27 JANUARY 1900, Page 19

On Tuesday Mr. Courtney made a speech which, though, in

our opinion, singularly devoid of argument and dealing with a purely ideal conception of the Transvaal State, showed courage and independence. He appears to think that the Boers did not want to fight, and only invaded our territory north, south, east, and west, at Tuli, at Kimberley, at Mafeking, and in Natal, because they misunderstood the Colonial Office despatch. We cannot agree. President Kruger is one of the shrewdest of men, and if he had really desired peace he would even at the last moment have offered a bond-fide five-year franchise. Does any one suppose that if he had done so there would have been war ? Mr. Courtney agreed that peace could not be made before our strength has been vindicated, but he seems to think that if we could get the Boers to give a five-year franchise, to demolish the forts, and to reduce their armaments, we might respect their independence. Mr. Courtney seems to forget altogether the unfortunate people of Natal. We wonder what they would think of our re-establishing a State on their border able and ready to once more overrun their farms and villages.