Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace :
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)

Protests Against War (S569: 1899)

Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A letter to the Editor printed on page 7 of the 2 September 1899 issue of The Manchester Guardian. To link directly to this page connect with:

    Mr. Alfred Russel Wallace writes:--"I feel very strongly that our Government has no right whatever to interfere in the internal affairs of the Transvaal, and that all questions of the franchise, of taxation, and of education are essentially internal, and are, I believe, always held to be out of the sphere of diplomatic action between independent nations. I hold, further, that in the relations of England to the Transvaal we have been almost always in the wrong--that to talk of our having 'given them independence,' as most newspapers do, is an insult, since we only restored that independence which we had taken from them admittedly unjustly, and on such false representations as are now being continually made. Although a Radical of the extremest type, I uphold liberty for nations, however small, as well as for individuals; and I hold that the Boers are fully justified in being extremely cautious in allowing political rights to the mob of gold-grabbers, speculators, and swindlers who are striving to get the government into their hands. I hold that the so-called development of the country by these gold-grabbers, &c. is really its curse--that the Boers are fully justified in allowing their gold to be worked on any terms they please, and that they would have done well to claim much higher royalty than they do, even 50 per cent of all the produce if they had thought proper; and, lastly, I hold that Chamberlain's aggressive tone and conduct is the cause of all the present trouble. I see nothing to be done but to get up petitions all over the country in favour of non-interference in the internal affairs of the Transvaal, and to let it be known that it will be made a test question in all future Parliamentary elections. I will vote for no man who will not accept and vote for that elementary principle of justice to a weak nation."

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