What Could An Opposition Do If A Vote Of The Government
Might At Any Moment Unseat Them All?
It was clear that a measure
which contained such provisions must be very carefully sifted
before a British Government could accept it as a final settlement
and a complete concession of justice to its subjects.
On the other
hand, it naturally felt loth to refuse those clauses which offered
some prospect of an amelioration in their condition. It took the
course, therefore, of suggesting that each Government should
appoint delegates to form a joint commission which should inquire
into the working of the proposed Bill before it was put into a
final form. The proposal was submitted to the Raad upon August 7th,
with the addition that when this was done Sir Alfred Milner was
prepared to discuss anything else, including arbitration without
the interference of foreign powers.
The suggestion of this joint commission has been criticised as an
unwarrantable intrusion into the internal affairs of another
country. But then the whole question from the beginning was about
the internal affairs of another country, since the internal
equality of the white inhabitants was the condition upon which
self-government was restored to the Transvaal. It is futile to
suggest analogies, and to imagine what France would do if Germany
were to interfere in a question of French franchise. Supposing that
France contained as many Germans as Frenchmen, and that they were
ill-treated, Germany would interfere quickly enough and continue to
do so until some fair modus vivendi was established.
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