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sideration of both imperial and colonial statesmen to consolidate as it grows in power and extent year by year.

Whatever change is made in the mode by which the colonies are bound to the mother country must be (as was ably urged by Sir George Bowen at the Colonial Institute on the 15th of June last) only in consequence of the expressed wish of the colonies themselves. Any attempt to force or to persuade them into federation will assuredly result in failure. The secret of our success in colonisation hitherto must not be ignored; it is that the self-government of each colony has been made a reality and does not exist in name only. We learnt our lesson in 1776, and have most certainly profited by it. Do not let us depart from those principles, but rather let us continue to encourage our colonial brethren to apply all their energies to insure the stability of their own institutions, and to the maintenance of their own prosperity and happiness.

The consolidation of our great empire will best be assured by treating our colonies as friends, not as children; as friends bound to us by the closest of ties, those of love and mutual confidence : by recognising unreservedly their growing strength and importance; by giving full consideration to all requests which are founded on careful discussion among themselves, and which may therefore be relied on as the expression of public opinion. A desire for closer political union may arise spontaneously from the colonies, but such desire will probably first show itself by a voluntary federation of the Australasian group, where there is a nearer approach to a community of interests, and in respect to which a notable example has been shown to them by the Dominion of Canada.

If our colonies in various parts of the world were to form themselves into groups for their own defence and commercial interests— especially in regard to custom-tariffs-any subsequent desire for imperial federation would be more easy of accomplishment. Such a movement would in itself indicate the wish of the colonists to advance in the direction of closer political union.

It is not within the object of this paper to discuss the question of the representation of the colonies in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom. It appears desirable, however, for many reasons connected with the management of the internal affairs of each colony and its independence of imperial legislation, that the most capable men should remain in the colonial legislature, where they could best render good service to their own portion of the Empire.

If the admission of colonial members were limited to a small number to represent each colony, their influence in Parliament would be insufficient to guide its policy, although their presence would offer temptations for undue interference with colonial affairs: if the number admitted were in proportion to population or revenue, they would in

the course of years overwhelm the members returned by the constituencies of the United Kingdom.

I think it probable that the colonists would, after a careful consideration of the matter, be more likely to desire the formation of a council in London, to which the Secretary of State might look for advice on colonial affairs in general, and which might be formed somewhat on the lines of the Indian Council, now acting under the Secretary of State for India.

Whatever steps may be taken, or may be disregarded, in this direction, it is certain that the stability and integrity of this great empire will in the future to a large extent depend on the wisdom and sagacity with which the Imperial Government deals with questions connected with the welfare and interests of our colonies and dependencies. They are often spoken of by foreigners and even by our own countrymen as sources of weakness, as direct temptations to attack by any hostile force of a maritime State with whom we may

be involved, or about to be involved, in war; they are considered to be unable to protect themselves and too far removed from Great Britain to be able to rely on efficient protection by the mother country. If this be so, we must not let such a state of things continue. We must make the colonies in the event of war what they are during peacea source of strength. Their revenues, their manhood, and their minerals would, we may feel assured, thanks to the patriotism and loyalty of the colonists, be at the disposal of the Imperial Government for the defence of their own territory as well as of our trade and shipping in their vicinity. But while there is time we should, in conjunction with the Governments of our principal colonies, organise a system capable of general application, and insure that whatever plans are adopted for defence should be matured and executed without delay, that they may be ready and efficient when required.

It is generally acknowledged to be the duty of the Imperial Government to afford protection to British subjects, British interests, and British territory in the event of war-first to insure the safety of the head and heart of the Empire, then to guard all its members.

The question of Home Defence is one of such magnitude that it will not be touched upon here. It depends mainly on the strength and efficiency of the navy ; if that, our first line of defence, is not adequately provided for, our existence as a nation is imperilled.

When discussing the mode in which the defence of our colonies should be undertaken it must be borne in mind that they are to be classified in three distinct categories.

1. Those which are held as naval stations for the repair and equipment of our ships of war, and also as places d'armes for strategic purposes, as depôts for troops, stores, and provisions, and which will provide a secure refuge for ships of the Royal Navy and mercantile marine if pressed by the enemy in time of war. Positions of such importance should be made capable of protecting themselves against any force that might reasonably be expected to be brought against them, and be prepared to stand a siege until the arrival of our fleet to their support. In this class are included Malta, Aden, Simon's Town, Gibraltar, Bermuda, Hong Kong, and others.

2. There is another class of colony which is of value for the replenishment of our ships of war and merchant vessels witb coal, stores, and provisions, and which will also serve as a refuge when ships are pressed either by the enemy or bad weather. These, usually called coaling stations, are of much importance for the maintenance of our squadrons in all parts of the world where our ships must necessarily cruise for the protection of our commerce and carrying trade.

These ports should be so defended as to be independent of the presence of our fleet, which must always be left free for offensive operations and for the protection of our trade on the high seas. The permanent self-defence of these ports should be sufficient to deny the anchorage to an enemy and to prevent the occupation or destruction of the depôt by a hostile squadron.

This protection can be best afforded by the provision of submarine mines, to be laid down when required, on a system carefully organised in time of peace; the mines being guarded and the anchorage commanded by a few guns of about 6-inch and smaller calibre, separated from each other, placed at heights of about 100 feet above the sea-level, and at 'distances from the shore varying from a quarter to half a mile. Each gun should be mounted on a disappearing (Moncrieff) carriage, and be surrounded by a ditch or other sunken obstruction to prevent it from being run into.

