10 MARCH 1900, Page 12




SIR.—Yon have struck a right note in advocating the erection of a monument to those of our Colonial fellow-countrymen who have fallen in the present war. You insist, and rightly, that the monument should be erected in the most central position available in London. I would venture to suggest an appropriate site for the memorial. The ornamental garden known as Parliament Square seems to me to be at present, with its mean and trumpery cast-iron railings and lamp- posts, utterly unworthy of its surroundings. This spot could be described as the "navel" of the Empire. On the one side we have the Abbey, where rest the bones of almost every great man our race has pi oduced; on the other, West- minster Hall, itself almost an epitome of English history, and beyond it the home of the Mother of Parliaments. Surely this is the place where the monument should be erected. We do not, perhaps, yet fully grasp the significance of the action of our countrymen overseas. For the first time in our history the daughter-countries have come in their strength to the aid of the Motherland in the hour of her need,— and this unsolicited. The Colonies have shown that they have attained their majority and feel that they too must bear their share of the burden of Empire, and the logical out- come of this will be that they will eventually claim a share in Imperial councils and a voice in the settlement of Imperial questions. Surely this is the beginning of a new era in our national life, although those of us who have already attained middle age may not live to see its ultimate developments! Let us then commemorate it worthily, and erect at the "navel" of the Empire—between the great Abbey, which contains the ashes of our mighty dead, and the Palace of Westminster—a monument as magnificent as our artistic limitations will enable us to achieve. Sweep away the paltry and mean railings ; erect the monument in the centre of the green, and place the four statues of statesmen—already in position—diagonally at the four corners of the memorial, no unworthy position for British statesmen to occupy.—I am,

[We think Lord Frederic Hamilton's choice of site quite excellent, and sincerely hope it may be found possible to adopt it.—E. Spectator.]