[Lord Salisbury and the Scramble for Africa: The Partition of West Africa and Creation of Nigeria] Diplomatic Papers of Sir Martin Gosselin, including correspondence with Sir Percy Anderson and Sir George Goldie of the Royal NIger Company.

Lord Salisbury and the Scramble for Africa [diplomatic papers of Sir Martin Le Marchant Hadsley Gosselin (1847-1905); Sir Percy Anderson; Sir George Goldie; Royal Niger Company]
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Lord Salisbury's great strength lay in foreign affairs. During his third ministry, 1895-1902, he chose to serve as both Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary. The foreign policy he pursued was vigorous and decisive (he was being sarcastic when he used the phrase 'Splendid Isolation') and his main aim was for Britain to prevail in the Scramble for Africa. The present collection provides an intimate insider's view of the workings of Salisbury's Foreign Office at a crucial period of expansion in the history of the British Empire. It derives from the papers of the diplomat Sir Martin Le Marchant Hadsley Gosselin (1847-1905), for whom see the Oxford DNB. With the exception of one item from 1898, the material dates from just two years: 1895 - when Gosselin was Secretary to the British Embassy in Berlin - and 1897 - by which time he had been transferred to the Embassy in Paris, with the additional title of Minister Plenipotentiary. As reflected in the material, 1897 was an eventful year for Gosselin: he was one of two British commissioners to settle the question with France of 'coolie emigration' from India to Réunion, and - far more significantly - he 'served as one of the British members of the Anglo-French commission for the delimitation of the possessions and spheres of influence of the two countries to the east and west of the Niger river' (DNB). Gosselin was knighted for his work on the Commission, which led to the Anglo-French Niger Convention of 1898. (See C. Hirshfield, 'The Diplomacy of Partition: Britain, France and the Creation of Nigeria' (2012).) Fifty items, in good condition, with light signs of age and wear. Of great significance is Gosselin's eight-page memorandum of a secret conversation on the 'Niger Negotiations' at the Foreign Office between himself, Salisbury, Colonial Secretary Joseph Chamberlain, and two others in October 1897. There can be few accounts of the inner workings of late-Victorian government as accurate and vivid. For example, after explaining his view of the '3 principles which govern African annexations', Chamberlain boasts that he will soon have 4000 enrolled men on the Gold Coast and in Lagos, In reply Salisbury queries: '3000 or at any rate you will have to make a contribution?' Chamberlain's confirms the figure, explaining that he has 'found the Chancellor of the Exchequer very amenable'. Salisbury's dry retort to this is 'He must be very rich'. In the same document Chamberlain concedes that the British nation is 'not yet prepared to go to war on any W. African Question', although he hopes public opinion may be changed by the press. At one point he comments: 'If the French won't come to terms, this plan can be carried out indefinitely; till all W. Africa becomes a mere chess-board, with black & white squares representing the presence of French & English soldiers.' At the end of the document Gosselin reports his discussion of Salisbury's view of Chamberlain's position with another of those present, Sir Thomas Sanderson. Also valuable are the fifteen items of correspondence between Gosselin and 'the African thinking-machine of the British government', Sir Percy Anderson. Taken as a whole this comprises an unusually frank discussion of the German element in the 'triangular duel' in Africa between Britain, France and Germany, by two leading Foreign Office figures. It begins with an analysis of the situation in the Transvaal on the eve of the Jameson Raid. On 'the question of endeavouring to come to an African settlement with Germany' Anderson states flatly: 'England cannot allow any other Power to supersede her position as regards the Transvaal - it is a certainty that before many years are over the Dutch element will be swamped - Germany may pursue an irritating policy there and will find Kruger ready to meet her up to a certain point'. Elsewhere Anderson comments: 'Kruger and Rhodes are playing a game which Rhodes must eventually win - if they are interfered with national implications may arise, but the quarrellers will be left by the players to fight it out.' The other main topics are the Anglo-German negotiations in Togo-Hinterland and the Anglo-French Niger Negotiations, with Anderson considering the real threat of war between Britain and Franco-German alliance. Anderson considers Germany 'a terrible agitator' which has 'never played fair, and never will', and Gosselin, writing from Berlin, concurs. Also present are four copies of long dispatches from Gosselin to Salisbury. Only one - on 'the pending Niger negotiations' - concerns Africa. Among the others is a report from Berlin on 'The Emperor & his mother - his health - his flirtation with Russia'. In it Gosselin reports the 'gossip of the town' that the Kaiser's foreign policy is driven by hallucinations. He believes that 'if there is any truth in these rumours, it accounts for much that is otherwise inexplicable: it becomes, indeed, a serious matter, if a Sovereign who possesses a dominant voice in the foreign policy of this Empire is subject to halucinations [sic] & influences wh. must in the long run sway his judgment, & render him liable at any moment to sudden changes of opinion wh. no one can anticipate or provide against'. In addition to seven items relating to the Commission on 'coolie emigration', including Salisbury's letter of thanks to Gosselin, the correspondence includes highly interesting correspondence on the African question from Sir Clement Lloyd Hill (seven letters, in one of which he discusses 'the term "Nigeria"'), Sir William Everett of the Intelligence Division of the War Office (reporting that Chamberlain intends 'to proceed at once with the organization of a West African army'), Sir George Goldie of the Royal Niger Company (on 'Capt. Toutée's […] statements absolutely false in their intention and ensemble'), the British Ambassador to Berlin Sir Edward Malet (in one informing Salisbury of the German response to