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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 57

Imperial Federation

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Imperial Federation.

The following is a list of those who attended the Conference:—*
  • Baden Powell, George, C.M.G.
  • Barkly, Sir Henry, K.C.B., G.C.M.G.
  • Barling, W. E.
  • Bennet, J. B.
  • Bell, Sir F. Dillon, K.C.M.G. (Agent-General for New Zealand).
  • Bompas, Henry, Q.C.
  • Borlase, W. C., Liberal Member for East Cornwall.
  • Bourne, Stephen.
  • Bruce, J. A. B.
  • Bruce, The Hon. R. P., Liberal Member for Fifeshire.
  • Bryce, James, Liberal Member for the Tower Hamlets.
  • Burrows, Professor Montagu.
  • Bury, Viscount, K.C.M.G.
  • Camperdown, The Earl of.
  • Cheetham, J. F., Liberal Member for North Derbyshire
  • Clark, G. B., M.D.
  • Clarke, Hyde.
  • Clifford, Sir Charles.
  • Clifford, G. H.
  • Cornish, J. W.
  • Colomb, Capt. J. C. R.
  • Cooper, Sir Daniel, Bart., K.C.M.G.
  • Courthope, W. J.page 10
  • Cowen, Joseph, Liberal Member for Newcastle.
  • Cropper, James, Liberal Member for Kendal.
  • Dickey, The Hon. R. B. (Senator, Dominion of Canada)
  • Dobell, R. R., (Canada).
  • Ebrington, Viscount, Liberal Member for Tiverton.
  • Errington, George, Liberal Member for Longford.
  • Finch Hatton, The Hon. Harold.
  • Forster, H. O. Arnold.
  • Forster, The Right Hon. W. E., Liberal Member for Bradford. Late Vice-President of the Council and Chief Secretary for Ireland.
  • Freeland, H. W.
  • Fulcher, Paget.
  • Gibson, The Right Hon. E., Conservative Member for Dublin University, Late Attorney-General for Ireland.
  • Gilliat, The Rev. E.
  • Gisborne, W. (New Zealand)
  • Gordon, J. W.
  • Graham, Cyril, C.M.G.
  • Greene, Molesworth (Victoria).
  • Gretton, George Le M. (South Australia).
  • Grey, The Hon. Albert, Liberal Member for South Northumberland.
  • Gzowski, Colonel, A.D.C. (Canada).
  • Henniker-Heaton, J. (New South Wales).
  • Holland, Sir Henry, Bart., K.C.M.G., Conservative Member for MidhursT
  • Inglis, C., M.D.
  • Keep, Edward.
  • Labilliere, F. P.
  • Lester, H. F.
  • Lennard, Sir John.
  • Little, Stanley.
  • Lowry, Lieut.-General, R.W., C.B.
  • Malleson, Colonel G. B., C.S.I.
  • Man, Major J. Alexander.
  • Manners-Sutton, Hon. John.
  • Martin, A. Patchett.page 11
  • May, J.
  • Mcarthur, Alexander, Liberal Member for Leicester
  • Mccarthy, D'Alton (Member of the Canadian House of Commons)
  • Mclean, R. D. Douglas.
  • Miller, William.
  • Mills, Captain Charles, C.M.G. (Agent-General for the Cape Colony).
  • Molineux, Gisborne.
  • Montefiore, Jacob.
  • Morgan, O. Vaughan.
  • Morgan, S. Vaughan.
  • Mouat, F. J., M.D.
  • Mowatt, The Hon. O., Premier of Ontario.
  • Murray, Kenric B.
  • Normanby, The Marquis Of, G.C.M.G., late Governor of Nova Scotia, Queensland, New Zealand, and Victoria.
  • O'Halloran, J. S. (Secretary, Royal Colonial Institute).
  • Paton, G.
  • Preston, W. C.
  • Prince, J. S.
  • Potter, George.
  • Rae, John, M.D.
  • Redpath, Peter.
  • Robinson, Admiral Sir Spencer.
  • Rosebery, The Earl of.
  • Rusden, G. W.
  • Samuel, Sir Saul, K.C.M.G. (Agent-General for New South Wales).
  • Shrimpton, John.
  • Silver, S. W.
  • Simon, Mr. Serjeant, Liberal Member for Dewsbury.
  • Simpkin, Captain.
  • Smith, Samuel, Liberal Member for Liverpool.
  • Smith, The Right Hon. W. H., Conservative Member for Westminster, late First Lord of the Admiralty.page 12
  • Smyth, General Sir Selby, K.C.M.G.
  • Southey, The Hon. R, C.M.G., (formerly Administrator of Griqualand West).
  • Stanhope, The Hon. E., Conservative Member for Mid Lincolnshire (late Under-Secretary for India).
  • Summers, W., Liberal Member for Staly bridge.
  • Tupper, Sir Charles, G.C.M.G., C.B., High Commissioner for the Dominion of Canada.
  • Tupper, J. Steward.
  • Wallace, E. A.
  • Wanliss, T. D.
  • Westgarth, William.
  • White, Captain.
  • White, Arnold.
  • Wilkinson, H. Spenser.
  • Wilmot, Sir J. Eardley, Bart., Conservative Member for South Warwickshire.
  • Wilson, Sir Samuel.
  • Wood, J. Dennistoun.
  • Young, Frederick (Hon. Sec. Royal Colonial Institute).

