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“England has not been thus distracted between two objects. Connected but slightly with the European system since she evacuated France in the fifteenth century, she has not since then lived in chronic war with her neighbors. She has not hankered after the imperial Crown or guaranteed the treaty of Westphalia. When Napoleon, by his continental system, shut her out from Europe, she showed that she could do without Europe. Hence her hands have always been free, while trade of itself inevitably drew her thoughts in the direction of the New World. In the long run this advantage has been decisive. She has not had to maintain a European ascendency, as Spain and France have had; on the other hand, she has not had to withstand such an ascendency by mortal conflict within her own territory, as Holland and Portugal and Spain also have been forced to do. Hence nothing has interrupted her or interfered with her to draw her off from the quiet progress of her colonial settlements. In a word, out of the five States which competed for the New World success has fallen to that one not which showed at the outset the strongest vocation for colonization, not which surpassed the others in daring or invention or energy, but to that one which was least hampered by the Old World."


The following discussion of the causes of colonial success and failure is from the celebrated essay of George Gottfried Gervinus, written as an introduction to his projected history of the nineteenth century in 1853:

The prosperity of the colonies of the New World at the beginning of the eighteenth century caused a change in the condition of those States from which they had proceeded. Shipping was carried on far more extensively and underwent great improvements. Maritime commerce seemed to promise to become more lucrative than that by land. The connection of the two hemispheres multiplied human wants as well as the means of satisfying them; it increased the materials for industry and spread its happy results. Vast commercial relations were established to equalize demand and supply, superfluity and want. Industry and trade became sources of wealth to the middle elass, and therefore a stimulus to individual exertion which had never before existed. They also became the sources of the nation's wealth, and therefore the first object to be considered in politics and government. This was all the more the case since by the altered condition of the world, the growth of the States, and the complicated relations of all the affairs of life the resources which formerly had provided for the exigencies of the government, such as Crown lands and land taxes, sufficed as little now for the expenses of the State as the feudal military service for its defense. In this new aspect of affairs it became a question which nation would apply its skill and industry to the greatest advantage. France discovered this later than her neighbors, and roused herself, finally, under Richelieu and Louis XIV. Then she endeavored to make amends for her delay by improvements in her navy, by new commercial industry, and by her attempts at colonization. Two radically different examples served to entice and to warn.

“The policy of the Spanish kings had always turned to an aggrandizement of power and dominion, and for this purpose they required the most unlimited authority and the disposal of all the resources of the State. This system of government, both at home and abroad, repressed the ancient love of freedom in the people. Those means from which other nations in the altered condition of the world derived their abiding strength checked all intellectual and commercial activity. The Spanish settlements were made in the spirit of this despotic policy. They were conducted and regulated by the Government. To add to her splendor Spain took possession of enormous tracts of land, which the emigration of a thousand years could scarcely people. Grants of land were made only to native Spaniards, and the mother country exhausted her population, which was already weakened by the expulsion of the Moors and Jews. The settlers looked for gold, for rapid gain, for indulgence, not for labor. Incitement to all active energy was stifled. Spanish commerce declined, as agriculture had long ago declined under the thraldom and privilege of class. With the failure of home profits trade ceased or passed into the hands of strangers. With the poverty of private individuals came the weakness of the State, which was required to grant the convoy of great fleets to private galleons laden with gold, when it had not a ship for the defense of its coasts. The situation of the colonies, the luxuriant world of the Tropics, which needed little human aid for its productions, favored the indolent inclinations of the southern settler. Religious bigotry impeded the growth of home rule and active independence of mind. Even where it assumed an appearance of humanity it promoted only the material advantage of the foreigner without avoiding the decline of morals at home. Thus because the inhuman monopoly of the importation of black slaves into the Spanish colonies was a scandal to the Catholic Church, the trade was given over into the hands of foreigners, and finally by the assiento of 1711, resigned wholly to the English, who reaped from it an immense profit both for their own commerce and for that of their colonies.

“With the Teutonic and democratic colonies all this was reversed. Spain discovered the New World, but the Teutoric race tilled its soil. Under them everything conduced rather to the energy and culture of each member of the State than to the acquisition of territorial power. The State as such did little for the colonization of America. The colonists took possession of only a few tracts of land for their settlements. They were not like the lower gentry which emigrated from Spain, but were the middle class from the country and towns, a class which was unknown in the Romanic States. Immigrants from all the world were at liberty to settle down beside the Englishman. The greatest profit fell to the most industrious. Enjoyment was sought in labor. The climate and soil, which resembled that of the home they had abandoned, sharpened rather than blunted their exertions. The habits of the north, the vigorous spirit of Protestantism, the assiduity of the Teutonic races, everything contributed to favor great commercial activity at home and in the colonies. From it arose a degree of prosperity and political importance in the middle class of which history affords no previous example."




