Lord Salisbury on Thursday, when moving the second reading of
the Bill for the cession of Heligoland, made an exceedingly able speech. He showed that the island was not only worthless, but positively injurious to Great Britain. It imports nothing from us, yet in the event of a war, a British squadron would be locked up by the effort to protect a sand dune without a harbour. On the other hand, Zanzibar is not only the centre of Airican commerce, but the one place from which the supplies of money for the slave-trade is derived. The Premier then diverged into the policy of the general agreement with Germany, and maintained that it was an excellent one, the only thing given up being the land-route between South Africa and the sources of the Nile. This route, regarded as a sovereignty, would be a most incon- venient possession, being a narrow strip, 480 miles long, in the interior of Africa, while as a trade-route it is valueless, merchants dreading land-transit over continental and savage districts. They greatly prefer the sea. The criticisms on this speech offered by Lord Rosebery and Lord Granville were very moderate, their great point being that the Heligolanders ought to have been previously consulted. Lord Salisbury had, however, previously answered them by showing that Heligo- land was not a Colony, but a military position, the inhabitants of which, like the inhabitants of a fortress, cannot be consulted in treaties. Moreover, the Heligolanders only rejoin their countrymen.