* The Committee have endeavoured to include the names of all who attended the Conference: but fear that owing to the failure of some of those present to sign their names there may he omissions in this list.

Letters approving of the objects of the Conference were received from the following:—

  • Aberdeen, The Earl of.
  • Anderson, Andrew A.
  • Archer, Thomas, C.M.G. (Queensland).
  • Arnold, Edwin, C.S.I.
  • Austin, Alfred.
  • Baden Powell, G., C.M.G.
  • Barham, A. H. Foster.
  • Barnett, The Rev. S. A.
  • Barns, Thomas A.
  • Busby, Hon. William, M.L.C., (New South Wales).
  • Binny, John (U.S.A.).
  • Bompas, H., Q.C.
  • Borthwick, Sir Algernon.
  • Bousfield, William.
  • Broadhurst, H., M.P. for Stoke.
  • Bunsen, E. de.page 13
  • Burrows, Professor Montagu.
  • Caine, W. S., M.P. for Scarborough.
  • Campbell, William (late Member of the Victorian Legislative Council).
  • Chapman, John.
  • Cheetham, J. A., M.P. for North Derbyshire.
  • Cook, R. J.
  • Coode, Sir John.
  • Costelloe, Bernard.
  • Currie, Sir Donald, K.C.M.G., M.P. for Perthshire.
  • Duffy, Sir Charles Gavan, K.C.M.G., late Premier of Victoria.
  • Dunraven, The Earl Of, K.P.
  • Elliot, The Hon. Arthur, M.P. for Roxburgh.
  • Forster, E. P. Arnold.
  • Forster, J.
  • Galt, Sir Alexander, G.C.M.G. (late High Commissioner for the Dominion of Canada).
  • Gell, Philip L.
  • Goldsmid, Sir Julian, Bart.
  • Greg, Percy.
  • Hampden, Viscount, G.C.B. (late Speaker of the British House of Commons).
  • Hanbury, Philip C.
  • Heneage, E., M.P. for Grimsby.
  • Hicks-Beach, Right Hon. Sir Michael, Bart., M.P. for East Gloucestershire (late Secretary of State for the Colonies and Chief. Secretary for Ireland).
  • Hill, A. G. Staveley, Q.C., M.P. for Coventry.
  • Hodgson, Arthur, C.M.G. (formerly Premier of Queensland).
  • Holton, R.
  • Jourdain, Henry J. (Mauritius).
  • Knowles, James.
  • Lee Warner, Henry.
  • Lethbridge, Roper.
  • Lloyd, Sampson.
  • Lorne, Marquis Of, K.T. (late Governor-General of Canada).page 14
  • Ludlow, John.
  • Macfie, R. A.
  • Macleay, Sir George, K.C.M.G.
  • Maskelyne, N. Story, M.P. for Cricklade.
  • Mcilwraith, Sir Thomas, K.C.M.G. (late Premier of Queensland).
  • Marvin, Charles.
  • Merriman, The Hon. J. X. (late Member of the Cape Ministry).
  • Montgomerie, H. E. (Canada).
  • Napier, Professor (in the University of Gottingen).
  • Nicholson, Sir Charles, Bart.
  • Ossory, Lord Castletown and.
  • Pender, John, M.P. for Wick.
  • Plunket, Right Hon. David, M.P. for Dublin University (late Solicitor-General for Ireland).
  • Potter, George.
  • Reay, The Lord.
  • Rothery, G. C.
  • Rouquette, A.
  • Scotland, Thomas.
  • Seeley, Professor.
  • Shaftesbury, The Earl of, K.G.
  • Shand, Sir Charles Farquhar (late Chief Justice of Mauritius).
  • Simmons, A.
  • Simpson, J. W.
  • Smith, The Hon. Donald (formerly Member of the Dominion Parliament).
  • Smith, R. Barr (South Australia).
  • Stead, W.
  • Tottenham, C.
  • Turnbull, Alexander.
  • Walker, William (late of the West Indies).
  • Wanliss, T. D. (Victoria).
  • Watt, The Hon. J. B. (M.L.C. New South Wales).
  • Webster, R. G.
  • Wells, L. B.
  • White, A. Cromwell.page 15
  • Wilson, E. D. J.
  • Wolff, Sir Henry Drummond, Bart., G.C.M.G., M.P. for Portsmouth.
  • Wolseley, Lord, G.C.B. (Adjutant-General of the British Army).
  • Youl, James A., C.M.G.

