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a substantial increase, and in railways a gain of 640,0001. The alteration of the currency standard had been a great success, the profit to the Treasury being 3,000,0001., which would be applied to maintaining a gold reserve fund. A stock of gold had been accumulated of some 7,000,0001. The average income of the people had risen from eighteen rupees in 1880 to twenty in 1900, the cultivated area had increased from 194,000,000 acres to 217,000,000, while the yield of food crops, which in 1880 was 730 lb. per acre, was in 1900 840 lb. In twenty years the railway mileage had advanced from 6,500 to 25,000, yielding a profit to the State of 600,0001. a year, while irrigation, though not so rapidly pushed on, had still advanced. Lord George Hamilton, touching on the subject of land assessment, admitted that the assessments might be too high in some places and that there was a want of elasticity about the system. But the cultivators could pay the charge when they were not in the grip of the money-lenders, and in order to help the cultivators it was in contemplation to establish' agricultural banks—at first experimentally. He also mentioned that Lord Curzon had determined to institute an inquiry into the existing systems of education with a view to the development of industrial and technical education.
In the course of the discussion which ensued, Mr. Caine (Camborne, Cornwall), though cordially commending Lord Curzon, administered censure and warning with regard to the general course of Indian administration over many years. Sir E. Vincent (Exeter) took a favourable view of the financial future of India, while enlarging on the importance of promoting the flow of European capital into the dependency.
In his reply, the Indian Secretary explained that large irrigation schemes, such as some members wished to see undertaken, could only be carried out in certain districts where favourable conditions prevailed. To Mr. Caine's suggestion that the Indian military establishment should be reduced he could not agree, for that establishment was really very small in proportion to the number of the population.
On August 17 Parliament was prorogued by Commission. The King's Speech, after a reference to the continuance of friendly foreign relations, ran thus:
“The nature and extent of the reparation to be given by China for the unexampled outrages committed last summer have been the subject of protracted discussion among the Powers. I am glad to be able to inform you that, by a general agreement, in which China has concurred, the extent of the indemnity to be provided by that Government and the security for its payment to the various Powers have been determined ; and the punishment of the guiltiest of the offenders has also been insisted on.
"The progress of my forces in the conquest of the two Republics by whom my South African Colonies have been
invaded has been steady and continuous; but, owing to the difficulty and extent of the country to be traversed, the length of the military operations has been protracted.
“The signal success which has attended the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York to the Colonies has afforded me the greatest gratification, which, I am convinced, is shared by all classes of my subjects throughout the Empire. The opening of the first Parliament of the Australian Commonwealth by the Heir to the Throne is an event of wide significance and deep interest, and the enthusiastic welcome which has been given to my son and his wife in every Colony they have visited is an additional proof of the patriotism, loyalty and devotion of the people of my Dominions oversea.”
After a reference to the lateness of the Indian rainfall, as to which, however, reassuring intelligence had been recently received, the Speech proceeded :“GENTLEMEN OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS,
“I have to note with great satisfaction the liberal provision you have made for the naval and military services during the current year. I thank you for the arrangements you have made for the maintenance of the honour and dignity of the Crown; and especially for those which affect the state and comfort of my Royal Consort."
The legislative output of the session was then briefly reviewed. Much of it related to the “ special circumstances of the year.” The King, however, had observed with great satisfaction that Parliament had “ passed a bill to amend and consolidate that code of factory law from which so much benefit had already been derived by the working classes of this country; and that the law relating to youthful offenders had been amended in such a manner as would prevent the imprisonment of young children.”
Ministers were, doubtless, right in advising his Majesty to lay stress upon these measures of social reform. The former has been dealt with. The latter was a well-conceived bill and had been passed by the Home Secretary with little trouble. On the whole the Speech made the best of what had been, without doubt, a disappointing session, and, so far as it had gone, in many respects a disappointing year.
