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South African Union

( Originally Published 1910 )



" WITH South African Union accomplished, we face a new Empire. We have now three great administrative organisations in the Empire ; in 1867 there were no fewer than fifteen. In 1867 Canada, when she had no railway connection from east to west, when Victoria, British Columbia, as as far from St. John's, New Brunswick, as London is from Sydney to-day, united for federal administration her six scattered provinces with unsolved racial difficulties before her, but with political wisdom and great national faith behind her. Since then Australia and South Africa have brought together their states and provinces. The many voices speak as one voice ; the many activities, hitherto varying and sometimes opposing, are governed by one policy ; and England, as the centre of all the do-minions and responsible for the defence of all, with inter-national relations and commitments of prodigious importance, can now deal with three great governments and not twenty. These, by the very increase of their responsibilities, can better understand hers, can with more wisdom and understanding shape their policy so that it shall not cross the bows of her international engagements, negotiations, and arrangements. As the last to enter upon this higher and more powerful state, with its manifold burdens and opportunities, South Africa has an advantage over the other pioneers of federation and union. She has been able to study their experience and the working of their constitutions, and has been warned from this and advised from that by the history of their difficulties and the variation of results due to the particular forms of their administrations."

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