,500,000, carrying charges to the Netherlands Company, which has £7,000,000 of capital. Thus, railway receipts in South Africa amount now to £7,000,000 per annum, of which the Rand contributes at least £5,000,000.

The revenue of the company is now considerably over £3,000,000 per annum. The management claim that their expenses amount to but 40 per cent. of revenue, and this is regarded by them as a matter for general congratulation. The Uitlanders contend that the concern is grossly mismanaged, and that the low cost of working is a fiction. It only appears low by contrast with a revenue swollen by preposterously heavy rates and protected by a monopoly. The tariff could be reduced by one-half; that is to say, a remission of taxation to the tune of one and a half million annually could be effected without depriving the Company of a legitimate and indeed very handsome profit.

Selati Railway.

The Selati Railway Scheme! 'Conceived in iniquity, delivered in shame, died in disgrace!' might be its history, but for the fact that it is not quite dead yet. But very nearly! The concession was obtained during the Session of 1890 by a member of the First Volksraad, Mr. Barend J. Vorster, jun., who himself took part in and guided the tone of the debate which decided the granting of the concession. The Raad resolved to endeavour to obtain the favourable opinions of their constituents, but before doing so the generous Mr. Vorster made what he was pleased to call 'presents' to the members—American spiders, Cape carts, gold watches, shares in the Company to be floated, and sums in cash—were the trifles by which Mr. Vorster won his way to favour. He placated the President by presenting to the Volksraad a portrait of his Honour, executed by the late Mr. Schroeder, South Africa's one artist. The picture cost £600. The affair was a notorious and shameless matter of bribery and the only profit which the country gained from it was a candid confession of personal principles on the part of Mr. Kruger himself, who when the exposure took place stated that he saw no harm in members receiving presents. Debentures to the amount of £500,000 were issued, bearing Government guarantee of 4 per cent. The Company received £70 for each £100 debenture. Comment is superfluous. A second issue of a million was made, nominally at £93 10s., but the Company only received £86—a commission to the brokers or agents of 8-3/4 per cent., at a time when the Company's previous issue of 4 per cents. were standing at £97 in the market. The costs of flotation were charged at upwards of £32,000; the expenses of one gentleman's travelling, etc., £6,000.

But these are 'trifles light as air.' This Selati Railway Company, which being guaranteed by Government is really a Government liability, arranged with a contractor to build the line at the maximum cost allowed in the concession, £9,600 per mile. Two days later this contractor sub-let the contract for £7,002 per mile. As the distance is 200 miles, the Republic was robbed by a stroke of the pen of £519,600—one of the biggest 'steals' even in the Transvaal. During the two years for which Dr. Leyds was responsible as the representative of the Republic for the management of this affair, none of these peculiar transactions were detected—at any rate none were reported or exposed; but on the accession to office of an ignorant old Boer the nest of swindles appears to have been discovered without any difficulty. And it is generally admitted that Dr. Leyds is not a fool. This exposure took place at the end of the Session of 1894, and, inured as the Uitlanders had become to jobs, this was an eyeopener even for them, and the startled community began wondering what more might be in store for them—the unfortunate tax-payers—who had to bear the brunt of it all.

Revenue.

Turning to the finances of the country, the following tables are as instructive as anything can be:

REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC.{10}

           Fiscal period.             Revenue.   Expenditure. Remarks.
                                         £           £
  Aug.  1, 1871 to July 31, 1872 ...   40,988 ...   35,714
    "   1, 1872 "  Jan. 31, 1873 ...   43,239 ...   41,813
  Feb.  1, 1873 "    "  31, 1874 ...   49,318 ...   45,482 Gold discovered
                                                            in Lydenburg.
    "   1, 1874 "    "  31, 1875 ...   58,553 ...   61,785
    "   1, 1875 "    "  31, 1876 ...   64,582 ...   69,394
    "   1, 1876 "    "  31, 1877 ...   62,762 ...   64,505
    "   1, 1877 " April 12, 1877 ...   25,752 ...   17,235
  April 12, 1877 " Dec. 31, 1877 ...   54,127 ...   70,003
  Jan.  1, 1878 "    "  31, 1878 ...   76,774 ...   89,063
    "   1, 1879 "    "  31, 1879 ...   93,409 ...  177,596
    "   1, 1880 "    "  31, 1880 ...  174,069 ...  144,943
    "   1, 1881 "  Oct. 14, 1881 ...   25,326 ...  186,707 British Govt.
  Aug.  8, 1881 "  Dec. 31, 1881 ...   37,908 ...   33,442 Boer Govt.
  Jan.  1, 1882 "    "  31, 1882 ...  177,407 ...  114,476
    "   1, 1883 "    "  31, 1883 ...  143,324 ...  184,344
    "   1, 1884 "  Mar. 31, 1884 ...   44,557 ...   18,922
  April 1, 1884 "    "  31, 1885 ...  161,596 ...  184,820
    "   1, 1885 "    "  31, 1886 ...  177,877 ...  162,709 Sheba floated.
    "   1, 1886 "  Dec. 31, 1886 ...  196,236 ...  154,636 Rand proclaimed
                                                            Sept. 8, 1886.
  Jan.  1, 1887 "    "  31, 1887 ...  637,749 ...  594,834 Shares quoted
                                                            Johannesburg
                                                            Stock Exchange.
                                                            Telegraph
                                                            opened
                                                            Johannesburg
                                                            April 26, 1887.
    "   1, 1888 "    "  31, 1888 ...  884,440 ...  720,492 Boom, Nov. 1888
    "   1, 1889 "    "  31, 1889 ...1,577,445 ...1,201,135  to Jan. 1889.
                                                            Slump, Mar. 1889.
    "   1, 1890 "    "  31, 1890 ...1,229,061 ...1,386,461
    "   1, 1891 "    "  31, 1891 ...  967,192 ...1,350,074 Baring Crisis.
    "   1, 1892 "    "  31, 1892 ...1,255,830 ...1,187,766 Railway reached
                                                            Johannesburg
                                                            Sept. 15.
    "   1, 1893 "    "  31, 1893 ...1,702,685 ...1,302,054
    "   1, 1894 "    "  31, 1894 ...2,247,728 ...1,734,728
    "   1, 1895 "    "  31, 1895 ...2,923,648 ...1,948,249
    "   1, 1896 "    "  31, 1896 ...3,912,095 ...3,732,492
    "   1, 1897 "    "  31, 1897 ...3,956,402 ...3,898,816
    "   1, 1898 "    "  31, 1898 ...3,329,958 ...3,476,844
    "   1, 1899 "    "  31, 1899 ...4,087,852 ...3,951,234 (Budget).

The figures for the period from 1871 to the end of 1887 are taken from Jeppe's Transvaal Almanac for 1889. They represent the ordinary Revenue and Expenditure arrived at after the deduction of the items 'Special Receipts,' 'Special Deposits,' 'Deposits Withdrawn,' 'Advance Refunded,' 'Advances made' and 'Fixed Deposits' from the totals given in the Official Government Returns.

The figures for the years 1888 to 1899 are those of the published Government Returns after the deduction of—

Fixed deposits from 1888 to 1893 inclusive.

The sale and purchase of explosives from 1895 to 1898 inclusive.

The owner's share of claim licenses from 1895 to 1899 inclusive.

Delagoa Bay Customs Dues paid to the Netherlands Railway for 1898 and 1899.

Dynamite Monopoly.

The dynamite monopoly has always been a Monopoly very burning question with the Uitlanders. This concession was granted shortly after the Barberton Fields were discovered, when the prospects of an industry in the manufacture of explosives were not really very great. The concessionaire himself has admitted that had he foreseen to what proportions this monopoly would eventually grow he would not have had the audacity to apply for it. This, of course, is merely a personal question. The fact which concerned the industry was that the right was granted to one man to manufacture explosives and to sell them at a price nearly 200 per cent. over that at which they could be imported. It was found upon investigation after some years of agitation that the factory at which this 'manufacture' took place was in reality merely a depot in which the already manufactured article was manipulated to a moderate extent so as to lend colour to the President's statement that a local industry was being fostered. An investigation held by order of the Volksraad exposed the imposition. The President himself stated that he found he had been deceived and that the terms of the concession had been broken, and he urged the Raad to cancel it—which the Raad did. The triumph was considerable for the mining industry and it was the more appreciated in that it was the solitary success to which the Uitlanders could point in their long series of agitations for reform. But the triumph was not destined to be a lasting one. Within a few months the monopoly was revived in an infinitely more obnoxious form. It was now called a Government monopoly, but 'the agency' was bestowed upon a partner of the gentleman who had formerly owned the concession, the President himself vigorously defending this course and ignoring his own judgment on the case uttered a few months previously. Land en Volk, the Pretoria Dutch newspaper, exposed the whole of this transaction, including the system of bribery by which the concessionaries secured their renewal, and among other things made the charge which it has continued to repeat ever since that Mr. J.M.A. Wolmarans, member of the Executive, received a commission of one shilling per case on every case sold during the continuance of the agency as a consideration for his support in the Executive Council, and that he continues to enjoy this remuneration, which is estimated now to be not far short of £10,000 a year. Mr. Wolmarans, for reasons of pride or discretion, has declined to take any notice of the charge, although frequently pressed to take action in the matter. It is calculated that the burden imposed upon the Witwatersrand Mines alone amounts to £600,000 per annum, and is, of course, daily increasing.

The Franchise Laws.

The question of the franchise, which has achieved the greatest prominence in the Uitlander agitation, is one with which few people even in the Transvaal are familiar, so many and peculiar have been the changes effected in the law. Lawyers differ as to whether certain laws revoke or merely supplement previous ones, and the President himself—to the grim amusement of the Uitlanders—frequently goes astray when he speaks on franchise. The first law on burgher and electoral rights is No. 1 of 1876, which remained in force until 1882. By it the possession of landed property or else residence for one year qualified the settler for full burgher privileges. Law No. 7 of 1882 was the first attempt of the restored Republic to deal with the question. It was then enacted that an alien could be naturalized and enfranchised after five years' residence, such residence to be proved by the Field-cornet's books of registration. It has already been explained that these records in nine cases out of ten were either improperly kept or non-existent.

In 1890 Law No. 4 was passed, creating the Second Volksraad and altering the Grondwet (or constitution) accordingly. By this law the franchise was indirectly altered without repealing those portions which may be at variance with or repugnant to the implied alterations, and this was done by simply defining what class of electors should vote for members of the First Raad, and what class for members of the Second. Thus, 'the members of the First Volksraad shall be elected by those enfranchised burghers who have obtained the right of voting before this law comes in force, or thereafter by birth in the State, and on having attained the age of sixteen years.' Secondly, all those who became naturalized and enfranchised after this law was passed could not vote for members of the First Volksraad, but a subsequent article in the law provides that the higher rights can be obtained by those who shall have been eligible for ten years for election to the Second Volksraad; and it is then explained that, in order to be eligible for the Second Volksraad, it is necessary to be thirty years of age, to be a member of the Protestant Church, to live and have landed property in the Republic, and to have been a naturalized subject for two years. Thus the full electoral privileges were only obtainable after fourteen years' residence in the State, and the possession of the other qualifications of religion, property, etc.

