Project Gutenberg's Germany's Vanishing Colonies, by Gordon Le Sueur

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Title: Germany's Vanishing Colonies

Author: Gordon Le Sueur

Release Date: June 26, 2014 [EBook #46103]

Language: English

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Germany's Vanishing






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"Who sows the Wind will reap the Tempest."

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By Lieut.-Col. A. St. H. Gibbons, F.R.G.S., F.R.C.I., 23rd (Service) Batt. Roy. Fusiliers (1st Sportsman's)

In giving his readers a very concise and reliable description of "Germany's Vanishing Colonies," the author performs a useful public service. To the travelled man who may have seen something of these Colonies the work carries conviction; for others it has a useful educative value. Knowledge is essential to sound judgment, and although—thanks to the policy of the late Paul Kruger!—a growing interest in our great Empire has permeated all classes in recent years, anything like a comprehensive knowledge of the local conditions and interests of our 12,000,000 miles of Empire is not to be expected until our schools and universities have added to their curriculum systematic instruction in Imperial history and geography.

This book provides important and interesting data on which, at the close of the war, that policy which will determine the status and ownership of Germany's overseas possessions can be built. [Pg 8] To some it may appear that the title of the book implies the dividing of the skin before the lion is killed. Be that as it may; to those who have never felt misgivings as to the ultimate result of this life-and-death struggle for Empire, the speculative element is overshadowed by the supreme importance of inspiring the public mind with an accurate and intelligible grasp of the situation. At times consciously, at others unconsciously, democratic Governments reflect the mind of the community. In due course, our statesmen, working in concert with the Dominion Governments, will be called upon to decide, in the name of the Empire, how far it is politic, either for strategic or economic purposes, to annex all or part of such German oversea possessions as the Allies in council shall decide to be within the British sphere of influence. Let the people in private and public discussion, and through the medium of the Press, come to something like an unanimous decision (and this volume should help them to do so), and so strengthen the hands of the Government when the crucial hour arrives.

No doubt every aspect will be taken into consideration. It will be noted that from the moment Germany decided to establish a colonial Empire her envious hatred of Great Britain took root. She realised that at the British Empire's expense alone could she fully develop her ideal. This feeling has grown and intensified until, in recent years, [Pg 9] she had barely cloaked her ambitious design to replace us as a world Power. When the final word is spoken, and compensation for loss in life and treasure is forced on us by her unscrupulous action is discussed, it will, I think, be ruled that we are more than justified in absorbing, as part payment, those possessions which she had designed to expand at the expense of ours.

Again, British and French Foreign Office dispatches, at the outbreak of war and subsequently, go to show that German diplomacy has been deeply tinged with covetousness and that special kind of hatred born of envy; that she has brushed aside all honourable and humanitarian considerations, and ignored that international code to which she herself had set her seal in favour of a ruthless and unscrupulous application of the principle of brute force. Nor in this case can she offer the "first offenders'" plea. Before the Bar of History she is confronted by Mary Therese and Francis Joseph of Austria, by the quondam Kingdom of Poland, by Denmark and France. Each and all give evidence of forced war as a step towards Prussian expansion.

Can a nation so deeply impregnated with such principles since its cradle days so far reform its political methods as to give reasonable assurance that in thirty or forty years hence she will not reintroduce into the life of nations that spirit and practice of mediaeval barbarism (now better [Pg 10] known as "kultur") which at present racks the civilised world? We may leave it to the Ethiopian and the leopard may reply.

Popular opinion at present seems to indicate an almost unanimous opinion that the roar of the last cannon will ring down the curtain on the German Empire of to-day. That Prussia's Polish province and Alsace-Lorraine will cease to be German may be assumed. Should Denmark recover Schleswig-Holstein, should Hanover regain her independence, and Bavaria repudiate Prussia's uncongenial overlordship it would—in the event of a non-annexation policy being adopted—be difficult to decide to whom the present German Colonies belong—this, of course, irrespective of conquests which have been or may be effected in the meantime, and which, in accordance with the German theory that "might is right," will, ipso facto, have been transferred to the Allies with a "clean title."

History serves to show that to annex territory carrying a considerable homogeneous and hostile population is seldom a success, but since the German Colonies are so sparsely settled—partly because her bureaucratic methods discourage immigration, and partly because she has no difficulty in absorbing her surplus population at home—this argument does not apply here. Closely linked with this is the native question. Personal observation, supported by first-hand [Pg 11] information, serves to show that German treatment of indigenous populations is just what might be expected. To the Englishman, discipline implies leadership—to the German, the mere forcing of will, without consideration for their feelings or personal interests, on subordinates. It serves to crush out individuality and self-respect. It is the discipline of "push." Those who have travelled in Germany will have noticed how this spirit permeates all ranks and classes. That its application becomes more intense in dealing with inferior races, where the restraints of civilisation do not exist, will surprise no one. In the Pacific Islands, as in their African Colonies, the same tale is told. Their native population would rejoice to exchange German for British rule.

If, then, we are to save the next generation from a second great European upheaval, and if we desire to emancipate those native races at present under German control from a system of harsh and selfish exploitation, Germany in Europe must, by the elimination of provinces detached from neighbouring states by previous wars of aggression, be deprived of the power she has so notoriously abused, and if we are to do our obvious duty by the native races, her Colonies must pass to other hands.


25th December, 1914.

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Acknowledgments are due to

"The Partition of Africa." J. Scott Keltie.

"Modern Germany." J. Ellis Barker.

"Stanford's Compendium of Geography." A. H. Keane.

"British and German East Africa." H. Brode.

"A Footnote to History." R. L. Stevenson.

"In Near New Guinea." Henry Newton.

"China." E. H. Parker.

"Encyclopaedia Brittanica."

"The Journal of the African Society."

"United Empire"—the Journal of the Royal Colonial Institute.

"Haydn's Dictionary of Dates."

"Samoan Consular Reports."

"Blue Books on Affairs of Samoa."

The "Daily Telegraph."

"Germany and the Next War." General von Bernhardi.

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The German Empire of to-day may best be described as an enlarged and aggrandised Prussia; its people imbued with Prussian ideals and drawing their aspirations from the fountain of Prussia.

In the Confederation of the German States as constituted in 1814, Prussia, under the Hohenzollern Dynasty, was always the turbulent and disturbing element, by methods peculiarly Prussian, working towards a unity of the German states—a comity of nations welded into one under the hegemony of Prussia.

It was not long before Prussian domination became irksome, and her provocative and arrogant attitude created a war with Denmark in 1864 and with Austria in 1866—the latter, a struggle between Hohenzollern and Hapsburg, culminating in the complete discomfiture of Austria.

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The war with Denmark gave Germany the harbour of Kiel, together with the million inhabitants of Schleswig-Holstein, and Prussia emerged from the struggle with Austria the leading Power in the new North German Confederation.

Since then the salt of Prussian militarism has been ploughed into the fertile German fields which produced some of the master-minds in the worlds of Thought, Philosophy and Literature.

In accord with true Prussian methods France was forced into a declaration of war in 1870, with the result that the German octopus settled its tentacles upon the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, an area of 5,605 square miles, with 1,500,000 inhabitants.

A new phase of Empire was then created, and the Germany of to-day was constituted as practically a new nation under the rule of William of Hohenzollern, who was elected the "Deutscher Kaiser," or German Emperor, at Versailles on 18th January, 1871.

Prince Otto von Bismarck became the first Chancellor of the new German Empire, and in his hands the fortunes of the House of Hohenzollern prospered, as he set himself to his fixed and single-minded purpose—that was, to elevate Prussia to the foremost place amongst the continental Powers.

Bismarck's policy was directed towards extension, but it was extension of Prussia (or Germany) in Europe and the consolidation of the portions [Pg 19] added to the German Empire. In 1871 he declared "Germany does not want Colonies." He refused to embark upon dazzling adventures in which the risk stirred the imagination, and when an agitation arose in favour of making Germany a sea Power, he confronted it with the words of Frederick the Great: "All far-off acquisitions are a burden to the State." This view he held until the last decade of his career.

Bismarck looked forward, however, to the germanisation of the Low Countries, the absorption of which Cecil Rhodes declared to the German Emperor he believed to be the destiny of Germany.

The spirit of Prussia was even instilled into Austria, and Prussian example was emulated by the House of Hapsburg.

As Prussia set herself to the repression of Danish nationality in Schleswig-Holstein and of French in Alsace-Lorraine, so Austria adopted a policy of eradicating national traits in Hungary.

The national unity aimed at by Bismarck having been established, Germany continued to thrive and grow during the peaceful years following 1871; and the development of the trade of this infant amongst nations is a world's phenomenon.

Yet as with Prussia in the past, so with the greater Germany of to-day, history is a tale of one persistent struggle for possessions.

As is natural during times of peace, the population of Germany increased at an enormous rate, [Pg 20] growing from 35,500,000 in 1850 to 66,000,000 in 1912—an average of about 615,000 per annum—while the present increase is roughly 900,000 per annum.

Between the years 1881 and 1890 German emigration amounted to 130,000 annually; but it was only 18,500 in 1913, and this was more than counterbalanced by immigration from Austria, Russia, and Italy.

Over-population soon became a pressing question, and the obvious remedy was expansion of frontiers or new territories for the accommodation of the surplus.

German policy in a very few years became directed towards extension of territories, for it was apparent that emigration to foreign countries and dependencies only strengthened other nations.

An outlet for the surplus population was required; but in view of the need for men to feed the military machine which had founded the German Empire and upon which its strength depended, it was clear that emigration to foreign countries and dependencies was an inexpedient measure of relief, as it would be applied at the expense of the mother country.

In the year 1882 the German Colonisation Society was started, with the object of acquiring Colonies oversea and the establishment of a navy and mercantile marine to form the link binding the isolated territories to the motherland.

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The society was formed by merchants and traders with the end in view of extending trade; but to the militarist section the idea of Imperial expansion presented itself, and to that party the Colonies appealed rather from a strategical than a commercial standpoint.

The society received enthusiastic support, and, indeed, all Germany began to look to Colonies which were to be purely German; and with this enlarged horizon, policy settled down to the acquisition of oversea territory, the ambition being naturally accompanied by an aspiration towards a powerful navy, necessary, ostensibly, to keep communications open.

The German Emperor held very determined ideas on the subject of expansion, but the Chancellor, Bismarck, altered his views only so far as to approve of the founding of Trade Colonies under Imperial Protection.

Bismarck was loth to weaken his military machine by the emigration of men; and the German ideal of colonisation was not, therefore, a policy of settlement but one of commercial exploitation; inasmuch as Germany's aim was to develop home industries in order to keep in employment at home the men who formed the material of her armour.

Germans were required to remain Germans; and this object it was hoped to attain by settlements in German Colonies, where compact centres of [Pg 22] German kultur could be established to teach the art of order to the remaining peopled kingdoms.

The German view being that the British oversea Empire was acquired "by treachery, violence and fomenting strife," one cannot imagine, especially with her Prussian traditions, a violent disturbance of the "good German conscience" in contemplating means of attaining an object.

In the first Prussian Parliament Bismarck thundered out "Let all questions to the King's Ministers be answered by a roll of drums," and, in sneering at the ballot as "a mere dice-box," he declared: "It is not by speechifying and majorities that the great questions of the day will have to be decided, but by blood and iron."

Prussia had fought for and won her predominance; her greatness was acquired by the sword; and the Bismarck cult has prevailed in that no other means of expansion and nationalisation than by conquest presents itself to the German mind. All negotiations with foreign nations, therefore, have been conducted to the accompaniment of the rattle of the sword in the scabbard.

Speaking of Colonies in his recent bombastic book, General von Bernhardi said: "The great Elector laid the foundation of Prussia's power by successful and deliberately planned wars"; and in justifying the right to make war he says: "It may be that a growing people cannot win Colonies from uncivilised races, and yet the State wishes [Pg 23] to retain the surplus population which the mother country can no longer feed. Then the only course left is to acquire the necessary territory by war."

Germany now proposed to tread the same path as England, but she had arrived late in the day and the methods whereby she purposed making up for lost time were not the methods whereby England had established herself.

Behind German colonisation lies no record of great accomplishments inspired by lofty ideals and high aspirations, carried into effect by noble self-sacrifice on the part of her sons; the history conjures up no pageant of romantic emprise nor vista of perilous undertakings in unexplored parts of the globe by the spirits of daring and adventure; it holds no pulse-stirring stories of the blazing of new trails; and scattered over its pages we do not find imprints of the steps of pioneers of true civilisation, nor are its leaves earmarked with splendid memories.

Where England gave of the best of her manhood to establish in daughter states in the four quarters of the globe her ideals of freedom, justice, and fair commerce—that manhood whose inspiration and incentive was their country's honour, but whose guerdon was in many a case a lonely grave or a more imposing monument in the "sun-washed spaces"—the ambassadors of German kultur followed upon a beaten track to seize at the opportune moment the material benefit of the crop where [Pg 24] the others had ploughed with the expenditure of their physical energy, sown with the seeds of their intellect, and fertilised with their blood.

Casting about between 1882 and 1884 for territory over which to hoist her flag, Germany found that nearly the whole of the world was occupied; and direct action of conquest not being expedient, Germans were busy seeking to accomplish their aims by secret methods of intrigue, always accompanied by deprecation of the infringement of the vested rights of others.

Active steps for the acquisition of territory began to be taken in 1884.

Under pretext of being interested in the suppression of the slave trade, Germany concerned herself in the affairs of Zanzibar, long subject to the influence of the Portuguese and British; but Germany later abandoned her ambitions in the island on the cession of Heligoland.

Africa was the one continent which had not been partitioned, and Germany's quest of territory brought about the "scramble for Africa."

Germany had annexed portions of the west coast (Togoland and Kamerun), and the vacillating policy of the British Government during 1882-1883 enabled the Germans to annex an enormous tract of territory north of the Orange River, which became known as German South West Africa.

Altogether the German Colonies in Africa [Pg 25] acquired in 1884 amounted to over 1,000,000 square miles.

By what is known as the "Caprivi Treaty" of the 1st July, 1890, Great Britain and Germany agreed as to their respective "spheres of influence" in Africa.

Great Britain assumed protection over the Island of Zanzibar, and ceded to Germany in exchange the Island of Heligoland.

This exchange was regarded in Germany generally as a most disadvantageous one; but the possession of Heligoland as a fortress was of inestimable value to Germany—making possible the Borkum-Wilhelmshaven-Heligoland-Brunsbüttel naval position, and the German militarist section craved it in order to forestall France.

The territory of the Sultan of Zanzibar on the mainland of Africa was ceded to Germany, with the harbour of Dar-es-Salaam; and the boundaries were so delimited as to include in German East Africa the mountain of Kilima 'Njaro, the German Emperor being supposed to have expressed a wish to possess the highest mountain in Africa as a mere matter of sentiment.

The Caprivi Treaty also defined the boundaries of South West Africa.

In 1884 Germany had also busied herself in the Pacific, and had hoisted her flag on several islands as well as in North New Guinea, where the Australasian Colonies had established settlements and [Pg 26] vainly urged annexation on the British Government.

In 1885 the sum of 180,000 marks was voted by the Reichstag "for the protection" of these new German Colonies.

The opening of 1891 saw Germany with ample territory oversea to accommodate surplus population; while we, secure in our own strength, with amused tolerance, allowed her to climb to "her place in the sun."

It was not the intention of Germany, however, to use the Colonies as dumping grounds, nor to encourage a policy of emigration—but rather to exploit them as supports for home industry.

Many German industries depend upon foreign countries for the import of a continual supply of raw material which cannot be produced in Germany; while part of their necessaries are even obtained from abroad. They also depend to a considerable extent upon foreign countries for the sale of manufactures.

Their prosperity depends upon import and export trade; for while the home industries provide work for masses of the population, all the products cannot be consumed at home and markets have to be found elsewhere if employment is to continue.

It can never be said to be an economic interest to encourage the establishment of industries in Colonies—at least not manufactories of articles made at home.

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The establishment of such may be of interest to provide work for those who emigrate; but from the point of view of countries like Germany, whose existence depends on keeping their men at home, it is far preferable to develop every possible industry at home, and retain the Colonies only as markets and producers of raw material.

This Germany proceeded to do. Developing Colonial trade, she extended her home industries. During eight years her Colonial trade rose from scarcely £5,000,000 to £12,000,000, and the effect of the acquisition of Colonies upon her home industries is marked in the fact that she employed in those industries 11,300,000 men in 1907 as against 6,400,000 in 1882.

Germany, moreover, protects even her agriculture against the competition of her own Colonies—shutting out their meat and their grain.

Germany's conception of the idea of Colonies, therefore, was to build up overseas a new Germany composed of daughter states, which would remain essentially German and be the means of keeping her men at home in remunerative employment by providing raw material for the development of her industries.

A continental nation, surrounded by powerful neighbours, it seemed in her case a suicidal policy to scatter her population abroad; and therefore she exploited her Colonies in such a way as to help her to concentrate her people at home, where she [Pg 28] required men in time of peace for economic development and in time of war for defence—and offence.

As a natural sequence to the responsibility of oversea dominions, it becomes a question of life and death to keep open the oversea commerce protected by a powerful navy; and this point was strongly urged by the National Party which, advocating colonisation, arose in Germany in 1892.

But with the growth of Germany's oversea trade and her navy, a new and splendid vista unfolded itself—no less than Germany, from her place in the sun, mistress of the world.

To quote von Bernhardi: "The German nation, from the standpoint of its importance to civilisation, is fully entitled not only to demand a place in the sun, but to aspire to an adequate share in the sovereignty of the world far beyond the limits of its present sphere of influence."

Von Treitschke, the neurotic German historian and poet, again "incessantly points his nation towards the war with England, to the destruction of England's supremacy at sea as the means by which Germany is to burst into that path of glory and of world dominion."[A]

"Treitschke dreamed of a greater Germany to come into being after England had been crushed on the sea."[B]

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To obtain their object no other means presented itself than the Prussian militarist method.

Bismarck's object—the goal towards which he strove, to so amply secure the position in Europe that it could never be questioned—seemed to have been attained by the machine of militarism, the huge army created and kept in being by national self-sacrifice. So to obtain what was now aimed at, the instrument was to be an invincible fleet which would in defiance of everyone keep sea communications open.

As early as 1896 the "world Power" idea had evolved, and at the celebration in that year of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the foundation of the German Empire, the Emperor termed it a "world Empire."

On the question of the rights of others the German Emperor was at all events satisfied, for he announced to the German Socialists: "We Hohenzollerns take our crown from God alone, and to God alone we are responsible," which leaves nothing more to be said on that point.

To German minds the domination of the world was a very real ambition and quite in accord with the best Prussian traditions.

In 1905 the German Emperor visited Tangier to impress upon a cynical brother Emperor the right to a place in Moroccan affairs; while in 1911 German diplomacy asserted that Germany was anxious to preserve the independence and integrity [Pg 30] of Morocco because of her important interests in the country. As a matter of fact, German trade had steadily lost ground in Morocco and "in 1909 was exactly equal to 1/1500th or one-fifteenth part of one single per cent of her whole foreign trade."[C]

Anent the Agadir crisis in 1911, Von Bernhardi naively admits that it was "only the fear of the intervention of England that deterred us from claiming a sphere of interests of our own in Morocco."

The "sphere of interests" in Morocco consisted in coveting Agadir, the best harbour on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, which would have been of enormous importance to Germany and her Colonies because ordinarily the German fleet would be tied to the North Sea for want of coaling stations.

During Great Britain's time of stress with the South African Republics, in the same way Baron Marshall von Bieberstein declared officially that "the continued independence of the Boer Republics was a German interest."

The interest of Germany, apart from the undoubted hope of making the Republics German Colonies, it might simply be remarked, was that Germany had in contemplation the construction of a railway line from Pretoria to Santa Lucia Bay on the east coast, 800 miles nearer Europe than the port of Cape Town.

[Pg 31]

German history holds no record of the integrity or independence of her neighbours being either of German interest or concern, and her attitude is in accord with her principle of concealing her real intention by adopting a spirit of deprecation.

This is amply exemplified in the German Emperor's letter to Lord Tweedmouth of 14th February, 1908, stigmatising as "nonsensical and untrue" the idea that the German fleet was being built for any other purpose "than her needs in relation with her rapidly growing trade."

The real obstacle to realisation of the great German dream was British naval supremacy; and all German thought and energy was devoted to the construction of a navy strong enough to challenge that supremacy. When she could do that it was within the bounds of possibility that Germany would indeed be the world Power.

Roughly, the German Colonial Empire is five times as big as Germany, with a population of about 14,000,000 natives; and the question of German Colonial policy is a question of native policy.

It is in Germany's interest that the natives should be as numerous as possible, for it is their labour, intelligence, and industry that makes the Colonial Empire useful and necessary to Germany.

Individual settlers are not encouraged to emigrate, but the plantations, ranches, etc., whence Germany drew her supplies of raw material such as cotton, rubber, wool, etc., are developed by [Pg 32] chartered companies and trading firms, and the so-called settlers are the managers of these.

Independent German farmers in her Colonies are few and far between, and the settlements which were to be centres of German kultur have not eventuated. A new Germany has not been created oversea.

There was, moreover, no room in German Colonial expansion for individualism, which has proved such a strength to England but was suppressed in Germany. The individual German is not given scope but subordinated to a system.

The truth seems to be that Germany had not got the class of men she required for her scheme of Colonial development—or exploitation seems the better word.

Germany's requirements were lands for growing raw material by native labour, and markets from which she could not be excluded—and she thought she had found them in her Colonies.

The Colonies cried out for European enterprise and European capital, but they did not want individual settlers.

Under British rule the German has proved a most desirable Colonist, but he has never thriven under his own Colonial administration.

He is by nature extremely assimilative, and in our Colonies he prospers, not only competing with but outstripping the British trader owing to the employment of undercutting methods which do not [Pg 33] so readily occur to the British mind, hampered as it usually is by a sense of fair play.

In the eastern province of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, the members of the German Legion who settled after disbandment about King William's Town, Hanover, Stutterheim, etc., have developed into prosperous farmers and merchants.

A sandy waste in the neighbourhood of Cape Town, once thought to be worthless, was subdivided and taken up almost entirely by Germans, and they have turned the land into one of the most productive portions of the Cape Peninsula.

In America the German immigrants have readily assimilated, though in Brazil they have formed separate centres.