The following are extracts of special interest from letters received by the Committee bearing upon the subject of the Conference:—

The Marquis of Lorne, K.T., Late Governor-General of the Dominion of Canada.

"I much regret I shall be away in Scotland at the time of the Conference, or should certainly attend. Let me again mention to you my idea of the importance of ascertaining the views of the leading men in each of the great Colonies, as well as of the gentlemen who have been or are connected with them resident in England."

Lord Wolseley, G.C.B., Adjutant-General of the British Army.

"Had not the pressure of official business made it impossible for me to do so, I should certainly have attended the Conference at the Westminster Palace Hotel, as the closer union between this country and her Colonies is a subject in which I have always felt the deepest interest, and, in my opinion, is of great national importance, and well worthy of the earnest consideration of every serious statesman."

page 16

Sir Alexander Galt, G.C.M.G., Late High Commissioner for the Dominion of Canada.

"I need not say that I sympathise most warmly in the object of the Conference, and will do all in my power to promote it."

Sir Henry Parkes, K.C.M.G. Late Premier of New South Wales.

"As I have to leave England early next month, it would be useless for me to take any part in your projected Conference, which has my best wishes for its success."

Sir Charles Gavan Duffy, K.C.M.G., formerly Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, and Premier of Victoria.

"The polities I have retired from are party polities. My interest in Australia, or in Ireland, has not at all diminished, and I will gladly co-operate in any way I can with colonists like yourself* in pushing the Federation of the Colonies into the field of practical polities."

* Mr. Dennistoun Wood.

Sir Thomas Mcilwraith, K.C.M.G., Late Premier of Queensland.

"I would have willingly taken part in the Conference you refer to, but I leave for Australia next Tuesday. I thoroughly believe in the object of the Conference. I think it high time some action was taken in this country, and am glad to see so firm a statesman as Mr. Forster inclined to work. I believe he is in earnest in desiring the union of the Colonies with the mother-country on a more permanent basis.

page 17

The Right Hon. Viscount Hampden, Late Speaker of the British House of Commons.

"The movement has my best wishes, and I hope that it will be guided to the end in view with judgment."

Sir Henry Barkly, G.C.M.G., K.C.B., Successively Governor of Jamaica, Victoria, Mauritius, and the Cape.

"I have much pleasure in accepting the invitation you have addressed to me on behalf of the Committee for promoting the Unity of the Empire, to allow my name to be added to the list, and to attend the Conference."

Sir Leonard Tilley, K.C.M.G., C.B., Finance Minister for the Dominion of Canada (formerly. Premier of New Brunswick).

"I am heartily in sympathy with any practical movement for the Unity of the Empire, and wish you every success."

The Hon. Lavington Glyde, Recently Colonial Treasurer in South Australia.

"I sympathise entirely with the principle that "the Unity of the Empire should be permanently maintained;" and I think I may venture to say that nearly all the prominent public men in South Australia share the same view."

Sir John Rose, Bart., G.C.M.G., Formerly Finance Minister in the Canadian Government.

"I concur very heartily in the principle of the important object you have in view."

page 18

Sir Daniel Cooper, Bart., K.C.M.G., Formerly Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of New South Wales.

"I think you know how strongly I advocate the Unity of the Empire, to promote which would join in any movement."

The Earl of Dunraven, K.P.

"In my opinion there is no question of deeper importance before the country than that of Imperial Federation, and I shall at all times be happy to co-operate in any movement which will advance that object."

Bishop Perry, Late of Melbourne.

"I am quite willing to pledge myself to the principle that the Unity of the Empire should be permanently maintained."

The Bishop of Riverina (N.S.W.).

"Many thanks for your letters, and the card for the meeting. I quite agree with its intention."

Professor Seeley, Regius Professor of Modern History in the University of Cambridge; Author of "The Expansion of England."

"Dear Sir,

"As I am absent from England, and as it is impossible for me to attend your meeting, I hope I may be allowed to convey to it by letter my warm sympathy with those who have convened it. I am in hearty agreement not only with their purpose, but also with those more particular views of the Committee which are expressed in the minute of which you have sent me a copy.

"I heartily agree that it is not desirable at the present page 19 moment to raise a premature cry of Federation, or to discuss the details of a federal organisation. In such questions "ripeness is all;" discussed now, they might seem insurmountably difficult, but the difficulty will vanish if they are held in reserve till the proper time.

"I am also glad to hear that you receive support from both political parties. There is, indeed, no reason why politicians of every school should not meet in furthering an enterprise like this.