Next came Law No. 13 of 1891, which was rather a codification than an alteration of previous laws. In 1892 another law was passed again explaining, but not materially altering the franchise. In 1893 Law No. 14 was passed as an amendment of previous laws: further juggling the position—further hedging in the sacred preserve. As the law was superseded in the following year it is unnecessary to go into details; but note how the measure became law! It was not published in the Staats Courant for three months as required by law; it was not published at all; nor was any special resolution taken affirming that it was a matter of extreme urgency and therefore to be held exempt from that rule of procedure; so that the High Court ought to be able to declare it null and void. The circumstances of its introduction could not be considered to warrant the plea of urgency. On the 29th and 30th June, 1893, memorials upon the franchise question were laid before the Raad. From Johannesburg came one memorial bearing 4,507 signatures out of the grand total of 6,665 memorialists. It was in favour of extension of the franchise. Another memorial from 103 Free State burghers was in favour of extension, another from Barberton from 40 burghers also for extension. Seven memorials, bearing 444 signatures, were against extension. All the others concerned minor alterations in Law 13 of 1891, and did not affect the franchise. The Raad appointed a commission and on the 8th of September received its report, together with a draft law which had not before seen the light of day. After a discussion lasting part of one morning the law was passed provisionally; and to be of full force and effect until confirmed by the Raad in the following year. Thus again were the fundamental political conditions entirely altered by the passing of a law which two hours before had not been heard of.

Law No. 3 of 1894 purports to supersede all other laws. Therein it is laid down that all persons born in the State, or who may have established their domicile therein before May 29, 1876, are entitled to full political privileges. Those who have settled in the country since then can become naturalized after two years' residence dating from the time at which their names were registered in the Field-cornet's books. This naturalization confers the privilege of voting for local officials, Field-cornets, landdrosts,{11} and for members of the Second Raad. It is however stipulated that children born in the country shall take the status of their fathers. The naturalized subject after having been qualified to vote in this manner for two years becomes eligible for a seat in the Second Volksraad—i.e., four years after the registration of his name in the Field-cornet's books. After he shall have been qualified to sit in the Second Volksraad for ten years (one of the conditions for which is that he must be thirty years of age) he may obtain the full burgher rights or political privileges, provided the majority of burghers in his Ward will signify in writing their desire that he should obtain them and provided the President and Executive shall see no objection to granting the same. It is thus clear that, assuming the Field-cornet's records to be honestly and properly compiled and to be available for reference (which they are not), the immigrant, after fourteen years' probation during which he shall have given up his own country and have been politically emasculated, and having attained the age of at least forty years, would have the privilege of obtaining burgher rights should he be willing and able to induce the majority of a hostile clique to petition in writing on his behalf and should he then escape the veto of the President and Executive.

This was the coping-stone to Mr. Kruger's Chinese wall. The Uitlanders and their children were disfranchised for ever, and as far as legislation could make it sure the country was preserved by entail to the families of the Voortrekkers. The measure was only carried because of the strenuous support given by the President both within the Raad and at those private meetings which practically decide the important business of the country. The President threw off all disguise when it came to proposing this measure of protection. For many years he had been posing as the one progressive factor in the State and had induced the great majority of people to believe that while he personally was willing and even anxious to accede to the reasonable requests of the new population his burghers were restraining him. He had for a time succeeded in quelling all agitation by representing that demonstrations made by the tax-bearing section only embarrassed him in his endeavour to relieve them and aggravated the position by raising the suspicions and opposition of his Conservative faction.

In 1893 a petition signed by upwards of 13,000 aliens in favour of granting the extension of the franchise was received by the Raad with great laughter. But notwithstanding this discouragement, during the following year a monster petition was got up by the National Union. It was signed by 35,483 Uitlanders—men of an age and of sufficient education to qualify them for a vote in any country. The discussion which took place on this petition was so important, and the decision so pregnant with results, that copious notes of the Volksraad debate are published in this volume (Appendix). The only response made to this appeal was a firmer riveting of the bonds. It is but just to say that the President encountered determined opposition in his attempt to force his measure through the Raad. The progressive section (progressive being a purely relative term which the peculiar circumstances of the country alone can justify) made a stand, but the law was carried nevertheless. Eye-witnesses of the scene state that two or three of the intelligent and liberal-minded farmers belonging to this progressive party, men who were earnestly desirous of doing justice to all and furthering the interests of the State, declared at the close of the debate that this meant the loss of independence. 'Now,' said one old Boer, 'our country is gone. Nothing can settle this but righting, and there is only one end to the fight. Kruger and his Hollanders have taken our independence more surely than ever Shepstone did.' The passing of this measure was a revelation not only to the Uitlanders, who still believed that reasonable representations would prevail, but to a section of the voters of the country who had failed to realize Mr. Kruger's policy, and who honestly believed that he would carry some conciliatory measures tending to relieve the strain, and satisfy the large and ever-increasing industrial population of aliens. The measure was accepted on all hands as an ultimatum—a declaration of war to the knife. There was only one redeeming feature about it: from that time forward there could be no possibility of misunderstanding the position, and no reason to place any credence in the assurances of the President. When remonstrated with on this subject of the refusal of the franchise, and when urged by a prominent man whose sympathies are wholly with the Boer to consider the advisability of 'opening the door a little,' the President, who was in his own house, stood up, and leading his adviser by the arm, walked into the middle of the street, and pointed to the Transvaal flag flying over the Government buildings, saying, 'You see that flag. If I grant the franchise I may as well pull it down.'

It is seldom possible to indicate the precise period at which a permanent change in the feeling of a people may be considered to have been effected, but the case of the Uitlanders undoubtedly presents one instance in which this is possible. Up to the passing of this law quite a considerable section of the people believed that the President and the Volksraad would listen to reason, and would even in the near future make considerable concessions. A larger section, it is true, believed nothing of the sort, but at the same time were so far from thinking that it would be necessary to resort to extreme measures that they were content to remain passive, and allow their more sanguine comrades to put their convictions to the test. It is not too much to say that not one person in a hundred seriously contemplated that an appeal to force would be necessary to obtain the concessions which were being asked. It might be said that within an hour the scales dropped from the eyes of the too credulous community, and the gravity of the position was instantly realized. The passage of the Bill and the birth of the revolutionary idea were synchronous.

In a brief sketch of events, such as this is, it is not possible with due regard to simplicity to deal with matters in chronological order, and for this reason such questions as the franchise, the railway, dynamite, and others have been explained separately, regardless of the fact that it has thereby become necessary to allude to incidents in the general history for which no explanation or context is supplied at the moment. This is particularly the case in the matter of the franchise, and for the purpose of throwing light on the policy of which the franchise enactments and the Netherlands Railway affairs and other matters formed a portion, some explanation should be given of President Kruger's own part and history in the period under review.

Mr. Kruger was elected President in 1882, and re-elected in 1888 without serious opposition, his one rival, General Joubert, receiving an insignificant number of votes. The period for which he was now elected proved to be one of unexpected, unexampled prosperity, furnishing him with the means of completing plans which must have seemed more or less visionary at their inception; but it was also a period of considerable trial. The development of the Barberton Goldfields was a revelation to the peasant mind of what the power of gold is. The influx of prospectors was very considerable, the increase of the revenue of the State appeared simply colossal; and no sooner did the Boer rulers begin to realize the significance of the Barberton boom than they were confronted with the incomparably greater discoveries of the Witwatersrand. The President did not like the Uitlanders. He made no concealment of the fact. He could never be induced to listen to the petitions of that community, nor to do anything in the way of roads and bridges in return for the very heavy contributions which the little community sent to the Republic's treasury. In those days he used to plead that the distance was great, and the time required for coach-travelling was too considerable; but the development of the Witwatersrand and the growth of Johannesburg within thirty-two miles of the capital, while disposing of the pretexts which held good in the case of Barberton, found Mr. Kruger no more inclined to make the acquaintance of the newcomers than he had been before. Notwithstanding that the law prescribes that the President shall visit all the districts and towns of the State at least once during the year, notwithstanding, also, the proximity of Johannesburg, the President has only visited the industrial capital of the Republic three times in nine years. The first occasion was in the early days—a visit now remembered only as the occasion of the banquet at which Mr. Cecil Rhodes, then one of the pioneers of the Rand, in proposing the President's health, appealed to him to make friends with the newcomers, and to extend the privileges of the older residents to 'his young burghers—like myself.' That was before Mr. Rhodes had secured his concession, and long before the Charter was thought of.

There is an unreported incident which occurred a year or two later, concerning the two strong men of Africa—it was a 'meeting' which didn't take place, and only Mr. Rhodes can say how it might have affected the future of South Africa had it come off. The latter arrived by coach in Pretoria one Saturday morning, and, desiring to see the President, asked Mr. Ewald Esselen to accompany him and interpret for him. Mr. Rhodes, knowing the peculiar ways of Mr. Kruger, waited at the gate a few yards from the house while Mr. Esselen went in to inquire if the President would see him. Mr. Kruger's reply was that he would see Mr. Rhodes on Monday. Mr. Esselen urged that as Mr. Rhodes was obliged to leave on Sunday night the reply was tantamount to a refusal. The President answered that this was 'Nachtmaal' time and the town was full of his burghers, and that he made it a rule, which he would violate for no one, to reserve the Saturdays of the Nachtmaal week for his burghers so as to hear what they had to say if any wished to speak to him, as his burghers were more to him than anyone else in the world. 'I do no business on Sunday,' he concluded, 'so Rhodes can wait or go!' Mr. Rhodes did not wait. When he heard the answer he remarked to Mr. Esselen, 'The old devil! I meant to work with him, but I'm not going on my knees to him. I've got my concession however and he can do nothing.'

The second visit of Mr. Kruger to Johannesburg was the famous one of 1890, when the collapse of the share market and the apparent failure of many of the mines left a thriftless and gambling community wholly ruined and half starving, unable to bear the burden which the State imposed, almost wholly unappreciative of the possibilities of the Main Reef, and ignorant of what to do to create an industry and restore prosperity. This, at least, the community did understand, that they were horribly overtaxed; that those things which might be their salvation, and are necessary conditions for industrial prosperity—railways, cheap living, consistent and fair government—were not theirs. The President visited Johannesburg with the object of giving the assurance that railways would be built. He addressed a crowd of many thousands of people from a platform at the Wanderers' Club pavilion. He did not conceal his suspicions of the people, and his attempts to conceal his dislike were transparent and instantly detected, the result being that there was no harmony between his Honour and the people of Johannesburg. Later in the evening the crowd, which had hourly become larger and more and more excited and dissatisfied, surrounded the house which the President was occupying, and, without desire to effect any violence, but by simple pressure of numbers, swept in the railings and pillars which enclosed the house. Most fortunately the Chief of Police had withdrawn all the Boer members of the force, and the crowd, to their surprise, were held back by Colonial, English, and Irish 'bobbies.' This was probably the only thing that prevented a very serious culmination. As it was, some excited individuals pulled down the Transvaal flag from the Government buildings, tore it in shreds and trampled it under foot. The incident should have been ignored under the exceptionally trying conditions of the time, but the Government determined to make much of it. Some arrests were effected, and men thrown into prison. Bail was refused; in fact, 'martyrs' were made, and the incident became indelibly stamped on the memory of both Boer and Uitlander. The President vowed that he would never visit the place again, and without doubt made use of his experience to consolidate the feeling of his burghers against the Uitlanders.