In the German Colonies a set-back to development has been the fact that they have never realised the importance of respecting local manners and customs, but the home machinery has been applied in every particular to conditions wholly dissimilar and unsuitable.

In South West Africa, for instance, Dr Bönn of Munich says they "solved the native problem by smashing tribal life."

Being trained and accustomed to obey, moreover, the German cannot act without orders, and lacks initiative and therefore administrative ability.

Compulsory military service has been instituted, and the German Colonial administration is cordially [Pg 34] detested except where perhaps it favours ill-treatment and oppression of natives.

Where the British have evolved a system of government which is a comity of commonwealths within a monarchy, and hold their dependencies by the sense of honour and appreciation, to which the attitude of South Africa bears splendid witness, the German's grip was by the claws of militarism and terrorism.

Under the circumstances it is perhaps not surprising that the Germans should fall into the error that the British dependencies would embrace an opportunity of "throwing off the British yoke"; and the assumed disloyalty of British Colonies, with the further assumption, widely distributed, that various peoples under the British flag were capable of being tampered with easily, may well have been one of the most cogent theories leading the German Emperor and his advisers to their fateful decision.

With the extraordinary aptitude of the Germans for intrigue, perhaps the war Lords were not altogether foolish in their conclusions.

There was a chance of seduction, especially with native races in Africa, but it was a very small chance, and, like many another well-laid scheme, this one failed because its authors did not understand the material which was to be used to work it.

It failed in Africa because the African is more than the beast of burden the German Colonists [Pg 35] schooled and deluded themselves into thinking. They did not understand the native; and, in a word, the native hates the German, especially the officials.

Their methods of colonisation have good points in matter of detail, routine work, etc.; but if colonisation be regarded as something more than the exploitation of a subject race and the passive holding of its territory, they must be written down a failure, for the extraordinary efficiency of the administrative machinery falls far short of compensating for the rottenness of the policy behind it.

A nation in whom a much-vaunted kultur has produced an ideal of national life whose highest expression is the atmosphere of a penal settlement, is foredoomed to failure as a coloniser.

[Pg 36]



Ever since her acquisition of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope, vitally important to her in view of her interests in the East, Great Britain had been unquestionably the supreme Power in the south of the African Continent.

With the passing of the Dutch East India Company, Holland had ceased to be a South African Power; while the Portuguese had lost their status. The latter in reality only held an area along the coast of her possessions, a great proportion of the interior, which undoubtedly had once been beneficially occupied by Portuguese, having reverted to savagedom.

The southern point of Portuguese South East Africa extended to and included Delagoa Bay and Lourenço Marquez, while the southern boundary of their western Colony was about the 22° S.

From the days of its earliest history the Cape Colony was subject to attacks by natives, and the constant raids by hordes of Kafirs caused the Colony to extend its borders and absorb and settle the Hinterland.

[Pg 37]

(Reproduced by permission of The Times.)

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Up to 1883 the natural course of beneficial occupation and development had been towards the east and north-east borders, over the more fertile and naturally resourceful portions of the country, rather than west and north-west, where a comparatively arid zone intervened.

Towards the Orange and Vaal Rivers the hardiest race of pioneers the world has ever seen, the "Voor-trekking" Boers, pressed onwards to escape from subjection to any form of government excepting their own patriarchal control. Their story hardly comes within the scope of this modest work; but it is indissolubly connected with the making of South Africa, and a brief sketch of their history may be permissible.

The exodus of the Boers, who were composed of farmers of not only Dutch but French and English origin, commenced with the Great Trek of 1836, and they spread out ever seeking freedom from restraint. They came into collision with the Zulus under Dingaan, by whom a number of them were treacherously massacred, but whom they finally severely defeated and Dingaan fled.

Dissensions arose amongst the Boers shortly after, and a number trekked on and established a separate settlement, with Potchefstroom as capital. Those who remained occupied Natal and established a Republic.

[Pg 40]

Here, however, they did not find peace, for Sir George Napier, in command of the British forces at the Cape, dispatched a contingent to drive them out. This contingent the Boers nearly annihilated.

A settler, Dick King, then made his memorable ride from Durban to Grahamstown, covering the distance of 375 miles in nine days, and reinforcements were sent up.

Natal was, in 1843, declared to be a British Colony, with the result that a fresh exodus of Boers occurred across the Drakensberg Mountains into Griqualand.

For forty years the Boers wandered, but wherever they tried to settle they were pressed on—being continually told that they could not shake off their allegiance, although no step was taken to reclaim them or the country they won.

So far from receiving protection from the Cape Government, the latter even armed the Griquas against the Boers, and sent a military force to the assistance of the natives. And so they were harried until they were allowed to establish their Republics of the Transvaal and Free State, until overtaken by the destiny which Providence had marked out for them.

In 1881 an attempt was made by Great Britain to annex the Transvaal, but after General Colley's defeat and death at Majuba the independence of the Transvaal was acknowledged under British suzerainty.

[Pg 41]

The western border of the Transvaal Republic marched on Bechuanaland and the Kalahari Desert, and in 1882 the Transvaal completed a convention with the Portuguese Government under which the former was granted a concession to build a railway from the capital, Pretoria, to Delagoa Bay on the east coast.

The delimited boundary of the Cape Colony was the Orange River, but as early as 1793 a Dutch expedition from the Cape took possession of Walfisch Bay, Angra Pequena, as well as Possession, Ichaboe, and other islands on the south-west coast in the name of the Dutch East India Company, while Namaqualand and Damaraland had been traversed from end to end by British and Dutch traders and explorers.

British statesmen, however, neglected the south-west, though the islands were annexed at different times between 1861 and 1867, and Walfisch Bay in 1878. In 1874 the islands were incorporated in the Cape Colony.

The mainland on the south-west, however, remained an open field as far as actual occupation went, in spite of its being tacitly acknowledged a British "sphere of influence."

Until the "scramble for Africa" no one would have regarded with anything but ridicule the idea that an enormous tract of country, comprising Great Namaqualand and Damaraland, would have been lost to Great Britain; yet British statesmen at home, [Pg 42] feeling secure in the country's position, refused to encourage anything but a policy of gradual absorption.

In 1867 the Home Government was strongly urged by the Government of the Cape to annex Great Namaqualand and Damaraland, but declined to undertake the responsibility.

In the following year the residents of the territory, including numerous German missionaries, urged that the country might be declared British and be subject to British administration; but the proposal was met with disfavour.

In the year 1877 that great-minded Imperialist, Sir Bartle Frere, then Governor of the Cape of Good Hope, advised by the Executive Council at the Cape, made a strong recommendation that as a first step an Order in Council should be passed, empowering the Cape Parliament to legislate for the purpose of annexing the coast up to the Portuguese boundary; and that in the meanwhile no time should be lost in hoisting the British flag at Walfisch Bay. This latter step was assented to, and it was shortly afterwards carried into effect; but Sir Bartle Frere's larger proposals were negatived.

Sir Bartle Frere subsequently renewed his representations on the subject, but the Imperial Government continued of opinion that no action should be taken.[D]

[Pg 43]

The British Imperial Government was satisfied that there could be no possible danger in delay, and were disturbed at the unsettled state of the native territories of the Cape Colony and the recurrence of native disturbances which have been a prevailing element in the existence of the Colony.

The Imperial Government finally decided that it was unnecessary to extend their possessions beyond the then boundaries, that the Orange River should be maintained as the north-western boundary of the Cape Colony, and that the Government would give no encouragement to schemes for the extension of British jurisdiction over Great Namaqualand and Damaraland.

Up to 1883 the only assent to petitions from the Cape Government, from residents in Great Namaqualand and Damaraland, and from the natives of those territories, was for the annexation of the islands off the coast, and of Walfisch Bay and a very small portion of the country immediately surrounding it.

The danger of Germany stepping in was never disturbing to the minds of the British statesmen, and they were merely concerned with weighing the advantages of embracing the occasion.

German diplomacy had, however, been at work in its insidious way; and although active operations under Bismarck's policy of forming "Trade Colonies" were not undertaken by the German [Pg 44] Government until well into 1884, the promoters and originators of the German Colonisation Society had been busy ever since the first conception of the Colonial idea in Germany.

During the years preceding 1884, indeed, representatives of the Bremen and Hamburg merchants had made many not unsuccessful efforts to worm themselves into the trading centres in Southern Africa.

Ambassadors of German commerce set out as pioneers of the new movement, and as early as August, 1883, the Standard newspaper published a communication from its special correspondent in Berlin—headed "The First German Colony"—reporting that a Bremen firm had "acquired" the Bay of Angra Pequena (Luderitzbucht) on the south-west coast of Africa.

The article proceeds that "the German Press, which was disappointed by the Reichstag last year (re the Samoa Bill), expresses great satisfaction at the consent of the German Government to protect the infant Colony and to allow the German flag to be hoisted over it. The semi-official Post declares that this is the most practicable kind of colonisation, because it avoids international difficulties. In spite of the statement ... that the German Government avoids giving any encouragement to immigration, the Post is convinced that if Germans will promote the increase of German manufacturing industry by founding commercial Colonies, they [Pg 45] will not lack the powerful protection of the Imperial Government."

There the whole of Bismarck's ex-territorial policy lies in a nutshell: the continued expansion of Germany from within by means of trade with purely German dominions.

Beyond this the German Government expressed no intention of actually annexing territory, though it was a straw which showed very clearly the direction in which the wind set.

It was an inexpedient policy for the Government to proceed to declaring Protectorates over areas not in actual occupation by other Powers yet coming within their "spheres of influence," and the subterfuge resorted to was the establishment of trade centres by merchants who would claim the protection of the German flag; albeit it could not be seriously argued that the mere foundation of a trading station could constitute territorial acquisition in any part of the world where Germany as a Power had not the least claim.

For many years there had in Germany been advocates of colonisation schemes with a considerably wider horizon, who had formulated ideas of expansion and pressed their views upon the German Government and public. Foremost amongst these was Herr Ernst von Weber, and the enunciation of his higher ambitions for his country, in a remarkable article published in 1879, not only attracted considerable attention in South Africa but induced [Pg 46] Sir Bartle Frere again to draw the attention of the Home Government to the avouched plan for a German Colony in South Africa.

Herr von Weber in his article pointed to the attractive prospect and noble ambition by which Englishmen might be inspired to found a new Empire in the African continent, "possibly more valuable and more brilliant than even the Indian Empire."

Von Weber argued that it was the duty of Germany to protest against steps taken by England to realise this ambition; urging in support that Germans had a peculiar interest in the "Boer" territories—"for here dwell a splendid race of people nearly allied to us (Germans)."

After going into the history of the Boers, the writer of the article states quite seriously that the Transvaal Boers had "the most earnest longing that the German Empire, which they properly regard as their parent and mother country, should take them under its protection."

As a matter of fact, except in Government circles in the coterie of continental intriguers who surrounded and misled Paul Kruger, the German is barely tolerated by the Boers, and vervluchste Deutscher (cursed German) is as common a descriptive as verdomde Rooinek (damned Englishman).[E]

[Pg 47]

In the first place, to the Boers every German is a Jew—a gentleman, in his mind, associated with a watch with defective parts or a "last year's ready reckoner."

Next, the Boer, while proud of his ancestry, strongly disclaims any loyalty to a European Power; and although a Dutch dialect is in almost universal use, he would indignantly repudiate a suggestion that he is bound by any ties to Holland, even after he has been fully persuaded of the actual existence of that country.

The Boer trekkers, besides those of Dutch origin, included the descendants of many noble French families, and their numbers were supplemented by English immigrants who were sent out to the eastern province of the Cape Colony in 1820. Many of these trekked with the Boers owing to dissatisfaction at being denied political and civil rights; and of the original 3053 immigrants who landed in 1820, only 438 remained a few years later, on their original grants in the Cape Colony.

While the Boers protested and fought against annexation by great Britain, it was merely because of repugnance to restraint and certainly not out of any love for Germany.

After expatiating on the richness of the mineral resources of the Transvaal, von Weber points to the possibilities of the country if Delagoa Bay were acquired.

In spite of claiming the Boers as kindred, however, [Pg 48] he shows the cloven hoof by stating that "a constant mass immigration of Germans would gradually bring about a decided numerical preponderance of Germans over the Dutch population, and of itself would by degrees effect the germanisation of the country in a peaceful manner."

He goes on to recommend that Germany ought "at any price," in order to forestall England, to get possession of points on both the west and east coasts of Africa, where factories could be established, branches of which, properly fortified, could be gradually pushed farther and farther inland and so by degrees form a wide network of German settlements.

That these views were not held by Herr von Weber alone in Germany must have been apparent to our Foreign and Colonial Offices, but the only steps taken were to ask the British ambassador in Berlin for a report; and this, when received, assured the Government that the plan had no prospect of success, because the German Government felt more the want of soldiers than of Colonies, and consequently discouraged emigration—while the German Government's disinclination to acquire distant dependencies had been marked in the rejection of the Samoa Bill.

The possibility of a reversal of feeling did not occur to anyone apparently, and the British Government was therefore quite satisfied that "the plan had no prospect of success"; and having intimated [Pg 49] the same to Sir Bartle Frere, abandoned interest in the matter.

To the Prussian militarist section in Germany Ernst von Weber's exhortation irresistibly appealed. A glance at the map of South Africa will show how feasible it was for Germany not only to curtail the expansion of British territory from the south, but to secure the dominion of the greater part of the continent for Germany.

It was a great ideal and came near to consummation by insidious working of German Government agents, bountifully assisted in their object by the vacillation and indifference of the British Colonial and Foreign Offices.

In the south-west was a huge area of which no actual annexation had been proclaimed, yet to the mind of our statesmen amply secured by being understood to be within the "sphere of British influence." Between it and the Transvaal Republic lay another unprotected area stretching across the Kalahari so-called "desert" and including Bechuanaland, the happy hunting-ground of missionaries and Matabele raiders. South-east of the Transvaal, stretching to the coast, was another unoccupied region comprising Tongaland and part of Zululand, with an excellent harbour on the east coast at St Lucia Bay.

Give any Power Great Namaqualand and Damaraland on the west coast, add Bechuanaland in the interior and a working agreement with the [Pg 50] Transvaal Republic with access to the east coast at St Lucia Bay, then the Cape Colony was shut in by very circumscribed borders for ever from her Hinterland; while a dream of "Africa all Red" was smothered in its genesis, and its record filed away for future reference in the archives of the might have been.

But a belt across the southern portion of the continent did not comprise the sum-total of the Prussian ambition. There was an enormous and fabulously rich extent of country stretching up to and beyond the Zambezi, occupied only by marauding savages under the rule of Lo Bengula, King of the Amandebele—and now known as Rhodesia.

With a distinct vision of the prize offering, the German set out with the mailed fist wrapped in cotton wool to stalk his prey delicately.

In 1883 while German traders were busy establishing a footing in Great Namaqualand and Damaraland, diplomacy and intrigue had been at work in the Transvaal. The Boer Government had concluded an agreement with the Portuguese whereby they obtained an outlet to the east coast by a railway to Delagoa Bay, and the Boers had begun to occupy portions of Bechuanaland, separating the Transvaal and Namaqualand.

Boer Republics were proclaimed over the territories of several Bechuana chiefs, and overtures were made by German emissaries from the Transvaal to Lo Bengula for a concession over the territory under his sway.

[Pg 51]

Showing the Transcontinental belt with which Germany hoped to shut in Cape Colony and prevent northern expansion.

[Pg 52]

[Pg 53]

Tongaland and a portion of the Zululand coast, including St Lucia Bay, was under the subjection of Dinizulu, who had succeeded Cetywayo as King of Zululand, and with him negotiations were entered into, the ultimate end of which was to be the cession to Germany (or the Transvaal) of a portion of the sea-board.

The British Government can hardly really be blamed for not pursuing in 1883 a vigorous policy of annexation in Southern Africa, for in 1879 there had been general native disturbances—including a costly war with the Zulus, with its memorable disaster to the British arms at Isandhlwana and the deplorable death of Prince Victor Napoleon. In 1881 we were defeated by the Boers at Laings Nek and Majuba, the little war ending with a retirement quite the reverse of graceful; in 1882 Egypt was in a foment, and although Sir Garnet Wolseley destroyed Ahmed Arabi at Tel-el-Kebir, the Sudan was still overrun by frenzied fanatics.

The dilatoriness of the Imperial Government, however, is inexcusable in view of the importance of the issue at stake, which was the overthrow of British supremacy in South Africa in favour of Germany.

Fortunately for us, there were at the Cape imperially minded statesmen who were fully alive to the danger threatening Great Britain: Sir Bartle [Pg 54] Frere, Cecil Rhodes, Sir Thomas Upington, and John X. Merriman; and these continually pressed their views upon the Home Government, while Rhodes, who had formulated his own ideas as to the destiny of the sub-continent, set himself to employ his bounteous talents of mental and physical energy to the due accomplishment of a purpose which he made his life's aim.

Fortunately he had at his private command the financial resources indispensable to the consummation of his ideals; for if he had had to rely upon the Home Government for that support, his ambition stood little hope of realisation.

The German hope of obtaining sway over Bechuanaland through the Boers was frustrated by vigorous action on the part of the Cape statesmen. Their protests, and especially the individual efforts of Rhodes, stirred the Home Government into saving for the Empire the territory which the freebooters from the Transvaal had seized upon in the name of their Republic.

Rhodes personally, on behalf of the Cape Government, conducted negotiations with the Boers, but it was not until 1885 that a successful issue was arrived at after a show of force by the Home Government in the expedition of Sir Charles Warren.

The danger of the Cape Colony being cut off from the north through Bechuanaland was obviated, but a large field for German enterprise still lay open.

[Pg 55]

Their attempts to acquire a footing in Matabeleland were frustrated, and the delegates who set out from the Transvaal in search of a concession from Lo Bengula were unsuccessful in their mission to secure for Germany sway over the countries that now comprise Rhodesia.

For decades British private enterprise had been busy on the coast of Great Namaqualand and Damaraland; in fact in 1863 a British firm (De Pass, Spence & Co.) had purchased from the native chiefs a large tract round about Angra Pequena, and worked the huge deposits of guano on the Ichaboe group of islands, some of which are less than a mile off the mainland.

Disputes were constant up to 1884 between British and German traders; continuous appeals were made for British annexation of the territory from the Orange River to the Portuguese border, but the Government could not be induced to do anything more towards acceding to Sir Bartle Frere's urgent representations than to declare Walfisch Bay, with some fifteen miles around it, to be British territory.

In 1882 a German, Herr Luderitz, the representative in South Africa of the Hamburg and Bremen merchants who pulled the strings of the Government through the German Colonisation Society, established a trading station at Angra Pequena and commenced, in accordance with the preconceived plan of "conquest," to extend the operations of [Pg 56] his business inland by founding trade stations at suitable centres.

The British traders soon began to make representations to the Cape Government owing to Luderitz exercising rights of proprietorship over a large portion of territory which he claimed to own by purchase, and to his levying import duty charges upon goods landed by other traders.

Another cause of complaint was that Luderitz was importing large quantities of arms and ammunition and supplying them to the natives by way of barter.

The German wedge having been insidiously inserted into South West Africa, the propitious moment seemed to have arrived in 1884 for Germany to acquire territorial possession of South West Africa. Representations were accordingly made by the German to the British Government, pointing out that German subjects had substantial interests in and about Angra Pequena in need of protection, and inquiring whether the British were prepared to extend protection to the German industries and subjects north of the Orange River, which British statesmen seemed to have stubbornly determined should remain the boundary of the Cape Colony.

The Governor of the Cape had, indeed, been clearly and distinctly given to understand that, except as regards Walfisch Bay, the Home Government would lend no encouragement to the establishment [Pg 57] of British jurisdiction in Great Namaqualand and Damaraland north of the Orange River.

Bismarck's application to Lord Granville, therefore, placed the latter in an awkward predicament, inasmuch as he intimated that if Great Britain were not agreeable to providing protection for the lives and properties of German subjects, the German Government would do its best to extend to it the same measure of protection which they gave to their subjects in other remote places.

Bismarck took care, however, to impress upon the British Foreign Office that in any action the German Government might take there was no underlying design to establish a territorial footing in South Africa. He disclaimed any intention other than to obtain protection for the property of German subjects; and this assurance was complacently accepted as a complete reply to the representations of the Cape statesmen.

The Home Government seem, at the same time, to have understood at the beginning of 1884 that the choice lay before them of formally annexing South West Africa from the Orange River north to the Portuguese border, or acquiescing in a German annexation.

With almost criminal procrastination, however, they deferred replying to the German inquiry, deeming it necessary to communicate with the Government of the Cape Colony and invite that Government, in the event of South West Africa [Pg 58] being declared to be under British jurisdiction, to undertake the responsibility and cost of the administration of the territory.

Lord Granville, moreover, temporised by informing Bismarck that the Cape Colonial Government had certain establishments along the south-western coasts, and that he would obtain a report from the Cape, as it was not possible without more precise information to form any opinion as to whether the British authorities would have it in their power to give the protection asked for in case of need.

This answer Bismarck probably expected and welcomed, as it left him free to proceed with his own arrangements, while the British Foreign Office pigeonholed the subject until the matter might be reopened.

In the beginning of 1883, owing to representations from British firms interested in South West Africa as to German activity in that part, the British Foreign Office obtained a report from their Chargé d'Affaires in Berlin, and were again lulled into complaisant inactivity by being assured that the amount of "protection" intended to be afforded by the German Government to Luderitz's "commercial Colony" was precisely what would be granted to any other subject of the Empire who had settled abroad and acquired property.

It would be a mistake, the Foreign Office was notified, to suppose that the German Government had any intention of establishing crown Colonies [Pg 59] or of assuming a Protectorate over a territory acquired by a traveller or explorer.

In September the German inquiries of the Foreign Office assumed a more pertinent nature, and to the uncultured mind would carry an alarming significance.

The British Foreign Office was asked "quite unofficially" and for the private information of the German Government, whether Great Britain claimed suzerainty rights over Angra Pequena and the adjacent territory; and if so, to explain upon what grounds the claim was based.

This necessitated another reference to the Cape of Good Hope; but in the meantime a party of English traders, disgusted at the delay at home in annexing the south-west coast, resolved to take action on their own account, and set off for Angra Pequena with the fixed determination—of which they gave the Government due notice—of expelling the Germans.

Instructions were immediately sent out for a gunboat to proceed to the spot to prevent a collision between the British and Germans, as the whole question of jurisdiction was still the "subject of inquiry."

