Page:Great Speeches of the War.djvu/313

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Great Speeches of the War

of their fleet was under our control before war was declared. A New Zealand military force was at once offered, accepted, and mobilized—and even the Maoris insisted on sharing the white man's burden. [Hear, hear.] A Ceylon contingent is also in Egypt, and a Fiji force is now on its way home.[Hear, hear.]

There remains one other Dominion—South Africa. [Cheers.] I have seen some ill-conditioned and ignorant comments on the fact that South Africa has sent no troops to Europe. These things are the carpings of fools—[cheers]—who have not read and are not fit to write history. I should be the last to make comparisons of the value of Dominion services, but this I will say, that none have been or could be greater than that rendered by the Union of South Africa. [Loud cheers.] General Botha has undertaken, for reasons of Imperial importance, to attack, to capture, and to occupy German South-West Africa. [Hear, hear.] The Imperial Government knew then and know now that he can do so, but they know also that it will be no light task. The Africander is proud of the unstinted trust which has been reposed in him by the British people since their war; they know what freedom and self-government mean and from whom they have sprung. The minority of rebels are shaming their fellows and defaming their honour. They are being dealt with by their own leader and by men of their own race, and the sordid chapter of sorry treachery closed, I hope, with the capture or surrender of its deluded dupes. [Cheers.] The British people can trust the Government of the Union of South Africa to exercise in their own discretion such punishment or clemency as seems fit to them with their knowledge of the local situation, and we and they may turn now with hope and confidence to the larger undertaking of the reduction of the neighbouring German Colony. [Hear, hear.]

I need hardly remind you that India and the self-governing Dominions are only a part of the British Empire. There remain the whole of the Colonies and Protectorates in which I take a special interest, for they are more individually under the personal control of the Colonial Secretary. I have been "snowed under" by day and by night ever since August 4 with contributions almost embarrassing in their variety and amount, but always splendid in their spirit and intention. [Hear, hear.] From the remotest islands of the Caribbees or the Pacific my none too frequent rest has been broken with telegrams proffering—pressing on me—men, money, goods, pro-