At a meeting of burghers several months after this incident, he referred to the agitation and constant complaining of the Uitlanders, and stated that they had only themselves to thank for all their troubles, and yet they would blame the Government. He then proceeded to entertain his hearers with one of the inevitable illustrations from life in the lower animal kingdom. 'They remind me,' said his Honour, 'of the old baboon that is chained up in my yard. When he burnt his tail in the Kaffir's fire the other day, he jumped round and bit me, and that just after I had been feeding him.' For five years Mr. Kruger was as good as his word. He would not even pass through Johannesburg when convenience suggested his doing so, but made circuits by road to avoid the place of detestation. It was on one of these visits to Krugersdorp, a township within the Witwatersrand Fields, twenty miles from Johannesburg, that the President, appreciating the fact that besides his beloved burghers there might, owing to the proximity of the fields, be some unregenerate aliens present, commenced his address as follows: 'Burghers, friends, thieves, murderers, newcomers, and others.' This was not ill-judged and laborious humour; it was said in absolute earnest. The references were repeated at various intervals in the address and here explained by allusions to the Scriptures and to the all-merciful God through Whom even the worst might hope to be redeemed, the inference clearly being that even the Uitlander, by the grace of God (and, no doubt, Mr. Kruger), might hope in time to approach the fitness of the burgher.

In the meantime another affair occurred, which revived much of the old feeling expressed at the time of the flag affair. War was declared against Malaboch, a native chief with a following of a few hundreds, who had, it was alleged, refused to pay his taxes. Such wars are of frequent occurrence in the Transvaal, the reasons assigned being usually some failure to pay taxes or to submit to the discipline of the native Commissioners. In this case British subjects were commandeered—that is, requisitioned to fight or to find in money or in kind some contribution to the carrying on of the war. It was felt that the position of the Republic did not warrant at that time a resort to commandeering, a measure which no doubt was necessary in the early days when the Republic had no cash; but with a declared surplus of about £1,000,000 in the Treasury, it was deemed to be an uncivilized and wholly unnecessary measure, and one capable of the grossest abuse, to permit men of inferior intelligence and training, and of no education, such as the Field-cornets are, to use their discretion in levying contributions upon individuals. The Uitlanders were especially sensible of the injustice done to them. They had been definitely refused all voice in the affairs of the State, and they already contributed nine-tenths of the revenue. They received in return an infinitesimal portion in the shape of civil administration and public works, and they were distinctly not in the humour to be placed at the mercy of Boer officials, who would undoubtedly mulct them and spare the burghers. Protests were made; and five of the men commandeered in Pretoria, having point-blank refused to comply with the orders, were placed under arrest. The High Commissioner, Sir Henry (now Lord) Loch, was appealed to, and, acting on instructions from the Imperial Government, immediately proceeded to Pretoria. The excitement was intense. In Johannesburg a number of men were prepared to make a dash on Pretoria to effect the forcible release of the prisoners, and had any steps been taken to enforce the commandeering law within the Witwatersrand district, without doubt a collision would have taken place. The supply of arms in the town was, it is true, wholly inadequate for any resistance to the Boers, but in the excitement of the time this was not considered.

Sir Henry Loch's visit had the effect of suspending all action; but the opinion in Pretoria was that should the High Commissioner proceed to Johannesburg there would be such an outburst of feeling that no one could foresee the results. Every effort was made to prevent him from going. Among other steps taken by the President was that of sending over for the President of the Chamber of Mines, Mr. Lionel Phillips, and requesting him, if he had the interests of the State and the welfare of the community at heart, to use his influence to dissuade the High Commissioner from visiting the town in its then excited state. Sir Henry Loch, in deference to the opinion expressed on all sides, agreed not to visit Johannesburg, but to receive deputations from Johannesburg people at his hotel in Pretoria. The High Commissioner's visit was successful. The Government agreed to absolve British subjects from the operation of the Commando Law; but the men who had been arrested and already sent under guard to the front were allowed to proceed and receive their discharge at the scene of war, and were compelled to find their own way back, receiving no consideration or compensation for the treatment to which they had been subjected. In this respect it is difficult to say that Sir Henry Loch achieved all that might have been expected from him. Possibly, to insist on more than he did would have left President Kruger no alternative but to refuse at all risks. The Volksraad being then in session, there may have been some diplomatic reasons for not pressing matters too hard.

A trivial incident occurred which once more excited bad party feeling. The High Commissioner was met at the railway-station by the President in his carriage. The enthusiastic crowd of British subjects shouldered aside the escorts provided by the Government, took the horses from the carriage, and drew it down to the hotel. In the course of the journey an individual mounted the box-seat of the carriage with the Union Jack fastened on a bamboo, and in the excitement of the moment allowed the folds of England's flag to gather round the President. His Honour rose very excitedly and struck at the flag with his walking-stick; but in blissful ignorance of what was going on behind him the standard-bearer continued to flip his Honour with the flag until the hotel was reached. There it was understood that the President would leave the carriage with the High Commissioner, and under this misapprehension those who had drawn the carriage down left their posts and joined the cheering crowd thronging round the hotel. The President was unfortunately left in the carriage with neither horses nor men to move him, and there he was obliged to wait until a number of burghers were called up, who drew his Honour off to his own house. The affair was wholly unpremeditated and almost unobserved at the time, but it was unfortunately construed by the President as a deliberate insult, and it increased, if possible, his dislike for the Uitlander.

The difficulty of dealing with a man of Mr. Kruger's nature and training was further illustrated by another occurrence in these negotiations. During a meeting between the President and the High Commissioner in the presence of their respective staffs the former became very excited and proceeded to speak his mind very openly to his friends, referring freely to certain matters which it was undesirable to mention in the presence of the British party. Mr. Ewald Esselen, the late State Attorney, wrote in Dutch in a very large round schoolboy hand, 'Be careful! There is an interpreter present,' and handed the slip of paper to the President. The latter stopped abruptly, looked at the slip of paper, first one way and then another, and after a long pause threw it on the table saying, 'Ewald, what does this mean? What do you write things to me for? Why don't you speak so that one can understand?'

Early in 1895 efforts were made by the Dutch officials in Johannesburg and a number of private individuals to induce the President to visit the place again, when it was thought that a better reception would be accorded him than that which he had experienced on his visit in 1890. Mr. Kruger steadily refused for some time, but was eventually persuaded to open in person the first agricultural show held on the Witwatersrand. Every precaution was taken to insure him a good welcome, or, at least, to avoid any of those signs which would indicate that Johannesburg likes President Kruger no more than he likes Johannesburg; and even those who were most conscious of the President's malign influence did all in their power to make the visit a success, believing themselves to be in duty bound to make any effort, even at the sacrifice of personal sympathies and opinions, to turn the current of feeling and to work for a peaceful settlement of the difficulties which unfortunately seemed to be thickening all round. The event passed off without a hitch. It would be too much to say that great enthusiasm prevailed; but, at least, a respectful, and at times even cordial, greeting was accorded to the President, and his address in the agricultural show grounds was particularly well received. The President returned to Pretoria that night and was asked what he thought of the affair: 'Did he not consider it an amende for what had happened five years before? And was he not convinced from personal observation that the people of Johannesburg were loyal, law-abiding, and respectful to the head of the Government under which they lived?' Mr. Kruger's reply in the vernacular is unprintable; but the polite equivalent is, 'Ugh! A pack of lick-spittles.' In spite of a subsequent promulgation it seems clear that there is no 'forget and forgive' in his Honour's attitude towards Johannesburg. The result of this interview became known and naturally created a very bad impression.

During his second term of office Mr. Kruger lost much of his personal popularity and influence with the Boers, and incurred bitter opposition on account of his policy of favouring members of his own clique, of granting concessions, and of cultivating the Hollander faction and allowing it to dominate the State.

Outside the Transvaal Mr. Kruger has the reputation of being free from the taint of corruption from which so many of his colleagues suffer. Yet within the Republic and among his own people one of the gravest of the charges levelled against him is that by his example and connivance he has made himself responsible for much of the plundering that goes on. There are numbers of cases in which the President's nearest relatives have been proved to be concerned in the most flagrant jobs, only to be screened by his influence; such cases, for instance, as that of the Vaal River Water Supply Concession, in which Mr. Kruger's son-in-law 'hawked' about for the highest bid the vote of the Executive Council on a matter which had not yet come before it, and, moreover, sold and duly delivered the aforesaid vote. There is the famous libel case in which Mr. Eugene Marais, the editor of the Dutch paper Land en Volk, successfully sustained his allegation that the President had defrauded the State by charging heavy travelling expenses for a certain trip on which he was actually the guest of the Cape Colonial Government.{12}

