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ride the limits which the nature of things places on international arbitration. As far back as 1849 Lord John Russell said :
“There are questions which occur between nations that cannot well or fitly be submitted to arbitration-questions involving the dearest interests, the honour or safety of a country, which, if a government proposed to submit to an arbitrator, the force of public opinion and public feeling would be such as to render it impossible for a government to carry out such a purpose."
What are the precise cases which do not admit of arbitration, it is impossible to define minutely. Identical cases may arise in different circumstances, and their altered aspect may influence the manner in which they are considered. Each case must be judged as it arises. The subject is too vast and varied to be governed by hard and fast rules. The relative value of the matter in dispute may often decide its treatment. A claim may be unreasonable, or even unjust in itself, but the matter claimed may appear unworthy of the risks and sacrifices
In like manner a great and powerful nation, whose prowess has been tried on many a field, may afford to give proof of conciliatory dispositions without fear lest its leniency be misinterpreted as laxity, or its prudence as pusillanimity. It may feel that its honour does not call for blood.
One condition, however, is essential and indispensableproposals for arbitration must be advanced, pressingly it may be, but in a friendly and conciliatory form.
A minatory tone may create a question of honour, and ipso facto exclude arbitration ; it constitutes a contradiction in terms, and defeats its own object. It is the reductio ad absurdum of the very essence of arbitration.
THE GLOBE AND THE ISLAND.
LONDON, Fanuary 18. THE year has not opened well for England. Writing last month I pointed out how the Armenian question, like most other questions with which we are concerned in foreign politics, is embarrassed and complicated by that feeling of general hostility towards this country which is the dominant fact of the international situation. “All the Armenians in existence," I said, were not worth the risks we should have run “if, single-handed, we had launched our battle-ships, and found too late that the universal jealousy of us had crystallised into an active league of united opposition.” Before these lines had been many days in print we had another most striking proof of the difficulties which environ our foreign policy, and the paramount necessity we are under to tread warily as well as firmly. The deplorable and criminal recklessness of a few English officials, at a remote corner of the Empire, instantly brought down upon us, in ostentatious and declared hostility, the ruler of one of the few Powers with which we have done our best to remain on good terms. I do not say that the league against England is yet formed.
But the amazing message of the German Emperor to President Krüger shows how little it would take to throw into line against us such a combination of moral and physical force as no one state has had to confront since the downfall of the First Napoleon. It ought not to have surprised Englishmen to find that their persistent policy of isolation had alienated the German Government. But surprise them it did ; and the Emperor's public exultation over a disaster which involved the loss of English lives and the humiliation of English policy came upon most people in this country as a painful shock.
These startling events have, for the moment, thrown the Armenian question into the background, and, at the same time, they emphasise the warning I gave last month. There is no patriotism or good sense in endeavouring to goad Lord Salisbury into sudden and violent action. True, the spectacle which civilisation, under his leadership, presents when opposed to the dogged, pertinacious, barbarism of the Turks, is a sufficiently ridiculous one. Another month has gone by, and the Concert of Europe has done nothing for the salvation of the Armenians or the punishment of the persecutors. It still remains true that our intervention has only made the position of these wretched Eastern Christians worse than it was before. If the Sultan could defy us with impunity when we had our eyes bent full upon him, small wonder if he ignores us when we have perforce to cast anxious glances all round the world. Instead of frightening him into leaving the Armenians alone which was what we aimed at doing---we only rendered him more savagely determined to harry into impotence the people whom he regarded as the source of his trouble. There is no sign of relaxation in the persecution of the Armenians. On the contrary, the process of destroying the nation goes on steadily. But England—and that is the plain truth of the matter-seems to have quietly accepted the conviction that she is powerless to help. The departure of Sir Michael Culme Seymour's fleet from Salonica has been taken as the open confession that the attempt to bring the Sultan to terms by the display of force has been abandoned. It is a humiliating, and indeed a shameful position; and yet it is easier to say this than to suggest a means for improving the disastrous situation. The retirement of the Mediterranean Fleet from the fine harbour where the ships have been lying idle so long cannot reasonably be censured. If this country is likely to be engaged in hostile movements against any Power, the place of our Mediterranean force is somewhere within touch of Gibraltar, so as to effect a concentration with the Channel Squadron when required. Happily, it does not seem as if any such strategic operations will be necessary; but in any case Admiral Seymour's ships are as well away from Salonica, where they are doing no good whatever. The fact is that Great Britain
is just as far as ever from having obtained any real support from the other Powers in her attempts to bring pressure to bear upon the Sultan. The Russians have almost abandoned the farce of backing up Sir Philip Currie with one hand, while with the other they support the Turkish Government. The patronage of Turkey is now performed quite openly. Slatin Pasha, the new Administrator of Armenia, has been exchanging a series of banquets and ceremonial visits with the Russian officials of the frontier districts; and we read that “the first and prime favourite of this Russo-Turkish society is none other than the notorious Colonel Ismail Bey, the hero of the Sassoon atrocities." With England powerless, with the other Powers indifferent, and with the Russians openly friendly to the Turks, the horizon is dark indeed for the dwindling remnants of the Armenian race.
