Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 57

Report of adjourned conference, and of the first meeting of the League, held November 18, 1884

Front Cover

Imperial Federation League.

Report of the Adjourned Conference, and of the First Meeting of the league, held November 18, 1884.

page break

Imperial Federation League.

A League for the Purpose of Promoting the Cause of Imperial Federation having been now Formed, all British Subjects Throughout the Empire who Sympathise with the end in View are Invited to Enrol themselves as Members of the League, and to give all the Assistance in their Power Towards Ensuring its Success.

An Account of the Constitution and Methods of the League will be found at page 7 of this Report.

Attention is called to the Resolution adopted by the Conference on Nov. 18th, in favour of the Establishment of Branches of the League in all Parts of the Empire, and the cooperation of all Friends of the Movement is invited towards assisting the General Committee to carry out this important feature of the Constitution of the League.

All Communications should be made to the Secretary of the Imperial Federation League,

43, St. Margaret's Offices, Victoria Street, Westminster, London, S.W. Subscriptions to the Central League should be made payable to the Hon. Treasurers,

J. Dennistoun Wood,

Esq., 82, Ladbrooke Grove, London, W.; or The Hon.

Harold Finch-Hatton,

19, Bury Street, St. James's, London. Cheques may be crossed "

Messrs. Hoare."

page 4
  • Hill, A. Staveley, Esq., Q.C., Conservative Member for West Staffordshire.
  • Holland, Sir Henry, Bart. K.C.M.G., Conservative Member for Midhurst; late Assistant Under Secretary for the Colonies: Member of the Imperial Defence Commission.
  • Hogg, Quintin, Esq.
  • Labilliere. F. P. Esq. (Hon. Secretary.)
  • Lewisham Viscount. Conservative Member for West Kent.
  • Lloyd. Sampson S. Esq., Conservative Member for North Warwickshire.
  • Lubbock, Sir John, Bart. Liberal Member for London University.
  • Macleay, Sir George, K.C.M.G.
  • Mcarthur, Alexander, Esq., Liberal Member for Leicester.
  • Mcarthur, Sir William. K.C.M.G.. Liberal Member for Lambeth.
  • Mackinnon, William, Esq.
  • Maskelyne, N. Story, Esq., Liberal Member for Cricklade.
  • Maxwell, Sir Herbert, Bart., Conservative Member for Wigtonshire.
  • Merriman, the Hon, J. X.. formerly Member of the Cape Ministry.
  • Molineux, Gisborne, Esq.
  • Monck, The Right Hon. Viscount, formerly Governor-General of Canada.
  • Morley, Samuel, Esq. Liberal Member for Bristol.
  • Macdonald, the Right Hon. Sir John, G.C.B.. Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada.
  • Normanby, the Right Hon. the Marquis of, G.C.M.G., successively Governor of Nova Scotia. Queensland New Zealand and Victoria.
  • Norwood, C. M. Esq., Liberal Member for Hull.
  • Nugent, General Sir Charles, C.B.
  • Pelly, Sir Lewis, K.C.B., K.C.S.I.
  • Playfair. the Right Hon. Sir Lyon, K.C.B.. Liberal Member for the University of Edinburgh: formerly Post master-General in Mr. Gladstone's Ministry. Reay. Lord.
  • Rose, Sir John, formerly Finance Minister in the Canadian Government.
  • Rosebery, the Right Hon. the Earl of, K.T.: Under Secretary for the Home Department, 1881, in Mr. Gladstone's Ministry.
  • Robinson. Admiral Sir Spencer K.C.B.
  • Rusden, G W., Esq.
  • Rusden, A., Esq.
  • Sandford. W. Ayshford, Esq.
  • Scanlen, Sir Thomas, late Prime Minister of the Cape.
  • Seeley. J. R., M.A. Begins Professor of Modern History in the University of Cambridge.page 5
  • Shaftesbury, The Right Hon. the Earl of, K.G.
  • Silver, S.W., Esq.
  • Simmons, Alfred, Esq.
  • Simon, Mr. Serjeant, Liberal Member for Dewsbury.
  • Smith, Sir Francis.
  • Smith, Samuel, Esq., Liberal Member for Liverpool.
  • Smith, The Right Hon. W. H., Conservative Member for Westminster, First Lord of the Admiralty in Lord Beaconsfield's Ministry.
  • Soper, W. G., Esq.
  • Stanhope, The Hon. Edward, Conservative Member for Mid-Lincolnshire; Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade in 1875 to 1878; Under Secretary of State for India 1878 to 1880.
  • Southey, The Hon. R., C.M.G.
  • Summers, W., Liberal Member for Stalybridge.
  • Tennyson, Lord.
  • Tennyson, The Hon. Hallam.
  • Turnbull, Alexander, Esq.
  • Watt, The Hon. J. B., M.L.C., New South Wales.
  • Wemyss and March, Earl of.
  • Westgarth, William, Esq.
  • Westminster, The Very Rev. the Dean of.
  • Wilson, Sir Samuel.
  • Wood, J. Dennistoun. (Hon. Treasurer.)
  • Youl, J. A.. Esq., C.M.G.
  • Young, Frederick. Esq.