The party in opposition to President Kruger, with General Joubert at its head, might, for purposes of nomenclature, be called the Progressive Party. It was really led by Mr. Ewald Esselen, a highly-educated South African, born in the Cape Colony of German parentage, educated in Edinburgh, and practising as a barrister at the Pretoria Bar. Mr. Esselen was a medical student at the time of the Boer War of Independence, and having then as he still has enthusiastic Boer sympathies, volunteered for medical service during the war. He subsequently became attached to the President's staff, and finally, on completing his legal education, was appointed Judge of the High Court in the Transvaal. Relinquishing his seat on the Bench after some years of honourable service he returned to the Bar, and became an active factor in politics. Mr. Esselen, from being the closest personal adherent of Mr. Kruger, became for a time his most formidable opponent and his most dreaded critic. A campaign was organized for the presidential election and feeling ran extremely high. To such lengths, indeed, did the Boer partisans go that for some months the possibility of a resort to arms for the settlement of their differences was freely discussed by both parties. The election took place in 1893, and at the same time elections of members for the First Volksraad were in progress. Mr. Kruger made masterly use of his position in office and of his authority over the officials appointed during his régime, and for the time being he converted the Civil Service of the country into an election organization. Not even the enemies of the President will deny that he is both a practised diplomat and a determined fighter. By his energy, intrigue, personal influence, and intense determination, he not only compelled his party to the highest effort, but to a large extent broke the spirit of the opposition before the real struggle began. There are two stages in the Presidential election at which a fight can under certain circumstances be made. There were certainly two stages in this election. The first is at the polls; the second is in the Volksraad, when objections have to be lodged against candidates and a commission of investigation appointed, and the steps necessary for the installation of the new President have to be discussed. Mr. Kruger and his party took ample precautions. It has been stated openly and without contradiction, and is accepted in the Transvaal as an unquestionable fact, that at least three properly elected members of the Volksraad were 'jockeyed' out of their seats because they were known to have leanings towards General Joubert. A number of his supporters among the prominent officials of the Civil Service were disfranchised by the action of President Kruger because they had favoured his rival. In a country where the matters of Government have been so loosely conducted it is no doubt fairly easy to find flaws, and the President experienced no difficulty in establishing sufficient case against General Joubert's supporters to satisfy the persons appointed by him to investigate matters. On various pretexts newly-elected members were debarred from taking their seats. In one case, a strong supporter of General Joubert, who was returned by a majority of something like six to one, was kept out of his seat by the mere lodging of an objection by his opponent, the former representative of the constituency; there being a provision in the law that objections with regard to elections shall be heard by the Volksraad, and that, pending the return of a new member, the member last elected for the constituency shall continue to represent it. That the objection lodged in this case was ridiculous in the extreme had no bearing on the immediate result. The President, with admirable gravity, said, 'The law provides that all objections must be heard by the Volksraad, and that pending the decision the old member (a strenuous supporter of his Honour) shall retain his seat; and before all things we must support the law.' In the case of Mr. Esselen, who was elected member for Potchefstroom, the most flagrant abuses were proved to have been committed by the polling officer, the landdrost, dead and absent men having (according to him) rolled up freely to vote for the Krugerite candidate. Numbers of Mr. Esselen's supporters were disqualified on various pretexts, and the voting being conducted openly the moral suasion and close supervision of the official (Krugerite) party were very effective. Mr. Esselen was declared to have lost his seat by seven votes. Scrutinies were demanded and objections lodged, but without avail. The tactics above indicated were pursued in every case. The old Volksraad having been filled with Mr. Kruger's creatures, it was, of course, his interest to support the return of old members. He was thus enabled by the law above quoted to retain an old member in the Volksraad pending the decision in a case of dispute. Mr. Esselen's defeat was a crushing blow to the Joubert party, as the want of a leader in the House itself completely demoralized the General's followers. The election for President proceeded, and General Joubert was, without any doubt whatever, elected by a very considerable majority. The tactics already described were again followed, and the result was announced as: Kruger, 7,881; Joubert, 7,009. Objections were lodged by General Joubert, but, deprived of the services of Mr. Esselen in the First Raad, and overawed by the fierce determination of his opponent, the General, finding himself in for a struggle, lost heart as usual and collapsed.

The difference between the two men is remarkable. Mr. Kruger, to his credit be it said, has not the remotest conception of the meaning of fear, and would not know how to begin to give in. Mr. Joubert, 'Slim (sly) Piet,' as he is called, possessing a considerable share of the real Africander cunning, is yet no match for his rival in diplomacy, and has none of his grit and courage. In later years this has been proved a score of times, and it is, therefore, the more interesting to recall that at the time of the annexation General Joubert refused to compromise his principles by taking office under Shepstone, whilst Mr. Kruger was not so staunch; and both before and during the war General Joubert refused to accept less than what he considered to be his rights, and steadily and frequently proclaimed his readiness to fight whilst Mr. Kruger was diplomatizing.

The Commission appointed by the Raad to investigate matters was constituted chiefly of Mr. Kruger's supporters, and the result was a foregone conclusion. They confirmed the result of the election as declared; and Mr. Kruger, with the grim humour which upon occasions distinguishes him, seeing an opportunity for inexpensive magnanimity which would gratify himself and be approved by everyone—except the recipients—appointed the most prominent supporters of his rival in the Volksraad to be the official deputation to welcome the new President.

The President did not neglect those who had stood by him in his hour of need. Mr. Kock, landdrost and polling-officer of Potchefstroom, who had deserved well of his patron, if for nothing more than the overthrow of Mr. Esselen, was appointed member of the Executive to fill a position created purposely for him. The membership of the Executive is expressly defined by the Grondwet; but his Honour is not trammelled by such considerations. He created the position of Minute Keeper to the Executive with a handsome salary and a right to vote, and bestowed this upon his worthy henchman.

The Executive Council thus constituted consisted of six members; and here again the President contrived to kill two birds with one stone, the expression of his gratitude being by no means unprofitable. After so bitter a struggle and the resort to such extreme measures as he had been obliged to use, he anticipated no little opposition even within the inner circle, and, in any case, he as usual deemed it wise to provide against all contingencies. Dr. Leyds' vote he knew he could count on, the interests of the party which the State Secretary represents being such that they are obliged to work with Mr. Kruger. The appointment, therefore, of Mr. Kock gave his Honour one half of the Executive, and the casting-vote which pertains to his office turned the scale in his favour. Whatever, therefore, might be his troubles with the Volksraad when, by process of justice, reform, or death his adherents should be gradually removed from that Chamber, his position was, humanly speaking, assured in the Executive Council for the term of his office.

The opposition to Mr. Kock's appointment was extremely strong, culminating in the formulation of charges of theft against him by Mr. Eugene Marais, the spirited editor of the leading Dutch paper, Land en Volk. The charge alleged against Mr. Kock was that during his term of office as landdrost at Potchefstroom he had appropriated the telegraph-wires in order to fence his own farm. Feeling ran so high that it became necessary to hold an investigation. A trial in the ordinary courts was not permitted, but a Special Commissioner, one not qualified by legal experience or official position to preside in such a case, was selected. By a positively ludicrous exercise of discretion in the matter of admission of evidence Mr. Kock was cleared. Mr. Marais, nothing daunted, continued his exposures, challenging that action should be taken against himself for libel, and finally producing photographs taken by competent witnesses showing the corpus delicti in situ. The President and Mr. Kock were not to be drawn, however, and, secure in their newly-acquired positions, they declined the offer of battle and rested on their laurels.

For some time the Opposition, now called the Progressive Party, was completely demoralized, and it was not until the following year that individuals again endeavoured to give cohesion to the party. Appeals were made by them to prominent individuals and firms associated with the mining industry for financial support in the manner in which it is contributed in England for electioneering purposes. A determined and well-sustained effort was made to educate Boer opinion to better things, and to bring such influence to bear on the electorate as would result in the return of a better class of men to the Volksraad. Newspapers conducted with this end in view were circulated throughout the country, and when the elections for the Volksraad took place, specially qualified agents were sent to ascertain the feeling of the districts, and to work up an opposition to the existing methods of Government. In every case endeavours were made to select a popular resident within a district of more enlightened views and higher character than his fellows. A good many thousand pounds were contributed and expended for this purpose. Absolutely no stipulation was made by the contributors to this fund, except that the aim should be for honest and decent government. The funds were placed unreservedly in the hands of well-known and highly respected men who were themselves burghers of the State, and the Uitlanders laid themselves out for one more effort to effect the reforms by peaceful means and pressure from within the State. The elections came off and were regarded as a triumph for the Progressive Party, which it was alleged had secured some sixteen out of twenty-six seats in the First Volksraad, and a similar majority in the Second. Hope revived and confidence was restored among the Uitlanders, but old residents in the country who knew the Boer character warned the alien community not to expect too much, as it was a question yet to be decided how many of those who were Progressives at the time of the election would stand by their professions when brought face to face with the President and his party in battle array.

The warning was too well warranted. The Volksraad so constituted was the one which rejected with sullen incivility (to apply no harsher term) the petition of 40,000 Uitlanders for some measure of franchise reform. This Progressive Raad was also the one which passed the Bills curtailing the liberty of the press, and prohibiting the holding of public meetings and the organization of election committees, and which distinguished itself by an attempt to wrest from the High Court the decision of a matter still sub judice—the cyanide case.

In this case the mining industry had combined to test the validity of certain patents.{13} In spite of attempts at reasonable compromise on behalf of the mines, and these failing, in spite of every effort made to expedite the hearing of the case, the question continued to hang for some years, and in the meantime efforts were being made during two successive sessions of the Volksraad to obtain the passage of some measure which would practically secure to the holders of the patents a monopoly for the use of cyanide, or an indefeasible title to the patents, whether valid in law and properly acquired or not. These attempts to evade the issue were in themselves a disgrace to a civilized nation. Failing the obtaining of an absolute monopoly, an endeavour was made to pass a law that all patents held without dispute for a certain period should be unassailable on any grounds. There was a thin attempt at disguising the purpose of this measure, but so thin, that not even the originators could keep up the pretence, and the struggle was acknowledged to be one between the supporters of an independent court of justice and honest government on the one side, and a party of would-be concessionaires—one might say 'pirates'—on the other. The judges made no secret of their intention to tender their resignations should the measure pass; the President made no secret of his desire that it should pass. His party voted as one man in favour of it, and the coffee meetings on the Presidential stoep were unanimously for it. The Raad was exactly divided on the measure, and it was eventually lost by the casting-vote of the chairman. No absolute harm was done, but the revelation of the shameful conditions of affairs in a Raad of which so much good was expected did as much as anything could do to destroy all hope. It was a painful exhibition, and the sordid details which came to light, the unblushing attempts to levy blackmail on those who were threatened with pillage by would-be concessionaires, the shameless conduct of Raad members fighting as hirelings to impose a fresh burden on their own country, sickened the overburdened community.

The Bewaarplaatsen question also excited much discussion, but was not a subject of such close interest to the Uitlander community as others, for the reason that but few companies were directly concerned. Bewaarplaatsen is a name given to areas granted for the purpose of conservation of water, for depositing residues of crushed ore, etc.—in fact, they are grants of the surface rights of certain areas at a lower rate of license than that paid upon claim or mineral areas. This variation in the licensed areas was a wholly unnecessary complication of the gold law, the difference in cost being inconsiderable, and the difference in title affording untold possibilities of lawsuits. In some cases companies had taken out originally the more expensive claim-licenses for ground the surface only of which it was intended to use. They had been compelled, by order of the Government, to convert these claims at a later period into bewaarplaatsen. They were almost invariably situated on the south side of the Witwatersrand Main Reef, for the reason that, as the ground sloped to the south, the water was found there, the mills would naturally be erected there, and the inclination of the ground offered tempting facilities for the disposal of residues. After some years of development on the Main Reef it became clear that the banket beds, which were known to dip towards the south, became gradually flatter at the lower levels, and, consequently, it was clear that bodies of reef would be accessible vertically from areas south of the reef which had formerly been regarded as quite worthless as gold-bearing claims. The companies which owned these bewaarplaatsen now contended that they should be allowed to convert them into claims, as, by their enterprise, they had exploited the upper levels and revealed the conditions which made the bewaarplaatsen valuable. The companies had endeavoured to convert these bewaarplaatsen into claims when they first discovered that there was a possibility of their becoming valuable, and that at a time when the areas themselves were of extremely little market value to any except the holders of the surface rights. They were unsuccessful in this through some lack of provision in the law, and year after year the subject was fought out and postponed, the disputed ground all the time becoming more and more valuable, and consequently a greater prize for the concessionaire and pirate, and a greater incentive to bribery on all hands, until it came to be regarded by the worthy members of the Volksraad as something very like a special dispensation of Providence, intended to provide annuities for Volksraad members at the expense of the unfortunate owners. After a particularly fierce struggle, the Volksraad went so far as to decide that those companies which had been obliged to convert their original claim-holdings into bewaarplaatsen should be allowed to re-convert them to claims and to retain them. Even this was only gained after the Minister of Mines had, on his own responsibility, issued the claim licenses, and so forced the Volksraad to face the issue of confirming or reversing his action!

