10 MARCH 1900, Page 13



Sin,—If the generous and friendly treatment of Boer prisoners, which you suggest in the Spectator of March 3rd,

were accompanied by the removal of Mr. Rhodes from South Africa, good results would no doubt follow. But when you say that the Republics, if left free will again arm and con- spire, do you not forget that in any case it will be impossible to prevent their having rifles—their effective weapon—which, if deprived of freedom, they are sure to use in a guerilla war the first time we are at war with a Continental Power ? Again, you deprecate Dutch supremacy. But over whom Except in Johannesburg, the Transvaal is, and will remain, Dutch. I contend that the Transvaalers after the war will no longer despise us, or think generosity weakness, as they may have done since Majuba, and that Johannesburg should be dealt with separately. I should like to see the forts at Pretoria demolished, the guns carried off, Johannesburg under an English Governor till the mines (in twenty-five years) are worked out and the miners vanished ; all mine profits, in- cluding monopolies, &c., now belonging to the Transvaal Government, appropriated by ours ; and the proceeds, which would be increased by a larger supply of native labour when it was under Government regulation, devoted tl) to reim- bursing loyalists for war losses ; (2) to helping Boer farmers for ditto, so as to prevent famine and destitution ; (3) to paying interest on our war loan. We do not want Boer territory. The Boers want to be let alone. Minus Johannes- burg they would never have the money to build forth or bay guns again. Plus independence they would not want to du so. This settlement might displease some Pretorians and Messrs. Rhodes and Company, but it would commend itself to the British taxpayer and the Boer farmer.—I am, Sir, S..e , A SUBSCRIBER FOR FORTY YEARS.

[We shall certainly leave the Boers free, though within, not outside, the Empire. We do not agree that the Boers only wanted to be let alone. They wanted a Dutch supremacy throughout South Africa, and when it came to the point, rather than see the fulfilment of that aspiration rendered impossible, they invaded our territories, ravaged our farms, and poured shot and shell into our towns. No doubt they had strategic reasons and excuses for doing so, but we cannot help thinking it was a strange way of showing that they only wanted to be let alone.—ED. Spectator.]