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own views and Scovery of points they set them
party. After a little hesitation they set themselves, in many cases, to the discovery of points of agreement between their own views and those set forth by the ex-Premier at Chesterfield. The result was that they found enough which they could applaud, even though inextricably blended with much that was distasteful to them, to make it seem possible that in considerable numbers they might see their way to the acceptance of his leadership. Indeed, it was quite true that, as Mr. Asquith—perhaps a little cynically-observed, speaking at Bilston (Dec. 19), “people of the most diverse views were hastening to declare that Lord Rosebery had expressed, perhaps in slightly different language from their own, what they had all the time been thinking.” The speculation excited by the prevalence of the temper thus indicated caused the Christmas season to be exceptionally full of political interest. On one thing all commentators on the Chesterfield speech were agreed, and that was that, if it was to produce any permanent effect towards the reuniting of the old Liberal party, or the construction of a new political connection, it must be steadily followed up by Lord Rosebery himself; and, on the whole, there seemed to be grounds for supposing that he recognised that truth himself and intended to act upon it.
The shadow of continued war under which, contrary to all expectation at its opening, the year 1901 came to an end was deepened by the news of a too successful exploit of De Wet. His surprise of a British column at Tweefontein, in the dark early hours of Christmas Day, was one of the most skilful and daring of the achievements of the Boer guerilla leader, of whom for many weeks very little had been heard. Still, the general tenour of the South African intelligence had pointed to a steady contraction of the enemy's power for mischief, and a corresponding advance in the establishment of the conditions of prosperous civil life for the white population, while the new regulations for native labour, put into force at Johannesburg under Lord Milner's authority, showed that British responsibility towards the coloured races in the new Colonies was being discharged with equal intelligence and resolution. And while the South African prospect remained a chequered one, the closing weeks of the year contained fresh and most gratifying evidence of the loyal readiness of the distant Colonies to give all the assistance that could possibly be required for the completion of the great Imperial enterprise into which they had thrown themselves in partnership with the Mother country. Never, indeed, had the Empire, as a whole, appeared more effectively united than at the end of the first year of the reign of King Edward VII.
SCOTLAND AND IRELAND.
I. SCOTLAND. So many events happening in Scotland, but possessing interest to the British nation as a whole, have been recorded in previous chapters, that what is necessary to be said as to matters of specially Scottish concern may be brought within very limited compass. Throughout the year the strongly Imperial quality of Scottish feeling in regard to the war in South Africa and the settlement to ensue on it was abundantly manifest. Very few Scottish Members of Parliament were found going into the lobby in support of motions by opponents of the war, and the ambiguous attitude of Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman, and his repeated employment of phrases like “methods of barbarism” as to the conduct of the war, needed all his personal popularity to prevent an unfavourable reaction on his own position. Those who knew the country well saw by all kinds of signs that its heart was set towards the resolute prosecution of the war to its natural end in the incorporation of the former Boer Republics within the Empire and the establishment of peace on the basis of equal rights for all white men and protection for the natives. Evidences of this firm resolve were afforded at Town Council meetings and Church Courts, where they would not have shown themselves unless the feeling beneath them had been strong and deep. In the Presbyterian churches that feeling was all but universal—a result doubtless due in large measure to the very emphatic views expressed by prominent Scottish missionaries in South Africa like Dr. Stewart, the head of the great educational inission at Lovedale, and formerly Moderator of the Free Church. Scotland continued to send large numbers of her sons to aid in bringing the war to a conclusion. In addition to her proportional share of active service companies from Volunteer Corps, she equipped and despatched numerous bodies of Yeomanry and Mounted Infantry, which gave a good account of themselves, and large sums of money were collected for the widows and orphans of those who fell, the fund of one newspaper alone amounting to some 55,0001.
The general factory legislation of 1901 was naturally followed with interest north of the Tweed, and an Education (Scotland) Act, of no slight importance, was evolved by the co-operation of the Government with Members of all parties. Its effect was to abolish all granting of exemptions from school attendance under the age of twelve, and while empowering School Boards to grant partial exemption between twelve and fourteen, on such conditions as they might think fit as to further attendance up to the latter age, to make such permission dependent on the existence of special circumstances in each case, justifying curtailed attendance, "irrespective of any standard of attainment." This interpretation of the meaning of the Act was emphasised in a circular to School Boards from the Scottish Education Office.