the 'regrettable cir[cumstan]ce' of 'Mr. Stokes' execution by the Congo Authorities'; in the other defending himself to Salisbury against criticism by the Kaiser), the British Ambassador to Paris Sir Edmund Monson (ten-page letter, in which he states that on 'the African (West) Question as a whole the more convinced am I that with this patching and petty policy we shall never come to a satisfactory conclusion', criticises his colleague the future Viscount Bertie of Thame, and confesses '[w]ithout blarney' that he 'cannot do without' Gosselin), and Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Sir Thomas Sanderson (reporting that 'Lord Salisbury told us that he acquiesced in and endorsed Mr Chamberlain's views as to the course to be observed in the discussions on West African questions'); together with copy letters from Gosselin to the French Foreign Minister Hanotaux, and the Earl of Kimberley, This last letter dates from the previous ministry, and relates to Russian affairs, as does another item, a letter to Gosselin from the German ambassador in Paris Count Alexander Münster. The following description is divided into eight sections.A: Salisbury and Chamberlain, memorandum of secret conversation 'Re Niger Negotiations', 1897B: Correspondence with Sir Percy Anderson, 1895C: Gosselin, four dispatches to Salisbury, 1895 and 1897D: Letters from Sir Clement Lloyd Hill, 1897E: Anglo-French Commission on 'coolie emigration', 1897F: Letters to Gosselin fromONE: Sir William Everett of the Intelligence Division of the War OfficeTWO: Sir George Goldie of the Royal Niger CompanyTHREE: Sir Edward Malet, British Ambassador to BerlinFOUR: Sir Edmund Monson, British Ambassador to ParisFIVE: Count Alexander Münster, German ambassador in ParisSIX: Sir Thomas Sanderson, Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign AffairsG: Gosselin, letters to French Foreign Minister Hanotaux and the Earl of Kimberley, and cypher telegramH: Five Miscellaneous items.A: Salisbury and Chamberlain, memorandum of secret conversation 'Re Niger Negotiations', 18978pp, folio. On two bifoliums with embossed government letterheads. First page headed 'Secret [last word underlined twice] D[ra]ft. | Memo. of Conversation at F. O. Oct. 16/97 - present Lord Salisbury Mr. Chamberlain Sir T Sanderson Col Everett & myself'. [i.e. Lord Salisbury [Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury] (1830-1903), Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary; Joseph Chamberlain (1836-1914), Colonial Secretary; Sir Thomas Sanderson (1841-1923), Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; Sir William Everett (1844-1908) of the War Office Intelligence Division, military topographer] Endorsed on final page: 'Dft Memo: | Secret | Conversations at F. O. re Niger negotiations | Oct 16. 97 | present | Lord Salisbury | Mr. T. Chamberlain | Sir Th. Sanderson | Col W. Everett | Mr. Gosselin'. Begins with the Chamberlain explaining 'his views on the Anglo-French difficulties in W. Africa', in the light of his claim of '3 principles which govern African annexations. (1) the Hinterland doctrine (2.) Priority of Treaties (3) Effective occupation'. At this point there is a lengthy addition in the margin regarding 'disputed validity of our Treaties' and consultation with 'the Chiefs' ('Ld. S. remarked that the local chief wd. probably side with whichever country he thought the stronger'). Chamberlain states that 'active steps are being taken to improve the British position both N. of the Gold Coast & of Lagos: "I shall have 4000 men enrolled by next month"'. To this last point Salisbury replies: '"3000" or at any rate you will have to make a contribution? | Mr. Ch. No. 4000. I have found the Chancellor of the Exchequer very amenable. And as he has a surplus he will pay the whole bill' […] | Ld S. "He must be very rich."' Chamberlain continues by stating that 'Major Northcott has orders to push on to Wagadugu; if no French are there to occupy it: if occupied by the French, to take possession of it.' Gosselin notes here: 'In reply to my enquiry about what he meant by French, Mr Ch. said that Northcott's orders were not to attack or occupy any place, occupied by anyone, whether European or native - wearing French uniform' | If the French won't come to terms, this plan can be carried out indefinitely; till all W. Africa becomes a mere chess-board, with black & white squares representing the presence of French & English soldiers.' Chamberlain now comes 'to details', stating that 'the crux of the whole thing is Sohoto' (in the margin 'thing' is glossed as 'negotiation'). He criticises the 'monstrous interpretation' by the French of 'the Say-Barrua [sic, for 'Say-Barruwa'] line Agreement', to which 'Lord S. visibly concurred'. Chamberlain concedes that 'the nation was not yet [last two words underlined twice] prepared to go to war on any W. African Question - though he expressed the hope that the matter wd. Be taken up in the Press & elsewhere & a little light thrown on the subject'. He quotes Chamberlain directly: 'All the same, I hope you will all be very stiff - put it all on me - if you like - & play a game of Chess: I cannot admit that 2 [freelancers?] here, 5 there, & a parcel of Senagalese [sic] [?] can occupy hundreds of miles of territory - we have a better basis. (& more Money, interpolated Lord S.) & in a few months time can more than hold our own.' Chamberlain 'anticipated no difficulty in arranging matters as to the Togo Hinterland with Germany', and explained why, on which Sanderson gave his opinion that 'this wd. Stir up great opportunities in the Gambia & recalled the row there was over previous exchanges of the same sort with Denmark (?)' Gosselin continues: 'On leaving Ld. Salisbury's room I asked Sanderson whether I might inform Sir Edmund [i.e. Sir Edmund Monson (1834-1909), British Ambassador to Paris] that H[is]. L[ordship]. [i.e. Salisbury] adopted the views & line of conduct advocated by Mr. Ch., pointing out that Lord S. had merely listened to the very interesting programme unfolded by Mr Ch. but had carefully abstained fm. expressing his personal opinion - I also said that we shd be glad for definite instructions as to whether we were to broach the Say Barrua [sic] line or not'. In reply to Gosselin's enquiry Sanderson states that in his opinion 'we were to follow up the line of argument adopted by Mr. Chamberlain "the