"Some, no doubt, of those who pride themselves upon being serious politicians will exclaim, 'Child's play!' but surely, on your Committee there are those who will not be denied to be serious politicians. Surely, too, if it be true that we may have too much even of a good thing, this is a moment when we have at least enough of party politics.

"I suppose it is the effect of party polities, making passion and discord almost the one motive force in public affairs, that has betrayed us into the unaccountable attitude which we assume towards the Empire. How else can it be accounted for that on the question of the Unity of the Empire the majority of Englishmen have actually no opinion?—and this not because they have considered it with anxious care, and have been unable to arrive at a conclusion, but because they have never considered it, have never studied it, and have no knowledge about it at all.

"To enlighten public opinion is the main object which the Committee propose that a Society should be formed to attain; and even if they had not the strong conviction which they have—which all of us have—of the desirableness of maintaining and strengthening the unity of the Empire, it would still be urgently necessary that public opinion should be enlightened upon the subject—that, at least, the existence of this vast Empire should be impressed upon the mind and imagination of every Englishman, rich and poor, whether in England or the Colonies, is urgently necessary.

"The idea ought to be popularised and diffused—a page 20 whole literature ought to be devoted to it. The extension and vocation of the English race ought to be a subject of study to a whole staff of students, and of exposition to a brigade of popular writers; and so it ought to become familiar to all Englishmen alike.

"That this has not for a long time been the case is to me a matter of astonishment. I cannot understand the deadness of imagination which has made us remain, as it were, indifferent to the subject. I am sure that such melancholy narrowness and pettiness ought to cease. The main thing is to fill our imaginations with the great fact. Let this once be done, and I hardly think it will be necessary for the Society to inculcate any particular doctrine.

"If, when we have been once awakened to the question, and have learned to consider it with eager interest, we arrive at the conclusion that the Empire had better go, or at the still stronger conclusion that it should be left to chance to decide whether it shall go or not, be it so! In that case, we shall show ourselves a unique people! But it seems more reasonable to expect that some sort of pan-Anglicanism will spring up. In this century, when the idea of national unity has been everywhere so powerful—in Italy, in Germany—should we alone among nations remain insensible to it? But if we do, let us at least be sure that we resist the fascination from superior wisdom—that is, after due study of the subject—not from sheer dulness and indifference, not because the motions of our spirits are dull as night!

"Yours truly,

"J. R. Seeley."

Lord George Hamilton, Conservative Member for Middlesex; Under Secretary for India, 1874—1878; Vice-President of the Council, 1878—1880.

"I thoroughly approve of the object of the proposed Conference."

page 21

Mr. Joseph Cowen, Liberal Member for Newcastle.

"If I am at liberty, I shall be most happy to attend a conference for such a purpose as you indicate. I am in entire sympathy with your views."

Mr. James Bryce, Liberal Member for the Tower Hamlets.

"I am prepared to join in considering any schemes submitted by those who have given more attention to the subject, and feel very strongly the great advantages to the Colonies, as well as to Great Britain, in maintaining a political connection, and leading the various English-speaking peoples over the world to feel themselves even more fully one people than they do now."

Mr. E. Heneage, Liberal Member for. Great Grimsby.

"I regret that my absence should have made me over-look your important meeting relating to the Federation of England and the Colonies. I shall be very glad to join your Committee or Association, and heartily agree with the object of your Association."

Mr. N. Story Maskelyne, Liberal Member for Cricklade.

"I have much general sympathy with the ends of the movement towards the consolidation of a greater England; and I hope, as time goes on, that the proposal may assume a practical shape. It is merely a truism to say that therein lies the difficulty, as is too often the case with the ideals of politicians. Is there heart enough for the thing on the side of Colonial as well as of Home England? Any way, it is a great purpose in our politics, and I for one bid it 'God speed' in its forward course."

page 24

Mr. Alfred Simmons, Secretary of the National Association for Promoting State-Directed Emigration and Colonization.

"Thanks for your note and card of invitation to Conference. Having two engagements in town on Tuesday, I am not sure if I will be able to attend; but if I find it possible, will certainly do so. I have no doubt at all that I should find myself in full sympathy with you on the principle involved in the expression on the card, for I have long felt it to be a tremendous blunder that the Government of the mother-country should take such small pains to more securely attach to herself the various Colonies. The time will come when it will be difficult, if not impossible, to secure Imperial Federation, and this is essentially one of those cases in which delay is dangerous."

Mr. J. Ferguson (Ceylon).

"I trust that the outcome of the meeting to-morrow will tend to confirm the unity of the British Empire, fully convinced, as I am, that—at least in that part of the world with which I am best acquainted—the greatest evil which could befall the people of the Asiatic Dependencies or Britain would be their deprivation (from any cause) of the proud and happy title of 'British subjects.'"