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charges or privileges are foisted upon the public economy. The whole Chinese civil service should be at once reorganized so far, at least, as salary goes. After all, the number of indispensable officials is very limited. Including the 1,300 hien-city magistrates, who are the true essence of government, and the prefects, intendants, judges, treasurers, governors, and viceroys above them, there are not 2,000 commissioned" civil officers in the whole empire, and these would be well paid with £2,000,000 a year. To provide this first charge, an increase upon import duties should be consented to, and steps should be taken to totally abolish
likin and native Custom-houses.
The one innovation should not be granted without the other. It must be remembered that as much purely native or coast trade passes through Sir Robert Hart's hands as foreign trade; not only should the taxation upon this (imports and exports) be remodelled, but all native junk trade (upon the coast and main river routes only) should be gradually placed under the Foreign Customs. The Chinese Government should, in the first instance, be left to select its own officials in the old way, but steps should be taken without loss of time to improve the system of selection in friendly consultation with the Emperor's Government, which should be strengthened and respected in every possible way, and spared all ridicule or loss of "face." Provision of some sort would have to be made during a number of years for the hordes of hungry expectants, five of whom probably exist for each of the 2,000 available commissions, i.e., 10,000 in all. This would be one of the most difficult matters; but openings would undoubtedly be found by degrees in the reformed administrations; in any case, their rights are vested, and under no circumstances ought a large educated class, possessing legal expectations, to be cast penniless and discontented upon an empire in process of reorganization. The achievements of Lord Cromer in Egypt prove that all this is well within the possible capacity of a man like Sir Robert Hart, who is by far the most faithful, self-effacing, and industrious foreign
servant the Manchus ever had; and if he is willing at the age of sixty-five to remain in harness, it is quite certain that he would be a most grata persona. The next best man in the Far East is Mr. J. McLeavy Brown. As to the army and navy, recent events prove that effective reorganization could rapidly proceed upon beaten lines, and that the Chinese possess admirable raw material.
If Great Britain alone were concerned, there would be no difficulty in turning out a regenerated "China for the Chinese" in one single generation, just as has been done in the case of Egypt or Burma. Under the British flag all men are equal before the law, and all white men have equal social privileges besides, the term "white man white man" now including by extension "Japanese "; but, unfortunately, the broad and generous principles which have made such a success out of British colonial administration are not shared by France, Germany, or Russia; and consequently, whilst Great Britain would be quite content to utilize French, Russian, or German administrators, working on British principles of equity or equality, it is almost certain that the officers of those Powers, if trusted with control, would act on the principle of privilege for themselves: they have not got genuine freedom in their blood. Certainly, Germany has made some show of governing Kiao Chou upon liberal British principles, but there is no guarantee that this policy is more than a temporary makeshift in order to gain a specific end. Even if Russia were theoretically disposed to adopt a liberal attitude, and to throw her country—or, at all events, her "sphere "-frankly open to the world's competition, it is doubtful if she practically could or durst do so. The whole Russian system rests upon the ignorance and subjection of the masses. As a Russian Minister once said with warmth to me: "We are distinctly of opinion that the English system of liberty for the masses is a stupid mistake. The masses are unfit in all countries, and especially in Russia, to judge what is best for themselves; and it is for the small body of educated and trained men, who make a
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business of ruling, to decide this matter for them." Were the ruling Russians to admit Americans and Englishmen to Port Arthur and Vladivostock as we admit Russians to Hong Kong, the ignorant Russians would naturally expect equal rights and freedom for themselves. In short, Russia is bound for ever by her own principles either to keep her people in subjection and ignorance or to abandon her autocratic system. No educated nation will tolerate the "autocracy" of a mere camarilla. As to France, she is as splendid in science as she is hopeless in commerce. Not a single French possession of importance in the whole world can be said to pay its way satisfactorily. It is like a gay old beau keeping up a big harem to vindicate his decaying virility. In every case it is "exclusive privileges for the French ;" and if the French cannot succeed themselves on those terms, "then no one else shall succeed under our flag." The United States are equally anxious with ourselves to obtain the