The following is an account of the proceedings of the Conference.

The Right Hon. W. E. Forster, M.P., who occupied the chair, opened the Conference with the intimation that the friends of the movement were receiving the adhesion and help of most influential men of all parties in the State to the proposed League, and he then called for the Report of the Provisional Committee. Which was as follows:—

Imperial Federation.

Provisional Committee.

  • The Right Hon. W. E. Forster, M.P., Chairman.
  • Fredrick Young; Esq., Vice-Chairman.
  • Captain J. C. R. Colomb, Vice-Chairman.
  • J. Dennistoun Wood, Esq., Hon. Treasurer
  • Hon. Harold Finch-Hatton, Hon. Treasurer
page 8
The Provisional Committee suggest that the plan of procedure should include the following special methods :
aPublications, Lectures, and Meetings.
bThe collection and dissemination of statistics and information bearing upon the object of the League.
cThe interchange of views between friends of Federation in the United Kingdom and the Colonies.
dProviding, in a really available form, information relating to the common interests of the Empire, and tending to further the objects of the League.
The following is an abstract from the Hon. Treasurers' accounts:
£ s. d.
Subscriptions received as per annexed List. 275 2 6
Expended 28 0 6

The above does not include expenses connected with the publication of the Report of the Conference of July 29th.

W. E. Forster,

Chairman of the Provisional Committee. Francis P. Labilliere, 5, Pump Court, Temple, E.C. Hon. Sec. H. O. Arnold-Forster, 80, Eccleston Square, S.W. Hon. Sec.

The Marquis Of Normanby*

Moved the adoption of the foregoing report. Maintaining, as he did, the strongest possible feeling towards the Colonies of this great Empire, he could not, he said, but rejoice to see a movement of this kind taking place. The Colonies were now bound to this country by the bond of affection and loyalty, and, he might add, by self-interest, because there were no communities in the world which possessed such free and independent constitutions as the Colonies of this country did. While he had no fear, therefore, of any immediate likelihood of rupture between the Colonies and the mother country, he thought it was a statesmanlike view to look forward to the future as well as to consider the present, and he could not help feeling that as time rolled by and these great Colonies increased in wealth and population, unless the union was drawn close it would inevitably grow weaker.

* Governor in succession of Nova Scotia. Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria.

page 9

Sir Henry Holland, M.P.,*

In seconding the motion, said he attached especial importance to the fourth head of the scheme (as set forth above), the organised defence of common rights, and he expressed the hope that members on both sides of the House of Commons would endeavour to raise this important subject above all questions of political party. (Hear, hear.) He expressed his opinion that the first great step towards Imperial federation was to promote a scheme of federation among the Colonists themselves.

The Report was then unanimously adopted.

* Conservative Member for Midhurst, Assistant Under-Secretary for the Colonies 1870 to 1874; Member of the Imperial Defence Commission.

Mr. E. Stanhope, M.P.,

Then opened a general discussion by congratulating those present on the great strides which the cause had made since they last met a few months ago, and urging that they should proceed at once to form the League upon the basis proposed.

Conservative Member for Mid-Lincolnshire; late Under-Secretary for India.