The chief questions which naturally present themselves in considering the best methods of governing a noncontiguous people may perhaps be stated as follows:

(1) What share of the government of the successfully managed colony originates at the seat of the home Government and what share in the colony, and by whom and in what manner are the laws and regulations created?

(2) What share of the administration within the colony is conducted by representatives of the home Government, and what share is intrusted to the natives in conjunction with the representatives of the home Government?

(3) What steps are taken and methods applied to improve the material, mental, and moral condition of the people of the colony?

(4) How are habits of industry and thrift inculcated among the natives and the necessary labor supply obtained for the development of industries which shall render the colony self-supporting and its people prosperous?

(5) How are the necessary funds for the conduct of the colonial government raised, and is any part of such funds supplied by the home Government?

(6) The commercial relation between the colony and the mother country; its ability to supply the articles required in the home country and to absorb those produced for export by the mother country, and the extent to which the tariff and other regulations between the colony and the mother country are adjusted to encourage this mutual interchange.

The most practical answer to these practical questions must be obtained by a study of the methods at present applied in the world's colonies by the experienced nations, and by combining with these facts the expressed views of men who have spent many years in this work or in studies of the world's work along these lines. By this plan it is hoped that this study may prove a convenience to those desiring to reach conclusions for themselves. In attempting to discuss each subject separately it has been found necessary to repeat parts of certain statements as bearing upon more than one phase of the general subject, but this has been done only where necessary to a clear presentation of the subject under discussion.

In discussing the six great questions which suggest themselves with reference to the management of colonies, and which have been already outlined, it seems again proper to cite the experiences and conclusions of the great nations which have been for centuries studying these questions, and of the students who have collated facts of history and drawn conclusions therefrom. (For summarization of conclusions on the above subjects, see pp. 2767–2768.)





In attempting to answer this question by showing what methods the colonizing nations of the world are now applying as a result of their long experience, it may first be said that little is attempted in the way of detailed legislation by the legislative body of the governing country. The British Parliament, the French Assembly, and the Netherlands Parliament or States-General, the lawmaking bodies of the three countries having extended colonial experience, do not attempt to legislate frequently and continuously regarding details of affairs in the colonies. The impossibility of members of the legislative body having sufficient knowledge of local conditions in the colonies to intelligently and properly prepare and enact laws suited to those conditions, coupled with the physical impossibility of giving to the special needs of each colony sufficient time for the proper understanding and framing of local laws and regulations, has caused these legislative bodies to leave to responsible officers of the Government, who are charged with that duty, all details of colonial affairs, retaining to themselves only the shaping of the general policy with reference to the form of government and the relations, fiscal and otherwise, of the colony with the home Government.


In the United Kingdom, France, and Netherlands, the general management of colonial affairs is intrusted to a cabinet officer, whose entire attention, together with that of his department, is given to the colonies; while in Germany and Belgium, which have more recently entered the colonial field, the supervision and direction of the affairs of the colonies are intrusted to and made a part of the duty of a specified cabinet officer or minister. These officials, termed secretaries, are assisted by a staff of assistant secretaries, legal secretaries, and clerks, and they are given large discretionary powers in consulting with, supervising and directing the officials located in the colonies.

The necessary legislation for the detailed government of colonies usually originates in the colony, first in the form of recommendations by trusted officials, which, after submission to experienced persons in the colonies whose judgment is relied upon, are forwarded to the colonial office for consideration, discussion, and approval; and in cases where action by the legislative body in the colony is necessary such action usually follows the submission to the home office or colonial department. In most cases, all these things are done without referring the matter to Parliament, which expects the colonial department to handle these details, holding it responsible for that work, just as the secretaries of other departments are held responsible for the details of theirs.


The Netherlands colonies, prior to 1848, were governed under the immediate direction of the King; but the constitution of that year divided the responsibility between the King and Chambers, and required annual reports to the States-General, or legislative body, on the state of the colonies. Since that time the general management of the colonies has been in charge of a member of the council of ministers. This official is designated as the minister of the colonies, the present occupant of that position, Hon. J. T. Cremer, having had long personal experience as a high official in the colonies and being assisted by a staff, many of whom have also had experience in the colonies.


