CHAMBERLAIN — CHAMBERSBURG there was hardly an act of the Cabinet during the negotiations with President Kruger which was not attributed to the personal malignity and unscrupulousness of the Colonial Secretary. The elections of 1900 (when he was again returned, unopposed, for West Birmingham) turned upon the individuality of a single minister more than any since the days of Mr Gladstone’s ascendancy, and Mr Chamberlain, never conspicuous for inclination to turn his other cheek to the smiter, was not slow to return the blows with interest. Apart from South Africa, his most important work was the successful passing of the Australian Commonwealth Act (1900), in which both tact and firmness were needed to settle certain differences between the Imperial Government and the colonial delegates. Mr Chamberlain’s tenure of the office of Colonial Secretary between 1895 and 1900 must always be regarded as a turning-point in the history of the relations between the British Colonies and the Mother Country. His accession to office was marked by speeches breathing a new spirit of imperial consolidation, embodied either in suggestions for commercial union, or in more immediately practicable proposals for improving the “imperial estate”; and at the Diamond Jubilee of 1897 the visits of the colonial Premiers to London emphasized and confirmed the new policy, the fruits of which were afterwards seen in the cordial support given by the colonies in the Boer war. Even in what Mr Chamberlain called his “Radical days” he had never supported the “ Manchester ” view of the value of a colonial empire; and during the Gladstone ministry of 1880-85 Mr Bright had remarked that the junior member for Birmingham was the only Jingo in the Cabinet—meaning, no doubt, that he objected to the policy of laisser-faire and the timidity of what was afterwards known as “Little Englandism.” While he was still under Mr Gladstone’s influence these opinions were kept in subordination, but Mr Chamberlain was always an imperial federationist, and from 1887 onwards he constantly gave expression to his views on the desirability of drawing the different parts of the empire closer together for purposes of defence and commerce. In 1895 the time for the realization of these views had come ; and Mr Chamberlain’s speeches, previously remarkable, chiefly for debating power and directness of argument, were now dominated by a new note of constructive statesmanship, basing itself on the economic necessities of a world-wide empire. Not the least of the anxieties of the Colonial Office during this period was the situation in the West Indies, where the cane-sugar industry was being steadily undermined by the European bounties given to exports of Continental beet; and though the Government restricted themselves to attempts at removing the bounties by negotiation and to measures for palliating the worst effects in the West Indies, Mr Chamberlain made no secret of his repudiation of the Cobden Club view that retaliation would be contrary to the doctrines of free trade, and he did his utmost to educate public opinion at home into understanding that the responsibilities of the Mother Country are not merely to be construed according to the selfish interests of a nation of consumers. As regards foreign affairs, Mr Chamberlain more than once (and particularly at Leicester on 30th November 1899) indicated his leanings towards a closer understanding between the British Empire, the United States, and Germany,—a suggestion which did not save him from an extravagant outburst of German hostility during the Boer war. The unusually outspoken and pointed expression, however, of his disinclination to submit to Muscovite duplicity or to “pin-pricks” or “unmannerliness ” from France, was criticized on the score of discretion by a wider circle than that of his political adversaries.
Mr Chamberlain is popularly known as indulging a hobby for orchid-growing at his house, “Highbury,” near Birmingham. An orator of a straightforward, unrhetorical type, cool, alert in debate, and hard-hitting, his personality has always had a peculiarly irritating effect on his opponents ; and his spare figure, incisive features, and single eyeglass have made him a favourite subject for the caricaturist. Among other public honours, he was made Lord Rector of Glasgow University in 1897, and delivered on that occasion an address on “ Patriotism.” His eldest son, Austen, has also made his mark in politics as a Civil Lord of the Admiralty, 1895-1900, and as financial secretary to the Treasury (1901). Chamberlain, Sir Neville Bowles (1820-1902), British field-marshal (1900), third son of Sir Henry Chamberlain, first baronet, consul-general and charge d’affaires in Brazil, was born at Rio on the 10th January 1820. He entered the Indian army in 1837, served as a subaltern in the first Afghan war (1839-42), and was wounded on six occasions (medal and clasps). He was attached to the Governor-General’s bodyguard at the battle of Maharajpur, in the Gwalior campaign of 1843 (medal), was appointed military secretary to the governor of Bombay in 1846, and honorary aide-de-camp to the Governor-General of India in 1847. He served on the staff throughout the Punjab campaign of 1848-49 (medal and clasps and brevet majority). In 1850 he was appointed commandant of the Punjab military police, and in 1852 military secretary to the Punjab Government. Promoted lieut.-colonel in 1854, he was given the command of the Punjab Frontier Force with rank of brigadier-general, and commanded in several expeditions against the frontier tribes. In the Indian Mutiny he succeeded Colonel Chester as adjutant-general of the Indian army, and distinguished himself at the siege of Delhi, where he was severely wounded (medal, brevet-colonelcy, A.D.C. to the Queen, and C.B.). He was reappointed to the command of the Punjab Frontier Force in 1858, and commanded in the (1863) Umbeyla campaign, when he was severely wounded (medal, major-general for distinguished service, and K.C.B.). He was made K.C.S.I. in 1866, lieut.-general in 1872, G.C.S.I. in 1873, G.C.B. in 1875, and general in 1877. From 1876 to 1881 he was commander-in-chief of the Madras army, and in 1878 was sent on a mission to the Amir of Afghanistan, whose refusal to allow him to enter the country precipitated the second Afghan war. He was for some time acting military member of the Council of the Governor-General of India. He retired in 1886, and died 18th February 1902. Chambers, William (1800-1883). The story of the brothers Chambers has been so fully told in the Ency. Brit. (vol. v.), that it is only necessary to add that William Chambers (born at Peebles, 16th April 1800) was the financial genius of the firm, and that, although possessing neither the literary abilities nor the attractive character of his brother, he laid the city of Edinburgh under the greatest obligations by his public spirit and munificence. As Lord Provost he procured the passing in 1867 of the Improvement Act, which led to the reconstruction of a great part of the Old Town, and at a later date he proposed and carried out, largely at his own expense, the restoration of the noble and then neglected church of St Giles, making it in a sense “ the Westminster Abbey of Scotland.” This service was fitly acknowledged by the offer of a baronetcy, which he did not live to receive, dying on 20th May 1883, three days before the reopening of the church. He was the author of a history of St Giles’s, of a memoir of himself and his brother, and of many other useful publications. Chambersburgf, a borough of Pennsylvania, U.S.A., and capital of Franklin county, situated in the