In this matter the President again fought tooth and nail against the industry, and most strenuous efforts were made by him and his party to obtain a reversal of the decision, but without effect. This, however, only disposed of a small portion of the ground at stake. With regard to those areas which had never been held as claims, the issue lay between two parties known respectively as the companies, who were the surface-owners, and the applicants. The applicants, according to the polite fiction, were those who, having no claim superior to that of any other individual member of the public, had happened to have priority in order of application. As a matter of fact, they were Government officials, political supporters and relatives of the President, financed and guided by two or three of the professional concession-hunters and hangers-on of Mr. Kruger's Government. Notwithstanding the existence of a law specifically prohibiting Government servants from concerning themselves in other business and speculations, the parties to this arrangement entered into notarial contracts determining the apportionment of the plunder, and undertaking to use their influence in every way with the President and his party and with members of the Volksraad to secure the granting of the rights in dispute to themselves. With them was associated the originator and holder of another infamous monopoly, and it was stated by him in the Chamber of Mines, that should they fail to obtain these rights for themselves they were prepared to co-operate with another party and force the Government to put them up for public auction, so that at any rate the mines should not have them. The object of this threat was to compel the mining companies to come to terms with him and compromise matters.

One of the notarial contracts referred to has been made public, and it contains the names of Mr. 'Koos' Smit, the Government Railway Commissioner, and one of the highest officials in the State; Landdrost Schutte, Chief Magistrate of Pretoria, and Mr. Hendrik Schoeman, one of the most prominent commandants in the Transvaal and a near relation of the President. Needless to say, all are members of the Kruger family party, and were most prominent supporters of his Honour at the time of the 1893 election. They claim that they were definitely promised a concession for the bewaarplaatsen as a reward for their services in this election. The precedent quoted on behalf of the companies in support of their claim is that of the brickmaker's license under the Gold Law. Brickmakers have privileges under their license similar to those granted with bewaarplaatsen, but in their case it is provided that should gold be discovered or be believed to exist in the areas granted under their licenses, the holder of the license shall have the right to convert his area into mining claims on complying with the ordinary provisions of the Gold Law. The companies urged that this reveals the intention of the law, and that such a condition was omitted in connection with bewaarplaatsen simply and solely through oversight, and because at that time it never occurred to anyone to suppose that the gold-bearing deposits would shelve off and be accessible at such great distances from the outcrop as where the bewaarplaatsen are located. The companies moreover pointed out that these areas were in every case located in the middle of property held under mining licenses, that they themselves owned the surface of the property and therefore no one else could work on them, that the areas were in themselves too small and too irregular in shape to be worked independently of the surrounding ground, and that the granting of them to others could not be justified by any right on the part of applicants, and would merely be placing in their hands the means of imposing on the owners of the surfaces and the adjacent claims an excessive purchase price or the alternative of being blocked in the development of their own ground. After the Second Raad had decided in principle in favour of the surface-holders, action was taken by the First Raad, and a change of front was effected by a measure alteration, which hung the question up for another year. Everyone realized that this was secured by the influence of the President in the first place and by the pliability of Raad members in the second, on the ground that the matter was too profitable to them personally to be disposed of until it became absolutely compulsory.{14}

One of the first concessions granted by the Boer Government after the restoration of the country to them was the liquor monopoly. Under this grant a factory established within a few miles of Pretoria has the sole right to distil spirits. Time and very considerable experience are in all countries necessary for the manufacture of good liquor, and the natural conditions are not more favourable to the industry in the Transvaal than elsewhere, consequently the product is not regarded with great favour. The enterprise, however, is a very prosperous one, being dependent almost entirely upon the sale of liquor to natives. For a number of years representations were made by the Chamber of Mines on behalf of the industry, by individuals and by public petitions, with the object of controlling the liquor trade and properly enforcing the laws which already existed. The following terse summary of the evils resulting from this sale of liquor is taken from the report of the Chamber of Mines for 1895. Unfortunately the remarks apply equally well to-day:

There is, indeed, no doubt that one of the greatest difficulties with which local employers have to deal is the question of the liquor trade. In very many cases the liquor supplied to the natives is of the vilest quality, quickly inflaming those who take it to madness, and causing the faction fights which sometimes have fatal results, and always lead to the, at any rate, temporary disablement of some of the combatants, and the damaging of property. Accidents, too, are often attributable to the effects of drink, and altogether, as stated in the resolutions, a large percentage of the deaths among the natives here is directly due to drink. In its bearing on the labour question, drink also plays an important part. The shortness in the supply, as compared with the demand for labour, has been accentuated by it. Where possible more natives are kept in the compounds than are actually required for the work to be done, to make allowance for those who are disabled by drink.

The granting of licenses to liquor houses was carried to such an extreme that at last the entire community rose against it, and the expression of opinion was so strong that the Government was compelled to make a show of deferring to it. Involved in the liquor question was the matter of police, and arising out of this, again, was the question of dealing with crime in general, including the gold and amalgam stealing that was known to be carried on on a considerable scale at the expense of the companies.

The Attorney-General, or State Attorney, as he is called in the Transvaal, is the responsible head of the Law Department, and until lately was the departmental head of the police. The gentleman then occupying the position of State Attorney was peculiarly unfit—in the midst of that world of unfitness—for the duties which he was supposed to perform. He was removed from office, and after considerable negotiation Mr. Esselen was prevailed upon at a great monetary sacrifice to accept the position of State Attorney, he stipulating that he should have a free hand in reorganizing the detective and police forces. During the months in which Mr. Esselen continued in office admirable reforms were introduced, and a very appreciable influence was exercised on the condition of affairs in Johannesburg. It is inadvisable to state explicitly the nature of the objections which existed against some of the officials employed under the former régime; it is sufficient that they were proved to be participators in the offences which they were specially employed to suppress. Mr. Esselen's first step was to appoint as chief detective an officer borrowed from the Cape Colonial Government, Mr. Andrew Trimble, who in a very little while showed that courage and honesty of purpose could not only effect considerable reforms, but could provoke the undisguised and fierce hostility of a very large section of the community. The canteen keepers were up in arms; the illicit gold buyers left no stone unturned; the hangers-on of the Government lost no opportunity in their campaign against Mr. Esselen and his subordinate and their reforms. The liveliest satisfaction however was expressed by all those whose interest it was to have matters conducted decently and honestly, and who had no interest in crime except so far as its suppression was concerned. Representation was secured for the Chamber of Mines upon one of the licensing bodies, and here, too, a very appreciable result followed. During Mr. Esselen's term of office all went well as far as the public were concerned, but influences were soon at work to undermine the two reforming officials. It was represented to the President that Mr. Trimble had once been in the British army; that he was even then a subject of the Queen, and entitled to a pension from the Cape Government. The canteen interest on the goldfields, playing upon the prejudices of the Boers, represented that this was unfitting the dignity of the Republic. The President, who was too shrewd to be caught with such chaff, was perfectly ready to support them for the sake of the liquor interest, which for him constitutes a very useful electioneering and political agency throughout the country. Mr. Esselen was sent for, and it was represented to him by the President that the employment of a British subject in such a responsible office as that of chief detective was repugnant to the burghers. The reply was that it was competent for the Executive to naturalize Mr. Trimble at once and so remove the objection, the Government having power in special cases to dispense with the conditions of the Naturalization Law—a power frequently exercised in the case of their Hollander friends. The President, in reply, stated that it could not be done, and he appealed to Mr. Esselen to select a man of another nationality—'a Frenchman, German, or even an American'—this last being a concession wrung from him by Mr. Esselen's soothing suggestion that the Chief of Police should be familiar with the language of the criminal classes. The hitch was maintained for some months, but finally the influences on the side of the President became too strong, and when it became clear that the many months of laborious work and self-sacrifice which had been given in the interests of reform were to be nullified by the appointment of a creature who would connive at every breach of the law, Mr. Esselen decided to stand or fall by his subordinate, the result being a triumph for the President.

In Mr. Esselen's place there was appointed as State Attorney Dr. Coster, a Hollander, who however declined to have anything to do with the organization of the police; and in Mr. Trimble's stead reappeared the individual whom he had superseded and whose services had been dispensed with.{15} The triumph of the back-door influences was again complete and the blow was a very nasty one to the mining industry.

Small wonder that at about this time the Uitlander community stopped all agitation, and that a mood of sullen opposition and discontent took its place. Hope was absolutely dead as abuse after abuse and scandal after scandal were showered upon them during the Session of 1895. Some of the acts of the Volksraad cut at the foundation of all security. In the early days of the Republic the Volksraad members had taken it upon themselves to reverse several of the decisions of the High Court, and in one case where the Government was being sued for the fulfilment of a contract the Volksraad had passed a resolution absolving the Government from certain terms of the contract. The decision of the Court, delivered by Chief Justice Kotzé, was to the effect that if the Volksraad should take a decision in conflict with an existing law, that law became ipso facto so far modified. In another case (the Dom's case) a resolution was passed disabling the aggrieved individual from taking action against the Government; in another, where the responsibility of the Government for the maintenance of roads had been indicated by a judgment for £1,000 damages, a law was passed in defiance of the conditions of the Grondwet, which stipulates for a period of notice and publication for proposed enactments, absolving the Government from all damages of this nature.

More than once laws were passed with retroactive effect—truly one of the grossest abuses possible for a civilized Government. But perhaps the most startling case of all was that concerning the proclamation of the farm Witfontein. This farm had been proclaimed a public digging open for pegging on a certain hour of a certain day. An unprecedented rush of peggers took place. The Government, fearing a riot and ignoring their obvious duty in the matter of police protection and the maintenance of order, issued an illegal notice withdrawing the proclamation, and decided to give out the claims by means of lottery. Numbers of prospectors pegged out claims notwithstanding this, and the prospect of legal difficulties being imminent the Government submitted a measure to the Volksraad, passed also in defiance of Grondwet provisions, which was broadly to the effect that all persons who considered that they had claims for damages against the Government in regard to the farm Witfontein and the proclamation thereof, had none, and that the Government was absolved from all liability in this respect. This enactment was only passed after several persons had signified their intention to sue the Government. The Raad was in fact becoming familiar with the process of tampering with the Grondwet and members appeared ready to act on the dictates of their own sweet will without regard to consequences or laws.