H.M.S. Boadicea proceeded on instructions to Angra Pequena, and her Commander was able to report, on her return to Simon's Bay on the Cape station, that no collision had taken place.

In November, 1883, the British Foreign Office [Pg 60] intimated to the German Government that a report on South West Africa was in course of preparation, but that while British sovereignty had not been proclaimed excepting over Walfisch Bay and the islands, the Government considered that any claim to sovereignty or jurisdiction by a foreign Power between the Portuguese border and the frontier of the Cape Colony (the Orange River) would infringe Great Britain's legitimate rights.

Early in 1884 the German Government, in a dispatch to the British Foreign Office, pointed out that the fact that British sovereignty had not been proclaimed over South West Africa permitted of doubt as to the legal claim of the British Government, as well as to the practical application of the same; the German Government having clearly in mind the avowal of a fixed intention on the part of the British Government not to extend jurisdiction over the coast territory excepting in so far as Walfisch Bay and the islands were concerned.

The dispatch argued that events had shown that the British Government did not claim sovereignty in the territory, but as a matter of fact the Government had emphatically declined to assume that responsibility.

The German dispatch concluded by asking our Government for a statement of the title upon which any claim for sovereignty over the territory was based, and what provision existed for securing legal protection for German subjects in their commercial [Pg 61] enterprises and property, in order that the German Government might be relieved of the duty of providing direct protection for its subjects in that territory.

Here, again, was a deprecation on the part of Germany of any other ambition than to secure protection for life and property of German subjects.

Lord Derby, Secretary of State for the Colonies, was aware of the possibility of Germany assuming jurisdiction over Angra Pequena in the absence of an assurance that the British Government was prepared to undertake the protection of German subjects; but the British Government shrank from the idea of annexing the territory, and endeavoured to saddle the Cape Government with the responsibility of giving the undertaking asked for by Germany.

The Cape Government was in no position to assume such a responsibility, though they did not hesitate to offer to do so as soon as a cabinet meeting could be called to decide on the matter—but when it was too late.

On the 30th January, 1884, the Cape Government, in a minute signed by John X. Merriman, recommended the annexation to the British Empire of the whole of Great Namaqualand and Damaraland from the Orange River to the Portuguese border, the interests of the Cape Colony being chiefly in the arming of natives by gun-running through the port at Angra Pequena.

[Pg 62]

Official and private notifications were sent to the British Foreign Offices of the intention of Germany to take over the suzerainty of South West Africa in defiance of Great Britain's claims; but our Government, fondly embracing the idea that Germany had no intention of acquiring the territory but was only solicitous for legal protection of private property, still declined to act until the Cape Government expressed their readiness to accept the responsibility and cost.

On the 24th April, 1884, the day which has recently been described in German publications as "the Birthday of the German Colonial Empire," Bismarck telegraphed to the German Consul at Cape Town as follows:

"According to statements of Mr Luderitz, Colonial authorities doubt as to his acquisitions north of Orange River being entitled to German protection. You will declare officially that he and his establishments are under protection of the Empire."

This meant the annexation to Germany of the whole territory; but communications continued between the Home and the Cape Colonial Governments.

In the Reichstag on the 23rd June, 1884, Bismarck showed his hand for the first time; and on the point of infringement of Great Britain's "legitimate [Pg 63] rights," stated that no such infringement could be pleaded inasmuch as in English official documents the Orange River had repeatedly been declared to be the north-western border of the Cape Colony.

Bismarck further announced that it was the intention of the Government to afford the Empire's protection to any "settlements" similar to that of Luderitz which might be established by Germans. He added in his address to the Reichstag that "if the question were asked what means the Empire had to afford effective protection to German enterprises in distant parts, the first consideration would be the influence of the Empire and the wish and interests of other Powers to remain in friendly relations with it."

There was nothing left but for our Government to bow at the triumph of superior diplomacy, and the position was accepted with a good grace—Lord Granville declaring that in view of the definitions which had been publicly given by the British Government of the limits of Cape Colony, the claim of the German Government could not be contested, and that the British Government was therefore prepared to recognise the rights of the Germans.

There were some very violent expressions of opinion on the part of Britishers who had vested interests in this, the first of Germany's Colonies, for there were many private rights concerned, and it was decided that an Anglo-German Commission [Pg 64] should be appointed to inquire into and settle all conflicting claims; but it is not of record that, excepting in regard to the islands, the decisions of the Commission were in favour of the British traders who had for many years been established along the coast of South West Africa.

The result of Luderitz's enterprise, supported by Prussian diplomacy, was, therefore, that the German flag waved over the whole extent of South West Africa from the Orange River to the border of Portuguese Angola, and Angra Pequena assumed the responsibility of the name "Luderitzbucht."

In the meantime Herr Luderitz had established his trading stations at St Lucia Bay on the coast of Zululand, and proceeded to repeat the stratagem he had followed in Angra Pequena by founding trade stations at points inland while he opened negotiations with Dinizulu.

The annexation of South West Africa had, however, caused the British Government to throw off some of their lethargy, and a British warship was dispatched to St Lucia Bay, over which, by virtue of a treaty made with the Zulu King Panda some forty years previously, the British flag was hoisted on the 18th December, 1884.

Danger of the Cape being cut off from the north was, however, still extant in Bechuanaland, where the Boers had annexed the territories known as Stellaland, Goshen, and Rooigrond; but this [Pg 65] was eventually saved to Great Britain by vigorous individual action on the part of Cecil Rhodes, who had himself appointed a Commissioner to visit Bechuanaland, where he strenuously opposed the claims of the Transvaal Republic.

These claims were, however, only withdrawn in the following year after an expedition under Sir Charles Warren had proceeded to the disputed areas and persuaded the Boers that Great Britain was this time in real and eager earnest.

Bechuanaland became a British "Protectorate," and the well-laid scheme for a German transcontinental Empire was frustrated.

The boundaries of the territory brought under German sway in South West Africa were defined by what is known as the Caprivi Treaty of the 1st July, 1890, between Germany and Great Britain, and by an agreement between Germany and Portugal. Under the terms of the latter the northern boundary of German South West Africa, between that Colony and Portuguese Angola, was fixed at the Cunene River; while under the Caprivi Treaty the boundary between the Cape Colony and German South West Africa was declared to be the Orange River.

Great Britain retained Walfisch Bay, which became a "district" of the Cape Colony and was placed under the Colonial administration in 1884, and also kept the territory round Lake 'Ngami in northern Bechuanaland.

[Pg 66]

The lake district was neglected, however, until Cecil Rhodes, fearing the loss of more territory unless it was beneficially occupied, sent, at his own expense, an expedition of Boer trekkers to settle on the land.

Article III of the Caprivi Treaty was an important one, for thereunder it was provided that Germany should "have free access from her Protectorate (South West Africa) to the Zambezi River by a strip which shall at no point be less than twenty English miles in width."

The acquisition by Germany of South West Africa was of great strategical importance, enabling them to establish in time a system of communication by wireless telegraphy which covered the whole continent.

In Togoland on the west coast the most powerful wireless apparatus in the world was installed, and this was in touch both by wireless and cable with Berlin.

The Togoland station was also in touch with the wireless installation at Windhoek, the capital of German South West Africa, and with Dar-es-Salaam, the German port on the east coast opposite Zanzibar.

It is a matter for congratulation, but not on the statesmanship displayed by British ministers, that the fruit of the German essay at the establishment of a "new Empire" in Southern Africa was no more than the annexation of South West Africa, for it is by no means unthinkable that there was a possibility that in addition to the south-west the Germans might have drawn a wide belt right across the continent from west to east, taking in Bechuanaland, the Transvaal, Tongaland, and that portion of Zululand giving the Transvaal an outlet to the east coast at St Lucia Bay.

[Pg 67]


[Pg 69]

The territory hitherto known as German South West Africa covers an area of nearly 323,000 square miles, and has a coastline of 930 miles from the mouth of the Orange River, which separates it from the Cape Colony in the south, to the mouth of the Cunene River, which divides the territory from Portuguese Angola in the north. The southern boundary runs along the Orange River into the interior for some 300 miles.

The German population is stated to be about 15,000, and the natives are estimated at 200,000; but this latter is probably a high calculation, in view of the number who have fled into Bechuanaland and Cape Colony to escape from German tyranny.

One of the first acts of the German Government after their annexation of Damaraland and Great Namaqualand was to declare the claims of British concessionaires invalid.

The "rights" of Herr Luderitz were taken over by a chartered company, incorporated by the Government, which set itself to investigate the resources of the country.

[Pg 70]

The islands off the coast remained British, and there the huge deposits of guano have been worked for years.

A form of military government was established, who proceeded to impress the natives with the might of Germany; but the Hereros who occupied Damaraland never acknowledged even a German suzerainty, and in 1904 a "rebellion" broke out.

Utterly unaccustomed as they were to warfare of the description they were now called upon to undertake, the Germans found great difficulty in dealing with the "Hottentots," as the natives were termed; and the German effort to destroy the whole tribe involved the employment of 9,000 regular troops and an expenditure of £ 20,000,000.

The Herero War was carried on for nearly three years, and in 1907 was brought to an end by Major Elliott of the Cape Police; for the principal Herero chiefs crossed the borders of the Cape Colony, where they were routed by Major Elliott's force of police and their leaders captured. They were detained for a time by the Cape Government, and finally handed over to the German authorities, by whom they were executed.

Major Elliott was thanked and duly decorated by the Kaiser.

The Germans did not find tribes of natives on whose industry they could batten, and the inhabitants of Great Namaqualand and Damaraland were really unpromising material for such a purpose, not [Pg 71] being pure-bred distinctive tribes, but bastard races with a strong admixture of half-castes.

For decades the territory had been the refuge of criminals and cattle thieves, who had fled from the Cape Colony, after raiding the Bechuana cattle kraals.

A great deal of the coast and part of the southern portion of the Colony is little else than an arid, waterless waste; in fact the rainfall in parts has been known to be half an inch in two years.

Even at Walfisch Bay there is no fresh water to speak of, and for years water for all purposes was brought up the coast by steamers. It is a condition prevailing all along the coast, for even at Port Nolloth in Lesser Namaqualand, south of the Orange River, the inhabitants depend upon water condensed by the sea fogs and dripped from the roofs into tanks, which are by the way kept locked to prevent theft of the precious liquid.

Powerful condensers have, however, for some time been used at various points on the coast to provide fresh water, and this is retailed at a high price.

The Kalahari Desert stretches over the border of the Cape Colony and into Bechuanaland, and contains no surface water; although good results have been obtained by drilling to comparatively shallow depths, and the sandy soil proved highly productive on irrigation.

The desert itself was occupied by nomad bushmen [Pg 72] armed with bows and arrows poisoned by being laid in putrid human flesh, and who kept secret the places where they obtained water. Many of these are pools hidden beneath the earth's surface and from which the water can only be drawn up through a narrow channel by suction through a bamboo reed.

A good substitute for water is found in the wild melons which grow in patches in the driest parts of the Kalahari, and on these police patrols in Bechuanaland have often to rely for water for themselves and animals.

The arid zone is limited, however, and towards the north-east the land gradually rises to an elevated tableland, possessing a dry and one of the most perfect climates in the world.

Approaching Angola again farther north the country becomes almost tropical.

The majority of the veld is of the karoo type, covered with the remarkable karoo bush on the leafless twigs of which sheep thrive and fatten. The salt bush, similar to that valued in Australia for sheep, is found in abundance, but towards the north and coming under the influence of a rainfall the land, while there is no marked geological difference, produces grass instead of the salt bush, and there are belts of rich grass country as fine as any to be found in Southern Africa.

Damaraland is in reality one of the finest cattle countries in Africa, while nearly the whole country [Pg 73] is suitable for sheep and goats. With energetic development there is a big future for it as a producer of hides, wool, and mohair.

Horses do well in many parts of South West Africa; in fact in Namaqualand, along the Orange River, a breed of hardy ponies exists in a semi-wild state. In the drier parts camels are extensively used both by British and German patrols.

The most waterless area near the coast produces a shrub known by the Boers as melk bosch (milk-bush), which carries a plentiful supply of a milky sap which has been manufactured into a fair quality of rubber; but the difficulty of its collection militates against the prospects of its development into a prosperous industry.

The number of head of cattle, the property of the natives but transferred to the Germans by conquest, was, in 1913, estimated at 240,000, wool-bearing sheep 660,000, and other sheep, including Persians, at over 500,000. There were approximately the same number of goats, 20,000 horses, and 3000 ostriches.

In the northerly portion, suitable for agriculture, this was carried on by natives; but their land was confiscated by the Germans, and, as Dr Bönn stated in a reading upon the Colony, "the framework of society is European; very little land is in the hands of natives."

The land was parcelled out into farms and allocated [Pg 74] to companies and Boer settlers, the average size of a farm being about 28,000 acres.

Ostriches are found in many parts in a wild state, and a great number have been domesticated; but the German traders preferred as a rule to rely for their supply of feathers upon the plumes of wild birds killed by the bushmen of the Kalahari.

Of other industries mention might be made of the collection, besides guano, of penguin eggs and seal skins on the islands off the coast, while a few degrees north whalers, operating from Port Alexander, last year accounted for some 3000 whales.

As at the Cape of Good Hope, the whales met with are of the less valuable "hump-backed" variety, but an occasional "right" or sperm whale is captured.

Of ordinary trade there was practically none, as the natives had little or nothing to give in exchange for imported goods; and as for the Boer settler, beyond a little coffee and sugar, he has learned to rely only upon the resources of his farm for his requirement. The natives' only asset of value to the German, his labour, he was not disposed to trade in.

Investigation has revealed the existence of mountains of marble, varied in colour and of a quality equal to Carara; while enormous deposits of gypsum exist.

The whole country is highly mineralised. Silver [Pg 75] first attracted the attention of prospectors but has never been found in payable quantities, although large veins of galena have been traced.

The development of the mineral resources is almost entirely British, and Johannesburg financiers have opened up copper and gold mines.

Enormous deposits of haematite iron and asbestos are known to exist, but so far have not been worked.

Copper, gold, silver, tin, and lead have been worked profitably; but the principal mining industry is diamond washing, and this is mainly in Government hands.

No mine or pipe has been discovered, but the diamonds are found in the loose sand on the foreshore under conditions similar to those prevailing at Diamantina in Brazil.

The diamonds are "dolleyed," and picked out by natives under supervision; but there are a few individual diggers upon whose net production the Government levied a tax.

The output of diamonds in 1913 was valued at £3,000,000, the stones being disposed of under State agency, who occupy the same relative position to the industry as the De Beers Diamond Buying Syndicate to the Kimberley mines.

Diamonds and their concomitants such as olivine, rubies, garnets, etc., have also been discovered on the islands, and in 1906 the discovery of a true pipe was reported on Plum Pudding Island.

A syndicate was formed in England, and an [Pg 76] expedition, fitted out with great secrecy, was sent out in the S.S. Xema; but on arriving at Plum Pudding Island they not only discovered that a tug, dispatched by a Cape Town firm, had visited the island and claimed discoverers' rights, but that by order of the Cape Government no landing was permitted for fear of disturbing the sea-birds, on whom the guano industry depended.

The capital of South West Africa was established at Windhoek, 235 miles inland, and here a large five-tower wireless station was built, which could under the most favourable conditions communicate direct with Berlin, but was otherwise in touch via Togoland.

Windhoek is connected by a railway line with the coast at Swakopmund at the mouth of the Swakop River close to Walfisch Bay, and 1318 miles of railways have been built.

The Administration has laid down a network of roads and telephones, which presents a contrast to some of our Colonies where the means of communication are extremely difficult, but points at the same time to expensive administration.

Signposts are placed everywhere in the country, indicating the direction of water or villages.

While Luderitzbucht is a fine harbour, the lack of fresh water made the Germans select Swakopmund as the principal point on the coast, although it possesses an open roadstead and a heavy sandy bar.

[Pg 77]

From Swakopmund the principal railway through Windhoek links up with the line from Luderitzbucht at Keetmanshoop, and the lines, as in other German Colonies, strike significantly towards British borders.

The Caprivi strip, running into northern Rhodesia, and presented to Germany under the agreement of 1890—which the newspaper South Africa termed "a most iniquitous one"—was of great importance to Germany's aspirations in the interior, inasmuch as Germany aimed at the construction of a German line over German territory to connect with the Rhodesian Trans-African line near the Zambezi. The strip indeed abuts for about 100 miles on the Zambezi.

No effort has been made to develop it, and under a heavy penalty no one was allowed to enter the strip.

A line such as that under contemplation by the Germans is, however, now in course of construction from Lobito Bay (Benguella) in Portuguese territory.

The only real settlers in South West Africa are Boers who trekked from the Transvaal and Cape Colony. It has been said that where you find Boers you may be sure to find the pick of the farming land, and the Boer farms are widely scattered over Damaraland.

The German system, however, was not likely to appeal to such spirits of independence as the Boers, [Pg 78] especially when the Germans meted out to those Boers whom they employed as transport-riders during the Herero campaign, the same treatment as to the natives, and in some cases had Boers tied up to wagon wheels and flogged for minor offences.

Taken in all, the Colony is one the development of which has been carried on on strategical rather than commercial lines; but it is a territory of vast possibilities as a pastoral land, and as there is at present all over the world a shortage of meat, likely to intensify, the holder of a vast extent of country suitable for raising cattle possesses a most valuable asset.

There cannot be the least doubt that in common with the rest of Germany, South West Africa had for some time been preparing for the anticipated inevitable war with Great Britain, and a much larger number of German troops were held in the Colony than any fear of a possible native disturbance warranted.

The German forces were estimated at no less than 15,000, with at least 30 batteries of guns.

A plan had, as events have subsequently revealed, been laid for the invasion of the South African Union, which was to be overrun with the assistance of the Boers—on whose co-operation the Germans were fatuous enough to imagine they could count.

Holding their own Colonies by terrorism, they [Pg 79] held an utterly false conception of the relation of our Colonies to the mother country.

The Germans in South West Africa, at the outbreak of the war, had succeeded in bribing and corrupting an ex-Boer General, Maritz, and issued a circular to the Boer farmers on the border, calling upon them "to free themselves from English dominion so long and unwillingly borne," and to exchange the British "yoke" for the German shackles. They forgot that the weight of the "yoke" was never felt.

On the declaration of war, a section of the Boers preached neutrality on the part of the Union, but the Boer leaders themselves denounced this doctrine as craven and pitiful.

While "a systematic German propaganda deliberately attempted to poison the integrity of a section of the people," to quote Mr John X. Merriman, the Germans found in the Union Premier, General Louis Botha, that, to the German mind, incomprehensible being, a man imbued with the sense of the very highest integrity and honour, in whose nature it was impossible to contemplate a breach of faith or to regard a treaty bearing his signature as a "scrap of paper."

The Germans found to their intense surprise Briton and Boer united, while the Union was swept by a wave of intense patriotism, revealed in the promise and offer of loyal support to General Botha by every section of the varied comities.

[Pg 80]

From natives, Cape "Boys," and Malays alike came assurances of their intense loyalty, with offers of help; while the native contributions in cattle swelled the relief funds.

Prior to the knowledge of Maritz's defection, General Botha had only mobilised a few thousand men for defence purposes; but on his assurance that the Union was able to undertake its own defence, the Imperial Government was enabled to remove the garrisons of regulars for service on the continent.

This was possibly regarded by the Germans as a ruse on General Botha's part to get rid of the British garrisons; and a few days after when a state of war existed between Great Britain and Germany, the Germans on the Orange River assumed the offensive.

At Nakob a garrison of five South African Mounted Rifles was attacked by 250 Germans with three maxims, but nevertheless gave a good account of themselves.

The traitor Maritz held an important command under the Union on the Orange River, and on 1st October, doubtless through his treachery, two squadrons of the South African Mounted Rifles and a section of the Transvaal Horse Artillery were led into a trap at Sandfontein, where they were attacked by 2000 Germans with ten guns—and overwhelmed.

The place was a veritable death-trap, being one [Pg 81] of the waterholes surrounded by kopjes; and the Germans adopted the method employed against themselves by the Hereros, who waited until their enemies had encamped at a waterhole and then attacked from the kopjes.

On the 13th October Maritz threw off his mask and broke into open rebellion. He was, however, easily dealt with by his late comrades, and fled across the border.

Operations in this theatre are of course extremely difficult, owing to the lack of water and the impossibility of moving large bodies of men across waterless tracks in order to attack an enemy who is ensconced about the only available source of water.

The principal advance, therefore, against the Germans in South West Africa was by way of Luderitzbucht and Swakopmund.

The rebellion of Maritz was followed later by the defection of two distinguished ex-Boer Generals: Beyers in the Transvaal and de Wet in the Orange Free State. But they seem to have been actuated in prostituting their otherwise unsullied careers by jealousy and petty spite against General Botha personally, and not animated by any anxiety to come under German dominion—though de Wet's principal grievance against the British Government appeared to be that an English magistrate had fined him five shillings for assaulting a native, and that instead of admonishing the native the [Pg 82] magistrate had "looked at him as if he wanted to kiss him."

Upon the outbreak of ex-Generals de Wet and Beyers, supported by the rag-tag and bobtail of the more ignorant Boers, General Botha ordered a further mobilisation in the Union, and decided to take the field in person, being the first Premier of a British dominion to do so at the head of his own troops.

He immediately proceeded against Beyers, and the latter was defeated and fled, subsequently meeting his death by drowning in the Vaal River.

General Botha then turned his attention to de Wet, who with a partially armed force had commenced blowing up railway lines and destroying bridges, and after a prolonged chase de Wet was captured and the pitiful rebellion ended.

The Union troops, under the command of Colonel Beves, arrived off Luderitzbucht on 19th September, and were landed by tugs without opposition.

A party of the South African Railway Engineers took charge of the electric power station, telephone and condensing plant. The town was searched for arms, and a large quantity unearthed; but there was not the slightest injury to any person or property.

A special party was landed under a flag of truce to demand the surrender of the town; and having returned with the principal German officials as [Pg 83] hostages, the official entry was made by Colonel Beves, and the Union Jack was hoisted over the town hall.

The Germans had retired to the capital at Windhoek, where they were said to have three years' provisions and stores, and had removed from Luderitzbucht all railway rolling stock, but had damaged no property.

Colonel Beves issued a proclamation formally annexing the town, and providing for the security of life and property.