Colonial Secretary in such matters holds the reins" - | I said I shd. be glad if he could confirm this on Lord S's behalf. | His annexed letter explains H. Ls views. -' (The letter is not present.) In conclusion Gosselin reports that 'Everett told me that he had learnt fm. 2 independent Sources that the Niger was never navigable for Steamers of the slightest draught above Egga (?) this had been kept secret by the Niger C[ompan]y. but Goldie [i.e. Sir George Dashwood Taubman Goldie (1846-1925) of the Royal Niger Company] now admits this to be the case, and he considers that this fact entirely modifies the Situation'.B: Correspondence with Sir Percy Anderson, 1895Sir Percy Anderson [Sir Henry Percy Anderson] (1831-1896), Assistant Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office. Fifteen items, comprising: eight ALsS from PA to MG (total of 33pp). between 20 March and 19 November 1895; and seven Autograph Signed Drafts and Copies of Letters from MG to PA (total of 27pp), between 16 March and 23 November 1895. For the background see W. R. Louis, 'Sir Percy Anderson's Grand African Strategy, 1883-1896' (EHR, April 1966), which describes Anderson at the time of the writing of these letters as 'the African thinking-machine of the British government', and quotes the assessments of two of his colleagues, the first (Lugard) stating that PA was 'the great and only African power' of the Foreign Office, and the second (Malet) that he was 'a complete focus of knowledge in regard to Africa'. ONE: PA to MG. Five of the letters marked by Anderson as private. All signed 'W Percy Anderson'. Seven on Foreign Office letterheads, the eighth on letterhead of Compton Verney, Warwick. Written in what Louis calls Anderson's 'racy, pungent style'. The first letter (4pp, 12mo), 20 March, analyses the situation in the Transvaal on the eve of the Jameson Raid. It begins: 'Your information is very interesting. There is a great deal of roguery going on about the Transvaal and Lorenzo Marques at Berlin, Lisbon, and the Hague, and we have great difficulty in getting at the truth. But I think that in this case the conspirators are going too far. As regards Togoland, Damaraland, or even Uganda, there is here more sentiment than sustained interest, more feeling than passion - but as regards the Transvaal deep feelings would be stirred, and passions easily aroused - Germany will not be allowed to have her own way there, and so Hatzfeldt [Paul von Hatzfeldt (1831-1901), German ambassador to London] has been told pretty plainly. Kruger has been trying to get a combination against England, but would throw it over when it has served his purpose.' PA has already described the 'correct situation' to MG, and does so again: 'Kruger and Rhodes are playing a game which Rhodes must eventually win - if they are interfered with national implications may arise, but the quarrellers will be left by the players to fight it out.' He regards it as 'a misfortune that the Germans are allowing themselves to be seduced by Kruger'. MG 'will be surprised at the Hinterland proposal. Hatzfeldt begged piteously for something, and we gave him this! It does put the Germans on the [?], but not where Kayser [Paul Kayser (1845-1898), head of the colonial section of the German Foreign Office] wants - there again, however, we must stand firm: he never offers us a shred of concession anywhere and is never satisfied with what we offer - | At last we begin to ask - how much harm can he do us!' The second letter, 26 June, covers eight pages, and is wide ranging. PA begins by expressing the hope that 'the change of Ministry may produce better relations with Germany - it did so before […] I have no hope of Kayser, but he may be overruled for good as poor Krauel [Friedrich Richard Krauel (1848-1918), Kayser's predecessor] was who, I always considered, fought us honestly'. He explains the situation, remarking that the 'arrangement is not easy': 'We have in the Gold Coast Colony a possession over 200 years old - the Germans have been on the coast about 10 years - There was only a small bit of inappropriated coast open to them - this they took and are endeavouring to attract trade to it. They wish to enlarge this coast - this they must do either at the expense of France or of England - they prefer to get from us, if they can, the eastern part of the Gold Coast Colony - they have nothing to offer in exchange - their offer is put simply enough - "give it to us, or we will make it hot for you elsewhere". He would be inclined to accede to the German demand, if it would lead to 'an honest settlement', but 'in Kayser's hands it would not do so'. He turns to Kayser's request for 'access to the Niger - why? If they had it it would be commercially useless to them - for their obvious policy is to feed their Togoland coast, and to create a rival outlet would be suicidal - the object is to worry us - nothing more nor less - and to make a bargain which would give them the Volta in return for the abandonment of a worse than useless claim'. On the question of 'the real hinterland', the British 'have offered to step out of the way and let France & Germany fight out their battle'. He discusses, in the light of his previous comments, Kayser's threat 'to join hands with France', and the question 'need this frighten us?' He speculates on whether the two countries would unite in the face of 'our river boat', concluding with a scenario in which 'the crafty Jew' (i.e. Kayser) has 'not got the game in his hands - we have only to sit quiet, hold to what we undeniably have, and resist force - what will he do!' He next discusses Kayser's 'talk about free navigation of the Niger', which he regards as 'rubbish'. The letter concludes: 'I end where I began - we are ready for an honest arrangement but we have no cause to be frightened of Kayser's threats, and I shall be surprised if Lord Salisbury quails before them'. In the third letter, 14 August, Anderson asks for details of a statement 'made by Kayser, before, I think, the Frederal Council that the policy in Africa must be that of two against one'. In the fourth letter, 21 August, he states that he is 'putting before Lord Salisbury all the information I can collect which may serve as material when he may be disposed to take up the question of endeavouring to come to an African settlement with Germany'. He states flatly: 'England cannot allow any other