On several occasions the President and Executive had treated with contempt the decisions of the High Court, and had practically and publicly reversed them. There are many instances which it is not necessary to quote but among the best-known and most instructive ones are the two cases known as the 'Rachmann' and 'April' cases. Rachmann was an Indian and a British subject, well educated, far better educated indeed than the Boer of the country. In following a strayed horse he had trespassed on the farm of one of the members of the First Raad. He was arrested and charged with intent to steal, tried by the owner's brother, who was a Field-cornet (district justice), and sentenced to receive twenty-five lashes and to pay a fine, the same sentence being meted out to his Hottentot servant who accompanied him. Rachmann protested and noted an appeal, stating (which was the fact) that it was not within the power of a Field-cornet to inflict lashes, and at the same time he offered security to the value of £40 pending the appeal. His protests were disregarded and he was flogged. Not being a native in the sense in which the law uses the term—i.e., a member of the aboriginal races—he could plead that he was not within the jurisdiction of a Field-cornet, and there is no doubt that the punishment was inflicted with full knowledge of its illegality. Rachmann sued Mr. George Meyer, the Field-cornet in question, in the Circuit Court and obtained judgment and a considerable sum in damages, the presiding judge, Dr. Jorissen, animadverting with severity upon the conduct of the official. Meyer shortly afterwards obtained from Government the amount of his pecuniary loss through the affair, the President stating that he had acted in his official capacity and that they should protect him.

The 'April' case was one in which an unfortunate native named April, having worked for a number of years for a farmer on promise of certain payment in cattle and having completed his term, applied for payment and a permit to travel through the district. On some trivial pretext this was refused him, his cattle were seized, and himself and his wives and children forcibly retained in the service of the Boer. He appealed to the nearest official, Field-cornet Prinsloo, who acted in a particularly barbarous and unjustifiable manner, so that the Chief Justice before whom the case was heard (when April having enlisted the sympathy of some white people was enabled to make an appeal) characterized Prinsloo's conduct as brutal in the extreme and a flagrant abuse of power perpetrated with the aim of establishing slavery. Judgment was given against Prinsloo with all costs. Within a few days of this decision being arrived at the President addressing a meeting of burghers publicly announced that the Government had reimbursed Prinsloo, adding, 'Notwithstanding the judgment of the High Court, we consider Prinsloo to have been right.'

Actions of this kind have a distinct and very evil influence upon the supply of native labour. No attempt is made to supply the industry with natives, or to protect the natives whilst on their way to and from the mines. The position became so bad that the Chamber of Mines instituted a department with a highly-paid official at its head to organize supply. It would inadequately describe the position to say that the Government have rendered the Chamber of Mines no assistance. Indeed, it appears as though the officials in the country had of set purpose hindered in every way possible the work so necessary to the working of the industry on profitable lines. Agencies were established in all the neighbouring territories. Some of the tribes declined to work in the Transvaal on account of the risks of highway-robbery and personal violence which they ran en route. In one case an effort was made by certain mine-owners to meet the difficulty by importing a whole tribe—men, women, and children—from Basutoland and locating them upon an adjacent farm. There is however a law known as the Plakkerswet, or Squatters' Law, which, framed with that peculiar cunning for which the Transvaal Government have achieved a reputation, has the appearance of aiming at the improvement of the native labour supply whilst in effect it does the opposite. It provides that not more than five families may reside upon one farm, the 'family' being an adult male with or without women and children. Ostensibly the law purports to prevent the squatting together of natives in large numbers and in idleness. As a matter of fact however the law is not applied in the cases of Boer farmers. From the President downwards the Boers own farms on which hundreds of families are allowed to remain, paying their hut-taxes and contributing largely to the prosperity of the land-owner. In the case of the Uitlander however there seems to be a principle at stake, as the mine-owners above referred to found to their cost. No sooner had they located their tribe and provided them with all the conditions necessary to comfort than an official came down to them, Plakkerswet in hand, and removed all except the five allowed by law and distributed them among his friends and relations. The experiment has not been repeated.

Early in 1894 the Chamber of Mines received assurances from the Government that if they would prepare a Pass Law which would include provisions for the protection of natives, for the regulation of their relations with employers, and for their right to travel within the country, the Government would give their support to the measure and would endeavour to have it adopted by the Volksraad. The Commissioner for Native Affairs, General Joubert, admitted his inability to deal with so complex an affair, and gratefully accepted the aid of the Chamber. Such a concession on the part of the Government was regarded as highly satisfactory; the law was prepared, everything was explained and agreed to, the support of the Government was promised to the draft law, and it was anticipated that it would come into force during the Session of 1894. Such was not the case. It remained pigeon-holed throughout 1894 and 1895, and in the last days of the latter Session the law was passed; but an important omission occurred. The Government forgot to create the department to carry out the law, so that by the end of 1895 the men were no nearer having a workable law than ever. But reforms when introduced by the Transvaal Government, are not usually without an object, although not necessarily the declared one. An opportunity was here presented to the President to recognize past services, and he appointed to an office which required the highest intelligence experience character and zeal an individual who had been implicated in two disgraceful charges and who, having failed to clear himself had been dismissed his office by the Boer Government not two years previously. There was but one explanation forthcoming. The individual in question was a political supporter of the President and brother of a member of the Executive Council. No department has yet been created; but a chief has been appointed at a good salary, and the Pass Law has been proclaimed in one district of the Witwatersrand out of several; so that a measure which was designed to effect an immense saving in expense and convenience to the mining industry was by the appointment of an improper man and the neglect to organize a department rendered quite useless, and by partial promulgation it was made even detrimental.{16}

It has been aptly said of the Boers—and the present instance illustrates the truth of the remark—that reform with them seems to be impossible; because, in the first place, they do not know what to do; in the second place, if they did, they have not got the men to do it; and, in the third place, if they had the men, they show no conception of a duty higher than that of utilizing every opportunity for personal advantage.{17} To the uninitiated it may well be a puzzle that President Kruger should encourage a system aiming so directly at the strangling of an industry which is the mainstay of the country; but in order to appreciate his motives it is necessary to see things from his point of view. He and his party are not desirous of cheapening the cost of production. He does not aim at enabling the ever-increasing alien population to work lower-grade mines, and so double or treble the number of immigrants, even though it should profit the revenue of the country. A proposal was once made to proclaim as a public field the town lands of Pretoria—that is to say, to enable the public to prospect, and if results warranted, to open up mines on the lands—some thousands of acres in extent—surrounding the town. The President attended the debate in the Second Raad and violently opposed the measure. The appeal at the end of his address is perhaps as instructive as anything Mr. Kruger has said. 'Stop and think what you are doing,' he exclaimed, 'before you throw fresh fields open. Look at Johannesburg. See what a trouble and expense it is to us. We have enough gold and enough gold-seekers in the country already. For all you know there may be another Witwatersrand at your very feet.'

In January, 1891, the average wage for native labourers was £2 2s. per head per month. In 1893 it had risen to £2 18s. 10d., in 1895 to £3 3s. 6d. In other South African States wages rule from 15s. to 30s. per month, and the failure to facilitate the introduction of natives from outside and to protect them is largely responsible for the high figures paid on the Rand. Unquestionably the ill-will of the Boer Government is to blame for the consistent neglect of this growing need of the mines. If decent protection and facilities were given, the wage could be reduced to £1 15s. per month. The Government has it in its power to give the mines labour at this price, but, as a matter of fact, there is no desire to see the lower-grade mines working. A reduction of £1 a month—that is, to £2 3s. 6d.—would mean an annual saving of £650,000, and the main reason why nothing has been done to obtain this reduction is that President Kruger holds that the gold fields are already big enough and that their further extension would be a calamity.

Early in 1895 considerable suspicion and uneasiness were aroused by indications of the growth of the German policy. The commercial section of the community was disturbed by reports of secret arrangements favouring German importers. Facilities were given, and 'through rates' quoted from Hamburg to Johannesburg at a reduction which appeared to be greater than any economies in sea transport, coupled with the complete elimination of agency charges, would warrant. The formal opening of the Delagoa Bay Railway by the President furnished him with an opportunity to express with significant emphasis his friendliness for all things German. At a banquet given in honour of the German Emperor's birthday, January 27, 1895, the President, after eulogizing the old Emperor William, the present Emperor, and the loyalty of the Germans in the Transvaal, continued:

The latter I experienced once again at the time of the Kaffir War. One day three or four Germans came to me and said: 'We are indeed not naturalized, and are still subjects of our Emperor in Germany, but we enjoy the advantages of this country, and are ready to defend it in accordance with its laws. If your Excellency requires our services, we are willing to march out.' And they marched. That is the spirit which I admire. They were under the laws, they worked under the laws, they obeyed the laws, and they fell in war under the laws. All my subjects are not so minded. The English, for instance, although they behave themselves properly and are loyal to the State, always fall back upon England when it suits their purpose. Therefore I shall ever promote the interests of Germany, though it be but with the resources of a child, such as my land is considered. This child is now being trodden upon by one great Power, and the natural consequence is that it seeks protection from another. The time has come to knit ties of the closest friendship between Germany and the South African Republic—ties such as are natural between father and child.

The very considerable increase in the number of Germans, and the positive statement that a great many men of military training were coming out for service in the Transvaal, that officers were being employed to work up the artillery and to design forts, all tended to increase the feeling of intense dissatisfaction and uneasiness which culminated in the outbreak at the close of the year. Dr. Leyds, it was well known, went on a political mission to Lisbon and to Berlin, and it was stated that large sums had been withdrawn from the Treasury and charged to the secret service fund, the handling of which was entrusted to this gentleman. Dr. Leyds' personal popularity, never very great, was at the lowest possible ebb. He was regarded as the incarnation of Hollanderism—the 'head and front' of that detested influence. It was not credited to him in the Transvaal, as it has been elsewhere, that he designed or prompted the policy against the Uitlanders. There it is fully appreciated that there is but one man in it, and that man President Kruger. Dr. Leyds and others may be and are clever and willing tools. They may lend acidity or offensiveness to a hostile despatch, they may add a twist or two to a tortuous policy, but the policy is President Kruger's own, the methods are his own, all but the minor details. Much as the Hollander-German clique may profit by their alliance with Mr. Kruger, it is not to be believed that he is deceived. He regards them as handy instruments and ready agents. If they profit by the association, they do so at the expense of the accursed Uitlander; but there is no intention on Mr. Kruger's part to allow Germany or Holland to secure a permanent hold over the Republic, any more than he would allow England to increase hers. He has played off one against another with consummate skill.

Early in his official career Dr. Leyds was guilty of an indiscretion such as few would have suspected him of. Shortly after his appointment as Attorney-General he wrote to a friend in Holland, giving his opinion of the Members of the Executive. His judgment was sound; except of one man. Unfortunately for Dr. Leyds, he quarrelled with his correspondent; and the letter was of such a nature that, when published, it made extremely unpleasant reading. Generals Joubert and Smit, who had been described with admirable truth and candour, were so enraged that they demanded the instant dismissal of the 'conceited young popinjay' who had dared to criticise his masters. The President, however, who had been described as an ignorant, narrow-minded, pig-headed, and irascible old Boer whom—with the others thrown in—the writer could play with and twist round his finger as he chose, was not disturbed by the criticism. In reply to appeals for forgiveness on the score of youth, and in spite of the opposition of his colleagues, President Kruger agreed to retain Dr. Leyds in office, remarking that he was a capable young fellow and would know better in course of time, and explaining to him personally that he would keep him there just as long as it suited his (the President's) convenience. The association has lasted for ten years, so it is to be presumed that Dr. Leyds has changed his opinion of President Kruger, and frankly realized his position.