Prisoners of war and non-combatants were sent off to Cape Town. The latter included a number of Cape "Boys" who had been paid their wages in German goodfors; and these expressed their delight at the British occupation. The goodfors were cashed by Cape Town merchants for the "Boys," and were passed on in payment of amounts claimed from them by German subjects.

The occupation was conducted in the most orderly manner, and the late German residents of Luderitzbucht were loud in their expressions of appreciation of the consideration with which they were treated.

The Caprivi strip was entered by a force of police from Rhodesia, and within a few days Schuckmannsburg, near the Zambezi River, surrendered to them—and so a very unsightly intrusion into Rhodesian territory was wiped off the map.

[Pg 84]



In the early days of modern African history, when Portugal was at her zenith and her richly laden galleons were plying between the Cape of Good Hope, Goa, and Calicut, practically the whole of the trade of the east coast of Africa north of the Zambezi River was in the hands of Arab-descended "Sultans" and Portugal—who had extensive "settlements" along the coast.

A trade with India, which in the past has been the raison d'être of more strife and bitterness than any subject—excepting religious intolerance, for which nations have contended—had been established for centuries, and the glamour of the East pervaded the whole atmosphere of social and commercial relations.

When the European nations started competing for supremacy in the east coast trade, which had always been a valuable one, the Arabs made the Island of Zanzibar the centre of their activities.

The island was only chosen as the headquarters of the supreme Sultan of the east coast and his [Pg 85] palace built there at a comparatively late date, when the Powers had already begun to bring under their direct administration lands to whose native rulers they had hitherto only extended a "protection," a benefit which had not been sought with any spontaneity.

The selection of Zanzibar as the Sultan's headquarters was due to the fact that it afforded a much-needed secure place of retreat; but a trade between Zanzibar, India, and the African mainland was built up that rivalled that of the British East India Company.

The trading expeditions of the Arabs, moreover, took the form of devastating raids, and their territory on the coast was but precariously held.

The importance of Zanzibar grew apace, and more and more of the adjoining coast, sixteen miles distant, came under the sway of the Sultans, whose caravans pushed farther and farther into the interior, returning laden with ivory and accompanied by gangs of slaves, for which Zanzibar became the market of the world.

The slave trade indeed assumed enormous proportions, was almost entirely in Arab hands, and although an international movement for the suppression of the iniquitous traffic had been on foot from the beginning of the nineteenth century, the British Government alone took active measures in East Africa to apply their humanitarian principles of freedom.

[Pg 86]

With the wane of Portugal's power the influence of Great Britain in Zanzibar and its dependencies, the chief centres of which were the Island and Bay of Pemba and Witu, grew and intensified until Great Britain became, as was meet on account of her possession of India, supreme in the Zanzibari regions—a British Consul at Zanzibar being appointed as early as 1841.

Up to 1884, although there had been no definite annexation of territory, British influence was extending in every direction, as British explorers ventured farther and farther into the interior—adventurous spirits stirred by the reports of the Arabs of the great lakes existing in what was then unknown Africa.

Central Africa remained a no-man's-land, inhabited only by aborigines, and under no control whatsoever excepting that exercised by the Arab leaders of marauding and slave-trading expeditions, whose principal commercial object was ivory—white and black.

To mention but a few names, Burton, Speke, Grant, Baker, all added to the world's knowledge of the Dark Continent, and mapped out the region about Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria and Albert Nyanza; Burton, indeed, penetrated far enough west to plant a British flag upon the majestic mountains of the Kamerun, above the Gulf of Guinea.

Their wanderings were inspired by the spirit of [Pg 87] adventure innate in the British, and undertaken with no sordid motive; while the results of their labours became the property of the civilised world.

In the course of their explorations the wanderers unfolded the mystery of the source of the Nile in Lake Victoria Nyanza, which had been the subject of conjecture for centuries.

Of explorers other than British, was the German Van der Decken, who had extensively explored the interior round about Kilima 'Njaro, and who had undoubtedly before him the attractive idea of a new German Empire, embracing a large portion of Central Africa; and who urged upon his countrymen the desirability of acquiring part, if not the whole of what was practically no-man's-land, from the east coast opposite the Island of Zanzibar to the mouth of the Congo in the west.

H. M. Stanley had explored Uganda, his report on which caused that country to become infested with missionaries whose subsequent squabbles about forms and dogmas gave rise to more serious disturbances amongst the Mazai and Waganda than the slave trade.

Stanley had also crossed the continent, and in the employ of Leopold, King of the Belgians, made that far-seeing monarch's private venture an enormously successful enterprise—embracing a huge area, taking in from the western shore of Lake Tanganyika (which it covered) the whole [Pg 88] country across the continent to the mouth of the Congo.

The Congo Free State was born of King Leopold's venture, and remained his private concern until his death, when by his will he bequeathed the territory, over 800,000 square miles in extent, to Belgium.

It might be mentioned that the Belgian Congo shut off along Lake Tanganyika British Central Africa (Nyasaland) from British East Africa (Uganda).

A Frenchman, M. Labaudy, in 1904 endeavoured to emulate King Leopold, and proclaimed himself Emperor of the Sahara; but his resources not being quite in proportion to his ambitions, the Sahara was not brought under his august rule.

While stamping out the slave trade, Great Britain was, in 1884, bringing under her sway the tribes on the east coast; and this was being accomplished without much difficulty, accompanied, as her dealings with natives were, by justice, which more than any virtue appeals to the native mind.

From the north Great Britain had advanced along the Nile, and to all intents and purposes taken under protection the Nile country up to Lake Albert Nyanza.

Round about Kilima 'Njaro Mr (now Sir) H. H. Johnston had obtained concessions of territory; but the necessity of actually and formally annexing was not apparent to the Government, who [Pg 89] preferred to rely upon a process of gradual absorption.

As early as 1874 German traders were establishing themselves in Zanzibar and the territories of the Sultan on the mainland, and "making a bid for a fair share of the trade"; while Germany, which had really only existed since 1871, made the affairs of the Sultan of Zanzibar her business, "because of Germany's interest in suppressing slavery," which, however, the Germans did not hesitate to practise extensively themselves as soon as they had territorially established themselves.

There was never a more disinterested act than the freedom of these human machines on the part of Great Britain; for while she was insisting upon the release of thousands and thousands of slaves, to whose "masters" she paid large sums as compensation, many industries in her Colonies were not only hampered but closed down altogether on account of the impossibility of procuring the native labour necessary for their continuance.

The idea of Colonies forming a new German Empire in Africa, which obsessed the minds of a few individuals and later on appealed to the cupidity of the German merchants, could not obtain the all-powerful Bismarck's support until their proved value as commercial propositions should justify him in extending to them the Imperial protection. At the opportune moment, however, he struck and struck hard with his weapons of blood and iron.

[Pg 90]

Unending warnings were conveyed to our Government as to the result of inaction in proclaiming sovereignty over their "spheres of influence" on the east coast, and in 1880 Sir Bartle Frere made strong representations to the Government as to Germany's growing influence; but the Government remained incredulous of German designs.

The events of 1884, however, proved prognostications to be correct, and the "scramble for Africa" entailed a division of the territories of the Zanzibari Sultan.

While Herr Luderitz was busy establishing trade stations at Angra Pequena and St Lucia Bay, and pushing inland to girdle Africa with a German belt, other and less open methods were employed on the east coast.

Dr Carl Peters was President of the new-formed German Colonisation Society which was at the back of the initiatory steps for acquiring oversea territory; and he, with two friends, set out for Zanzibar as a base of operations, being justifiably doubtful of Luderitz's success in operating from St Lucia Bay.

All Dr Peters's proceedings were enveloped in great secrecy.

In workmen's garb the three made their way across France and travelled as steerage passengers to Zanzibar, and thence, towards the end of 1884, proceeded up country and obtained, under the pretext of "autograph collecting," the signatures of [Pg 91] Arab and native chiefs to treaties, with which they hurried back to Berlin early in 1885 and founded a company to exploit their "concessions"—the company being known as the German East Africa Society.

The territories covered by these concessions had, through the British Consul, been offered by the Sultan of Zanzibar to Great Britain, who, however, declined to assume the protection until a real necessity arose.

The necessity had now arisen, but Peters and his friends were guarded by treaties bearing the signatures of natives potentates, which according to the ethics of German kultur were worthy of respect.

In 1885 the Sultan of Zanzibar was acquainted by the British Consul of the annexation by Germany of a large portion of his territory on the mainland which had been proclaimed by Bismarck, and instead of supporting the Sultan in his righteous protest our statesmen, having been forestalled, determined to give Germany all assistance to establish herself as a neighbour; and the British Representative received instructions "to co-operate immediately with the German Consul-General in forwarding German interests."

Lord Granville, however, reproached Bismarck with not disclosing his real designs, which must have caused that statesman many a sleepless night.

On his part Lord Granville went out of his way [Pg 92] to inform Bismarck, in 1885, that British capitalists intended to build a railway from the east coast (the Nairobi Railway) to the Nile lakes, and that "the project would only receive the support of the Brittanic Government if the latter were assured that it would in no way interfere with German designs." This to Bismarck might very easily have appeared to be veiled sarcasm had he been dealing with a man of his own kidney.

A demonstration of force on the part of Germany was necessary to induce the Sultan of Zanzibar to adopt the same humble attitude as the British Government; and a formidable German squadron appeared before the Sultan's palace on the 7th August, 1885, and presented an ultimatum, on which the Sultan bowed to the inevitable and stoically watched himself depleted of his possessions on the mainland, though he retained a considerable portion of the coastline.

Zanzibar Island, indeed, itself fell under a German form of suzerainty from this date until 1890, when Germany resigned all claims over the island to Great Britain, in exchange for the cession of Heligoland.

The slopes of Kilima 'Njaro were the scene of the busiest activities of German agents prior to the appointment of a Commission for the delimitation of the respective British and German boundaries.

Although the concessions granted to Mr H. H. Johnston in this desirable region were considerably [Pg 93] earlier than any German grants, our Government agreed to allow all claims to remain in abeyance pending the deliberations and decision of the joint Boundary Commission.

Under the agreement come to by Great Britain and Germany as the result of the report of the Commission (1886), a strip of coastline 600 miles in length was left to the Sultan of Zanzibar in addition to his islands, while he gave up all claims to Kilima 'Njaro.

Under the agreement practically the whole of the magnificent Kilima 'Njaro region, with its fertile slopes and foothills, was, through an uncalled-for fit of generosity on the part of Great Britain, made over to Germany—a concession which was made, it was said, to humour a sentimental wish expressed by the Kaiser to possess the highest mountain in Africa.

The effect of this concession was, however, to place severe restrictions upon the development of British East Africa, and threatened to confine British enterprise to exceedingly narrow limits.

Meanwhile Portugal could not look on with equanimity at the partitioning out by Great Britain and the upstart Power, Germany, of territory the history of which was permeated by her traditions, and protested against being excluded from the deliberations of the Powers.

In view of the fact, however, that Portugal's claims were based upon ancient rights held only by [Pg 94] hazy recollection, and that she had never exercised effective jurisdiction over the territory she claimed, she was treated with scant consideration by Great Britain, and no courtesy at all by Germany, who, however, emphatically demonstrated the hopelessness of the position by warning Portugal that any action on her part displeasing to Germany might result in the loss to her of any and all territory she then held in Africa.

Portugal could but raise a loud lament and stamp in impotent rage; but when, after the agreement of 1886, the Sultan of Zanzibar made coarse references to the status of Portugal, the latter found her limit of endurance, and developing a fit of naughty petulance, proceeded to bombard for three days several unprotected native villages on the Bay of Tungi, on the main coastline belonging to the Sultan, thereby by no means impressing the world with an appreciation of Portugal's might.

The Germans after the agreement of 1886 proceeded with energy and determination not only to test the resources of their new "Colony," but to extend their territorial sphere in every direction—a proceeding which evoked a British protest and necessitated a fresh delimitation of boundaries in 1890. This was effected by the Caprivi Treaty of 1st July, 1890, under which Germany received ridiculously favourable consideration in every demand.

In 1888 the whole of the remaining territory of [Pg 95] the Sultan of Zanzibar on the mainland was placed under the administration of Germany by virtue of a lease from the Sultan. The new area included the magnificent harbour of Dar-es-Salaam, which became the principal port on that portion of the east coast.

Five days after taking possession of the newly leased territory, the Germans managed to organise an "insurrection" amongst the natives; and the assistance of the Imperial (German) Government was invoked by the German East Africa Society to repress the "rebellion" which they had deliberately incited.

Captain Hermann von Wissmann was at the beginning of 1889 accordingly sent out with full instructions to deal with the native revolt, and having enlisted a thousand or more ex-British askaris (native soldiers) and Zulus, he proceeded to slay, burn, and destroy. A huge area was devastated and the "rebellion" was quelled, while the natives were thoroughly terrorised.

The principal sufferers, however, were British Indians, owners of plantations and trading stations, and these fled for protection to British territory or crossed to Zanzibar.

The German East Africa Company was severely censured in various quarters in connection with the "insurrection," but pleaded that it was a movement organised by the Arabs through jealousy at the success of German trading stations.

[Pg 96]

This was credulously accepted by Great Britain, who went to the length, when her co-operation was sought by Germany in her need, of dispatching a fleet which united with the German ships in establishing a blockade all along the coast in Zanzibari waters.

The Reichstag voted the sum of two million marks "for the suppression of the slave trade and the protection of German interests in East Africa," and this sum was used to meet the expenses of the "campaign."

So far from expending millions of marks on the cause of humanity, the Germans, on their own admission, were largely employing slave labour on their tobacco plantations.

The natives were not finally terrorised into submission until late into the year 1890; and the Germans, being firmly established, made their position unquestionably secure by purchasing from the Sultan, in the name of the German East Africa Society, the whole of his territory on the mainland for the sum of four million marks—only a part of which was, however, ever paid.

The fact that the whole venture had passed into the hands of the German Government was only manifested by the fact that the Reichstag voted ten and a half million marks partly for the purpose of paying the Sultan of Zanzibar and partly for use in the improvement and development of Germany's new "Colony."

[Pg 97]

The territory under the sway of Germany on the east coast of Africa was the largest of Germany's Colonies, comprising an area double the size of Germany itself, 387,000 square miles. On the north the Colony is bounded by British East Africa and on the south by the Portuguese Colony of Mozambique.

Situated between the 2° and 10° S. the climate is tropical, and in parts on the coast there are dense mangrove swamps, with the usual luxuriant tropical vegetation.

The country rises rapidly, however, towards the interior where the Tanganyika plateau forms a high and healthy tableland over 3,500 feet high.

Range after range of mountains and foothills divide the coast from the majestic peak of Kilima 'Njaro on the borders of British East Africa, and whose slopes offer splendid conditions for European settlement.

The white population numbers roughly 5,500, mainly German officials, traders, soldiers, and managers of plantations; for, as in the other German Colonies, there are no settlers in the true sense, although Professor Bönn has said that there are "even some close settlements reproducing German village life."

The civil population indeed is composed chiefly of Britishers or Greeks, while there are, as elsewhere along the coast, a great many Banyans or [Pg 98] Indian traders, who are British subjects, nearly every German being a soldier or an official.

The native population numbers 9,000,000—the two principal tribes being the Urundi with 1,500,000 and the Ruandi with 2,000,000 respectively.

From the German point of view this was an ideal "Colony," for there were abundant natural resources and a dense native population whose industry might assure prosperity for their German masters.

In acquiring East Africa the Germans had made a bid for the dominant interest in Central Africa and had by no means lost hope of absorbing the Congo Free State, which by international agreement was open to Free Trade. They went so far indeed as to offer to take the Congo Free State under "protection" when the atrocities of the Congo rubber-collecting trade were the subject of European concern. The aim and end of such a "protection" may easily be surmised.

Having settled down to the exploitation of the territory Germany, with her trade methods, began to oust the once all-dominant trade of Zanzibar.

The latter depended on her trade with India and the mainland, and the Germans instituted a direct service of luxuriously appointed steamers to stop goods from going to Zanzibar and being handled twice. In the way German traders are able to cut prices, it is probable that the saving of one [Pg 99] handling of the goods constituted the profit on them.

A direct Indian service was also inaugurated which further cut into Zanzibar trade; while a line of steamers started to circumnavigate Africa, going down the west coast to Cape Town and returning up the east coast leisurely through the Suez Canal back to Hamburg.

It was not long before the Germans had practically the whole of the east coast trade in her hands, and the German description of Dar-es-Salaam as the metropolis of the whole of the East African coast began to have some foundation in fact.

After quelling the "insurrection" in 1889, Major von Wissmann set the corps he had formed to the building of Government offices and residences, and the imposing edifices round about the lagoon at Dar-es-Salaam are tribute to their skill.

A strong force of police was enrolled and consisted of 260 Europeans and 2,750 men, who, uniformed in khaki, were armed with the most modern guns and rifles. They constituted a formidable fighting force of sixteen companies, each of which had several machine guns.

The natives are in the main mild-mannered; and as long association with the Arabs made a condition of slavery quite a natural existence, they were readily terrorised, and the Germans found ideal ground for cultivation.

[Pg 100]

Energetically the administration set to work to open up the country by establishing centres of trade; the country was intersected in every direction by paths six feet wide for machela[F] travelling, and the natives were compelled to make these paths free of charge and maintain them in good order.

The administration, German like, was all by rule of thumb, and even the prices of food were everywhere fixed by tariff. German home methods were applied everywhere with a mixture, as in Zanzibar itself, of a shoddy imitation of Indian life.

The Port of Dar-es-Salaam (the "Haven of Peace") was made the capital, and from here the principal railway runs into the interior.

From the coast the town is hardly visible, the quiet lagoon on which it is built being so shut in by bluffs; while the entrance is between coral reefs, the passage through which is in some places not much over fifty yards. The harbour is small but is perfectly sheltered, and with its fringe of palms makes a striking picture.

The town is laid out on luxurious lines with wide well-paved streets, an extensive botanical garden, electric light, and a powerful wireless installation. The neighbouring native town is a striking contrast, being squalid in the extreme.

[Pg 101]

The railway system extends for nearly 1,000 miles, and a line from Dar-es-Salaam to Lake Tanganyika was being pushed on energetically. The territory is eminently suited for the cultivation of tropical agricultural products, and the export of these amounts to roughly £1,800,000 per annum—about equally divided between European and native.

The Germans have done no development themselves for the production of raw material, but the European plantations are huge farms in the lower-lying country; and though on the slopes of Kilima 'Njaro there are small holders, these are in the main Englishmen, Greeks, or British Indians.

The Germans did not grant a full title to land, and intending planters had to buy their land from natives and run the risk that their titles might not be recognised, as the natives' claim to land had not yet been adjudicated—which means, of course, that, as elsewhere, the land had been "confiscated"; though it did not suit German policy immediately to take it out of the hands of the natives.

The products grown on the European plantations by what has passed from actual to semi-slave labour, are principally coffee, rubber, cotton, and sisal hemp. The European products were heavily subsidised.

The natives contribute from the natural resources of the country grain, medicinal herbs, copal, beeswax, [Pg 102] hides, wild coffee, wild rubber, palm-oil, copra, and dairy products. They have been encouraged in every way to increase their production of raw materials by brutality and terrorism, which almost depopulated the Ruanda country, and by instruction in the methods of growing and collecting.

A translation in the journal of the African Society quotes Hans Zache in "Dressig jahre Deutsch-Ost-Africa" (Thirty years of German East Africa): "It is a falsely reasoned and falsely proved humanitarianism which seeks to take no cognisance of the education of the native for manual work. Work is provided by the European planters so that the Colony may benefit by increased production, and not least also is it provided for the blessing of the negro."

The blessing is not altogether so apparent to the negro, regarded in conjunction with the fruit of his labour—usually dishonourable stripes.

The European plantations are in the hands of 758 planters, and cover an area of about 250,000 acres—of which 80,000 were planted with rubber, 50,000 with sisal, and 35,000 with cotton; while 1,000,000 cocoa-nut trees were also put in.

Ivory, which for years was the chief article of export, has given place to sisal; and in 1913 the value of sisal hemp exported approached £500,000, rubber taking second place with £325,000.

Sisal culture in East Africa is of recent origin, [Pg 103] and was started in German East Africa with a few plants imported from Central America. The cultivation is difficult and the treatment of the leaves equally so, but millions of plants now exist in both German and British East Africa. The exportation of sisal plants was prohibited by the German Government. While sisal takes about seven years to mature in the West Indies, it takes only three in East Africa.

In contrast to the tropical Colonies on the west coast, the cotton-growing is chiefly in the hands of the whites—not solely in the natives. In 1912 it formed the principal crop, with an output of 1,882 tons.

The "slump" in rubber proved a set-back in the economic development of the Colony.

A report of the Consul at Dar-es-Salaam states the number of rubber trees planted and ready for tapping were 19,000,000.

The report proceeds: "Owing to the low prices, all the plantations have limited the number of hands employed, and two of the largest suspended tapping entirely. The planters are heavily handicapped by having to pay the costs of recruiting labour in the interior and its transport down to the plantation. The costs often amount to about £2, 10s. per head before work is begun, and the rate of wages is high—about 16s. 6d. per month for a Wanyamwezi tapper. Owing to a slight rise in the price of rubber, tapping has been resumed by some of the [Pg 104] planters, and there is a more hopeful feeling. The small planter has probably a better chance than the large company; his working expenses are less, he can often obtain local labour cheaply or get time-expired hands without paying recruiting fees; and, in addition, he can keep his men under more personal control.

"The outlook for the larger estates is far from reassuring, and it is said that some of them have already begun to cut down the rubber trees to make room for other crops. The Colonial Economic Committee is taking steps to introduce a standard quality of East African rubber, the absence of which is another difficulty which has hampered the planters.

"There is only one large washing and curing factory in the Colony, at Muhesa, though there are several smaller ones in Usambara. Most of the planters wash the rubber themselves, with the result that it has often to be done again in Europe."

The natives collect rubber from the wild forest vines, but rubber balls sent in by Europeans and natives alike are cut through the middle to detect the presence of a core of leaves or other foreign substance.

Cotton and coffee are articles also jointly produced by planters and natives.

As elsewhere in tropical Africa, cotton grew wild and is now extensively cultivated—the value exported in 1912 being £105,000.

[Pg 105]

The coffee produced by the natives is either collected from the trees which grow wild or by cultivating the indigenous plants. The wild coffee has a small misshapen bean, but is excellently flavoured, the quality of the bean improving with each year of keeping. The value of coffee exported amounts to about £100,000 per annum.