Lord Brabourne

Said that when he first went to the Colonial Office, where he had the honour of serving for more than three years as Under-Secretary. He well remembered that there were men in England at that time who spoke lightly of the Colonial connexions, who spoke of Canada, for example, as a country with which England might part with great advantage. He set himself from the very first day he entered that office till the day he quitted it to counteract such views. (Cheers.) There would be no clay so evil for England as that when any political party should cease to cherish the Colonial Empire as an integral part of England. If Colonists and Englishmen would meet more frequently and learn more to understand each other's interest the more would they find that these interests were identical, and they would form and create such feeling in this country and the Colonies that the man who would hereafter speak of the possibility of any severance would be laughed at as a visionary, whose opinions could not be tolerated. (Hear, hear.)

Formerly Under-Secretary for the Colonies.

Mr. James Youl,§

As representing one of the Colonies, cautioned the committee that proposals for federation must come from the Colonies them-selves, and to be careful not to interfere with their rights.

§ Tasmania.

page 10

The Earl of Dunraven

Remarked that in no practicable scheme of federation could any interference possibly take place with the local government and independence which the Colonies enjoyed. While it was natural for an Englishman to look at the matter from the point of view as it affects the United Kingdom, he did not think it possible, on the other hand, to over-estimate the enormous advantage that it was to Englishmen who live beyond those seas to have the military and naval power of England at their back. (Hear.) It was, however, on the growing strength and power of our Colonies that England could best rely in the future to be able to maintain itself in its position as a first-class Power, without burdening itself with the enormous weight of a huge standing army, or without resorting to conscription. And he believed, further, for himself, that it was on the growing wealth of our Colonies that we had, perhaps, principally to depend for the prosperity of our great industries, and our trade and commerce.

The Hon. J. X. Merriman*

Desired some information in matters of detail. The Navy, for example, was attracting a good deal of attention just now in England. If the Colonies were asked to contribute their quota to the interest of any loan raised for the naval defence of the Empire, that would be a real practical step towards federation, and one which might be considered at the present time with very great advantage; but if they were to go into the idea of having a confederation of the Empire with a central Parliament, and representatives from the Colonies in that Parliament, he was afraid they would find a great many rocks ahead. There was a strong centrifugal force which was working the Colonies farther and farther away from the mother country. (Cries of "No.") He said "Yes." It was desirable that Colonists should know more fully what was proposed, so that they could advocate the scheme in their own Colonies. He thought the Colonies were entitled to claim rather more share in settling Imperial affairs concerning themselves than they had at present. At present they were entirely at the mercy of the Colonial Department, and that Department was not the speediest to get into motion in the world. There should be something of a Colonial Council established, so that some definite recognised opinion could be brought to bear on the Colonial Office, with the view of getting that office to move in time, and so save immense loss, trouble, and confusion.

* Late Member of the Cape Ministry.