During the early part of 1896, when the question of the release on bail of the reform prisoners seemed to be of some moment, a well-known Pretoria man, friendly to the Government, called upon President Kruger and urged the advisability of allowing the prisoners out on bail, and with considerable lack of tact explained that it was well known that the President's humane nature inclined him to be lenient, but that the malign influence of others was believed to be swaying him in this matter. The old President jumped up in a huff and said, 'Ja, ja, ja! You always say it is somebody else! First, it was Jorissen who did everything; then it was Nellmapius; and then it was Leyds. Well, Jorissen is done for; Nellmapius is dead; Leyds is in Europe—who is it now?'

The President's opinion of himself may be commended as food for reflection to those who think they know everything about the inner workings of the Transvaal.

Dr. Leyds' reputation, unfavourable as it had been, was not improved by the Selati Railway exposure. Rightly or wrongly, in this matter, as in the jobs of the Netherlands Railway and several others of considerable magnitude, he has been held responsible in the public mind for the financial loss which the Republic sustained. When he left, ostensibly on a recruiting trip, few—very few—believed that the illness was a physical one. It is alleged that a gentleman on President Faure's staff, on hearing that Dr. Leyds had gone to Berlin to consult a physician, inquired what the ailment was? 'Mal de gorge,' was the reply. 'Ah,' said the officer, 'mal de gorge—diplomatique.' And that was the opinion in the Transvaal, albeit differently expressed.

It is impossible within the limits of this volume nor is it at all necessary to review all the measures which have been passed by the Volksraad and pressed by the Government unnecessarily burdening the Uitlanders and unjustifiably assailing their rights; such for instance as the Election Law, which made it a crime to form Committees or do any of those things which are regarded everywhere as part of the legitimate business of elections—thus leaving Mr. Kruger the sole master of electioneering machinery, namely, the Government officials. The Public Meetings Act was another monstrous infringement of rights. By it a policeman has the right to disperse any gathering of more than seven persons, if in his opinion it be desirable. Imagine it! Liberty of Speech against the Discretion of a Transvaal policeman! But the list would be long, and the tale monotonous. And as long and equally monotonous would be the list of the measures proposed or threatened, but fortunately not carried. However, the review of the period prior to 1896, and the statement of the causes leading to the outbreak, may fitly be brought to a close by the recital of some of the measures under both the above headings which grace the records of the Session of 1895.

As is well known, the Grondwet (the written constitution of the country) prescribes certain formalities for the introduction of new laws. In order to evade the law, and so avoid hostile criticism of proposed measures, in order, in fact, to prevent the public and even the Volksraad members from knowing and studying or explaining and digesting the intended legislation, it has become the practice of the Government to propose and rush through the most radical and important enactments in the form of amendments or explanations of existing laws. Prior to 1895 the Transfer Law imposed a tax of 4 per cent. upon the purchase-price of fixed property; and in the case of sales for shares a valuation of the property was made by the Government district officials, and transfer duty was paid on the amount of the valuation. This was universally done in the case of claims, which must of necessity in most instances be transferred several times before they become registered in the name of the company eventually working them. It was admitted that to pay 4 per cent. of full value on every transfer, or to pay 4 per cent. on the nominal value of ground on which years of work would have to be done and large sums of money expended before shareholders could reap one pennyworth of profit would be iniquitous. In 1895, however, the Raad thought otherwise, and amended the law by the insertion of the words 'in cash or shares' after the words 'purchase-price.' The result is, that owners who have acquired claims at great cost, who have paid licenses continuously on their claims, and who have paid full transfer duty on each nominal change of ownership, necessary to consolidation into workable blocks or groups, are now required to pay again in cash 4 per cent. on the total capital allotted in respect of these claims in the company formed to work them. Members of the Raad, in supporting this measure, did not hesitate to argue that it was a good law, because the burghers did not sell their farms for shares, but for cash, and it was right to tax those people who deal in shares.

The sense of insecurity which obtains during the Sessions of the Raad is due scarcely less to the threats which are not fulfilled and attempts which do not succeed, than to what is actually compassed. A direct tax on gold has more than once been threatened; concessions for cyanide, jam, bread, biscuits, and woollen fabrics were all attempted. The revival of an obsolete provision by which the Government can claim a royalty on the gold from 'mynpachts,' or mining leases, has been promised, and it is almost as much expected as it is dreaded.

With a monotony which is wearying, but which does not diminish the unfortunate Uitlanders' interest in the subject, the burden of every measure falls on the alien. One more instance will suffice. It illustrates the Hollander-Boer genius for fulfilling the letter and breaking the spirit of a covenant. It was notified that Government were about to introduce a war tax, and that this tax was to be one of £20 per farm, to be levied in event of war if in the opinion of the Government it should be necessary. Much surprise was felt that anything so unfavourable to the Boers as a tax on farms should be proposed. When the measure came on for discussion it was found to contain provisions exempting the owner who personally resided on his farm, and especially and definitely taxing those farms which are owned by companies, associations, corporations, or partnerships. The Boer, it is well known, takes no shares in companies, joins no associations, and has partnership with no one. This law was shelved in 1895, but has since been passed.{18} It is of a piece with the rest. Having sold his farm to the Uitlander, the Boer now proceeds to plunder him: and 'plunder' is not too strong a word when it is realized that the tax falls, not on the really valuable farms of the high veld, which are nearly all owned by individuals, and are all occupied, but on the undeveloped outlying farms, the rentable value of which would not on the average suffice to pay the tax! Indeed, one very large land-owner stated to the Government at the time, that if this law were passed and put in force, they might take all his rentals good and bad in lieu of the tax, as it would pay him better!

These were matters which more immediately concerned persons of certain means. There is another matter, however, which very directly concerned every individual who had any intention of remaining in the country; that is, the matter of education. A dead set had always been made by the Transvaal Government against any encouragement of liberal education which would involve the use or even recognition of the English language. Indeed, some of the legislators have been known to express the opinion that education was not by any means desirable, as it taught the rising generation to look with contempt on the hardy Voortrekkers; and an interesting debate is on record, in which members pointedly opposed the granting of facilities for the education of their own women-kind, on the ground that presently the women would be found reading books and newspapers instead of doing their work, and would soon get to know more than their fathers, husbands, and brothers, and would, as a consequence, quickly get out of hand. It did not seem to occur to these worthy gentlemen that the proper course would be to educate the men. But it would not be fair to take this view as the representative one. On the point of the English language, however, and the refusal to give any facilities for the education of Uitlander children, the Boer legislature is practically unanimous. The appalling consequences of allowing the young population to grow up in absolute ignorance were realized by the people of Johannesburg, and efforts were constantly made to induce the Government to recognize the evil that was growing in the State. The efforts were so entirely unsuccessful that the Uitlanders found in this as in other cases that nothing would be done unless they did it for themselves. A fund was opened, to which very liberal donations were made. The services of a Director-General were secured, and an Educational Council was elected. A comprehensive scheme of education—in the first place for the Rand district, but intended to be extended ultimately for the benefit of the whole of the Uitlander population in the Transvaal—was devised, and it was calculated that in the course of a few years a fund of close upon half a million of money would be required, and would be raised, in order to place educational facilities within the reach of the people. Needless to say, this did not at all square with the policy of the Transvaal Government, and the scheme was looked upon with the utmost disfavour. In order to defeat it, the Superintendent-General of Education, Dr. Mansvelt, a Hollander, who for six years had degraded his high office to the level of a political engine, felt himself called upon to do something—something to trail the red herring across the too hot scent; and he intimated that more liberal measures would be introduced during the Session of 1895, and in his report proposed certain amendments to the existing law, which would (in appearance, but, alas! not in fact) improve the condition of the Uitlander. The following letter appearing in the London Times, on October 3, 1896, although dealing with a period some months later than that under review, explains the position with authority and clearness—a position which has not been materially altered, except for the worse, during Dr. Mansvelt's régime. It will be noted that the last-named gentleman coupled with his 'liberal' provisions the suggestion that all schools, except those of the State, should be suppressed. Such a suggestion reveals very clearly the aim of this 'Reform' measure.

SIR,

I trust you will allow me a little space with a view to enable me to correct, by the application of a little wholesome fact, the erroneous impression which has been created in England with reference to the education of Uitlanders in the Transvaal by recent crude and ill-considered expressions of opinion, notably by Mr. Reginald Statham and Mr. Chamberlain.

Mr. ----, in a letter addressed to one of your contemporaries, informed the British public that in view of a liberal Government grant of £4 per head per annum, the Transvaal Uitlander had nothing to complain of in respect to education. As Mr. ---- claims to be completely informed on Transvaal politics, he can only have been guilty of a deliberate, if not malicious suppressio veri when he omitted to say that, like most of the legislation of this country, which has for its ostensible object the amelioration of the condition of the Uitlander, this measure, which looks like munificence at first sight, has been rendered practically inoperative by the conditions which hedge it round. Take, for example, a school of 100 children. Strike out ten as being under age, ten as having been too short a time at school, twenty as suspected of being of Dutch parentage. Out of the sixty that remain suppose fifty satisfy the inspector in the Dutch language and history, and you have as your allowance for the year £200—a sum which is insufficient to pay the Dutch teacher employed to bring the children up to the required standard in that language. It is small wonder, then, that most teachers prefer to dispense with this Will-o'-the-wisp grant altogether, seeing that the efforts of some to earn it have resulted in pecuniary loss. The actual sum expended on Uitlander schools last year amounted to £650, or 1s. 10d. a head out of a total expenditure for education of £63,000, the expenditure per Dutch child amounting to £8 6s. 1d.

Mr. Chamberlain considers the new educational law for Johannesburg as a subject for gratulation. I should have thought that his recent dealings with Pretoria would have suggested to him as a statesman that felicitations upon the passing of a vague and absolutely undefined measure might possibly be a little too premature. A Volksraad, which only rejected the forcible closing of private schools by a majority of two votes, is hardly likely to give the Executive carte blanche to deal with Uitlander education without some understanding, tacit or declared, as to how this power is to be wielded. Be that as it may, nearly two months have elapsed since the passing of a measure which was to come into operation at once, and nothing has been done. In the meantime, we can learn from the inspired press and other sources that English schools which desire aid under the new law must be prepared to give instruction in Standard V. and upwards, and entirely in the Dutch language. So far, the Superintendent of Education, whether acting under instructions or on his own initiative, has been absolutely immovable on this point, and the much-vaunted law promises to be as much a dead letter as the 1s. 10d. grant. The Johannesburg Council of Education has exerted its influence to secure such an interpretation of the new law as would lead to the establishment of schools where Dutch and English children might sit side by side, and so work towards establishing a bond of sympathy and the eventual blending of the races. The Pretoria authorities however refuse to entertain the idea of meeting the Uitlander in a conciliatory spirit on anything like equal terms, but will only treat with us on the footing of master and servant. A curious and almost inexplicable feature of the situation is the fact that hundreds of Boers are clamouring for the better instruction of their children in English, but which is steadfastly refused them.