open door for their own benefit when they are outside, but they are far from equally ready with ourselves to extend the benefits of an open door to others when they themselves are the keepers. Japan has proved herself up to the hilt worthy of our respect and our confidence, and it is a pity that a prominent man like Mr. Mitford ever allowed himself to print in the Times so narrow a view as that subsequently echoed by the Spectator. In courtesy and chivalry, in military capacity, statesmanship, and personal bravery, Japan is fully the equal of any Continental nation. Though the Japanese stature is small, and the skin yellow, the stuff within is as worthy of our friendship and alliance as any French, German, or Russian material, and Japan has fully earned her right to have a leading vote in the question. Her bravery has saved her from the Asiatic ruin. Unfortunately, Japan's commercial principles are not so sound or trustworthy as those of her political administration; but she is a nation with such immense pluck and capacity for introspective reform, that it is quite possible she may mend her ways and become more liberal even in that respect;
perhaps the present want of liberality is partly owing to incomplete confidence in her own strength to deal judicially with all foreign rights under the powers given her by recent treaties. She has not yet the full courage of her equality and independence. However that may all be, in arranging a future for China, we must calculate with the opposing interests of at least five great Powers-Germany, America, Japan, Russia, and France-all of whom are now conterminous with China; and it would certainly be a great triumph for Christian diplomacy if the six Powers chiefly concerned could settle between themselves and China some fair scheme which should secure at once lasting peace and independence for China coupled with an equality of right for themselves.
If Chinese laws and the administration of them were at all tolerable, or even possible, it would assuredly be a desirable thing to get rid at once of extra-territoriality, which saps the vitality of any nation to which it is applied. This was the great bugbear of shame to the Japanese, who fought long and fiercely for its abolition. How is it possible for a Government in whose face any stranger can shake his fist to stand with dignity before its own people? Picture the result to ourselves if all the German waiters, Italian organ-grinders, and French cooks in London were taken gingerly by policemen before their own consuls whenever found offending against London by-laws. And imagine the further effect if Swedenborgians, Oneida Free Lovers, Mormons, Skoptsi, and Shakers had their agents getting up Salvation Army brawls with the colliers of Wigan, the crofters of Scotland, and the peasantry of Connaught on petty subjects of "doctrine" every day. Certainly, it is the fault of the Chinese that their judicial procedure is so barbarous that concessions such as Europe has made to Japan are at present impossible; yet it must be remembered that thirty years ago it would have seemed as absurd to grant "home justice" even to Japan. But if we must administer the law upon our own subjects in China,
at least we ought to take care that they do not press their privileges beyond the limit of reason. Missionaries may fairly have secured to them the right to insist upon entry into towns where there is manifestly bad faith in the attempt to keep them out; but they ought to be subjected to local by-laws and customs like anyone else, and it should not be tolerated that they take any native under their protection. Better have a foreign judge to administer Chinese law for China than have appeals to foreign courts. It is, however, a hopeless, endless circle as things now stand. The authorities will always show bad faith so long as it is thought to be against the public interest for missionaries to be in their localities; and missionaries will always be querulous and aggressive so long as they see a dishonest attempt is being made to curtail their freedom of action. The only correct attitude is that adopted by the Orthodox Church, which tolerates no internal interference, and admits any convert, but makes no attempts whatever at conversion or proselytism. So long as Catholics prowled about in secret, and secured the faithful at the risk of life and torture, there was at least something elevating in the idea of a teacher's courage or a convert's firm belief in face of such dangers. But now, although the medical missions do splendid work, and one or two of the purely proselytizing missions have many members who patiently live hard and uncomfortable lives amidst hostile and ungrateful populations, it may be truthfully said of the body of missionaries—fully admitting the good intentions of all-that as Catholics, even if earnest, they are often involuntary mischief-makers, whilst some Protestants, even if earnest, are unwittingly injudicious. both cases the native article produced by their efforts is too often void of sincerity or reality, and no one is less. able than a missionary to discern it. In any case, the cost of making this hybrid article is totally disproportionate to the risk and expense incurred. In 1898 there were fifty-four Protestant missions established in the eighteen Chinese and three Manchurian provinces, each