Power to supersede her position as regards the Transvaal - it is a certainty that before many years are over the Dutch element will be swamped - Germany may pursue an irritating policy there and will find Kruger ready to meet her up to a certain point, but unless and until the power of England is considerably weakened a hostile attitude in that quarter, if pressed too far, would lead to something more serious than the West African race for treaty-making. I agree with you that the game is best played rather fast'. In the fifth letter, 23 October, among other matters, he writes that he is 'quite sure (entirely between ourselves) that Lord Salisbury has not some idea of trading with the Volta'. The sixth letter, 14 November, deals with 'Mr. Gramshaw' and his request for 'a concession for the exploitation of Guano to south of Walfisch Bay'. The seventh letter, 19 November, gives a report of Anderson's meeting with the German ambassador in London, its five quarto pages beginning: 'On Thursday last Hatzfeldt asked Lord Salisbury to begin hinterland negotiations by putting him in communication with me. I saw him on Friday. He introduced as his brief the Grüner map, and he had a note before him from Berlin of considerable length. | I said at once that I could not discuss the question of Ganda; that our prior rights were incontestable. He then went to the Volta. I said that it must be clear to the German Govt. that the difficulties which Lord Kimberley could not face are now insurmountable: that no part of a British Colony could be ceded without the assent of Parliament; and that it is clear that no Minister could with one breath ask for a grant for an expedition sent in the interests of the Gold Coast, and with the next propose to cede what, rightly or wrongly, the Colonists consider the most valuable province.' At this point Hatzfeldt is 'at the end of his ideas' and has 'nothing more to propose'. Anderson continues: 'I then tried what I could do. I offered (to make a long story short) subject to approval, to let him have the Niger from Say to Gamba, and a westward line dividing the neutral zone according to the German proposal - Yendi to Germany, Sulaga to Gt Britain, thence running northwards along the O' Meridian to the parallel of Say.' There followed an adjournment, and on the following day Anderson 'saw Lord Salisbury who assented to negotiation on these lines'. The second part of the letter concerns 'four memoranda' in which Anderson 'put the whole of our position plainly before Hatzfeldt', with a description of the memoranda covering a whole page. 'Hatzfeldt took it all in fairly well, and said he would refer the matter to Berlin, but he always went back to the Volta.' Anderson concludes that 'there is small chance of success'. He has read 'a curious article in the Siècle', stating that nearly the same terms were offered by the French foreign minister Gabriel Hanotaux to the Germans, 'the condition being a joint campaign against us. If this is so the treacherous German merely hesitated till he could ascertain if he could get the Volta from us - failing in that he will go back to France'. If Anderson is right in his analysis 'our only course will be to put our backs to the wall - we have made a case as regards Ganda which, as I told him, would make us secure in an arbitration, and we must occupy Boussa and dare them to turn us out by force'. The last paragraph reads: 'They have never played fair, and never will. Hatzfeldt may say that I used the word ultimatum. He very nearly did'. The last letter (26 November) is eight pages long, and in it Anderson reports that after his 'last interview with Hatzfeldt today […] the negotiations have come to nothing'. MG will see from Anderson's memorandum that it has always been his impression 'that the Germans cared for nothing that we could give them except Volta. So it proved. It was Hatzfeldt's Alpha and Omega. In fact he said today that if he had been left to manage matters his own way he would have talked of nothing else. On these lines there was no ground for discussion.' Salisbury has 'examined the question' and 'found that the Trans-Volta district is an old Colonial possession which could not be surrendered without Parliamentary sanction - that it was 2000 square miles, has a population of 600,000, is rich, has ports far more valuable than Accra, and provides the revenue with half its import receipts. Cession of such a territory in return for nothing but a menace was, he said, impossible.' The British have offered a reasonable and liberal' arrangement, 'but a transaction, which could only be concluded in the impossible, was manifestly impracticable'. Anderson gives his view of the next step for German is: 'So now they may go to - | - France!' He was pleased to hear from MG of 'Kayser's false statement of our wishing to close in France by the 9th parallel. No such project was thought of - There was no talk even of British and German spheres'. He describes the 'suggested arrangement' regarding France, and reports that 'Hatzfeldt said that Kayser must have entirely misunderstood him and he would put him right'. In response to this Anderson has suggested that 'Lord Dufferin give the right version at Paris as the doctor [i.e. Kayser] is pretty sure to give the wrong one'. Anderson asks what Germany would get from France 'better than what we offered', to which Hatzfeldt replies 'Oh! je ne sais pas! quelque petite affaire!' He adds: 'I scarcely see where a big affair is to come from'. He also discusses the possibility of Germany occupying Ganda 'from her distant base'. TWO: MG to PA. Four Copy letters and three Drafts. Six of the seven are written from the British Embassy, Berlin. Six are signed 'M. Gosselin' and the seventh 'Martin Gosselin'. In the first letter (16 March) MG sends news from Berlin relating to West Africa, including the appointment of 'Graf Pfeil' [Count Joachim von Pfeil (1857-1924)] to a position at Lorenzo Marques'. He describes a private dinner with a German minister, during which a 'telegram in cypher' arrives, and reports that the Prussian civil servant Ferdinand Otto Freiherr von Nordenflycht (1816-1901) has 'summed up the state of affairs in S. Africa as a duel betwn. Rhodes & Kruger, & that he was convinced that in 10 year's time the former wd. have carried through his policy'. In the second he discusses 'what Kayser said to me about the Togo