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THE NATIVE QUESTION. 1. The State : The Organ of Closer Union. A South African

National Magazine. (Capetown: Printed for the

Proprietors by the Cape Times. 1909). 2. Address delivered by Lord Selborne before the Con

gregation of the University of the Cape of Good Hope, February 27, 1909. (Pretoria : Government Printing

Office.) 3. The South African Natives : Their Progress and Present

Condition. Edited by the South African Native Races

Committee. (London: John Murray. 1908.) 4. Leaven : A Black and White Story. By DOUGLAS

BLACKBURN. (London : Alston Rivers. 1908.) At Bloemfontein on May 11, 1909, the dough, of which the ingredients had taken eight months to knead, was put into the national oven in the hope that, when baked, it would come out a fragrant loaf of home-made bread, fit for the consumption of all the children of South Africa. This homely metaphor is borrowed from the High Commissioner's farewell speech to the delegates of the Convention who were entrusted with the magnificent task of shaping a new nation, and most of whom are at this moment here in England hoping to see their great work crowned with success in the Imperial Parliament.

The Closer Union of South Africa may, we trust, be now considered an 'assured fact,' in the absence of unforeVOL. LXVIII.-NO. CXXXVI,


seen and extraordinary hindrances. It must, of course, be sanctioned by Parliament and by the King ; but it does not owe its existence to Downing Street. The idea was conceived fifty years ago, and was born, developed and matured in South Africa. The loaf is home-made,' of wheat grown entirely on the fertile plains of Africa. From that achievement it draws its flavour, while its strangeness consists in the circumstances among which it has been shaped. General Botha not long ago said publicly that without the war there could not have been a rapprochement between Boer and Briton, and that the union of the South African Colonies would have been out of the question. Out of the strong came forth sweetness.'

How do the inhabitants of South Africa view the proposal ? The white population seem slowly to have awakened to the conception that a great historic movement was beginning and that they must all take their part in it. During the last summer (our winter months here in England) • Closer Union' societies were rapidly formed in many of the villages and towns of the four Colonies of the Transvaal, Orange River, the Cape, and Natal. Members of the four

. Governments and of the Opposition in each case, the mayors and municipal councillors of leading towns, Africanders, Colonists, Het Volk, Britons and Boers travelled from place to place, holding meetings, explaining the Draft Constitution, and winning adherents to the cause in every direction. The brilliant group of Oxford men, brought out by Lord Milner as his henchmen during his Governorship, were incessantly strenuous, and rendered magnificent service by their enthusiastic propagandist campaign.

In the last month of 1908 a new magazine, entitled The State : The Organ of Closer Union,' and printed in English and Dutch, made its appearance under their editorship. The interest which had been aroused in the cause was shewn on February 12, when a ‘Special Constitution Issue,' devoted to an analysis of the Draft Constitution and to explanations of Proportional Representation, was brought out. All the copies of the magazine were sold in a day or two. Besides The State a large number of pamphlets

were published in South Africa, dealing with the question of the necessity of union and suggesting the lines on which it should be built. Popular articles and letters in the newspapers and speakers at innumerable meetings took their share in spreading information through the four Colonies. The objections of Boer Bond critics in Cape Colony, of Labour Party critics in the Transvaal, or of British critics in Natal, were answered in fervent addresses by General Botha, Dr. Jameson, General Smuts, Sir George Farrar, Mr. Lionel Curteis, and many other devoted campaigners. The men who eight years before were fighting against one another in the Boer War now fought side by side for the great cause of a United South Africa. Closer Union' has already brought about a union of hearts among the delegates, between men who had interchanged mutual respect as foes, but who now rejoice in proclaiming their mutual admiration as friends.

If the foreshadowing of Closer Union has accomplished so much, what may we not hope that the Union itself will be able to do ? That it may weld Britons, Boers, Africanders and Natives into one united Nation should be the prayer of every patriotic Englishman at this time.

Do we at all realize what the greatness of such a Nation will be ? Consider the actual size of the country': a vast sub-continent ten times larger than Great Britain, stretching over 1,214,338 square miles, inconceivably rich in pastoral, agricultural and mineral wealth. Its great mountain ranges, vast veldt and little towns are at present sparsely inhabited by a population numbering 7,964,427, one-fifth of the population of overcrowded Great Britain. Consider also the variety of races of which the new Nation will be composed : men of English, Scottish and German blood; Boers descended from Dutch peasants and French Huguenots ; Coloured People, the offspring of past generations of slaveowners and Hottentot slaves; Malays, who came over

British South Africa includes Cape Colony, Natal, the Orange River Colony, the Transvaal, Rhodesia, Nyasaland, Basutoland, Bechuanaland, and Swaziland. The last three are Native Protectorates, at present under the government of the High Commissioner.

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