page 11

Mr. W. E. Forster*

Again rose and said:—As a member of the Provisional Committee which drew up this Report, I think the time has come when I may offer some remarks upon the resolution. What Mr. Merriman says deserves our closest attention, but I still am of opinion that it would be premature for us to bring forward any detailed plan of federation at this time. (Hear, hear.) If you read the resolutions of the Provisional Committee, you will see that we declare what federation must not do, and what it must do. It must not interfere with the existing rights of local Parliaments as regards local affairs; but in any scheme of Imperial federation we should combine on equitable bases the resources of the Empire for the maintenance of common interests, and adequately provide for an organised defence of common rights. I am well aware that this statement is open to objection on both sides. We have our friends here, and I rejoice in having so many friends favourable to our object. But we must expect criticism from the Press and from other quarters, and I have no doubt that we shall be criticised from two directions, and that we shall be, as it were, between two tires. On the one hand, there will be a strong opinion, in which I agree, that any detailed plan of federation would be pre-mature; and on the other hand, there will be a statement to this effect: "Well, if you meet together and declare that it is a good thing that there should be an united Empire, what is that but mere talk?" Well, I think the more we look at it the more we shall see that the formation of such a league as we are now forming is anything but mere talk, and that it will have a great effect in substantial action. In the first place, there is no denying that there are disintegrating causes at work. There are difficulties in the present relations between the Colonies and the mother country, and it is required that those persons—those British subjects here and in the Colonies—who are very anxious that unity should be preserved, should be ready to prevent those causes arising if possible, and if they do arise to diminish their effect as much as possible, and to remove them as much as possible. No one doubts for a moment the difficulties which we shall have to meet in forming a lasting federation; but that is no reason why we should not determine page 12 to overcome them, and as the absolute condition of being able to overcome them, we in England must get to know the feeling of the leading men in the Colonies, and we must obtain suggestions from them. I do not think that it follows that it may be years before we arrive at some conclusion; but it would be most unwise to take the thing into our own hands at once and to sketch out any particular plan. Mr. Merriman said a word about a Federal Council. Now a Federal Council—a Colonial Council—would be one form of federation undoubtedly; a Parliament would be another form. There is a good deal to be said for both: but "I repeat I do not think that the time has come to decide upon them. This I think we may very fairly do. We may consider what is the necessary condition of a future federation—what is the necessary condition of the change which we think must take place from self-governing Colonies, having, as I may say, nothing legally to do with the power of the Imperial Government in dealing with foreign States, into a relation in which they will have their share in controlling foreign policy. It is that change which we have to look forward to, and when that change comes, what must be its necessary condition? There is one condition which is absolutely necessary. It is that the union should imply mutual defence—mutual alliance with common citizenship. (Hear, hear.) There is no other condition absolutely necessary but that, though others may be added. Mr. Freeman, the historian, published several years ago an interesting first volume of a work which I trust he will complete—a work upon federation; and in his introduction he defines what he considers federation to mean in these words: "A federal commonwealth in its perfect form is one which forms a single State in its relations to other nations, but which consists of many States in relation to its internal government." (Hear, hear.) Now that admits of a wide margin, but I would reply to Mr. Merriman's suggestion by saying that we are bound by this absolute condition—that there should be this alliance for mutual defence, and that there should be this common citizenship. People may say that after all that means but little. To my mind it means a great deal. (Hear, hear.) It means in the first place peace among all the members of the Empire. It means, I believe, greater strength for each member of the Empire—(hear, hear)—the power of aiding and protecting one another. It next means a common career for every British subject, for every citizen, and that is no slight thing either for the Colonies or for us at home. page 13 At the present moment, perhaps, it is a greater boon for the Colonies that they should have great careers opened for them in England, and also in our dependencies of India and elsewhere; but I am not sure that the time may not come in which it will be felt in England that there would be great careers opened in the Colonies. (Hear, hear.) I am not going into the question of any interference with Colonial tariffs. That is a matter in which we shall do no good by attempting interference, but I have no manner of doubt that such a union as I have described, even with no other condition than I have attached to it, does mean more trade between England and her Colonies than would exist if there was a separation. (Hear, hear.) We Englishmen may lament over some of the Colonial duties, but you may depend upon it that if the Colonies who levied those duties were forced by England to separate from us those duties would be higher. (Hear, hear.) Then there is an advantage on the other side. England is a country of enormous resources and of accumulated capital, and there is great advantage in the great public enterprises which these Colonies undertake in their being connected in common citizenship with a country which is now, and which I trust will long continue to be, able to lend money at the easiest rate of interest—if I may put the other ill a purely business form—of any Power in the world. Again, there are greater facilities of emigration. I think those are all advantages which are worth striving to aim at. They are all advantages which are practical advantages of union, besides that sentiment which we must not neglect and which is a very strong sentiment, the feeling that we are proud of belonging to the greatest Empire that the world ever knew, and that we cannot reconcile ourselves to the thought of its being broken up. (Hear, hear.) Let us consider for a moment what are the possible tendencies towards separation which we should guard against, No doubt that which would be more likely to produce it than any other cause would be an attempt on the part of England to interfere with the Colonies. That we must guard against, and that your committee have felt it was absolutely necessary to put down in the very forefront