The French colonies were, prior to 1894, in charge of the department of marine, and later under the minister of commerce and industry; but in 1894 a minister of colonies was created, and since that time the colonial service of the home Government has been in charge of this official, the present minister of colonies, M. Albert Decrais, being assisted by a cabinet, of which his secretary is the chief, and which is composed of the chiefs of bureau of the colonial department. The work of the department is divided among a large staff of subordinate officers and employees, the secretary-general being chief of the cabinet and in charge of correspondence with the colonies and foreign countries and other departments. The African colonies are in charge of a special branch of the department, Madagascar in a separate bureau, while the colonies in America, Asia, and the Orient are in charge of one general division, each subdivision being assigned to a separate bureau. In addition to this, there is an inspector-general of health in the colonies, the inspector-general of public works, the committee of public works, a commission on expenditures and receipts, a committee on the verification of accounts in Indo-China, a commission in charge of colonial banks, a commission in charge of demands for territorial concessions, and another for the verification of accounts. A recently organized branch of the colonial service, designated the "office colonial,” is especially charged with the gathering of information regarding the agricultural, commercial, and industrial development of the colonies, and its distribution both to the people of France and to the colonies. Information regarding transportation, freights, insurance, duties, statistics of production, imports, exports, demand for the various articles in the colonies, production in the colonies of various articles for export, introduction of immigration, concessions, and all matters likely to be of value to the people of France or to the people of the colonies are gathered and distributed by this bureau, and to it are forwarded all inquiries relating to matters of this character which reach the French Government. A large proportion of the decrees and regulations which become laws in the colonies are submitted to, examined, and approved or rejected by the department of colonies, though the fact that the colonies themselves are represented by members in the French legislative body results in more discussion of colonial affairs in that body, in proportion to the interests involved, than in those of the other countries in question.


All of England's colonies, aside from the great self-governing colonies and India, are in charge of the colonial department, the affairs of India being of such extent and importance and dealing with a population so large and varied in conditions that they are intrusted to a Secretary of State for India, whose department is entirely separate from that of colonies. The first separate organization in England for a central administration of colonial affairs was a committee created in 1660. From 1768 colonial affairs have been dealt with by a member of the cabinet. For a time the colonies were in charge of the secretary of state for war, but since 1854 they have been in charge of a cabinet officer or secretary of state, whose duties were exclusively those relating to colonies, the exact title being “Secretary of State for the Colonies.” The present occupant of that position, the Right Hon. Joseph Chamberlain, M. P., is assisted by two under secretaries, four assistant under secretaries, a legal assistant, a private secretary and four assistant private secretaries, and a corps of clerks, some of whom have had experience in the colonies and many having had long experience in the colonial office. In cases where practicable these clerks and assistants are interchanged with the officials in the colonies, and thus practical observation and experience brought to the assistance of the home office and the service of the colonies given the advantage of the training obtained in the home office.



The scope of the business transacted by the colonial office is shown by the following statement of the distribution of business in the colonial office, as published in the British Colonial Office List for 1901:

“In charge of the permanent under secretary are political, constitutional, and military questions, general supervision of papers on all subjects before submission to the secretary of state. Assistant Under Secretary Graham has charge of business of general departmental and office arrangements, banking, currency, postal, and telegraph business, business connected with South Africa and St. Helena. Assistant Under Secretary Lucas has charge of emigration and immigration, prisons, hospitals, and asylums, business connected with the West Indian colonies and Eastern colonies. Assistant Under Secretary Cox has charge of general legal business, the settlement of legal instruments, colonial laws, business connected with North America, Australia, Fiji, and the West Pacific, Mauritius, Seychelles, Gibraltar, Malta, Cyprus, Bermuda, and the Falkland Islands. Assistant Under Secretary Antrobus has charge of business connected with the West African colonies and protectorates. To Legal Assistant Risley is assigned matters pertaining to colonial laws and general legal business. The office is divided into departments, one of which is in charge of all North American and Australian colonies; another the West Indian; another the Eastern; another South African; another the West African colonies and protectorates; and another the general and miscellaneous correspondence, including questions affecting the establishment of the colonial office, the Crown agents, office, postal, copyright, telegraph, and commercial treaties, conveyances, university examinations, replies to circulars, governors' pensions and postage allowances, naval cadetships, and general correspondence respecting colonial defense.”