Political Lull-The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall in South Africa-International
Congresses at Glasgow-Pan-Celtic Congress in Dublin-Trade Union Con. gress at Swansea : Anxieties Caused by the House of Lords' Decision in the Taff Vale Case - Labour Department Report — Dispute in the Grimsby Fishing Trade - Riotous Proceedings — British Sorrow at the Murder of President McKinley - Dissatisfaction at the Slow Progress of the War Newspaper Criticisms on the Appointment of Sir R. Buller to command the First Army Corps—War Office Explanatory Communiqué—Sir R. Buller's Westminster Speech-His Dismissal from his Command-Public Opinion thereon-Mr. Long's Defence of Mr. Brodrick-N.E. Lanarkshire ElectionMr. Asquith at Ladybank—Mr. Redmond's Reply-Renewed Boer Activity -Lord Halsbury's - Sort of Warfare" - Mr. Brodrick's Letter to Sir H. Vincent-Sir M. Hicks-Beach at Oldham-Mr. Chamberlain on Temperance Reform-Public-house Trust Companies-Mr. Asquith on the Liberal and Nationalist Parties—Mr. Chamberlain at Edinburgh-Sir H. Campbell. Bannerman's Autumn Campaign-Church Resolutions on the Education Question—The Concentration Camps-Mr. Brodrick's Letter to the Bishop of Rochester-The Bishop's Speech-Lord Salisbury at the Guildhall-Mr. Brodrick in the City-Favourable Effect on Public Opinion- War Office Reforms--German Agitation about Mr. Chamberlain's Edinburgh SpeechIsthmian Canal Treaty and Good Relations with United States—The Duke of Cornwall's Welcome Home; Created Prince of Wales ; Successful Speech in the City-Liberal Differences about the War-Derby Meeting of National Liberal Federation-Conflicting Comments by Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman and Sir E. Grey-Lord Rosebery's Chesterfield Speech-Its ReceptionClose of the Year.
For some five or six weeks after the prorogation of Parliament there was a deep calm in the political world, which was not sensibly fluttered by the result of the Andover election (Aug. 26). The vacancy caused by the sad death, through a cab accident, of Mr. W. W. B. Beach (C.), the “Father of the House of Commons," was filled by the return of Mr. E. B. Faber (C.) by 3,696 against 3,473 votes. This majority of 223, however, compared unfavourably with the unopposed return of Mr. Beach at three previous general elections, and his majority of 1,451 on a poll of 7,667 in 1885, and gave the Opposition exceptionally good ground for claiming a "moral victory." Their candidate, Mr. Judd, it should be said, had the advantage of being a Hampshire man (which Mr. Faber had not, though he had a brother living in the Andover Division), and disclaimed any pro-Boer sympathies. This election, however, created but little general interest. There might not have been, and indeed there was not, very much to show in the way of legislative output for the session of 1901, but its labours appeared to have produced a general sense of exhaustion on the part of those who had engaged in them, and by common consent there was a marked abstinence on both sides from the political platform during the latter part of August and the whole of September. In regard to the war this silence was doubtless aided during the first few weeks of the recess by the hope, for which, however, the telegrams sent by Lord Kitchener as to replies he had received from the Boer leaders in the field gave little encouragement,
that his Proclamation of August 6 might result in a general submission on or before September 15. Even in South Africa, however, there was a pleasant, if transient, variation from the grim record of military operations in the accounts of the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall. Their Royal Highnesses were peculiarly happy in the expression of their appreciation of the gallantry and devotion so freely displayed by the colonists during the war, their sympathy for the manifold sufferings it had entailed, and their hope for the early restoration of peace, and the infusion “ of a spirit of mutual forbearance and reconciliation ” into the hearts of the people. Many of the Dutch inhabitants of Cape Colony took a loyal share in the reception of the Duke and Duchess, and their visit was also signalised by a great gathering of native chiefs from all parts of South Africa, who presented their fealty.
