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CAPE

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o L O N Y 571 During 1895 Sir Hercules Robinson was reappointed Government would regard the closing of the drifts as Governor and High Commissioner of South Africa in a breach of the London Convention, and as an unfriendly succession to Sir Henry Loch, and in the same year Mr action calling for the gravest remonstrance. President Chamberlain became Her Majesty’s Secretary of State for Kruger at once reopened the drifts, and undertook that he the Colonies. would issue no further proclamation on the subject except With the development of railways, and the extension after consultation with the Imperial Government. of trade between Cape Colony and the Transvaal, there year 1895 the Jameson Raid occurred, and had grown up a closer relationship of political questions. Mr Rhodes s complicity in this movement compelled him Whilst Premier of Cape Colony, by means of the to^ resign the Premiership of Cape Colony in January Customs Union and in every other way, Mr Rhodes en- 1896. As Mr Rhodes’s complicity in the Raid became deavoured to bring about a friendly measure of at least known, there naturally arose a strong feeling of resentcommercial federation among the states and colonies of ment and astonishment among his colleagues in the South Africa. He hoped to establish both a commercial Cape ministry, who had been kept in complete ignorance and a railway union, and a speech which he made in 1894 of his connexion with any such scheme. Mr Hofmeyr and at Cape Town admirably describes this policy :— the Bond were loud in their denunciation of him. After With full affection for the flag which I have been born under, his resignation, Mr Rhodes was proceeding to the north, and the flag I represent, I can understand the sentiment and when he received a summons from the Chartered Comfeeling of a republican who has created his independence, and values that before all; but I can say fairly that I believe in the pany to go to London; but after interviews with the future that I can assimilate the system, which I have been con- directors in London, he went back to Rhodesia, and was nected with, with the Cape Colony, and it is not an impossible present in the country during the Matabele rebellion. idea that the neighbouring Republics, retaining their independence, While hostilities were still proceeding in Matabeleland, Mr should share with us as to certain general principles. If I might put it to you, I would say the principles of tariffs, the principle Rhodes went unarmed to a meeting of Matabele Indunas of railway connexion, the principle of appeal in law, the principle (chiefs) in the heart of the Matoppo hills. The result was of coinage, and in fact all those principles which exist at the not a massacre of the great white chief, as was foretold present moment in the United States, irrespective of the local at the time, and as has occurred on similar occasions in assemblies which exist in each separate state in that country.” attempted negotiations with Bantu tribes, but a peace To this policy President Kruger and his Government which terminated the rebellion. It was a master-stroke offered every possible opposition. Their action in what is of diplomacy and courage. The Matabele rising ended, known as the Vaal River Drift question will best illus- Mr Rhodes travelled down through the colony on his way trate the line of action which the Transvaal Government to attend the inquiry of the British South Africa Select believed it expedient to adopt. A difficulty arose at the Committee at Westminster, which had been appointed to termination of the agreement in 1894 between the Cape investigate the causes of the Raid. The memory of the Government Railway and the Netherlands Railway. The Raid, and Mr Rhodes’s complicity in it, was still fresh in Cape Government, for the purposes of carrying the railway men’s minds, the Cape Parliament having itself brought from the Vaal river to Johannesburg, had advanced the out the main facts by means of a committee of their own. sum of £600,000 to the Netherlands Railway and the But, nevertheless, so high was the esteem in which he Transvaal Government conjointly; at the same time it was held that at both Port Llizabeth and Cape Town he was stipulated that the Cape Government should have the met with an enthusiastic reception, and even at the Paarl, right to fix the traffic rate until the end of 1894, or until a Dutch centre in the Western Province, he was presented such time as the Delagoa Bay-Pretoria line, was com- with an address signed by farmers, of whom the majority pleted. These rates were fixed by the Cape Government at were Dutchmen. In 1897 a native rising occurred under 2d. per ton per mile, but at the beginning of 1895 the Galeshwe, a Bantu chief, in Griqualand West. Galeshwe rate for the 52 miles of railway from the Vaal river to was arrested and the rebellion repressed. On crossJohannesburg was raised by the Netherlands Railway examination Galeshwe stated that Bosman, a magistrate Company to no less a sum than 8d. per ton per mile. It of the Transvaal, had supplied ammunition to him, and is quite evident from the action which President Kruger urged him to rebel against the Government of Cape subsequently took in the matter that this charge was put Colony. There is every reason to suppose that this charge on with his approval, and with the object of compelling was true, and it is consistent with the intrigues which the traffic to be brought to the Transvaal by the Delagoa Boers have from time to time practised among the route, instead of as heretofore by the Colonial Railway. natives. In order to compete against this very high rate, the In 1897 Sir Alfred Milner was appointed High merchants of Johannesburg began removing their goods Commissioner of South Africa and Governor of Cape from the Vaal river by waggon. Thereupon President Colony in succession to Sir Hercules Robinson, who was Kruger arbitrarily closed the drifts (fords) on the Vaal created a peer under the title of Baron Rosmead. river, and thus prevented through waggon traffic, In 1898 commercial federation in South Africa causing an enormous block of waggons on the banks advanced another stage, Natal entering the Customs of the Vaal. A protest was then made by the Cape Union. A fresh convention was drafted at this time, and Government against the action of the Transvaal, on the under it “ a uniform tariff on all imported goods consumed ground that it was a breach of the London Convention. within such Union, and an equitable distribution of the President Kruger took no notice of this remonstrance, duties collected on such goods amongst the parties to such and an appeal was made to the Imperial Government; Union, and free trade between the colonies and state whereupon the latter entered into an agreement with in respect of all South African products,” was arranged. the Cape Government, to the effect that if the Cape In the following year the Cape Parliamentary election would bear half the cost of any expedition which should occurred, and the result was the return to power of a be necessary, assist with troops, and give full use of the Bond ministry under Mr W. P. Schreiner. From this time, Cape Railway for military purposes if required, a protest until June 1900, Mr Schreiner remained in office as head should be sent to President Kruger on the subject. These of the Cape Government. During the negotiations which terms were accepted by Mr Rhodes and his colleagues, of preceded the war in 1899, feeling at the Cape ran very whom Mr. W. P. Schreiner was one, and a protest was high, and Mr Schreiner’s attitude has been freely disthen sent by Mr Chamberlain stating that Her Majesty’s cussed. As head of a party, dependent for its position