The more important colonies, including Canada, Cape Colony, Natal, and the Australian colonies, are represented in England by agentsgeneral, who represent before the colonial office, and where necessary before Parliamentary committees, the interests of their colonies, and act as representatives of the colony in the transaction of its business with the home office. For the smaller colonies, Crown agents are appointed, who act as commercial and financial agents in England for such of the colonial governments as do not possess agentsgeneral. They are remunerated by fixed salaries and are appointed by the secretary of state for the colonies, who exercises a general supervision and control over their compliance with the directions of the colonial governments. Prior to 1833 each colony appointed its own agent in London, but in that year all agencies were consolidated into one office, with the exception of six agents who continued for a time to represent some of the West Indian governments. The colonies which have received responsible governments—Canada, Cape Colony, Natal, and those of British Australia-can not avail themselves of the services of the Crown agents, but have, as above indicated, agencies of their own, which are located near the office of the colonial department.

An emigrants' information office is maintained in London in charge of a committee, of which the secretary of state for the colonies is the president. Its duties are chiefly to supply information with reference to the colonies and the opportunities for emigration, and to issue warnings in cases where it is desired to discourage emigration to certain places. This office issues quarterly circulars on Canada and the Australasian and South African colonies, which are sent free of charge to persons desiring them, a circular on the emigration of women, and handbooks on Canada, Cape Colony, Natal, and the Australian colonies. The work of the office is largely devoted to answering the inquiries of persons desiring to emigrate, the number of letters dispatched for this purpose averaging about 1,000 per week.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, located near London, are maintained for the study of the products of the colonies and the training of individuals for the maintenance of botanic stations in the colonies, especially those located in the Tropics. The latter are small gardens intended to develop the agricultural resources of the various colonies, especially those in tropical countries, and each is in charge of a curator trained at the Kew Gardens, London. The executive council of the Imperial Institute has recently issued a memorandum directing attention to the character of the work now carried on, especially by the scientific and technical department of the Botanic Gardens, established to obtain information by special inquiries and experimental research regarding the natural or manufactured products of the colonies and local products of manufactures which it is desired to export. This includes the investigation of the chemical constituents and properties of new dyestuffs, tanning materials, seeds, food stuffs, oils, gums, and resins, fibrous timber, medicinal plantz and products, animal products, minerals and ores, soils, cements, and various other products, with a view to their commercial utilization, The commercial intelligence office of the board of trade also obtains and distributes information respecting commerce with the colonies.

The importance of the maintenance of a colonial department was discussed by Sir George Cornwall Lewis, whose essay “On the Government of Dependencies," issued in 1841, is still looked upon in England as a standard on matters of this character. In it he said: “Before we conclude this outline of the political relations of the English dependencies it is necessary to remark that their government is materially influenced by the existence of separate departments in the dominant country charged with the exclusive care of their political affairs. The early English colonies were in practice nearly independent of the mother country, except as to their external

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commercial relations, and there was scarcely any interference on the part of England with the ordinary management of their internal affairs. Accordingly, there was at that time no separate department of the English Government charged exclusively with the superintendence of the government of the dependencies, and the business connected with them, being chiefly commercial, was assigned first to a board, and after, for a short interval, to a permanent committee of the privy council, which had the management of the affairs of trade and the plantations.

If it be assumed that colonial and other dependencies are to remain in a state of dependence, it can not be doubted that they on the whole derive advantage from the existence of a public department in the dominant country specially charged with the superintendence of their political concerns. The existence of such a public department tends to diminish the main obstacles to the good government of a colony, viz, the ignorance and indifference of the dominant country respecting its affairs, and to supply the qualities requisite for its good government, viz, knowledge of its affairs and care for them. If the existence of such a department tends to involve the affairs of the dependency in the party contests of the dominant country, it is to be remembered that this very evil has its good side, inasmuch as the public attention is thereby directed to the dependency and the interest of some portion of the dominant people is awakened to the promotion of its welfare."


