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serious evils of this course had not become so apparent as they are to-day, when all South Africa is crying out against the evil of Asiatic immigration. Mr. Molteno said he did not consider the course suggested an advisable one. 'There was already a vast amount of native labour in the Colony, if it could only be utilised, and he believed the time was not far distant when it would be. It would not do to ignore the natives, who must have some means of subsisting. Already 200 had arrived on the railway works at East London. . . . The natives were advancing in civilisation, and were beginning to understand labour better. . . . If we had immigration at all, what we wanted was a better class of labour introduced from Europe.' There was evidently a strong feeling in favour of the resolution. Mr. Solomon spoke against it, and on asking the Government whether they intended to stand by their opinion, Mr. Molteno in reply said :
The Government does not approve the idea. I consider that the Government should not be forced into such a position. The hon. member for Colesberg (Mr Distin) seemed to think that the Ministry was a sort of slave-driving affair, and must be whipped and coerced into this sort of thing, but it must be borne in mind that the Ministry are answerable for the welfare of the Colony. I could not therefore be an advocate of what I thought would do the country harm, I would rather give way to someone else. The Government are moving cautiously in this matter, and are not desirous of rushing in and upsetting every other interest, but if the House has no confidence in the course we are adopting, then I can't help it. It is as good a time as any for the opponents of the Government to enforce their opinions.
This was a clear statement that the Ministry would never consent to shirk their responsibility and put it upon Parliament, but would have the courage of their opinions, and only act upon such a policy as they themselves could support. The natives came down in large numbers to the railway works, and the necessary labour was obtained in this manner, and further by the importation of the skilled
artisans who were necessary to direct the raw native labour, and this was done under the immigration scheme of the previous session, and its extension in the present one. There is in South Africa a sufficient variety of races without the further complication of introducing Chinese and coolies to undersell the European immigrants, the latter are more desirable, inasmuch as they will eventually amalgamate with the existing inhabitants, and form one homogeneous people, which could never be the case with a Chinese or coolie population. Mr. Molteno's stand, made now at the risk of losing his position, saved the Cape Colony from a gigantic evil.
Mr. Molteno always acted as his own Chancellor of the Exchequer and so made the Budget speech;' he was enabled to announce a very flourishing state of affairs. There was a surplus of about 400,000l. The House Tax had been abolished last session, and this year the railway subguarantee was to be abolished. The loans authorised for public works had been unused as the surplus of revenue was so great. He pointed out that the remaining taxation was not oppressive, while the new works would give rise to a still larger revenue, and the Ministry proposed to put the surplus into railways, telegraphs, roads, and bridges. He said: We can do this without risk. We have a fine country, and we must endeavour to do the best we can with it.'
Mr. Molteno was the very opposite of sentimental, and this latter expression was the nearest he would go to the public expression of his love for the country. He had begun his colonial career in business, endeavouring, as we have
The Hon. C. Abercrombie Smith, Auditor and Controller-General of the Colony, writes:-'In all matters of finance Mr. Molteno was his own Chancellor of the Exchequer, and notwithstanding the imperfections in the system of accounts already alluded to, his Budget speeches were eminently clear and satisfactory.' We may mention that his work on the Budget speeches and on other great occasions was done in the early hours of the morning.
seen, by all means to extend its trade. He had then become possessed of a considerable area of it, and had grappled with the physical obstacles which it presented to the efforts to produce food for man and beast; he had subdued it from its savage state, he had warred unceasingly with the wild animals which infested it and destroyed his flocks; he had channelled its watercourses to bring fertility to its fields, he had curbed and collected its summer floods in dams. He had fought for its security and defended it against the hordes of savages; he had developed the trade and communication of his district; he had served it in Parliament, and defended its people from oppression, and from cruel aspersions and slanders. He had struggled to make it constitutionally free, and had won the struggle after arduous and patient fighting, and now he was making good his word that its inhabitants could best work out their own destinies. He was bringing education and progress to the doors of all, and contentment, happiness, and prosperity to all its people. Simple words these: 'We have a fine country, and must endeavour to do the best we can with it.' But what a world of meaning when we analyse the warm feelings to which they give so inadequate an expression! They sum up the objects and purposes of his whole life, the good of the land which he had made such good claim to call his country.'
Miss Olive Schreiner has drawn with skilful pen the character of the love which the Boer bears to 'Ons Land.' But in her analysis of the causes of that intense love there has been omitted that most potent of all factors, the love generated by going to the front, leaving home and all one's belongings and standing shoulder to shoulder in the fight for the very existence of the country. It has not been possible for 900 years for any Englishman to really feel this. He may have fought in foreign lands or in colonies for his 1 Fortnightly Review, April 1896.
country's honour and renown, but he has never stood on the soil of England itself doing battle against her enemies who have invaded the land, have murdered his people, have destroyed his industry and his life's toil in one fell swoop of savage destruction; he has never seen brother, father, friend, fall at his side, pierced by bullet or quivering assegai; has never slept under the cold canopy of night, wrapped in darkness for a covering, and been suddenly startled by the wild neighing of the steeds tethered together, and the savage yell, made more unearthly by the confusion of night. We may all be ready to suffer and die for country, but we can never understand or possess the feeling of the man who has done this; not once but many times have South Africans had to do so; and Mr. Molteno added this to all his other causes of love for his country. We may well believe that he had imbibed his love of South Africa in large measure from his contact with the soil itself and his constant intercourse with its inhabitants, and when we think of this we can enter to a small extent into the sorrow of this noble and patriotic heart when he saw all his life's plans interfered with and terrible evils brought on his beloved country and its people by Lord Carnarvon and his agent, Sir Bartle Frere.
In his speech he further drew attention to the fact that all this prosperity was in large measure due to the tranquillity which the country was enjoying: "The frontier was peaceful, and people generally, both natives and those of European descent, were satisfied, contented, and progressing.' What a world of meaning in these few words when we remember poor South Africa's history before and since this time!
Mr. Molteno had in this session the great pleasure of proposing an increase in the salaries of all civil servants. He had in times of adversity strenuously advocated retrenchment, and had endeavoured to carry resolutions cutting down the salaries of civil servants, but true to his principle that all should bear their share of the burden in times of
adversity, he now desired that they should have their share in times of prosperity, and an increase of 20 per cent. was granted. Nor was the Government unmindful of the mental progress of the country, and it introduced in the same session a Bill for the advancement of higher education, by which assistance was granted practically on the principle of the Government contributing an equal sum to that set apart by the leading colleges throughout the Colony in order to establish lectureships and professorships. Provision was made at the same time for the encouragement of public libraries and reading-rooms in the various towns of the Colony. This has been a most successful measure, and under it libraries of a very valuable character have come into existence in every important town in the Colony. We have already shown Mr. Molteno's appreciation of the benefits conferred by the Cape Town Public Library, and these he now desired to extend to the rest of the Colony.
Before the introduction of responsible government there had been some correspondence with the Free State Government respecting the construction of bridges over the Orange river, but no practical result had been arrived at. The question was vigorously taken up by the Ministry, with the result that authority was now granted by Parliament to construct four bridges over that river at a cost of 300,000l. We have already seen that this was part of the great scheme of facilitating intercourse between the Colony and its neighbours, so that when a federation came it would find no physical obstacles to contend with. Provision was also made for the appointment of an hydraulic engineer. An Act for the eradication of scab was passed and a sum of 45,000%. was voted for new Houses of Parliament.
This was the second session of the Parliament under responsible government, and what must we say of it? Was it answering the expectations of those who urged its introduction, or was it leading to mismanagement, and to