of our proceedings, that there should be no interference with their local self-government. That is a fear which would be now perhaps more felt by the Colonies; but if the time comes, as I trust it will come, when the union will have lasted until the Colonies shall have become, some of them, almost as powerful and perhaps quite as powerful as England herself, then a fear might be felt by England if there was an attempt to inter- page 14 fere with the self-government of the United Kingdom. Therefore it is a principle which we are obliged to maintain. (Hear, hear.) Then the next danger is the fear on either side of foreign complications. I suppose there are persons in the Colonies who say, "We are in some danger from the action of your Foreign Office in London;" and on the other hand, there are men in England who say, "The Colonies may drag us into disputes which we do not desire." I do not deny that there is a degree of danger on both sides, but I believe that the advantage of their mutual help and alliance is far greater than the danger. (Hear, hear.) If we look first to the United Kingdom, considering how our great Continental neighbours are banding themselves in large nations, with populations constantly increasing, and with their enormous standing armies, while the small nations, I am sorry to say, find greater difficulties in maintaining themselves, I think no one of us can doubt that England would find it hard to maintain her position unless she made use of what I believe no Continental statesman can for a moment suppose she would be so foolish as to neglect, the assistance which she can obtain from her Colonies. (Cheers.) But, again, I do not think that the Colonies ought to consider themselves perfectly safe. (Hear.) Now I am touching upon rather delicate ground; I hope I shall say nothing that will be imprudent. But take Australia itself. Australia may say, "We are on the other side of the world; what matters it what the nations of Europe think? We have a sentimental love for England, but, after all, are we in any danger?" I would ask them just to look at this fact, that the nations of the Continent are now finding out what it is for the English-speaking race to have possession of a very large portion of the temperate regions of the world, and they are wishing—and not unnaturally wishing—to have their share in it; and if the Australian Colonies were left by themselves, I would not guarantee that they would not find that they had foreign complications and had neighbours by their sides which would give them a Foreign Office—(a laugh)—with very much the same difficulty, but without the same power of obtaining assistance, as we have ourselves. Some people say that the Colonies will not enter into relations of mutual defence, and will make no sacrifice for that purpose. I entirely disbelieve that statement. (Cheers.) I see nothing to justify it. As far as I can see from every action in the Colonies, from what they have done as States, as self-governing communities, and from what their leading men say, and from page 15 what we believe to be the popular feeling, they are very anxious to bear their share in mutual defence. We have seen that in what has happened in Australia of late, where the different Colonies have been going to considerable expense in providing ships of war. And just allow me to say that here I think is an opportunity for strengthening the bonds between the mother country and the Colonies, especially with Australia. Advantage might be taken of this fact, and our Government ought to come forward, and I have very little doubt will come forward, with some plan of mutual defence, especially by ships of war; a mutual agreement to find the cost of a navy might be arranged, and put into working detail. (Hear, hear.) But I repeat that we have a great work-to do. We have first to gather together those persons, both here and in the Colonies, who look forward to permanent union, and not to separation. We have to ask them to join together in considering what would ultimately be the best form of that federation, and still more important for the present time, what steps should be taken year by year to make it more probable; and especially we have to ask them to rally themselves together to defeat any disintegrating influence that may be at work. (Hear, hear.) The movement has met with far greater support than some of us here, however earnest in it, had expected. I have rarely known so many noblemen and gentlemen of all parties wishing to aid in our object, and I believe that that arises from this feeling, that none of us who care about political action at all can avoid considering what is to be the future of our country, and that the future of our country depends upon this union. (Cheers.) The right hon. gentleman then read letters from several distinguished persons. Lord Shaftesbury wrote :—"looking to the state of Great Britain externally and internally I see no hope for the future maintenance of this dignity and strength, but in one vast federation." That, he remarked, is not the opinion of a party politician, but of one who, more than any man, in his long and beneficent life, has gauged the influences at work among his fellow-countrymen. Then Sir Lyon Play fair wrote:—"I feel very certain that it is a wise thing to discuss the subject of federating Great Britain with the Greater Britain. The difficulties are no doubt great, but the realisation, though it may be postponed, will add so enormously to the safety and prosperity of the whole Empire, that it is worth while engaging in the work, however postponed may be the consummation of our expectations." Another letter was from Lord Tennyson's son, in which he said, speaking page 16 on behalf of his father, "We earnestly hope that the conference will further the cause. My father and I will be delighted to be on such a committee as you propose." There was another letter from Lord Monck, a late Governor-General of Canada, who wrote :—"I shall be very happy to join the League for Imperial Federation. I have long been of opinion that there are but two courses open to us in connexion with the relation of the Colonies to the mother country—first, to strengthen and develop the connexion with the view of making it permanent; secondly, to gradually relax the connexion with a view to ultimate independence. If we cannot accomplish the first, I think in justice to the Colonies we are bound to adopt the policy of looking to the latter alternative. Your League seems to be the first earnest attempt to connect the scattered elements of our Empire, and, if practicable, to ensure the permanence of the connexion between them." Lord Monck (Mr. Forster continued) exactly puts it as I believe is the real fact. If that opinion is to prevail which was held by not a few influential men a few years ago, that the final relation must be one of perfect Colonial independence, then I think, at whatever sacrifice of sentimental feeling, that we ought to prepare for it. But the great change that has occurred in the last few years is that men do not believe that will be the final result; and if so, then we must work to insure the other result. (Cheers.)