Hinterland delimitation', and the risk that 'we shall one day find ourselves confronted with another Franco-German Agreement more annoying than that of February 1894'. He describes Kayser as 'such a sly old fox that I never can answer for his conduct'. The letter also discusses how 'the French & German Press are quarrelling over the Successes of Gruner & Decour', and the 'ill-feeling' in Berlin 'over the Chinese loan'. On 17 August MG reports that 'Kayser has been constantly, ever since I came here 2 years ago - harping on the theme that if England will not work with Germany in Africa, Germany must come to terms with France'. Laid down onto the folio leaves of the letter is a long cutting from The Times, 10 August 1895, on 'Anglo-German Relations', and MG discusses this at length. On 17 October discusses PA's 'interesting Memo: on the Niger Negotiations wh. will be of immense use when the time comes for a settlement of all these intricate boundary disputes', at one point he disputes PA's endorsement of 'what the German Gt. are never tired of asserting - that they had nothing to do with the Togo Hinterland Expedition wh. was a mere private venture on the part of certain Colonial Enthusiasts - & organized by the Togoland Authorities. This is, however, a mere blind; Dr. Gruner's expenses were paid by the Togo Committee here; after "Afrikafonds" - a fund entirely administered by Dr. Kayser & Co. for socalled "scientific purposes" paid 1000£ towards the cost of the Expedition.' The letter which also discusses a German article (present as a laid-down newspaper cutting), concludes with the warning that Germany may 'shortly come to terms with France: if she succeeds we shall be face to face with 2 opponents, instead of being able to continue the existing "triangular duel" to which you allude in yr. Report'. 'Germans in Niger' is written in red pencil at the head of a letter of 26 October. The letter concerns 'the rumoured Franco-German Negotiations', which MG believes have not yet begun, accepting the assurances of 'the French Charge d'Affaires, Soulanger, who is a very truthful man'. He also states that 'Gruner is becoming a terrible agitator: not content with 2 lectures & a huge banquet here, (wh. Kayser told me he purposely refrained from attending, fearing to be compromised.) - he has been lecturing at Jena Cologne & elsewhere, & doing all he can to puff himself & his works, & beating the big Colonial drum.' He reports Kayser's reply to his question 'whether Hatzfeldt wd. be instructed to sound Lord Salisbury on Colonial questions generally, or only on Togoland': '[…] we agree about Rietfontein, & […] accept the Amatongaland delimitation […] there remains nothing else serious except Samoa, - we shall begin by asking for a recognition of our claims on the Niger & then see what turns up'. A letter of 22 November discusses the German response to the proposal of 'Mr. Gramshaw and Mr. S. Schuster'. The last letter, written on the following day, is 'Private' draft of five folio pages, with emendations in red pencil, concerning 'Anglo-German negotiations in Togo-Hinterland', with a report of another conversation with Kayser on 'the Stokes Caravan business'. Kayser states that Count Hatzfeldt's negotiations have begun, and discusses the difficulties which are likely to arise. During the reported conversation MG confronts Kayser: 'In fact! I replied, you propose that we instead of Germany should go to War with the French over the Dahoney Hinterland? | Kayser laughed & said he did not think we should come to blows over it. He said that he still had hopes of an arrangement: but he heqard that you were going away for your annual holiday in a week's time: "if nothing can be settled before that, I fear it will be too late."' MG's own impression is 'that the Germans will do anything we like - on the Niger & elsewhere, if they once get a promise of the Trans-Volta Province'. It is for PA to decide 'whether an agreement with them is worth the sacrifice of that district'.C: Gosselin, four dispatches to Salisbury, 1895 and 1897Autograph Drafts of four long dispatches from MG to Lord Salisbury. The first three from Berlin in 1895 and the last from Paris in 1897. A total of 18pp. The first a fair copy, the others with deletions and emendations. The first (16 November 1895) discusses German opinion on Salisbury's comments in his 'Guildhall speech on Lord Mayor's Day' on 'the Concert of Powers in the near Eastern Question' and his 'language with regard to the far Eastern Question'. The second (22 November) reports on MG's conversation with 'Baron v. Marschall' [Adolf Marschall von Bieberstein (1842-1912), German Foreign Secretary] regarding the departing British Ambassador to Berlin Sir Edward Malet (1837-1908), and the Kaiser's behaviour at Malet's farewell. The third (29 November 1895) is the longest (5pp, folio), and concerns 'The Emperor & his mother - his health - his flirtation with Russia'. Laid down onto the letter is a cutting from The Times, 27 November 1895. At one point MG reports that 'It is now whispered that H. M. professes to see Visions, & that the famous allegorical picture of S. Michael showing the nations of Europe the danger threatening their faith & homes, by the rising flood of the Yellow Race, is the result of one of these supernatural inspirations. | In repeating these stories, I am only reproducing the gossip of the town: but if there is any truth in these rumours, it accounts for much that is otherwise inexplicable: it becomes, indeed, a serious matter, if a Sovereign who possesses a dominant voice in the foreign policy of this Empire is subject to halucinations [sic] & influences wh. must in the long run sway his judgment, & render him liable at any moment to sudden changes of opinion wh. no one can anticipate or provide against'. The fourth and last (7 November 1897) provides a memorandum of a private conversation MG had the previous day with the French Foreign Minister Gabriel Hanotaux (1853-1944) 'on the pending Niger negotiations'. At one point he states: 'M. Hanotaux yesterday (without my having of course made the slightest allusion to the subject,) pointed out the great expenditure France had made in men & money in the conquest of Dahomey and spoke in such an extravagant way of the future of the Colony, & of its civilizing influence in W. Africa'.D: Letters from Sir Clement Lloyd Hill, 1897Seven ALsS