16 SEPTEMBER 1899, Page 12


[To THE EDITOR OF THE "SPECTATOR."] SIR,—I should be glad if you would permit me to comment on a note of yours on the letter of " W. W. V." which appeared in the Spectator of August 26th in connection with the peace made in 1881 with the Boers. You contend that that peace had not a "moral basis," because Mr. Gladstone, when he was beaten, changed his mind, because it was not worth his while to go on with the war. The inference is that after Majuba the Government changed its mind. This is incorrect, as the Government had already, before Majuba, entered into negotiations with the Boers ; and they subsequently deter- mined, quite unanimously, that the fact that Sir G. Colley had undertaken offensive operations against the Boers con- trary to his instructions, and had been beaten, should not prejudice the situation, but that the negotiations should

[Our correspondent forgets that when Mr. Gladstone came into office he deliberately and distinctly rejected the appeal made to him by the Boers for retrocession. After they had taken up arms he abandoned the decision he had come to while they only used a peaceful form of appeal. Even then if his decision was changed before, and not after, Majuba, our argument stands.—En. Spectator.]