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'legions, did not despair of binding them with some of 'the withs and cords which in violent moments they 'had often rent asunder. But restraints upon the * army were in fact restraints upon the Empire. And 'it soon began to be evident that the collision of these 'forces—the rising of the servants against the Master, 'their choice of some rival Master—would show what 'the blessing of an Empire is.'
Such is the language of the moral philosopher, and of one who was (if any man ever was) a religious prophet. But an identical testimony is rendered by one who is not only an experienced statesman, but one of the most successful Colonial administrators of modern times. Lord Carnarvon, in the course of an address on 'Imperial Administration,' delivered on November 5th, 1878, before the Edinburgh Philosophical Institution, aptly described both the true and the false side of what is called 'Imperialism' in the following language:—
'We can best tell what Imperialism is by ascertain'iug what it is not; and I apprehend on that point there 'will be very little difference of opinion amongst us. 'It is certainly not Caesarism. It is not that base 'second-hand copy of Continental despotisms, that bas'tard monarchy begotten in the slime of political and 'financial corruption. It has nothing to do with that. 'Despotisms, Mr. Burke has said, change their furni'ture and their fashions, but the evil principle prevails 'and reappears in every generation. They dazzle, 'indeed, by enlisting false teachers, and by arraying 'themselves in false colours; but, after all, they are 'hateful from top to bottom. They are utterly false; 'the benefits that they confer are short-lived, and they Lord Carnarvon on Imperialism. 411
'poison the very fount from which their own waters 'spring. Therefore we are clear on this point, that 'true Imperialism has nothing to do with this. Nor has 'it to do with what has been called personal govern'ment. Our Constitution is clear enough on this point. 'We know that the Crown has certain prerogatives;
* we know that Parliament has certain rights and duties;
* but neither Parliament nor the Crown may act alone.
* They must act in reference to each other, and their 'combined action is that which the Constitution con'templates and desires. True Imperialism is not that.
■ Nor is it again, I am sure we shall agree, mere bulk 'of territory and multiplication of subjects. I hear 'sometimes the words, " A great England and a little '" England ;" but we do not measure nations by 'their size or by their numbers, any more than we 'measure men by their inches. If we did, China
■ would be the model of our admiration; and the hosts 6 of Xerxes, and not the handful of Athenian citizens, 'would be the people we should reverence in the past 'history of the world. No! What we do look for is 'not the bulk of territory, but the class of men that
* are bred up and produced, and the qualities whicb 'those men have; and putting aside the highest of all, 'we may say this, that steadfastness of purpose, sim'plicity of character, truth, and the preference of that 'which is solid and substantial for that which is merely 'glittering and deceptive, have been the characteris'tics of Englishmen in past generations. Well, then, 'if it is none of all these, what is it, if indeed it has a 'meaning? I should say it is, first of all, to recognise, 'as I think my right hon. friend the Chancellor of the 'Exchequer very fairly said the other day—to recog'ni8e that there are duties which we owe beyond the 'limits of these four seas; and, secondly, to breathe 'into the whole of that mighty mass I have described, 'a common spirit of unity—to find for it that which 'would be the nearest approach to the patriotism that 'you look for in an individual. But then you may say to me, what is patriotism ?—and here again I am afraid I may say that the term, like Imperialism, has 'varied greatly. Like the word liberty, it has often 'been abused. There is a true patriotism and a false 'one. Horace Walpole, I think it was, says in one of 'his letters that at one time there was no declaration a 'public man could make that was more popular on the 'hustings than that he neither was nor had been nor 'would be a patriot; and we all know Mr. Canning's 'definition of a patriot—a man who was the friend of 'every country except his own. Well, a true patriot 'is neither of these. Nor is patriotism to be found in 'the nation, again, which, so to speak, swaggers down 'the High Street of the world with its hat cocked, and 'on the look-out for some fancied insult or affront. I 'will only say that you might find for such a character 'in public a counterpart in private life; but I think 'we should all agree that in private life he was a very • disputative, quarrelsome, disagreeable companion. 'No, ladies and gentlemen, I believe that patriotism 'and imperialism both, if they are to be true, must rest 'upon the one sole foundation on which all true things 'can rest—that which is sound and moral. You cannot 'divorce your system of politics from your system of 'morals. There are not two sides to that shield; there 'are not two codes to be observed. I have seen it of 'late more or less denied. I was reading but a few Right of the Crown to alienate Territory. 413
'days wnce, in a periodical that enjoys deservedly a
* great circulation and reputation—I read to my amaze'ment the remark about a by-gone character of the 'middle ages, that he could not be a statesman because
* he paid obedience to the laws of morality. I utterly 'abhor and repudiate and detest such a doctrine as 'that. I believe there is no safety for a nation the 'moment that she departs from those eternal principles 'of right and wrong, which in our case have carried 'us through storm, and trial, and tribulation in past 'times.'
It has been a good deal disputed whether the Crown has any right by its Prerogative of disposing of the national territory in time of peace, whether by way of gift, exchange, or sale. In the year 1862 Lord Palmerston's Government agreed to hand over all the Ionian Islands to the new kingdom of Greece, if the Greeks would choose a king approved by England, which they accordingly did. The neutrality of the Islands was to be declared by the Great Powers, and the fortifications of Corfu demolished; both of which conditions were observed. The subject of the relinquishment of the Protectorate of these Islands was debated in the House of Commons in February 1863, and Lord Palmerston was asked whether it was competent, according to the Constitution, for the Crown to alienate them without the consent of Parliament. His Lordship answered that the Republic of the Seven Islands was, by the Treaty of 1815, placed under the Protectorate of the British Crown. He said that the distinction was manifest and radical, and added: 'But 'with regard to cases of territory acquired by conquest 'during war, and not ceded by Treaty, and which are • not therefore British freehold, and all possessions that 'have been ceded by Treaty and held as possessions 'of the British Crown, there is no question that the 'Crown may make a Treaty alienating such possessions 'of the British Crown without the consent of the House 'of Commons.' He then instanced the cases of Senegal, Minorca, Florida, and the Island of Banca, which were 'all 'of them for a greater or less period of time possessions 'of the British Crown; and they were all ceded by treaty
• to some foreign power; therefore there cannot be a ques'tion as to the competency of the Crown to make such
• cessions.'1 Mr. Forsyth, however, commenting on this statement, observes that all these cases of cession were made by treaty of peace at the close of a war; and they do not touch the question whether the Crown has the power where there has been no war, and consequently no treaty of peace. Mr, Forsyth cites the case of the abandonment of the Orange River sovereignty in 1854, by the Queen's Letters Patent revoking previous Letters Patent of 1851, and by force of a proclamation whereby Her Majesty ' did declare 'and make known the abandonment and renunciation 'of our dominion and sovereignty over the said terri'tory and the inhabitants thereof.' One main difficulty in cases of cession relates to the allegiance of the inhabitants of the ceded territory. In the course of the negotiations for the cession of the Orange River Territory in 1854 the Duke of Newcastle, then Colonial Secretary, wrote to the Governor of the Cape as follows: 'With respect to the allegiance of the inhabitants who 'may have been born in British dominions either
1 Hansard, vol. clix. 230, 231.