from Sir Clement Lloyd Hill (1845-1913), diplomat, to MG. Between 12 March and 22 December 1897. All on Foreign Office letterheads. A total of 26pp. The last four letters concern MG's 'examination of the Gold Coast treaties' [with the French]. The longest (7pp, 4to) and most significant letter dates from 21 November. In it Hill ventures 'to inflict on [MG] & Everett a few remarks on points which have struck me in reading yr. reports of yr. first three meetings'. The letter discusses 'the western Gold Coast hinterland', 'priority of treaty', the French and Niger, 'effective occupation & the presence of any signs of British Govt', 'the line of French ports from Say to Boussa', 'The French policy of joining Senegal with Dahomey', whether 'Phipps' marginal notes about Binger and Borgu weaken our rights under the Declaration of 1890'. In the first letter (12 March) he writes: 'I wanted the Co. to send troops & occupy all the places south of Boussa so as to cut the French off from Dahomey & Lord Salisbury agreed, but Scarbrough [the tenth Earl, 1857-1945, a member of the RNC and associate of Goldie] came down & said it was no good & that there was nothing for it but to get the French out by negotiations or force, & consequently the instruction was cancelled'. On 13 December 1897 he discusses 'the term "Nigeria" as applying to all the Niger regions - Goldie has recently claimed it for his own territories'. On 21 December he discusses 'the French wish for access between Bajibo & Lembi ('I doubt the C.O. giving it'), 'bona fide officers' making 'good faith treaties', and the 'French argument about Tontie's treaties'. In the last letter, 22 December, he concedes: 'We usually ask too much in our negotiations, ignoring the genuine claims of others'.E: Anglo-French Commission on 'coolie emigration', 1897Seven items relating to the Commission:ONE: [Sir Edmund Monson (1834-1909), British Ambassador to Paris] TLS from Monson to MG. Paris; 23 September 1897. On government letterhead. 2pp, folio. Signed 'Edmund Monson'. He begins by explaining that at the wish of the French Government, 'expressed to His Lordship by the Prime Minister in London on the 4th ultimo, the Marquess of Salisbury has agreed to the reopening of negotiations at Paris for the renewal of the arrangement governing the immigration of Indian Coolies into Réunion'. He informs MG that he has been appointed a commissioner in the matter, and proceeds to give Lord Salisbury's directions for the negotiations, to be conducted by MG with 'Muir Mackenzie' (later Sir J. W. P. Muir Mackenzie) of the Indian Civil Service. Concludes: 'I have therefore, in accordance with Lord Salisbury's request, to instruct you to hold yourself in readiness to enter upon the proposed discussions with the French Commissioners as soon as Mr Muir Mackenzie shall have arrived in Paris'.TWO: Autograph Copy of Dispatch from MG to Lord Salisbury. 20 October 1897. On government letterhead. 2pp, folio. Expressing his 'best thanks for the honour thus conferred on me'.THREE and FOUR: [Sir J. W. P. Muir Mackenzie (1854-1916)] Two ALsS from Muir Mackenzie to MG. Both signed 'J. Muir Mackenzie'. 1 December [1897] and [3 December 1897]; each on letterhead of India Office, Whitehall. The first concerns 'the proof of the convention'; in the second he asks him to encourage 'Bompard' to read a document showing 'all that the Dutch do to encourage the settlement of free Indians in their Colonies. This will show him that we ask nothing unreasonable in Reunion, & that a foreign Government finds it advantageous to develop its colony by means of free [last word underlined] Indian labour, & is ready to spend freely with that object alone.' He also asks him to 'hustle Le Preux for that decree, for want of which I am kicking my heels doing nothing'.FIVE: Lord Salisbury [Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, 3rd Marquess of Salisbury] (1830-1903), Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary. TLS to MG. Signed 'Salisbury'. 13 January 1898; on Foreign Office letterhead. 2pp, folio. 'I have received a despatch from Her Majesty's Ambassador at Paris announcing that the negotiations for the resumption of Coolie immigration into Réunion have been brought to a successful conclusion. I desire to express my approval of your proceedings and my appreciation of the care and ability with which you are Mr. Muir Mackenzie have conducted these negotiations, which have resulted in an Agreement which is not alone satisfactory but which secures advantages to the Coolies greater than had been expected.' Salisbury has noted the commissioners' report of 'the valuable assistance rendered by Mr. Bennett, Her Majesty's Consul at Réunion', and has thanked him accordingly.SIX: Sir Thomas Sanderson (1841-1923), Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. ALS to MG (as 'Dear Goose'). 5 November 1897; on Foreign Office letterhead. Signed 'T H Sanderson'. Headed 'Private'. He begins by stating that he has handed MG's letter to 'Bertie' (Foreign Office diplomat, later Viscount Bertie of Thame), who is handling African matters. Clearly referring to the forthcoming 'Coolie immigration' discussions he writes: 'I am afraid you have a most disagreeable task and a very difficult one. I hope our French colleagues are pleasant and manage to preserve their calm.' He has that morning received a wire from 'H. E.' (Chamberlain?), suggesting that 'we ought soon to meet', and is sending 'a couple of copies of a map for H. E. and yourself'. Postscript: 'By the way, there is a rumour, emanating from Goldie, that the French have moved out of Boussa. If true, he intends to occupy the place with 40 men. What a lot of trouble would have been saved, if he had done this last year.'SEVEN: Printed FO envelope addressed to MG at the British Embassy, Paris. In red pencil in MG's autograph across front: 'I received the enclosed to-day about the Coolies'.F: Letters to Gosselin fromONE: Sir William Everett of the Intelligence Division of the War OfficeTWO: Sir George Goldie of the Royal Niger CompanyTHREE: Sir Edward Malet, British Ambassador to BerlinFOUR: Sir Edmund Monson, British Ambassador to ParisFIVE: Count Alexander Münster, German ambassador in ParisSIX: Sir Thomas Sanderson, Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign AffairsONE: Sir William Everett of the Intelligence Division of the War OfficeSir William Everett (1844-1908) of the Intelligence Division of the War Office, military topographer. TLS to MG. 12 October 1897; on letterhead of the Intelligence Division, 18 Queen Anne's Gate, S.W. 2pp, 4to. Headed 'Secret'. The letter responds to MG's request regarding 'what we are to say, should the Commission [of the British and the French, regarding West Africa] meet again'. 