From them and their wrongs attention has been diverted by a series of events which touch us more nearly. The morning of New Year's Day found Englishmen in a state of bewildered anxiety and perplexity and amazement on account of Dr. Jameson's raid across the frontiers of the Transvaal. For a few days, owing chiefly to the interruption of the telegraphic communication with Johannesburg, all was doubt and uncertainty. The one fact that stood out clearly, and appealed gratefully to the harassed political senses of the nation, was that Mr. Chamberlain had acted with unmistakable promptitude and decision. For the rest, no one quite knew what to make of it all. There was even a tendency for the moment to make something of a hero of Jameson. His firebrand foray, it was said, was after all only a dashing attempt to rescue English people-women and children among them--who were at the mercy of a ruffianly enemy in a city seething with revolution. Eventually the dams that kept back the flood of news were opened, and the real facts became plain enough. It is a painful and discreditable story. We now know Jameson's raid to have been a mere piece of filibustering, undertaken in flat defiance of every principle of international law and public morality, and lacking even the poor justification which brilliancy of design and adroitness of execution may sometimes confer on a
political crime. A piece of more contemptible blundering than the abortive revolution at Johannesburg, which this absurd ride of a party of exhausted and half-starved horsemen was intended to support, can hardly be conceived.
A good deal of indignation has been showered upon the Uitlanders of Johannesburg for declining to get themselves shot down by the Boer riflemen in order to rescue Jameson and his moss-troopers from the trap into which they had voluntarily thrown themselves. But so far as the majority of the inhabitants of the town are concerned, this censure is entirely undeserved. They cannot be blamed for refusing to sacrifice their lives on behalf of a person whose intervention they had not sought, and in support of a revolution which they did not desire. In spite of all the talk about the grievances of this immigrant population of the Rand, their wrongs were not considered worth fighting for.
As sensible men, the great majority of the over-fed and over-paid miners, artisans, and tradespeople of the Rand did not think a vote for the Volksraad worth purchasing at the cost of a Boer bullet.
The real "leaders” of the rebellion conspiracy seem to have been a small knot of financiers, and company promoters who had their own ends to gain by subverting the existing Transvaal constitution, and obtaining a predominant influence over the Administration which would have the power to grant “concessions " and other desirable things. The Uitlanders have been represented by their industrious partisans in the press as a body of English colonists kept out of their just rights by an oligarchy of foreigners ; but as a matter of fact a good proportion of the Johannesburg conspirators are no more Englishmen than President Krüger and his followers themselves. Of the first twenty-four arrested, after the disarmament, only six were of English birth; and of these two were medical men, and one was Colonel Rhodes, the brother of the Managing Director of the Chartered Company. The remaining eighteen included several Jews, English, German or Dutch, connected with some of the great Rand financial concerns ; two or three Americans, and eight or nine Africanders, of Dutch descent. The behaviour of these heroes, when the crisis came which they had been trying to provoke by months of