On the highlands oats, barley, and wheat are grown successfully; and other articles of export are hides and skins, coming chiefly from the district round Lake Victoria and from the provinces of Ruanda and Urundi, which abound with millions of head of cattle and other live stock.

The slopes of the highlands are covered with short sweet grass, and are well watered with perennial streams, which might easily be diverted into channels to irrigate the land below.

Though sheep do well in parts, the grass in the main grows too coarse for any small stock, and requires feeding down.

The cattle are still nearly all in the hands of the natives, but the Germans turned the hides to profit, £200,000 worth having been exported in 1912.

The exportation of cattle is prohibited, but traders from Rhodesia have made their way up into German East Africa, where they traded cattle from the natives at prices averaging about 40s., and managed to return with large herds of the quaint "hump-backed" beasts, known as "Madagascar cattle," to southern Rhodesia, where they found [Pg 106] a ready market at an average price of about £7, 10s.

Horses do fairly well in parts of the country only, but a small variety of extremely hardy and strong donkey is plentiful; and these are most useful for transport work, being able it seems to live on the memory of a pannikin of maize, and capable of being packed with any weight.

The cultivation of chillies and pea-nuts is exclusively a native industry, and the export of pea-nuts in 1912 amounted to £62,500.

The collection of palm-oil and copra, too, is in native hands, the nuts being collected from the wild palms which grow in their thousands on the coast belts.

The European planters in recent years commenced cocoa-nut palm cultivation, but the million trees planted have not yet come to maturity.

Gum-copal, the resin of an indigenous tree, used for varnishing, and the wax of wild bees is also collected by the natives in the forests, and the export of beeswax in recent years has averaged about £50,000.

This system of collection by natives means the reduction of economic resources, as in collecting wild rubber the vines are destroyed and so are the swarms of bees in the search for wax.

There are other trees capable of commercial exploitation, such as the baobab (cream of tartar tree), cazou, the nuts of which are largely exported [Pg 107] from Jamaica, and wattle, the bark of which produces tannin.

The timber possibilities are great, as large forests of cedar exist and a certain amount has been exported.

The geological formation is similar to British East Africa; and although prospecting for minerals is not encouraged, gold in payable quantities has been discovered and worked, and gold to the value of about £30,000 has been exported annually for some years.

Mica of good quality is found in the Uluguru Mountains on the Tanganyika railway about 124 miles from Dar-es-Salaam, and about 100 tons are exported annually.

A promising proposition exists at Magadi in a large lake of carbonate of soda, which a British company has endeavoured to secure. In time this should prove one of the principal industries, as the deposit appears to be unlimited. The inter-native trade does not amount to much, as in this direction the Indian can compete with and outreach even the German.

As a "commercial" Colony for the production of raw materials, the Germans looked upon their East African territory as the jewel of their possessions.

It was intended to give in August, 1914, a demonstration of the economic life of the Colony, and to hold at Dar-es-Salaam an exhibition for the whole [Pg 108] country, to be connected with the opening of the working of the whole length of the Tanganyika railway.

The exhibition was to have been held under the patronage and graced by the presence of the German Crown Prince, and festivities extending over a fortnight were arranged for. German firms were to have sent a large number of exhibits, and numbers of visitors from Europe were expected. Visitors have certainly since arrived, but not in the guise it was anticipated.

On 8th August, 1914, H.M.S. Pegasus and Astraea appeared before Dar-es-Salaam and proceeded to destroy the powerful wireless station, and in a few hours the town and several liners in the harbour surrendered.

The Pegasus was subsequently attacked by the Königsberg while the former was at anchor, and being outranged was destroyed.

The Königsberg did not, however, have a long spell of liberty, for she was shortly afterwards discovered by H.M.S. Chatham hiding in shoal water, sheltered from view by dense palms, about six miles up the Rufigi River Opposite Mafia Island, and put out of action.

Meanwhile British forces composed of Sikhs, other Indian troops, and King's African Rifles, whose headquarters are Zanzibar, proceeded from British Central and British East Africa to occupy the German territory.

[Pg 109]



When the Germans entered the field of Colonial enterprise in 1884, the European Powers chiefly concerned in Africa were Great Britain, France, and Portugal—the latter's connection with the Dark Continent, indeed, dating from the earliest days of its modern history.

Portuguese power had, however, been for some time in process of decay, and her influence was on the wane.

The interests of France were centred in the north and north-west of the continent, while Great Britain was supreme in the south.

The adventure of Leopold, King of the Belgians, on the Congo was still a private venture in the hands of H. M. Stanley, and had not yet borne fruit in the shape of the Congo Free State.

British and French had been actively engaged in operations for the suppression of the slave trade, but the energies of the two countries were at this time being devoted rather to the development of the [Pg 110] trading stations established on the Gold and Slave Coasts on the Gulf of Guinea.

"Spheres of influence" were being leisurely demarcated by France and Great Britain—the latter feeling so secure in her position that she hardly treated seriously, in fact scouted, the notion of being rivalled in her supremacy.

For some considerable time Germany had been making an effort to secure a portion of the trade of the west coast, overcoming the difficulty of introducing her cheap and inferior goods by giving them English and French trademarks, quite in keeping with the best principles of German trade.

Trading stations on the Gulf of Guinea were established by Germans, who immediately, employing the obsequiousness which has enabled the German to tread many an unaccustomed path, began to approach native chiefs for concessions.

Nearly the whole territory, known respectively as the Grain Coast, Gold Coast, Ivory Coast, and Slave Coast, was beneficially occupied by the French and British; but parts had not been formally annexed between the British Colony of the Gold Coast and French Dahomey. The French really had a prior claim, but the natives were continually petitioning the British Government to take them under their protection.

In French Dahomey itself Germans had established many trading stations, and began to pay particular attention to a strip of the Slave Coast [Pg 111] between Lome Bay and Popo, including Porto Seguro.

Great Britain had not yet awakened to Germany's real intentions, and all her policy was accompanied by procrastination and dilatoriness. The repeated petitions of the natives for British protection were ignored or put aside "for inquiry and consideration," pending which the natives received no reply to their applications.

The lesson taught at Angra Pequena, where the whole of the south-west coast from the Orange River to Portuguese Angola was lost to Great Britain in spite of the strenuous efforts of the Colonial statesmen, was ignored; though it must be conceded that there was an influential section in England strongly opposed to further increasing Great Britain's responsibilities oversea and thus hampering the Colonial and Foreign Offices.

In the month of June, 1884, an emissary of the German Government, Dr Nachtigal, was dispatched to the west coast of Africa, ostensibly as a Trade Commissioner, to inquire into and report upon the progress of German commerce.

Bismarck having decided on his policy of "Trade Colonies" under Imperial protection, pursued it vigorously and with his usual diplomacy.

He immediately acquainted the British Foreign Office with the fact of the mission, but took the opportunity of hoodwinking Lord Granville as to its object—if he did not actually disclaim any intention [Pg 112] of territorial acquisition. Dr Nachtigal proceeded to the French settlements on the Ivory Coast, and interviewed the German traders there in preparation for his coup; thence he made for the thirty-two mile strip south of Lome, now known as Togoland, and on the 5th July the German flag was hoisted and the territory declared annexed by Germany.

The natives accepted the position quietly, having been impressed with the greatness of Germany by plentiful gifts of firearms and spirits.

While the coastline of Togoland is only 32 miles in length, the area which the Germans claimed as their "sphere of influence" widens to three or four times that width in the interior.

In accordance with the amazing German native policy, the next step to annexation was terrorism—the mailed fist under the glove of peaceful trade, and the natives were "taught a sharp lesson."

Germany's action in declaring a Protectorate over Togoland met with protests from the British and French Governments, and protracted negotiations ensued and continued for some considerable time; in fact it was not until 1897 that the boundary line between Togoland and French Dahomey was settled by a Franco-German agreement. The western boundary was defined by the Anglo-German agreements of 1890 and 1899.

On the south of the Gulf of Guinea, stretching from Old Calabar to the French Congo, lies [Pg 113] Kamerun (known also as the Cameroons) off which is the Spanish Island of Fernando Po.

In 1842 the French occupied the Gaboon and gradually brought under subjection the country between the coast and the Congo; while a British mission was established at Victoria in Kamerun in 1858.

The country had for many years been explored and opened up by British explorers and traders, and the British flag had, in fact, been hoisted. The territory had, however, never been formally taken possession of, although the Dualla native kings had for years petitioned the British Government to be taken under their protection. At the end of 1883 our Foreign Office decided to accede to the natives' request, and to establish a Protectorate over Kamerun.

Going about the business, however, in the usual dilatory fashion, it was some six months before instructions were issued to Mr Hewett, British Consul, to proceed to Kamerun and declare the territory annexed, subject to the willingness of the Dualla kings to make concessions.

German traders had strongly established themselves in the territory and had won over a considerable number of the natives by the usual means of bribery and unlimited gin.

Mr Hewett proceeded to Kamerun to find that Dr Nachtigal had forestalled him.

Immediately after having hoisted the German flag [Pg 114] over Togoland, Dr Nachtigal at Kamerun commenced negotiations with the Duallas; and when the British Representative arrived the German flag had been floating for several days over the mainland opposite Fernando Po.

Germany's intentions were only now regarded as serious in England, and by Mr Hewett, who immediately left Kamerun and proceeded to make treaties along the coast, thereby being instrumental in securing the delta of the Niger, or that, too, might have been lost to England.

The acquisition of Togoland and Kamerun by Germany was looked on as a triumph of diplomacy for Bismarck, who was reproached, it seems unreasonably and peevishly, by Lord Granville for not having disclosed the real object for which Dr Nachtigal had been sent out. It is remarkable, however, that in view of Germany's action in South West Africa, which was even then the subject of correspondence, the true purpose of the mission was not divined.


Togoland enjoys the distinction of being the smallest and at the same time the most prosperous of the German Colonies. The Colony is 33,700 square miles in extent, with a coastline of only thirty-two miles, reaching from Lome, on the [Pg 115] border of the British Colony of the Gold Coast, to Grand Popo on the boundary of French Dahomey.

The French Colonies of Upper Senegal and Niger are the northern boundary; while it is bounded on the east by French Dahomey and by the British Gold Coast on the west.

The climate is tropical, and like the rest of the Guinea coast the coast-belt is hot, humid and malaria-stricken, such as is generally met with in low-lying forest country or on the coast at sea-level anywhere in the Tropics.

Lying behind the coast-belt are stretches of dense forest containing palms, rubber vines, and considerable quantities of timber of good quality. Arising farther inland are high and extensive plateaux, many of the elevated parts being free from malaria and capable of yielding quantities of natural products. The richness of its natural resources indeed made Togoland almost immediately after annexation financially independent.

There is a German population in Togoland of 1,537, nearly all of whom are officials and soldiers; and of the 131 so-called settlers, the majority are plantation managers and overseers.

The native population amounts to 3,500,000, and they are divided into numerous tribes, embracing many degrees of kultur from raw cannibals to comparatively civilised states.

The administration is in the hands of an Imperial Governor, surrounded by a swarm of [Pg 116] officials and a local council of unofficial members, who are, as a rule, the representatives of merchant houses.

Immediately on acquiring Togoland, the Germans commenced sending trading expeditions into the interior, and extending their "sphere of influence" inland. A central trading station (Bismarcksburg) was established, and a trade centre was created for each tribe. Two hundred and twenty miles of railway have been built in three lines, all starting from Lome—one 80 miles in length to Palime and another 120 miles to Atakpanie.

Lack of proper transport facilities has retarded the development of the Colony, as owing to the lack of transport animals nearly the whole of the carrying of produce is done by natives.

The prosperity of the Colony is entirely due to the exploitation of the natives; in fact the economic life of the country depends upon the natives' industry. Nearly the whole of the agriculture is in the hands of natives, some of whom have plantations of their own. Only 250,000 acres are in the hands of Europeans, and less than a quarter of these are cultivated.

The hardships inflicted on the native, however, are forgotten by the German trader in his excessive eagerness to get as much as he can out of him; and this has resulted in some rubber-collecting districts in depopulation and a consequent falling off in the production.

[Pg 117]

The principal exports of Togoland are india-rubber, palm-oil and kernels, cotton and cocoa. Tobacco is also being tried with favourable results.

Rubber forms nearly one-half of the total exports, and is nearly all wild rubber collected by natives from the forest vines—an expensive form of production, as the vines are destroyed in the process.

Palm-oil and palm kernels (largely used in the manufacture of nut butter or margarine) forms another important item. The nuts are collected mainly from the palms originally introduced by the Portuguese and now found in forests for many miles from the coast.

In 1911 the export of palm kernels amounted to 13,000 tons, but fell to 7,000 tons in 1913 owing to a scarcity of native labour.

The natives of Togoland are said to have cultivated cotton in almost every part of the country from time immemorial, and an average of about 500 tons is exported annually.

The Germans, realising the importance of this article, did all they could to extend the cultivation of cotton. The cultivation is entirely in the hands of natives, but an agricultural school was started for them by the Government to train them in better methods of growing cotton, and they were supplied with ploughs and other agricultural implements as well as seed, free of cost.

[Pg 118]

A certain amount of cocoa is grown on native plantations, 335 tons being shipped during 1913. The natives have also taken kindly to a new crop in the shape of maize, the export of which rose from 103 tons in 1911 to 2,500 in 1913.

Although the conformation of the country is very similar to British Nigeria and other parts of the coasts where gold, tin, and other minerals have been discovered and worked, the Germans have not embarked upon the enterprise of having the country prospected for minerals—a probable cause being that prospecting entails expenditure of money, and to the German this is the negative purpose of a Trade Colony!

Besides being a source of wealth in trade, Togoland was in reality of great strategical value, being connected by cable with Germany and with Dualla in the Kamerun; while Kamina was connected by a powerful wireless installation with Dar-es-Salaam in German East Africa and with Windhoek, the capital of German South West Africa.

On 26th August, 1914, Togoland was occupied by the Gold Coast Regiment of the West African Frontier Force, assisted by a French force from Dahomey.

The Germans destroyed the wireless station at Kamina and asked for terms, but eventually surrendered unconditionally.

[Pg 119]


Kamerun, on the Gulf of Guinea, south of Togoland, and bounded on the north by British Nigeria and on the south by the French Gaboon (Rio Campo), comprises 291,000 square miles, including 100,000 square miles ceded to Germany out of French Equatorial Africa as the price of the Moroccan Settlement, under the Franco-German agreement of 1911.

The physical features are very similar to Togoland, but much of the interior is mountainous—the foothills and fertile slopes being covered with dense vegetation.

There is the usual German population of officials and merchants—1,871 in number; and a native population of 2,500,000.

While not so prosperous as Togoland, Kamerun has nevertheless been developed on the usual German plan of officialism; but the natives have not proved so tractable. It is possible that the Dualla tribes still feel the disappointment at having their petitions for protection by Great Britain ignored; one German writer, indeed, speaks of the Dualla natives as a hindrance to progress.

Kamerun was administered by an Imperial Governor, a Chancellor and two secretaries, with a local council of three merchants. Professor Bönn pointed out that there are ample signs of [Pg 120] the growing strength of the administration, and gives as an instance that there is a yearly increase in the number of native criminals brought to justice. The ever-increasing returns of the hut tax, too, which in the Kamerun has nearly doubled in the last four years, is pointed to as proof of increased administrative efficiency.

Kamerun stretches into the interior to Lake Tchad, in the direction of which a railway has been built for 400 miles.

The trade of the Colony in 1912 amounted to £1,629,895 imports and £1,102,803 exports, the latter being the usual tropical products.

Cotton is known to have been grown and cultivated round about Lake Tchad for centuries, and agricultural experimental stations have been established in the lake districts. As in Togoland, the agriculture is all in native hands.

Kamerun has been held back by transport difficulties which it was hoped to overcome by building railways, and railway projects were propagated energetically which it was hoped to carry into effect shortly.

The usual means of transport, as in other parts of the coast, is by native carrier; and the villages are therefore grouped within a reasonable distance of the main trade routes, paths which the chiefs and people are responsible for keeping in order.

Palm-oil and copra are, as in the other West African Colonies, the chief articles of export; and [Pg 121] palm kernels are daily coming more and more into use in Europe as a substitute for butter, and for the manufacture of cattle-food, etc. Two-thirds of the copra exported from Kamerun, amounting to £300,000 worth in 1912, went to Germany and one-third to England.

In the Colony itself five oil works have been established, but owing to lack of transport it is calculated that three-fourths of the yield of the oil palm trees is left to rot on the ground unused.

The forests of Kamerun hold an immense quantity of trees bearing timber of excellent quality, and this to the value of £35,000 was exported in 1912.

Round the Kamerun mountains exist large tracts under cultivation of cocoa, of which 4,550 tons, valued at £212,500, were exported in 1912. The natives have been urged to extend this industry, and travelling instructors were appointed by the Government to train them in the best methods of cultivation. More and more fresh as well as dried bananas, too, have been exported from Kamerun, and this trade offers a promising field of enterprise.

Ten per cent of the exports of the Colony go to England, while nearly 15 per cent of the imports are of British origin.

The native policy is in the Kamerun worse, if [Pg 122] possible, than in Togoland, and the natives have been systematically sweated. While the revenue is principally obtained from customs dues and a general ad valorem duty on imported goods (with preference in favour of Germany of course), a poll tax is levied upon natives, together with a toll upon those using Government roads. There is every reason to believe that the Dualla natives will hail with delight deliverance from the German yoke.

The British West African Frontier Force on 25th August, 1914, crossed the Anglo-German frontier from Nigeria, and after considerable opposition and suffering appreciable losses, advanced on Dualla.

H.M.S. Cumberland and Dwarf had, while these events were taking place on land, reconnoitred the mouth of the Kamerun River and the approaches to Dualla, at the same time capturing a number of German merchant liners.

On 24th September French troops from Libreville attacked Ukoko in Corisco Bay, attended by the French warship Surprise. The French and British forces combined on 27th September in an attack on the towns of Dualla and Bonaberi, following upon a bombardment by the British ships; and the towns surrendered unconditionally to the allied force, after destroying the wireless station.

Although some 1,500 prisoners were taken, a [Pg 123] large portion of the garrisons, some 2,000 (whites) in number, managed to escape to concentrate in the interior. Of the prisoners 500 were handed over to the French and the remainder, owing to the difficulty of feeding them, sent to England.

[Pg 124]



Of the islands in the southern seas where the Indian and Pacific Oceans meet, and amongst which Australia forms a fifth continent, some are mere vaults in which repose the relics of ill-advised and vainly attempted ventures, whilst others are fruitful gardens wherein flourish the trees whose sturdy growth testifies to the good seed from which they sprang and the skill of the gardeners who planted them.

The Archipelagos lying south of the China Seas were first explored from the west by the Portuguese and Dutch in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, but the steel glove upon which the mailed fist seems afterwards to have been modelled failed to retain a hold upon the territory which it grasped.

The Portuguese, indeed, abandoned their enterprises in the southern seas in favour of developing their trade between Goa and the east coast of Africa. They excelled as navigators and explorers, but the whole of their history shows that they have never formed any conception of the principles of administration.

[Pg 125]

(Reproduced by permission of The Times.)

[Pg 127]

The Dutch concentrated on Java, Sumatra and Borneo, and ever since have waged war with the natives.

It seems strange that both these nations should have decentralised Colonial interests away from their home countries, in striking contrast to our own country which has pursued a policy binding her oversea dominions closer and closer to the motherland—a policy which has eventuated in the formation of a comity of nations firmly united by the bonds of sentimental tradition and common commercial interest.

The Portuguese made Goa the centre of their East African and Eastern enterprises,[G] and the Dutch placed the Cape of Good Hope (while it was in their possession) under the administration of Batavia in the Island of Java.

The spice trade attracted adventurers of all the pioneering nations. Spain made extensive voyages of discovery and plunder in the South Seas, and their galleons for many years provided the excitement of the chase as well as profit in "double pieces of eight" for British sea rovers; but the Spanish acquired but a tentative hold upon territory, and this was finally released by the Spanish-American War of 1901.

[Pg 128]

The legacy of Spain to the South Seas was the romantic occupation of searching for wrecks bearing cargoes of doubloons and the abandoned booty of pirates, which they seem to have collected for the specific purpose of burying in brass-clamped chests on uninhabited islands for the benefit of the adventurous spirit who might in future years display sufficient enterprise and determination to find his way through the maze which surrounded the prizes.

The latter part of the seventeenth century saw one of the greatest periods of British activities in venturing trade abroad, albeit it often-times took the form of preying upon the rich cargoes collected by the Dutch, Spanish, and Portuguese marauders. This, however, was then the most approved and recognised form of commerce.

Direct trade in Borneo and Sumatra by the British was commenced in about 1685, and "factories" were established to develop the spice trade which was then the richest of the East, a cargo of pepper-corns being regarded as one of the most valuable that could avoid a meddlesome buccaneer and be safely brought to port.

The voyages of Captain Cook, whose name ranks high amongst the pioneers of our Empire, and who discovered and named many of the island groups as well as the east coast of Australia, where he [Pg 129] hoisted the British flag, really firmly established British interests in the South Seas, after strenuous struggles with the Dutch who regarded the area as most particularly their "sphere of influence."

Through the last decades of the eighteenth century British influence and prestige grew, and the apathy of the statesmen at home was not allowed by their sons on the spot to interfere with energetic development and settlement which proceeded apace.

Coming rather late in the day, France was, through private British enterprise, forestalled in her principal designs which were centred on New Zealand, and her "protection" was only extended to some small island groups such as New Caledonia, lying between Australia and Fiji, and for which she found use as penal establishments.

The big prizes of the Pacific—Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand—had fallen to the heritage of Great Britain, and development rather concentrated on these magnificent offshoots of British oak.

There were other important groups of islands, however, which, although locally regarded as natural adjuncts of the Australian Settlements, were not definitely taken possession of. The most important of these were New Guinea and the Samoan group.

New Guinea is divided from the Queensland province of Australia by the shoal-dotted Torres [Pg 130] Straits, about 90 miles wide; while the Samoan Islands lie east of Fiji.

The Portuguese Magellan was the first discoverer in the sixteenth century of New Guinea (also known as Papua), while the new name appears to have been given to the island by Ortiz de Retez, who laid down certain points.