Another manner in which the government of colonies originates at the seat of the home Government is through the appointment by the home Government of governors, and in many cases a part or all of the lawmaking bodies. This is true to a greater or less extent of every colony in the world, though, of course, less strongly marked in those British colonies which have what is designated as “representative institutions and responsible governments.” By this term is meant the colonies of Canada, Australasia, and South Africa. The Australasian colonies, under the new confederation, elect both branches of their lawmaking bodies, senators and representatives; but the governor-general is appointed by the home Government and has a veto power over all legislation, and also has authority to appoint ministers of state or heads of departments. In Cape of Good Hope the members of both branches of the legislative body are elected, but a governor is appointed by the home Government. In Natal all members of the legislative assembly are elected, but those of the legislative council are appointed or “summoned” by the governor, who is appointed by the home Government. In Canada the lower branch of the legislative body is elected and members of the upper branch are appointed for life by the governor, who is appointed by the home Government. Thus even in the three great groups which have what is designated as “representative institutions and responsible government,” viz, Australasia, South Africa, and Canada, the power of the home Government to influence legislation through a governor appointed by that Government and through, in some degree, his appointees, is at least a factor worthy of consideration in determining the question as to what share of the government of the colony originates at the seat of the home Government.

CROWN COLONY GOVERNMENT. In the other colonies of Great Britain the power to originate or control legislation and details of administration in the colonies remains in the hands of the home Government to a much greater extent through the relatively greater appointing power retained.

In India legislation and administration are conducted by the governor-general and his council and the legislative council. The governor is appointed by the home Government, as are also the members of his council. For legislative purposes the governor-general's council is expanded into a legislative council by the addition of sixteen members who are named by the governor-general, or viceroy, as he is termed. This council has power, subject to certain restrictions, to make laws for all persons within British India and for all native Indian subjects in any part of the world. Thus the entire lawmaking body of India is, in fact, named by the home (British) Government.

The remaining British colonies, other than those already named, are divided into three classes: (1) Those which have a legislative council, partly appointed and partly elected; (2) those which have a legislative council wholly appointed; (3) those which have no legislative council, but in which “legislative power” is delegated to the officer administering the government. In the first-named class, in which the legislative council is partly appointed and partly elected, there are nine colonies--Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Guiana, Cyprus, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, Malta, and Mauritius, with a total population of about 2,000,000. In the second class mentioned, in which the legislative council is wholly appointed by the Crown, there are the colonies of British Honduras, British New Guinea, Ceylon, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gambia, Gold Coast, Grenada, Hongkong, Lagos, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Straits Settlements, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks Island, with a population of about 7,000,000. The third-mentioned class, those which have no legislative council and in which legislative power is delegated by the home Government to the officer administering the government, includes Basutoland, Gibraltar, Labuan, St. Helena, Northern and Southern Nigeria.

The total population of Australasia, Canada, Cape Colony, and Natal is but about 15,000,000, while the total population of the British colonies, including India, is about 350,000,000. Thus it will be seen that of the 350,000,000 inhabitants of the British colonies, 335,000,000 are governed by law-making and administering bodies wholly appointed by the home Government and the laws administered in all cases by governors and lieutenant-governors named by the home Government. By way of illustration of the power of the home Government in the colonies having legislative bodies, it may be remarked that in several instances legislative bodies in the British colonies have actually legislated themselves out of existence and requested the home Government to create a new governing body in their stead. An example of this is cited in the Colonial Office List of 1901, which says of Jamaica: “The original constitution, which, after existing for nearly two hundred years, was surrendered in 1866, was a representative one, consisting of a governor, a legislative council, and an assembly of forty-seven elected members. After the suppression of the rebellion in 1865, Governor Eyre, at the meeting of the legislature, urged the unsuitability of the then existing form of government to meet the circumstances of the community and the necessity of making some sweeping change by which a strong government might be created. The legislature willingly responded, abrogated all the existing machinery of legislation, and left it to Her Majesty's Government to substitute another form of government which might be better suited to the altered circumstances of the colony. A legislative council was then by orders in council established, consisting of such numbers of official and unofficial members as Her Majesty might see fit. The numbers of each were six until 1878, when they were enlarged to eight, and a ninth was added in 1881. By Order in Council in 1895 the constitution was fixed in the following manner: A council to consist of the governor and five ex officio members and such other persons, not exceeding ten in number, as Her Majesty may from time to time appoint or the Government may provisionally appoint, and fourteen to be elected.” In this case it will be seen that an elective body deliberately legislated itself out of existence at the suggestion of a representative of the home Government, the governor, and was superseded by a body in which a majority of the members were appointed by the home Government.

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