I might enlarge on what I have written, and point out the injustice and the gross system of extortion practised by the Government in making Johannesburg pay something like £7 per head for the education of Dutch children, whilst it has to pay from £5 to £15 per annum for the education of each child of its own, meanwhile leaving hundreds growing up in the blackest ignorance and crime. Any comment would, however, lay me open to the charge of bias and partisanship, and I therefore confine myself to the simple statement of a few facts, which I challenge anyone to controvert, leaving the reader to draw his own conclusions.

I am, sir, yours, etc.,
JOHN ROBINSON,
Director-General Johannesburg
Educational Council.

Imagine it! £650 used for the children of those who contributed nine-tenths of the £63,000 spent on education!

The succession of flagrant jobs, the revelation of abuses unsuspected, the point-blank refusal to effect any reasonable reforms had filled the Uitlanders' cup perilously full, and during the latter half of 1895 the prospect of any change for the better, except at the cost of fighting, was generally realized to be very poor indeed.

Trouble came to South Africa with the end of 1895. It very nearly came earlier. Mention has been made that the Netherlands Railway Company practically dictates the relations of the Transvaal with the other States in South Africa by means of its tariffs. The competition between the Cape, Natal and Delagoa lines having become very keen, and the Cape service by superior management and easier gradients having secured the largest share of the carrying trade, attempts were made to effect a different division of profits. Negotiations failed to bring the various parties to terms, and owing to the policy of the Netherlands Railway Company, the Cape Colony and Free State, whose interests were common, were in spirit very hostile to the Transvaal, and bitterly resentful of the policy whereby a foreign corporation was aided to profit enormously to the detriment of the sister South African States. After all that the Colonial and Free State Dutch had done for their Transvaal brethren in days of stress and adversity, it was felt to be base ingratitude to hinder their trade and tax their products.

The Cape Colony-Free State line ends at the Vaal River. Thence all goods are carried over the Netherlands Railway Company's section to Johannesburg, a distance of about fifty miles. In order to handicap the southern line, an excessive rate was imposed for carriage on this section. Even at the present time the tariff is 8-1/2d. per ton per mile, as against a rate of about 3d. with which the other two lines are favoured. Notwithstanding this, however, and the obstructions placed in the way by obnoxious regulations and deliberate blocking of the line with loaded trucks at Vereeniging, and also the blocking of Johannesburg stations by non-delivery of goods—measures which resulted sometimes in a delay of months in delivery, and sometimes in the destruction or loss of the goods—the Southern line more than held its own. The block was overcome by off-loading goods at the Vaal River and transporting them to Johannesburg by mule and ox waggons.

Mr. Kruger and his Hollander friends were almost beaten when the President played his last card. He intimated his intention to close the Vaal River drifts against over-sea goods, and, by thus preventing the use of waggons, to force all traffic on to his railways upon his terms; and as the threat did not bring the Colony and Free State to the proper frame of mind, he closed them. This was a flagrant breach of the London Convention, and as such it was reported by the High Commissioner to Mr. Chamberlain, and imperial intervention was asked. Mr. Chamberlain replied that it was a matter most closely affecting the Colony, and he required, before dealing with it, to have the assurance of the Colonial Government that, in the event of war resulting, the cost of the campaign would be borne, share and share alike, by the Imperial and Colonial Governments, and that the latter would transport troops over their lines free of charge. Such was the indignation in the Colony at the treatment accorded it that the terms were at once agreed to—a truly significant fact when it is realized that the Ministry undertaking this responsibility had been put and was maintained in office by the Dutch party, and included in its members the best and most pronounced Africander representatives. But Mr. Kruger is not easily 'cornered.' His unfailing instinct told him that business was meant when he received Mr. Chamberlain's ultimatum to open the drifts. The President 'climbed down' and opened them! He has several advantages which other leaders of men have not, and among them is that of having little or no pride. He will bluster and bluff and bully when occasion seems to warrant it; but when his judgment warns him that he has gone as far as he prudently can, he will alter his tactics as promptly and dispassionately as one changes one's coat to suit the varying conditions of the weather. Mr. Kruger climbed down! It did not worry him, nor did he take shame that he had failed. He climbed down, as he had done before in the Stellaland affair, the Banjailand trek, the commandeering incident, and as he no doubt will do in others; for he may bluff hard, but it will take a great deal to make him fight. There is one matter upon which Mr. Kruger's judgment is perfect: he can judge the 'breaking strain' to a nicety. He climbs down, but he is not beaten; for as surely as the dammed stream will seek its outlet, so surely will the old Dutchman pursue his settled aim.

War is war, and always bad; but sometimes worse; for the cause is still a mighty factor, as those may see who contrast the probable effects upon the people of South Africa of war on the drifts question with the actual results of the Jameson raid.

Footnotes for Chapter II

{04} Among the first notes which poor Colley—brave, wise, generous, and unlucky—wrote after taking office, was one containing these words: 'Whether I ... shall find that South Africa is to me, as it is said to be in general, "the grave of all good reputations," remains to be seen.'

{05} See Appendix A for the full text of the Pretoria Convention.

{06} In February, 1898, he was elected for the fourth time.

{07} For full text of London Convention, see Appendix B. (July, 1899). A very extensive correspondence has passed on the subject of the suzerainty. The Transvaal Government now construe the omission of the Preamble to the 1881 Convention as the result of an agreement to abolish the suzerainty. Mr. Chamberlain points out that the London Convention contains specific and not implied amendments of the Pretoria Convention; that the direct request for abolition of the suzerainty was refused by Lord Derby; that the preamble as the fundamental declaration must be deemed to be in force; and that if not, the same reason which is adduced against the continued existence of the suzerainty would hold good against the independence of the Transvaal, for in the preamble of the 1881 Convention alone is any mention made of either the grant or the reservation.

{08} Written August, 1896.

{09} To those who are not familiar with the conditions of the country, it will seem incredible that the legislative body could be 'fooled' on such a subject. The extracts from the newspaper reports of the Raad's proceedings, printed in Appendix D of this volume, will help them to understand and believe.

{10} The above has been brought up to date for publication, July, 1899.

{11} Except on the goldfields, where the appointments are made by Government.

{12} For Volksraad records on this subject see Appendix C.

{13} The decision of the High Court was given in November, 1896, in favour of the combined companies on all points, and the patents were thus declared to be invalid!

{14} During the session of '96 the Volksraad decided to put the bewaarplaatsen up for public auction, the proceeds of the sale to be divided equally between the Government and the original owners of the farms on which the bewaarplaatsen had been granted. The alleged reason for this decision is that the areas in question are immensely valuable, and the State and the owners should profit by them, whilst the companies should be afforded an opportunity of acquiring them at a fair price. The real reason is that the companies had refused to be blackmailed further; and the 'defence' funds not being forthcoming, the gentlemen of the back-stairs had introduced the ingenious arrangement safeguarding the original owners' rights, having previously 'arranged' with the same owners. The excuse that the areas are too valuable to be given away to the companies is as illogical and ridiculous as the excuse that the Uitlanders are too numerous to justify the granting of the franchise now. When the questions were first raised there were neither great values nor large numbers in existence. They were questions of principle and justice; and the fact that 'values' and 'numbers' have grown during the years of struggle in no way justifies the course taken, but rather shows very clearly the magnitude of the injustice done during the years of unjustifiable denial.

This decision shows with admirable clearness how the Uitlander fares at the hands of the Government. There were, in the last stage of the affair, four parties concerned: the Government, who are by law expressly debarred from selling claims (except in case of overdue licenses), and are obliged to allot them for the consideration of specified license fees only; the owners of the farms, who are similarly debarred and are compensated in other ways for the throwing open of their farms; the 'applicants,' who have been described elsewhere; and the surface-owners, the mining companies, who were in possession. Only one of these parties had the slenderest claim to compensation—namely, the companies, who must inevitably be disturbed in the possession of the surface by allowing others to work on or under it. But they get nothing; whilst the Government and the 'owner' (both of whom had years before derived the fullest profit allowed by law from these areas in the form of licenses), and the 'applicants' (who have allied themselves with the 'owners'), divide as compensation the proceeds of the auction!

{15} (July, 1899.) This individual has been again removed—this time by the present State Attorney, Mr. Smuts.

{16} (July, 1899.) Provision was made for the costs of this department by doubling the pass fee. In the early days of Johannesburg as soon as it became evident that hospital accommodation was necessary, application was made to the Government for a site (which was granted on the hill then outside the town), and for some monetary assistance. A fund was also publicly subscribed and the hospital built. For the maintenance of the hospital two plans were adopted: one, the collection of funds once a year, i.e., Hospital Saturday, a source which has yielded steadily between £2,000 and £3,000; two, having in view the immense number of native cases which required treatment and the extent to which a native is responsible for unsanitary conditions, it was proposed to impose upon them a fee of 1s. per month for their passes, the proceeds of this to be devoted entirely to the hospital. For several years this continued to yield sufficient for the purpose. The Transvaal Government, although accepting the plan proposed by the Uitlanders and for a considerable time carrying it out faithfully, did not establish the right permanently but adopted the formality of voting the proceeds of the pass-fee year by year. There came a year when the Raad in its wisdom decided that this source of revenue was too precarious for so worthy an object as the hospital, and they decided to vote instead an annual subsidy of £30,000. It was then known that the fees of the past year had amounted to over £40,000 and there was every prospect of steady annual increase. This explains why a seemingly generous subsidy by the Government does not meet with that hearty recognition to which it is apparently entitled. When a Pass Department was proposed, the Government inquired how it was suggested to maintain it. The Chamber of Mines proposed to raise the pass fee from 1s. to 2s. per month, the extra shilling to be devoted entirely to the administration of the Pass Law. With the experience of the hospital shilling in mind particular care was taken to have the agreement minuted and confirmed in writing. Nevertheless, it transpired in the evidence given at the Industrial Commission that the department was being run at a cost of slightly over £12,000 a year, whilst the proceeds of the shilling reached the respectable total of £150,000 a year. The Government, therefore, by a breach of agreement, make £138,000 a year out of the pass fund, and £120,000 a year out of the hospital fund; and the mining industry suffers in the meantime through maladministration in the department, and are doubly taxed in the sense that the companies have been obliged to establish and maintain at their own cost other hospitals all along the reef. It is not suggested that the companies should not provide hospitals, the point is that having established a fund, which although nominally paid by the natives really has to be made up to them in wages, they were entitled to the benefit of that fund.

{17} The story is told of two up-country Boers who applied to the President for appointments, and received the reply, 'What can I do for you? All the important offices are filled, and you are not educated enough to be clerks!'

{18} (July, 1899.) The law has been declared by the law officers of the Crown to be a breach of the London Convention.

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