During the centuries succeeding, New Guinea received frequent visitors representing European nations, amongst them Captain Cook and Tasman, whose name is perpetuated in Tasmania though the island for many years bore the name of his lieutenant, Van Diemen, and was known as "Van Diemen's Land."

New Guinea was also frequently visited by Chinese fishing junks in search of bêche-de-mer, or trepang.

The Dutch from their adjacent settlements in Java and Borneo were supreme in the north of New Guinea without exercising any effective jurisdiction, and relied upon the difficult navigation of New Guinea waters for a continuance of their exclusiveness.

Towards the end of the eighteenth century they (the Dutch) had practically a monopoly of the spice trade, and were extremely jealous of any other nations obtaining a footing in spice islands, where their monopoly might be jeopardised. They obstinately refused all access to New Guinea; but the Dutch barrier was broken down [Pg 131] by emissaries of the British East India Company in search of spice islands, and in 1793 New Guinea was annexed by two commanders in the service of the company, and the territory was thereafter regarded as an adjunct of Queensland, although no steps were taken for an administrative occupation.

In 1828 the Dutch erected a fortress to protect the rights they claimed in New Guinea, but this they abandoned in 1835.

While Samoa and numerous other groups of islands were not incorporated in the dominions of the countries whose explorers "discovered" them, and their savage inhabitants were allowed to continue their own administration, a brisk British trade sprang up between Australasia and the islanders.

The necessity for bringing either New Guinea or the Samoan group under direct rule was not an expediency that presented itself as an urgent one to either the Imperial British or Australian Governments as long as fair trading conditions prevailed on harmonious lines and the lives and private property of British traders were safeguarded, until in about 1880 the tips of the tentacles of the German octopus delicately spread out to seek the spots whereon to plant the suckers of trading stations, behind them the unlidded eyes of Imperial Protection watching to gauge the value of the prize and the parrot-beaked maw ready to grasp for the satisfaction of Prussian greed.

[Pg 132]

A flourishing inter-coastal and island trade had long been established by the United States of America, but until 1898, when they annexed Hawaii and occupied Samoa, the United States adhered to their doctrine of not attempting territorial acquisition outside their own continental borders.

By 1883 the Germans had firmly established themselves commercially, and their influence began to be most markedly denoted in disaffection amongst the natives and in inter-tribal wars—notably in Samoa.

In this year the British New Guinea Colonising Society proposed an expedition to Lord Carnarvon, who was then Colonial Secretary, but the minister declined to lend his support to an enterprise which he considered entailed too much risk.

The enterprise was imagined in collaboration with supporters of Imperial extension in Australasia, and, acting on their own initiative, the Government of Queensland, with the approval of the whole of Australia, annexed a portion of New Guinea to her dominions; but this act was disavowed by the British Government and declared to be "null in point of law and not to be admitted in point of policy."

Queensland most determinedly represented to the Government of Australia and our Imperial minister the danger to her commerce if New [Pg 133] Guinea were to fall into the hands of a foreign Power by annexation.

The prospect did not appear alarming to the home statesmen, nor did further annexation of the South Sea Islands enter into their scheme of practical politics; and, therefore, when the proclamation of a Protectorate over the whole of New Guinea and the adjacent islands (including the New Britain Archipelago, the Solomon, Caroline, Palau, Marshall, and Ladrone Islands) under a High Commissioner was determined on at a conference held by the Australian Colonies at Sydney in 1883 and recommended to the Imperial Government, our Colonial Office met the proposal with discouragement.

In November, 1884, however, the Home Government was persuaded to proclaim in New Guinea a Protectorate over the region lying "between the 141st meridian eastward as far as East Cape, with the adjacent islands as far as Kosman Island."

This brought under the British flag the southern portion of New Guinea, known as Papua, only; but in other parts of the islands there were British settlements originating in Australia which were left under no effective jurisdiction.

In December, 1884, the Germans, having firmly established themselves commercially in the Samoan Islands, began to definitely and formally annex territory; the German flag was hoisted [Pg 134] in the northern part of New Guinea and on several of the adjacent islands, and the German "Colony" received the unpromising name of "Kaiser Wilhelm's Land."

The Australian Colonies immediately lodged an indignant protest; but arrogance, overglossed with suavity, carried the day, and a friendly agreement in regard to New Guinea was made between Great Britain and Germany in 1885, whereby the latter assumed administration over the northern portion of the island, to subjection of the jurisdiction of which were later added the Caroline, Palau and Marianne Islands.

"New Britain" undertook the responsibility of the name "Bismarck Archipelago"; and the principal island of the group was renamed New-Pommern, with its capital at Herbertshöhe.

In 1888 British New Guinea was constituted a separate Colony, but the administration was, in 1902, placed in the hands of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Up to 1884 affairs in the islands comprising the kingdom of Samoa had proceeded along the lines of progress, and the three nations chiefly concerned in the Samoan trade (Great Britain, Germany, and the United States of America) were conducting commerce without friction until the Germans felt strong enough to assume an aggressive attitude, not only towards their trade rivals but also the native Samoans whose property they coveted.

[Pg 135]

The German influence began to be most markedly denoted in disaffection amongst the natives and in inter-tribal wars. It was in 1884, indeed, that the German pretensions to a say in the administrative control of Samoa began to be recognised by Great Britain and the United States as the German faculty for instigating disputes amongst the islanders made desirable the institution of some European control over the native administration.

The affairs of State in Samoa were conducted under the rule of native kings (two) and chiefs, but constant feuds and bickerings disturbed the tranquillity of the islands.

It was really German influence that was the disturbing element, for inter-tribal strife was fomented in order that "repressive measures for the establishment of law and order" on the part of the Imperial Government might elevate German prestige.

Apia, the chief town on the principal island of the Samoan group, Upolu, became the centre of trade of the eastern South Sea Islands, though its chief importance to the outside world exists in its incentive to a distinguished memory. Agreements were made by the Samoan kings at various dates with Great Britain, the United States and Germany. Each of the treaty agreements contained a "most-favoured-nation" clause, and empowered the foreign state to form naval stations and coaling depots at various parts of the island group.

[Pg 136]

In April, 1885, it was deemed advisable by the British Government to appoint a Commissioner to confer with a nominee of the German Government upon the subject of British and German interests respectively in such parts of the Western Pacific Ocean as might be placed by either Government under its special protection, with a view to recommending the adoption by both Governments of such principles as, in the opinion of the Commissioners, might be applied to better regulate and protect the interests of their respective subjects, each within the other's region of jurisdiction.

The movement was inaugurated by the German Government and was the old game successfully played by Luderitz in South West Africa of applying to the Imperial German Government for its "powerful protection" as soon as commercial interests were well established.

The British Commissioner was Mr Thurston, who seems to have throughout been altogether dominated by the German nominee and to have cheerfully acquiesced in and recommended to our Government the adoption of every suggestion put forward by the German Representative.

The Commission, which dealt exclusively with the position of the three treaty nations in Samoa, submitted that the existing unsettled state of affairs in Samoa under the native kings and chiefs was incompatible with the maintenance of peace and order and destructive of the best interests both of [Pg 137] the Samoans themselves and of the foreign residents in the islands, and did not see any hope of improvement owing to the long-standing feuds and divisions of the natives.

They recommended, therefore, that a real and immediate improvement in the social and economical conditions of Samoa would be best secured if the administration of the native Government was assumed by one of the treaty Powers; the sovereignty of the King of Samoa and the independence of the islands continuing to be recognised, and due care being taken by pre-arrangement to secure all rights justly acquired.

As an alternative, another scheme was submitted for reconstructing the native Government upon the general lines of a Crown Colony Government.

It was agreed that the sovereignty of Samoa was to be permanently confirmed upon King Malietoa and his heirs, and that a Council of Chiefs (called the King's Council) should be created to advise and assist the King in the administration of government.

Here the German Commissioner showed the cloven hoof by suggesting that the Council should consist of eight members: four native Samoans and four Europeans, of which latter two were to be nominated by Germany, one by Great Britain, and one by America.

By virtue of their treaty the Germans set up a sort of Germano-Samoan Council for the special [Pg 138] control of the two principal harbours, Apia and Saluafata; but the establishment of similar Anglo-Samoan and Americo-Samoan Councils was hardly an expedient measure if friction were to be avoided.

The principal object of the Commission was, so far as Great Britain was concerned, the suppression of inter-tribal feuds and warfare, to maintain which the Samoans were bartering away their land and all other possessions in order to obtain rifles and ammunition. Dr Krauel, the German Commissioner, in making the recommendation that the administration of the native government should be assumed by one of the treaty Powers, suavely proposed that "having regard to the great preponderance of German commercial interests in Samoa, the task of forming a better administration should be entrusted, in the first instance, to the German Government."

On the alternative proposal, Dr Krauel thought that this commercial preponderance of Germany should meet recognition by the nomination of two German representatives as against one each of the other treaty Powers on the proposed King's Council.

Mr Thurston, the British Commissioner, was sufficiently impressed with the representations of his German colleague to suggest to his Government the adoption of the suggestions, which meant German control over the whole administration.

Before any action was taken upon the recommendations [Pg 139] of the Commission, the Germans took matters into their own hands; and on 31st December, 1885, King Malietoa was driven by a German force from his seat of Government, and the Samoan flag hauled down by German forces from a man-o'-war.

Inquiries elicited the fact that "the object of the German Representative was not to abolish the Samoan Government by force, but only to take reprisals against King Malietoa."

The foundation for the first act of direct aggression on the part of the Germans seems to have arisen in the sale of a portion of Apia to an American, who transferred the deeds to a German—the purchase price being only five hundred dollars. The land was looked on by the Samoans as the centre of the seat of their Government; and very rightly, too, as it covered the whole harbour of Apia.

The King, Malietoa, offered five thousand dollars to the German holder to rescind the sale, but was met with a curt refusal of his offer; following upon which a German proclamation was immediately issued, drawing attention to alleged grievances of Germany, more especially in respect of the violations of treaty agreements, and declaring the intention of the German Government to take, in reparation, "possession of the lands of the village and district of Apia, in which is included Malinuu (the seat of Government) and the harbour [Pg 140] of Apia, to hold possession under the supreme control that was under the Government of Malietoa, for the Government of Germany."

The Samoans were informed in the proclamation that it was only the "municipality" that was being taken possession of, and the document concludes with a characteristic Hohenzollern touch: "I beseech you to be at peace and to have confidence in the Government of Germany and myself. Then will Samoa indeed be happy!"

An impartial inquiry into the arbitrary action of the Germans was suggested, but the German Imperial Government temporised the while a movement was set on foot by Germans in Samoa to upset the rule of Malietoa and replace him by one of their own creatures who had been plentifully bribed with the two things dearest to the native—spirits and firearms.

King Malietoa was informed by the British Consul that an inquiry was to be held, and that his kingship could not be jeopardised, the three Powers, Great Britain, Germany, and America, having jointly agreed to recognise and maintain his authority.

To subdue the ardour of the more impetuous amongst his people, Malietoa issued the following proclamation to the Chiefs of Samoa:

"Chiefs,—I call upon you to keep quiet, and not to entertain foolish fears, for the English Consul, W. Powell, has assured me that in a short [Pg 141] time Samoa will be once more united under the Government of Malietoa, for England does not undertake anything which she does not carry through; and all that England undertakes she does carry through. What Germany does, on the other hand, is merely commenced, and is not concluded. Let us place confidence in these words, which will be fulfilled."

The German Ambassador in London, in discussing the Samoan question with our own Foreign Minister, the Earl of Iddlesleigh, referred rather bitterly to King Malietoa's proclamation, and Lord Iddlesleigh readily agreed that it was very offensive.

A further joint Commission was held on the affairs of Samoa late in the year 1886, in the early months of which Malietoa had offered to place Samoa under the protection of the United States—which offer was accepted by the American Consul, but his action immediately repudiated by his Government.

No workable form of administration could, however, be agreed upon by the three Powers—the reason being that the Germans were determined to pursue their fixed aim of acquiring the absolute control of Samoa.

The rule of Malietoa, who had been recognised in authority by treaty agreements, was irksome to them; and towards the end of 1887 they demanded satisfaction from Malietoa for alleged robbery and [Pg 142] insults to German subjects, whom they declared had been attacked when returning from celebrating the birthday of the German Emperor.

The required redress not being forthcoming, Malietoa was declared deposed by the Germans, and one Tamasese was set up in his place. The English and American Consuls did not participate in the recognition of Tamasese.

A state of anarchy now prevailed for a time; and inter-tribal combats took place all over the islands, centring about Apia. An insurrection was engineered by the Germans which was headed by Matiafa, who was attacked by Malietoa; and the opportunity having, as the Germans considered, arrived for the action of the mailed fist, Germany declared war on Malietoa.

In March, 1889, relations between the three Powers became extremely strained in regard to Samoa, and warships of all the nations concerned appeared off Apia.

The story of the hurricane that swept the harbour on the 16th March, in the teeth of which the British Calliope alone pounded her way out to sea and safety to the ringing cheers of the American sailors, is stirringly told in Robert Louis Stevenson's "A Footnote to History."

The Calliope, fighting the tempest and making less than a knot an hour, upheld the traditions of British seamanship; while the ribs of the German flagship Adler serve the purpose of providing a [Pg 143] mournful monument to the death of German ambitions in Samoa.

Until Samoan administrative affairs were finally settled, her history consists of no more than a record of squabbles and intrigues.

Every fresh effort only demonstrated more clearly the futility of control by the three Powers, one of which was fixed in her determination to be supreme.

A convention was, indeed, signed at Berlin in 1889 under which the Samoan Islands were declared to be independent neutral territory, Great Britain, Germany, and the United States to have equal rights, and the King Malietoa, who was a strong opponent of German claims, was again recognised as King.

Matiafa, who had been stirred into insurrection for their own purposes by the Germans, now supported Malietoa, who received a vociferous welcome from the Samoans on his return to Apia in his regal capacity.

Shortly after his reinstatement, however, Malietoa wearied of his office and resigned his throne, which was no sinecure, in favour of his friend Matiafa. The latter's election by the people was necessary; but having duly gone through the formula, he assumed the sceptre with Malietoa as "vice-King."

The subordinate position, however, was unsatisfactory to Malietoa, and by concert of the Powers [Pg 144] he was reinstated in his former position—a proceeding which Matiafa strongly disapproved of, and he attacked Malietoa with a strong force.

The Powers again intervened conjointly, and Matiafa was subdued and deported.

A further rebellion against Malietoa's rule was suppressed, and the affairs of Samoa began to present some appearance of law and order when Mr Henry Ide, an American, was appointed Chief Justice—a position of great responsibility. He seems, however, to have been over-strenuous in his dispensation of justice, for in less than a year his repressive measures created a state of Civil War.

In November, 1894, the unsatisfactory condition of affairs induced the Government of New Zealand to come forward with a proposal to establish a Protectorate over Samoa, and an expressed desire to undertake the administration of the islands.

The proposal was not entertained by our Home Government; and while it is probable that such an arrangement would have met with the approval of the United States, it is certain that Germany would have strenuously objected.

Further insurrections in 1894 brought about joint intervention by Great Britain and Germany, and the bombardment by ships of the two countries; while the death of Malietoa in 1898 necessitated another naval demonstration.

A serious dispute, which might have had far [Pg 145] reaching consequences but for the tact displayed by our Consular Service, arose over the election of a king to succeed Malietoa. The claimants to the throne were Tanu, son of Malietoa, and Matiafa.

In January, 1899, Chief Justice Chambers, an American, in whose hands the final decision lay, decided in favour of Tanu in accordance with the international agreement whereby the throne was secured to Malietoa and his heirs.

The decision, however, met with the strong disapproval of the Germans, who instigated Matiafa to rebel; and a serious outbreak occurred, in the course of which the greater part of Apia was burned.

A force of British marines was landed from H.M.S. Porpoise, on which Mr Chambers and other Europeans took refuge.

A provisional Government was now formed by Dr Raffel, a German, and President of the Municipal Court of Apia; and he proclaimed himself Chief Justice in spite of the protests of the British and American Consuls.

The Consuls appealed to Captain Sturdee of the Porpoise to assist in the reinstatement of Mr Chambers, and he sent ashore a threat to bombard the town if any resistance were offered to Mr Chambers in resuming his seat as Chief Justice.

Mr Chambers was opposed by the German faction, but Dr Raffel's action did not meet with [Pg 146] the approval of the Government at Berlin, and he was recalled in February, 1899.

In the meantime, Admiral Kantz of the American navy arrived on the United States cruiser, Philadelphia, and a proclamation was issued under which Matiafa's Government was declared to be illegal under the terms of the Berlin Treaty.

A counter-proclamation was immediately issued by the German Consul, Herr Rose, the immediate result of which was that Apia was surrounded by a strong force of rebels, and riots occurred—in the course of which R. L. Stevenson's house was looted.

The British and American warships opened fire and landed forces of bluejackets, who, after some severe fighting and losses, repulsed the rebels.

On the 23rd March, 1899, Tanu was crowned King of the Samoan Islands in the presence of the Foreign Consuls, with the exception of the Representative of the German Government.

Matiafa, with German moral support, continued in rebellion, and several Anglo-American parties of bluejackets and marines were ambuscaded, though the chief rebels' posts were captured.

A state of anarchy now prevailed, and another international Commission was appointed in May, 1899, Mr Bartlett Tripp (President) representing the United States, Mr Eliot Great Britain, and Baron Sternburg Germany.

[Pg 147]

Mr Chambers' decision was confirmed by the Commission, but Tanu had wearied of his kingship and voluntarily abdicated.

Further fighting now occurred, but an agreement was signed in August, 1899, by the three Powers, under which the kingship was abolished and the Government of Samoa placed in the hands of an Administrator with a Council of the Consuls of Great Britain, Germany, and the United States, assisted by a native assembly and a High Court of Justice.

The German, Dr Solf, Municipal President, was nominated as Administrator, and Mr Osborne, the United States Consul, was appointed to act as Chief Justice in the place of Mr Chambers who had resigned.

Samoa remained under this triple administration until the 1st March, 1900, when by the Anglo-German Convention, embodied in the Samoa Treaty, the principal Samoan Islands were annexed by Germany, the Tonga, Savage, and Solomon Islands came under the rule of Great Britain, while Tutuila and the adjacent islands became the property of the United States.

On the 1st March, 1900, the German flag was hoisted over Apia.

Claims for compensation were presented for the destruction of property during the Matiafa rebellion; and these, having been submitted to the arbitration of the King of Sweden, were, in 1902, [Pg 148] adjudged to be payable by Great Britain and the United States of America!

The surrender of Samoa to Germany was a bitter pill to New Zealand, and the Imperialist Premier, the late "Dick" Seddon, expressed himself forcibly on the subject.

In reply to the letter from the Imperial Colonial Secretary announcing British withdrawal from Samoa, Seddon, who had looked to the realisation of the dream of a federation of the Pacific Islands under the hegemony of New Zealand, wrote:

"This surrender of Samoa will in future be a source of anxiety and entail expense on Great Britain and the Colonies in preparing for and providing against eventualities. However, now that it has been done, it is necessary that immediately opportune steps should be taken to put the islands admitted to be British on a satisfactory footing. Some definite action of a forward character is required in the Pacific at the earliest opportune moment, for the surrender of Samoa has disheartened the natives in the islands, disappointed the people of Australasia, and lowered the prestige of Great Britain in this part of the world."


The thought of South Sea Islands conjures up pictures of treasure-trove and pearls, of joy-rides on turtle back, of dusky beauties with scarlet [Pg 149] hybiscus blooms in their hair, and of fat, naked brown babies rolling on the sun-kissed sands.

Readers of Robert Louis Stevenson will know Samoa and the Samoans as he knew them, and will picture the life on the islands he loved—gentle and entrancing—and breathe the soft atmosphere undisturbed save by the gurgle of rivulets flinging spray, on which small rainbows dance, over lichen-covered boulders flanked by feathery tree ferns.

Samoa, Upolu, Fanuatapu—the very sound of the names has in it the cadence of the murmur of the surf over coral reefs and silver sands, or the whisper of perfume-laden breezes in tall palms fringing blue lagoons.

That is the more aesthetic conception; but there is a sordid view open to the imagination in blood-spattered, headless corpses, victims of tribal fights, or "the white men on the beach," in turn victims of unbridled passions and "square-face" gin.

The beachcombers of the South Seas have enriched the slang of our language with the expression "on the beach," or "on the pebbly," to denote a hopeless financial condition; but as a class these pyjama-clad, unlaced-booted gentry represent the limit of degradation—the bottom of the depths.

To natives all white men are chiefs, but "surely these are not great chiefs?" asked one of the Samoan islanders, indicating the whites who dream the idle hours away on the sandy beach of Samoa.

[Pg 150]

Papua, or New Guinea, again, is in the mind immediately associated with fearsome weapons of warfare made of carved wood, with collections of smoke-dried human heads with fantastically tattooed faces, and horrid feasts at which the pièce de résistance was sirloin of "methody" missionary.

The Samoan Islands are perfect in their beauty, and all the conditions, including the ease with which the bare necessaries of life were produced from natural resources, conduced to a dolce far niente sort of existence amongst the natives, by which the whites also became infected.

The Samoan group, which forms the entrepôt of all the islands round where trade is carried on, consists of fourteen islands, of which eight, Savaii, Manono, Apolima, Upolu, Fanuatapu, Manua, Nu'utele, and Nu'ulua, were German—the remainder being British and American.

Savaii is roughly 50 miles long by 10 miles wide, comprising some 650 square miles; while Upolu, 22 miles east of Savaii, comprises about 340 square miles.

All the islands are of volcanic origin, and rise to rugged elevations; while they are surrounded by coral reefs intersected by passages through which the navigation is difficult and dangerous. Savaii, rising to 5,400 feet, possesses an active volcano; Upolu reaches an elevation of 3,200 feet; while Tutuila, separated from Upolu by a channel [Pg 151] 36 miles in width, is 2,300 feet at its highest point.

On all the islands there is a certain scarcity of fresh water inland, but it is plentiful on the lower slopes and above high-water mark on the seashore.

While the climate is moist, it is never excessively hot; and the fertility of the soil is such that it is almost a drawback, for the extreme productiveness of the soil obviates the necessity for strenuous labour on the part of anyone who occupies a patch of ground whereon to grow cocoa-nuts, yams, etc.

On the Island Upolu, R. L. Stevenson's home, is Apia, the port and centre of Samoan trade. At Apia Stevenson died on the 5th December, 1894. He was much loved by the Samoans, and was by them buried on the top of Vasa Mountain, 1,300 feet above the sea.