In this class of coaling stations may be included St. George's Sound (Western Australia), Port Royal (Jamaica), St. Lucia (West Indies), Perim (Red Sea), a coaling depôt in the Fiji group, and for the present the island of Port Hamilton, near the Corea (though I look forward to this latter possession becoming a far more important station than a mere coaling depôt), with others of varying importance.

3. The most important class of our colonies has yet to be considered ; it consists of those large territories peopled by the AngloSaxon race, who with love and pride own the Queen of Great Britain as their sovereign, and which are rapidly increasing in population, wealth, and strength. In this class are included the Dominion of Canada, all the colonies in the Australasian group, and our colonies in South Africa. This last-named group has passed through a period of trouble and difficulty of late years, and it is hoped that they are rising out of them and may insure a prosperous future by a confederation among themselves.

In each of these groups it is considered that the Imperial Government should secure at least one port by efficient protection as a naval station ; for this purpose Halifax, Sydney, and Simon's Bay have been selected. Of these Sydney may be considered to be fairly secure, and has the advantage of a good dock for the repair of large ships. Halifax may with submarine mines and some additional forts be moderately well protected against the approach of a hostile force by sea, though it is open to an attack by land and has as yet no dock which will accommodate a ship of war; one is in course of construction, which I trust will be completed without delay. Simon's Town and the locality of the dock at Cape Town are not yet in a state to defend themselves against an enemy without the assistance of our fleet. No time should be lost in making this important station secure by completing both the fortifications and the railway, so as to render us independent of the Suez Canal for a route to India, China, and Australia.

We are bound also to provide for the protection of our trade and merchant shipping in the neighbourhood of these important colonies, whose welfare depends so intimately on their exports and imports ; and with this object our cruisers, which must be fast and powerfully armed, should be multiplied, so as to be ubiquitous. The duty of these cruisers should be not only to drive away or capture those of the enemy, but to guard against filibustering or other expeditions on unprotected parts of the coast, and especially to capture the steam colliers which would be a necessary accompaniment to any hostile squadron, by which alone they could be provided with coal, the sinew of maritime war.

A very general movement among the Australasian colonies which has lately taken place indicates that many of them consider they should not rely only on the Royal Navy for defence. They naturally feel that in the event of Great Britain being involved in war with a great maritime Power the attention of this country would be mainly directed to the seat of war nearer home, and to the conduct of offensive operations against the enemy which might have the effect of bringing the war sooner to an end. Provision would doubtless be made for the protection of our trade on the high seas in all parts of the world, but it is not improbable that the importance of the capture of one of the principal ports of one of our principal colonies would be a temptation to an enterprising enemy to despatch a powerful squadron to distant seas, whose destination would be unknown to us, and which might temporarily outnumber our squadron in those seas. It is to guard against such a contingency, I presume, that the colonies are turning their attention so seriously to local defence; and it is our duty to support their efforts loyally and effectually. The great commercial interests which are at stake and the honour of this country and of our flag, which is involved, render it necessary that the Imperial Government and the colonies should jointly take steps to secure the outlying territory of the Empire from hostile invasion and colonial property from destruction.

It is almost superfluous to refer to the fact that the object of the colonies in providing vessels of war is solely for the purpose of defence. Their status as armed vessels of war is provided for under the Colonial Defence Act of 1865, the title of which indicates that their special duty is to take part only in the local defence of the colony which provides them. No fear therefore need be entertained that the possession of armed ships of war, which are constructed and intended only for service in harbours and on coasts, will be utilised for purposes of offence in such a manner as might, during peace time, involve us in troublesome diplomatic correspondence with foreign Powers. The necessity for such a limit of the duties of the colonial armed forces was, presumably, carefully considered by the framers of the Act of 1865, and should not be disregarded.

Many of the colonies are now voting money for, and are earnestly engaged in, the provision and maintenance of naval forces for defensive purposes. In some cases officers on the active lists of their respective ranks in the Royal Navy have accepted service in the colonies. These have been allowed by the Admiralty to proceed abroad for such temporary service as they can be spared. Warrant officers, petty officers, seamen-gunners, and others have also temporarily been allowed to accept such appointments. They would probably, however, be immediately recalled to England in the event of this country being involved in a maritime war, which is precisely the time when the colonies would require their services. This would disorganise most seriously the young colonial navy. No doubt officers of the mercantile marine of experience and high character could be found to fill the vacant places, but it is certain that the principal duties of officers in such a force will be those of training seamen in the management of heavy guns and in the use of the arms which will be placed in their hands. The capacity for instructing and training the seamen in the performance of all their duties can only be properly possessed by those who are thoroughly conversant with them, and who have kept pace with the progress of science and art in the construction and use of ships and weapons for naval warfare.

In the event of war the naval forces of each colony would doubtless be placed under the orders of the naval commander-in-chief on the station. The officers and men would then be under the Naval Discipline Act and would in all respects be incorporated with the Royal Navy. But it is evident that such a force, composed of officers on the active list (if not previously recalled), others on the retired list, officers and seamen of the merchant navy, and other seafaring men

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