While there was a distinct lull in the political world, the latter part of August and the month of September were marked even more than usual by the holding of congresses on a great variety of subjects. Apropos, more or less, of the remarkably successful International Exhibition which was held at Glasgow during the summer and autumn, that city was chosen for the meeting of the International Law Conference and the International Engineering Congress. It would be outside the scope of this work to offer any account of the proceedings at these highly interesting assemblies. Two points may, however, suitably be noted with regard to the first-named gathering. The Lord Chief Justice of England (Lord Alverstone), who presided in the unavoidable absence of the Lord Chancellor, was at pains in his opening address (Aug. 20) to pay a tribute, from personal knowledge, to the earnestness with which Lord Salisbury laboured in the cause of international arbitration in connection with the Treaty of Arbitration which was agreed upon by the British and American Governments in 1897, but which failed to secure the two-thirds majority of the United States Senate required for its confirmation. The conference passed unanimously, on the motion of Mr. Thomas Barclay, President of the British Chamber of Commerce in Paris, a resolution urging a general arbitration treaty between this country and France—a project which certainly had a somewhat millennial appearance. At the Engineering Congress, which was held, with as many as 3,000 members in attendance, in the first week of September, and which, of course, heard and considered contributions on a great variety of subjects connected with engineering progress, special interest was attracted by a paper by Mr. James Barton on the question of a submarine tunnel between Scotland and Ireland, and a distinctly hopeful tone marked the opinions given by the author and other eminent experts in regard to the practicability of that great project.
Another gathering which, as the first of its kind, attracted a certain amount of half-sympathetic, half-amused interest, was that of the Pan-Celtic Congress in Dublin in the first week in September, attended by delegates from Brittany, the Isle of Man, Wales, and the Scottish Highlands, as well as Ireland. Irish peers like Lord Inchiquin and Lord Castletown of Upper Ossory, whose political orthodoxy was as unimpeachable as their high Erse descent, took part in the proceedings, side by side with Mr. W. B. Yeats, who averred that if the "language movement,” which it was one of the chief objects of the congress to foster, went on as it had been doing, it would be " shaking Governments.” Much learning was shown in papers read on such subjects as Highland Gaelic music, Celtic art, and kindred topics, but discussion on the national dress, and the occasions suitable for wearing it by whole-hearted Celts, aroused some mirth in Saxon breasts.
The meeting of the Trade Union Congress, which was held at Swansea, also in the first week of September, was noteworthy for the anxiety very naturally manifested with regard to the possible results of a decision given by the House of Lords (July 22), reversing that of the Court of Appeal, and restoring the judgment which the latter court had upset, of Mr. Justice Farwell in the Taff Vale picketing case (see ANNUAL REGISTER for 1900, pp. 193-4). Under the law as thus finally declared, trade unions found themselves liable to be sued for damages on account of injuries sustained through unlawful conduct of persons acting on their behalf. The Law Lords—the Lord Chancellor (Halsbury), and Lords Macnaghten, Lindley, Shand and Brampton—who were parties to this judgment, appeared to hold that the law had never been other than wbat they declared. In face of such authority that view could not well be gainsaid, and among the general public the best opinion was that the principle embodied in the law as thus laid down was a sound and just one. But, undoubtedly, the common understanding as to the effect and intention of the body of legislation passed in the 'seventies, and known collectively as the “ Workmen's Charter,'' had been that unions could neither sue nor be sued, and it was a very severe shock to their members to discover that their collective funds were liable to be drawn upon indefinitely to make good any business injuries caused by, or attributed to, illegal action on the part of individuals representing them. The disagreeable effect of the House of Lords' judgment in trade unionist circles was the greater in view of the fact that other comparatively recent decisions, and especially one of the Appeal Court in 1896, had seemed to place somewhat severe legal limitations even on "peaceful picketing.” Thus it was felt that if a resort on behalf of the active members of a union to almost any form of pressure, for the dissuasion of workmen from taking the place of those who might be on strike, would expose the union concerned to the risk of being cast in heavy damages, the strength of labour combinations might prove to have been seriously crippled.