'The French Commissioners were to obtain fresh instructions from Hanotaux and then notify us the date of the next meeting.' If the British ask for 'a renewal of negotiations […] we ought to get clear instructions as to the extent of the modifications F.O. and C.O. are prepared to agree to. How far either will go, I do not know, but when I saw Chamberlain last - and that was the day before he went on leave - I found him most strongly opposed to giving way an inch anywhere. Further negotiations, he then said, were impossible so long as the French remained in Boussa territory. In the mean time, however, he had no intention of doing nothing. He intended to proceed at once with the organization of a West African army; to collect as many troops as could be got together, as soon as possible, at Liaba, or at some other convenient spot in the vicinity and, from this base, to occupy various places in Borgu - the French to take the consequences, should they attempt to show their objection to these measures by resorting to arms. All available Lagos troops were to be sent up to the hinterland to protect the road from Dahome to Boussa which passes through Igagun and Chaki and a Yoruba battalion to be formed at once. Three companies of W. I. troops from Sierra Leone to take the place, on the coast, of the Lagos Constabulary.' He continues with the similar instructions sent to 'Maxwell' on the Gold Coast, 'the Stewart [sic]-Scal Agreement being denounced previous to making the start'. Everett does not know whether Chamberlain has returned from his leave of absence 'in a less bellicose frame of mind', but 'He is to be at the office, I believe, today.' Everett is 'engaged, at this moment, in writing a long Mem: on the Niger question for Chamberlain's edification. I do not envy him the perusal of it.'TWO: Sir George Goldie of the Royal Niger CompanySir George Dashwood Taubman Goldie (1846-1925) of the Royal Niger Company. Two items. ONE: TLS from Goldie to MG. On letterhead 'c/o The Royal Niger Company, Surrey House, Victoria Embankment, London W. C.'; 27 October 1897. 3pp, 4to. Signed 'George Taubman Goldie'. Commenting critically and knowledgeably on the 'gist of the extracts from Capt. Toutée' in the 'Politique Coloniale', with reference to 'Mr Watts', 'Capt. Lugard', 'Mr Lister' and 'the verbal reports of Mr Bright, Mr Williams, Mr Macaulay and other Sierra Leone Agents'. At one point exclaims: 'Could anything be more disingenuous, and how can one attach any importance to the assertions of a writer who, on so important a question, deliberately deceives the public? The whole of Capt. Toutée's book, referring to the Middle Niger, is made up of similar statements absolutely false in their intention and ensemble although sometimes correct if taken alone.' After explaining how one of Toutée's arguments 'entirely disappears', asks whether 'Sir Edward Monson considers it desirable that these and other fictions of Capt. Toutée should be exposed by The Company', explaining that 'the disadvantage of replying to him is that rejoinders will be published putting forward new mis-statements, which might find some echo in the French press'. Concludes by stating that he will be sending 'Sir Thomas Sanderson (unofficially) a copy of this letter'. TWO: Autograph copy by MG of 'Minute by Sir G. Goldie. R. Niger Cy. on Mr. Gosselin's Tel. No. 66 African of Augt 15. 93'. 1p, landscape folio. On subject of conflicting German and British claims in West Africa. Nineteen line text, beginning: 'No alteration of the 1886 boundary has been proposed in as much as there is no such boundary.' With simple map of the Faro River tributary of the Benue River and the 'Line Germany claimed' (from Yola to the Cross River) and the 'Line England claimed'. Ends with a suggested demarcation, the purpose of which 'is to leave as much as possible to Germany consistent with the C[ompan]y's object'.THREE: Sir Edward Malet, British Ambassador to BerlinSir Edward Malet (1837-1908), British Ambassador to Berlin. Two items. ONE: Autograph Draft by MG of despatch from Malet ('for Sir Edw Malet MG') to Lord Salisbury. On Foreign Office letterhead, from Berlin, 23 August 1895. 4pp, folio. With deletions and additions. He begins by reporting his response to the enquiry of 'Baron v. Marschall' regarding 'whether anything further had been heard with regard to Mr. Stokes' execution by the Congo Authorities', which Malet describes as 'this regretable cir[cumstan]ce'. He gives the opinion of the German government on the 'most excellent man' Stokes. He reports the baron's view of the reason why Stokes was 'made away with' ('not on account of an alleged Sale of arms to Arabs'). 'The Authorities of the Independent State had long been doing all they could to divert the ivory trade from the E. to the W. Coast - and this act was a proof of the lengths to wh. They were prepared to go in carrying out their scheme. | Germany would not allow this policy to be continued. She was well content to have the Congo State as a neighbour, provided she minded her own concerns, & behaved as a neutral State was bound to do: but this had not been King Leopolds recent policy.' TWO: Manuscript copy by MG of letter from Malet to Salisbury. 