* Liberal Member for Bradford; Under-Secretary for the Colonies, 1865; Member of Mr. Gladstone's Cabinet and Vice-President of the Committee of Council on Education, 1868 to 1874; Chief Secretary for Ireland, 1880 to 1882.

Mr. Murray Smith*

Said that he had been instructed by his Government to express the cordial sympathy of his Government with the movement.

* Agent General tor Victoria.

The Earl of Rosebery

Said:—The main object of this meeting being a practical one, I should like to offer at least one practical suggestion. It seems to me that this meeting represents a very great national impulse as coming from the mother country. I have no doubt that if all those who sympathised with us were here to-day, not one hall such as this, nor ten halls such as this, would suffice to hold, not merely the masses, but the men of more or less "light and leading" who would assemble. That is an impulse that comes from the mother country; but there is another impulse which is needed, and that must come from those Colonies which we are anxious to unite; It seems to me that, as a practical matter, it page 17 would be an excellent thing to invite the Colonies, and those representatives of the Colonies who may be, here present, to form branches of this League in their respective Colonies, so that at any rate we may have a voice which would reach those parts of the Empire, and yet make those parts of the Empire feel that we are not lecturing them on what it would be good for them to do, but trying to raise a responsive echo in the Colonies to answer the voice which comes from the mother country. Now, that is a practical suggestion, and I think it is one of some moment. The relations of Great Britain with her Colonies are mysterious in their nature and origin, but are also extremely delicate. Anything that savours of dictation coming from this country to the Colonies is not likely to be very well received. The Colonies being self-governing and self-acting bodies, great empires like Canada and Australia, as some of them promise to be, are not likely to receive even suggestions coming from the mother country unless they have some power of deciding on them for their own part. The Chairman has alluded to me on two very delicate points, and they are so delicate that I am almost afraid to follow him in dealing with them. But allusion was made to the risk that a great country like Australia, with a comparatively or relatively sparse population, might run in danger of a war. The Chairman said, and said truly, that the other great nations of the world were beginning to see that they have an interest too in securing as much of the unoccupied places of the world as they can, and he intimated that Australia might run some risk of invasion. I do not believe that any Power in the world could control even the present population of Australia, being of Anglo-Saxon origin, so as to hold it for ever; but I do believe a hostile Power might inflict tire greatest possible temporary damage on Australia by a navy, or a landing, or the exaction of a great fine in money. It is tolerably well known that at a time when the last Government felt themselves compelled to take warlike measures, which did not happily result in war, against another European Power, that European Power, unless we are strangely misinformed, was fitting out a fleet in America for the very purpose of invading the Australian shore. But to show that on their part the Colonies are not unprepared to take their share of the burden, I would point to this fact -that the Colonies of Australia are taking on their own shoulders a great part of the task of defending themselves; and though I believe that if their smaller fleets were so organised as to be comprehended in the British page 18 Imperial Fleet, it would be better for all concerned, yes, as a sign of effort and as a sign of goodwill, I think those navies are somewhat remarkable symptoms. I think allusion was also made to the causes that were making this question of confederation a very leading one, and I think there was one omitted which I will venture to dwell upon now. It is that since the time when what I may call the nullification school of politicians held sway in this country, and When it was almost deemed high treason against common sense to hint that the Colonies were anything else than a millstone around the neck of the mother country, great changes have passed over the face of the world. We have seen Italy form itself into a nation; we have seen Germany form itself into a nation; we have seen everywhere a movement for nationality develop and expand even among races which we cannot consider equal to ours, and the Reflection is inevitably forced upon us, why should that nation which, in our opinion, is the greatest of the nations, hold aloof from a movement so obviously in its own interest, and which in a short time will be one of absolute and imperious necessity.


It was pointed out in reply to the noble lord that his suggestion was Covered in the eighth of the series of resolutions above printed.