It was, however, in the sphere of higher education that there happened the most interesting and impressive event in the Scottish history of the year, and one fraught with the most important possibilities. This was Mr. Andrew Carnegie's magnificent benefaction to the Scottish Universities, which was first announced in May. The sum given was no less than 2,000,0001. in Five per Cent. Stock of the American Steel Corporation, producing 104,0001. a year. One-half of this annual income was, under the terms of the trust, to be applied towards the improvement and expansion of the universities of Scotland in the faculties of science and medicine; also for improving and extending the opportunities for scientific study and research, and for increasing the facilities for acquiring a knowledge of history, economics, English literature and modern languages, and such other subjects cognate to a technical or commercial education as could be brought within the scope of a university curriculum. The other half of the income, or such part of it as in each year might be found requisite, was to be devoted to the payment of the whole or part of the ordinary class fees at the Scottish Universities for students of Scottish birth or extraction and of sixteen years and upwards, or for scholars who had given two years' attendance after the age of fourteen at State-aided schools in Scotland or at such other schools and institutions as were under the inspection of the Scottish Education Department. Wherever any student had shown exceptional merit power was given to extend the assistance bestowed, either in money or other privileges. The trustees named were the Earl of Elgin (chairman), the Earl of Rosebery, Lords Balfour of Burleigh, Kelvin, Reay and Kinnear, Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman, Mr. A. J. Balfour, Mr. Bryce, Mr. John Morley, Sir Robert Pullar, Sir Henry Roscoe, Mr. Haldane and Mr. Thomas Shaw, M.P. for the Hawick Burghs ; ex officio trustees were to be the Secretary for Scotland, the Lord Provosts of Edinburgh and Glasgow and the Provost of Dunfermline; and the four universities were to be represented by one trustee each. Both the trustees as a body, in matters of principle, and, in matters of detail, the executive committee appointed to conduct the ordinary administration of the trust, were endowed with very wide discretion with a view to the fullest realisation of its aims in accordance with the changing circumstances of the times. In the event, for example, of there being surplus funds after meeting the primary objects of the trust, power was given for their application for extra-mural colleges, schools, or classes giving instruction of a kind recognised as adequate. Of course the existence of any such surplus was largely dependent upon the number of beneficiaries under the eleemosynary branch of the trust. In this connection it was, at the outset, hoped that
many students would have refrained from making application for the payment of their fees, and considerable disappointment was felt at the manner in which non-necessitous students did, in fact, appeal for assistance. Whether this disappointment was quite justified, having regard to the class of students who had long been enjoying the benefits of the wealthiest educational foundations in England, seemed rather doubtful. But it was understood that in future the trustees were likely, as they were fully entitled, to take measures for restricting participation in the Fee Fund to those young people whose circumstances could be held to warrant their receiving pecuniary help.
The exclusive preference given to non-classical studies under the first portion of Mr. Carnegie's splendid benefaction was regretted by many people, and frank expression was given to that feeling by Mr. Morley in a speech at Brechin (June 5). At the same time there seemed to be good reason to hope that under the wide terms of the trust, its resources would be so used as to develop a liberal spirit in the pursuit of scientific and modern studies.
In the ecclesiastical life of Scotland in 1901, it was to be observed that attention was given chiefly to extension and mission schemes, and that controversial topics like Disestablishment were rarely heard of. The United Free Church successfully vindicated its title to the fabrics and other property of the old Free Church, as against the small dissentient minority, who, in resisting to the end the union with the United Presbyterian Church, had claimed that they were the legitimate heirs of the Disruptionists of 1843. All the same, some difficulties were encountered, chiefly in the Highlands and Islands, in settling down under the new union, but, with prudent action and conciliatory measures, it was expected that the obstacles to peace would be gradually removed. On the whole, as might have been hoped, after the achievement of the union between the principal non - established Presbyterian Churches, a feeling of greater cordiality was a distinct feature of the Scottish ecclesiastical situation ; there was more co-operation among the Churches, and a more tolerant spirit was prevalent.
The International Exhibition at Glasgow in 1901 was a signal success, and, in connection with it, with the celebration of the ninth jubilee of the Glasgow University, and with the numerous congresses held in the city during the year (to which some reference is made in Chapter V.), the western capital of Scotland received a remarkable concourse of distinguished visitors from all parts of the world. The enterprise for which its Corporation had long been well known was further illustrated by the starting of a system of municipal telephones at very low charges, threatening severe competition with the local system of the National Telephone Company. There were, however, those who thought that this enterprise was of a speculative character, and that a little more of the extreme caution which was complained of in London as marking the agreement between his Majesty's Post Office and the National Telephone Company, in regard to terms for service within the Metropolitan area, might have been observed, with advantage to the ratepayers, in Glasgow.
From a trade and industrial point of view the year was, on the whole, remarkably prosperous in Scotland. The Clyde shipbuilders, for example, bad a “record” output of 519,000 tons. In the jute trade, which is the staple industry of Dundee and the neighbouring district, there were general good profits and good wages. Flax-spinning, though not very lucrative, was a good deal more active and successful than in Ireland ; the manufacturers of linen goods would have done badly, and some had to close their mills, but, through an abundance of Government orders, many did quite fairly well. Most branches of trade, indeed, had a good year to look back on, but few, if any, except perhaps the locomotive builders, felt that they had a good year to look forward to. Indeed, there was a general apprehension of bad times coming, but if the war could be brought to a really satisfactory end, and a large new demand opened up from South Africa, the outlook, it was felt, would undergo a favourable transformation.
FROM the material and economic point of view the twentieth century made a favourable beginning in Ireland. The harvest of 1901 over the country at large was decidedly good, and the potato crop, both in quantity and quality, exceptionally so. And while Nature thus responded liberally to the efforts of those engaged in the principal Irish industry, there was also a steady development among them of that principle of concerted action, the growth of which had for several years past been the most encouraging feature of Irish agriculture. At the Cooperative Congress, held at Middlesbrough at Whitsuntide, attention was prominently called to the much greater aptitude shown among Irish than among English farmers in adopting the co-operative principle, especially in relation to dairying ; and it was stated at the end of the year that the number of central co-operative dairies in Ireland had grown to 200, from the figure of 150 at which they stood in 1899. Their growing produce found a very ready market across St. George's Channel, as well appeared from the fact that the value of the imports into Great Britain of Irish butter and eggs for the first eleven months of 1901 reached 24,959,9741.-an increase of nearly two million sterling on that recorded for the same period of 1900. In these circumstances there seemed good reason to anticipate that the marked economic progress illustrated by the reports of the principal banks for the first six months of the year under review would be further exemplified when the