I have published my pamphlet while awaiting M. Brunetiere’s reply to the Dutch Government which can hardly do otherwise than make the request, agreeing, as it does, with the views of Her Majesty. Should M. Brunetiere by any chance cease to fear the proximity to Dr. Kuyper’s assertions of the facts and documents published by me, I will issue a new Edition.
THE LAST PRO-BOER MANIFESTATION.
Since the foregoing articles were written Dr. Leyds and Mr. Boer have not been idle. M. Pierre Foncin, a General Inspector of the University, has compiled on behalf of a Society called “Le Sou des Boers,” a manifesto ending thus: “Well then, since this lust of gold has resulted in war, let the gold of France be poured out in floods, in aid of the innocent victims!”
In spite of considerable influence brought to bear upon this member of the University, the Committee, after some weeks’ work, only managed to scrape together something like four hundred pounds. Since then, no more has been heard of it, and its place has been taken by “The Committee for the Independence of the Boers,” with M. Pauliat, a Nationalist Senator, at its head. Its object was, in the first place, to organise a reception for the Boer delegates on their return from America.
It was confidently expected by the promoters of the enterprise that it would afford a good opportunity for a demonstration in opposition to the Government on the fourteenth of July. The delegates were received at the Hotel-de-Ville by the Nationalist Municipal Council, whose President, M. Grebauval, addressed them in virulent speeches, while the great square in front remained empty. The Irish Banquet which took place this year on the twelfth of July under the Presidency of Mr. Archdeacon, and which had been much talked of in 1899 at the time of the Auteuil manifestation, when President Loubet was hit with a stick by Baron Christiani, passed off amidst complete indifference. No disturbance of any kind occurred on the fourteenth of July.
The Congress of the Interparliamentary Union in favour of Peace and Arbitration was to be held on the 31st of July. It was stated that the Boer delegates were going to present a memorial, whilst M. Pauliat intended to raise the Transvaal question. My answer was that I intended to be there too, and considered it of interest to treat that question. Dr. Leyds knew that the majority of the English Members of Parliament who belonged to the Congress had declared themselves against the South African war, and he anticipated that owing to their former declarations they would find it difficult not to side with the pro-Boer sympathisers.
It was rather a clever idea. But on the 30th of July there was a meeting of the executive Committee composed of two members of each of the various nationalities, at which the English members declared that, if contrary to its regulations, the Transvaal question was to be discussed they were resolved to withdraw. The Committee decided to admit Mr. Wessels, formerly Speaker of the Orange Free State Parliament, simply as a member of the Congress; to oppose any discussion of the Transvaal question and to rule that the communication made by the Boer delegates was merely to be circulated among the members as individuals.