Under Secretary for the Home Department, 1881, in Mr. Gladstone's Ministry.

Sir John A. Macdonald*

Said that when the intelligence arrived in Canada that a meeting had taken place, composed of so many men of influence and standing, in support of this object, it gave the greatest gratification to all the people of the Dominion. He testified to the loyalty of Canada, and declared conviction that her best interests were forwarded by her connection with the greatest empire that the world had ever seen. He believed that the whole policy of Great Britain was opposed to aggressive war, and in any other war the people of Canada would, he assured them, be ready to take their share of the responsibility and the cost. (Hear.) He moved the appointment of a long list of influential and representative names as the general Committee, to conduct the affairs of the League until next general meeting.

Sir William Fox, late Prime Minister of New Zealand, seconded the Resolution, which was supported by Sir Rawson Rawson, West Indies; Sir Francis Dillon Bell, Agent- page 19 General for New Zealand; Sir Saul Samuel, Agent-General for New South Wales;—Garrick, Agent-General for Queensland.

The motion was then adopted.

* Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada.

Mr. Bryce, M.P.,*

Moved formal resolutions giving certain powers to the Committee, and in doing so took occasion to mention that certain members of the advanced section of the Liberal party had hitherto refrained from joining the movement from some misapprehension that the term "Imperial Federation" was intended to imply something like a subjection both of Colonial Chambers and of our own Parliament to a central authority similar to that existing in the United States. He was glad to find that such apprehensions were entirely groundless.

* Liberal Member for the Tower Hamlets.

Mr. Alfred Simmons

Seconded these resolutions, which were adopted.

A vote of thanks was then accorded to the Chairman for presiding, acknowledging which,

Mr. Forster

Said their proceedings that day would do two things—first, it would make it much easier to get over the difficulties of having a completely detailed federation hereafter, and, secondly, it would make it exceedingly difficult for any man or any body of men, or any Minister in England or in the Colonies, to neglect taking such measures as would preserve and promote the union which they were determined to maintain.

Note. The report of the speeches given above is taken from The Times of the 19th November.