Saluafata is the next harbour of importance; but both Apia and Saluafata are open harbours, and during the months of January, February, and March are particularly insecure, owing to the hurricanes which prevail.

The Samoan Islands contain less than 600 white inhabitants, and the native population is a little over 40,000. The natives residing on Upolu amount to 18,000, and on Savaii 13,000; while imported labourers total about 1,500.

The origin of the natives is obscure, but ethnological students have declared them to be closely allied to the Maoris of New Zealand, and to have [Pg 152] their origin in China; and there seems to be no reason to doubt their judgment.

While cannibalism was prevalent throughout the islands of the South Seas, its practice has always been denied by the Samoans.

By nature the Samoan natives are indolent, and would look upon any uncalled-for exertion as a midsummer madness; while, to the Samoan mind, the idea of growing food such as cocoa-nuts, etc., for the purpose of sending it away and selling it, held about it something barbaric, unhandsome, and absurd. There is for him no conceivable object in growing anything more than is necessary to provide daily food, and consequently he would have no share nor parcel in such a practice.

The question of labour, therefore, has always been a pressing one on the plantations; and to provide this Chinese have been imported under indentures, and by Chinese labour all the work is carried on.

From the time of their first gaining a footing in Samoa, the Germans began to oust the natives from the land; and as the Samoans could not be got to work, plantations were established under German managers who proceeded to extract from it, by means of the cheapest foreign labour procurable, as much as it would yield.

At Apia, which Stevenson describes as the seat of the political sickness of Samoa, a controlling German firm was established who gradually [Pg 153] obtained possession of the most fertile lands, but their titles were at times of the flimsiest.

The same writer describes how a visitor would observe, near an ancient Samoan village which he had been informed was the proper residence of the Samoan kings, a notice-board set up indicating that the historic village was the property of the German firm. These boards, he adds, which were among the commonest features of the landscape, might be rather taken to imply that the claim had been disputed.

If the "sales" of land from the natives to the German firm were questionable, the Samoans beheld in the firm only the occupier of their land, and consequently regarded the constant raiding of the German plantations and the stealthy gathering of the cocoa-nuts merely in the light of a very trifling peccadillo, and certainly not as theft.

Such land as the firm was unable to find labour to work was "mortgaged" to natives, who were compelled, under a penalty of imprisonment, to sell their copra to no one except to the mortgagee. The firm, which Stevenson describes as "the true centre of trouble, the head of the boil," of which Samoa languished thus gradually, got into its own hands the practical monopoly of trade.

The trade of the islands of the South Pacific was, as previously stated, always regarded in Europe as a most valuable one; and when in 1711 a monopoly of trade with South America and the Pacific Islands [Pg 154] was granted to the South Sea Company in England, its riches were popularly looked upon as illimitable and the shares of the South Sea Company stood at one time at a premium of 900 per cent.

The bursting of the "South Sea Bubble," however, was the end of monopolies until the era of the German firm, whose agents gained a preponderance even in Fiji.

The principal article of Samoan trade is copra, and the value of land is assessed according to its growth of cocoa-nuts.

The trade was eminently suited for Germans, as the natives readily bartered for cheap and flashy goods "made in Germany."

In the vicinity of Apia uncultivated land is worth from £15 to £25 an acre, and cultivated land planted with cocoa-nuts from £20 to £40; while "bush" land faced a value ranging from 8s. to £2.

In addition to palm-oil and copra, Samoa yields the usual tropical products of cocoa, coffee, tobacco and rubber, as well as vegetable ivory.

From Samoa the export of copra in 1912 amounted to £200,000, and owing to the increased utility found for copra and its steady rise in price during recent years, further planting has energetically proceeded, though somewhat interfered with by the appearance of the rhinoceros beetle.

The pest seems to have been introduced in baskets of earth in which rubber stumps were [Pg 155] packed, and soon obtained a firm hold upon the plantations, though the Samoan Government has made strenuous efforts to extirpate it.

"The larvae usually proceeding from eggs deposited in decayed cocoa-nut stumps are found in large quantities six to twelve inches beneath the soil, in masses of rubbish, where they gradually transform themselves into beetles. On coming to the surface they fly from tree to tree and feed on the leaves, especially on the centre leaf of the cocoa-nut palm—the heart of the tree—which, being eaten up, the tree dies. The eggs, it is said, are always deposited by the beetles above the ground, and turn into caterpillars, which, boring their way through loose soil and rubbish, then become larvae."[H]

Rubber is of comparatively recent introduction into Samoan production, and only amounted to £646 in 1911.

Tapping really only commenced in that year; and though later figures are not available all reports as regards the quality of Samoan rubber are reassuring, and the prospects of the industry are regarded as excellent.

Cocoa, however, has been grown for many years, and in 1911 was exported to the value of £38,508, despite the ravages of the "cacao canker," which attacks the older trees, the young ones under eight or nine years old being seldom if ever affected.

[Pg 156]

Amongst other industries is the collection of phosphates, the value of which, exported from the Pacific Islands in 1912, amounted to £250,000.

The following official report was made last year on the phosphate industry in the islands of Nauru and Angaur:

"The Pacific Phosphate Company in 1912 shipped from the islands 138,000 tons (as against 90,000 tons in the previous year). The Company suffered from a gradually growing lack of labourers, which was in the end overcome by the importation of coolies. At the end of 1912, 59 Europeans, 90 Chinese, and 576 natives of the Protectorate were employed in the phosphate mines on the Island of Nauru. The works were improved and extended in many directions. The Deutsche Suedsee Phosphat Aktiengesellschaft exported from Angaur 54,000 tons of phosphate, as against 45,000 tons in the previous year. The total annual production has consequently increased by 57,000 tons. While on Nauru Island labour was scarce, on Angaur several plants had to be finished before work could proceed to the full extent. Labour conditions were here satisfactory."

The imports to Samoa are principally cheap "trade goods," and include large quantities of [Pg 157] calico, petticoats of which are worn by both men and women. The latter purchase white dress-stuff and have them printed by native dyers with a dye known as tapa.

The value of imports in 1911 totalled £203,312.

Galvanised iron has grown more and more in demand, the wild sugar-cane disease having nearly destroyed the manufacture of the picturesque native thatch.

New Zealand and Australia have a regularly connecting line of steamers, and in 1913 a better connection was provided for the whole South Sea District (by the Germans of course) by a steamship line from Singapore which touched New Guinea as well as Samoa.

The South Seas have for many decades been the field of fruitful labour of missionaries, and as a result of their work in their native schools every Samoan can read and write his own language. The Government had a school for white and half-caste children at Upolu in which they were taught English.

After annexing Samoa the Germans established a Government, taking the form of a Government Council, consisting, besides the members who occupied official positions, of eight persons selected by the Governor, and who were chosen from the leading merchants and planters. The votes of the general public as regards the election of these were presented to the Governor [Pg 158] for his information, but he was not compelled to act in accordance with them—the votes merely indicating the popular wish in the matter. Up to 1912 two councillors, who received no salary, were Englishmen but subsequently all were German.

The Germans took steps to get rid of "the white men on the beach," and the class of white who dreamed the hours away there were discouraged by a deposit of £25, or a guarantee for that amount, being required to be placed in the hands of the collector of customs before strangers from foreign countries could land, unless they intended leaving again by the next or following steamer.

Up to December, 1912, pleading by foreigners in the Imperial Court in Apia was allowed in the English language by persons who could not speak German, but this was then stopped and all Court proceedings were held in the German language, or, where those concerned could not speak German, by means of an interpreter. Interpreters were provided by the Court for witnesses, but not for parties to suits nor for anyone appearing for them. In the custom-house and post office, however, English was still permitted.

The Government was extremely anxious to increase the use of the German language in Samoa, but as regarded trade and commerce the proximity of Australia, New Zealand and Fiji [Pg 159] caused the knowledge of English to be of far more importance to the residents, whatever their nationality.

New Guinea

The New Guinea (formerly known as Papua) group of islands comprise Melanesia, the Samoan being included in Polynesia.

In New Guinea the British territory was in 1914 approximately 87,786 square miles, while the German possessions in the north of the principal island, and including the Bismarck Archipelago, amounted to roughly 180,000 square miles.

German New Guinea was, upon the hoisting of the German flag, renamed Kaiser Wilhelm's Land, New Britain became Neu Pommern, and New Ireland took the name of Neu Mecklenburg.

Neu Pommern and Neu Mecklenburg are the principal islands of the Bismarck Archipelago, the area of which is estimated at 48,000 square miles.

Lying in the equatorial region, the climate of New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago is hot and humid, and the seasons may be roughly divided into the comparatively dry period of the southeast monsoon from about May to November, and the rainy west or north-west monsoon.

The annual rainfall is heavy, being some 150 inches on the sea-board, and far more on the highlands which intercept the moisture-laden clouds.

[Pg 160]

Like the majority of the islands of the South Seas, New Guinea coastal districts are infested with mosquitoes, and malarial fever, which affects Europeans as well as natives, is prevalent. It occurs in more or less severe forms, and occasionally terminates fatally. The eradication of the mosquito pest by petroleum spraying, which has proved such a marked success in the Panama regions, is now being attempted in all malarial-stricken countries, and will, when accomplished, no doubt bring immunity from malaria to New Guinea.

The coastline on the mainland of New Guinea is fringed by coral reefs and a line of large and small islands, and is indented by fine bays; but to reach them the navigation is extremely difficult.

In the narrow passages between the islands and between the reefs the current is so strong and runs so continuously for days at a time that a sailing boat can do nothing but lie at anchor waiting for a turn in the tide, and some have had to wait for a fortnight before they could get through.

The chief danger to navigation is the number of coral reefs that are scattered about the coast, very few of them charted. Sometimes there is enough water to make it safe to pass over them, and then the coral presents a beautiful sight—snow-white with long branches, or bright-red: then the sudden drop into deep, dark nothingness, at the edge of the reef that rises sheer from bottomless depths.

The islands are volcanic and the Kaiser Wilhelm [Pg 161] territory in particular is very mountainous, the most prominent feature of its configuration, especially on the east coast, being the magnificent mountain ranges which in places rise steeply from the narrow fringe of the low coastal lands.

Snow-capped mountains and volcanoes, rising to a height of 15,000 feet or more, are reported to have been seen in the interior, which is still considerably unexplored.

There are a large number of mountain streams on all the large islands, but so far no navigable river has been found in the Archipelago.

An abundant rainfall, together with a high and equable temperature, has produced a vegetation of exceptional luxuriance and great variety. While in places extensive areas of grass plains are found, the hillsides and lowlands are, for the greater part, covered with almost impenetrable forest, containing timber trees of considerable size and utilitarian value.

Manioc (wild arrowroot), yams, bananas, and other tropical fruit such as paw-paws are cultivated by the natives, while sago forms a staple food of the inhabitants.

Sago palms grow wild in the bush, and prior to treatment sago is, like tapioca, in its crude state poisonous; but the Papuans have devised the means of carefully preparing the pith of the palm, and by washing, straining, and drying rendered it fit for food.

[Pg 162]

Until the end of the flowering period, the hollow interior of the sago palm, somewhat similar to bamboo, is filled with a starchy mass from which the growing fruit draws its nourishment. The tree is felled by the Papuans and the pulp scraped and washed, during which process the sago is separated and sinks to the bottom.

Cocoa-nuts also form an important food factor, and groves are found everywhere; while copra and palm-oil are the principal articles of trade.

Papuan birds are noted, and amongst the numerous species of bird life the bird of paradise is particularly notable for richness of plumage; and the skins of bright-plumaged birds have been in the past extensively exported.

New Guinea holds less than 500 white inhabitants, the majority being, of course, German officials and planters; while the natives living in all the islands are estimated at 500,000.

Papua suffered for years from the presence of the undesirable "white men on the beach," and wild and weird tales are told of early days of white men with nothing to do, sitting or lying about in native houses.

The Rev. Henry Newton, one of the pioneers of later civilisation in British New Guinea, gives the following description of a phase of New Guinea life:

"The storekeeper would go to bed and leave a supply of liquor handy for his clients to dispose of as seemed best to them.

[Pg 163]

"They would spend the night drinking and gambling, the empty bottles thrown over the veranda would form a fine heap on the ground, and sometimes one or two humans would follow the bottles as the result of a heated but disconnected argument, and decide to remain there till the morning. The storekeeper and publican would count up the number of 'dead-heads' in the morning, and divide the total cost amongst those whom he had left to enjoy themselves overnight.

"A gaol was built for the accommodation of native prisoners; not that this meant there was no need of a place of detention for members of the white race. Occasionally a white man had to be accommodated.

"One man, an Irishman, who had been indulging not wisely but too well and had decided on open-air treatment, was lying asleep in the street, and it was necessary to remove him. A detachment of native police was told off to carry the member of the ruling race to the gaol.

"When they had hoisted him on their shoulders and were marching off, the unhappy man waked up for a moment, and, not quite understanding the situation, said 'Hullo, boys, what have I done? Why, am I a hero?'"[I]

[Pg 164]

The native Papuans are not regarded as suitable for work in the Western sense of the word, and the German efforts to exploit the natives have not produced very successful economic results, and the import of Chinese coolies had to be relied on. This resulted, in the Pacific Islands generally, in a traffic in labour which roused R. L. Stevenson's ire.

The native inhabitants consist in New Guinea of a number of races, differing totally from each other in appearance, customs, and language.

The various tribes have little in common with each other, and inter-tribal wars and feuds have been continuous, in the course of which the custom of "head-hunting" became a popular pastime.

Although the Samoans strenuously repudiate the suggestion that they or their ancestors were ever addicted to cannibalism, the Papuans freely admit the prevalence of the custom; and although they now profess to have discontinued cannibalism, the older men will talk confidentially about the doings in "the old days," and will sigh for the times that have been.

The natives have unbounded belief in the powers of sorcerers and in witchcraft, and are more easily held in control by superstition than by any appeal to any sense.

The hard work—domestic and agricultural—is done by the women, as amongst most native races; it being beneath a man's dignity to be engaged in any other labour than that connected with warfare, sport, or the provision of creature comforts.

The Government of New Guinea was vested in a [Pg 165] Governor whose seat was at Herbertshöhe, picturesquely situated on the shores of Neu Pommern. The town was the most important commercial centre of the Colony, several of the principal trading and planting firms making it their headquarters. Round about it are situated some of the best cocoa-nut plantations in the islands.

The official language was, of course, German, but English was also spoken or at least understood by all European residents in the islands.

In the intercourse with the natives the weird form of speech known as pidgin-English is in universal use throughout the South Seas. It is framed on the same principles as their own languages, and every white man who cannot speak native seems to fall naturally into the use of it. So universal is its use that in German New Guinea the Government officials, to the offence of their kultured minds, had to use it if they wanted the natives to understand them.

In their anxiety to spread the use of German, this must have been particularly distasteful to the officials, especially when an Englishman who did not understand German found a medium in pidgin-English.

Some compensation, however, is found by a German writer who says that "although it is deplorable that, while the easily learned Malay language might be introduced with advantage, [Pg 166] this unlovely dog-English should still be encouraged, the quaint expressions promptly invited by the natives for anything new to them, amply demonstrate their ready wit and furnish a constant source of amusement."

But if "pidgin" is a barbarous perversion of English, on the other hand pidgin-German is a horror hardly conceivable.

Of all the island groups in the Pacific Ocean, perhaps none offers conditions equally favourable for agricultural pursuits than does the north coast of New Guinea and the Archipelago. Lying outside the cyclonic belt, those devastating storms which are largely responsible for the failure of crops in Polynesia, as well as in some of the groups north of the line, need not be reckoned with, and a greater fertility of the soil further helps to make this part of the Pacific well fitted for tropical cultivation.

Cocoa-nut growing especially proves most profitable, but cotton, rubber, cocoa, coffee, and tobacco are also grown, besides spices and fruits.

The export of copra, which in 1912 amounted to £300,000, has steadily increased as more and more land was brought under cultivation. Other articles of export include phosphates, pearl and tortoiseshell, trepang, sandal-wood, and vegetable ivory.

The exportation of phosphates in 1912 amounted to about £250,000, and with copra made up 90 per cent of the exports.

[Pg 167]

Skins of birds of paradise were exported from Kaiser Wilhelm's Land in 1912 to the value of £25,000, but an agitation on hand against the destruction of wild birds for the sake of their plumage will no doubt put an end to this traffic.

Trepang or bêche-de-mer, otherwise known as sea cucumbers and sea slugs, are an important food luxury amongst the Chinese and other Eastern people. They are used in the gelatinous soups which form an important article of food in China. They are prepared for export by being lightly boiled, then sun-dried, and finally smoked over a fire. A small English company is engaged in the industry of trepang fishing.

While timber of great variety and excellent quality exists in inexhaustible quantities, and although there are small saw-mills in Kaiser Wilhelm's Land, only small quantities of timber for cabinet purposes have been exported.

Traces of valuable minerals have been discovered. In 1890 gold was located by prospectors from Queensland, but the gold veins discovered have not proved as valuable as had been hoped.

Oil has also been prospected in New Guinea, but its exploitation was reserved by the German Government. The analysis showed a high percentage of heavy oil.

The imports, amounting in 1912 to £750,000, consist chiefly of food-stuffs, liquid and tinned, [Pg 168] machinery and iron ware, building materials, clothing, leathern goods, and sundries.

The wants of the natives are few, however, and little trade is done with them in textiles, the clothing of men and women alike being usually composed of strips of cloth with plaited grass girdles and a profusion of shell ornaments.

On 15th August, 1914, the advanced detachment of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, which was ordered to seize Samoa, left Wellington at dawn and was met at sea by three of His Britannic Majesty's cruisers in New Zealand waters—the Psyche, the Pyramus, and the Philomel.

As it was known that the German armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau were at large in the Pacific, it was decided not to go direct to Samoa, but to shape a course for New Caledonia (French).

Cruising off New Caledonia the British ships were joined by the French cruiser Montcalm and by the Australian cruisers Australia and Melbourne.

The contingent received a wonderfully enthusiastic reception from the French in New Caledonia, and under the command of Admiral Sir G. E. Patey the allied fleet steamed for Samoa.

In the early dawn of 30th August the first glimpse was obtained of Upolu—the scene of wars and rebellions and international schemings, and the scene also of that devastating hurricane which [Pg 169] wrecked six ships of war and ten other vessels and sent 142 officers and men of the German and American navies to their last sleep.

The rusting ribs and plates of the Adler, the German flagship, pitched high inside the reef, stared at them as a reminder of that memorable event.

The Psyche went on ahead, and after the harbour had been swept for mines, she steamed in under a flag of truce and delivered a message from Rear-Admiral Sir George Patey demanding surrender. The Germans, who had been expecting their own fleet in, were surprised at the suddenness with which an overwhelming force had descended upon them, and decided to offer no resistance to a landing.

In a remarkably brief space of time the covering party was on shore, and shortly afterwards Apia was swarming with British bluejackets and troops. Guards were placed all about the Government buildings and a staff installed in the Government offices.

The custom-house was seized and an armed party was dispatched along a bush road to seize the wireless station, the tall, latticed iron mast of which could be seen rising above the trees some three or four miles inland on the lower slopes of the hills.

Meantime the German flag that had flown over the island for fourteen years was hauled down, [Pg 170] the Germans present doffing their hats and standing bareheaded and silent on the veranda of the Supreme Court as they watched the soldier in khaki from New Zealand unceremoniously pulling it down, detaching it from the rope, and carrying it inside the building.

Next morning the British flag was hoisted with all due ceremony. The troops were drawn up in three sides of a square facing the court-house—the seat of the new Government. Inside the square and facing the flagstaff were Colonel Logan and staff in their rough khaki uniforms, with them the naval Commanders. On the left the high Samoan Chiefs, Tanu-Malietoa and Tamasese—who had been specially invited to attend the ceremony—with other Chiefs made a picturesque group.

Fifteen years ago some of those present had seen the young Chief Tanu placed on the throne of Malietoa, with the representatives of the allied fleets of Great Britain and America and the civil authorities of these natives in attendance, and the Germans conspicuous only by their absence.

A few minutes before 8 o'clock all was ready. The commands to the troops had ceased and an intense silence had prevailed. Two bluejackets and a naval lieutenant stood, with the flag, awaiting the signal.

Presently the first gun of the Royal salute from the Psyche boomed out across the bay. Then slowly, very slowly, inch by inch, to the booming [Pg 171] of twenty-one guns the flag was hoisted, the officers with drawn swords silently watching it go up.

With the sound of the last gun the flag reached the top of the flagstaff and fluttered out in the southeast trade wind above the tall palms of Upolu.

The troops came to the Royal salute as the band played the National Anthem.

The reading of a proclamation by Colonel Logan terminated the brief but finely impressive ceremonial.

The German Governor, Dr Schutz, was sent to Fiji and subsequently to New Zealand.

With similar ceremonies Herbertshöhe in Neu Pommern was occupied by an Australian force.

On the 14th September the German cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau made their appearance at Apia, but on the New Zealanders manning the guns the ships left for the open Pacific.

A German merchant ship was at the time at Pango-Pango in the American island of Tutuila, and ten members of the crew deserted and rowed the seventy miles to Apia, where they hoped to find the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. They were, however, arrested by the British authorities.

A British administration was set up. The German officials in the old administration resigned their appointments, but the natives decided to continue under British rule.

[Pg 172]



In their various "voyages of discovery" and enterprises to extend their trading operations, it was inevitable that the European nations should endeavour to find an opening into China.

From being a dreaded volcano whence streams of lava in the shape of devastating hordes constantly overflowed to upset the ideas of culture as conceived by the nations who radiated the principles of "civilisation" in succession to the fallen Empires of Greece and Rome, China had retired into a seclusion, only to be disturbed when "Progress" knocked at her doors.

She shut herself in and literally walled her borders, not so much to keep out invasion but to retain for herself and her people her stoical civilisation and the secrets in the arts and crafts of which she was the sole possessor; for Chinese internal affairs concerned no one but herself and her people, and her peculiar industries were conducted and perpetuated on an apprentice system—father to son [Pg 173] handing down by word of mouth the methods of success in the various arts.

As European nations rose and fell—as the grandeur that was Spain succeeded the glittering adventures of Portuguese navigators, as the Dutch, French, and British struggled for mastery on the outer seas, and while Europe resounded with the stern music of the tramp of Napoleon's legions, China, with her centuries of arrested civilisation, maintained an inscrutable attitude, and, slumbering in brooding silence, preserved her aloofness from any interest without her borders.

