These undeniable facts prove that “capitalist intrigues,” as Dr. Kuyper calls them, were not the causes of the present war.
The British Government could not disregard a petition which 21,684 British subjects addressed to it; even had its responsibility not been pledged by Articles 7 and 14 of the Convention of 1884, relying upon which those British subjects had settled in the Transvaal. Every civilised Government concerns itself with injuries done to its citizens in foreign lands. The petition of March 28th, was acknowledged by Mr. Chamberlain in a despatch to Sir A. Milner of May 10th, 1899, in which he says that “the complaints of the Uitlanders rested on a solid basis.” From the moment that the British Government “put its hand to the plough,” and that Lord Salisbury declared it would not draw back, the end was easy to foresee. Mr. Krueger had recourse to his habitual expedients. I said at the time what must certainly be the result; and an eminent French statesman may remember a conversation I then had with him, in the course of which he declared that the English would never, never, make up their minds to go to war. That was the dangerous idea then spread throughout European diplomacy, and which must have been transmitted to Krueger by Dr. Leyds, and some of the representatives of European Governments then in Pretoria. Thus Krueger thought he need not trouble. Hence his attitude at Bloemfontein. It was not because England was desirous of war that it broke out, it was because she bore the reputation of being too pacific, and because she had given too many proofs of forbearance to the Boers.
Dr. Kuyper favors us with a long dissertation upon the various laws of naturalisation existing throughout the world. But he cannot compare a country such as Belgium with 226 inhabitants per square kilometre, or as France with 72 per square kilometre, with a country that has two inhabitants to the square kilometre. Had he been logical, he would have said that the 9,712,000 square kilometres of the United States should always have been exclusively peopled by the 600,000 or 700,000 Sioux Iroquois and Apaches who used to dispute them.
Dr. Kuyper will reply that they were Redskins and so do not count. Be it so! Though the theory of inferior races has very grave consequences from the standpoint taken up by him.
But, to be logical, he ought to regret that the Puritans of Massachusetts opened wide the doors of the frontiers of their young Republic to English, Irish, and German immigrants, and, having given them equal rights with themselves, fused and made them into citizens of the United States. My present object however is not to discuss theories, but to state facts.
[Footnote 19: Le Siecle, April 9th, 1900.]
2.—Policy of Reaction.