The following is a complete list of those who attended the Conference held Nov. 18th:—James Austell. Esq., George Baden Powell. Esq., C.M.G.. R. M. Ballantyne. Esq., Sir Henry Barkly. K.C.B., G.C.M.G., James Beaty, Esq., H. C. Beeton. Esq. (Agent-General for British Columbia). Sir Francis Dillon Bell, K.C.M.G. (Agent-General for New Zealand), Rowland P. Blennerhassett, Esq., M.P., Sir Arthur Blyth. K.C.M.G. (Agent-General for South Australia). Stephen Bourne, Esq., Lord Brabourne, Charles E. Bright. Esq., C.M. G., William J. Browne. Esq. date South Australia). J. A. B. B. Bruce, Esq., Lord Castletown, Edward Chapman. Esq., F. W. Chesson, Esq., the Dean of Chester. H. B. Christian. Esq. (Cape Colony), Hyde Clarke. Esq., J. G. Collier (Secretary to the High Commissioner for Canada), Captain J. C. R. Colomb, Sir D. Cooper. page 20 Bart., K.C.M.G.. B. P. S. Costelloe, Esq., W. J. Courthope, Esq, Major Craigie. Jas. Cropper. Esq., M.P., Colonel Sir Wm. Crossman. K.C.M.G.. Sir Donald Carrie, K.C.M.G., M.P., R. R. Dobell, Esq. (Canada), Jas. Dunn, Esq., the Right Hon. the Earl of Dunraven, K.P., George Errington, Esq., M.P., Hon. Harold Finch-Hatton, Hon. M. Finch-Hatton, M.P., E. W. Fithian. Esq., H. O. Arnold Forster. Esq., the Right Hon. W. E. Forster. M.P., Sir William Fox, K.C.M.G. (late Premier of New Zealand). J. F. Garrick, Esq., Q.C. (Agent-General for Queensland), Wm. Gisborne. Esq. (late of New Zealand), J. E. Gorst. Esq., Q.C., M.P., Morton Green, Esq. (Natal). F. T. Gregory, Esq. (Queensland), Sir William H; Gregory. K.C.M.G., William Greswell. Esq., Vice-Admiral Vesey Hamilton, Admiral Sir J. Dalrymple Hay, Bart., M.P., E Heneage, Esq., M.P., A. Staveley Hill. Esq., Q.C,. M.P., Jas. Hole, Esq., Sir Henry T. Holland, K.C.M.G., M.P., Hon. Thos. Holt. M.L.C. (New South Wales), R. V. Holton, Esq., E. W. Howson. Esq., Dr. C. Inglis. J.J. Irvine, Esq. (Cape Colony), J. P. Jeans. Esq., Captain C. Johnstone. R.N., E. A. Judges, Esq. (Canada), J. F. Kelsey. Esq., F. P. Labilliere, Esq., James Lansdell Esq., Nathaniel Levin. Esq., Sampson S. Lloyd. Esq., M.P., Lieut-General R. W. Lowry. C.B.. Colonel Henry Lumsden, Alexander M 'Arthur. Esq., M.P., Right Hon. Sir John A. Macdonald, K.C.B.. Hon. W. J. Macdonald. R. B. Mackie. Esq., R. D. Douglas McLean, Esq., (New Zealand), A. Patchett Martin. Esq. (Victoria), Charles Marvin, Esq., Hon. J. X. Merriman. M.L.A. (Cape Colony), G. Molineux. Esq., S. V. Morgan. Esq., X. Mosley. Esq., Kenrie B. Murray. Esq., (See. London Chamber of Commerce). R. Lucas Nash, Esq., Thomas Niblock. Esq. (Canada). W. N. Nicholson, Esq., M.P., the Marquis of Normandy. G.C.M.G. (late Governor of Victoria). G. Paton. Esq., Colonel Conway Poole. W. Agnew Pope. Esq., John S. Prince. Esq. (Cape Colony), Sir Rawson W. Rawson. K.C.M.G., C.B., G. M. Reid, Esq., the Right Hon. the Earl of Rosebery, G. W. Rusden, Esq. (late Victoria), Albert Rutson. Esq., Sir Saul Samuel. K.C.M.G. (Agent-General) for New South Wales), A. Sandbach, Esq., Sir Thomas C. Scanlen. K.C.M.G. (late Premier of the Cape Colony), Robert Scott, Esq., John Shrimpton, Esq., Charles Shuter. Esq., J. C. Silber, Esq., Alfred Simmons, Esq., Mr. Serjeant Simon, M.P., Sir Francis Smith (Chief Justice. Tasmania), R. Murray Smith, Esq., C.M.G. (Agent-General for Victoria), Samuel Smith, Esq., M.P., W. G. Soper, Esq. (Cape Colony), Hon. Edward Stanhope, M.P., D. Summers. Esq., W. Summers, Esq., M.P., C. Tottenham. Esq., Sir Charles Tupper, K.C.M.G., C.B. (High Commissioner for Canada), J. Stewart Tupper, Esq. (Canada), Alexander Turnbull, Esq, (Jamaica), T. D. Wanliss, Esq., the Karl of Wemyss and March. William Westgarth, Esq., Arnold White Esq. Captain A. C. White. Sir Samuel Wilson. William Wilson. Esq. (late M.L.C. Victoria). J. D. Wood. Esq., E. A. Wallace. Esq., James A. Youl, Esq., C.M.G., Frederick Young. Esq.

page break

"There is no more idle conception, among all the vain imaginations that fill the atmosphere of Politics, than the conception which now and then finds vent, that there are in this country a party of men who are insensible to the great dignity and the great duties connected with the maintenance of the Colonial Empire of England. There have been superstitions gathering round the nature of that Empire. It may have been valued in wrong ways; but there is no man, I believe, worthy of the name of a statesman—no man known to me in the sphere of political life—who is not sensible that the business of founding and of cherishing those Colonies is one which has been so distinctly entrusted by Providence to the care of the people of this country, that we should almost as soon think of renouncing the very name of Englishmen, as of renouncing the very great duties which, passing beyond the seas, are imposed upon us with regard to the more distant, but not less dear, portions of this great British Empire."

—Speech of Mr. Gladstone at the Mansion House, August 7, 1881.

"In my opinion no minister in this country will do his duty who neglects any opportunity of reconstructing, as much as possible, our Colonial Empire, and of responding to those distant sympathies which may become the source of incalculable strength and happiness to this land".

Speech of Mr. Disraeli, 1872.