The wave of European trade-expansion surged high upon her barrier of inclusiveness before she awoke to what was to her a new era—the age in which man might demand for man equable treatment in the way of trade, upon a basis in the constitution of which China had no experience and no say.

Hitherto China's conception of outer trade was merely the collection of tribute, and her first association with trade with the "foreign devils" from the outer world was quite in conformity with that idea, for her piratical junks set out and joyously exacted toll indiscriminately.

But this was hardly the legitimate form intended by the merchants of the West, and compensation for the misconceived acts of her subjects being demanded, China was invited to subscribe to [Pg 174] treaties which might open her doors to the introduction of more cultured methods of barter.

Unreluctantly, however, as China assented to the development of trade by foreign nations in her seas and along her coasts, for many years the severest possible restrictions were placed upon Chinese leaving their country for the purpose of trade.

"Treaties" were concluded with the Western nations for the sake of peace, but by the Chinese in general these treaties were regarded as mere subterfuges whereby to disarm the vigilance of the prey.

Treaties for the furtherance of trade were entered into with the Western nations in turn from the end of the seventeenth century onwards, but none of these entailed any territorial concessions nor threatened "the integrity of China."

The thin end of the German wedge seems to have been inserted into Chinese affairs by the conclusion of a secret treaty in 1880 between Germany and China, whereby the latter, who was ready to grant or promise any manner of concession in return for being left alone, gave Germany trading privileges, which she had already granted to other nations. But Germany's influence in China was nil until after the Chino-Japanese War of 1894.

Russia, owing to her geographical position and to the intercourse of her subjects with the Chinese, was chiefly interested in China, and the Taiping [Pg 175] Rebellion of 1850 firmly established France and Great Britain in the exclusive Empire.

In 1894 war broke out between China and Japan, which resulted in a complete and decisive victory for the latter.

Peace was signed by Li Hung Chang on behalf of China at Shimonoseki on the 17th April, 1895, and the European nations realised at its conclusion that in Japan a new Power had arisen in the Far East, and that the beginning of a new epoch had begun.

The Peace Treaty entered into between Japan and China in 1895 provided, for the absolute independence of Korea which had been a vassal of China since 1882, the cession to Japan of the Island of Formosa and the Liao-tung Peninsula at the foot of which lies Port Arthur (which was then occupied by the Japanese), and the payment of an indemnity of £30,000,000, pending the handing over of which Japan was to occupy the Port of Wei-hai-wei on the Shantung Peninsula.

A further condition of the treaty was the opening of certain places to foreign enterprise and commerce.

The conclusion of this treaty brought the European Powers on the scene.

For some time Russia had been intent upon the problem of securing an ice-clear port on the Pacific Ocean as an outlet to her Siberian possessions—an ambition which was considered by British statesmen [Pg 176] as not unreasonable—and therefore the occupation by Japan of all the coastline of Korea by no means suited Russia. She, therefore, invited the intervention of the Powers, and the invitation was accepted by France and Germany, but declined by Great Britain.

A joint note was then presented to the Tokio Government by Russia, France and Germany, under which Japan was recommended not to occupy any of the Chinese mainland permanently.

The Japanese, finding this force arrayed against them, stated that they "yielded to the dictates of magnanimity, and accepted the advice of the three Powers."

Japan gave up the whole of her continental acquisitions under the war, and retained only Formosa; so the "integrity of China" seemed to be preserved for the time.

The Japanese people were shocked at this incident. The attitude of Russia and France they could understand, but Germany, who had been worming her way into Japan's good graces by professions of friendship and who was wholly uninterested in the ownership of Manchuria, seemed to have joined in robbing Japan of the fruits of her victorious war merely to establish a title to Russia's goodwill, and to renew the good relations with Russia which had been broken by the Franco-Russian entente of the years 1891-1895.

In pursuit of her aim of an outlet to Siberia, [Pg 177] Russia assisted China in the payment of the Japanese war indemnity, and obtained the right to carry the Siberian railway to Vladivostock, this giving her a grasp on Northern Manchuria. By a secret arrangement with Germany, Russia subsequently obtained a "lease" of the Liao-tung Peninsula, giving the assurance that Port Arthur would be an "open port" for the trade of all nations; but as it transpired that Port Arthur was unsuited to mercantile trade, it became solely a naval base and the "open port" was established at Dalny.

On the 20th June, 1895, France entered into a convention with China under which she obtained certain railway and mining rights in Kiang-si and Yun-nan, and the signing of this convention brought China into conflict with Great Britain.

Great Britain could hardly regard with equanimity the growth of Russian influence in the north; she therefore demanded and obtained a lease of Wei-hai-wei on the Shantung Peninsula, occupied Wei-hai-wei immediately upon its evacuation by the Japanese, and threw the port open to outside trade.

In the meantime Germany considered that she had received no reward for her share in supporting France and Russia in compelling the retrocession of Liao-tung; in fact China could not be brought to see that Germany's place in "world politics" entitled her to annex any portion of the Chinese Empire.

[Pg 178]

On 1st November, 1897, however, two Roman Catholic missionaries, who were German subjects, were most conveniently murdered near Kiau-Chau, and, ostensibly to get compensation for this outrage on German kultur, Germany proceeded to seize Kiau-Chau.

This port was claimed by Russia, but on the face of it the synchronical cession of Port Arthur to Russia points to the two countries having come to an arrangement mutually satisfactory under the secret agreement concluded by them, while Russian action respecting Port Arthur and German action in regard to Kiau-Chau tallied at every point.

The proceedings in regard to Kiau-Chau were Hohenzollern to the last degree—arrogant and theatrical.

Three German warships were dispatched to China and they landed marines at Kiau-Chau while preparations for sending out reinforcements were hurried on in Germany.

The squadron was placed under the command of the German Emperor's brother, Prince Henry of Prussia, whom the Kaiser designated, in a farewell speech at Kiel, as the "mailed fist" of Germany.

The German Emperor thus furnished a pleasing fancy for humoristic journalists and caricaturists, for the comic side prevailed and the mission rocked the world in the gentle throes of laughter rather [Pg 179] than stirred it with the tremulous quaking of dread.

On arriving at Kiau-Chau with his squadron, Prince Henry wrapped the mailed fist in a parchment covering, demanding the "lease" of the town and the neighbouring district to Germany for a period of ninety-nine years; and, divining that Germany could rely on the support of Russia, the Court of Pekin had no option but to bow to the inevitable, and the lease of the territory demanded was signed on the 6th March, 1898.

The Shantung Peninsula, a maritime province of China on the Yellow Sea, is the most densely inhabited part of China, and is celebrated as the native province of Confucius and therefore sacred to both Chinese and Japanese followers of the dictate of the sage's analects.

The peninsula is a mass of mountain ranges which rise to a height of 5,000 feet. The ranges are intersected by fertile valleys which provide sustenance at a minimum expenditure of toil.

Kiau-Chau is a splendid harbour and, in regard to Pekin, of great strategical importance. The German occupation of the harbour and as much of the surrounding territory as they could bring under their influence was, they declared, only to provide a gateway to China and an open door for German trade.

The trade did not, however, progress under German administration of the territory. There [Pg 180] were no means of transport, and until railways could be constructed the port could only supply and draw from its immediate neighbourhood.

Only Germans frequented Kiau-Chau and trade decreased, as the natives cordially disliked the inquisitorial ways of the official system.

The chief value of Shantung is in its mineral deposits—principally coal, and coal easily takes the first place amongst articles of export. Iron ore, gold, galena (lead and silver), and copper are found in considerable quantities.

The principal agricultural products are wheat, millet, Indian corn, pulse, arrowroot, castor-oil, vegetables, and fruit.

Wax is a considerable article of trade, while seri-culture (silk) forms an important industry.

Silkworms are fed on mulberry, oak, lettuce, or vine leaves; and the nature and quality of the silk depends upon the character of the food. The worms fed on mulberry and lettuce leaves produce the lighter forms of silk, those on vine leaves a silk of a deeper yellow colour verging on red, while the oak-leaf-fed worms produce the well-known pongee, chifu or Shantung silks. This latter is not as fine as the mulberry or lettuce silk but is of more practical use and of better wear.

The soya bean, cultivated so extensively and profitably in Japan, the oil cake made therefrom, and cotton are also produced by the Chinese in the Shantung province.

[Pg 181]

The exports from Kiau-Chau, according to Chinese statistics, amounted in 1912 to about £1,250,000; while the exports reached £1,750,000.

Germany brought under her sway in the Shantung Peninsula an area of about 120 square miles.

The German population in Kiau-Chau, exclusive of troops, was only about 2,100 in 1913, but the peninsula was strongly garrisoned. The Chinese population centred about Tsingtau and amounted to nearly 54,000.

Immediately after their occupation of the Shantung province the Germans entered into negotiations (which were probably conducted in the usual Prussian way) with the Chinese authorities, and a concession was granted for the continuation of the Shantung railway to a junction with the great cross-country railway Pekin-Hankau, the German object being of course to establish a direct Kiau-Chau-Pekin trade.

In 1914 a new service of steamships via the Suez Canal from Hamburg to the American Pacific coast was inaugurated, and the liners calling at Tsingtau, in order to carry goods to the United States and Canada without reshipment, provided a fortnightly service for Tsingtau.

A German writer says: "The mountainous neighbourhood of Tsingtau is, thanks to German afforestation, beginning to get a different character. Where formerly only rough open country was to be seen, timber and orchards are filling the slopes. [Pg 182] The Chinese work voluntarily for the Government, and receive payment in seeds, shrubs, and trees for their own property."

The Germans made every effort for the germanisation of Shantung, and schools were established where science and technical science were taught; and the students, according to the same writer, "first learned German and in this way became messengers of German civilisation all over China," for which blessing China has not, seemingly, exhibited any marked degree of gratitude.

Kiau-Chau and Tsingtau were fortified and made as impregnable fortresses as modern science could construct, and all German proceedings indicated that any "ultimate retrocession to China" of the province was extremely problematical.

The outbreak of the war of 1914 gave Japan an opportunity of paying off to Germany both the capital and accumulated interest of the score she had held to Germany's debit ever since the latter's unwarrantable intrusion into her sphere.

The capital consisted of an announcement in the early stages of the war of Japan's intention to take action to protect the general interests in the Far East, "keeping especially in view the independence and integrity of China," and in the delivery on the 15th August of an ultimatum to Germany.

The interest was provided by the ultimatum being couched in almost identical terms with Germany's ultimatum to Japan sixteen years previously.

[Pg 183]

The following is the text of the ultimatum:

"We consider it highly important and necessary in the present situation to take measures to remove the causes of all disturbance of peace in the Far East, and to safeguard general interests as contemplated in the agreement between Japan and Great Britain.

"In order to secure firm and enduring peace in Eastern Asia, the establishment of which is the aim of the said agreement, the Imperial Japanese Government sincerely believes it to be its duty to give advice to the Imperial German Government to carry out the following two propositions:—

"(1) Withdraw immediately from Japanese and Chinese waters the German men-of-war and armed vessels of all kinds, and to disarm at once all those which cannot be withdrawn.

"(2) To deliver, on a date not later than 15th September, to the Imperial Japanese authorities without condition or compensation the entire leased territory of Kiau-Chau with a view to the eventual restoration of the same to China.

"The Imperial Japanese Government announces at the same time that in the event of its not receiving by noon on 23rd August an answer from the Imperial German Government signifying unconditional acceptance of the above advice offered by the Imperial Japanese Government, Japan will be compelled to take such action as it may deem necessary to meet the situation."

[Pg 184]

The ultimatum caused a sensation in China, as it was stated that China was fully of the intention "eventually" to regain possession of Kiau-Chau by her own resources. The Chinese Government in perturbation expressed the opinion that the only course for Germany was to cancel the lease of Kiau-Chau and hand the territory back to China.

The United States of America intimated, as an expression of their view, that the United States would have been better pleased if the word "eventually" in the ultimatum had been better defined.

On the 23rd August Japan declared war upon Germany, and immediately proceeded, with the assistance of British warships and men, to blockade the harbour of Kiau-Chau and invest Tsingtau, which was the key to the situation.

The German cruiser Emden was at Tsingtau on the outbreak of war and got to sea before the blockade.

The Emden had a short but by no means inglorious career. Under her resourceful, gallant and courteous Commander, Von Müller, she cruised the Bay of Bengal and destroyed British shipping to the value of over £1,000,000; she bombarded Madras, causing appreciable damage, and her final exploit of note was to steam boldly into the British port of Penang, disguised by rigging up a dummy extra funnel and flying the Japanese flag, where she sank a Russian cruiser and a French torpedo-boat destroyer.

[Pg 185]

On 10th November, however, she arrived off Cocos Islands, and while a landing party was busy destroying the wireless and cable apparatus there she was discovered by the Australian cruiser H.M.A.S. Sydney, by whom she was engaged, driven ashore and burnt.

The Shantung German possession made a strenuous resistance, but after two months' investment by land and blockade by sea, surrendered to the joint British and Japanese force, and the dream of a German Empire in the Far East was dissipated.

The fall of Tsingtau and Kiau-Chau was a rending blow to German prestige in the East, and its severity excited bitter comments on this extinguishment of what was in German papers described as "a shining testimony to German culture."

Poor old kultur! It has of late had many a heavy burden to bear and is now entrusted with the final destruction of Japan, for according to a leading German paper: "The Japanese have assisted England in destroying the most brilliant work of German colonisation (save the mark!). England will reap the harvest sown by her short-sighted Government in a time not so far distant.

"Germany has lost Kiau-Chau, but not for ever; and when eventually the time of reckoning arrives then as unanimously as what is now a cry of pain will a great shout of rejoicing ring through Germany—'Woe to Nippon.'"

So both England and Japan had better look out.

[Pg 187]


Quick Links to Index Letters
[A]    [B]    [C]     [D]    [E]    [F]     [G]    [H]    [I]     [J]    [K]    [L]     [M]    [N]    [O]     [P]    [Q]    [R]     [S]    [T]    [U]     [V]    [W]    [Z]

Africa, East, 84
——, area and features, 97
——, British explorers, 86
——, German exploitation, 98
——, Germans engineer rebellion, 95
——, Germany annexes, 91
——, Germany obtains Kilima 'Njaro, 93
——, history, 84
——, jewel of German possessions, 107
——, Portuguese status, 93
——, products, 101
——, railways, 101
——, terrorism of natives, 96
Africa, German wireless, 66
Africa, South West, 36
——, area, 69
——, boundaries, 65
——, British operations, 82
——, Herero rebellion, 70
——, physical features, 73
——, products, 74
——, railways, 76
Africa, West, 109
——, Germany annexes Togoland, 112
——, Germany's entry into, 110
——, history, 109
Agadir crisis, 30
Angra Pequena, British subjects' position, 55
——, H.M.S. Boadicea at, 59
——, possession of, 41
Arrowroot, 180
Asbestos, 75
Australia in the Pacific, 129
Australian Colonies, conference on the Pacific Islands, 133
Austria, emulation of Prussia, 19

Bananas, 121, 161
Bêche-de-mer, 166
Bechuanaland, Boer action, 64
——, Rhodes's steps, 65
Belgian Congo, 87
Bernhardi, General von, on Germany's "place in the sun," 28
——, views on Colonies, 32
Beyers, General, defeat and death, 82
——, rebels, 81
Birds, 162
Bismarck, Otto von, 18, 19, 21, 22, 29, 45, 57, 91, 111
Boers, the, as pioneers, 39
——, in South West Africa, 77
——, Republics in Bechuanaland, 64
——, view of Germans, 47
Bönn, Dr, on native policy, 33
Botha, General Louis, 79
——, takes field, 82
British policy in Africa, 41
—— sea supremacy, 28
—— vacillation, 24, 53
[Pg 188]
Cape Colony, danger of being shut in, 50
Caprivi Treaty, 25, 66, 77, 83, 94
Carbonate of soda, 107
Carnarvon, Lord, refuses to annex New Guinea, 132
Castor-oil, 180
Cazou, 106
Chillies, 106
China and trade treaties, 174
—— and the Western nations, 172
——, German wedge inserted into, 174
——, the "mailed fist," 179
——, war with Japan, 175
Coal, 180
Cocoa, 117, 121, 154, 166
Coffee, 101, 102, 154, 166
Congo Free State, 88
Cook, Captain, 128
Copper, 75, 180
Copra, 102, 120, 154, 162, 166
Cotton, 101, 117, 120, 166

Damaraland, 41
Dar-es-Salaam, 95
—— bombarded, 108
De Wet, General, defeat and capture, 82
——, rebels, 81
Diamonds, 75
Dutch in Pacific, 127, 130

Elliott, Major, stops rebellion in South West Africa, 70
Emden, the, 184, 185

France in the East, 176, 177
—— in West Africa, 109
Frere, Sir Bartle, 42, 46, 53, 90

Galena, 75, 180
German Colonial Empire limits, 31
—— Colonial trade, 27
—— Colonisation Society, 20
—— Confederation of 1814, 17
—— East African Society, 91
—— Emperor, 18
—— Emperor, letter to Lord Tweedmouth, 31
—— industries, 26
—— native policy, 31
—— naval aspirations, 31
Germans and natives, 34
—— as colonisers, 32
—— in America, 33
—— in Brazil, 33
—— in Cape Colony, 33
German South West Africa, 24
Germany and native treaties, 91
—— annexes South West Africa, 62
——, aspirations in Rhodesia, 55
——, aspirations in South Africa, 53
—— at Angra Pequena, 56
—— "a world Power," 28
——, deprecatory spirit, 31, 61
——, emigration, 21
—— enters colonisation field, 23
——, false conception of Boer character, 79
——, first German Colony, 44
——, ideas of expansion, 26
—— in the Pacific, 25, 124
—— in West Africa, 110
[Pg 189]
Germany in Zanzibar, 24, 89
——, native policy, 70
——, naval demonstration at Zanzibar, 92
——, place in Moroccan affairs, 29
——, population, 20
——, secret treaty with Russia qua China, 178
——, threat to Japan, 176, 185
——, ultimatum to Japan, 176
——, wireless system in Africa, 66
Gold, 75, 107, 167, 180
Grain, 101
Granville, Lord, and Bismarck, 57, 111
Great Britain in Africa, 36
Great Namaqualand and Cape Colony, 61
Guano, 74
Gum-copal, 101

Heligoland, exchange for Zanzibar, 25, 92
Hides, 73, 102

Iron, 75, 180
Ivory, 102, 154, 166

Japan, German ultimatum, 176
——, her claims in China, 175
——, ultimatum to Germany, 183

Kalahari Desert, 41
Kamerun, 24, 109, 113, 119, 120, 122
Kiau-Chau, 172, 178, 179, 180
——, fall of, 185
——, Japan's ultimatum to Germany, 183
Kiel, 18
Kilima 'Njaro, 25, 88, 93

Lead, 75
Lebaudy, M., 88
Leopold, King of the Belgians, 87
Luderitz, Herr, at Angra Pequena, 55
——, at Santa Lucia, 64
Luderitzbucht, 64, 82

Magellan, 130
"Mailed fist," the, 178
Maize, 118
Marble, 74
Maritz, General, 79
Merriman, John X., 54
Mica, 107
Mohair, 73
Morocco, 29

Nachtigal, Dr, 111
Namaqualand, Great, 41
Natives, German exploitation of, 116
New Guinea, 25, 130, 166
—— and Queensland, 132
New Zealand offers to protect Samoa, 144

Oil, 167

Pacific Islands, 124, 129, 131, 133
[Pg 190]
Palm kernels, 117
Palm-oil, 102, 117, 120, 154, 162
Pea-nuts, 106
Penguin eggs, 74
Peters, Dr Carl, 90
Phosphates, 156, 166
Portugal, 36, 93, 109, 124, 126
Prussian militarism, 17
Pulse, 180

Queensland and New Guinea, 132

Rhodes, Cecil, 19, 54
Rhodesia, German efforts, 55
Rubber, 73, 101, 102, 117, 154, 166
Russia in China, 174

Sago, 161
Samoa, 131, 133, 136, 144, 150, 154
——, Calliope and hurricane, 142
——, German annexation, 147
——, the British occupy, 168
Sandal-wood, 166
Schleswig-Holstein, 18
"Scramble for Africa," 24
Seal skins, 74
Seddon, Hon. R., 148
Silk, 180
Silver, 74
Sisal hemp, 101
South Africa, 34, 53
Stanley, H. M., 87
Stevenson. R. L., 149
St Lucia Bay, 30
Swakopmund, 82

Tangier, German Emperor's visit to, 29
Tannin, 107
Tasmania, 24
Timber, 107, 115, 121, 167
Tin, 75
Tobacco, 154, 166
Togoland, 66, 109, 112, 114, 117
Tortoise-shell, 166
Transvaal, German aspirations, 30
Treaty, Anglo-German, 94
Treitschke, von, and "Greater Germany," 28
Trepang, 166

Upington, Sir Thomas, 54

Van Diemen, 130
Von der Decken, 87
Von Weber, Ernst, 45
Von Wissmann, Captain H., 95

Walfisch Bay, 41
Warren, Sir Charles, 54
Warren expedition, 54
Wax, 180
——, bees', 101
Wei-hai-wei, Great Britain's lease, 177
Whales, 74
Wheat, 180
Wireless, Togoland, 118
Wool, 73
"World Power," 29

Zanzibar, 85, 90, 94, 96



[A] "Modern Germany," by J. Ellis Barker.

[B] Ibid.

[C] "Modern Germany," by J. Ellis Barker.

[D] Government Paper C—4265, 1884.

[E] Rooi-Nek, Red Neck, served to describe Englishmen owing to their exposed necks burning brick-red under South African suns.

[F] Machela.—Hammock slung on a bamboo which is carried on the shoulders of six or eight boys, according to the weight of the traveller; a form of travelling universal in Central and Eastern Africa.

[G] Even to-day the business of the Portuguese Colonies on the East Coast of Africa is carried on with Lisbon via Goa.

[H] From H. B. M.'s Consular Report, 1910.

[I] "In Far New Guinea," by Henry Newton. Seeley Service & Co. Price, 16s.

Transcriber's notes:

- Different spelling of 'resistance' and 'résistance' results from different usage and languages.
- Ligatures used as given in book.

End of Project Gutenberg's Germany's Vanishing Colonies, by Gordon Le Sueur


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