8pp, 4to. 7 November 1895; 85 Eaton Square, London. On FO letterheads. Malet begins the letter: 'I am much obliged to Your Lordship for letting me see Mr. Gosselins Telegram of the 4th instant, reporting a conversation which he had had with the Emperor at the Opera House at Berlin on the 3rd. Instant, and I can well conceive that you should call upon me for a report regarding language attributed to me before leaving Berlin which seems to have produced so unfavorable an impression towards me on the part of His Majesty.' He has been 'filled with unfeigned surprise' that 'this language should have given umbrage'. It was used by Malet 'in speaking to the Chancellor, Prince Hohenlohe, at a farewell dinner given to me by the Prince'. He gives an account of the conversation, explaining that he began it by stating that 'now that I was leaving, I should like to speak to him about the only matter which, as far as I could see, contained real germs of danger to the friendship of Germany and England, and that this was the question of the Transvaal about which I had, in the past, had several conversations with Baron von Marschall'. Malet 'was alarmed lest the Transvaal Government should take a false view of the friendly attitude towards it of Germany, and should be encouraged to acts which would place England in great embarrassment'. He observes that the Kaiser 'is under the impression that I used the word "ultimatum"', and he assures Salisbury 'that neither the word nor such a thought came from me'.FOUR: Sir Edmund Monson, British Ambassador to ParisSir Edmund Monson (1834-1909), British Ambassador to Paris. ALS to MG, headed 'Private'. 17 August 1897; St. Germain, on FO letterhead. 10pp, 12mo. Regarding 'Hanotaux's Note about Boussa' he writes: 'I must confess that I think their case is ably argued, and unless their facts can be shown to be erroneous, their conclusion seems to me quite a fair one. They clearly will evacuate Boussa, but the tone of the Note is moderate, and even dignified.' He has 'not quite assimilated' the 'lot of Niger Print' he got 'by last messenger', but the more he thinks 'of the African (West) Question as a whole the more convinced am I that with this patching and petty policy we shall never come to a satisfactory conclusion. Whether the time has come or is even near when it may be possible to make a "transaction" on a large scale, and of a nature to finish the difficulties at once and for ever I cannot say […] But I feel very strongly that this will be the only satisfactory way out of all our African troubles, and that if we could only finally settle matters with France we might snap our fingers at German meddling and intriguing.' He has great admiration for Chamberlain, but considers his 'view of things far too purely departmental'. Goldie's 'horizon is naturally even more limited; and for him the Niger Co. is, as Yankees say, "the hub of the Universe"'. He criticises the FO's treatment of 'the Zanzibar Court', which 'gave the French an opportunity of snubbing us very effectively'. He knows that MG 'wont betray us to my dear friend Frank Bertie', but his opinion is 'that things are mismanaged; and whether it is his fault or the [Capn's?] the result is humiliating for the Ambassador'. There is 'movement actual and prospective in the junior branches of the service', but Monson 'cannot do without' MG: 'Without blarney I really do not see that there is anyone who could supply your place.' He accepts that when 'Rome and Washington' become vacant he 'must lose' MG, 'but that gives me nearly a year more of your existence, and during that time we may perhaps pull of our coup'. The letter concludes with a long report of personal news.FIVE: Count Alexander Münster, German ambassador in ParisCount Alexander Münster (1858-1922), as German ambassador in Paris. ALS to MG. In shaky English (Münster was an anglophile, married to Lady Muriel Hay and owner of Maresfield Park, Sussex), in an equally shaky hand. 30 November 1897; on letterhead of the German Embassy, Paris. 3pp, 12mo. Signed 'Münster'. Begins 'Returning the enclosed I can only say that I have not the slightest objection to the publication in the blue book! - What I now wish is not for the blue book!' The rest of the letter, regarding a Russian proposal, is indecipherable.SIX: Sir Thomas Sanderson, Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign AffairsSir Thomas Sanderson (1841-1923), Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. ALS to MG. 16 October 1897; on Foreign Office letterhead. Signed 'T H Sanderson'. Headed 'Confidentail'. Begins: 'Lord Salisbury told us that he acquiesced in and endorsed Mr Chamberlain's views as to the course to be observed in the discussions on West African questions. He thinks it will probably be better that you and Everett and also your Chief should speak rather of Mr Chamberlain's determination, and impressions as to public feeling here than use strong language on your own account - and he trusts most to the effect of our preparations here to induce a more compliant attitude on the part of the French.' The letter concludes with advice on how to handle the question of 'the Say Barruwa line'.G: Gosselin, letters to French Foreign Minister Hanotaux and the Earl of Kimberley, and cypher telegramONE: Autograph Copy of letter in French from MG to 'Monsieur le Ministre' [Hanotaux]. 2 April 1897; from the British Embassay [in Paris]. Headed 'Particulière'. Having received a telegram from the FO stating that 'les Amiraux' are of the opinion that 'la flotte internationale "decrait trouver flott grecque et la forcer de se retirer ou au Pirée, ou dans golfe Salamis"', he asks to know 'le plus vite possible comment le gouvernement francais envisage cette proposition'.TWO: Autograph Copy of letter from MG to the Earl of Kimberley. Berlin; 23 March 1895; on FO letterhead. The letter comments on the 'Recall of General v. Werder from the St. P[eters]burgh Embassy': 'This sudden recall, amounting almost to the disgrace, of one who has long and faithfully served his Sovereign & Country, coming as it does so soon after the somewhat similar treatment accorded to Count v. Caprivi, is universally attributed to the Emperor's own initiative, and has made a painful impression here.'THREE: Autograph Copy of 'D[ra]ft Tel[egram] in cypher | Mr. Gosselin to Mr. Bertie | F.O.' 8 November 1897 ('1.30. p.m.'); Paris, on FO letterhead. 'Your tel. Of yesterday | Unless we hear fm. you to contrary shall propose Wednesday for next meeting | Further postponement may arouse French Suspicions'.H: Five Miscellaneous itemsONE and TWO: Printed invitation from 'Der Reichskanzler Fürst zu Hohenlohe-Schillingsfurst'. 14 October [1895]. Completed in manuscript for MG. With the gilt-edged printed menu, in French, for 'Diner du 14. October 1895.' Heraldic shield at head. Slug of Berlin printer at foot.THREE: Large printed invitation to an official reception 'im Königlichen Opernhause zu Berlin, 3 November 1895. With attractive engraved vignette at head. Completed in manuscript for MG and signed by 'A Eulenburg'. MG writes at head: 'Gala for the King of Portugal'.FOUR and FIVE: Two cuttings from the German magazine 'Ulk', both from 1895, one of a cartoon.