Page:1902 Encyclopædia Britannica - Volume 26 - AUS-CHI.pdf/445

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ought to assist in their own external defence.” The decision was accepted as the basis of Imperial policy. The first effect was the gradual withdrawing of Imperial troops from the self-governing colonies, together with the encouragement of the development of local military systems by the loan, when desired, of Imperial military experts. A call was also made for larger military contributions from some of the Crown colonies. The committee of 1859 had emphasized in its report the fact that the principal dependence of the Colonies for defence is necessarily upon the British navy, and in 1865, exactly 100 years after the Quartering Act, which had been the cause of the troubles that led to the independence of the United States, a ‘ ‘ Colonial Naval Defence ” Act was passed which gave power to the Colonies to provide ships of war, steamers, and volunteers for their own defence, and in case of necessity to place them at the disposal of the Crown. In 1868 the Canadian Militia Act gave the fully organized nucleus of a local army to Canada. In the same year the Imperial troops were withdrawn from New Zealand, leaving the colonial militia to deal with the native war still in progress. In 1870 the last Imperial troops were withdrawn from Australia, and in 1873 it was officially announced that military expenditure in the Colonies was almost “wholly for Imperial purposes.” In 1875 an Imperial officer went to Australia to report for the Australian Government upon Australian defence. The appointment in 1879 of a royal commission to consider the question of Imperial defence, which presented its report in 1882, led to a considerable development and reorganization of the system of Imperial fortifications. Coaling stations were also selected with reference to the trade routes. In 1885 rumours of war roused a very strong feeling in connexion with the still unfinished and in many cases unarmed condition of the fortifications recommended by the commission of 1879. Military activity was stimulated throughout the empire, and the Colonial Defence Committee was created to supply a muchfelt need for organized direction and advice to colonial administrations acting necessarily in independence of each other. The question of colonial defence was among the most important of 'the subjects discussed at the Colonial Conference held in London in 1887, and it was at this Conference that the Australasian colonies first agreed to contribute to the expense of their own naval defence. From this date the principle of local responsibility for self-defence has been fully accepted. With the exception of Natal all the self-governing colonies have provided practically for their own military requirements. India has its own native army, and pays for the maintenance within its frontiers of an Imperial garrison. Early in the summer of 1899, when hostilities in South Africa appeared to be imminent, the governments of the principal Colonies took occasion to express their approval of the policy pursued by the Imperial Government, and offers were made, by the governments of India, the Australasian colonies, Canada, Hong-Kong, the Federal Malay states, some of the West African and other colonies, to send contingents for active service in the event of war. On the outbreak of hostilities these offers, on the part of the self-governing Colonies, were accepted, and colonial contingents upwards of 30,000 strong were among the most efficient sections of the British fighting force. The manner in which these colonial contingents were raised, their admirable fighting qualities, and the service rendered by them in the field, have disclosed altogether new military possibilities within the empire, and the reorganization of the army on an Imperial footing is among the more probable developments of the near future. As at present organized the army is divided into two



main sections, namely, the British and the Indian armies, of which the strength is roughly as follows, though for fuller details reference should be made to the article Armies :— British. Regular forces, home and colonial . . 203,852 Army reserve, 1st class .... 90,000 Militia 139,237 Yeomanry 11,907 Volunteers ...... 265,061 Total, home and colonial . . 710,057 Regular forces on Indian establishment . 73,484 783,541 Indian Army. Regular forces on Indian establishment already noted. Native Army.

Artillery Cavalry . Sappers and miners. Infantry . Total native army

Non-comEuropean j Native missioned Officers. Officers. Officers and Privates. 33 54 2,001 2,088 358 619 21,955 22,932 65 488 3,695 3,142 1122 2048 108,755 111,925 1578 i 3209

135,853 140,640

The feudatory and dependent native states have native armies of their own which, according to the latest available estimates, number about 350,000 men, with upwards of 4000 guns. Offers of military service in South Africa in 1900 were received from some of the principal feudatory states. Special expenditure has been made by the Indian Government upon coast defences armed with modern breechloading guns. Large sums have also been spent upon external and border defences, and an establishment of two coast-defence ironclads, a despatch vessel, two firstclass torpedo gunboats, seven first-class torpedo boats, as well as armed gunboats, Ac., is maintained. With the exceptions of Natal and the garrisons of the naval stations of Cape Town and Halifax, no imperial garrisons are under normal conditions maintained in the selfgoverning Colonies. In the Crown Colonies garrisons are maintained in Gibraltar, Malta, Mauritius, Sierra Leone, St Helena, Ceylon, Straits Settlements, Hong-Kong, and the West Indies. There are Imperial naval stations at Simon’s Bay, Trincomalee, Bermuda, Esquimalt, Halifax, Malta, Gibraltar, St Lucia, Ascension, Hong-Kong, and Wei-hai-Wei. The important questions of justice, religion, and instruction will be found dealt with in detail under the headings of separate sections of the empire. Systems of justice throughout the empire have a close resemblance to each other, and the Privy Council of the House of Lords, on which the self-governing colonies and India are represented, constitutes a Supreme Court of Appeal for the entire empire; but common law varies according to its origin in some important divisions. Religion, of which the forms are infinitely varied, is everywhere free, except in cases where the exercise of religious rites leads to practices foreign to accepted laws of humanity. Systems of instruction of which the aim is generally similar in the white portions of the Empire, and is directed towards giving to every individual the basis of a liberal education, are governed wholly by local requirements. Native schools are established in all settled communities under British rule. (f. l. s.) S. II. — 51